Let’s face it, theft is more common than any of us want to admit. You want to believe that your staff would never steal from you and your business is immune to thieving hands. Well, it is time to face reality and guard yourself and your business from dishonest staff members. One of the ways to protect your business is by using a tracking system for all of your business transactions. Keeping accurate business records especially of inventory and cash is crucial. Your inventory is what makes your business money.
One of the more obvious and most common are staff members giving away products or services free to customers on a constant basis in order to win more sales. An example would be a bar tender giving away drinks for better tips. Be careful of letting your staff give away any product or service without prior approval. Include the amount your staff is allowed to compensate any given customer in your yearly totals. This will help your staff spread out the comps over the entire year.
Last week, I was reading the agenda for the mastermind group I attend and listed in the informational section was “15 minutes–social media; 5 minutes–financial”. Thats all, just that cryptic statement. So I started thinking what my business or some of my clients businesses might look like if we spent 15 minutes each day on social media and 5 minutes a day on their studying their financial information.
Right now, I know some of you are saying “I spend way more than 15 minutes on social media everyday, to compete I have to spend hours on that stuff“. And that is my point, if you are spending hours on social media and only look at the financial side of your business irregularly or less than monthly, you may be spending time on something (social media) that your financial data will not prove are useful.
If I spend 5 minutes everyday on my financial side of my business, I wonder what it will look like at the end of a month, a year?
Automatic withdrawals are great, no more forgetting to mail out a check or call the creditor with your credit card numbers. The drawback, however, is forgetting about how many of those convenient withdrawals you have and how much they are for.
If you have set yourself up with multiple withdrawals, keep a close eye on your accounts. Each month look at the bill your creditor has sent you and make sure you’re accounting for the corrected amount.
Setting yourself up with a little spreadsheet can also help remind you of the bills that are coming up.I like to keep information such as a contact phone number, website and sign in information on my spreadsheet. Remember, you can always password protect files and the computer the sensitive information is stored on. Read on for an example.
Software can be rather expensive and even if it isn’t it can still add up. If you have to install it on multiple computers and have to get a license for each computer, you just doubled your cost. Just between the four major programs I use, Office, Dreamweaver, PhotoShop, and NaviCat cost me close to $1200 to start. After that I just pay for upgrades but still that was $600 or so. That cost doesn’t include all the other software I need/use, a zip program, screen capture program, FTP program, a PDF program, to name a few. Those are also not cheap. But I guess that is the cost of doing business right? Wrong.
Did you know that 95% of business experience employee theft? It’s a horrifying feeling when your business experiences theft from the inside. The feelings of anger and guilt can eat away at you.
Preventing employee theft can be time consuming, but the costs and time involved truly outweigh the costs of having to recover from the theft. Here are a few ideas to keep your businesses money flowing where it should be.
• Policies and procedures
• Alterations of ANY photocopied documents
• Employees in close relationships with suppliers
• Inventory (including office supplies)
• Checks written to cash
Nothing is more annoying than having your credit card shut down for fraud, especially if it’s a business card. In this day and age it is getting easier and easier for criminals to clone or steal your information to use it for their own gain. So how do you protect yourself from becoming a victim?
The following tips will help you to protect your business, your employees, and your customers from becoming victims of identity theft.
- Create and follow a security strategy in your business plan.
- Designate a top level manager to implement the plan if you become a victim.
- If you need assistance in designing a plan, enlist an expert.
- Protect your business records on file with the Ohio Secretary of State by taking the following steps:
- Assign a trusted person to be responsible for maintaining and monitoring your business record with the Secretary of State.
- Sign up for e-mail notification about changes to your business record.
- Sign up for Secure Business Filing.
If you own a fax machine chances are you have received numerous amounts of offers from companies wanting to sell you vacations, excel classes and employee handbooks. More than likely you ignore them or call the number to be removed from their list.
It’s easy to ignore the outrageous prices when you know it’s a scam, but what about the scam that comes in the form of an official looking invoice to renew your domain name?
Domain name renewal scams can work in one of two ways. You might be sent an invoice for a domain name that is very similar to your current domain name – the scammer hopes that you don’t notice the difference and just pay the invoice.
Alternatively, you could be sent a letter that looks like a renewal notice for your actual domain name, but is from a different company to the one you have previously used to register your domain name.
So how do you protect your business from falling for the domain name scam?
I am sure most of you have seen or been a victim of a scam at one point or another. Scams come in a variety of delivery methods such as email, fax, mail, telephone, and even someone bold enough to show up at your doorstep.
The key to avoiding these scams are to read the fine print, understand what it is they are actually telling you and know that if it is too good to be true, it probably is in fact, not true.
But how do you avoid the scam when you don’t even know it is happening? Let’s say one of your employees gets a phone call. A woman with a pleasant voice kindly asks your employee to double check on the model and serial number to update her system. Your employee, not knowing any better, gives her the information that she needs. Within a few days to a few weeks your business receives low grade toner and/or paper with a high grade price tag.
The bill looks legitimate and if you do not pay it you will receive more bills that become more and more threatening. You may even receive phone calls day after day from the “collections department” of the company. When you try to return the calls you are sent from menu to menu or receive a message telling you the inbox is full and you will have to try your call again later.
So how do you get out of the scam?
If you haven’t contributed funds to an Individual Retirement Arrangement for tax year 2012, or if you’ve put in less than the maximum allowed, you still have time to do so. You can contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA until the April 15 due date for filing your tax return for 2012, not including extensions.
Generally, you can contribute up to $5,000 of your earnings for 2012 or up to $6,000 if you are age 50 or older in 2012. You can fund a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA (if you qualify), or both, but your total contributions cannot be more than these amounts.
Note: IRA contribution limits increase in 2013 to $5,500 ($6,500 if age 50 or older).
Traditional IRA: You may be able to take a tax deduction for the contributions to a traditional IRA, depending on your income and whether you or your spouse, if filing jointly, are covered by an employer’s pension plan.
Roth IRA: You cannot deduct Roth IRA contributions, but the earnings on a Roth IRA may be tax-free if you meet the conditions for a qualified distribution.
Saving for retirement should be part of everyone’s financial plan and it’s important to review your retirement goals every year in order to maximize savings.
A few weeks ago I received a telemarketing call from a billing company that wanted to sell me a collection service. Instead of billing my clients directly this company would bill my clients, take 10% but would guarantee all my clients would pay and pay on time. The salesman wanted to know how many of [Read More]