Friday, December 4, 2015

End of Year Tips for Business Owners

As 2015 comes to a close, there are several items that businesses should look at before closing out their year.  Below are a few tips of general items that may benefit your business.

▪ Look at your Profit & Loss report. Where do you stand? If you have a larger than expected profit, are there any major purchases you should make now that can be depreciated? Make sure you have the cash. Talk to your accountant if you are not clear of the depreciation rules.

▪ Verify your 1099 information is setup properly in your accounting system. If you don’t have proper information from each vendor, ask for it now, then create a form to use every year. Need help making this happen in QuickBooks? Just ask us.

▪ Begin to think about year end bonuses or special gifts. Will you give these this year or in January? It depends when you write the check.

▪ Take a physical inventory of your products and make adjustments in your accounting system as necessary.

▪ Write a list of all the company’s major accomplishments for the year. Be prepared to share this with your team, they will appreciate it.

▪ Write out your goals and plans for the next year.

▪ Create budgets for the next year if you work on a calendar year fiscal basis.

▪ Check all of the links on your website to make sure they are active.

Bookkeeping, payroll and bill paying are vital roles when it comes to accurately planning out your year. urBook$ strives to ensure that your business records are up-to-date and accessible to you at all times throughout the year. If you do not have a current system in place for bookkeeping, payroll and bill paying for your business contact urBook$ today to become a client. Our team will transition your records utilizing our Smart Vault and take the burden of these tasks off your plate so you can focus on your passion - YOUR BUSINESS.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Daily Habits of Successful Business Owners

We know it’s hard to get out from under the covers when the alarm goes off, but making the most of mornings is more important than you might think. How many successful business people do you know who sleep in? Exactly.

Believe it or not, our willpower is greatest in the early morning, and our bodies even experience a surge of cortisol about 20 to 30 minutes after rolling out of bed, giving us an extra boost of brain power. Trust the evidence — CEOs, government officials, and entrepreneurs all rise early (sorry, night owls), and have been found to be more proactive and productive for doing so. Check out some other morning habits that will help you keep your business on the up and up.

1. No snoozing
The snooze button is tempting, but don’t give in. Oversleeping equals a frazzled morning, which sets the wrong tone for the day. If rising and shining is a perennial problem, it’s time to examine your sleep hygiene. Most experts recommend adults get between seven and nine hours a night to stay healthy and alert, so if you need to get up at 5 a.m. (ouch), that means you need to hit the hay at 10 p.m. at the latest.

2. Avoid reading email until you’re out of bed
It may sound counterintuitive, but hear us out. Before you get bogged down in what your inbox is shouting, take the time to set your own personal priorities for the day. This will help you keep focused on what is actually important instead of falling victim to what your email says is most pressing.

3. Exercise or meditate
Whether you prefer reciting oms or affirmations or taking a jog around the park, meditation and exercise help clear the mind to keep you focused on the day ahead. It’s also a good time for daydreaming about future achievements. This kind of positive visualization, even if you only do it for one minute, will improve your mood and outlook about the day’s workload.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast
Protein, fruit, vegetables, and even a cup of tea or coffee will fuel your morning. Consider it the necessary brain boost to get you going.

5. Set goals and priorities
Take Monday mornings to set the week’s goals. Then, before you head to the office, take stock of what needs to happen that day. Make a list and jot down notes about the top three things you need to accomplish when your mind is clearest and sharpest. While in the shower, make a mental map of what the day ahead will look like. After all, this might be the only quiet, uninterrupted time of your day. Then, when things start to get hectic, you can refer back to this list and recalibrate.

6. Check in over your morning cup of Joe
Now let’s get down to business. Look over email, take a peek at social media, and make checking in on metrics one of your best daily practices.

7. Tackle tough things first
We all have that one thing on our to-do list that we’re absolutely dreading. Here’s a pro tip: Do the least desirable task first. You’re more equipped to handle a tough assignment first thing when your brain has the most energy. And then you can cross it off your list. Not only will it make the rest of the day easier and more pleasant, but it also starts you off with a real sense of accomplishment.

