A Guide to Holiday Marketing: Strategies to Stand Out and Avoid Holiday Fatigue

A Guide to Holiday Marketing: Strategies to Stand Out and Avoid Holiday Fatigue

Can you believe the holiday season is here already? It catches me by surprise every year. What’s not to love about this time of year, though? It’s a time of celebration, gift-giving, and festivities.

For businesses, this period before the holidays presents a prime opportunity to boost sales and engage with customers. However, with countless brands vying for a shopper’s attention, holiday marketing can become overwhelming. To stand out from the crowd and avoid holiday fatigue, it is essential to adopt effective strategies and consider the buyer’s perspective. Here are some tips and techniques to strengthen your holiday marketing efforts while being considerate of the holiday-weary customer.

#1. Plan Early and Strategically

The first step to a successful holiday marketing campaign is early planning. Start brainstorming and crafting your strategy well in advance, preferably several months before the holiday season begins. By planning ahead, you have time to create a cohesive and well-thought-out marketing plan that resonates with your target audience.

Not only does early planning give you time to craft a well-developed strategy, but it also allows for testing and adjustments. By starting early, you can test out different ideas and see what works best for your brand. This can save you time and money in the long run as you can make changes and improve your strategy before the holiday rush begins. Plus, with more time on your side, you can fine-tune your message and promotional materials to really capture the attention of potential customers.

Haven’t started planning yet? Don’t worry! These next few tips will help you still have a successful marketing season!

#2. Understand Your Audience

It’s essential to know your audience if you want to stand out during the holidays. Take time to understand their preferences, behaviours, and pain points so you can tailor your marketing messages to address their specific needs and shopping preferences. Personalization and relevance are crucial in making your brand memorable.

#3. Create Unique Content

Set yourself apart by crafting unique and engaging content. Develop content that tells a story, connects emotionally with the holiday spirit, and offers value to your audience. Utilize a variety of content formats like videos, infographics, image, and blog posts to capture the attention of different parts of your audience.

#4. Use Social Proof

Leverage the power of social proof to strengthen your holiday marketing. Display testimonials, reviews, and user-generated content that highlight the positive experiences of previous customers. Trustworthy endorsements can instill confidence in potential buyers and make your brand more credible.

#5. Offer Exclusive Promotions

Create a sense of urgency and excitement by introducing special holiday offers. Limited-time discounts, bundled packages, and loyalty rewards can attract and retain your customer base. Make sure to promote these offers across all your marketing channels.

The holiday season is the perfect time to show your customers how much you appreciate them. Consider offering exclusive seasonal promotions and personalized gifts to add a personal touch to your offers. Take advantage of the festive spirit and create a positive and joyful atmosphere for your customers. Spread joy and appreciation by emphasizing the significance they bring to your business and by reminding them of the fantastic offers awaiting them during this holiday season.

#6. Diversify Marketing Channels

Avoid relying on a single marketing channel to reach your audience. Instead, consider diversifying your approach. Email marketing, social media, content marketing, and online advertising, for example, will help you share your brand with more people. Each channel serves a unique purpose, and a multi-channel approach can maximize your reach.

#7. Be Mindful of Holiday Fatigue

‘Tis the season to be jolly – but also a bit overwhelmed with all the holiday marketing! Fear not, there’s a solution: spice up your promotions with these tips!

Gradual Build-Up: Start easing your customers into their holiday spirit by commencing your marketing gradually. Avoid overwhelming them with constant holiday-themed content from early November.
Create Valuable Content: Make your holiday content stand out by not only promoting sales, but also providing meaningful value to your audience. Serve up helpful holiday tips, creative DIY ideas, and inspiring stories that will captivate them.
Segment Your Email List: Not all customers want to see holiday promotions right away. Segment your email list and send holiday-related content to those who have shown interest in the past.
Create a Sense of Exclusivity: Develop a sense of exclusivity with early access to holiday deals or special promotions for your loyal customers. This approach can engage and reward your most dedicated clientele.

