Tax Tuesday: Get Organized!

Here’s your Tuesday Tax Tip! GET ORGANIZED! That shoebox of receipts can seem overwhelming, we know! Before diving into that Pandora’s Receipt Box, make sure you have the necessary tools to make the sorting and organizing process a breeze! Our faves: Accordion File Folder (13 pocket) Labels for the File Folder Your Calendar- digital or print version (we use this as a reference point later on to check for “missed” or “mystery” expenses receipt) Pen (Non-smudging kind) Now, it’s on to the digital tools you may want to use! I like to create a separate folder on my computer, i.e. 2014 Tax Prep, to help organize all the info. If you use Dropbox or another sharing program, this makes it super easy for team members/staff to add to, or for your accountant to access if they need additional information. Bank Statements- download or print all bank statements (including paypal, moneybookers, etc) Invoices- have digital or print copies ready (We’ll get into Income during week 3 so have these handy!) Credit Card Bills- digital or paper copies If you’re also going to enter your receipts into a program like Excel (which we recommend to help reduce your accountant’s time AND your accountant’s bill!), go ahead and get that set up. We suggest the following columns: Date Store Name Description Category (We’ll get into that next week!) Price before taxes (Subtotal) PST, if applicable GST/HST Total So, that’s step 1! Grab a glass of wine, put on some tunes, and get ORGANIZED- next week we’re diving into common expense categories for the Self-Employed and Small Business owner!...
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Small Business Success Story: Hyack Interactive

Jen Arbo, owner of Hyack Interactive, is making waves in New Westminster (and beyond) with her unique blend of marketing and business services. Jen is an active volunteer in her community and was kind enough to share some great tips and strategies on surviving (and thriving!) as a small business owner.   What is your main product/service? Content Strategy and Development, and Project Management for Hire What motivated you to open your own business? Flexible hours, ability to pick and choose who I worked with, worked for my young family, and the satisfaction of owning something. What would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome as a small business owner? Finding time for non-billable work. What was the best advice you’ve ever received/given? Learn how to time manage and make sure you plan for downtime. Never offer a discount – either bill at your rate or do free work. What are your top three favorite things about being a Small Business Owner? It’s all mine! Flexible hours. I get to choose who I work with and what projects I bid on or accept. If you could go back in time, what would you say to the younger you on the day your business opened its doors? Plan the operations of your business better – find your accountant before you need them, and have the systems in place to get paid before you need it. ** Want to learn more?  Check out hyackinteractive.ca for all the great things Jen and her team has to offer! Hyack Interactive is also on Twitter- @hyackint...
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How To Add An Hour To Your Day

So many of my colleagues and clients express a desire to have more hours in the day. Somehow I don’t feel this is the solution- wouldn’t we just fill it up with longer to do lists?!

I love those work days when I can shut down my computer at night and feel like I accomplished something that day- be it a complex task for my to-do list or just finally booking my dentist appointment.

We all want to make the most of our day. Check out these 6 simple ways to be a productive powerhouse.

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Small Business Success Story:
Great Wall Tea Co.

Last fall, The Corporate Canuck sat down with Lauren Bowler, co-owner of Great Wall Tea Company, to hear her story of launching her first business. What does Great Wall Tea Co. specialize in? Selling delicious tea by the cup or by the bag, and ensuring that the experience someone has at our shop is special and personalized. What motivated you to open your own business? As a self-employed actor/singer, I was craving something really outside my comfort zone, and eager to learn more about business. And tea. I have strong opinions on how customer service can be used to truly improve someone’s day. Even a three minute exchange while getting a cup of Earl Grey can be a unique connection. Anyone can serve someone a cup of tea, but I wanted to create a business where a sense of community could develop, and it has. You can’t put a price on that. Interestingly, the knowledge I’ve gained in business has also helped my career in the performing arts. What would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome as a small business owner? I’m not yet close to overcoming it, but effective time management while operating two careers is a constant struggle. I’m always looking for better ways to allot my time efficiently. I’m doing this interview from a hotel room while on tour with a theatre show, so hopefully I’m on the way to figuring out how to live both lives successfully. What was the best advice you’ve ever received/given? A girlfriend of mine (who has operated her own small biz for 16 years) first told me to multiply my start-up budget by 2.5-3 times. Boy, was she right. I’m not sure if I’ve given any great advice yet. Hopefully one day someone will quote me! What are your top three favorite things about being a Small Business Owner? Creative freedom, meeting/developing relationships with our wonderful customers, and the constant learning curve. If you could go back in time, what would you say to the younger you on the day your business opened its doors? You can’t please everyone all the time. Yes, it’s a cliche, but it is true. Focus on your vision for your business. That’s the important thing. And take help when it’s offered! For more information, be sure to check out Great Wall Tea’s website HERE, or swing by their shop, located at the...
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