You, Me and a Budget Spreadsheet

Budgeting.  UGH.

I call it the “B Word” because so many people are resistant to the word BUDGETING. Nobody wants to Budget, right?  Budgeting is all about deprivation and doing without.  It’s like…gulp…dieting.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a soul-sucking, frustrating experience.  The way I teach it is fun, easy and powerful.  From Main Street to Wall Street, simple budgeting is a great way to create goals and achieve them.  You create a workable selling price as a bonus.  Neat!

Budgeting focuses on spending.   You don’t want to be wasteful or thoughtless when it comes to expenses.  Little things add up. […]

By |March 18th, 2014|Accounting, Budgeting|0 Comments

5 Tips for Financial Goal Setting!

“What’s the point of setting financial goals?  I have no idea what will happen each day for sales.  Unexpected expenses crop up all the time, too.  If it’s just a ‘guess,’ then why bother?”

That’s what one of my clients just shared with me.  I appreciate his candor and his frustration.  However, if you want tomorrow to be better than today, it starts with intention and imagination.  So, set financial goals…no matter how awkward it is.  As you clarify your intention and take aligned action, you will make those dreams come to pass.  It’s OK if it takes a little longer and costs a little more than you hoped.

Here’s more help!  I put together 5 Tips for Financial Goal Setting.  Enjoy! […]

By |March 11th, 2014|Accounting, Budgeting|2 Comments

5 Ways To Audit Proof Your Business

Imagine…you discover the certified letter in your mailbox from the IRS, announcing you have been selected for an audit.  No worries!  Once upon a time, I made a “Slinky-knot” mess out of my QuickBooks™ file.  Fear of an audit – and a growing pile of unpaid bills – encouraged me to get it sorted out.  It wasn’t that hard, once I got over my drama and procrastination.  Let’s get you started!

For last year… […]

By |March 20th, 2013|Accounting, Where Did the Money Go?|0 Comments

Who Taught You Business Basics?

Business is pretty easy.  I wish we taught accounting and finance basics in sixth grade.  Alas, I didn’t even learn how to balance a checkbook during my high priced stint at a private college for a Business Administration degree.  However, once I learned business basics – stumbling through our family business and with the help of great mentors, including Warren Buffet, Frank Blau – I was gob smacked by how easy it is.  When you charge more than it costs for something you create a profit.  You manufacture your own money.  When you take that profit in cash (as opposed to letting it decompose in Accounts Receivable) you can use that cash to grow your business.  You can use that cash to turn around a bad financial situation.  Money buys options.  Money can fix things.  Not everything.  But just about everything is easier with some cash on hand. […]

By |March 4th, 2013|Accounting, Budgeting|4 Comments

How to Clean Up Your Payroll

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 20 years helping people clean up financial messes.  The messy mess (the smelly smell for Sponge Bob fans) is payroll.

Payroll entries are complicated.  There is the expense to you and the cash requirements and the amount you withhold, then submit, for payroll taxes for you and the employee.  Add in reimbursements, advances and garnishments and, well, before you know it…it’s a mess.   Here are a few tips for getting your Payroll accounts to right, and for staying current and accurate. […]

By |February 18th, 2013|Accounting, Making Money|2 Comments

How To Run a Family Business: 6 Simple Rules

Ah, the dream of running your own business!  Until it turns into a nightmare.  Does this sound familiar?  Mr. Know It All decides to go into business for himself.  He is good at what he does, so he gets really busy.  Certainly, he is too busy to do all the administrative work like accounting, answering the phone, sending out invoices, and paying bills.  He needs help!  Money is in short supply.  He’s not making enough money to hire a real bookkeeper or receptionist.

Guess who gets the job?  His wife, Mrs. Know It All. […]

By |February 5th, 2013|Business Planning, Family|5 Comments

7 Tips to Dig Out of Debt

Debt as a national challenge is connected to rampant, unchecked individual debt. I’m not lecturing, I’m just saying. Many households overspend. Many companies run at a loss, year after year. Debt is how you keep the balls in the air. But you can hold them up there only so long.

The good news is that this is reversible. The very good news is that we will get a handle on our national debt as we dig out of the financial holes we have dug in our homes and our businesses. We get sucked into the debt problem through ignorance. We should learn how to budget and spend and price and do accounting in sixth grade. (I didn’t. Did you?) It’s also tempting to use all that credit that is laid at our feet when we are young and foolish. I created a debt crisis once upon a time. I turned it around, and I love to help others do the same. […]

By |January 22nd, 2013|Debt, Making Money, The Economy|0 Comments

[Webinar] Last Minute Tax Advice for Your Small Business


By |February 27th, 2012|Accounting, Budgeting, Making Sure, Webinar|0 Comments

How Much Should I Charge?

You want to make more sales and more money. Good for you. And it’s good business. Here’s the problem. More sales at a losing selling price is like cliff diving into a lake. You might not hit bottom, but if you do it’s going to hurt because you don’t know what’s below.

If you don’t know how much you need to charge, you can be tempted to lower your price. If you aren’t sure where the bottom of the lake is, you may risk it. If you do know, then you can confidently walk away from a sale if it’s going to cost you to make that sale.

There’s a success secret about making money in business. Here it is…
You’ve got to charge more than it costs.
Do you run accurate financial reports every week? If yes, then you know your costs and you know if you are making money. Or…are you cliff diving…at night…hoping there is enough in the checking account to cover this week’s bills? Maybe you know you should keep better track of the money, but you keep putting it off because you are… […]

By |August 1st, 2011|How Much Should I Charge|2 Comments

The Sweet Spot Job

My husband Hot Rod and I were in business together a long time ago. Like many other contractors, we were seduced by the “BIG Job.” A “BIG Job” is one that…

Has lots of dollars in the bid.
Has lots of hours built in – to keep the team busy for a long time.

Once we got a handle on the financials, we started pricing ourselves out of the new construction market. The good news? We weaned ourselves from “BIG Jobs” and started making money on “Sweet Spot Jobs.”

You see, before I figured this out, I was sure that if a Job came in with a hefty Gross Margin, it was a good Job. But Gross Margin just ain’t “all that.”

Gross Margin is Sales minus Direct Costs (Cost of Goods Sold) expressed as a percentage. Gross Profit is Sales minus Direct Costs (Cost of Goods Sold) expressed as dollars. You need to pay attention to both. I will take a low Gross Margin if the Gross Profit – per hour, or per day – is really good.

Pull up a chair, business builder. I’m going to share something that I never learned in business school or in any business building seminar. My mentor Frank Blau taught this to me…and it is a key to making money.


By |July 11th, 2011|Accounting, Making Money, Sales|3 Comments