Is Your Business Ready for Year End? Three Things to Consider.

Cyber Monday. The day when everyone blows all their hard-earned cash on the best deals the internet can find.

We figured the biggest web-shopping day of the year was a good time to pose the question: how do your business finances look coming into year end? Before you hit that “submit” button on your giant Amazon cart, we’ve got some food for thought.

We sat down with Brent Carlson, CEO CEO of a full service financial firm that helps small business owners (or those aspiring to be) get their dollars signs in order, manage assets, and prep you for tax time. Since we worth closely together, it made sense to grab him to discuss this very topic.These guys are a great asset for us – and can be for you – so stop what you are doing and consider:

Our Top Three Action Items to Prepare for Year End

1.       Incorporate Your Business

You hear us say this a lot. But when a third party, in this case Brent Carlson, pops this out as the no-brainer first answer to the “how do you prepare your business for year-end” question, you know it is without a doubt a must-do.

There are countless benefits to forming and LLC or S-Corp to separate your business from your personal assets. We won’t go into them in detail here (because we already have in our previous blog article Top 5 Reasons to Incorporate Your Business), but the highlights are: protect, separate, save.

If you’re still wavering on whether to incorporate your business, then it is time to incorporate your business. If you’re conducting business without this protection, you’re putting yourself and your family at risk. That’s reason enough!

However, incorporating before the end of this year also means you will be able to capture some of the year’s business expenses and deduct them from your taxes for additional savings. And, you could avoid the higher self-employment taxes you’re likely paying as a Sole Proprietor, depending on how you elect to incorporate. Since what you keep is just as much a part of your bottom line as what you make, this is an excellent – and easy! – way to improve your bottom line.

Want help incorporating? This is our bread and butter. You can contact us or simply fill out this form, and we’ll follow-up to get the ball rolling.

2.       Get Your Books in Order

If tax deductions and savings are one of the biggest incentives to incorporate your business before the end of the year, then ensuring you have good records for those deductions is a close second key action.

Do you have three months of bank statements piled up to reconcile? Do you haphazardly keep financial records and piece together receipts two hours before the tax deadline? Do you know how to appropriately write-off a client meal or business travel?

If you hesitated or answered “no” to any of those questions, then it is time to hire a professional BOOKKEEPER!

Keeping neat financial records has many benefits: you know how much money you’re making. You know what you’re spending. And, in one fell swoop, you can hand it over to your CPA at tax-time without a worry (or 40-hours worth of work!). A pro can help you keep all of that in order without taking time out of YOUR day.

PLUS – pros know what you can write off and how to best capture every deduction you can to save at tax time.

The help of a bookkeeper each month is likely more affordable than you’d ever guessed. Like, saves you twice as much in the opportunity cost of YOUR time kind of affordable.

We partner with Brent and his team at Corporate Capital to match small business owners with the bookkeeping help that suits them best. If you would like a free consultation to see how this could benefit you and your business, contact us. You can also fill out this form, and we’ll be in touch to talk further!

3.       Participate in Year-End Tax Planning

There’s a reason this is number three on our list. You must have #1 and #2 in place before you can utilize the knowledge that comes from year-end tax planning.

Tax Planning helps people like us avoid surprises come tax time. When you have a general idea of what kind of income you expect your business to bring in, you can counter that anticipated influx with appropriate expenses. Or, at the very least, you won’t be completely caught off guard when you owe the IRS a boat load of cash on March 15th.

In other words, Tax Planning allows a business to take income into lower years and expenses into higher income years.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re rolling on a banner year this year. Income is higher than it is ever been, and your bottom line has never looked better. The downside: Make more money; pay more taxes.

That doesn’t have to be the case when Tax Planning comes into play. Professionals can help you figure out ways to offset an income spike by pre-paying expenses like marketing, rent, or health care, so that your taxable income for the year lowers.

Alternatively, they can also help you offset a bad year by pushing out expenses to help the appearance of the business’s performance.

It is not too late to make some headway on tax planning before the end of this year. 

But don’t try this on your own! This is exactly what people like Brent specialize in, and we highly recommend you consult a professional before you start shifting your income or expenditures around. The last thing you want to do is look shifty and trigger and audit! But, it can be done.

Reach out to us via email or fill out this form if you would like a free consultation with Brent and his team on how Tax Planning could impact your current year end!