8. Be habitual and consistent
Create a morning routine and stick to it. Habits help your mind and body reset in preparation for the tasks ahead. That means waking up at the same time every day — yes, even on the weekend (we’re looking at you, Sunday sleepyhead).

Hopefully these tips can get you motivated to end 2015 with some good habits of highly successful people! Contact urBook$ today for more information on how we can assist with your business needs.

Friday, October 16, 2015

October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October brings to mind many things for people: Halloween, costumes, candy, football, changing leaves and cooler temperatures.  For too many, October also brings to mind breast cancer.  With this being breast cancer awareness month, you cannot go very far without seeing a pink ribbon or being reminded of this terrible disease.  This awareness has brought much needed research and donations for curing this terrible disease.  

A few facts regarding breast cancer in 2015 according to
  • There will be an estimated 231,849 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in the U.S. alone. 
  • Of those, 40,290 will ultimately succumb to the disease. 

What are the warning signs of breast cancer?  The answers might surprise you. 

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling of puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple area
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast 
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away

If you have one or more of these symptoms listed above, seek out a healthcare provider immediately.  It is important to remember the signs and symptoms do NOT always mean you have breast cancer.  Many other breast conditions can exude these same symptoms.  But the best way to ensure early detection is to see healthcare as soon as you notice changes. 

It is also important to remember that men are also subject to breast cancer, not just women.  Although the statistics show that 124.3 per 100,000 women will be diagnosed compared to 21.5 per 100,000 men, awareness for males is equally important and in some cases more important.  Men often times ignore symptoms which result in a much later stage diagnosis.  The key to beating the disease is EARLY detection.  

During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our goal at urBook$ is to encourage you to have awareness to this disease and remember any family or friends that have experienced it.  If you would like more information, you may visit  This website offers insight into the disease, offers support for those currently battling the disease, and has an abundance of ways to get involved with fund-raising or bringing awareness to the disease. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

7 Tips Essential for Small Business Productivity

Have you ever felt as if you have a million things all needing your attention at once as a business owner? Attempting to make progress on these items simultaneously can actually be detrimental to each task. Not only are you stressed out, your “accomplished tasks” aren’t producing the results you desired. Productivity by definition is the rate at which goods are produced as work is completed according to

Productivity and efficiency are frequent topics of conversation for businesses for a simple reason: when you figure it out, your revenue increases. Getting to that perfect level of productivity and efficiency can be tricky, though. Your small business is a complex machine, made up of customers and employees and everything in between.

Below are 7 essential tips you can use to boost productivity at your small business.

1. Consolidate your errands and tasks.

The errands and tasks you do at your business are different than other businesses, but there is a strong similarity in how you do them.

Think of it like this: when you make a grocery list, you get all of the items at once. You don’t drive back and forth between home and the store for each item. In the same way, you should consolidate your errands and tasks.

Group similar tasks and or project work on a specific day, or time of day. Use the morning to answer your email, and once again in the afternoon, for example, instead of checking your email constantly throughout the day.

By consolidating your errands and tasks, you put an end to distracting multi-tasking and regain the focus needed to actually finish something.

2. Get control of your meetings.

Have you fallen victim to long or pointless meetings that waste your time and your team’s time and solve nothing? They are a source of dread and annoyance for everyone involved. To keep your meetings short and save your business from an expensive exercise in time-wasting, remember to:

• Think of meetings as a huddle. Brief, to the point, break quickly.

• Stand during your meetings. It helps to keep them short. No sitting.

• Have a specific and singular goal for each meeting. Keep all conversation to that agenda.

• Only have the people who must be there present. The more unnecessary people you bring in, the more time is wasted across the board for your business.

• Kill meetings that have no purpose other than “we always have them.”

• Avoid meetings that are lectures. This is about communication, and that is a two-way thing. Don’t let people who like to hear themselves talk run a meeting.

• Have your meetings later in the work day. The morning is your team’s most productive time. Don’t waste it with a meeting.

Meetings do have a real place in your business. They are how you make sure your team has the same focus, and keep on top of what is happening in your business. Just make sure they are productive.

