Business Expert Elizabeth Potter Publishes Blog Offering Bookkeeping Tips For Business Owners

Elizabeth Potter, Small Business Professional Organizer, offers practical bookkeeping tips for her readers.

Calgary, Alberta – March 5, 2014 – Best-selling author Elizabeth Potter, a professional organizer, specializing in small business, recently published a blog discussing bookkeeping. The blog, titled “Small Business Management: Five Bookkeeping Habits to Establish” highlights five important habits for business owners.

Potter writes “Many business owners run into trouble (especially during tax season) because they don’t give bookkeeping the attention it needs. To help you avoid problems down the road, here are five habits that will help keep your books under control.”

Elizabeth has a special talent that helps business owners work through their chaos and create simple systems unique to them through Systemized For Play Ltd (http://www.systemizedforplay.com/), formed in July 2010. Systemized for Play Ltd helps clients save time and money by offering office training, business organization, team building, and coaching, among other indispensible tools.

Potter has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates across the country as an expert guest on The Brian Tracy Show, and she has appeared in Forbes as one of America’s PremierExperts®. She has co-authored 2 Best-Selling books, “Cracking The Success Code” and  “Change Agents” with Brian Tracy. Both books hit over 5 separate Amazon Best-Seller lists upon release. Her next book with Steve Forbes called “Successonomics” will be out in print later this year.

Elizabeth Potter was in Forbes Magazine in February 2013 and was a regular contributor on Money For Lunch radio show.

The entire blog can be found at http://www.systemizedforplay.com/blog/small-business-management-five-bookkeeping-habits-to-establish.php.

About Elizabeth Potter:

Elizabeth Potter brings more than 25 years of experience with logistics, production, customer service and financing. Utilizing these skills, she opened her first company in 2007. As a professional organizer specializing in small business, she has built a reputation as a reliable, effective and proactive consultant. Elizabeth has worked with many small-business owners to create systems that help them understand and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

Her largest project started in 2009 where she started LP Credit Resolution LLC (www.LPcreditresolution.com), a credit-buying company committed to helping at least 10,000 people with their credit. She has trained in the areas of computer science, economics, accounting software, business management, sales and marketing.  She is a proud member of PGIB (Progressive Group For Independent Business), CEO Space and is on the view point panel for the Business Development Bank of Canada.

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Small Business Management: Five Bookkeeping Habits to Establish

As a business owner, there is never any shortage of demands on your time. Between serving customers, managing employees, and overseeing daily operations, it can be hard to find time for anything else. Unfortunately, this can often cause important tasks to be overlooked. One of these often overlooked tasks is bookkeeping. Many business owners run into trouble (especially during tax season) because they don’t give bookkeeping the attention it needs.

To help you avoid problems down the road, here are five habits that will help keep your books under control:

1) Don’t procrastinate. Many business owners put off their bookkeeping for weeks or sometimes even months at a time. This can often result in an overwhelming number of transactions to record. Enter transactions and attend to your book frequently to avoid this situation.

2) Document expenses. It’s important that you are able to provide documentation for your business expenses. This is critical for tax purposes as the government will sometimes demand proof. It’s also important for strategic purposes.

3) Don’t lose track of accounts receivable. When you’re busy, it can be easy to lose track of which clients owe you money, how much they owe, and when payment is due. It’s important to create a system to ensure that you are paid in a timely manner. Don’t rely on your memory!

4) Reconcile your bank statements regularly. It is important that you frequently reconcile your accounting records with your bank statement. This ensures that all income and expenses have been accurately reported, and it makes it easy to detect fraudulent activity.

5) Segregate financial duties among employees. Finally, if you assign bookkeeping or other financial duties to your employees, it is critical that you don’t assign too much power to any one individual. No single employee should have the ability to both issue and sign checks, for instance. Requiring multiple employees to be involved dramatically reduces your vulnerability to fraud.

Bookkeeping can be an overwhelming task for a small business – and if you’d like assistance, I can help! Please contact me today to learn more.

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Business Expert Elizabeth Potter Publishes Article Discussing The Importance Of Strategic Planning

Elizabeth Potter, Small Business Professional Organizer, urges business owners to create a one year plan for their business.

