Archive for July, 2011

Recordkeeping for your Business: What do you need to track?

Recordkeeping for your Business: What do you need to track?

As a business professional, keeping accurate records is essential to your success. Doing this allows you to:

  • Monitor the progress of your business
  • Prepare any financial statements
  • Identify the source of receipts
  • Keep track of deductible expenses
  • Prepare your tax returns
  • Support items reported on tax returns

Recordkeeping Systems
Which system works best? The quick answer is “the one that works for you.” Opting for expensive and elaborate recordkeeping software may not be the best choice if you’re just starting your business — and if your business is large and well-established, tossing paperwork into a shoebox will likely cause headaches at tax time.

The system you choose should be one that allows you to easily track your income and expenses and keep your business documents in an orderly fashion and in a safe place.

What to Keep?
Saving these items is a must as you’ll need them to prepare your tax returns (and as support for items reported on tax returns):

  • Paid bills
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Deposit slips
  • Cancelled checks

What Else?
The links below are to sites that are great sources of recordkeeping information. They’ll help you determine exactly which items you need to keep to ensure your business runs smoothly — and legally!

  • Moneywise Women Get SmartFree monthly educational teleseminars on a range of financial topics.
  • The IRS Which records to keep, how long to keep them and why. Articles, videos, publications and answers to frequently asked questions.
  • SCOREThis nonprofit resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides info on local-area recordkeeping workshops and more.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration Information on how to manage your tax obligations, tax recordkeeping and more.

Getting Your Kids Involved in Your Business

Getting Your Kids Involved in Your Business

Life is crowded, and if you’re a business owner, you’re busy! You may be a parent, a spouse and a business owner.  How do you juggle it all?  And how do you help your children understand that what you are doing is important?

One way is to include your kids in your business.  Show them that what you are doing is worthy of your time, and important to others.  When you include your kids in your work, you demonstrate that they are important to you, and you invite your kids into your day-to-day. This brings huge rewards!

How do you do it?  It’s not as hard as you think.

  • Talk to your child about what you do. Make this a natural part of your day.  Over dinner, ask your son or daughter to tell you about his or her day, and tell him or her about yours.  Use simple terms.  Talk about the good that you do.  Talk about the struggles you have.  Talk about your task at hand.  Children learn so much from you and your example.
  • Show your child what you do. Maybe you work from home and you have an office set up right in your house.  Show your child how you set it up and why.  Show her that there are special programs you use for different tasks you accomplish during your day.  If you work in an office, bring your child to work with you.  Show him the different offices and explain what each employee does and why.  Keep your explanations simple.  Depending on his or her age, the details may go over your child’s head, but he/she will get that all these different people and all of the different software and computers you use get your task completed.  This makes it personal for your child.  It makes your child feel connected with your business.
  • Let your child help you. Every child learns differently.  But most children, most people, learn by doing.  Find some small way that your child can contribute to your business.  Maybe your son can deliver supplies to your employees or come with you when you purchase items for your office.  If your child is older, maybe she can assist as you do some number crunching or word processing work for your company, or help you with some internet research.  These are all great life skills and they also connect your child to your business in a personal way.

Connection is essential to making your business important to your child.  You are busy and your son or daughter is busy.  You already know your child is priority number one.  Now it’s time to show your child that they can be part of another of your priorities.  Make the time to connect them to your business.  You will teach your child life skills that last a lifetime.

How do you help your child feel connected to you and your business? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

Online Resources for Women in Small Business

Online Resources for Women in Small Business

Are you a female small business owner?   Are you looking for a pool of resources that will be able to advance your growing business?  Well, look no further.  There is a wealth of information on the internet that can help you grow your business and do it quickly.  There are plenty of on-line resources that are safe to access and right at your fingertips.

  • MoneyWise Women Get Smart – Sponsored by the Direct Selling Education Foundation, this free teleconference series helps you make smart decisions about money. Held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, you’ll find amazing content delivered by experts to help you make better decisions, and more money! Register here:
  • Women’s Business Centers – Since it was established in response to an executive order in 1979, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership has fostered the participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy, especially those who have been historically under-served or excluded. OWBO reaches out to women entrepreneurs through a number of programs that are coordinated through every SBA district office. OWBO’s programs provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and marketing opportunities, including federal contracts.
  • – is a resource that has a specific link for women in business   This site is updated regularly and has tabs entitled: Start-up and Funding, Manage and Grow, and News and Legal Issues.  It takes you from the start-up practices you should have in place and maintains support of your business with helpful hints and insights. also offers examples of commentaries on successful women in business.  They are both insightful and inspirational to the entrepreneur.
  • Women Grow Business Blog – The dynamic experience of how women emerge their business is the primary conversation of the Women Grow Business blog. With articles contributed regularly by successful female entrepreneurs, you are sure to find daily insight that will support you as a female business owner. Find it at
  • – is a comprehensive website that offers you a wealth of information and resources for your growing business.  There is information regarding grants and bloggers input as well of business owners just like you.  Articles contain information and frequently asked questions regarding typical success strategies as well as articles regarding typical challenges for the small business owner are also here.
  • NAWBO – The National Association of Women Business Owners is a dues member organization that prides itself on supporting women business owners across the country by providing the most recent information and resources available as well as providing a network of successful women as a support structure for those women starting out. Check out all the valuable resources here:

