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We offer full framework consultation or you may need assistance with just one area. Please contact us for information on how we may assist you with managing your practical business processes.

 

We offer additional support to help you maintain the processes that you have developed.  Please visit our Support page for more information.

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Dos and Don'ts for Your I-9s

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, July 31, 2018

 

As a small business owner, compliance represents a crucial part of your company's success. Part of this compliance deals not only with your company's financial procedures, but your hiring procedures. If you do not verify your employees properly, you could end up with some serious penalties, especially since the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has started looking at employers as a possible "root cause of illegal immigration."

 

To help keep your business in check, below we outline a few dos and don'ts for handling your employees' I-9s:

 

Do require Section 1 to be filled out on first day of work: Every new hire should start their first day by signing Section 1 of their I-9. This act keeps any part of the procedure from getting delayed and/or forgotten altogether.

 

Do make sure employee documents are newest versions: The employee must provide certain documentations required by the I-9 and the ones they bring must be updated and also adhere to the current list of acceptable documents. And of course, the documents must look genuine and devoid of forgery.

 

Do hold onto the employee's I-9: You should keep these forms at least one year after their termination or three years after their hire date, whichever comes first.

 

Do make a few copies of I-9: You are only required to do so in certain states, but it is still a good practice. Also, be sure to have a few copies of the I-9 supporting acceptable documents.

 

Don't provide an I-9 before the job offer: If you do so, an unhired applicant could later use this fact to take legal action against for discrimination.

 

If you have any questions about the dos and don’ts of I-9s described above, feel free to contact us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

 

Knowing The Most Common Types of Bookkeeping Accounts

Leijun Campbell - Friday, May 25, 2018


As a small business owner or solopreneur, you want to produce the best products and services for customers. On the other side of the business equation, the idea of bookkeeping can either be just another part of the job or completely freeze you in your tracks.

 

If you fall into that latter camp or just need a refresher on some of the most common types of bookkeeping accounts for a small business, we're here to help:

 

1) Cash: Definitely the most familiar of bookkeeping accounts, all business transaction pass through the Cash account with most bookkeepers using two journals (Cash Receipts and Cash Disbursements) to track everything.

 

2) Accounts Receivable: This account represents money owed to companies from their customers for either products or services. It usually helps to track these accounts by sending out timely bills and invoices.

 

3) Accounts Payable: This account represents the other side of the equation in which the business is sending money out of the company for services and bills. Accounts Payable makes sure you do not pay any of these invoices/bills twice and/or late.

 

4) Inventory: If your business sells products or you use certain products for your services, you will need to use bookkeeping to careful keep track of all of your inventory.

 

5) Sales: Obviously, this is where you track all of your company's revenues, so updating and reconciling this account daily is crucial to your business success.

 

6) Payroll Expenses: If you have a staff, this account represents your company's biggest cost, and you need to keep all of this info up-to-date since you are dealing with taxes and other government requirements.

 

There are plenty of other accounts you can add to your bookkeeping, so if you have any questions, feel free to email us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

Three Types of Team Checklists in A Small Business

Leijun Campbell - Friday, March 30, 2018


 

"Micromanaging" has become a four-letter word in most corporate and business circles these days, and while you never want to reach that level in your company, you also want to make sure that objectives are met and tasks are completed in an efficient manner. As a small business owner, you can still provide trust and autonomy for your team members while allowing giving them a flexible guidebook in the form of monthly task lists.
 
Below we will discuss three different types of team checklists for a small business:
 
Basic: This task list is self-explanatory and focuses on the absolute essentials of the team member's responsibilities as outlined in their initial job description. Make sure you have everything listed that they need to accomplish each month, both big and small. With this first list, you create that foundational accountability within the team that you can build on with the next two levels of task lists.
 
Intermediate: When each team member finishes their "basic" tasks for the month, allow them time and opportunities to pursue either pet projects that could benefit their team and the overall company vision. Such projects can include looking for a new CRM or accounting programs. Through these experiences, the team members receive confidence and a sense of autonomy that can help feel even better about their day-to-day role in the business.
 