Calgary, Alberta – February 28, 2014 – Best-selling author Elizabeth Potter, a professional organizer, specializing in small business, recently published an article discussing business planning. The article, titled “Small Business Management: What’s Your One Year Plan?” offers practical tips for creating such as plan.

Potter writes “I often recommend to business owners that they create a ‘one year’ plan. Such a plan helps to focus short-term activities so that the business owner and his/her employees are always working towards big picture goals.”

Elizabeth has a special talent that helps business owners work through their chaos and create simple systems unique to them through Systemized For Play Ltd (http://www.systemizedforplay.com/), formed in July 2010. Systemized for Play Ltd helps clients save time and money by offering office training, business organization, team building, and coaching, among other indispensible tools.

Potter has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates across the country as an expert guest on The Brian Tracy Show, and she has appeared in Forbes as one of America’s PremierExperts®. She has co-authored 2 Best-Selling books, “Cracking The Success Code” and  “Change Agents” with Brian Tracy. Both books hit over 5 separate Amazon Best-Seller lists upon release. Her next book with Steve Forbes called “Successonomics” will be out in print later this year.

Elizabeth Potter was in Forbes Magazine in February 2013 and was a regular contributor on Money For Lunch radio show.

The entire article can be found at http://www.systemizedforplay.com/articles/small-business-management-whats-your-one-year-plan.php.

About Elizabeth Potter:

Elizabeth Potter brings more than 25 years of experience with logistics, production, customer service and financing. Utilizing these skills, she opened her first company in 2007. As a professional organizer specializing in small business, she has built a reputation as a reliable, effective and proactive consultant. Elizabeth has worked with many small-business owners to create systems that help them understand and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

Her largest project started in 2009 where she started LP Credit Resolution LLC (www.LPcreditresolution.com), a credit-buying company committed to helping at least 10,000 people with their credit. She has trained in the areas of computer science, economics, accounting software, business management, sales and marketing.  She is a proud member of PGIB (Progressive Group For Independent Business), CEO Space and is on the view point panel for the Business Development Bank of Canada.

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Small Business Management: What’s Your One Year Plan?

Most business owners have a big-picture plan. They have an “ultimate goal” for their business. It may be to one day sell the business and retire, it may be to franchise, or it may be to pass the business on to their children.

Most business owners also have short-term plans, covering daily and weekly needs. These typically cover operational concerns, like ordering supplies, scheduling employees, shipping orders, etc.

What is missing is often a “mid-term” plan linking daily operations to big-picture goals. This is a significant problem because day-to-day activities won’t necessarily lead to the success of long term goals. That’s why I often recommend to business owners that they create a “one year” plan. Such a plan helps to focus short-term activities so that the business owner and his/her employees are always working towards big picture goals.

Here are four questions that this plan should answer.

1) What are your goals? What do you need to accomplish in the next year in order to move closer to your ultimate goals? Do you need to increase your revenue? Cut costs to improve your profit margin? Open a new location, or roll out a new line of products or services? Make these goals as specific as you can – for instance, “increase revenue by 20%” is far better than simple “increase revenue.” Define your goals.

2) Who is going to help you achieve them? Now that you know what you are working towards, the next step is determining who is going to help you achieve them. Are you going to hire an outside contractor, such as a marketing agency to help you grow your revenue? Are you going to task your employees with specific responsibilities in support of these goals? Are you going to bring in new staff? Or are you going to be responsible personally? There is not necessarily any right or wrong answer, but it is critical that you identify the individuals responsible.

3) How are you going to achieve them? You’ve decided what you are going to accomplish and who is going to be responsible for each area of progress, so the next step is to get specific. How is your marketing team going to increase revenue? If you’re opening a new location, what are the steps that must be followed? Think of this process as creating an “instruction manual” to achieve your goals.

4) By when are you going to achieve them? Finally, it’s important to create a timeline. Not just for the final goal, but for each step along the way. For instance, step one of your revenue growth plan may be to meet with your marketing team and nail down your marketing message. Set a deadline for completing this process. And continue to set deadlines each step of the way. When there is a firm deadline established, instead of vague timetables, you are much more likely to achieve your goals.

Do you have a one-year plan for your business? If not, I can help you begin this important process. Contact me today to learn more!