At EasyBizStart, we are all about helping you run your business as smoothly as possible. Whether it is mitigating legal risks, improving your communications, or keeping as much of your income as possible, we have the solutions to help you success. Contact us for more information on any of the above or with any other concerns you've got in your business. | 775-800-5501



It Starts With You: Thoughts from Many-a-First Impression

Every day, we get meet new people and hear their stories. In person, on a call, on a chat, at an event or on a plane, it doesn’t matter where we meet, we just love to meet people. Obviously - or we wouldn't be doing what we do!

When you're a people-person in a field that requires extensive networking, there are certain things that grab our attention within the first few minutes after introduction. Regardless of what you sell, what you create, or where your expertise lie, the first impression Starts With You!

As you consider starting your business, remember: you ARE your business. A potential client or customer is buying you before they're buying your product or service. Are you instilling confidence in them by comfortably telling them who YOU are? Can you concisely tell someone what YOU PROVIDE your clients or customers? Are you pleasant? Are you genuine? Are you positive? Are you passionate about what you do?

Are First Impressions Really Everything?

Like we said: we meet a lot of people, and that's a lot of first impressions. Whether you're new to networking or not, it never hurts to consider how your first impression rates. To help, here's just a little insight into how we process meeting new people:

It typically takes a few minutes of conversation to filter through a first impressions to decide where (and whether...and IF) to take the conversation. We tend to ask a lot of questions about who you are as a person before we get into what "you do." Often times this gives us a window into what (if, anything - eek!) you're truly passionate about and can often tell us whether we want to know more. 

If so, the inevitable question comes to the table: What do you DO?

We live in a culture where this is one of the first questions anyone asks when meeting someone new (that's why we intentionally try NOT to lead off with it!) What we "do" tends to define us in society. If society is going to define you based on what you do, than you better love what you do and it better show. That's the first impression that grabs our attention!

We really love to talk to people who clearly enjoy what they do, both in life and work. When someone loves their work, they are clearly and authentically excited about it, and the entrepreneurial spirit shines as they talk about their passion. We love that energy, that excitement, and that pride in ownership.  This is entrepreneurship at its finest.

Authenticity is a hot topic these days, and when you love what you do, you naturally tend to have authentic conversations, like what we described above. If you're asking: How do we evaluate first impressions? This is when you have our attention.

From this point in the conversation, we would start asking things like: How can we learn more? What does that look like? How can we help your business? How can it help us? If you're getting questions like this from those you meet while networking, you're on the right track. If not, maybe you have some word to do. 

These high quality, interesting, exciting encounters are why we attend events. And, it is exactly why you should attend them as well. These are the types of meetings that go somewhere; collaborations, clients, contracts. Memorable first impressions can take your business to places you never dreamed. But it doesn't end at there. 

If first impressions are everything, than follow-up is the cherry on top. 

If it sounds like these kinds of encounters are standard form when we're out an about, know they are not. These conversations don't happen every day, so you have to take advantage of them when they do (no matter how you stand to benefit)!

You have to get proactive to stay in touch. Follow-up and follow-through (or lack thereof) is usually where good networking - and good first impressions - often stop in their tracks. 

You hand us a card; you ask us for one of ours; the conversation is usually over, and your card goes into a pocket along with 20-50 other cards from the day. At best, you send an email in a week and hope we remember the conversation. Maybe we will remember, often we won’t.

If you had a positive reaction to a conversation, it is up to YOU to stay fresh in their minds. 

Do more than take the card and stick it in a pile. Go home and DO something with it. The next day! Take our information and put us into your contact database. If you're too excited to wait to send an email, shoot us a text - right away! This helps confirm the initial meeting - and its significance, and then send us more information about your company. Remind us why we wanted to learn more about YOU.

Follow-up, connect, pursue. Remember, it starts with you!

EasyBizStart is your go-to place for practical business consulting and coaching, productivity systems, and the hands-on tools you need to make your business succeed. If you want to brush up on your networking skills or make sure your business looks legit when you're making a first impression, contact us! We're happy to sit down for a FREE 30-minute consultation to see how we can help your business grow and succeed. | 775-800-5501

Top 5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of a (Long) Business Trip

Yours truly recently embarked on a ten-day business trip along with my business cohort Matt. It was the first time either of us had gone on a work trip that long, and we learned a few things. The first lesson? You better give me a really good business destination if I'm going to hit the road for ten days again ;)

On a more serious note - while the trip may have been long, it was still productive. In addition to the stack of contacts we gathered along our trips through four airports, two conferences, a couple networking events, and a slew of meetings, we gathered some great intel to share with you.

