How to Avoid PPP Loan Forgiveness Common Mistakes

Applying-for-PPP-Loan-Forgiveness.png

You might have to pay back a portion of your PPP money, even if your business completely qualifies for forgiveness.

That’s what could happen if you make a mistake with your PPP forgiveness paperwork. If there was ever a time to dot the Is and cross the Ts, it’s with the PPP forgiveness application.

How to Avoid PPP Loan Forgiveness Mistakes

Let’s start with the basics, and then delve into common mistakes to avoid for PPP loan forgiveness.

PPP First Draw and Second Draw Terms

The terms are the same. The covered period starts on the day the PPP funds are disbursed from the lender to you.

The covered period can be from 8 to 24 weeks, or 168 days. There is an alternative covered period for borrowers who received PPP money before June 5, 2020. Those borrowers have the option to use an 8 week (56 days) covered period.

There are two main forgiveness qualifiers. First, you must have maintained the number of employees and their compensation levels. And secondly, the PPP money must have been spent on payroll and other eligible expenses.

What If You Couldn’t Maintain the Number of Employees?

This could have happened in two ways. You couldn’t rehire an individual employee, or you couldn’t hire a similarly qualified individual.

You’ll need documentation to prove this happened. In the case of inability to rehire an employee, you’ll need a written employment offer and a written rejection response from the employee. If you couldn’t find a similarly qualified individual to replace an employee, you’ll need documentation for that – paperwork that proves efforts to hire a replacement employee.

Changes in Economic Impact Disaster Loan (EIDL) Factoring

As first designed, as part of the PPP forgiveness program, borrowers who had gotten both EIDL and PPP monies had to subtract the amount of the EIDL loan from the PPP monies when calculating forgiveness. In other words, if you got a $10,000 EIDL loan and a $100,000 PPP loan, you could only apply for $90,000 forgiveness of the PPP money.

That requirement was changed by new legislation.

“The EIDL advance will no longer by deducted from the PPP loan forgiveness amount,” said Rohit Arora,, CEO of Biz2Credit, a pioneer of FinTech and a leading expert in small business lending.

What if you sent in your PPP forgiveness application before the EIDL legislation changed? Arora said that the SBA is working on processes to correct that for borrowers who were previously subject to the deduction.

Get the Correct PPP Loan Forgiveness Form

You get the form from your lender. Most small businesses will use SBA form 3508.

There are shortened version of that form, such as 3508EZ and 3508S. Those are PPP loan forgiveness applications for specific types of businesses, such as sole proprietors, independent contractors and other self-employed business owners.

Small businesses can also check to see if they’re eligible to use the SBA’s new PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal to help apply for full forgiveness on this loan.

The PPP Forgiveness Application Timeline

What is the PPP forgiveness application timeline? When can you apply?

You can apply for PPP forgiveness after all the money has been used AND within ten months of the last day of the covered period. NOT before the covered period ends.

“An overarching mistake would be either applying too soon for forgiveness – before the covered period is over,” Arora said. “Applying prematurely can lead to a premature end to the company’s covered period. Borrowers should be certain that it is optimal for them to apply at their chosen time to apply for forgiveness.”

Don’t let that 10-month deadline to apply slip past you. If you do, the PPP loan payments will no longer be deferred. You’ll have to start paying the lender. You’ll have to pay back the money before the maturity date of your loan. The maturity date of your loan would be either two or five years, depending on the terms.

It’s easy to figure out the date for your PPP loan forgiveness application. Let’s say your covered period ended on October 30, 2020. You have six months, or until August 30, 2021, to apply for forgiveness.

What Costs Qualify for PPP Forgiveness?

The short answer is that payroll and other eligible expenses qualify for PPP loan forgiveness.

To qualify for PPP forgiveness, your payroll costs had to comprise 60% of the PPP loan money you spent. The dollar number for payroll is based on gross pay, not net. You can also include health benefits and retirement contributions, as long as that money was paid by the employer.

Other types of compensation may also be included, such as tips, commissions, bonuses and hazard pay. There is a limit, however. These other types of compensation will be annualized. In other words, the compensation would be calculated on what it would have totaled during a year, based on the total during the covered period. The annualized calculation can be no more than $100,000.

