Why You Should Be Prioritizing Risk Management

Safety in the Workplace Part 2 The Role of the EmployeeEvery good employer wants to protect their workers from harm, but when financial pressures mount, it can be tempting to let risk management policies slip.

However, failing to engage in effective health and safety is a big mistake. Not only can this lead to tragic human consequences, it can also cause firms to suffer a range of financially ill-effects. The fact is, there is a strong business case to be made for good workplace safety. Here are just some of the reasons why it makes sense to prioritize risk management: Continue reading

3 Priorities You Shouldn’t Overlook When Launching A Small Business

Business_Owners_Holding_Money_SmYou have your business plan in one hand, and a cup of very strong coffee in the other. The paperwork is being processed, and the website is in the final round of edits. Your small business is almost ready to launch, but you’re worried you might be missing something.

Websites and business books are full of best practices, quick tips, and mistakes to avoid, but building a successful business isn’t strictly about the business itself. You need to build three pillars that will help launch your vision into the world. Continue reading

Are you Doing Sales Tax the Easy Way or the Hard Way?

September Small Business ChecklistWhen we started our Autopilot sales tax solution, TaxJar, we talked to merchants of all kinds. And one of the things we found out over and over again was that sellers were spending hour after hour on sales tax compliance.

Sales Tax: The Hard Way

If you have to deal with sales tax in multiple states or through multiple channels, and you aren’t automating this process, then you’re familiar with doing sales tax the hard way.

Once you’ve collected sales tax from customers in states where you have sales tax nexus, you must then remit what you’ve collected periodically. This is simple enough if you sell on one platform – say eBay – and only have sales tax nexus in your home state. But as your business begins to grow, things started to get complicated.

If you don’t find a way to put your sales tax on Autopilot, and if you sell on more than one platform, you need to pull a report from each platform when it comes time to file a sales tax return. Then you have to add up how much you collected in each state.

Don’t forget, if you have nexus in multiple states – either because you have an office, employee, warehouse or even use 3rd party fulfillment in a state – then you have nexus in multiple states and they’ll all want a periodic sales tax filing.  This might mean filling out a sales tax return monthly in your home state of New York, and three more in Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona quarterly, and then perhaps an annual report in California.

And did I mention that some destination-based sales tax states require you to subtotal how much tax you collected in every single county or jurisdiction? It’s amazing how much merchants are expected to put up with just in order to comply with sales tax regulations.

Dealing with information from multiple states?

Trying to calculate just exactly how much you owe to each state?

Juggling due dates?

That’s sales tax the hard way.

Sales Tax: The Easy Way

Fortunately for online sellers, some Autopilot sales tax solutions have come to town.

Sales tax services pull in how much sales tax you collected from the various platforms you sell on – including Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Square, or PayPal, or even through your own website with a platform like Bigcommerce, Shopify or WooCommerce.

Sales tax Autopilot solutions also mean you never have to worry again about totaling up how much sales tax you collected. If you put your sales tax on Autopilot, that’s all done for you. You’ll also get a reminder of your due dates, meaning no more $50 (or more!) late fees for forgetting a filing.

TaxJar’s AutoFile feature will even file your sales tax return for you, meaning no more filling out miles-long forms or dealing with each state’s various filing practices.

If you aren’t automating your sales tax compliance, what are you waiting for? Check out a service like TaxJar and put your sales tax on autopilot.

Mark Faggiano is the founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service built to make post-transaction sales tax compliance easier for Etsy, Amazon, Shopify and other multi-channel ecommerce sellers. Mark’s passion is solving complex problems for small businesses. Sign up for a 30-day free trial of TaxJar and put a lid on sales tax!

5 Things You Need to Know Before Purchasing a Business Phone System

phoneWith a mobile phone in your hand, the task of choosing a phone system might seem unnecessary in the early stages of your business, but it’s actually very important. The telephone is still the preferred method of customer service in the United States. The calls you miss are as important as the ones you take, and a phone system will allow you to convert missed opportunities into sales conversions. Continue reading

10 Explosive Ways to Grow Your Sales Department

Does Your Website Need SEO Help How to Hire an SEO ExpertNo matter what business you are in, sales will make or break you. Every business needs sales to survive, because it’s how your business gets the necessary finances to grow. Though, even if you feel comfortable selling, growing a successful sales department can be difficult.

This list will give you ten key points to focus on as you work to grow your sales department: Continue reading

5 Unique Ways to Thank Your Customers

3 Home Office Design Tips to Help Keep You ProductiveCustomers and clients are at the backbone of any small business. No matter how worthy your products/services are, a business can’t succeed if no one’s buying your goods. But once you’ve established your customer base, the next question becomes how to retain them and get them to refer your business to friends. That’s why how you thank your customers is so important. Continue reading

Factoring and Asset Based Lending:Two Methods for Quickly Accelerating Your Cash Flow

Man holding tablet pc and credit card indoor, Shopping onlineWhen your cash flow does not meet your working capital and growth requirements, you can turn to financing through factoring or asset-based lending for a solution.

Many of your customers delay payment on their invoices for 30, 60 or even 90 days – putting a strain on your business’s ability to meet its own financial obligations. Factoring and asset-based lending (ABL) are two solutions that can help you quickly replenish your cash flow. Continue reading

Are You an Accidental Entrepreneur?

LogoGardenPhotoThree out of four people who start their own business do so because they’re captivated by a vision. They want to be on their own, they want to be their own boss. Opportunity awaits! It’s exhilarating, being an entrepreneur; the ultimate rush.

But wait. What about that other one in four entrepreneurs, the ones who don’t start with a vision of opportunity? How do they get to be entrepreneurs without that drive?

A surprising number of people leap into entrepreneurship not because they want to, but because they have to. They’re driven not by an inner vision, but by circumstance.

As of mid-2104, after years of economic recovery, there are still two seekers for every job opening. That’s not counting part-timer employees who seek full-time work, overqualified workers (like college grads forced to flip burgers), and other people hankering to move up from low-wage jobs.

There’s a remarkable variety of “accidental entrepreneurs” out there. Their ages span half a century, from teens to retired folks. They all have one thing in common: they need to earn, and can’t find a good job.

Take a look around and you’ll see how ordinary folks respond to adverse circumstances by pulling their own bootstraps — and lifting themselves up to new, more exciting possibilities.

Continue reading

6 Easy Fraud Prevention Tips Every Business Should be Practicing

4 Creative Cost Reduction Tips for StartupsFraud has become a major concern for many businesses all over the world. Scammers have made millions of dollars by simply stealing information such as credit card numbers, passwords and banking details from companies. Business and consumers engaging in online transactions are especially at risk when it comes to fraud and identity theft. It’s so important for businesses to take measures to lower their chances of falling victim to scammers. Business fraud prevention doesn’t have to be huge, scary ordeal. Continue reading