Ask These Questions When Hiring A Bookkeeper For Your Small Business

When you run a small business, it can be stressful to attempt to do your income tax yourself. It’s better to hire a bookkeeper who can help you with your books not only throughout the year, but also at tax time. When you’re looking for a bookkeeper to hire, it’s useful to consult other small business owners in your network of contacts to get some recommendations. With a list of candidates at hand, you can speak to each one to get a sense of which bookkeeper will be right for you. Here are some helpful questions to ask as you make this decision.

How Can You Help Me To Save Money?

As a small business owner, every dollar that you save can either be reinvested in the company or put in your own pocket. It’s vitally important to hire a bookkeeper who is confident that he or she can save you money. Although each bookkeeper you speak to will need to know some information about your finances before he or she can provide you with specific suggestions on cost-saving techniques, don’t be afraid to ask each person for some thoughts on how you might save money. For example, one bookkeeper may have some suggestions on how you can write off more of your expenses to end up paying less in taxes.

Will You Look At My Past Financial Records?

It’s useful to hire a bookkeeper who can take a look through your financial records from previous years, especially if you did your own bookkeeping. It’s probable that this expert will be able to detect errors that you made and that cost you money. The good news is that the bookkeeper will be able to file an amendment to these past financial records at tax time, which can help you to get back some of the money that you shouldn’t have had to pay. If the bookkeeper will indeed look through past records, it’s helpful to ask how many years’ worth of financial statements the person could analyze for you.

How Can You Help Me In The Event Of An Audit?

An audit can be a nightmare for a small business owner, so it’s ideal to have a bookkeeper who can remain by your side throughout this arduous process. It’s also ideal to confirm each bookkeeper’s degree of experience with audits. For example, you might prefer to hire someone who has helped small business owners handle audits on several occasions, rather than someone who doesn’t have any experience in this situation.

For more information, contact companies like Tax Specialists Of Northern Colorado LLC. 

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How to Replace Toilet Anchor Bolts

If your toilet seems wobbly or leaks at the bottom, replace the toilet anchor bolts. The anchor bolts secure the flange to the base. Over time, the bolts can rust from moisture. A beginning DIY enthusiast should be able to replace the bolts. Here are some tips for replacing toilet anchor bolts.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • face mask
  • old towels and newspapers
  • sponge
  • paint scraper or putty knife
  • adjustable pliers
  • adjustable wrench
  • screwdriver
  • spray lubricant
  • hacksaw
  • wax ring
  • anchor bolts

Shut off the water supply to the toilet; the knob should be beside the toilet. If you can’t find the toilet shutoff, turn off the main water supply at the water meter. Look for a lever on the water line, and rotate it clockwise to shut off the water. Set the toilet lid on towels or newspapers, flush the toilet, and sponge excess water out of the tank.

Remove the Old Bolts

If the bolts have caps, insert the flat blade of a screwdriver under the caps to remove them. Unscrew the nut securing the water supply line with the wrench, and set the water supply line and nut aside.

Spray the bolts with the lubricant, and let the lubricant set for several minutes. Clean up extra oil with a rag. This should help make the bolts easier to remove with a wrench.

Place adjustable pliers on the tip of one bolt, then attempt to turn the nut to the left with the wrench. Loosen the bolts a little at a time alternately to keep the toilet balanced. Save the bolts to use as a guide for buying a replacement.

If the bolts still won’t budge, measure the length of the bolts so you can buy the correct size replacements. Hold the tip steady with pliers, and cut them with a hacksaw.

Lift the toilet. Get someone to help you, if needed. Move the toilet back and forth to break the seal. Place the toilet on its side on a soft surface. Take the old wax ring off with the putty knife or paint scraper. Stuff the toilet drain pipe with towels or newspapers to keep sewer gas from entering the room.

Install the New Bolts

Replace damaged toilet flange, if needed. Remove the newspaper or towel from the pipe, and press the new wax ring in place over the flange.

Insert the bolts into open grooves on the flange. Alternate tightening the bolts to keep the toilet balanced. Align the toilet with the flange bolts, set the toilet on the bolts, and rock the toilet gently to secure the wax ring.

Install the  washers and cap holders over the bolts, trim the end with a hacksaw within an inch of the nuts, and then screw on the caps  Replace the toilet lid.

Reconnect the water supply line, and restore the water to test for leaks. If the toilet still leaks, or you don’t trust your skill, contact a professional who can provide plumbing services.

