BIG GOVERNMENT is murdering small business.

Government is killing Small Business

As they say, you can’t fight City Hall especially as a small business.

But small business owners around the country are being horribly failed by Government.

In fact, one could more honestly say that they are not being failed by Big Government, but are being actively murdered instead.

The Small Business Administration is no different. Truthfully, as someone who has operated small businesses for 40 years, I can honestly say that the SBA is more of a hindrance than a help.

The SBA includes companies of up to 500 employees as a small business. And frankly, that is where they concentrate their efforts.

Show me a small business operator of under 10 staff that has ever even been surveyed by the SBA, never mind ever been helped.

Consequently, they actually distort the image of small business and their actions hurt rather than help as a result.

Government is killing Small Business.

Over 50% of the working population works in a small business yet small businesses generate 65% of new jobs.

There are almost 28 million small businesses in the USA. But small businesses are closing faster than new ones are opening.

When have we EVER heard of a politician talking about small businesses and getting them the help they need?

40% of small businesses say that Bookkeeping and Taxes are the WORST THING about running a small business. The next highest category for worst thing is finding capable employees.

When politicians talk about the difference between the rich and the poor and income disparity, they are not talking about small business creating this, they are talking about the effect of BIG business and how big business has people earning billions and getting richer and richer while their average employee gets poorer and poorer.

Your small businessman next door is certainly not garnering all that wealth in his pocket.

Hillary Clinton hasn’t a Clue, and nor does Donald Trump!

Hillary Clinton thinks that the best thing to do to equal the inequality of income is to create a $15 minimum wage, yet what will that do to small business? As a business consultant, I can genuinely state that the average small business person is worked to death. There is somewhat of a culture of entitlement in the USA. That culture creates the second problem that small business owners face which is the poor quality of staff.

The small business owner is working overtime just to ensure he has money to pay his employees. As it stands, he is taking home, quite frequently, less than his top paid employees just to keep the doors open hoping for better things down the line. He is constantly on the prowl for funds and how he can manage just to make payroll. And now you are going to raise the minimum wage? How is that going to help?

Unless Government does something to cut his costs, provide a better educated employee, or provide a simplified tax system for that small business owner, all the increase in minimum wages will do is kill hundreds of thousands of small businesses.

And put an awful lot of people out of work!

Big business might afford an increase in minimum wages however small business owners can ill afford it.

Government Makes Policies based only on Big Business.

Have you ever heard of any politician inviting real small business owners to the White House to discuss their problems and what can be done to improve conditions for them?

No? Neither has this writer.

However, Big Business has daily meetings with politicians to bend the laws in their favour. And where is the SBA? Nowhere in sight. In fact, the SBA is never talking to small business either – unless of course they have 500 employees!.

The Government is Corrupt

We look at Hillary and the money she and her husband make for giving a speech. Ever what she pays her daughter for a speech is preposterous.

The system stinks.

This corrupt Government allows for millions of dollars to be paid by the worlds rich to gain the ear of politicians. And there is no corruption here?

Small business creates 65% of new jobs, and with more than half the population employed in one, where is Government?

They are clearly in the pockets of Big Business and small business struggles along and are the real building blocks of America today.

The Government is small business’s worst enemy, and is Big Business’s best friend. It is not the way it should be!

The Race for the White House

Does Donald Trump really want to win the White House? Then perhaps he ought to start showing some real concern for the biggest employer in the USA  and not be worried about what China is doing.

Accounting Software – Why your Small Business needs it.

No Accounting Software?

Accounting and taxes are killing you.

Accounting and taxes. That’s the thing that more than FORTY percent of small businesses surveyed say are the things they hate MOST about running a small business. Most have no accounting software.

The vast majority of Small Businesses are still keeping their receipts in envelopes until the end of the year. They are still doing their books manually.

They are manually creating invoices, manually tracking expenses, manually keeping track of accounts receivable, manually tracking inventory, manually reconciling their bank statements each month.

And they have huge piles of folders and papers on their desks and are in a general mess.

