If you’re in the process of starting your own business, or even if you’re just considering doing so in the future, here are some bits of wisdom that will almost certainly prove valuable to you along the way. First and foremost, you need to think of yourself as a business owner. Even if you plan to run a one-person outfit, providing a service such as freelance writing or graphic design, it’s important to think of yourself not just as a writer or graphic designer, but as a businessperson. As the owner of your own small business, you won’t be performing just one function as you might as an employee at a larger firm. You’ll find yourself juggling numerous tasks and possibly unfamiliar chores such as marketing, bookkeeping, and filing business taxes or self-employment taxes. At first, some of these tasks may seem daunting (or, at the very least, tedious). But the modern-day small-business owner can avail himself or herself of a wide variety of tools that can make the finance side of things much simpler.
In years past, even very small operations had to hire a bookkeeper and an accountant to handle finances. Unless you were a wizard with numbers, you’d need the help of a professional to manage accounts, keep track of inventory, analyze profits and loss, and file taxes. Remember that the dark ages are behind us, and that you can handle all of these tasks and more with the help of accounting software or online bookkeeping services. You can find a variety of software-based and web-based platforms utilizing a variety of familiar tools such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Office. There are even free online accounting tools that can automate common tasks, simplifying and streamlining the work involved in running your business.
One of the biggest benefits of using online bookkeeping services is understanding your tax responsibilities. This is one of the most important details to get nailed down as you start your business. If you’re coming from the corporate world, you’re used to having your payroll taxes and income tax withholding handled for you. As a business owner, you need to understand these tax obligations. They will vary depending on your type of business, the business structure you choose, and the location of your new business. The right financial software solution can help you figure out your estimated quarterly taxes, 1099 k tax forms, self-employment taxes, state and local sales taxes, and more.
With online bookkeeping services, you don’t even need to download software onto your computer. You can accurately and efficiently manage your business from anywhere at any time, keeping you in the know and in control, as a business owner should be. Simplifying these types of tasks allows you to concentrate on big-picture jobs such as developing your business plan and observing your competition.