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Tips For Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism

If you are someone who is important within your community and to other communities at large, you might worry about keeping yourself safe while you are traveling overseas. You want to make sure that you don’t potentially become the victim of a terrorist attack while you are traveling. Here are some tips for reducing the chances that you will experience a terrorist attack.

1. Vary Your Schedule

Don’t eat at the same restaurant every day for lunch. Don’t drive to work at the same time every day. Try to vary the route that you take to get to work. Switch up the gyms and parks that you frequent. You want to try to make your schedule as difficult to guess as possible in order to make absolutely sure that no one is able to look at your schedule, anticipate where you are going to be at a certain time, and then take advantage of this information to prepare a terrorist attack in order to force you to make decisions that you would not otherwise make.

2. Don’t Keep Embarrassing Materials On Your Person

If you have sensitive information or embarrassing material, such as photos that might have you in a compromising position, store them somewhere that you would not possibly be able to access should your stuff be stolen or you personally be taken. This will allow you to avoid putting yourself in a situation where you can be blackmailed. It will allow you to keep your decisions free from the influence of other people who might try to use blackmail to get you to change them.

3. Avoid Flashing a Ton of Money

Make sure that you don’t actively show that you have a large amount of money on your person. Try to stick to using credit or debit cards.

4. Keep in Contact With Friends or Family at All Times

Be sure that if you leave a safe area, make sure that you tell your friends and family where you are going, how long you are going to be there, and when you should be back. This will allow these people, should a disaster occur, to contact the appropriate authorities and resolve the situation as quickly as possible. This will generally keep you safe and reduce the fears of any members of your community that you will be in any danger while traveling.

For more information, talk to a company that specializes in anti-terrorist security like Security Services Northwest, Inc.

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3 Mistakes You Should Try To Avoid When Making A Business Sign

Getting a good sign is a vital part of running a good business. Having a sign that is effective can bring a good deal of traffic to your business and can be an affordable way to advertise your company. Many people make mistakes when it comes to putting in a sign. Here are some things you should avoid when creating your business sign.

1. Trying To Say Too Much

Don’t make the mistake of trying to say too much on your sign. The purpose of the sign is to spark interest, not to educate others about your company. You may be tempted to put everything you do on the sign, or try to explain what your business does all on a sign. Remember people are only going to look at the sign for a couple seconds, which means that you only have their attention long enough to make a simply impression. This is why you should try to direct them somewhere to get more information. Perhaps you could put your website, or a simple way to contact you on the sign. Then when they contact you or go to your website, they can get all the information they need.

2. Trying To Be Too Clever

Being clever is great. The more memorable your sign is the better. However, in attempts to be clever, you might go too far and make it so that people don’t understand your sign. If they have to think too hard about your sign, then you have failed. If they look at your sign and immediately forget it, then you have failed. Instead, the goal is to have a quick and memorable thing to say that will make the viewer think, smile, or laugh without having to think too hard.

3. Using The Wrong Colors

Colors play a major role in how effective your sign is. Colors can convey a myriad of feelings and emotions. This is why it is important that you chose colors that convey the message that you want. If you want the person to feel relaxed, try using a subdued color such as a subtle green or blue. If you are trying to communicate excitement and fun, use bright colors such as an orange or yellow. By using the proper color for your sign, you can evoke emotions in your audience.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can make your sign effective and bring more traffic into your business. 

For custom signs, contact a company such as Davis Sign Co

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Reasons To Install A Water Softener

You might have heard about water conditioning, but if you are unsure as to whether this is something that you should have done, you will want to read through the following points.

Reduction In Amount Of Used Soap And Cleaners

When you have hard water, you are going to have to use a lot more soap or cleaners in order to get everything as clean as they need to be. However, when you have soft water running throughout the building, you will find that you can use less soap and cleaners and end up with many more suds. This means the cleaners and soaps that you have on hand will last longer and you will not spend as much money replacing your stock over the years because you will not have to shop for them as often.

Less Soap Residue Is Left Behind

If it is important to you that the things that you are cleaning are left without soap scum or spots all over them after being cleaned, then you are going to want to have a soft water system installed. Rinsing with hard water makes it very difficult to get all of those hard water and soap spots to come off. You will end up having to buff everything by hand with a towel in order to get the spots removed. That is not something that you would have to do when cleaning and rinsing with soft water.