Over to You

Holiday marketing can be a great chance to connect with your audience and increase sales. To stand out and avoid overwhelming your audience, plan carefully, know your customers, make unique content, and use various channels. Most importantly, consider your customers’ needs and provide valuable content. This way, your holiday marketing will engage your audience and make a positive impact.

At MYOB, we have experience and expertise in managing social media and creating content. We can bring all your marketing campaigns to life, no matter what time of the year. Are you ready to learn more about what we can do for your organization? Contact us today!

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Who Does the Internet Think You Are?

Who Does the Internet Think You Are?

Do you know what the internet is saying about you? Your online presence can be just as powerful as the words you say. Your digital footprint can significantly affect your reputation and success, whether you’re an individual or a business. As such, it’s critical to understand and monitor your digital footprint to ensure it accurately reflects the image you wish to present to the world.

Fortunately, it is never too late to start managing your online presence. Taking the time to cultivate a reputable digital footprint can help you achieve your personal and professional goals. It is important to remember that everything we post on the internet is permanent. By being mindful of what you post, you can create an online presence that reflects your best self and builds a positive reputation.

Here are eight things to consider as you grow your digital footprint and online presence.

#1. Do You Know What Your Digital Footprint Is Saying About You/Your Business?

Your digital footprint is the trail of information you leave behind as you interact with the internet. It includes everything from your social media profiles to your website and online reviews. But do you know what it’s saying about you or your business? Is it sending the right message? To find out, start by Googling yourself or your business.

#2. Who Does the Internet Say You/Your Business Are?

What do you find when you search for yourself or your company online? Are the search results accurate and positive, or are there misleading or outdated information? The internet’s perception of you or your business can shape the opinions of potential customers or staff.  Overt personal opinions expressed online could create problems for you in the future.

#3. Would We Be Able to Find Your Birthday and Other Personal Information?

Are you feeling like your privacy is being invaded in our digital world? It can seem like your personal information is always just a few clicks away online. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your privacy and keep your data secure. Does a quick search reveal your birthday, where you went to school, your marital status, or even your personal preferences for music and movies? It’s essential to be mindful of the personal information you share online and to review your privacy settings regularly.

#4. SEO – Why Ranking Highly on Google Is So Important in Business

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in your business’s online reputation. When potential customers look for the products or services your business offers, you’re going to want your website to show up at the top of the search results — the higher your Google rankings, the easier it is for people to find you online, which can lead to increased visibility and revenue.

#5. Do You Have Google Reviews?

Online reviews can heavily influence potential clients during their decision-making process. Do you have Google reviews for your business? Are they recent and positive, or do they need attention? You’ll want to monitor and respond to reviews regularly to build trust with your audience. After a positive customer experience, ask that customer if they would post a review for you.

#6. Do You Have Old Photos/Videos That Need to Be Updated or Removed?

Your online presence should reflect the current look of you or your business. If you have outdated photos or videos on your social platforms and website that are no longer relevant, it’s time to update or remove them. Old content can create confusion and give the impression of neglect or inactivity.

#7. Is Your Online Information Fresh, Current, and Up to Date? 

Are you looking to make a great impression with potential clients? Accuracy is essential for your brand’s online success. Take the time to regularly check to ensure information about your business, such as operating hours, contact details, and addresses, is current and up to date.

Also, check that your website is up-to-date and displays the current year in the footer. An outdated online presence can give the impression of neglect or disinterest, leading to lost opportunities and customer frustration. On the other hand, keeping things fresh shows you’re actively maintaining your online presence.

Remember this: Your website and social media profiles are digital storefronts, and you should update and refresh them often to pique interest and keep visitors engaged. Posting fresh content and interacting with your audience demonstrates activity and engagement.

#8. When Was the Last Time You Posted on Social Media?

Consistency is key in the online world. A sporadic posting schedule can leave visitors wondering if you’re still in business. One way to stay active on social media is to create a content calendar and stick to a regular posting schedule. Doing so is a great way to maintain a professional online presence. If you need help with this, our social media team has years of experience!

Over to You.