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Business Expert Elizabeth Potter Publishes Blog Offering Time Management Advice For Business Owners

Elizabeth Potter, Small Business Professional Organizer, offers a simple solution to save significant time.

Calgary, Alberta – February 26, 2014 – Best-selling author Elizabeth Potter, a professional organizer, specializing in small business, recently published a blog on the subject of time management. The blog, titled “Small Business Management: How to Spend Less Time at Work and More Time on Vacation” highlights three key steps.

Potter writes “If you’d like to spend less time in the office and more time on vacation, this blog entry is for you. Now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to share an interesting fact that I’ve observed over my years of working with small businesses: the average business owner spends a significant amount of time, each and every day, doing work that he or she shouldn’t be doing.”

Elizabeth has a special talent that helps business owners work through their chaos and create simple systems unique to them through Systemized For Play Ltd (http://www.systemizedforplay.com/), formed in July 2010. Systemized for Play Ltd helps clients save time and money by offering office training, business organization, team building, and coaching, among other indispensible tools.

Potter has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates across the country as an expert guest on The Brian Tracy Show, and she has appeared in Forbes as one of America’s PremierExperts®. She has co-authored 2 Best-Selling books, “Cracking The Success Code” and  “Change Agents” with Brian Tracy. Both books hit over 5 separate Amazon Best-Seller lists upon release. Her next book with Steve Forbes called “Successonomics” will be out in print later this year.

Elizabeth Potter was in Forbes Magazine in February 2013 and was a regular contributor on Money For Lunch radio show.

The entire blog can be found at http://www.systemizedforplay.com/blog/small-business-management-how-to-spend-less-time-at-work-and-more-time-on-vacation.php.

About Elizabeth Potter:

Elizabeth Potter brings more than 25 years of experience with logistics, production, customer service and financing. Utilizing these skills, she opened her first company in 2007. As a professional organizer specializing in small business, she has built a reputation as a reliable, effective and proactive consultant. Elizabeth has worked with many small-business owners to create systems that help them understand and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

Her largest project started in 2009 where she started LP Credit Resolution LLC (www.LPcreditresolution.com), a credit-buying company committed to helping at least 10,000 people with their credit. She has trained in the areas of computer science, economics, accounting software, business management, sales and marketing.  She is a proud member of PGIB (Progressive Group For Independent Business), CEO Space and is on the view point panel for the Business Development Bank of Canada.

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Small Business Management: How to Spend Less Time at Work and More Time on Vacation

If you’d like to spend less time in the office and more time on vacation, this blog entry is for you.

Now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to share an interesting fact that I’ve observed over my years of working with small businesses: the average business owner spends a significant amount of time, each and every day, doing work that he or she shouldn’t be doing.

Most small business owners simply don’t utilize their team as effectively as they should be, and as a result are working harder than they need to be. Below are four steps towards changing that:

1) Track your time for one week. Make note of how you spend your time in the office. You don’t have to go into great detail, but you do need to be sure that you record each task you perform, and how much time you spend doing it. For instance, your entry may start with “Production meeting – 40 minutes. Read and respond to email – 30 minutes.” By the end of the week you should have an accurate picture of how your time is spent.

2) Identify tasks that could be performed by others on your team. Now, go through that data and identify tasks that others could be doing instead of you. For instance, while you probably need to be present in key meetings, perhaps you don’t have to be the one to call in orders to your suppliers each day.

3) Create clear standards for each task and train the appropriate team member. Now that you’ve identified tasks to delegate, take the time to create a simple “instruction manual” and assign the task to a team member. Take the time to answer any questions and make sure that he or she understands the details clearly.

4) Hold each team member responsible for performance. Pay close attention to the early stages of this process. Ensure that your team members are meeting the standards you set previously.

If this sounds like a simple process… it is. And yet, it’s something that few business owners ever do without prompting. So consider this a challenge: figure out where you are spending your time unnecessarily, delegate it to team members… and enjoy the free time that this process creates. Please contact me today if you’d like to discuss this further!

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Business Expert Elizabeth Potter Publishes Article Discussing Change Management For Business Owners

Elizabeth Potter, Small Business Professional Organizer, offers practical tips for leading a team through change.