3. Give your team access to the information they need.

Forcing your team to go hunting for the information they need is not productive. It’s also pretty frustrating for your team, and encourages a lack of accuracy. After all, it’s easier to just guess rather than hunt down the information.

Your team needs to know:

• When they work. An app like When I Work is perfect for team members who need to get immediate answers about their schedule. It answers who is working, when they are working, and questions about vacations or time off. Team members are part of a team, and they need to understand the schedule as a whole, not a separate unit.

• Customer support knowledge base. For team members working directly with your customers, they need ready information to answer customer questions. Without that fast access, they face the frustration of the customer and your business’s reputation takes a hit.

• Customer history and tickets. Access to past customer interactions, transactions, and support tickets allow your team to build off each other’s work instead of having to reinvent the wheel each time a customer has questions.

• Communication channels. How does your team communicate? Simplifying and unifying that into one place keeps the important information that your team is creating in their daily communications accessible. If some use email while others use Skype, your communication chain is broken.

• Details about group projects. Does your team know the goals of the particular project they are working on? Do they know where they are at in the timeline of a project? Make that information available so they better understand where they fit and what needs to happen.

This is just a start. Think about the kind of information your team needs on a daily basis for your specific business. Do they have it at their fingertips, or do they have to go to a manager and work up the chain to access it?

Whether an online database or actual books or manuals, the information needs to be available to everyone. This also means a reliable phone and computer network, depending upon your business, and continually updated software and hardware. Nothing is as frustrating for a team member who wants to do his job and has to fight the tools to do it.

If information is power, reducing easy access to it is a serious weakness for your business, and it wastes time.

4. Get in the cloud.

Using cloud-based apps can significantly improve efficiency. Team members who are on the road or working remotely can work from anywhere, whether on a sales trip or home sick with the flu. You should consider getting the following in the cloud:

• Custom tools. Have someone build a cloud-based app for your custom databases. Manage your sales and inventory in the cloud. Make it easy for your sales team to work on the road, inputting live sales and updates into your system.

• Project management. Project management apps aren’t necessary for every type of business, but if you feel as if team and customer communication for various projects is starting to get out of hand, head to the cloud and streamline it.

• Documents. Put your documents (and documentation) in the cloud so your team can read, edit, and share them easily. Avoid using email to send out versions of documents. Save time by making the original accessible by all. Google Docs or Evernote are always a great choice.

• Task management. If full-blown project management doesn’t make sense for your business, using a task management app is still going to be useful. Apps like Todoist, Wunderlist, or are great for teams that need to see who is doing what.

When you and your team can do the work they need to do from any location, your productivity will obviously increase. Not all of your tasks can be pushed to the cloud, but look for ways that you can shift your business to the cloud to tap into this always-possible work approach.

5. Build a team, and let them work.

For many small business owners, the start of their business was a singular affair. They became used to pulling long work days, doing everything themselves. As the business grows they (hopefully) realize they need to begin hiring additional help.

Oddly, though, many business owners have a hard time letting their team do the work. Maybe they have control issues, or don’t think anyone can do the work as well as they could. Efficiency begins when you understand that as the business owner, there are mundane jobs you no longer need to do. Your skill and knowledge needs to be focused elsewhere.

Here’s a quick checklist to help you better understand if you need to be turning work over to the team you hired:

• What are you worth? In other words, figure out what your time is priced at. What is your hourly rate? Now look at how you are spending your time during the day. Would you ever pay an employee as much as you are paying yourself to do menial tasks?

• Follow your clock. Track your time and see how you are using your day. It might be an eye-opener to realize that much of your time is wasted chasing after what doesn’t give you joy.

• Check for outsourcing. Find the tasks that are sucking up a lot of time that you and your team can’t afford to waste. Would outsourcing those tasks be more efficient and cost-effective in the long run?

• Make a priorities list. Decide what are the most important skills or work you should be doing in your business. Compare them to how you are using your time. Are you making the best use of what you have to offer? Prioritize how you should use your time, and delegate the rest to your team.

Your team wants to help. They want to do their job. If you insist on control and micromanaging, not only are you destroying your attempts to be productive, but you’re not making your team feel too great about their job, either.