You are at risk of losing $170,000 this year to fraud.

Further, the biggest and fastest growing segment of criminal activity in the USA today is employee fraud and theft according to the FBI. Small businesses are the most at risk and account for the majority of this theft because they cannot accurately track inventory, track payments, ensure accuracy of their accounting, etc.

The median loss to small businesses is a whopping $170,000 a year in fraud and employee pilfering. And the best way to fix that risk is to stop it before it occurs.

Countless small businesses go under each year because their messy financial scene eventually catches up to them.

They end up with bad credit, huge late payment fees and assessed fees due to late or forgotten payments to the IRS. And then there is employee fraud.

If this is you, you are at risk!

Accounting Software
Accounting Software

Most small business books are a mess!

Most small business people that I speak to are aware that their books are a mess. They reluctantly hire an accountant, or sometimes hire a bookkeeper.

But that someone who keeps manual records for them gives them absolutely NO feedback on their business.

Small businesses fuddle through, make a mess and bemoan the situation to anyone who will listen.

Tax codes are complicated, employee payroll deductions are frustrating, hours and hours are uselessly spent on these things and we become unpaid collectors for the IRS.

You are spending way too much on your bookkeeping

Small businesses are spending almost 10% of their income on trying to handle the mess they create by not being on proper accounting software.

And all this because we simply just don’t have time to figure out how to fix it. You are scared of the learning curve to learn accounting software and you close your eyes and hope for the best.

We have a solution

If this even remotely describes you then the good news is that there is a solution! And that solution is to firstly get yourself a proper bookkeeping company. Not one that will manually do everything and charge a fortune.

But one that will actually act as your CFO for you. One that will put you onto proper bookkeeping software, set it up for you, teach you how to use it PROPERLY. And one that will keep it all up to date for you.

As your CFO, your bookkeeper should be ensuring you get proper reports for you. Reports that allow you to see where your business is headed. They should give you a good cost savings analysis each month showing you where you can cut costs.

They should be giving you suggestions and ideas of where you are getting your most profits and help you steer your business to profitability.

No accounting software?

If you even have a bookkeeper and you are not getting that from them, if they are not using accounting software, then get rid of them and get someone that knows proper cloud based accounting software.

Software that can generate invoices for you, generate quotes, allow you to just photograph and upload your receipts so that you are not keeping them in an envelope.

You need Software that can give you proper reports, show you where you are overspending, help find cheaper suppliers.

Software that allows your client to instantly pay you online right from their emailed invoice or quote, and that can do much more to get your business moving.

Don’t have a heart attack!

Finances are the heart of your business. Finances are the pump that keeps you going, and if that pump is weak, inoperable, antiquated and just plain missing, you are likely to become one of those statistics called a failed business.

This is not some area that you should put off for another day. This is something that you ought to handle now!

We can help

At My Cyberstaff, we handle all this for you. Give us a call, let us show you what we can do for you.

We will cost you a lot less than you are spending now.

We save you money and cut your expenses. Our company ensures your receivables are collected on time and improve your cash flow.  And we make you more aware of where your business is headed and how to get profitable.

Don’t hesitate!

Outsourcing America’s Pollution to China

Read the news today and it is fairly certain that you will come away with the idea that American Businesses are betraying the country and sending thousands of vital manufacturing jobs, high tech jobs and Customer Service jobs out of the country to China and India.

It is a reasonable concept. After all, one can look at horrifying stats such as the ones below:

Total number of U.S. jobs outsourced in 2015                                                                2,382,000

Number of jobs outsourced to China since 2001                                                            3,200,000

Number of California jobs lost to outsourcing since 2001                                                 560,000

Percent of CFO’s surveyed who said their firm was currently offshore outsourcing                38%

Percent of CFO’s who favored India for outsourcing                                                               26%

Percent of CFO’s who favored China for outsourcing                                                              18%

These look scary until one looks at the effect of this. Is there really a huge effect on the number of Americans employed once jobs are outsourced? The answer appears to be a resounding NO!