As you can see, your online identity and digital footprint are valuable assets that require careful management. At MYOB, we understand the significance of keeping consistency with branding online. We begin by conducting an audit of existing channels before creating a new strategy with our clients while taking the time to review their digital footprints. If necessary, we invest in improving their online presence. The internet has a lot to say about you or your business, and it is essential to ensure that it is saying the right things.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Customer Retention Strategies: Fostering Loyalty and Repeat Business

Customer Retention Strategies: Fostering Loyalty and Repeat Business

As a business owner, you probably already know that acquiring new clients is essential, but retaining your current clientele is equally important — if not more so. As such, customer retention strategies are a must-have for fostering loyalty and ensuring repeat business.

By focusing on building solid relationships with existing customers, organizations can enjoy benefits such as continued support and referrals. Before discussing ways to enhance customer loyalty and increase the likelihood of repeat business, it’s a good idea to recognize the value of nurturing relationships with your current customers.

Understanding the Significance of Customer Retention

Customer retention refers to keeping existing customers engaged and satisfied to ensure they continue to choose your products or services over those of your competitors.

There are several reasons why customer retention is crucial for business success. First, retaining existing customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. It is estimated that acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than sustaining an existing one.

Secondly, loyal customers are more likely to recommend your brand to others, leading to positive word-of-mouth marketing and potential new customers. Additionally, customer retention allows businesses to build long-term relationships with their customers, which leads to increased trust and loyalty over time.

Effective Customer Retention Strategies

In this ever-changing landscape of doing business, where customer choices abound, implementing effective customer retention strategies is the cornerstone of building enduring relationships and fostering unwavering loyalty. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

#1. Personalized Communication: Remember – customers are real people and should be treated as individuals rather than account numbers. Send tailored emails, offers, and suggestions based on their preferences and previous interactions.

#2. Exceptional Customer Service: Quick and courteous customer service goes a long way. Respond to issues and inquiries as soon as possible. This is a perfect way to show customers how much you respect their time and concerns.

#3. Loyalty Programs: Implement loyalty programs that reward customers for their repeat business. These can include discounts, exclusive offers, or even a points-based system that leads to special perks.

#4. Regular Engagement: Stay connected with your customers through various channels, such as social media, newsletters, and blogs. Provide valuable content that keeps them informed and engaged.

#5. Quality Products and Services: The foundation of customer retention is delivering consistent quality. Your products/services should meet or exceed customer expectations, ensuring their satisfaction.

#6. Feedback and Improvement: Seek out client input and use it to improve your offers. Customers will feel more connected to your brand if they perceive that their ideas are acknowledged and contribute to improvements.

#7. “Surprise and Delight”: Consider surprising your customers with unexpected incentives or presents every so often. Doing so can foster a favourable emotional connection and make them feel valued.

#8. Community Building: Create a sense of belonging by building a community around your brand. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as social media groups, online forums, or even in-person events that bring your customers together.

#9. Stay Relevant: Keep a watchful eye on what is trending within your industry. Then, be sure to consistently adapt your products or services to satisfy the ever-changing requirements of your customers. Providing them with what they need – when they need it – will go a long way toward developing their loyalty and repeat business.

Over to you

As you can see, achieving and maintaining customer retention is a cornerstone of business success. Even better? It’s fairly easy to foster loyalty, encourage repeat business, and turn satisfied customers into brand advocates. Remember that in the long run, it’s not just about making sales; it’s about building meaningful relationships that stand the test of time.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Harnessing the Power of AI for Small Business Success in a Digitally Driven World

Harnessing the Power of AI for Small Business Success in a Digitally Driven World

Staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment requires adopting and embracing technological advancements. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is one such innovation that has attracted increasing interest. While artificial intelligence (AI) was once considered a “luxury” available only to larger organizations, it is now more widely accessible to small businesses, creating new opportunities for success, growth, and efficiency.

Although some people are concerned that technology will ultimately replace them, this isn’t necessarily the case. AI is merely a tool that can enhance the efficiency of your small business, regardless of whether jobs are impacted or not. The truth is that technology has become an invaluable tool for small business owners. Many routine operations that keep your business running can be automated with a few easy clicks. This means you can save time and money while enhancing your productivity.

