• Have you started using the Profit First Cash Management System yet?

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Cash Management , Future Financial Planning , Profit First

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      What are you waiting for? For those of you not yet familiar with our Profit First Cash Management System (PFCMS), it gives you the opportunity of taking charge of your cash and profitability.  We use Profit First in our practice, and many of our clients use it as well. It works amazingly great… If you’re not yet using it, call us to get more info. It involves setting up several bank accounts where your revenue is apportioned into on a consistent basis in order to make certain that you have the right amount of cash, in the right place, at the right time. When…

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  • How do you win an Infinite Game?

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business Tips , Operations

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      What kind of question is that, and why am I asking it? Well, why don’t you ask yourself if your business is a finite, or infinite enterprise? Sure, your business had a beginning. It might also have rules (processes), timelines, and score keeping (the numbers). But when does it end? What does the end even look like?  This is an important concept to consider for several reasons: Even if you have a business plan with 1 year or 3-year goals, once you reach the goal, now what?  Is it possible to create our own future? While it’s impossible to predict the future, is it possible…

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  • Have You Heard the Bad News? Half of Everything you spend on advertising is a waste!!

    | Categories: Business Growth , Business Tips , Marketing

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

        Oh great. So now what should you do? Well, I guess you could cross your fingers and spend more money. Or, you could try to guess which half is a waste, and eliminate it.  The main problem is one of measurement (or lack of measurement). There are tons of marketing geeks out there that want to take your money and promise thousands of views and clicks.  The problem with Marketing Geeks: While there are a few competent folk out there, many of the marketing geeks have read “Online Marketing for Dummies” and now consider themselves experts in the field. Very few have demonstrable…

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  • How many bank accounts do I really need?

    | Categories: Business Coaching , Cash Management , Profit First

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    Wait What? Am I telling you that you need more than one bank account? Yes, I am!! Remember how our grandparents did finances? The paycheck got cashed, and the money came home and was put into separate envelopes: Rent, Food, Clothing, etc. Well, this same idea can be employed in your business. We help our clients set this up into what we call our Profit First Cash Management System (PFCMS). As money comes in, it gets allocated to various business accounts. The point is to have the right amount of cash in the right place, at the right time. In the basic system…

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  • What the heck is a Sales Funnel?

    | Categories: Business Coaching , Business Tips , Future Financial Planning , KPIs , Sales

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      Funnel cakes, funnel clouds, sales funnels, there are funnels all around us… You’ve probably been hearing this term used a lot lately, along with a sales pipeline. There are many confusing definitions surrounding this area. A sales funnel and a sales pipeline are really two things describing one thing: So let’s land the plane here and make it simple.  A funnel in real life is a mechanism consisting of a wide open top with an open narrow open bottom. It is a concentrating device that takes in a lot at the wide top, but only allows a small amount to come out at…

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  • What’s the outlook for 2024?

    | Categories: Business Tips , economic forecast , Future Financial Planning , inflation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      We have for you, the good, the bad, and the ugly (the good is at the end so you leave on a positive note!!) We’ve been through so much turmoil in the last 3 years.  So what is the forecast for this year?  While we don’t have a crystal ball, here are Peter’s predictions for 2024: Inflation is going to continue to be a problem:  Wage growth is going to continue - probably stronger than in the past few years as the population continues to struggle with the ravages of increases in the cost of basics such as food and housing.  Inflation…

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  • A Penny for your thoughts… Are you ready for 2024?

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business Tips , KPIs

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      Well, have you been thinking about your goals? Oh wait, are you one of those people that believe in New Year's Resolutions? I used to be one of those myself. But I’ve since learned the difference between a wish and a plan. So what is the difference between a wish and a plan?  You know, I’m not sure I ever had a wish come true when I tossed a coin into a fountain. Are you any different? And then there’s that wishing star. How romantic to think that simply wishing for something makes it happen. It’s like winning the lottery!!  I’m much more…

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  • How to Become Your Own Bank Lender

    | Categories: Cash Management , Profit First

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

        Did you see the article about bank financing? If not, go back and read it, please. Ok, are you back now? Great!! Let’s talk turkey (which is appropriate to do since we recently celebrated Thanksgiving). Dealing with banks can be challenging. It seems like they are always willing to lend us money when we don’t need it. And that’s why it’s important to have a good relationship with a commercial lender. So when you need it, you already know each other. But what if you could become your very own lender? Is that even possible, or am I delusional? No, it’s really possible in…

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  • So you think you need to borrow some money?

    | Categories: Business Growth , Business Tips , Cash flow , Cash Management , Profit First Coaching

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      We are debt averse in general. Borrowing money should be the choice of last resort, not first. But there are times where capital is needed and the business does not have sufficient time to generate the capital needed through its regular operations. In that case, borrowing might be useful. But you’d better have a good reason to go down this road. There are several reasons to borrow money: Business expansion There are two aspects to business expansion:  Asset Acquisition: Sometimes when we expand the business we need to buy some assets like equipment, computers, etc.  Working Capital needs: When your business grows, your working capital needs to grow…

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  • How much should you pay yourself?

    | Categories: Cash Management , Profit First

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    Great question!! And it can be a complex one too… There are two considerations that must be factored in: 1. What are you worth as an employee of your company?  If you needed to hire someone to do all the work you do, how much would you have to pay them? I’m certain it would not be minimum wage, right? You provide much more value than that.  But this is an important question to consider. You deserve to get paid the same or more than you would pay an outside person to do your work. We call that economic compensation. 2. How do I optimize…

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  • Are you riding a rocking horse into a rut?