Did we Outsource jobs or Pollution to China?

Surprising? Yes? Maybe…

Below is a graph of employment figures in the USA since 1950.
trading-economics
source: tradingeconomics.com

As can be seen from the graph, aside from dips due to recessions, the trend of the graph does not change.

And it is very clearly seen from the graph that the last “Great Recession” was a major cause of any lost jobs in the past decade. Once the recession ended, the number of available jobs continued its steady rise.

But look at the statistics of pollution levels in the USA since we started really outsourcing manufacturing to China:

Nationally, concentrations of the criteria air pollutants have dropped significantly since 1990:

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) 8-Hour,                                       Down 77%
  • Lead (Pb) 3-Month Average,                                            Down 99%
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO) Annual,                                         Down 54%
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO) 1-Hour,                                         Down 47%
  • Ozone (O3) 8-Hour,                                                         Down 22%
  • Particulate Matter 10 microns (PM) 24-Hour,                   Down 39%
  • Particulate Matter 2.5 microns (PM) Annual,                    Down 37%
  • Particulate Matter 2.5 microns (PM) 24-Hour,                  Down 37%
  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO) 1-Hour,                                              Down 81%

During this same period the U.S. economy continued to grow, Americans drove more miles and population and energy use increased.

While in China, the quality of air has dramatically worsened.6558076321_81207b6dd7_z

Do we really want those manufacturing jobs back? Do we really want to have to wear gas masks every time we go outside? Do we really want those bad health effects on our children while they are growing up?

Interestingly, violent crime in the USA has gone up and down almost in concert with the level of pollution in the USA. So violent crime has also dropped dramatically since we started outsourcing our pollution to China!

5 Key Tasks Your Small Businesses Should Outsource Overseas.

Small business owners often make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves.

Let’s face it, starting or running a small business is a lot of work and keeping expenses down is always a critical factor. But trying to do everything yourself to save money is not always the best idea. But you can outsource overseas.

[bctt tweet=”It is better to concentrate on what you are good at. Don’t become a jack of all trades.”]

Small business outsourcing

But outsourcing is often expensive. Is there a cheaper alternative? Yes! Do what the big boys do and outsource overseas.

Bookkeeping

Doing your own bookkeeping or paying an expensive bookkeeper in the USA to do it is not the best idea. With rates for bookkeeping services in the USA ranging anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour, sending that task overseas for $15 an hour just makes good financial sense.

Bookkeeping is a task that requires accuracy but does not require a degree in Finance. However, in the Philippines one can find a University Graduate to do your bookkeeping at a small fraction of the salary a worker at MacDonald’s receives in the USA.

Payroll

Just like bookkeeping, payroll can also be outsourced overseas at similarly low rates. Doing payroll yourself is an expensive and time consuming endeavor. Not doing it properly can make it even more expensive. The IRS exacts heavy penalties for failing to pay payroll taxes.

Making a mistake in this department is not something you want so let someone else worry about it.

A professional outsourcing company will ensure that yo are meeting allet  the current rules and regulations freeing up your time to do what you need to do – growing your business!

Marketing and Sales

All businesses live or die based on their ability to sell and market. But we don’t always have time to do all that is necessary to increase sales. You can outsource overseas Lead generation, Email Marketing, Website Maintenance and SEO, Inbound Sales Calls and many other aspects of sales saving you a lot of time and money.

Administrative support

You can outsource Invoicing, collections, data and order entry, maintaining your schedule, appointment setting, voicemail, email management, legal research, booking travel arrangements and a host of other tasks you are probably doing yourself right now for a lot less.

When you first start a small business the time it takes to do these tasks can consume a quarter of your day or more. Having someone perform these tasks for you gives you a lot more time to get things moving.

There are many administrative tasks to outsource.

Telephone Answering – you can also outsource overseas

It is very clear that a telephone answered by a live person is much better received than one answered by a machine. Outsourcing your phone answering overseas will not only improve customer satisfaction but also increase sales.