So, without further ado, here are our...

Top 5 Tips for Making the Most of a (Long) Business Trip

1. Down Time is Happy Time

If your trip is longer than five days, we highly recommend booking a "down" day somewhere in the middle. At least give yourself an afternoon or evening off if you can't make a full day work with the schedule. And when we say down time, here's what we mean: do something either by yourself or away from those you've been traveling with; leave the computer at home; don't check email; put the phone on silent. 

When you're in the intensity of conferences, networking events, and meetings for 10 - 12 hours a day, it is important to give yourself a break from the stimuli. Otherwise, you'll burn out and become ineffective pretty quickly. 

2. Establish a Home Base Support System

When you're on the road, everything "back home" comes to a screeching halt. Knowing you have to go back to the office to find stacks of mail, millions of voicemails, and a pile of catch up makes the prospect of a trip of any length daunting. 

Whether you're a party of one or have a staff to back you up, be sure you have systems in place to help alleviate the back log. If you have staff, make sure you check in with them daily to address any items that have come up. Have someone check and respond to any messages (voice or e-) you feel comfortable having them handle, and have them send on any urgent information via text or a phone call. The more you empower your team to take charge in your absence, the easier your business travel (and subsequent return home) becomes. 

If you lack the luxury of back-up staff, be sure to get systems in place that help you virtually. A phone system that works with you (not against you) and collaborative applications that let you keep in touch without hassle are key. If you get mail, ask a friend to gather it for you and toss the junk, so there's a little less to sort when you get home, or consider using a mail forwarding agent to do that for you - regularly! 

3. Get Creative to Maximize Your Travel Time

While this may seem counter-intuitive to the suggestion to find time for yourself, it is also important to maximize the time you have in an alternative location for networking. Depending on your meeting or event schedule, you may have time in the evening to look for outside events. We're big fans of Network After Work, which is a high quality networking event held in over 85 cities. Use Meet-Up or something similar to find networking events that relate to your industry that might be happening while you're in town. It is a great way to expand your contacts and reach a whole new group of people in a totally new place!

4. Don't Eat the Ice Cream

If you're a foodie, like me, one of the biggest pitfalls of travel is FOOD. Conferences and events often provide a pastry-filled breakfast, constant coffee breaks, a hearty lunch - with dessert! - three hours after breakfast, and cocktails and apps during networking. If you travel frequently or for long periods of time, you'll likely find yourself gaining and losing the same 5 (10?) pounds every time you hit the road and return home.

Moral of the story? Stick to or find a manageable self-care travel routine. If you're a healthy eater, eat healthy. Forgo the temptation to eat three lemon tarts out of sheer excitement of them having gluten free shells (no personal experience there...). If you workout, workout on the road. Skip the Uber and go for a walk in the morning, at lunch, or on your way to dinner (sitting around in conference chairs for 12 hours can wreak havoc on your back)!

In short, don't let your business travel companions talk you into getting ice cream every night, heh! 

5. Take a Day for You and a Day to Review

When you get home from a business trip, regardless of its length, one of two things usually happens: you're either burnt out or completely overwhelmed. The stack of business cards from networking stays in your bag for months because the thought of follow-up is just unbearable, and you go right back into your pre-travel work routine.

All of the above basically negates 80% of your reason for travel, so take a few steps to make the most out of your travel by setting up a successful return home routine. First, give yourself a day of rest. Even if you return home on a Monday, give yourself a day away on Tuesday. Do laundry, catch up with your kids, or otherwise do something to reset your mind and give yourself the time YOU need as a person. When you get back into the office, give yourself time to review everything you learned, the people you met, and your action items from your time away. Spend the day following up on event activities, making calls, and sending emails to those you want to keep in contact with.

Once you've satisfied your personal need for recovery and spent some time leveraging the information you brought home from your travels, then you can re-focus on the needs of your staff, the office, and your daily grind.