Calgary, Alberta – February 20, 2014 – Best-selling author Elizabeth Potter, a professional organizer, specializing in small business, recently published an article discussing change management. The article, titled “Managing Change: How to Keep Your Team on Board” explains that change can be a challenging process.

Potter writes “Most people are naturally resistant to change, and your employees are most likely going to react unhappily to changes in their routine.”

Elizabeth has a special talent that helps business owners work through their chaos and create simple systems unique to them through Systemized For Play Ltd (http://www.systemizedforplay.com/), formed in July 2010. Systemized for Play Ltd helps clients save time and money by offering office training, business organization, team building, and coaching, among other indispensible tools.

Potter has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates across the country as an expert guest on The Brian Tracy Show, and she has appeared in Forbes as one of America’s PremierExperts®. She has co-authored 2 Best-Selling books, “Cracking The Success Code” and  “Change Agents” with Brian Tracy. Both books hit over 5 separate Amazon Best-Seller lists upon release. Her next book with Steve Forbes called “Successonomics” will be out in print later this year.

Elizabeth Potter was in Forbes Magazine in February 2013 and was a regular contributor on Money For Lunch radio show.

The entire article can be found at http://www.systemizedforplay.com/articles/managing-change-how-to-keep-your-team-on-board.php.

About Elizabeth Potter:

Elizabeth Potter brings more than 25 years of experience with logistics, production, customer service and financing. Utilizing these skills, she opened her first company in 2007. As a professional organizer specializing in small business, she has built a reputation as a reliable, effective and proactive consultant. Elizabeth has worked with many small-business owners to create systems that help them understand and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

Her largest project started in 2009 where she started LP Credit Resolution LLC (www.LPcreditresolution.com), a credit-buying company committed to helping at least 10,000 people with their credit. She has trained in the areas of computer science, economics, accounting software, business management, sales and marketing.  She is a proud member of PGIB (Progressive Group For Independent Business), CEO Space and is on the view point panel for the Business Development Bank of Canada.

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Managing Change: How to Keep Your Team on Board

As a professional organizer, a large part of my job consists of helping business owners execute change. Specifically, I often work with clients to identify the root causes of chaos in their business, and help them design systems and processes to eliminate the confusion. The ultimate result is a much more efficient workplace and much less stress for all concerned. But as you can imagine, this doesn’t happen overnight. Old habits die hard, as they say, and the process of implementing change can be difficult. One of the greatest challenges is securing the “buy in” of your team. If your team is ready and willing to embrace change, you’re likely to succeed. But if they’re fighting every step of the way, you’re in trouble.

So how can you persuade your team to buy in to changes in your workplace? Below are five key steps.

1) Start by selling the benefits. Most people are naturally resistant to change, and your employees are most likely going to react unhappily to changes in their routine. That’s why it’s important to explain the benefits from the beginning. Explain why it is necessary and how it is going to make their lives easier, and they’re much more likely to support your efforts.

2) Be honest about the process. It’s critical to highlight the benefits your employees can expect once your transition has been completed, but it’s also important not to sugarcoat it. If you promise an easy transition and things get difficult, your employees are likely to get discouraged and lose enthusiasm for the undertaking.

3) Create a reasonable plan for transition. Don’t make unreasonable demands. For instance, if part of your plan includes transitioning to a new bookkeeping system, don’t expect your team to grasp the new system overnight. Give them the time they need to familiarize themselves with the program. Also, keep your team’s current workload in mind while planning this process—if your employees are already overwhelmed with their daily work responsibilities, be careful how much more you ask from them.

4) Remain open to feedback from your team. As you are implementing these changes, remain open to feedback and concerns from employees. The greatest source of frustration for employees is often the feeling that the boss isn’t listening, doesn’t care, or just doesn’t get it. Make it clear that you do understand what you are asking from your team and that you’re legitimately interested in what they have to say.

5) Be flexible. This is closely related to the previous point. Often, your transition won’t go according to plan. If your employees encounter an unexpected obstacle, be ready to make the necessary adjustments to your plan. Don’t waste your energy (and your team’s energy) by insisting that they find a way to fit a square peg into a round hole!

Implementing change in a workplace is often challenging. But you can’t grow if you refuse to change! If you’d like to learn more about this subject, please get in touch with me today!