In addition, AI can assist in obtaining and retaining customer loyalty and revenue by helping you gain useful insights into their behaviour. This will enable you to make informed decisions about how to engage with them and discover what products or services to offer them. Overall, AI has the potential to help businesses become more competitive in a rapidly changing industry.

Let’s look at the potential of AI for small businesses, including how it can transform operations, streamline procedures, and enable business owners to prosper in a world driven by technology.

Also, to be completely transparent, I did use Open AI’s ChatGPT to generate lists of resources for each section to illustrate the different types of solutions available. *Warning* Using ChatGPT or similar apps for searching can be highly addictive! 😉

How AI can help your small business

Reshaping Customer Service and Human Resources

AI has the potential to completely transform the customer service industry, which is crucial to the success of any business. Small businesses can provide round-the-clock customer support, promptly responding to inquiries and resolving issues with the help of AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants. These automated systems can “learn” how to facilitate transactions, offer product information, and make personalized recommendations, improving the overall customer experience while freeing up human resources to work on tasks that are more involved and challenging. All these things and more are ways businesses can use AI to ensure their customers always have the best experience possible.

ChatGPT’s list of popular AI tools for customer service and human resources that can help streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and improve the overall experience for both employees and customers includes the following:

  • Chatbots: Chatbots are AI-powered tools that can interact with customers or employees in real-time, providing instant support and assistance. They can handle basic inquiries, provide information, and guide users through various processes.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) Tools: NLP tools enable machines to understand and interpret human language, allowing for more effective communication and analysis. These tools can be used for sentiment analysis, language translation, and automated email response systems.
  • Virtual Assistants: Virtual assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, can be utilized to automate routine tasks and provide quick answers to common questions. They can be integrated with customer service platforms and HR systems to enhance user experience.
  • Predictive Analytics Tools: Predictive analytics tools leverage AI algorithms to analyze large volumes of data and predict future outcomes. In customer service, these tools can help identify patterns, forecast demand, and personalize customer interactions. In HR, they can be used for talent acquisition, workforce planning, and employee retention.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA): RPA tools automate repetitive tasks by mimicking human interactions with software systems. They can be employed in customer service and HR departments to handle data entry, data validation, and generate reports, freeing up human resources for more strategic and value-added activities.
  • Employee Engagement Platforms: AI-powered employee engagement platforms enable organizations to gather feedback, conduct surveys, and measure employee sentiment. These tools can help HR departments identify areas for improvement, enhance employee satisfaction, and ultimately increase productivity.
  • Resume Screening and Candidate Evaluation Tools: AI tools can assist HR departments in screening resumes, matching candidates to job requirements, and evaluating applicants based on predefined criteria. These tools can save time and effort in the recruitment process while ensuring unbiased candidate selection.
Streamlining Routine Tasks

Automating repetitive operations can help boost efficiency and productivity. Individuals and businesses alike can save time and prevent errors by automating repetitive processes. People then have more time to concentrate on other critical tasks that necessitate human attention and ingenuity.

There are numerous tools and software available today to assist with task automation. Examples include those used for social media post scheduling, sending automated emails, and compiling reports. To ensure the automation process is effective and efficient, you’ll want to start by determining which tasks may be automated and which require human intervention.

ChatGPT’s list of popular AI tools that can automate repetitive and tedious business operations, saving time and increasing productivity include:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Tools: These can perform tasks such as data entry, form filling, report generation, and data validation. Some popular RPA tools include UiPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism.
  • Workflow Automation Tools: These tools can help with task management, approval workflows, and notifications. Examples of workflow automation tools include Zapier, Microsoft Power Automate, and IFTTT.
  • Data Entry and Extraction Tools: These tools can significantly reduce manual data entry efforts and improve accuracy. Examples include Rossum, ParseHub, and Grooper.
  • Social Media Management Platforms: Social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Loomly, and Buffer offer automation features to schedule and publish posts across multiple social media channels. They also provide analytics and monitoring capabilities to track engagement, mentions, and other key metrics.
Developing Customized Marketing Campaigns

Effective marketing is a must for small businesses to reach their target audience and boost conversions. Business owners can create customized marketing campaigns using AI by looking at client data, preferences, and previous interactions. Businesses can then offer information, suggestions, and offers to their customers by thoroughly understanding their preferences and requirements. By adopting these strategies, businesses can develop an ongoing connection with their customers, contributing to increased engagement and conversions.