“Classification of non-cash compensation is a common omission,” Arora said. “That mistake can cause the borrower to end up with a residual amount – if they did not use the funds to pay benefits like health insurance premiums or 401k contributions.”

Let’s say you pay your employees bi-weekly. What about pay periods that either started or ended outside of the covered period timeline?

That’s okay. Payroll cost may still be covered if the cost was incurred during the covered period but paid after it ended. Payroll costs incurred before the covered period and paid during it are also eligible.

What if a business reduced the pay of an employee, or employees, either as hourly or salaried?

If an employee’s hourly or salaried amount was reduced by more than 25%, that will reduce the eligible forgiveness amount. UNLESS that reduction was remedied by December 31, 2021.

If an employee’s pay was reduced because of a cut in hours, you’re okay. In other words, if you have an employee who made $20 an hour for a 40-hour week, but you had to cut hours $20 an hour for a 15-hour week, that’s okay. The hours were reduced, but not the wage.

This part of the PPP forgiveness application can be tricky.

“The classification of employees according to the SBA’s definitions of Full Time Employee (FTE) can be quite complex,” Arora said. “There are fractional employee counts based on hours worked and some unique SBA rules and standards for computing a single FTE.”

Documentation Needed to Prove Payroll Part of PPP Forgiveness Application

Here are examples of the paperwork you may need:

  • Bank statements, or statements from third-party payroll service providers
  • Tax forms which show tax filings that have, or will be, filed. Most commonly this is IRS form 941.
  • State quarterly business and independent employee wage reporting, and unemployment insurance tax filings, that have been or will be reported.
  • Payment receipts such as cancelled checks or account statements that show employer contributions to health insurance and retirement plans.

Non-Payroll Costs that Qualify for PPP Loan Forgiveness

A common mistake is submitting the cost of a mortgage payment. You can only include the cost of the interest payment on the mortgage.

Rent or lease payments on the business space qualify.

Utility payments for the business qualify, such as electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet access. However, these services must have been contracted before February 15, 2020.

What if you’re an independent contractors or sole proprietor? You can only claim such expenses if you claimed them as deductions when you filed a Schedule C in 2019.

Pay close attention as you fill out the PPP forgiveness application section regarding non-payroll costs.

“Another common / simple error could be simply misclassifying different kinds of expenses,” Arora said. “There are different categories of allowable expenses.”

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Complete – Now What?

One last check before you submit to the lender.

“A simple mistake could be to enter the wrong SBA or lender loan number,” Arora said. “We’ve seen this trip up many applicants in PPP round 1.”

Submit the application to your lender. The lender will submit your application to the SBA.

What if your application is in, but you haven’t heard anything? It’s the lender’s responsibility to notify the borrower with any response. You can still follow up with your lender.

You don’t have to make any PPP loan payments until the SBA has remitted either a full or partial forgiveness amount to the lender. If a balance is due, you must repay it, plus interest, before the maturity date of your loan.

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This article, "How to Avoid PPP Loan Forgiveness Common Mistakes" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

In the News: PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal Has Over 1 Million Applicants

PPP Loan Forgiveness Over 1 Million Applicants

Less than two months after the Small Business Administration (SBA) opened its PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal, it announced over one million small businesses have applied. The portal was designed to simplify the process of applying for the loan forgiveness if a business received less than $150,000. And so far it has delivered on this directive. To date, over $17 billion of relief money has been forgiven with just the portal.

However, the A Million Small Businesses Have Applied for PPP Loan Forgiveness with SBA Portal article, SBA and its Administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, wants the millions of small businesses that have yet to apply to do so. This will not only alleviate the financial burden of paying the loan for small business operators, but it will also help the economy grow. With small businesses making up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses, the 31.7 million owners are a huge part of the U.S. economy.

Small Business News – September 27, 2021

Read on for more articles addressing small business issues in this week’s roundup.

SBA Announces $5.4 Million in Prizes in Support of Inclusive Entrepreneurship

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a combined total of $5.4 million in awards for its Growth Accelerator fund competition and new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst component.

New Keap Ecommerce App Covers Shopify and PayPal Integrations

Running an online business means corralling in costly software tools and platforms. But now you can get everything from payment processors to checkout forms from one app thanks to Keap. The sales and marketing automation software company recently announced an expansion to its Pro and Max products.