There is a wealth of information for women in business online.  Whether you are researching on how to get started or trying to find tools to help your business grow, resources are a click away.  Take advantage, and watch your business grow.

What are your favorite online resources for business? Please share them in the comments below!

Free e-book “Business Owner’s Road Map to Success.” It has over 50 pages of techniques for everything a small business owner needs to master, from business planning and ethical selling to a success mindset. It’s all there and it’s free for you. To get it, just “Like” our Facebook Page here: Pass it on!

Business Tips for Staying Motivated for Success

Business Tips for Staying Motivated for Success

It’s summertime! We look forward to the summer to spend time with family and friends. We kick back a little. And unfortunately, when that happens, our business can suffer. But in order to have a strong holiday selling season, you need to be active now, building the contacts that lead to new business.

Here are some tips that can help you stay motivated through the summer months, and throughout the year!

  1. Create a success chart – write down and highlight every success no matter how small or large and hang it next to your calendar.
  2. Just like you frame your diploma or degree – In large bold type frame WHY you do your business and why you want to succeed.
  3. As you chart your successes – visualize, journal and enjoy every intimate sense of your accomplishment.
  4. Acknowledge and be realistic about the challenges your business faces, but also consider all the benefits of every business decision you make.
  5. Do not waste your time worrying – the more positive you are the more opportunities you will discover.
  6. Embrace every mistake or misstep as a learning experience – focus on how you can learn from the experience, what you’ve learned and how you can overcome it.
  7. Create a community of supporters, mentors, business associates and share your experiences with them. Enable them to chart your successes, share your learning experiences and celebrate with them.
As a business owner, you will of course face challenges along the way. That’s why it’s important to be mindful about keeping yourself motivated. By taking some time to keep yourself on track, you’ll enjoy greater success!

Online Advertising and Marketing: A Checklist to Protect your Business and Consumers

Online Advertising and Marketing: A Checklist to Protect your Business and Consumers

These days, it seems like everyone is marketing online. From Facebook Pages, Google Adwords, blogs, and more, there are seemingly unlimited options when it comes to promoting your business online. Yet online marketing provides some challenges as well. Since there is some anonymity built into the internet, ethical considerations become even more important.

Here are some guidelines for business owners to remember when advertising and marketing online. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has provided these guidelines to protect businesses and consumers.

  • Maintain credibility on the Internet. The honest and ethical practices you maintain in your offline business must also be adhered to online. So be sure that your marketing doesn’t mislead, or contain omissions that prevent consumers from making informed choices. Make sure that people know exactly where they’re going when they click on your ad, and help them feel confident that they’re dealing with an ethical business person.
  • All claims must be substantiated, especially concerning health, safety and/or performance. The evidence will depend on the product, the claims and what experts believe necessary. Testimonials and endorsements must reflect typical experiences, unless clearly stated, and cannot be used if the advertiser itself cannot substantiate it. So don’t claim that your product cures a disease if you don’t have a clinical study to back it up. When in doubt, check with your company so you only post what you’re allowed to say.
  • Sellers are responsible and liable for all claims about their products or services. If you’re even slightly unsure whether you should say something, you probably shouldn’t. After all, you could cause serious trouble for your business.
  • Disclaimers and disclosures must be clearly stated. While there are many facets to this, one important one is that government rules require that you disclose your relationship with any company where you’ll profit through a recommendation. This means that if you recommend a product, people must clearly understand that you’ll make money if people follow your recommendation.
  • Advertising directly to children involves special rules. So if you’re sharing your information on a social network where children are allowed, or your products are for children, be sure to check with your company to find out what you can and cannot say legally.

For more information about marketing online legally, visit Here you’ll find lots of resources that help protect you, and your customers!

Our mission at the Direct Selling Education Foundation is to help protect your business and your clients, and provide crucial education for your business success! If you find DSEF a valuable partner for your business, please click here and make a donation. Your support makes all the difference in our ability to support you!