Here are some AI tools that can assist in creating customized marketing campaigns:

  • Customer Segmentation Tools: AI-powered customer segmentation tools, such as Optimizely, Mixpanel, and Adobe Target can help you identify distinct customer segments and tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly.
  • Dynamic Content Generation Tools: AI-powered tools like Persado and Phrasee can help generate personalized and compelling marketing copy.
  • A/B Testing and Optimization Tools: AI tools for A/B testing and optimization, such as Optimizely and Adobe Target, can automate the process of testing different variations of marketing campaigns and determining the most effective elements.
Cybersecurity and Fraud Detection

Businesses of all sizes are becoming increasingly concerned about cybersecurity threats. AI can dramatically improve fraud detection and security by observing patterns, detecting abnormalities, and detecting possible hazards. AI-powered solutions can provide real-time alerts and preventative steps to help protect small businesses against cyberattacks, data breaches, and financial losses.

Here are some AI tools for cybersecurity and fraud detection:

  • Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS): AI-powered IDPS solutions, such as Darktrace and Vectra, use machine learning algorithms to analyze network behaviour patterns and identify anomalous activities, helping organizations respond quickly to potential cyber threats.
  • Malware Detection and Analysis: AI-based malware detection tools, such as CylancePROTECT and CrowdStrike Falcon, utilize machine learning algorithms to identify and classify malware based on behavioural patterns and file characteristics.
  • Vulnerability Management Tools: Vulnerability management solutions like Tenable.io and Qualys utilize AI to assess and prioritize vulnerabilities in systems and networks.

Over to You

One of our clients, Leonard F. Baer PLLC, recently wrote a tongue-in-cheek blog post called “AI Ate My Homework.” It’s a fun post that includes some of his observations about AI and how it’s changing the world as we know it. You’ll want to read it!

But, in all seriousness, small businesses can no longer ignore the potential of AI. By learning about AI technologies, entrepreneurs can open new avenues of effectiveness, productivity, and growth. AI empowers smaller businesses to compete with larger competitors on an equal playing field. In this digitally driven world, embrace AI and experience its transforming power for your small business.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Performative Allyship vs. Supportive Allyship: Why It’s Crucial to Understand the Difference

Performative Allyship vs. Supportive Allyship: Why It’s Crucial to Understand the Difference

The concept of allyship has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. As a result, more businesses and individuals are expressing solidarity with traditionally underrepresented and even oppressed communities. However, there is a significant difference between performative and supportive allyship. It is vital to understand this distinction to ensure that your efforts are authentic and relevant and contribute to positive change.

For example, Pride Month just ended. Throughout the month, you probably saw many rainbow logos and colours. There were many businesses who were simply sporting the logos since it’s what others are doing. They would fall into the performative allyship category. The businesses whose staff genuinely support the LGBTQ2IA+ community go beyond jumping on the trend du jour. Theirs’ is an example of supportive allyship.

In mid-2020, more than 28 million Instagram users posted black squares to show their support for the protests against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With that number, it is safe to say that many who displayed those black squares on their social media had good intentions but were probably more caught up with appearing supportive rather than actually being supportive offline.

So, what makes someone an ally? Is allyship an identity, and who has the right to claim it? Let’s explore this further by learning more about the distinction between performative and supportive allyship.

Performative Allyship: Superficial Gestures that Lack Genuine Commitment

Performative allyship refers to actions or statements that give the illusion of support and solidarity with marginalized groups without genuine intent or commitment. Instead of coming from genuinely understanding the issues, it frequently results from a desire to appear moral or socially acceptable. Performative allies may make ineffective displays of support, such as sharing social media content or putting on symbolic clothing, without actively opposing oppressive structures or putting in the work to make genuine changes. This category of allyship often prioritizes optics over meaningful action – perhaps to avoid being “cancelled”. But unfortunately, this form of allyship perpetuates a cycle of empty gestures and hollow promises.