Small Business Group to Sue Biden Administration Over Vaccine Mandate

President Biden’s vaccine mandates are placing yet another regulation on small businesses that are trying to overcome this pandemic. To challenge this decree, the small business advocacy group, Job Creators Network (JCN), just announced a plan to sue the Biden Administration over vaccine mandates on small businesses.

Most Invoices Paid Within 2 Days, Especially if Sent by SMS

Anyone who has ran their own business will have undoubtedly experienced the frustration of chasing invoices. However, contradicting the assumption that invoices generally tend to create exasperation for businesses, is research that suggests most invoices get paid within two days.

Pennsylvania Business Owner Being Forced to Pay Back PPP Loan Because Bank Overextended

A report by WPIX-TV has revealed a small Pennsylvania business is being forced to pay back part of the PPP loan it received from PNC Bank after it was forgiven. According to WPIX-TV, Clean Day Housekeeping’s PPP loan was forgiven by the bank. However, the owners were told PNC Bank overextended itself, resulting in the action the bank is taking to recoup the money.

ADP Updates RUN Software with Focus on Small Business

ADP, a technology company that provides Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, has made a significant update in its RUN payroll platform. Focused on small businesses, the reimaged payroll platform is designed to help small business owners manage their business more seamlessly and accelerate growth.

Product Return Scams Cost Retailers $43 Billion in 2020

Scams involving the return of products costs retailers $43 billion in 2020. As the pandemic forced people to shop online, the nature of commerce changed significantly in 2020, and with it came rising fraud.

Using an Amazon Registry So Friends and Family Can Support Your Startup Business

Many of us have already given someone a present using a gift registry set up through Amazon. We’ve gifted using registries set up for weddings, birthdays, new baby and special occasions.

LLC vs. Partnership: Which is the Better Choice?

Deciding on a business structure for your business affects more than just how you’ll file taxes. Ramifications range from legal, administrative, and financial to your company’s name. Businesses with more than one owner typically structure their companies as limited liability companies (LLCs) or partnerships. LLC vs.

Outside-the-Box Benefits for Employees

Today’s tight job market makes it imperative for small businesses to offer an array of benefits to employees. Many benefits are commonly offered…health care, retirement plans, and dependent care assistance. But employers may need to go beyond the basics and consider other benefits. Doing so won’t necessarily be expensive.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, "In the News: PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal Has Over 1 Million Applicants" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

In the News: PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal Has Over 1 Million Applicants

PPP Loan Forgiveness Over 1 Million Applicants

Less than two months after the Small Business Administration (SBA) opened its PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal, it announced over one million small businesses have applied. The portal was designed to simplify the process of applying for the loan forgiveness if a business received less than $150,000. And so far it has delivered on this directive. To date, over $17 billion of relief money has been forgiven with just the portal.

However, the A Million Small Businesses Have Applied for PPP Loan Forgiveness with SBA Portal article, SBA and its Administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, wants the millions of small businesses that have yet to apply to do so. This will not only alleviate the financial burden of paying the loan for small business operators, but it will also help the economy grow. With small businesses making up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses, the 31.7 million owners are a huge part of the U.S. economy.

Small Business News – September 27, 2021

Read on for more articles addressing small business issues in this week’s roundup.

SBA Announces $5.4 Million in Prizes in Support of Inclusive Entrepreneurship

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a combined total of $5.4 million in awards for its Growth Accelerator fund competition and new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst component.

New Keap Ecommerce App Covers Shopify and PayPal Integrations

Running an online business means corralling in costly software tools and platforms. But now you can get everything from payment processors to checkout forms from one app thanks to Keap. The sales and marketing automation software company recently announced an expansion to its Pro and Max products.

Small Business Group to Sue Biden Administration Over Vaccine Mandate

President Biden’s vaccine mandates are placing yet another regulation on small businesses that are trying to overcome this pandemic. To challenge this decree, the small business advocacy group, Job Creators Network (JCN), just announced a plan to sue the Biden Administration over vaccine mandates on small businesses.

Most Invoices Paid Within 2 Days, Especially if Sent by SMS

Anyone who has ran their own business will have undoubtedly experienced the frustration of chasing invoices. However, contradicting the assumption that invoices generally tend to create exasperation for businesses, is research that suggests most invoices get paid within two days.