6. Track your actual performance.

You probably track the performance of your website, but are you tracking the performance of your business? This is more than just checking the books to see that there’s money in the bank. This is about spotting trends (positive and negative) in both your team and your customers.

Consider looking at your booking and appointment software, or your weekly sales. Are you retaining customers? Do you have a lot of no-shows? Without being too invasive, track how your team is doing as well. Are they hitting deadlines? Is customer support handled in a timely fashion? Is there a lot of absenteeism?

You track your website and social media performance. You should use the same approach, finding the apps and tools that can help you do it, with your actual day-to-day business.

7. Be serious about team member satisfaction.

Your team will work as hard as they are motivated to. If they are satisfied and feel safe and happy, your productivity will increase. How do you show your team that you care about them?

• Give them good tools. As mentioned in #5, clunky or obstinate tools are a source of frustration for your team. They can’t do a good job, even if they want to. Give them the best tools you can so that their job is made easier.

• Have a break area. Do you give your team a great place to take a break where they don’t feel like the boss is watching them? Provide a place where they can relax, have lunch, get away from the computer, and not feel like they are still under observation.

• Value their input. Businesses often tell their team that they value their input, but they don’t always walk the talk. In your meetings, do you encourage, listen, and periodically implement your team’s ideas? They want to feel like they are a part of something bigger.

• Celebrate the important moments. Remember your team on special events or days. Perhaps you’ll mark important project completion dates or hiring anniversaries by taking the team out for dinner. Whatever you choose to do with your team, help them feel important by celebrating them.

• Provide a good work space. Some team members like the open office floor plan, while others like the privacy of cubicles. Provide yourself and your team with a workspace that they feel comfortable in. If they feel walled in or overly observed, they will waste time fighting the feelings they have about their workspace instead of doing actual work.

• Be generous with personal time. Your team members need a break. And so do you. Be serious about allowing your team personal time, both during the work day and in general. Make sure your team members take frequent breaks. Schedule a break for everyone with healthy snacks, if you have to. Give them regular days off. Help them feel that the work-life balance is in order so they don’t grow bitter towards their job.

If there is one single thing you can do to increase productivity, focus on that. All of the software and efficiency in the world can’t top a team member who wants to be at work and who wants to do a good job. If you get this one right, the rest is all dessert.

In order for you to focus on these items as a business owner, urBook$ offers a seamless outsourced soliton for your bookkeeping, bill pay and payroll needs. Contact urBook$ today for information on becoming a urBook$ client!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Role of Bookkeepers in Today’s World

Will machines eventually completely replace people? And now with the proliferation of cloud accounting software, our industry is asking, “What is happening to the role of the bookkeeper? Will cloud accounting automation make bookkeepers obsolete?”

The traditional bookkeeper role went something like this: client gives bookkeeper a stack of receipts and paper bank statements at some point after the close of the month. At best, this would be about two weeks after the close of the period.

Then the information all had to be keyed into the accounting software. Depending on the volume of activity and the bookkeeper’s schedule, this could take another couple of weeks, so by the time the information was returned to the business owner, the financial information was, at best, already a month out of date.

Now that people are use to real-time information anytime and anywhere, business owners’ expectations have changed, and if bookkeepers don’t adapt their methods and tools, they will soon find themselves with a dwindling client list.

In today’s world, information is provided real-time through automatic bank feeds and simply by logging into a various financial websites. It’s not unrealistic to have the information necessary to keep most accounts reconciled every single day and have the books closed within a day or two after the close of the month.

However, the improvements everyone sees in efficiency and being able to provide real-time information is just the beginning. Many would argue that the role is changing even more than that. Traditional bookkeepers as we’ve known them are going away entirely. It used to be that a good bookkeeper had solid accounting knowledge combined with quick data entry skills, and the best were also very knowledgeable about accounting software as well.