By outsourcing these tasks to an English Speaking country like the Philippines you can cut your costs dramatically and improve your sales.

We are now in a Global Economy. This self evident fact definitely affects Small Business as well. Fortune 500 companies have been outsourcing these tasks and becoming more competitive. Small businesses need to find a way to realise the cost savings of outsourcing overseas too. You can outsource overseas!

Bookkeeping Service – Advice for Small Business

So you started a Small Business – What to do about Bookkeeping?

One of the huge advantages of having your own business is tax write-offs. Tracking them is an entirely different story!

Without proper bookkeeping and record keeping, a lot of the expenses of running your own business will never be recorded and instead of deducting those expenses, you will be paying tax on them.

Many startup businesses are not keeping proper records and thus paying far too much in taxes.

Finding a bookkeeper

The average small business begins looking for an accountant and asks the accountant about bookkeeping. Of course, the accountant will offer to do that for you at prices far above what you need to pay. The average hourly rate for a bookkeeper in the USA is between $40-60.00 with some charging as high as $100 an hour.

What is the difference between a bookkeeper, an accountant, a tax preparer and a tax advisor?

Bookkeeper – a person who records the accounts or transactions of a business. A bookkeeper does NOT have a 4 year accounting degree.

Accountant – A person who is skilled recording and summarizing business and financial transactions and analyzing, verifying, and reporting the results. An accountant has a 4 year degree.

Tax Preparer – A person who prepares the tax returns for a business or person. A tax preparer does not necessarily have an accounting or other degree. The IRS attempted to regulate Tax Preparers; however following losses at the lower court and the appellate court which held that IRS did not have the authority to regulate preparers, the IRS dropped the matter. A Tax Preparer is required to have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN).

BookkeepingBookkeeping – Profit and Loss Statement

Tax Advisor – (or tax consultant) is a financial expert specially trained in tax law. Tax advisers use their knowledge of tax legislation to provide advisory and consultancy services to clients, ensuring that they pay their taxes in the most efficient way and benefit from any tax advantages and exemptions.  A tax advisor normally has at least an accounting degree and many have both a legal and an accounting degree. They keep up to date with changing tax laws and explain complicated legislation and its implications to their clients in simple terms.

Depending on your goals, you might use none, one, two, three or all of these professionals.

Most small businesses when they start off should be at least consulting an accountant to get advice about how to save on taxes. Additionally, a small business owner should know that there are a lot more ways to keep your records than the way your accountant may tell you. He wants to do your bookkeeping and your accounting. He also wants to get business just like you do. But having your bookkeeping done by your accountant is not necessarily a good idea.

Available Resources

There are many accounting resources available to a new small business and many accounting packages that will help you keep your books.

The 500 pound gorilla in the resource pool is Quickbooks by Intuit.

If you haven’t looked at Quickbooks, now is a good time.

Proper bookkeeping means properly setting up your books and Quickbooks makes that easy. It also means tracking your expenses and Quickbooks makes that very easy with an App that can be downloaded to your smartphone and used on the go to do many functions your business needs.

Quickbooks will also process your payroll for you and ensure that the proper taxes are paid keeping you out of trouble with the IRS.

Even without an accounting degree or a bookkeeping background, most small business owners can quickly learn Quickbooks, but it helps to have a trained bookkeeper who is experienced with Quickbooks to help you set up everything the right way first and keep track of everything after that is done.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping overseas

Many small businesses have found out that outsourcing their bookkeeping overseas is not only convenient, but saves them a lot of money.

While Tax Advice and Tax preparation is better done in the USA, bookkeeping can be outsourced at prices far below USA prices. Rates in the Philippines are as low as $15 an hour and your books are handled by a trained bookkeeper.

If your bookkeeper is doing their job properly then you will not need to spend more than $100 an hour with an accountant just to have proper records. Overseas bookkeeping companies should be working the same hours that you are and so are readily available. They will also speak excellent English and can be reached by calling an American phone number. You will begin to forget that your bookkeeper is even overseas.