Pennsylvania Business Owner Being Forced to Pay Back PPP Loan Because Bank Overextended

A report by WPIX-TV has revealed a small Pennsylvania business is being forced to pay back part of the PPP loan it received from PNC Bank after it was forgiven. According to WPIX-TV, Clean Day Housekeeping’s PPP loan was forgiven by the bank. However, the owners were told PNC Bank overextended itself, resulting in the action the bank is taking to recoup the money.

ADP Updates RUN Software with Focus on Small Business

ADP, a technology company that provides Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions, has made a significant update in its RUN payroll platform. Focused on small businesses, the reimaged payroll platform is designed to help small business owners manage their business more seamlessly and accelerate growth.

Product Return Scams Cost Retailers $43 Billion in 2020

Scams involving the return of products costs retailers $43 billion in 2020. As the pandemic forced people to shop online, the nature of commerce changed significantly in 2020, and with it came rising fraud.

Using an Amazon Registry So Friends and Family Can Support Your Startup Business

Many of us have already given someone a present using a gift registry set up through Amazon. We’ve gifted using registries set up for weddings, birthdays, new baby and special occasions.

LLC vs. Partnership: Which is the Better Choice?

Deciding on a business structure for your business affects more than just how you’ll file taxes. Ramifications range from legal, administrative, and financial to your company’s name. Businesses with more than one owner typically structure their companies as limited liability companies (LLCs) or partnerships. LLC vs.

Outside-the-Box Benefits for Employees

Today’s tight job market makes it imperative for small businesses to offer an array of benefits to employees. Many benefits are commonly offered…health care, retirement plans, and dependent care assistance. But employers may need to go beyond the basics and consider other benefits. Doing so won’t necessarily be expensive.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, "In the News: PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal Has Over 1 Million Applicants" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

 Shop 1-in-5 Relaunches Small Business Directory to Feature Values-Based Businesses

small business shopping directory

Shop 1-in-5, a movement to support small businesses to potential and essential growth, has relaunched its online small business shopping directory with value-based customizations.

The relaunch comes with just 100 shopping days left before Christmas. The relaunch of the online shopping directory was announced by the founders of Shop 1-in-5, alongside Jacqueline Snyder and Minna Khounlo-Sithep, the duo behind The Product Boss, providers of service-based advice to product entrepreneurs.

Recognizing the importance of supporting small retail businesses and online shops, Snyder and Khounlo-Sithep co-founded the Shop-1-in-5 Pledge. The Pledge is a personal commitment to make one in every five purchases made from a small business, whether it’s online or in-store.

Shop 1-in-5 Small Business Directory

With the relaunching of the initiative, Shop 1-in-5 now offers values-based business categories designed to make every purchase a more conscious-based decision. These categories include black or minority-owned, ethnically produced, made-in-the-USA, veteran-owned, shops with a charitable component, among others.

Designed to make shopping easier than ever this holiday season, the site is easy to navigate, with categories for men, women, home and other specific product types.

Providing Minority-Led Small Businesses with Support

Minority-led small businesses have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Research shows that businesses owned by people of color were hit the hardest by the global health crisis.

It is therefore vital that small businesses led by minority groups have the right resources, help and support at their disposal as we come out of the pandemic and head towards the holiday season.

This is where Shop 1-to-5’s Pledge to support small businesses by understanding the impact consumer sending has on small businesses comes in. The Pledge, coupled with the creation of the Small Business Shopping Directory, which was developed to meet the needs of customers who want to support small businesses but are not sure how to find them, could prove invaluable in helping such businesses navigate these testing times with success.

Making Purchases to Change Lives

Jacqueline Snyder and Minna Khounlo-Sithep explained the ethos behind how the site is designed to help small businesses as the festive season approaches.

““Purchases have the ability to change lives by consciously directing money towards those that need it most. This site is a one-stop destination to discovering, supporting, and shopping at small businesses for holiday gifts and everyday purchases, thereby supporting some of those businesses hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said.

Jacqueline Snyder and Minna Khounlo-Sithep founded the Shop 1-to-5 Pledge in Fall 2020 to meet the demand for consumers to support small businesses but who didn’t know how to locate them.