Today’s cloud bookkeepers must be knowledgeable not only about accounting software but also about many other add-on tools that could connect with that accounting software to improve productivity, eliminate data entry, and provide good results for the clients. They need to know how to evaluate them, use them, and train their clients on them. They need to provide more customer support for their clients and be able to oversee the process of data flow. They need such a strong fundamental understanding of both accounting and technology that when exceptions do pop up (as they invariably do), they need to know how to deal with them and fix the system going forward.

And then, when all the information is into the system and clean and reconciled, the accountant needs to be able to interpret the information for the client. Long gone are the days when the business owner would receive a set of financial statements (that they didn’t know how to read) as proof of a job well done. More and more they expect to understand what their numbers are telling them about their business. And if you can’t do that, someone else will.

urBook$ is committed to stay up-to-date with the latest technology available in the bookkeeping world. Our SmartVault and software allows our clients to access their data in real time, and we train our clients to maximize their services provided by urBook$ in order to provide them with more time to focus on their passion - THEIR BUSINESS!

If you have not experienced the urBook$ difference today, contact us at 469.304.0036 and experience The urBook$ difference today!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Everything You Should Know About the Switch to Chip Cards

If you haven’t received a new credit card with a “chip” on the front yet, chances are you will soon.  There is a nationwide EMV migration and it is well underway.  So what exactly is EMV? We are certain many of our clients have questions, and we will walk you through the basics of what this switch to EMV or chip cards means to you the business owner, and how your business can best prepare itself. 

Many U.S. banks are switching up the insides of our credit cards, adding what is called EMV technology, which stands for “Europay, MasterCard and Visa.”  So what exactly does that mean?  It simply means that credit cards will be equipped with a small computer chip that is extremely hard to counterfeit.  

What is driving this change? According to Nearly 1/2 of the world’s credit card fraud occurs within the United States, while only 1/4 of all credit card transactions actually occur here.  Europe and much of the rest of the world have been using EMV technology for years now and their credit card fraud rate is a fraction of what the United States reports each year.  Therefore banks want to rein this in ASAP by moving away from magnetic stripe cards, which are much easier to counterfeit.  As you are aware there have been numerous high profile security breaches at some of the country’s largest retailers which has added motivation to make the switch quickly. 

How will this affect your business? Beginning October 2015, businesses that do not have EMV processing decides could be on the hook for fraudulent chip card transactions.  This is called “liability shift.”  Currently if your business runs a fraudulent card, banks absorb the cost.  Starting October 2015, if someone pays with a fraudulent chip card, and you are not set up with an EMV card reader, the banks are no longer liable.  

How do I avoid this liability? The answer is quite simple, contact your merchant account representative (whoever processes your credit card transactions), and simply ask them to send you a chip reader processing system, which accepts BOTH EMV and NFC payments.  NFC or “near field communication” payments is the technology you have seen that allows smartphones and other devices to communicate with each other when they are close together.  Apple Pay is probably the largest example of NFC. 

If you want to stay at up to date with technology and offer these secure  transaction options for your clients, contact your merchant services representative today and order your EMV and NFC device reader today.  

UrBook$ is committed to staying on top of the latest information that can affect any business.  This is part of our urBook$ difference.  If you haven’t experienced the urBook$ difference yet, contact us today and get started as a client.  We can handle your business needs such as bill pay, payroll and bookkeeping services.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

5 Habits to Improve Your Credit

Whether you've skipped credit cards altogether, as about 1 in every 3 young adults opts to do, or you're ready to rebuild your credit history after years of late (or non) payments, now is a great time to get started. Consider these creditworthy habits that will help you get on the path to a high credit score – and lower interest rates on loans, as a result. 
1. Fix Your Mistakes: They might not even be your mistakes, per se, but inconsistencies can show up on your credit report as a result of errors or even identity theft. If you pull your credit report from any respectable credit agency such as Equifax, Experian, Trans Union , you can find aberrations and get them reversed as soon as possible.

2. Make Timely Payments: Paying off your bills on time each month is a surefire way to raise your credit score over time. If you miss a payment or are late, then your card issuer (or another entity that's charging you, like a utility company) can inform the credit bureaus, which will ding your score. 

