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Topic: Finance

What the Start of Summer Should Trigger for Your Business

Depending on your business, summer might be the busiest time of year, the slowest time of year, or just another time of year. Regardless of what’s happening in your business, June, July, and August are the perfect months to think about what could help you manage through the crazy or fill the lull.

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4 Summer Tasks to Prep Your Business for a Stellar Year

Ah… summer, the time for barbecues, the beach, concerts, and books. While I’m sure that new John Grisham novel is calling your name, you know what’s screaming it? Your business’s books. That’s right, summer is a great time to evaluate how your business is performing and take care of some of those unsexy tasks that just need to get done. So, when summer hits each year, trigger these 4 to-dos.

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How To Avoid Costly Mistakes When Staffing Your Finance Team

Jun 13, 2017 / by Michael Burdick

When it comes to financial activities, trust and credibility matter. They affect how well your financial team performs, your company’s reputation, and, ultimately, its bottom line.

Whether we’re talking about your own financial team or third-party vendors, it’s essential to look beyond basic capabilities and performance. Carefully consider personal integrity when vetting anyone who will represent your company, and work to ensure your leadership and policies reward the right actions.

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Tags: Finance, Talent

How Often Should I Review My Business Budget? A Mid-year Guide

The vast majority of businesses create a budget for the year and then never look at it again (until the end of the year when they’re creating the budget for the following year). Sound familiar? We thought so.

Because so few business owners actually make the time to review their budget over the course of the year, doing so may give you a huge leg up on your competitors. Imagine two lemonade stands: Lulu’s and Larry’s. Both developed a budget for the summer, but only Lulu did a midsummer review. She realized that her cost of goods sold was higher than she had budgeted. When she dug in, she realized that cost of lemons at her local grocery store had slowly increased over the past few weeks without her even noticing.

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5 Departments to Outsource as Your Business Takes Off

Jun 1, 2017 / by Michael Burdick

When most entrepreneurs launch a business, they assume they’ll handle everything on their own. Marketing? Naturally. Sales? Of course. Web design? No problem.

That’s fine and dandy when you’re a small operation based in a garage, but what happens when your pet project balloons to dozens of hires? Administrative tasks pile up until it’s impossible to focus on the most important aspects of your business. Suddenly, going it alone isn’t quite as realistic.

Rather than get bogged down with details, you should recruit employees to take on more responsibilities and outsource duties that don’t play to your strengths. The upfront cost might make you drag your feet, but trying to be a jack-of-all-trades will inevitably make you a master of none. Read the full article here. 

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Financial Model Vs. Budget: What's the Difference?

Back last year, we wrote a post on How to Build a Basic Financial Model (model template download included!) and got a lot of great feedback on it… so we took the concept on the road. Or more like across the city to a financial modeling workshop at Chicago’s hottest food and beverage incubator, The Hatchery.

While the audience consisted primarily of food and beverage consumer packaged goods startups (with a few restaurants thrown in), they asked a lot of great questions we thought would be helpful to share.

What is the difference between a financial model and a budget?

One topic that seemed to generate a lot of questions was budgeting. Several business owners admitted to having spent days, if not weeks, pulling budgets together for a specific point in time--to present at an investor meeting, to kick off a new product launch, to start a new year--but most never took the time to keep the budget updated afterward. Others had never built a budget at all.

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How to Gain Visibility into Your Restaurant’s Finances

As a restaurant owner, you are many things: manager, host, customer service representative, cook, cleaner, inventory manager, cashier, social media manager, bookkeeper, dishwasher and the list goes on and on. With so many things to do and only 24 hours a day to do them all, how do you decide what’s most important, what you need to do yourself, and what you can hire someone else to do?  

Often times restaurant owners try to do it all themselves and by doing so, they sacrifice quality, time, and insight, especially when it comes to the state of their business’ finances. And what’s more important than your business’ finances?

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10 Crucial Tax Write-Offs Your Business Can’t Overlook

May 23, 2017 / by Michael Burdick

For many business owners, taxes are a burden to be brushed aside until the last minute. The recent corporate and personal tax return deadline was undoubtedly accompanied by plenty of anger, stress, and headaches on the part of business owners and tax preparers alike.

Almost three-fourths of small business owners say federal taxes significantly affect their day-to-day operations, but most of those business professionals know relatively little about the tax world. Tax code is so complex — the federal tax code is about 75,000 pages — that people devote their entire careers to understanding the intricate details of the system.

It might be too late to fix this year’s tax woes, but it’s never too early to start planning for next year.

Read the full article here on Tweak Your Biz.

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Understanding What You Can't Do: How to Know When and What to Outsource

Jan 24, 2017 / by Jon Repka

This blog was contributed to Paro by Patrick Hechinger at Built In Chicago. Built In is a network that allows people to get connected to local startup communities in Austin, Chicago, Colorado, and Los Angeles.

The term “gig economy” is a terrifying phrase for older generations. After decades of valuing tenure and work stability, it’s hard to comprehend how employees and companies can operate with a revolving door of labor. Yet, to any millennial, this concept seems entirely natural, if not more efficient.

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Tags: Finance, Startup

How To Create A Financially Stable Business: Two Experts Discuss

Jan 16, 2017 / by Michael Burdick

As a small business owner, the concept of financial stability might sound like a far off dream but it doesn’t have to be. We got into the brains of two Paro employees with years of finance experience in the hopes they could lead us in the right direction. We posed the question: What is the most important step a small business can take to become financially stable?  Their answers can guide you along that quest.  Here are a couple of their suggestions:

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