Research shows that between February and April 2020, 22% of small businesses in the US closed. Through the Pledge and the shopping destination, The Product Boss is aimed at giving many struggling small businesses the help they need so they can thrive during this holiday season.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, " Shop 1-in-5 Relaunches Small Business Directory to Feature Values-Based Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

 Shop 1-in-5 Relaunches Small Business Directory to Feature Values-Based Businesses

small business shopping directory

Shop 1-in-5, a movement to support small businesses to potential and essential growth, has relaunched its online small business shopping directory with value-based customizations.

The relaunch comes with just 100 shopping days left before Christmas. The relaunch of the online shopping directory was announced by the founders of Shop 1-in-5, alongside Jacqueline Snyder and Minna Khounlo-Sithep, the duo behind The Product Boss, providers of service-based advice to product entrepreneurs.

Recognizing the importance of supporting small retail businesses and online shops, Snyder and Khounlo-Sithep co-founded the Shop-1-in-5 Pledge. The Pledge is a personal commitment to make one in every five purchases made from a small business, whether it’s online or in-store.

Shop 1-in-5 Small Business Directory

With the relaunching of the initiative, Shop 1-in-5 now offers values-based business categories designed to make every purchase a more conscious-based decision. These categories include black or minority-owned, ethnically produced, made-in-the-USA, veteran-owned, shops with a charitable component, among others.

Designed to make shopping easier than ever this holiday season, the site is easy to navigate, with categories for men, women, home and other specific product types.

Providing Minority-Led Small Businesses with Support

Minority-led small businesses have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Research shows that businesses owned by people of color were hit the hardest by the global health crisis.

It is therefore vital that small businesses led by minority groups have the right resources, help and support at their disposal as we come out of the pandemic and head towards the holiday season.

This is where Shop 1-to-5’s Pledge to support small businesses by understanding the impact consumer sending has on small businesses comes in. The Pledge, coupled with the creation of the Small Business Shopping Directory, which was developed to meet the needs of customers who want to support small businesses but are not sure how to find them, could prove invaluable in helping such businesses navigate these testing times with success.

Making Purchases to Change Lives

Jacqueline Snyder and Minna Khounlo-Sithep explained the ethos behind how the site is designed to help small businesses as the festive season approaches.

““Purchases have the ability to change lives by consciously directing money towards those that need it most. This site is a one-stop destination to discovering, supporting, and shopping at small businesses for holiday gifts and everyday purchases, thereby supporting some of those businesses hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said.

Jacqueline Snyder and Minna Khounlo-Sithep founded the Shop 1-to-5 Pledge in Fall 2020 to meet the demand for consumers to support small businesses but who didn’t know how to locate them.

Research shows that between February and April 2020, 22% of small businesses in the US closed. Through the Pledge and the shopping destination, The Product Boss is aimed at giving many struggling small businesses the help they need so they can thrive during this holiday season.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, " Shop 1-in-5 Relaunches Small Business Directory to Feature Values-Based Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

How Only Elon Musk Could Have Built Tesla

building an innovative company (1)

For a lot of entrepreneurs, Elon Musk is their hero; he can buck current market trends, be brash and build an innovative company. But what is Elon Musk really like to work with and what was the secret to building Tesla?

On The Small Business Radio Show this week, journalist Tim Higgins who writes about Apple, Tesla and other tech companies for The Wall Street Journal has spent more than a decade reporting about the car business from Detroit to Silicon Valley, giving him a front-row seat for Tesla’s drama. His new book is called, “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century.”

How Elon Musk Built Tesla

I asked Tim about all the stories you hear about Elon Musk and how eccentric he is; quick to rage like firing people on the factory floor spontaneously. He says that “changing the world is hard… there is a lot of collateral damage in creating the most valuable auto company in the world. Sometimes Elon Musk is the hero and sometimes he is the villain. He is sensitive the way people perceive him but on one hand he is inspiring but is also a self-described nano manager; he has a temper that explodes on seemingly small things to shape Tesla…”.

Tim says Musk’s first love was Space X and Tesla was a “side project”. When some of Tesla’s founders approached him as an investor, his vision that an electric car could be aspirational and not full of compromises took over. It was aimed at sports car buyers who had a BMW 3 series and a Prius. His appetite for risk allowed Telsa to get where it wanted to go. As Tim said., “some paid off and some didn’t…. Telsa attacks each day as if someone is out to get them…” He discusses that a lot of the features came from Musk’s own life; that is, he has five kids, so the car had to fit seven people.