3. Check Account Statements: As with your credit report, monthly statements from your bank or credit card issuer are worth combing through carefully because an errant charge is often the first sign of identity theft. If you do notice a problem, be sure to report it to your financial institution right away so it can be addressed

4. Stay Under Your Limit: One factor that influences your credit score is your credit utilization ratio – the percentage of your credit limit that you're using at any given time. You can improve it by either increasing your credit line or using less credit. Either approach can help boost your score.

5. Save Along with Paying Debts: Even if you're trying to pay off credit card or other forms of debt, it's also a good idea to channel some money into a savings account for emergencies. That way, the next time an unexpected expense comes up, you can use your savings to pay for it instead of charging more to your credit card.

urBook$ is committed to providing the best services possible to increase your business' financial position.  Efficient bill pay, payroll and bookkeeping can aid in easing the stress of day to day business functions.  We will ensure timely payments, correct any mistakes that could be lying out there on your credit, reconcile your statements in a timely manner each month and track your cash flow to assist with your business needs and expenses. 

Don't take on theses daunting tasks alone, contact urBook$ today to begin your experience as a urBook$ client and spend YOUR time focused on your passion - YOUR BUSINESS! 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Independence Day from urBook$

Let Freedom Ring! 

As we get ready to celebrate America’s Independence, urBook$ would like to thank every service member for their courage, strength and sacrifice.  The freedom we have as United States citizens allows for courage, choice and ultimately gives anyone the ability to follow their dreams.  

urBook$ is honored to have courageous clients that began their own business and followed their dreams.  Our goal is to ease financial book keeping, bill pay and payroll services that can be daunting tasks to any business owner.  

As you celebrate freedom this July 4th weekend, be safe and enjoy time with family and friends. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Top 5 Reasons You Should Outsource Your Payroll

As a business owner finding the time to dedicate to the ongoing payroll process can be daunting.  Outsourcing payroll by small business owners is increasing every year, and allows you to focus on processes and strategies that directly affect the future of your business.  Read 5 benefits to outsourcing your payroll as a small business owner: 

1. Time Saved 

Regardless of the number of people employed by your business, attending to payroll demands a great deal of time and attention to detail. Pay period follows pay period, each time requiring the business owner to input considerable amounts of data and double-check for any keying errors—time taken away from tasks a small business owner must attend to (including service to valued customers).
Outsourcing this function immediately frees up precious time. Employers only need to make contact with their customer service representative once each pay period.

2. Money Saved 

Time saved is money saved. Think of the time required for each of the following:
  • Calculating payroll each time period
  • Printing, signing, and distributing paychecks or pay stubs
  • Generating reports for in-house and accountant use
  • Preparing and remitting payroll taxes and returns to government agencies

When evaluated on a per-payroll-period or a monthly basis, a time/cost analysis may well indicate the benefits of an affordable payroll service provider

3. Enhanced Security 

Payroll processing is a complex and potentially risky business operation. Even with trusted employees, there is always a risk of identity theft, embezzlement of funds, or tampering with company records for personal gain. There's also an ever-present risk when using in-house payroll software: How safe and secure is payroll data on the company's server or network? This nagging question can consume a business owner's energy and attention as well.

By contrast, online payroll solutions offer a "safe haven" for your confidential payroll data. In addition to redundant backup and multiple server locations, a quality payroll provider invests in state-of-the-art systems for storing and protecting data, simply because it's part of the service provided to clients. urBook$ offers Smart Vault for your security. 

4. Compliance with Government Regulations

Generally speaking, small business owners aren't experts in the complicated world of government tax regulations. At the same time, they are legally responsible for any cases of misrepresentation or a failure to accurately report employment taxes to federal and state government agencies.

Mistakes can lead to audits and penalties—situations no small business wants or needs. As noted by, "The IRS estimates that over 40 percent of small businesses in the United States pay penalties of over $800 per year ... the result of late or incorrect filing and payments."
Government rules and regulations are always changing and small business owners can't be expected to stay on top of these changes. Professional payroll providers, on the other hand, must stay current with rules, regulations and changes in tax rates.

5. The Expertise of Professionals 

A professional payroll provider employs individuals who know payroll processing inside and out. These individuals specialize in the complexities of payroll taxes, as well as compliance with government regulations. It's what they're trained to do and part of the guaranteed service they provide.