Outsourcing the bookkeeping part overseas saves you money to spend on a better Tax Advisor or accountant giving you tax advice and filing your properly prepared tax return at the end of the year.

At the end of the day, if your books are properly kept and you are getting proper tax advice, then you are most of the way there. Outsourcing your bookkeeping and using solid proven accounting software like Quickbooks will not only save you time and money for bookkeeping and accounting, but save you more money on taxes as well.

The Case for Outsourcing Overseas.

Business & FinanceObama Campaign Accuses Romney of “Big Bain Lie” on Outsourcing

Is Outsourcing our Jobs Overseas good for the Economy?

If you read the news today, Obama is hammering away at Romney for his role in Outsourcing jobs overseas.

According to President Obama “I want to build manufacturing jobs in this country again. You know, when Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt, I said, we’re going to bet on American workers, and the American auto industry, and it’s come surging back”.

Yet at the same time the President is working diligently at opening up free trade with Asian countries. Is all this good or bad for the economy?

Job creation vs. Job loss.

A recent article in the Center for American Progress website by Alex Lach quoted Working America, “Manufacturing employment collapsed from a high of 19.5 million workers in June 1979 to 11.5 workers in December 2009, a drop of 8 million workers over 30 years. Between August 2000 and February 2004, manufacturing jobs were lost for a stunning 43 consecutive months—the longest such stretch since the Great Depression.”

Mr. Lach goes on to claim “Manufacturing plants have also declined sharply in the last decade, shrinking by more than 51,000 plants, or 12.5 percent, between 1998 and 2008. These stable, middle-class jobs have been the driving force of the U.S. economy for decades and theses losses have done considerable damage to communities across the country”

Further, the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that “U.S. multinational corporations, the big brand-name companies that employ a fifth of all American workers… cut their work forces in the U.S. by 2.9 million during the 2000s while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million.”.

Losing 2.9 million jobs that apparently went overseas could not possibly be good for the country when unemployment rates have been so high, or could it?

Unemployment in the USA

All Americans have heard a lot about persistently high unemployment rates in the USA since the Great Recession. It is interesting to look at a graph of unemployment in the USA since the 1920s until last year. The trend towards higher unemployment is definitely up although nowhere near as high as just before World War II.

Unemployment Rate in the USA

Companies really began outsourcing manufacturing jobs overseas around 1970. Many electronic manufacturing jobs were outsourced to Japan who took advantage of this new ability to manufacture electronics and quickly dominated the field.

Today we outsource those jobs to China who are also quickly becoming adept at copying the technology and have now started several companies that not only compete with American companies but with the electronics giants in Japan as well.

Anytime you send the manufacturing of anything somewhere else, the technology of manufacturing it must, by necessity follow it. Consequently, that technology will become copied and used locally to compete. Competition will result in further potential job losses in that field.

Technology, Job Loss and Unemployment

When America first gained independence, the vast majority of American made their living in the fields. America was a land of farmers and the supporting services that went around farming in the small cities and towns that dotted America’s landscape.

Slowly, as the technology of farming improved with the industrial revolution, there was no need for as many farm hands. A tractor could plow a field far more efficiently than a number of farm hands with an ox could do so.

These displaced workers found their ways into cities looking for employment. America became a manufacturing hub. As manufacturing brought more wealth to America, so farming became less of an industry and America began importing fruits and vegetables from around the world.

But if Americans are anything, they are innovative and entrepreneurial. Large corporations found that they could buy farmlands fairly cheaply and using the latest technology could produce higher yields and lower costs with vast farmlands. Farming came back to some extent, but in a different form. And so Farm production continued to increase.

Average Income in the USA

Much has been said in the press about American incomes not keeping up with inflation. A graph published by Advisor Perspectives based on data from the census bureau shows otherwise. Using inflation adjusted figures, it shows that American incomes have not really risen of fallen to any great degree since 1967. There is a slight uptrend, but nothing to write home about.

Of course the upper middle class and the top 5% incomes have risen quite dramatically, but the average American is earning about the same as he always has.

