Three on Thursday: 3 Money-Saving Tips for Small Business Owners
By: Aly Hess
Posted on Thursday, May 1, 2014
If you’re currently a small business owner or are in the process of a start-up, there is always, undoubtedly, without fail, the issue of money. Spending it, making it, paying it back in taxes, and most importantly, saving it when and where you can. Sure, there are quick, simple solutions that can save you quite a bit of money immediately and over the course of time – like going paperless, keeping the heat and the A/C usage to a minimum, and sticking to grassroots marketing.
Here, though, are three tips that, if followed, especially from the get-go, will save your business a lot of cash in the long run.
Make Use of the Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several courses, seminars, and programs geared toward helping small business owners learn how to run their companies successfully. Run similarly to college courses, the benefit of educating yourself at the SBA is that it’s all free. Each state has a few SBA-affiliated offices that offer these options. Search here to find one near you. In addition, although most businesses do not qualify for a grant, it’s worth giving a shot. Should you meet the criteria and be eligible for a federally-funded grant through the SBA, keep in mind that they’re not given to help start a business and that your company would provide some sort of return back to the taxpayer. If you’re able to score one though, you’ll likely still find it very helpful. Find out more here.
Write Down + Revisit All Renewal Dates
Chances are, if you’re running your own small business, you’re not only the owner, you’re the secretary, marketer, tech support, and salesperson – among other roles. Balancing all of that can make it very easy to fall behind on, or completely overlook, crucial deadlines for things like renewal contracts and payments. Miss these types of deadlines, and your good-standing with the state could take a hit – resulting in hefty fines. (Forgetting to renew your business license with the city could put you out by thousands of dollars!) Take the time to map out and take note of any and all important dates as they relate to licenses, insurance, annual reports, and so on. Better to have a reminder in more place than one – add it to your weekly planner and set calendar alarms on your phone or computer with a few days notice.
Consider a Different Business Structure
No matter how you do it, as a business owner, you’ll still have to pay taxes. Your business’s legal structure, though, can determine how much you’ll pay. The “default” structure of a business is sole-proprietorship. In this structure, all profits and losses go to you, and you’ll report those in your 1040. However, sole-proprietorship doesn’t protect your business much fiscally or legally. That is, you can be sued directly and if your business fails, your personal assets could be swiped from you, too. Filing your business as an S-Corp or LLC will cause your business to be classified a separate entity from you – responsible for its own debts and lawsuits. By circumventing establishing your business as a C-Corp (the other option) and going with an S-Corp or LLC, you’ll avoid being double-taxed – allowing profits to, typically, pass through the business and straight to you, and both will provide you with the same protection. There are some major differences between S-Corp and LLC, though, so be sure to investigate the laws and regulations that affect each option before settling on one.
Taking these steps will allow you to develop positive money-saving habits in running your business. You’ll not only be better prepared to avoid potential fines and fees, but you’ll be educated in the art of running your business properly and better able to keep your personal assets and business’ debts separate.
Find out how 3Rivers can help you and your small business here!
More information and the original article containing these tips can be found here.