Welcome to www.CateCosta.com!

Did you know that there are more than 500,000 new businesses started every month in the US*? Crazy, right? I’m pretty sure you want to be one of them or you wouldn’t be here, so stop procrastinating and start building now.

Here is your 3-step action plan for today:

1) Sign up to get free tips for building your business + you’ll receive my guide to the Top 10 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make


2) Visit my blog to start getting clear, understandable, and actionable info to help you build your business

3) For personalized assistance, take a look at how I help new entrepreneurs and make an appointment with me

Have a great day and be proud of yourself for taking your first step towards becoming a business owner :)

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Guest Post: Common Small Business Accounting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By on May 3, 2016

This is a sponsored guest post.

Accounting is an important part of any small business. While it might not be the most glamorous part of your job, messing up your numbers can stunt the growth of your business, so you want to stay on top of it early and often. Before you dive in and start balancing your books, make sure you stay away from these 5 common mistakes.

1. Only Focusing on the Short Term

When you’re so involved in the day-to-day operations of your business, it’s easy to become fixated on quick wins and short-term success. However, when you’re looking to grow and expand, it’s important to remember that accounting is not just about keeping track of today’s numbers, but forecasting future growth and identifying financial risk. Check out this Entrepreneur article, which identifies best practices for forecasting revenue and growth, and show you how to use gross margin and profit margin to reconcile revenue and expense projections.

2. Not Invoicing Clients Fast Enough

Don’t wait. Invoices should be sent immediately after the product is delivered or the project has been completed. The sooner you bill a client, the sooner you get paid. Because your invoicing is tied to your cash flow, it’s important to have invoicing processes that are as streamlined as possible. In many small businesses this can be a challenge. A free invoicing app like Viewpost can help improve efficiency and eliminate paper when you invoice your clients. Learn more about it here.

3. Mis-Categorization of Expenses

There are fairly standard categories for expenses you can follow. However, expenses are often entered into the wrong categories or too many new categories are created. This can make balancing your books confusing and waste a lot of time. If you need help, this simple guide includes a list of general guidelines for standard categorization of your expenses, or check with an accountant for expertise and guidance. Better safe than sorry!

4. Trying to Do Everything Yourself

When you first started your small business, you may have been the only person managing finances — maybe you still are. However, as your business grows, managing your books on your own can become way more challenging. As a business owner, your time is valuable. You should be focused on what your business needs to grow. If you’re spending all your time on the accounting aspect of your business, the rest of your business may begin to suffer. Be aware of how you’re spending your time and don’t be afraid to hire an accountant at some level. You may not need a full-time bookkeeper right off the bat, and can instead turn to outsourced services or a part-time contractor.

5. Forgetting to Make Entries

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s the most important key to effective accounting. From small transactions to large payments, it’s important to record everything. If you’re not recording deposits accurately or depositing funds into the correct accounts, you’re messing with your bottom line. Find an intuitive accounting system designed for small businesses and set aside time every week to keep it up to date.

As a small business owner, other issues may often take precedence over accounting. However, it’s important to remember that your accounting system is one major aspect of your small business and should be seen as a long-term investment. If you take an active approach to your bookkeeping, your business will see a healthy boost in performance!


 

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Viewpost created a business-to-business network that removes the barriers businesses face during the exchange of invoices and payments. By democratizing information flow, simplifying process and removing costs and complexity that deter adoption, Viewpost effectively connects people to payments within a network of possibilities.

With a single, free connection to the secure Viewpost® network, businesses of any size exchange electronic invoices and share invoice status updates with their trading partners at no cost. Viewpost members also exchange payment for those invoices electronically, sending funds directly between their accounts at any bank. To better manage cash flow, members with extra cash can offer to pay early for a discount and those who need cash can ask for early payment. And at the touch of a button, transaction data is seamlessly pulled from or into an accounting platform. All, without requiring businesses to change their current workflows.

On the Viewpost network, trading partners easily connect with one another to save the time, cost and aggravation associated with invoicing and payments. Viewpost eliminates paper invoices and checks, provides real-time visibility into receivables and payables, and improves cash flow to make everyday business more efficient than ever. It’s simple, and good for everyone.

 

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Guest Post: Definitive Guide to Getting a Mentor, with Exact Scripts

By on April 19, 2016

It’s guest post time This week I have Bennett Garner discussing how to find a mentor, which is something that everyone knows is important but many of us (myself included) have failed to ever actually do. As an entrepreneur, it’s

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The Tool That Helps You Define Your Business’ Brand

By on April 12, 2016

Today will be a quick post because I’m going to pull from a company called Brand Amplitude and will just give an overview and then send you off to their resources. Brand Amplitude has an awesome tool for helping business owners

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Guest Post: Your Company, Privacy, and You: What You Need to Know

By on April 5, 2016

Guest pots this week coming to you from Cassie Phillips of Secure Thoughts. Here’s Cassie: There is so much that goes into creating a successful business—proposals, investment, content, marketing—that very often the considerations given to online privacy are somewhat less

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The Value of Understanding the Value Chain

By on March 29, 2016

Today we’re talking about the value chain and how important it is that you understand where whatever you offer falls on that value chain. The value chain is essentially a list of your product’s stops along the production and distribution

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What Not To Do When Courting Investors

By on March 8, 2016

Today we’re going to talk about what NOT to do when you’re courting investors. I’ve talked a lot about how to give a good investor pitch and how to find the right investors for you and your business in old

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Why Building a Business is Like a Long-Distance Road Trip

By on February 23, 2016

Today I want to have a little fun by taking a metaphor way too far. What’s the metaphor? Well, we’re going to pretend that building your business is a long-distance road trip and I’m going to give you some invaluable

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How Data Science Can Help Small Business

By on February 16, 2016

Guest post for you this week. Enjoy ***** “Data Science” is a term that not everyone is familiar with, so let’s start by defining it: Data Science is an interdisciplinary field focusing on extracting valuable insights from large amounts of

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Entrepreneurs: Don’t Forget Everything You Do Affects Your Company, So Act the Part

By on February 9, 2016

A lot of you are probably going to think this post is a bit silly because today is a quick episode that is basically a PSA to remind entrepreneurs that they represent their businesses all of the time, people are

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How to Find Your Focus (Guest Post from Cat Rose)

By on February 2, 2016

I’ve got a guest post for you this week from Cat Rose of Cat Rose design ***** It feels like ever since Gary Keller unleashed his book The ONE Thing on decision making and setting our focus to that ONE