Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Got Tax and Financial Stress? Here's How to Avoid It

There is one time of year we all dread. No, it's not going over to the in-laws for Thanksgiving. It's tax day. Whether you pay your business taxes on the due date or in advance this can be a stressful time of the year.

Depending on the circumstances, you could find yourself writing out a huge check to the government that wipes out your cash reserves. It's no wonder your blood pressure spikes and the headaches come on.

The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way.

Yes, you'll still have to pay taxes but there is no reason why you should stress out about this part of your business. First thing to understand - everyone is in the same boat. Beyond that there are some tactics you can adopt to help manage your small business finances and avoid getting on the government's bad side.

Make a Plan

A business's success is built on the back of meeting deadlines. That comes with shipping products to customers and paying the bills. It's important to have a well thought out plan for your entire business. This is not something that should be "kept in your head."

You should be using a written calendar that covers all your responsibilities both to customers and to the government. If you know a payment is approaching you won't feel burdened or surprised when it comes time to write the check.

It comes down to a matter of making priorities. And yes, there is an app for that!

Don't Do it Alone

Feelings of stress go hand in hand with feelings of being overwhelmed. When was the last time you asked for help? As a small business owner there are a lot of new aspects of your business you thought you wouldn't have to contend with. Sure, you knew you'd be paying the bills but keeping up with your company's Facebook page and generating original content for your website? Did you budget time for that? More importantly, do you know what you're doing when it comes to optimizing search engines and social media?

You don't have to become an expert because there are plenty of experts out there in cyber land willing to lend a hand. Even your kids could probably be a big help posting notices or even cleaning up around the office. Start asking for help and watch the stress melt away.

Take Time for Yourself

All work and no play? We've heard it before and it has meaning for the small business owner. The first few weeks or months of your start up will be grueling. No doubt about that. However, that doesn't mean running yourself into the ground. You certainly can't pay your tax bills that way. Leave some relaxation time for yourself and/or with your family every week. Schedule it like a business meeting and hold it with the same level of importance. You'll find that approaching your business after taking a "time out" won't be a struggle.