EasyBizStart focuses on helping entrepreneurs and small business start and grow through systems that help productivity and collaboration and reduce risk. If you find yourself on the road more than not, we've got some great tools to help you stay on top of things no matter where your business lives! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you succeed! | 775-800-5501


5 Reasons to Incorporate Your Business

If you've read through our Credibility Checklist (and if you haven't, we highly encourage you to do so), you know we've challenged you to consider how legit your business looks. And, one of the first questions on that Checklist is: are you registered with the Secretary of State. 

This is another way of asking: have you incorporated your business as an Inc. or LLC? It may seem like a formality to establish a legal entity for your business, but there are countless benefits to doing so. When you do business without a structure, you are, by default, considered a Sole Proprietor. This can be a very costly way to do business, often leaving you with higher or additional (read: Self-Employment Tax) taxes and less deductions. Not to mention the scariest part: you are personally liable for anything that happens to your business from bad employees to law suits.

There is no reason to put yourself - your family, your assets - at risk! Not convinced? Here are our Top 5 Reasons to Incorporate your!

1. Keep what you love safe from your business.

Being an Entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. One of the main reasons people are afraid of starting a business is risk! Forming a Corporation/LLC as soon as possible in your business is critical because, in most cases, it separates your personal life and assets from the risks of owning your company. Without a formal structure, the liability is yours and yours alone.

2. You will (usually) save money.

Sole Proprietors are often the highest taxed, most audited and hardest to finance companies that exist. The creation of S-Corporations and LLC’s allow businesses to capture business operating expenses in a personal return, even before making a profit. This gives you a world of options when you start to make money.

3. Show the world you mean Business!

When you form a Corporation/LLC you are putting the world on notice that you have arrived and you take your business seriously. Therefore, so should everyone else. When you form your Corporation/LLC, those records are public and are published far and wide by numerous listing sites. Translation: customers have a better chance of finding your business.

4. It will simplify your life.

People often think that forming a Corporation or LLC will complicate things. Often, the reverse is true. By maintaining a separate name, bank account, contracts and taxes, life gets simpler and you can find separation between business and personal.

5. Protect your credit and make funding easier.

While there are no guarantees you will get funded, the sooner your business exists separately from you, the faster it can build its own financial identity. By waiting to form your Corporation/LLC you are delaying the start of your financial history which can make it harder when you do need to borrow money.

In Summary

Sole Proprietorship, which is the default "structure" given to individuals who choose not to form an LLC or Inc, are viewed as an extension of you. You add a level of protection between you and risk by forming a corporation. Registering also creates an indisputable record of when you started your business, handy for legitimacy and possible competitor naming conflicts. By forming your Corporation or LLC now, you also have finality to your name, meaning registrations, business licenses, bank accounts, tax ID numbers, branding and media are established for the long haul. Less change means you get to focus on what your good at: running your business.

Here at EasyBizStart, we have over 20 years' experience in business formations and legal structures. We can get your business registered in any of the 50 states and also talk to you about preferred state incorporation, where tax advantages could exist, if that's an option for your business. We are knowledgeable and our pricing is fair, and you get the benefit of everything else EasyBizStart has to offer - from coaching to phone systems, bookkeeping and more. If you would like more information about incorporating your business, contact us for your FREE - and totally confidential - consultation: | 775-800-5501.

Contact Us for Your Free Incorporation Consultation!

Are you thinking of starting a new business? Are you a freelancer, consultant, or small business owner who has never incorporated? Sole Proprietorship is expensive and risky! With over 20 years of experience in business formations in all 50 states, we're your go-to incorporation specialists. Let us help you get the protection and tax benefits that come with forming an Inc. or LLC. Call 855-800-5501 or email to schedule your free session today!

It’s Not What You Make, It’s What You Keep!

Last week, we had several meetings in Las Vegas to finalize the launch of our new Bookkeeping partnership for EasyBizStart. With a few hours to kill in Vegas in 110° weather, we did what a lot of people do - strolled inside one of the casinos and had a look around.

I love to observe people and Vegas is, needless to say, one of the more interesting environments to watch. I was curious and wanted to consiouscly observe how people act when they are gambling. It made me realize: the entire experience is designed to celebrate the win: to highlight the chance at a payout. What most seem to miss in the moment is that for every win, there is a cost. No matter how much you win, if you don’t walk away with more than you started with, you lose.