Savings in time and money, greater data security and the comfort of knowing experts are handling your payroll functions—these are compelling reasons to explore the benefits of outsourcing today.

urBook$ offers affordable payroll services for businesses.  Contact urBook$ today and benefit from outsourced payroll for your small business. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Many small businesses struggle with creating a marketing budget and plan.  Often times you can create successful marketing campaigns within a relatively small budget.  Here are 3 tips proven to be successful on a limited budget.

1. Create Relative Content - Whether utilizing social media, blogs or electronic newsletters, make sure your content is relative to your audience.  This does not always mean your content must be related to your industry.  For example, creating content that solely promotes your business is a quick way to drive loyal clients away from your online media.  Mix up your content to include items that will engage your audience. Think about what you actually take time to read on social media / blogs and create similar content for your audience.  Conversely think of what content you skip right over and avoid it!

2. Utilize Online Media - Social media and blogs are FREE ways to generate buzz regarding your business.  Take the time to encourage your loyal clientele to engage in your online media.  Ask them to join your social media pages and follow your blog.  Inform them they will receive incentives for being great customers. Then deliver on your promise. Post exclusive promotions for your online followers.

3. Develop Online Marketing Strategies -  Facebook and Google offer ways to target very specific audiences with paid advertising campaigns.  You can set your investment to fit your marketing budget and adjust throughout your campaign.  If you are not familiar with online search engine marketing search for outsourced help with this part of your plan.  There are many experts in this field that can achieve your exact goals.  Paying for this service will be well worth your investment if you are inexperienced in online paid marketing campaigns.  Otherwise you might waste your money by paying for advertising and not actually reaching your target audience.

urBook$ is ultimately your biggest advocate as your small business bookkeeper, bill pay and payroll service provider.  Ensuring that your budget accurately reflects a realistic marketing budget is a key piece to your success.  Contact urBook$ today if you are not already a client!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

5 Money Saving Tips for Moms

Many families struggle with managing their monthly budget.  Often times, people find their expenses increasing at a greater rate than their income.  Below are a few tips for Moms everywhere, that can trim your expenses and free up your hard-earned money.

1. Review your monthly bills for hidden fees.  Many bills such as credit cards, wireless phones, internet and home phone bills will gradually increase over time.  Keep a close eye on your bills each month.  If you notice a trend of services and fees increasing, simply take a few minutes to contact the company and ask them why your bill continues to increase.  Often times, customer service will be able to remove the increased fees and lower your bill.

2. Set an automatic savings deposit from your pay check.  Whether it be your pay check or your partner's, set aside an agreed upon amount from each pay period to directly deposit into your savings account.  Over time you will see your savings increase.  Forbes suggests that the ideal savings amount to aim for is 3 - 6 months worth of living expenses.  Once you reach that goal, set a new one and keep increasing your savings.

3. Decrease your insurance premiums.  Many insurers will cut home owners policies up to 15% for customers that have a burglar alarm or deadbolt locks.  Similarly, many auto insurers will cut your policy rates for good driving records.  Periodically check with your insurance companies to see if there are any discounts you are not taking advantage of to lower your premiums.

4. Sign-up for rewards programs.  Many businesses such as your local grocery stores offer reward programs for the shopping you are already doing.  Make sure you take the time to sign up for reward programs at stores you frequently shop.  Then take the time to learn about the reward program to learn how your family can benefit best.  For example,  if your store offers fuel savings as a reward, make sure you take advantage of this savings.  Cents off each gallon over accumulated tanks of gas will add up.

5. Enjoying the fruits of your labor.  Many people will allocate every dollar of their budget to pre-determined expenses.  Re-visit your budget and see where you can carve out some personal spending money each month.  You might find that taking advantage of money savings tips mentioned above will free up money in your budget.  Take an agreed upon amount of that savings and divide it up for personal spending.  Allow yourself to splurge on that cute outfit you have your eye on at the mall.

urBook$ wishes all moms a very Happy Mother's Day.  Hopefully these tips will be beneficial to you and your family.  Contact urBook$ today to become a client and experience the urBook$ difference.

