Walt Disney World is just one of the many places that attracts tourists by the millions every week. No wonder that tourism is the largest economy; it added more than $111 billion annually. Other businesses are adding to the economy, too. Thanks to the warm climate, nearly 70% of the state can be used for farmland year around; Florida provides 70% of all the citrus that is consumed in the U.S.
Florida is one of the seven states that does not impose a personal income tax, which makes living in the Sunshine State even more attractive for entities that are LLCs. With more than 150 banks spanning the state, businesses can shop around for capital for startups and for expansion. Thanks to Florida’s robust housing market, the real estate industry accounted for $227.3 billion of the state’s economy in 2018. If you are looking for a vibrant location for commercial property, Ft. Myers is gaining traction, even in residential communities. Finally, in 2018, approximately 208,000 new private sector jobs were added. This raises the annual job growth rate to 2.7%, in comparison with 1.9% growth annually. Florida is home to 2.5 million small businesses and has a workforce of about 3.5 million people. It’s important to note that businesses in Florida are not required to purchase commercial liability insurance, but it is always wise to protect your assets with some type of insurance.
Guessing is fun – if you are watching a game show. But it’s not the right strategy for running a small business. Bookkeeping can provide you with a monthly snapshot of your income sources and expenditures. It paints a clear picture of what adjustments you may need to make – sooner rather than later. Is one vendor charging too much? Has another customer paid that last invoice? Reviewing entries regularly enables you to see if there is a recurring charge to something – like a subscription or service – you no longer need.
Having a reliable bookkeeping and accounting service will also help you stay ahead of the tax-day curve. Most of the frantic, sleepless nights that taxpayers experience can be eliminated if they simply have all their receipts and records at their fingertips. Bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks, allows you to capture receipts and keep them organized. It also allows employees to easily enter their time sheets.
Bookkeeping and accounting professionals rarely make mistakes, such as data entry errors or even double entries. They will also ensure that you pay company bills on time to avoid costly late charges.
If bookkeeping and accounting intimidates you, or if you simply don’t have the time, hire someone. And yes, your business will incur a cost but when you compare it to the time you can reallocate to making more sales and networking, it will be minimal. Once you eliminate the distractions, you can maximize your time to reinvest in yourself, your family and your business.
Small business owners are visionaries; they have dreams about making a difference in the communities where they live – while making a good living. Yet when most begin their entrepreneurial journey, they are unaware of all the nuances of doing business. When speaking with a bank manager about a line of credit, for example, the owner may be asked a multitude of questions that sound like Greek. Lending institutions will want to see a P&L statement, EIN, balance sheet and licenses and permits.
Becoming educated about accounting will arm you with knowledge that will help you make smarter business decisions. We’ll start with your P&L – profit and loss statement/income statement. It helps you track your revenue flow, and is broken down into categories. Keeping an eye on your utilities and Internet provider services will help you understand trends. Then there’s your balance sheet, which lists your assets (cash in the bank, physical equipment to help your employees perform their job, vehicles, etc.). Additionally, you need to consider your liability – or what you owe. This could be creditors, vendors, rent or bank loans. Now, what about those who owe you? An accounts receivable (A/R) aging report gives you data showing which customer is late. If one is habitually late, this may prompt you to issue late charges until the account is made current. The other side of the coin is Accounts Payable aging. Keep an eye on due dates and make sure your bills are paid on a timely basis. Check to see if paying early will earn you a discount!