How I Reinvented Myself

reinvent ourselves www.relianceoutsourcing.comWhen we reinvent ourselves we basically create an entirely new version or make over who we are.

I found reinvention to be painful when I needed change. I believe this was because I didn’t want to close the door behind me. Now, I see how appropriate change was, and always is.

Who really wants to hear that I was a soap maker and a farmer, and that I miss all of that, to the degree that I wouldn’t develop into what I want, and what I feel God wants?

First, we should be happy, second, we should take our gifts and skills and use them to the best of our ability. Life changes. We use what we have, what we’ve learned, and we re-create.

See, I think we hang onto what we perceive as a need, but what we don’t see is our own personal value in what we can accomplish if we simply let go, and let be.

Okay, so, I (we, my husband and I) left behind a farm and goats, and a business, and my soap and lotion studio. I changed my life around completely for a number of years (rode across the states with my truck driving husband), and then I went back to work full-time. Going back to work after being my own boss for nearly 15 years was not easy, yet, I was filled with enthusiasm because I faced a challenge that I knew I could handle — a full time job in an accounting office (where my career originally began nearly 40 years ago).

I still work full-time in the “back office,” and I’ve also reinvented myself as a virtual assistant. This is a transition, right now as I speak. Remember, finance to business ownership, farmer and entrepreneur, return to finance and office, and now virtual assistant. I became an author in the past 5 years, with 4 books published, and now with several books in different stages of completion. I earned certifications as a life coach as well, and I have plans to grow that around the VA business.

There is value in this second ear, eyes, and brain for small business owners. I free entrepreneurs up to do what they want to do (not work in their businesses, but to work on their businesses, or both), and I end up being their trusted assistant. They don’t have to provide four walls, a desk, a phone, a computer, or pay payroll withholding taxes. How cool is that?

Reinventions can be positive moves. It was for me. It can be for you.

Remember this, you can let go when you think you cannot. You do not have to tell the same story over and over again, in fact, when you do exactly that, there is little growth for us.

Think about reinvention — who are you today? Have you totally flipped yourself from what you were (or did) then, to who you are (or what you are doing) now. Or, are you somewhere in between? Are you utilizing your best (skills, knowledge, gifts and talents)? Is there anything missing, or something that you have not let go of that could bog you down?

Remember one big thing. You aren’t what you do. You are who you are. There’s value in you, in your uniqueness and qualities. 

Why Your Small Business Needs a Bookkeeper

virtual bookkeeper www.relianceoutsourcing.comI am going to answer the common question, “Why do I need a bookkeeper for my small business?,” with several questions that may be helpful:

  • Do you know exactly how much the products and services that you offer are costing you?
  • Do you know how much profit you made last month, last quarter, or last year?
  • Do you know which of your products or services are making the most profit for you?
  • Is your bank or credit card statement reconciled? If not, do you know if your current balance is correct?
  • If you were audited today, would you have organized records at your disposal to present to a CPA or auditor?
  • Do you wait until the end of the year to gather all of your paperwork (receipts, etc.) for processing with your accountant or CPA? Does this lead to stress for you?
  • Do you have an assistant that can help you save money in particular areas, or tell you where you are losing dollars and cents, or (better yet) where your financial strength resides?
  • Do you have an assistant that can forecast your income flow, your accounts payables, or your receivables?

Many small business owners struggle in these areas, and most are embarrassed to admit that they need help.

A bookkeeper’s job is to accurately manage monetary transactions. She or he ensures that your financial records are just a fingertip away, at your disposal, ready to report (to you, and to your accountant — you no longer have to do that yourself. Yay!), and they provide a level of expertise (consulting) if you should desire.

Remember the week when you gritted your teeth, and drank coffee through the night, while gathering and preparing your paperwork to present to the CPA? A week (7 days) 8 -10 hours a day = 56 to 70 hours. Top that with a headache and nausea. Why oh why did I do this to myself AGAIN? Guess what? The truth is, you may ONLY need to hire a bookkeeper for 5 hours a month, or less, and she/he may save you hours of stress and money because your reports will already be prepared for the next step.

Why do you need a bookkeeper today? Your answer may be as simple as, “I no longer want that box or bag of disorganized paperwork hanging over my head.” So, you don’t want to dive into all of that yourself…that is where a system (help) gets you off of the hook!

Etch Learning Time Into Your Schedule break from social mediaI was miles away and seated at the event before I realized I had not brought my most important tools with me (wallet, cell phone, and log in information), and it was if my right was cut off. I had difficulty focusing because I knew what was missing! Picture me, a virtual assistant, who had no way to call or reach clients, and worse than that, they had no way of reaching me.

