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Small Business 101 …. The Value of Maintaining Good Records

When you own a small business, you are responsible for every part of it. Yet it’s easy to focus on one area at the expense of another.  I love to engage in the marketing and sales process of my business, while I often pay insufficient attention to the details, the records.  Moreover, in working with scores (hundreds) of small business owners, I can categorically tell you I’ve seen situations when not having good records can wreck an otherwise good business.  Let’s face it, it’s a pain to maintain the records you need to maintain, so at a minimum, what are the key records on which you should focus?

Most and foremost, keep records on very client. Having a file for each client is essential to be sure that you have a record of any work you have done.  Also be sure to keep copies of any agreements you have with the clients.   And rest assured, you may not know when or why, but there always will be future questions about client work, and having good records of all client agreements and interaction will serve you well.

It goes without saying that you also need to maintain meticulous accounting and tax records. Being financially responsible is very important for anyone, but most especially a business owner. Some of the records that you should meticulously manage are:

–       Business receipts and expenses

–       Credit card statements

–       Bank statements

–       Annual tax returns

–       Payroll records

–       Inventory costs

Maintaining good records is essential for the small business owner. It is not only important for preparing your tax returns, but also for knowing where you stand business wise.

Small Business 101: maintaining good records equals an increased chance of success with your business.

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Tennessee Valley Group

Jim is an attorney (non-resident status with the Missouri Bar) and though he no longer practices law, he has read and negotiated enough legal documents to fill a cargo tanker. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and knows how Wall Street and private equity operates. Jim is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 listed general civil mediator with tons of experience helping business owners (large and small) work through sensitive problems to achieve winning results. He is the author of "Home Run, A Pro's Guide to Selling Your Business, Seven Principles to Make Your Company Irresistible."

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