Advanced: The final level of checklists should deal with professional development opportunities that allow team members to build on their skills for both the short and long-term. Whether that scheduled time is spent reading a certain number of industry articles or books per month or attending a one-day conference every quarter, they will gain invaluable knowledge, and in turn, become a invaluable resource for your company.
 
If you have any further questions on this topic, feel free to email us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

Productivity at the End of the Workday

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, December 20, 2017



You reach your desk at 4:00 on a Wednesday afternoon and place your tablet and your third cup of coffee by your computer. You are undoubtedly exhausted from the string of meetings, conference calls and interactions that have occurred even before you took your first steps into the office. You open your internet browser and briefly agonize over the decision as to whether you should check your email or your social media notifications.
 
Instead of providing other people in your life to dictate what you do for the next hour or so of your work day, take the time to focus on your own set of tasks that will help make things easier tomorrow.

 

1. Create tomorrow or next week's to-do list: Depending on how much time you have or the amount of ambition you possess, go ahead and write/type out the tasks you know you have to complete and save yourself ten or twenty minutes in the morning. Your preferences can vary from notepads and sticky notes to digital applications such as Word or Evernote. Highlight and prioritize which tasks need to be completed first.
 
2. Knock out a simple task before you leave the office or workspace: Once again, the level of effort or ambition is completely up to you. Go ahead and make copies for that 9:30 a.m. presentation with the marketing team, take out the trash from the break room, or transfer files to your company's Google Drive. Leaving your desk with that one to two tasks accomplished gives you a boost of energy as you head out the door.
 
3. Read industry news: "Leaders are readers" has been a popular saying around the web and other avenues for the last few decades now, and for good reason. While reading a book every now and then is ideal, you can also subscribe to email newsletters from niche websites and industry leaders related to your small business or company. These newsletters even give you exclusive content like videos and other tips/trends not found on their original websites.
 
For more information on how you can be more productive during the end of your work day, email leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

 

Modernizing Your Practical Processes

Leijun Campbell - Monday, October 02, 2017

Nostalgia for 80s and 90s culture is all over the internet, especially social media. However, one place this mindset doesn't belong is in your practical processes for your small business or startup.

 


 

Certain technologies and ways of communicating may see completely natural to your organization. You may favor Microsoft Word for document creation, PowerPoint for information decks and slides, Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets and analytics presentation, paper memos for important announcements, rolodexes for customer/client information, phone calls for internal office communication and email or flash drives (hopefully not floppy disks) for large file distribution. Below we'll help you bring these processes into the 2010s.

 

- Documents: Most workers these days have used Microsoft Word as a basis of their office applications, usually learning how to type and compose documents in the software. While this approach may seem logical for one-off information deliveries, you may consider using something like Google Docs as a way to easily distribute the documents and allow for input and changes whenever necessary, especially when the document needs to be checked by multiple people.

 

- Announcements: On a similar note, physical memos distributed for office announcements wastes paper and clutters desks and trashcans. Email is a more cost-effective alternative for alerting your staff of any upcoming events or policy changes. You can even use a tool like Boomerang to help schedule your emails if you have multiple announcements to make throughout the week or month.

 

- Client information: You may have a rolodex or even an email address book to keep up with prospects and leads, but oftentimes, that's far from enough to help organize all of your data. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system allows you to create various accounts and categories for all of the people and clients you meet. You can even track the sales process from initial meeting to closed deal.

 

- File distribution: Though you can deliver files up to 25 MB in certain email providers, documents and other type of files larger than 25MB would have to be broken up into multiple emails or transferred via a flash drive or external hard drive. By paying a small monthly or annual fee depending on your needs, you can create a Dropbox account. You can decide who has access to your files or just send a link with the ability to download but not edit.

 

- Presentations, data and analytics: Though PowerPoint and Excel can be crucial business tools, the flexibility that online applications provide should not be ignored. Google's Slides and Sheets can make delivery of these presentations and analytics incredibly easy. As mentioned in many of the above sections, collaborative teams and offices benefit from the ability to review and edit in real-time. You can also access PowerPoint and Excel on the internet via Office365.