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business Growth , Business Tips

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      Excuse me for being obvious. If you ride a rocking horse long enough, you’ll end up creating a rut from repeating the same motion over and over. In other words, things that don’t change stay the same. And over time, inertia makes it more and more difficult to change. Feel stuck (like you’re in a rut)? Are you ready to get out? First, you must accept two business truths. Truth 1: Everything around us is always in motion. Tasks, phone calls, emails, texts, to do lists, etc. Then to compound the problem, as time goes by, things change. The business grows (or shrinks).…

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  • There isn't a person alive who can make a single lead pencil

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business Coaching , Business Tips , Profit First

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    The famous economist Milton Friedman once once made this observation. This article is all about understanding how to make your business system function more effectively from a cash management point of view. There is no way we can make a pencil. Why? Well silly, think of all the skills needed between wood working, making the eraser, the lead, paint, lettering, the metal part holding the eraser. So you see, even though a lead pencil is a rather simple instrument, we can’t make one on our own. We need all the materials and equipment to do it. Your business is no different.  When looking…

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  • Amortzing Prepaid Expenses over the year

    | Categories: Business Tips , Cash Management , Cashflow , Expenses

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    Sometimes it’s cheaper (or you have no choice) to pay for recurring expenses (such as insurance or software subscriptions annually rather than monthly.  Now this can mess up your cash flow a bit, but if you plan it right you can get both the savings and a smooth cash flow (see my Top 10 Tips to Save Money on your Software Subscriptions article). A question we often get asked is “how do I get my accounting system to spread the expense out over the year even though I pay once a year?” Here are the steps to do this in Xero (you can…

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  • How do I know if I have enough in my tax account?

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business Coaching , Business Growth , Profit First

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      If you’re involved with our Profit First Cash Management System (PFCMS) you’ll recognize why we are asking this question.  PFCMS is intended to make sure you have the right amount of cash, in the right place, at the right time. When it comes time to make tax payments, it feels GREAT to know you’re already covered by having the cash ready. The Best Way To Eat an Elephant!! What’s the best way to eat an elephant? Most people think it’s best done a bite at a time. And that’s why we have you set up a separate bank account to collect tax. We…

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  • For Everyone Who Thinks They Know Everything About Marketing and Sales

    | Categories: Business Tips , Marketing , Sales

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    (The rest if you can also read it if you’d like…) So you think you have this sales and marketing stuff figured out? Allow me to challenge that assumption. Here are some things to think about: Customer Attraction: Why would they want to talk to you in the first place? How well is your name recognized? Who else have you helped? What mannerisms matter? Do your marketing materials really speak to their biggest problems/threats? Do you have a clear target market? Geography Niche Specific problems you can solve Market Size (How many prospects are there?) Company Size (How big do they need to be to afford you?) How do you differentiate your features/benefits? How well…

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  • Did you think we were done talking about business implosion?

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business Coaching , Business Tips

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    As more information becomes available, it turns out that there were some definite warning signs about the submersible that imploded recently. Had the participants paid attention to certain warning signs, they might have been able to avoid the disastrous consequences that occurred. Last month we talked about business implosion. This month we’d like to talk about a few telltale warning signs you might want to be aware of. Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs… Someone should write a song about that, right? Hey, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get annoyed with the sheer number of signs we are subjected to when driving…

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  • Are you in Danger of a Business Implosion?

    | Categories: Business Growth , Business Tips , Implosion , KPIs , Revenue

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      Recently the world was transfixed on a catastrophic event where several people lost their lives due to the implosion of a small submersible vessel called The Titan.  Some people called the people involved heroic explorers, others called them silly for taking such a great risk. Which camp are you in? Either way, what I’d like to talk about is risk, and how to manage it by becoming a world class company and avoiding a catastrophic event. What can you do to insulate your business against risk? The following are the 6 Key Process Indicators (KPI’s) that greatly reduce risk and and help your business…

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  • Did You Realize That Your Service Business Has Inventory?

    | Categories: Business Growth , Business Tips , Inventory , Service

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    What’s that you say? What have I been smoking? No, really, I’m not kidding you here. Service businesses really do have inventory they are trying to sell. Now before you think I’ve really gone off my rocker, let me explain… A service has two main things to sell: Time Knowhow And hey goofball, anytime you provide a service, you are selling both of these finite items. Let’s define what these mean… Time: You do know that there are only so many hours in the day, right? You can’t add any more (unless you have some magical power). The only thing you can do to expand…

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  • Are cash flow problems draining your business revenue?

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business Coaching , Cashflow , Revenue

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      It all depends on which world you’re in… What’s that you say? That doesn’t make sense to you? Well, it might if you think about it a little. When we experience cash shortages, our behavior changes, and sometimes it’s not always for the better. Let me introduce you to two different worlds: The Cost World The Throughput World The Cost World In the Cost World, we are very focused on costs. We look at every single expense and try to reduce it. We also tend to be obsessed with allocating all costs against the production of income.  But isn’t that a smart thing to do? After all, that…

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  • Are you sure you know how to customize your offering for customers?

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business Tips , Service , Target Market

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

      Lots of people talk about how unique their products and services are. Many times when I listen to them, I start yawning. Boring… Why? 2 main reasons: Sellers tend to look at their offerings from their perspective. How much did this cost me to produce? What features and benefits should I offer? Sellers can be lazy. They don’t have a clear sense of their market demographics, and they don't do the market research to validate the characteristics and size of their markets. What does that mean? Well, it usually translates into sellers becoming product pushers. And when sellers do that, they make it…

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