When people say that something isn’t possible, Musk can articulate the vision for the future and raise cash to fund a car company. Tim believes that Telsa is the most valuable automaker but in some ways it is still a startup. Tesla still struggles with the sales and service model since they sell directly to the customer not a dealer who handles the service the vehicles.

Listen to entire fascinating story of Elon Musk on The Small Business Radio Show.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, "How Only Elon Musk Could Have Built Tesla" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

How Only Elon Musk Could Have Built Tesla

building an innovative company (1)

For a lot of entrepreneurs, Elon Musk is their hero; he can buck current market trends, be brash and build an innovative company. But what is Elon Musk really like to work with and what was the secret to building Tesla?

On The Small Business Radio Show this week, journalist Tim Higgins who writes about Apple, Tesla and other tech companies for The Wall Street Journal has spent more than a decade reporting about the car business from Detroit to Silicon Valley, giving him a front-row seat for Tesla’s drama. His new book is called, “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century.”

How Elon Musk Built Tesla

I asked Tim about all the stories you hear about Elon Musk and how eccentric he is; quick to rage like firing people on the factory floor spontaneously. He says that “changing the world is hard… there is a lot of collateral damage in creating the most valuable auto company in the world. Sometimes Elon Musk is the hero and sometimes he is the villain. He is sensitive the way people perceive him but on one hand he is inspiring but is also a self-described nano manager; he has a temper that explodes on seemingly small things to shape Tesla…”.

Tim says Musk’s first love was Space X and Tesla was a “side project”. When some of Tesla’s founders approached him as an investor, his vision that an electric car could be aspirational and not full of compromises took over. It was aimed at sports car buyers who had a BMW 3 series and a Prius. His appetite for risk allowed Telsa to get where it wanted to go. As Tim said., “some paid off and some didn’t…. Telsa attacks each day as if someone is out to get them…” He discusses that a lot of the features came from Musk’s own life; that is, he has five kids, so the car had to fit seven people.

When people say that something isn’t possible, Musk can articulate the vision for the future and raise cash to fund a car company. Tim believes that Telsa is the most valuable automaker but in some ways it is still a startup. Tesla still struggles with the sales and service model since they sell directly to the customer not a dealer who handles the service the vehicles.

Listen to entire fascinating story of Elon Musk on The Small Business Radio Show.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, "How Only Elon Musk Could Have Built Tesla" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

12 Important Productivity Tips to Help Your Small Business Thrive

productivity tips to help your small business

In order for any business to thrive, it needs to have a productive leader and team. However, productivity means a lot more than simply keeping busy. Sometimes, you can keep yourself busy working on tasks that essentially amount to nothing and lead you down a dead-end path of wasted time and energy.

As a leader, it’s important to understand how to make the most of every moment you have and the decisions you make. To that end, 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) weigh in with their answers to the following question:

“What’s one productivity tip you have that’s especially relevant to small businesses, and why is it important for them to follow?”

Here’s what they recommend small business owners do in order to increase their productivity.

1. Have a Concrete Plan in Place

“As a small business owner, you must have a concrete plan in place. If you want to stay productive, make sure you spend time creating an annual business plan. Start by picking your major goals for the year. Now, break them down and figure out what you need to do each quarter to reach your larger goals. This strategy will help you stay on track and productive when time and money are tight.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

2. Prioritize Your Responsibilities

“As a small business owner, you probably wear multiple hats and try to take care of several processes at a time. If it is not yet possible to delegate a part of your responsibilities, prioritize. Remember that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts. Find your 20 and slowly add on more resources so that you can grow.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Delegate Admin and Non-Core Tasks

“One productivity tip that is important for small business owners is to delegate admin or non-core tasks and to focus their time and energy on the key activities that will drive their business forward. It’s very common when you’re starting a business to wear multiple hats, and that’s OK, even necessary at the beginning, but once your company is growing, you must start delegating.” ~ Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

4. Automate and Digitize Tasks

“Automating and digitizing are especially important for productivity in today’s world. You can cut down on manual tasks and put them into an automated system, which streamlines the process and increases efficiency.” ~ Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

5. Define Success

“Defining success and what true ‘productivity’ is (and how that may vary between organizations, teams or individual roles) is a key starting point. If an individual or team isn’t clear on how leadership defines productivity, they may get stuck doing busy work in the name of false productivity.” ~ Christopher Tarantino, Epicenter Innovation