I obtained access to a laptop during the lunch break.Instead of checking into social media, or scrolling through my email, I watched YouTube videos. I decided to make the time count, so I made a small list of all of the things that I felt I needed to learn and I spent an hour watching instructional videos. Was it worth my time? My goodness, I cannot tell you the impact that it made!

Lesson learned – glue my purse and cell phone to me. Significant lesson learned – schedule time away from social media and email. Remember to take the time to clock out and utilize the resources that you have on hand and learn! I walked away from that hour with an entirely new prospective, along with a fresh set of action steps.

Social Media, Why?

Social Media

Today, we have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and more at our disposal. The list of social media platforms grows and changes, seemingly, by the day.

Why is social media such a big part of our lives and businesses? #1 reason, we like to connect. Social = genial, pleasurable, civil, informative, and hospitable. Media = internet, radio, television, newspaper, journalism, and news. The three key words to join here are genial + informative + internet = information received through a warm, friendly and cordial method, through an online presence.

Through this online presence we develop community, friends, networking, and if we own a business we advertise and build our brand. We gain followers through our genuine and informative social media platforms.

I owned a company where I made goat milk soaps and lotions. When I was lax on social media, my sales dropped off. When I followed a strict blog post and social media schedule, my sales increased. When I sent out a newsletter, my in-box filled with orders. I loved what I did, and I enjoyed sharing with my customers and followers. Books sales are much the same. The more I talk, the more I share, the more books I sell.

For many of us, we run into trouble scheduling time to post on social media, or perhaps we want to be involved with some other aspect of our businesses, anything other than put together social media updates.

The stark reality of social media…think about how many times a friend/co-worker/loved one has said, “Did you see (such and such) on Facebook?” “I saw the coolest thing on Pinterest last week, I think I am going to buy (or try) it!” How many people have phones in their hands today, at this minute? How many people are online? How many people shop online rather than head to the mall? If we own a business,  we cannot afford to not partake in social media — our platform, our online presence is vital.

There are several actions that we can take to improve our social media presence. I have done all of these successfully, except for the final suggestion (and that is only because I love to write):

  • Schedule one full day a month for social media updates (schedule automated social media posts), and briefly log onto social media accounts several times a day to make a live presence.
  • Time your online presence. Literally set a stop watch or an alarm and do not spend any additional time “chatting” online. Remember, this is business, and this is a means to market and build your brand.
  • Select the best social media platforms that suit you or your business’s needs. Unless your job or business is social media, and nothing more, it is literally impossible to adequately stay on top of an account in each and every social media platform available. Select what fits your needs, 2 or 3 (4 at the most), and focus only on those that you selected.
  • Jot down notes as you go through your day. Literally, do not go anywhere without a small notepad, or use the recorder on your phone. When I think of something inspiring, down on paper it goes. Take short and concise notes, and you’ll always have something to post about.
  • Outsource your social media work. I offer social media as a product, as a part of my business, and there are others out there for hire that write blog posts, send out newsletters, and update social media posts as well. Remember the old saying, “I don’t do windows.” Well, social media is much like that, if you don’t do windows, someone else can do it for you.

A good bookeeper is more than…

what is a bookkeeper

A good bookkeeper is more than a data entry clerk.

A bookkeeper’s role digs in far deeper than posting invoices and receiving cash payments.

Full-charge bookkeepers are the day-to-day eyes that see into the status of a business’s financial accounts.

The bookkeeper is primarily responsible for creating financial transactions and financial reports, and in most cases this is done through accounting software.

These financial transactions consist of (but are not limited to):

  • accounts payable – receive debts (vendor invoices, bills), pay debts timely
  • accounts receivable – accept and post customer payments – produce invoices and monthly statements – perform collections on past due accounts
  • payroll
  • issue financial statements – provide reports to management or business owners – prepare financial statements for external certified accountant or tax accountant
  • maintain chart of accounts
  • reconcile all accounts monthly – bank statements and internal accounts
  • collection and payment of sales tax
  • report significant cash or reconciliation issues to management
  • manage debt and income levels
  • assemble reports for external auditors for annual or periodic audits

A bookkeeper should possess no less than an associate’s degrees or equivalent business experience, as well as knowledge of bookkeeping and generally accepted accounting procedures.

Bind all of these responsibilities up with a keen attention to detail and accuracy, and you will paint a picture of A GREAT BOOKKEEPER.