Yet, does this mean that the average American is suffering as a result?

Manufacturing technology has improved immensely. The cost of luxury goods has fallen however. Back in Henry Ford’s days he boasted that the average man could afford a car with just 2 year’s salary.

Today you can buy a car that is far more technologically advanced for a just a tenth of that price. Having 2 or 3 TVs in the house is normal and our kids all walk around with smart phones. Lives are longer, health care is better. All of these advances, while they have not raised the average salary have improved the average life.

What does it all mean?

When we, as a nation, hang onto work that we could send elsewhere for less, we actually decrease our potential productivity.

If you can go to work and earn $20 an hour and you can find someone to mow your lawn for $10 an hour and you would rather do your work at the office anyway, then why would you mow your lawn?

If you outsourced that job to the neighborhood kid and paid the $10 and worked that hour instead and earned $20, then you are further ahead.

However, if you normally gave that job to your own kid but he charged you $50 an hour and now you decided to give it to the kid across the road because you felt your kid was a bit spoiled, your kid would be upset.

And that is essentially the crux of the matter. That is essentially the critical point. Are you doing your child a favor by paying him more than what his production is really worth? Or would you be better off insisting that your child study harder and learn to produce a product that is worth $50 an hour instead of letting him continue to produce a product that is worth $10 for a $50 price?

When President Obama chastises Romney for outsourcing jobs, he is basically chastising him for not allowing the kid to learn that he has to compete.

Eventually, if we do not compete as a nation, we will fall behind those that are willing to compete. Nowhere is this more obvious than China. Chinese workers have no social services to fall back upon and they have to compete. They typically live frugally, save their money and then start enterprises.

On a recent trip to China I was amazed at the sheer volume of small businesses and small factories. Moms and pops over there had fully embraced competition and entrepreneurship. Most people I spoke to were saving their coins with the goal of starting their own enterprise and today the Chinese that have succeeded are buying up homes and businesses across America.

If America does not go back to that can-do attitude and start competing, we will quickly lose out to the rest of the world.

Small Business Outsourcing

Make your Small Business Succeed by Effectively Outsourcing

Starting a small business is a time consuming endeavor that requires an enormous amount of multi-tasking and handling of everything from communications, accounting, legal, reception, marketing, sales, etc.

Or does it?

Many small business owners attempt to do everything themselves. Generally that is due to the fact that they just cannot afford to hire an in-house attorney, accountant, receptionist, bookkeeper, lead generator, etc.

Enter the world of outsourcing. Even large multi-national firms outsource huge amounts of work.

In many instances outsourcing is definitely less costly and more efficient than doing it all yourself.

Larger companies have long ago realized that with the advent of the internet, outsourcing can also be done to countries that offer far lower employment costs and operating costs than their home country.

The Philippines, for example, generates about 9% of their GDP from providing outsourced services anywhere from medical back-end work, to legal research, to call center work. And most of those services are provided to Fortune 500 companies looking for any method of cutting costs to boost profits.

Small business already frequently outsources their reception work through a call-answering service, and outsources finance to a local accountant or bookkeeper. But why stop there?

By outsourcing your telephone answering service to a local company, instead of paying $2000 a month for a receptionist, a typical phone answering service charges $1.00 to $1.50 a minute for answering the phone for you. With the average small business not likely to receive more than 300 minutes of receptionist service a month, the savings are enormous.

However, instead of using an in-country answering service, try using an overseas based answering service instead. A Philippines based outsourcing company can provide excellent service at a fraction of the cost of a Stateside service and due to the close ties between the Philippines and the USA, many Filipino speak excellent English and with an American accent! The savings here would be almost 50% of using an American company.

Many Process Outsourcing Companies will offer you answering services but can also do your bookkeeping at a fraction of the cost as well. In fact, all kinds of work can be outsourced to the Philippines including lead generation, bookkeeping, back office administration, etc.

Keeping your costs down when starting or managing a small business is vital to success. Every dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned as earning money costs money, whereas saving it costs nothing!