Extended Life Of Machinery And Appliances

When hard water is ran through machinery or appliances over many years, they tend to break down a lot sooner. This is because of the breakdown of the parts and the hard water residue that is often left behind. Therefore, you will find that all of your machinery or appliances will last a lot longer if you have a quality water softening machine in place

Your Skin Will Not Dry Out As Much

Many people find that their skin will feel rough or dry after extensive use of hard water. The soft water does not have this affect so you will not have to worry as much about any skin irritation.

With those few reasons in mind, it should be a lot easier for you to determine whether installing the soft water system is something that is of interest to you. If it is, you will want to make sure that you are getting yours through a quality retailer, such as Olympic Springs Bottled Water, that can also properly install it for you.

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Uncovering The Hidden Job Market

When you’re looking for a new job, particularly at the executive level, it pays to look beyond the job boards. About 80 percent of available job openings are on the hidden job market, which means that those jobs aren’t listed publicly.  

Why are job openings kept hidden?

A company might refrain from listing a job openly because there’s a pending merger or acquisition. Sometimes a company doesn’t realize the need for creating a new position until the right person comes along and persuades them of the value they’d bring. Other times a company chooses to search for candidates using social networking because it can be more cost effective than announcing an opening and then having to sift through the flood of resumes sent in by unqualified candidates.

Executive recruiters can connect candidates with hidden job opportunities, but waiting for someone to reach out to you wastes time, and you might miss out on finding your perfect job while you wait.

How to focus your networking

Networking with a focus is the way to uncover hidden jobs. Identify the companies you want to work for whether they have job openings listed or not. Then target your personal branding toward those companies.

For example, add relevant experiences and information to your social media profiles, your resume and your bio. Then network toward the decision makers in that company. Frequently, having a connection to just one employee at that company is a bona fide “in.” Not only does it leverage the power of social proof, but most companies offer incentives to their employees for bringing in qualified candidates.

Try going offline

Richard N. Bolles, in his continually-updated career book What Color is Your Parachute?, recommends visiting your target companies in person. Ask them if they have the type of work available that matches your skills and leave your resume. This approach works best with smaller businesses that have 50 employees or less. According to Bolles, job seekers who visit prospective employers in person land jobs at a higher rate than job seekers who only send in their resumes.

Asking around

Asking your friends and family if they know of any openings might have a an excellent success rate for folks looking for entry level jobs, but the higher your ranking and skill set, the smaller your field of helpful contacts will probably be. That’s when joining professional organizations and going to trade shows and conferences can pay off. Let your professional contacts know that you’re looking for work so that they’ll keep you in mind when they hear about an opening. 

Don’t forget to polish up your resume, such as with Jackson Stevens Resumes, before beginning the search.

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4 Things That Will Make Your Linkedin Profile Pop As A Writer

Between marketing your skills as a writer on social media and building your own website, you may think that a LinkedIn profile is just another networking site that you don’t really have time to mess with. However, LinkedIn could easily become your most highly valued tool to building strong connections with other authors in the business and those all-important business contacts that are in need of a writer’s services. The only thing about creating a LinkedIn profile is there are likely thousands more writers just like you who use the site specifically to advertise their expertise in the field. To make your LinkedIn writer profile pop so it does get noticed, there are a few things you should make sure you do.

1. Include a quality profile picture. – LinkedIn is not the average social media site; it is a site for professionals. Therefore, the picture you have on your profile should be professional, not just a cropped image of your head from a family photo or a selfie you took in front of the bathroom mirror. Go for a professional-type head shot that offers a clear image of your face. 

2. Link to your writer website. – LinkedIn is a good starting point for other professionals to find your services, but it does not have space to give a full, in-depth look at who you are as a writer. So make sure you link your writer website to your LinkedIn profile so people interested can dig further and see what you have to offer. 

3. Don’t leave out the small details. – Your location, special skills as a writer, past experience, and other pertinent pieces of information need to be included in your profile if you want it to get noticed the most. When people hire a professional writer, they like to know all of these small details because it will be reflective of your capabilities. For example, your location could show that you are familiar with local news and events if a newspaper editor is looking for someone to provide a community piece for a local paper. 

4. Pay attention to keywords. – You want to give informative information in your skills listing and previous experience, but don’t get too creative and forget to pay attention to the keywords used in your profile attributes. When someone searches for a particular type of written service provider, they will be using keywords to perform the search, so the more rich your profile page is in keywords relative to the industry, the more likely it will be you will be found.

For more information or assistance on improving your online presence, get in touch with companies like Resume to Interviews.

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