In business, I see the same thing every day. Entrepreneurs are fixated on the win. They want to increase sales, both in size and volume. We spend our time and money to increase our reach and bring more money in the front door. As a demographic, we are drawn to the siren's call of “If you want more, sell more”.

We often forget there is an easier way to make more money: keep more money. A common mistake for any business owner is to run the business based on our bank balance. We tell ourselves that if we have more and the balance is positive, we must be doing well. We forget to factor what it costs to get us there. We sell products and services that may have weak margins. We spend money on things that may not be the most effective choice. We pay more in taxes than we should because we don’t hire professionals to help us with what they do best.

In reality, seeing black on the screen when you log into the bank account isn't the most important. The key is, in the grand scheme of things, never losing sight of what is coming in and what is going out.

Do you need help managing your financial tracking? A professional bookkeeper can help you save time and money by maximizing deductions and helping you keep and up-to-date snapshot of your business health. If you do want to keep more, explore the option of outside bookkeeping help, visit for more info on our bookkeeping partners. 

Is Doing Your Own Books Costing You Money?

As entrepreneurs, we tend to focus on the areas of the business we like most: the fun stuff – creating, working with clients, brainstorming ways to grow. Chances are none of us started our businesses to be buried in mountains of paperwork. So, what do we do? We set aside the mundane daily grind of running a business to focus on the sexier stuff and administrative “busy work” gets pushed to the bottom of the list.  

This is natural for many – even most – entrepreneurs, but it begs the question: is our inability to prioritize less desirable tasks costing our businesses money?

If that giant pile of papers is untracked spending and unreconciled bank statements, it is likely the answer is yes. If you’ve got a sheepish look on your face no one can see, I’m guessing you’re guilty.

Many of us (yours truly included) don’t keep up with our books on a regular basis because it is one of the easiest things to push aside. As if the time suck isn’t bad enough, there’s also the confusion of figuring out how to use Quickbooks or Xero, deciding how to divvy up that client entertainment meal or how to enter the interest you paid on your business credit card. It is the frog no one wants to eat (and if you don’t know that reference, I highly recommend the book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy). How many times have you said to yourself: “it can wait another month.”

Unless you’re a small business owner whose business is bookkeeping, I bet I’m resonating with you.

Maybe it is time to consider some professional help. I think small business owners assume that hiring a bookkeeper is going to cost hundreds of dollars a month, but that’s not the case, and what you do spend will come back to you in time. Imagine what you would do with 4 – 6 hours (or more!) of additional time to work your business and do what you’re good at: bringing in the dough. Well, hiring someone who knows how to handle your books can do just that. And, since it takes them about half the time to fumble through the data entry and reconciliation, you end up with better records in half the time.

Better bookkeeping, whether you choose to have it done by a professional or just commit to doing a better (more consistent!) job of it yourself, can do many things:

Protection: Accurate bookkeeping helps keep your records in line with the requirements of the IRS, so you’re less likely to get hit with an audit or adjustments to your tax return.

Deductions: Did you know that lunch for your employees should be tracked and written off differently than a meal with a client. These are the types of things a qualified bookkeeper can help explain and accurately track while maximizing your deductions.  If you’re not aware of every penny you can write off, then your bookkeeping practices are costing you money.  

Accountability: A bookkeeper can help you stay on track with your financial documentations, so you’re not behind the eight-ball come April 15th. Proper bookkeeping helps you prepare for tax day during the entire year. This makes filing quick and easy, and can help avoid the trusty extension….and interest charges that come with it if you owe.

Financial Snapshot: If you’re not watching the numbers then you don’t really know how your business is performing. Updated financials give you a clear picture of what is coming in – and more importantly, what is going out.  

While a professional bookkeeper is the preferred way to go to achieve the most out of your financial record keeping, it isn’t required. If you’re too short on funds to hire someone regularly, or you’re just too stubborn to give up the task, set up a brief consult with a professional to make sure you’re doing the job correctly and saving as much money as possible.

Either way you go, we want to stress the importance of good financial record keeping and the difference it can make – not only on tax day, but throughout the entire year.


If you do want to explore the option of outside bookkeeping help, visit for more info on our bookkeeping partners. With monthly services as low as $200, you really can afford to give this work to a professional so you can focus on what’s most important to you: growing your business.