 

- Office communication: Although email seems like big step away from phone calls towards tech-savvy office management, you can go even further by using messaging systems such as Google Hangouts and Slack, which allow you to monitor who is available on your team to talk at any given time. You can also send files and images for immediate download.

 

For more tips like this, be sure to contact us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

Creating A Happy and Productive Office

Leijun Campbell - Friday, September 15, 2017


 

Though we know some of you are pounding the digital pavement from your home offices, a lot of you in the small business world work from a traditional office or co-working space. Though you may delegate a few tasks to virtual assistants, your physical location is the destination for your full-time and/or part-time staff.

 

The buzzword "company culture" may elicit some eye rolls; however, making sure your company evokes both happiness and productivity is not an entrepreneurial or corporate pipe dream. Below we list some of the ways for creating the ideal workplace environment

 

1. Minimize meetings - This advice seems much easier said than done as we often feel our meetings can produce monumental innovation and crucial client acquisition. If we are being honest, these "wins" happen less than we think. Out of a out-hour meeting, sometimes only 25% (or less) of the time yields anything productive or pertinent to your company's growth. If you need currently all of your weekly meetings to occur and cannot streamline communication through email or other digital applications, you can at least cut down on the time spent at the conference table. For the next few months, limiting your typical 60-minute weekly meeting to half an hour. You most likely won't even miss that other 30 minutes and will still accomplish what you need to get done.

 

2. Establish clear guidelines for communication - At this time, several generations exist inside a company whether the employees are Baby Boomers, Gen Xers or Millennials. And of course, each generation prefers a specific communication tool. However, instead of trying to analyze everyone's habits, you can try establishing an order of communication lines. For example, if a task or question needs attention but can wait a day or more, email the team or employee. If you need something completed within a few hours, try a companywide, instant message platform such as Slack or Google Hangouts. And if you have a completely unavoidable situation that must be resolved immediately, go for the telephone or face-to-face communication/surprise visit approach. You can implement these rules however you see fit, but be willing to give this strategy a shot and document which guidelines for communication work best.

 

3. Allow for moments of levity throughout the work day - You may read that suggestion and automatically think of Google-esque work environments with scooters, rock walls, dance parties and anything and everything seems completely unrelated to the task at hand. No one is asking for employers to go to that extreme, but implementing a few ways for team members to enjoy their work day is not a detriment to productivity. Some employers may let the workers dress casually, some may allow music to be played at low volumes or in headphones or some may offer free healthy snacks and coffee. You have to analyze the best tactics for YOUR company. Feel free to experiment subtly and see what happens.

 

If you would like some more information on creating a happy and productive office, feel free to email us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

Clean Your Desk to Boost Your Practical Processes

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

 


As crazy as it sounds, we are about to enter the month of September. School is back in session. The sights and smells of fall are coming. The last third of the year will be here soon enough.

 

Hopefully, you were able to step away from your business a little bit and go on a trip this summer. As you get back into the swing of things at the office, we thought we would discuss a simple, yet vital topic: how the cleanliness and organization of your desk can impact your practical processes.

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  • 1) Go paperless: We all still have a habit of writing things down, especially on Post-Its, during a phone call with a customer or a quick idea that pops in your mind for a project. If you can, try and avoid the temptation to pull out the pen and paper. Instead, use an app on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop such as Evernote to capture that pertinent. You’ll not only free your desk of the clutter of loose papers, but also you have an easy, more permanent way to organize and store the information.
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  • 2) Keep your computer files neat and organized: Switching gears to the digital sphere, you can easily compromise your paperless system by not storing documents, pictures, spreadsheets and emails in the wrong file folders; you might not even use them right now, which can be a costly mistake. Don’t let your home screen be a cluttered mess. Develop the file system that works best for you and your business, then stick to it.
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  • 3) Curb your hunger and thirst: The temptation to go to the vending machine and grab a sugary soda and junk food continues to be an obstacle for the workers’ health, especially in sedentary office jobs. Keep healthy snacks such as bananas, apples and nuts on your desk or in a drawer. Also, reach for a bottle of water before you chug that soda or coffee. Your mind and body will thank you later.
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  • 4) Make things personal: We spend almost a third of our lives at our jobs (sometimes that doesn’t include travel!), so cultivating a comfortable environment at your desk is not only important, but necessary. This all depends on your company/business policy, but if allowed, try and decorate your desk with interesting items and pictures of family or friends. You never know what decor can spark your creativity on a project or encourage you to finish a task.

