What Small Businesses Should Expect During the Holidays

Every year, during the months of November and December, practically every business regardless of size is impacted by the holidays. For large companies – especially those in retail, like Amazon, Walmart, and Target – holiday planning happens throughout the year because it’s when they do the bulk of their business.



However, small businesses are also affected by the holidays. For some types of business, it’s a time when business picks up. Restaurants, spas, and small retailers make a lot of money during the holidays because their products and services can be part of holiday gift-giving and celebrations.



If your business usually picks up during the holidays, there are steps you should take to make sure you’re ready. For example, promotional offers are a very successful strategy at this time of year. You can get the word out through social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. And remember that, these days, online shopping is the norm, so make sure your website is set up as a secure e-commerce site.


Focus on products you can offer that the giant mega-retailers can’t, especially if you have products the buyer can customize to make a truly special gift. Make the shopping experience as enjoyable and interesting as possible so people want to come visit you just because your shop is a fun place to be.


For other types of companies, business slows down because people take vacations from their jobs or are generally in a more celebratory mood while they’re at work. This tends to be the case with professional services firms that sell to other businesses, including financial planners, group insurance agencies, or construction firms.


Business-to-business companies should take this time of year to say “thank you” to their customers. You can do this by giving them branded promotional items as a gift. For really big customers, it may be worth it to get something really special, like a gift basket or take the staff out to lunch. This is also a good time for promotions and special offers because many companies have rules requiring budgets to be spent by the end of the year. Just make sure that you won’t run out of inventory and your fulfillment operation can handle it if your promotion is a huge success.


Most important, take time to enjoy this special time of year with colleagues, employees, customers, friends, and, most important, family.


At One Stop Consulting Shop, we’re experts at working with businesses and providing all of their accounting needs, including taxes. For more information, please call us at

Save Time Using Word's Dictation Tool

Use the Dictate Feature on Word and Save Time

Unless you do it every day, writing anything longer than a paragraph or two can be a time-consuming chore. Still, there are times that you can’t avoid it as a business owner. Whether it’s crafting a delicate email to a client, generating a blog for your website, or writing instructions for your employees, it can seem like it takes forever to complete.

Read More

How to Track Your Company’s Online Presence

How to Track Your Company’s Online Presence

Image courtesy of :D via Flickr
Image courtesy of :D via Flickr

These days, it's critical to your business to know what is being said about you online. With all the social media that's out there, people are more and more leaving reviews and comments on outlets like Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, and others. And not all of it is real. Some unscrupulous companies make a habit of leaving negative reviews about their competitors online.

So how do you keep track of all this? Simple. Fortunately, Google provides a way to set up alerts so that anytime your company is mentioned, you'll know about it.  This will give you the opportunity to address, for example, a negative review. After all, if you do enough business, eventually somebody will have something negative to say. So, the best thing you can do when that happens is to respond to the review in a positive way by apologizing that they had a negative experience and thanking them for letting you know.

To set up a Google alert, go to www.google.com/alerts and you’ll see a box that reads, “Create an alert about.” Simply enter the name of your business, and put quotation marks around it. That will ensure that Google only searches for the full business name and not just the words in it. It’s important to note that, in order to receive alerts, you’ll need a working Gmail account.

By the way, Google alerts are good for much more than tracking how often your company’s name is mentioned. You can set up an alert for any topic you’d like to be better informed about. For example, if you are a real estate agent and a new development is in the planning stages in your area, you can set up an alert for the name of the new community. And there are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.


At One Stop Consulting Shop, we’re experts at working with businesses and providing all of their accounting needs, including taxes. For more information, please call us at

The Power of the To-Do List

The Power of the To-Do List

You can probably relate to the following scenario. You get a phone call or an email, or bump into somebody at your office, and the brief conversation you have means there's a task you need to complete. It could be as simple as sending someone's contact info or a specific file to a colleague. Or it could be something more complicated, like the deadline for a report you're working on has been pushed up a day.
Regardless, there is something
important you need to do.

As a business owner, information comes at you from every direction throughout the day. If you don't capture the tasks you need to do in a list, your only alternative is to remember it in your mind. And while you may have a great memory, keeping track of that in your head is still using up space and taking mental energy. That's why many successful people are diligent about keeping lists.

Once you capture that information in a list, it frees that part of your brain up to focus on other things. By making it a habit that you stick to every day, you subconsciously start to have confidence in your discipline, which means you can forget about the task until it's time for it to be done. So a good rule of thumb is, unless the task takes less than 2 minutes, don't try to do it right away. Instead, enter it as an item in your list.

If you're comfortable keeping your lists on your computer, here's a suggestion… create a spreadsheet with columns for priority, date added, the task to be done, and the deadline. When you need to add a new item, enter it at the bottom no matter what the priority is. Later when you have a few minutes, you can set the priority by adjusting the number in the priority column.

This also allows you to change priority with ease. Referring to the sample list shown here, let’s say you got a call that the project in the last item has been made a higher priority and you want to move it up to the third spot. All you need to do is change the 7 to a 2.5 and then reorder the list. It will automatically move up to the third position.

It may take a week or two to get used to this new process, but it will be worth the effort. You’ll be better able to focus on the important things you have on your plate and it will save you time as well!


At One Stop Consulting Shop, we’re experts at working with businesses and providing all of their accounting needs, including taxes. For more information, please call us at

Year-End Reminders!

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season and prosperous New Year ahead!  Here are some year-end reminders and tips for our local business owners:


  1. If you claim a mileage reimbursement, take a picture on New Year’s Day of your odometer.  It will give you the year-end reading for 2018 and the beginning reading for 2019 (so you have it documented for next year). It also documents the odometer should you ever need proof of the reading.
  2. Make sure any year-end adjustments are made to your books!  If you made any year-end retirement contributions with a company paid portion or did some year end spending, make sure the end of your 2018 is accurate for a smooth tax preparation season.
  3. If you have open invoices in December and are cash basis, remember to not include these amounts in your Profit and Loss Statement!
  4. 1099s are due by January 31st and to be considered on time, many software companies may require an earlier submittal.  Make sure you know the cut-off day and time to submit your 1099s so that they are considered timely to the IRS and you will not face a late penalty fee.  This is also a good time to make sure you have a w9 on file for every contractor and that their information is up to date.  Accurate information will avoid needing to request amended 1099 forms.
  5. W2s are due to your employees by the 31st as well!  Should you have any payroll adjustments, make sure to discuss your questions and changes with your payroll provider prior to year end.  December is also a good time to make sure your employee contact information is up to date so W2s can be mailed to correct addresses.
  6. Estimated taxes are due January 15th for individuals and this applies to business owners with a “flow-through” entity like an s-corp, partnership of single member LLC.  If you did not make estimated tax payments in 2018 but know that you have a tax liability due to the IRS, this is a great time to make a payment to help reduce any underpayment penalties.  As a reminder, if you request an extension of time to file your 2018 taxes, that extension only applies to the tax return itself and does not apply to any taxes that you may owe.  If your tax liability is not paid in full by April 15th (or through estimated payments throughout 2018), then you may be assessed underpayment penalties and interest. 



Make sure to speak with your Tax Professional if you have questions about closing out 2018 and starting a fresh 2019!  Happy New Year!