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Business Expert Elizabeth Potter Publishes Blog Identifying Common Bookkeeping Mistakes To Avoid

Elizabeth Potter, Small Business Professional Organizer, discusses the importance of proper bookkeeping for small businesses.

Calgary, Alberta – February 4, 2014 – Best-selling author Elizabeth Potter, a professional organizer, specializing in small business, recently published a blog discussing bookkeeping. The blog, titled “Small Business Management: Five Bookkeeping Mistakes to Avoid” offers practical guidance for small business owners.

Potter writes “For most business owners, bookkeeping is like a trip to the dentist – it’s not particularly pleasant (in fact it can be quite painful at times!), but it’s critical to the long-term health of the business.”

Elizabeth has a special talent that helps business owners work through their chaos and create simple systems unique to them through Systemized For Play Ltd (http://www.systemizedforplay.com/), formed in July 2010. Systemized for Play Ltd helps clients save time and money by offering office training, business organization, team building, and coaching, among other indispensible tools.

Potter has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates across the country as an expert guest on The Brian Tracy Show, and she has appeared in Forbes as one of America’s PremierExperts®. She has co-authored 2 Best-Selling books, “Cracking The Success Code” and  “Change Agents” with Brian Tracy. Both books hit over 5 separate Amazon Best-Seller lists upon release. Her next book with Steve Forbes called “Successonomics” will be out in print later this year.

Elizabeth Potter was in Forbes Magazine in February 2013 and was a regular contributor on Money For Lunch radio show.

The entire blog can be found at http://www.systemizedforplay.com/blog/small-business-management-five-bookkeeping-mistakes-to-avoid.php.

About Elizabeth Potter:

Elizabeth Potter brings more than 25 years of experience with logistics, production, customer service and financing. Utilizing these skills, she opened her first company in 2007. As a professional organizer specializing in small business, she has built a reputation as a reliable, effective and proactive consultant. Elizabeth has worked with many small-business owners to create systems that help them understand and achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

Her largest project started in 2009 where she started LP Credit Resolution LLC (www.LPcreditresolution.com), a credit-buying company committed to helping at least 10,000 people with their credit. She has trained in the areas of computer science, economics, accounting software, business management, sales and marketing.  She is a proud member of PGIB (Progressive Group For Independent Business), CEO Space and is on the view point panel for the Business Development Bank of Canada.

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Small Business Management: Five Bookkeeping Mistakes to Avoid

For most business owners, bookkeeping is like a trip to the dentist – it’s not particularly pleasant (in fact it can be quite painful at times!), but it’s critical to the long-term health of the business.

Unfortunately, many business owners don’t give bookkeeping the attention it demands, and as a result end up facing self-inflicted problems. Today, we’re going to examine five common mistakes that business owners make regarding the bookkeeping process. Are you making any of these?

1) Ignoring the books for months at a time. It’s tempting to keep putting the books off for another day… or for another week. But before you know it, it’s been months since you updated your books, and now the task is impossibly large. Discipline yourself to take care of your books on a regular basis.

2) Failing to properly document expenses. It’s very important to properly document your business expenses for a number of reasons. Most immediately, it’s necessary to have your expenses documented for tax purposes. But it’s also critical from a strategic perspective to know how much you’re spending, and where. Are you tracking all of your expenses?

3) Not recording all invoices or payment requests. In the early stages of running a business, it’s easy to keep track of the payments that are owed to you in your head. Of course you won’t forget who owes you money! But as your business grows, it’s essential that you have a system of tracking your accounts receivable. This is necessary for tax purposes – but even more importantly, to be sure that you get paid for your work!

4) Failure to properly record and/or withhold payroll taxes. Payroll taxes can be difficult to track and administer. It’s critical that you have a system in place so that you don’t find yourself in hot water come tax time!

5) Lack of fraud protection. Employee fraud is a major threat for small businesses, but proper bookkeeping can dramatically reduce your risk. Do you know how to read your company reports and what they mean?  Are you monitoring your books for unusual patterns or employee activity?

If this sounds overwhelming, I’ve got good news for you: I can help! If you’d like to learn more about the bookkeeping services I provide for small businesses, please contact me today!  

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