 

If we can help you develop and manage your practical processes, be sure to contact us today at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

 

Establish Your Systems to Grow Your Business

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, August 15, 2017


As much as we businesses owners want to be personally involved every single aspect of our company, there eventually comes a point when the business is growing too much for one or a few people. To make sure each part of the proverbial business “ship” is running smoothly, owners and managers must establish efficient procedures, processes and systems.


Here are a few tips on making that happen.

 

  1. Today is the best day to start - If you are reading this at your desk and have not begun to establish your company’s systems, do not delay anymore. Develop three to four key areas in which you want to root your business philosophy and mission. These can be broad at first and then specified over the next several months. However, the key is to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible.
  2.  
  3. Write it down - Documentation is crucial to your systems. Of course, you can audit and adjust things as necessary, but having the procedures in written and printed form add a sense of stability and efficiency.
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  5. Anticipate possible issues - Sometimes, what seems great on paper may not work out as well in practice. When you establish those three to four key areas of your business, analyze ways the systems can both succeed and possibly fail. Think in terms of productivity as a business owner, manager, employee, vendor and client/customer. Engaging these perspectives can sometimes prevent future issues.
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  7. Give your managers a chance to review the systems before they become official - Similar to the previous tip, a roundtable discussion via email, conference call or physical meeting can provide value feedback from people who will be responsible for implementing and maintaining these systems on a daily basis. Allow yourself to be open to questions and possible critiques. Once you have a mutually approved list of systems, document them and send out. Things may not come easily at first (like all new things), but hopefully your systems will help kick start a business mission that is ever eager to expand and grow.
 
For more tips on developing systems for your business, email leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

 

How to Develop Practical Processes As A Small Business

Leijun Campbell - Monday, July 31, 2017

Learning how to balance the operations and sales/marketing of your business with the systems and processes of your business is crucial to establishing a path for future success and growth. Creation, development, auditing, documentation and collaboration represent five steps you can take to make these objectives achievable.

What do you feel are ways that your company has developed practical processes?

 


Management Goals for the Rest of the Summer

Leijun Campbell - Friday, July 21, 2017

We recently celebrated the Fourth of July and have now entered into the summer lull that comes before the start of school, Labor Day and the holiday season. As managers and business owners, you have the perfect opportunity to set a few objectives for both the rest of the summer season and the rest of the calendar year.
 
1) Try and implement a unique sales and marketing technique: When business slows and meetings get less frequent because of vacationing employees and clients, you can always try to bring something new to your usual sales approach. Maybe you finally create an ecommerce site for your small store. Maybe you create a Facebook or Twitter page to start expanding your online presence. Maybe you jump start your email marketing efforts by creating a mid-year newsletter detailing all of your successes for the year so far and what you hope to accomplish by year’s end. Whatever you decide to do, keep track of what works and what will need improvement. If you discover great results through a certain technique,
 
2) Hold a summer review meeting: Gather your team at least once or twice over the next few weeks and check the pulse of your company’s culture and teamwork. Allow team members to ask questions about specific projects and pitch ideas for future endeavors. Provide a mission statement and/or vision for the next half of the year. Though you are the manager, you want your team to maintain a sense of ownership over each of their tasks so they can complete them to the best of their ability.

 

3) Recognize objectives completed and audit strategies for any open tasks: As a manager, you realize that celebrating the success of both the company and team members greatly increases morale for the next round of tasks. Take a look and recognize all of the recently completed objectives for the year and analyze reasons that the success occurred. On the other side of the spectrum, examine each of the tasks that have yet to be completed by your team. Are there any missing parts that could help finish the task? If so, you may want to pivot your strategy so you can easily fix the issue and move on to your company’s next project.
 
For more summertime management strategies, contact us today at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com


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