6. Stick to a Schedule

“Create a schedule and stick to it — as much as possible at least. Running a business isn’t always predictable, so you can’t be rigid. However, you should set up regular times to complete certain tasks so you get into a regular routine. Using scheduling tools, whether it’s Google Calendar or another app, can make it easier. You get more accomplished when you get into productive habits.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

7. Hire an Experienced Bookkeeper

“When your business is just starting out, it’s tempting to try and do everything yourself. Bringing an experienced bookkeeper on board means that you’ll never take your eye off the ball when it comes to managing cash flow and expenses. Then you can focus more on growing your business — a much more productive role for an entrepreneur than doing the books.” ~ Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc.

8. Use a Strict Filing System

“Being organized is the key to being productive as a business owner. Knowing where everything is will enhance your organization’s efficiency. To stay organized, I have a strict filing system so I know where to find any document.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

9. Create a Standard Operations Guide

“Small businesses are wise to focus on productivity, as resources are often thin. One tip for boosting productivity for small business owners is to create a standard operating procedure guide — even if there aren’t employees yet. Having well-conceived procedures in place will ensure lean and efficient growth no matter the size of the organization.” ~ Richard Fong, ProcessingCard.com

10. Leverage Productivity Technology

“One very effective way to boost your productivity is to leverage productivity technology. Use tools like Asana, Time Doctor, Todoist, etc. that can help you streamline your tasks and make them more efficient. This will increase efficiency and help you reach your goals faster.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Track Business Performance

“As you grow your small business, it’s important to track its performance often, especially before it really takes off. This ensures that you can create suitable strategies that appeal to your audience so you can develop strong customer relationships and boost conversions.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

12. Build Flexibility Into Your System

“Make sure you build flexibility into your system. The advantage of a small business is that you have the bandwidth to treat everyone like a human being. That will increase job satisfaction, happiness and, therefore, productivity like you can’t believe.” ~ Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

Image: Depositphotos

This article, "12 Important Productivity Tips to Help Your Small Business Thrive" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

12 Important Productivity Tips to Help Your Small Business Thrive

productivity tips to help your small business

In order for any business to thrive, it needs to have a productive leader and team. However, productivity means a lot more than simply keeping busy. Sometimes, you can keep yourself busy working on tasks that essentially amount to nothing and lead you down a dead-end path of wasted time and energy.

As a leader, it’s important to understand how to make the most of every moment you have and the decisions you make. To that end, 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) weigh in with their answers to the following question:

“What’s one productivity tip you have that’s especially relevant to small businesses, and why is it important for them to follow?”

Here’s what they recommend small business owners do in order to increase their productivity.

1. Have a Concrete Plan in Place

“As a small business owner, you must have a concrete plan in place. If you want to stay productive, make sure you spend time creating an annual business plan. Start by picking your major goals for the year. Now, break them down and figure out what you need to do each quarter to reach your larger goals. This strategy will help you stay on track and productive when time and money are tight.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

2. Prioritize Your Responsibilities

“As a small business owner, you probably wear multiple hats and try to take care of several processes at a time. If it is not yet possible to delegate a part of your responsibilities, prioritize. Remember that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts. Find your 20 and slowly add on more resources so that you can grow.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Delegate Admin and Non-Core Tasks

“One productivity tip that is important for small business owners is to delegate admin or non-core tasks and to focus their time and energy on the key activities that will drive their business forward. It’s very common when you’re starting a business to wear multiple hats, and that’s OK, even necessary at the beginning, but once your company is growing, you must start delegating.” ~ Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

4. Automate and Digitize Tasks

“Automating and digitizing are especially important for productivity in today’s world. You can cut down on manual tasks and put them into an automated system, which streamlines the process and increases efficiency.” ~ Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

5. Define Success

“Defining success and what true ‘productivity’ is (and how that may vary between organizations, teams or individual roles) is a key starting point. If an individual or team isn’t clear on how leadership defines productivity, they may get stuck doing busy work in the name of false productivity.” ~ Christopher Tarantino, Epicenter Innovation

6. Stick to a Schedule

“Create a schedule and stick to it — as much as possible at least. Running a business isn’t always predictable, so you can’t be rigid. However, you should set up regular times to complete certain tasks so you get into a regular routine. Using scheduling tools, whether it’s Google Calendar or another app, can make it easier. You get more accomplished when you get into productive habits.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

7. Hire an Experienced Bookkeeper

“When your business is just starting out, it’s tempting to try and do everything yourself. Bringing an experienced bookkeeper on board means that you’ll never take your eye off the ball when it comes to managing cash flow and expenses. Then you can focus more on growing your business — a much more productive role for an entrepreneur than doing the books.” ~ Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc.