Key Characteristics of Performative Allyship:

#1. Superficiality: Performative allies focus on performative acts rather than addressing the root causes of systemic oppression. Their actions tend to be surface-level and lack substance or depth.

#2. Inconsistency: Instead of sustaining consistent support and engagement over time, performative allies may only participate in allyship during high-profile events or when it becomes trendy.

#3. Self-Centeredness: Performative allyship often centres around the ally’s image and seeks personal validation rather than centring the voices and needs of marginalized communities. In other words, the businesses that participate in this manner are more interested in receiving a “pat on the back” and recognition for their efforts before returning to business as usual after the month or event has ended.

Supportive allyship requires more than performative acts; it instead necessitates education, self-reflection, and a willingness to challenge one’s own privilege. This type of allyship is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and a commitment to learning and unlearning. It means recognizing that allyship is not about personal validation or recognition but about supporting and advocating for those who face discrimination and marginalization. To be supportive allies, we must move beyond performative gestures and engage in meaningful actions that contribute to real change.

Supportive Allegiance; Sincere Engagement

Supportive allyship involves sincere engagement and dedication to opposing systemic injustices. Supportive allies actively seek out information about the struggles faced by marginalized groups, pay attention to their concerns, and work to destroy oppressive systems. Rather than simply showing support, they emphasize collaboration and take the lead in enacting meaningful change.

Primary Qualities of Supportive Allyship:

#1. Active Learning: To comprehend the subtleties and complexities of marginalized communities’ experiences, supportive allies continually educate themselves about the issues they’re standing up for.

#2. Amplifying Voices: Supportive allies give marginalized communities a platform and resources to speak out, assisting them in their efforts to bring about change. Allyship is not about your business and how great of an ally you are – it is about embracing others and amplifying the message.

#3. Taking Initiative: Allies who are supportive actively combat discriminatory systems and practices, both in their personal lives and in broader societal contexts. They are committed to creating long-lasting change and are willing to do the necessary work, even when it is uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Over to You

Understanding the difference between performative and supportive allyship is essential for businesses that wish to support any given cause. Performative allyship may offer temporary validation but lacks the depth and substance required to drive significant change. It may also result in followers questioning your authenticity. Supportive allyship, on the other hand, requires a genuine commitment to learning, listening, and taking concrete actions to challenge systemic oppression.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Who Needs a Bookkeeper Anyway?

Who Needs a Bookkeeper Anyway?

Is bookkeeping as easy as the TV ads make it out to be? The truth is, it’s far from it. Those ads may be promoting user-friendly software, but don’t be fooled into thinking that’s all you need. In reality, bookkeeping requires a solid understanding of accounting principles and familiarity with the rules and regulations set forth by the Canada Revenue Agency. Many entrepreneurs, especially at the beginning stages of their ventures, attempt to handle the bookkeeping themselves or rely on a well-meaning friend. On the surface, it may seem like a simple task of tracking money coming in and going out. However, let’s delve into the specifics to see why it’s not as straightforward as it appears.

The B Word

Budget. Contrary to popular belief, budgeting is not something to be feared or avoided. In fact, having a budget can bring you peace of mind as you regularly review your finances to ensure you’re on track with your income and expenses. The element of surprise should be eliminated when it comes to annual renewals. You should be aware of when these renewals occur, whether they involve insurance, website hosting, or software subscriptions. By starting each year with a budget, you’ll establish a sense of accountability as your business grows. Moreover, it will help you avoid accumulating debt and overspending by comparing your actual financial reports (which reflect your current business state) with your budgeted expectations. A budget is essentially a projection for the year ahead. As long as you refrain from inflating your budget with unrealistic and overly ambitious income expectations, you increase your chances of achieving a healthy bottom line. Don’t forget to allocate a line item for miscellaneous expenses, so you can spend without feeling anxious about it. With time, budgeting becomes easier as you build a solid financial history through diligent bookkeeping.