8. Use a Strict Filing System

“Being organized is the key to being productive as a business owner. Knowing where everything is will enhance your organization’s efficiency. To stay organized, I have a strict filing system so I know where to find any document.” ~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

9. Create a Standard Operations Guide

“Small businesses are wise to focus on productivity, as resources are often thin. One tip for boosting productivity for small business owners is to create a standard operating procedure guide — even if there aren’t employees yet. Having well-conceived procedures in place will ensure lean and efficient growth no matter the size of the organization.” ~ Richard Fong, ProcessingCard.com

10. Leverage Productivity Technology

“One very effective way to boost your productivity is to leverage productivity technology. Use tools like Asana, Time Doctor, Todoist, etc. that can help you streamline your tasks and make them more efficient. This will increase efficiency and help you reach your goals faster.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Track Business Performance

“As you grow your small business, it’s important to track its performance often, especially before it really takes off. This ensures that you can create suitable strategies that appeal to your audience so you can develop strong customer relationships and boost conversions.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

12. Build Flexibility Into Your System

“Make sure you build flexibility into your system. The advantage of a small business is that you have the bandwidth to treat everyone like a human being. That will increase job satisfaction, happiness and, therefore, productivity like you can’t believe.” ~ Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

Image: Depositphotos

This article, "12 Important Productivity Tips to Help Your Small Business Thrive" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Etsy Offering Planet-Friendly Packaging to Sellers

planet friendly packaging

Etsy, the global online marketplace for making, selling and buying unique items, has announced the launch of a new Planet-Friendly Packaging initiative.

The packaging is aimed at merchants who want to make greener choices for their business and join Etsy is crafting a more sustainable marketplace.

Etsy Partners with EcoEnclose

Etsy has partnered with EcoEnclose, providers of recycled, recyclable and naturally biodegradable packaging. Through the partnership, Etsy enables US sellers to have access to packaging made from 100% recycled materials that buyers can recycle at home.

Meet Consumer Demand for Eco-Friendly Shopping

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, it is important that small businesses adapt to growing demands for sustainable products and services. One way to conform to new consumer demands in relation in green products, is through eco-friendly packaging.

By offering green packaging, sellers on Etsy will help meet the quest from consumers to go green, which, in turn, will go a long way in enhancing a small business’s reputation and appeal.

Etsy is Committed to Green Initiatives

Etsy sellers are committed to adapting to green initiatives and running sustainable businesses. According to the 2020 Global Etsy Seller Census, which surveyed 236 sellers on the marketplace globally, the majority of Etsy sellers believe it is extremely or very important to run a socially responsible and environmentally friendly business.

In a blog on the announcement, Chelsea Evans, who leads Etsy’s work on more sustainable packaging and is the company’s environmental policy advocate, acknowledges the demand for sustainable selling practices on Etsy:

“We know our community is up to the task of helping to reduce Etsy’s carbon footprint.

“We also know our buyers care about sustainability, so we hope that Planet-Friendly Packaging, which includes an Etsy-branded option with a recycling prompt, will remind buyers that Etsy is pushing for positive change for people and the planet,” Evans added.

The packaging options will include boxes, padded paper mailers and rigid paper envelopes. Each product will be available in multiple sizes based on those used most frequently by sellers on Etsy.

Competitively Priced

According to Etsy, the Planet-Friendly Packaging is available at competitive prices, in-keeping with the need for sustainable business initiatives to not come with an unfeasible financial expense.

Made from 100% recycled materials or responsibly sourced paper, the packaging buyers will receive, can be put directly into a paper recycling bin or reused immediately, thereby meeting consumer demand for eco-friendly products.

Image: etsy

This article, "Etsy Offering Planet-Friendly Packaging to Sellers" was first published on Small Business Trends



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