The K Word

Knowledge. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. It’s crucial to understand the distinction between an accountant and a bookkeeper. Ensure that your accountant thoroughly reviews your financial records, explains tax advantages, and offers advice on strategies to enhance your business. If your bookkeeping is well-maintained, your accountant’s fees will be lower compared to handing over a disorganized mess of invoices and expenses during tax season. The bookkeeper, typically charging a fraction of the hourly rate of an accountant, diligently records and reconciles all your revenue and expenses as provided by you, the business owner. While bookkeepers are not advisors per se, we do share our knowledge with our clients on a customer service level.

The P Word

Profit. Let’s dive into the concept of profit. Merely tracking your finances isn’t sufficient to determine if you’re making a profit. It’s crucial for business owners to run reports on a monthly or quarterly basis to truly understand their financial position. It’s important to note that having cash in the bank doesn’t necessarily indicate a profitable position. Cash flow is a separate matter altogether. You may have a significant amount of cash on hand but suddenly find yourself facing a hefty tax bill. The bottom line, while important, is not the sole indicator that business owners should focus on. Take a closer look at your monthly expenses. What percentage of your income is allocated to wages? How much is being spent on optional expenses? Are there any subscriptions you’re still paying for but no longer need? It’s crucial for business owners to regularly set aside time to review their financial situation by examining reports and engaging in discussions with their bookkeeper. This practice allows for a comprehensive understanding of the overall financial health of the business.

The R Word

Reconciliation. It’s important to recognize that inputting income and expenses is just the initial step in a bookkeeper’s role. Utilizing software tools makes data entry relatively easy. However, the real challenge lies in reconciling all bank and credit card accounts, which is where questions may arise and missing expenses can be identified. Reconciliation constitutes the majority of the time spent on bookkeeping tasks. If clients co-mingle personal and business expenses, bookkeeping costs can skyrocket because extensive manual labor is required to separate each personal transaction from the business records and meticulously review each item on the statements.

If a business owner engages in expense tracking without reconciling the accounts, they run the risk of missing out on valuable credits and potentially leaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the table. Reconciliation serves as a crucial safeguard to ensure that no expenses go unnoticed and that every transaction is properly accounted for, minimizing the potential for financial loss.

The V Word

Value. It’s natural for everyone to prefer money coming in rather than going out. Outsourcing work and paying for professional services can often feel as burdensome as paying rent. Unfortunately, outsourced services are sometimes misunderstood, with a mismatch between the client’s request and the time it takes to fulfill that request. When business owners lack a clear understanding of the process, they may feel uncertain about whether their investment is truly paying off.

When it comes to bookkeeping, the task of organizing statements, receipts, and invoices for a bookkeeper can leave business owners feeling as though they’ve already done most of the work. However, it’s important to recognize that bookkeeping is a partnership. The best results are achieved when the business owner is organized, promptly answers questions when asked, and actively participates in the regular review of financial reports.

By fostering a collaborative relationship with their bookkeeper, the business owner can fully appreciate the value that professional bookkeeping brings. It ensures accurate financial records, provides valuable insights into the business’s financial health, and frees up valuable time and energy for the owner to focus on core business activities. Ultimately, the investment in a competent bookkeeper pays off by providing peace of mind and allowing the business owner to make informed decisions based on reliable financial information.

Over to You

At MYOB Inc., we take pride in our team of remote bookkeepers who possess extensive experience and expertise in various specialties. Our primary goal is to provide you with financial peace, enabling you to manage your business with clarity and intention. We understand the importance of accurate bookkeeping and its role in empowering business owners like you to make informed decisions confidently.

Whether it’s reconciling accounts, generating insightful reports, or offering guidance on financial strategies, our dedicated team is committed to supporting you every step of the way. We recognize that effective bookkeeping is a collaborative effort, and we value the partnership we establish with each of our clients.

By entrusting your bookkeeping needs to MYOB Inc., you can focus on what you do best – minding your own business.

Written by Jenna Pozzebon, MYOB Bookkeeper