Monday, April 20, 2015

What to expect as a urBook$ client...

urBook$ is committed to provide services to our clients in a meaningful way.  We are not simply data input and transfers.  Below is a blog from titled "11 Expectations to Set for Your Bookkeeper."

At urBook$ we take pride in our relationship with you, the business owner, and want to make the most out of our relationship.  We strive to achieve the highest level of client satisfaction and are proud to state that we meet all 11 expectations set forth by the above mentioned blog.

If you are tired of scrambling to get the financial data straight within your business, contact urBook$ today so you can begin to focus on what YOU are passionate about, your business.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

urBook$ Utilizes Secure Smart Vault

Easy to Store, Secure to Share — Online Storage & Secure File Sharing in One

urBook$ utilizes client vault software for ease of secure information sharing.  SmartVault makes secure file sharing easy. Whether you’re sharing tax returns, legal documents, or even your secret family recipe, SmartVault gives you a single solution for storing and securely sharing your files in the cloud. Uploading files is easy — you can scan with one click, or drag and drop your files in and share them from any web browser or smartphone.
In just minutes, you can build a custom client portal for secure file sharing, branded with your company logo, color scheme, and URL. You decide who has access to what file, and each user only sees the files they’re granted access to. Automated email alerts notify your clients when new files are available, and secure links are a secure and convenient alternative to emailing documents.

More than just a cloud drive…

Enjoy all the ease and convenience of a cloud drive, but with the best-in-class security and advanced file sharing features that you need to run your business. Securely share files and stay in compliance with:
  • Power tools for secure file sharing made easy, including Inbox, Drive, and Client Portal
  • Online document storage built-in, so you can store and share files with a single solution
  • Mobile apps for secure file sharing on-the-go
  • Bank-level security with industry standard encryption of documents in transit and at rest
  • Activity reports tell you who accessed or modified a file and when – important for staying in compliance
  • You control access to every file and folder with granular user permissions
Become a urBook$ client today and experience the simple secure client vault.  You will find the convenience of up to date information that is accessible anytime between urBook$, your small business bookkeeper, and you our valued client - YOU!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Cleaning Tips to For Your Business

According to it is wise to set a date each year, perhaps even more frequently, to re-evaluate your business plan and update or “clean-up” any struggling areas.  Below are 4 tips to guide you through “spring cleaning.” 

  1. Staying up to date with technology to improve your business.  Sometimes improved technological services within your industry can drastically improve your business efficiency and accessibility for your clients.  For example, is there a POS software update that allows for your business to spend less time on merchandise and more time focused on customer service?
  2. Update your website content monthly & incorporate a blog to keep your online presence “relevant” to Google. Algorithms are updated and changed constantly regarding how search engines index businesses for online listings.  One way to keep your business as high on search engine lists as possible is to keep content on your website updated on a regular basis.  One way to achieve this is a blog that streams current information regarding your business 
  3. Update your listing and memberships within the community; i.e.: BBB; Local Chamber of Commerce; any civic and philanthropic organizations you can be a part of make sure you have business info very visible for maximum exposure. 
  4. Know your demographic well and position your business to that demographic.  Every business owner would like detailed information regarding their target demographic.  If you have a specific audience you can target them directly through online marketing.  

urBook$ continually strives to ease the financial burden of bookkeeping, bill paying and payroll for your business.  Together you can access and update your information online daily along with our team of experienced accounting professionals. To inquire about becoming a urBook$ client today contact us at 469.304.0036 or and get started today. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

How well do you know your business?

Your employees may be able to tell you a lot about your business you may not know. What do customers really think about your product or service? Are there more complaints (or less) than usual? What could be done to improve sales, marketing and customer service?

It seems simple enough just to ask the people who work for you, “What’s going on and how can we improve?” and expect an honest answer. But, due to the nature of the boss-employee relationship, things don’t always work that way.

Employees rely upon you for their livelihood, so they are less likely to speak truthfully.  Non-candid feedback is meaningless, and will not help you run your company more effectively.
So how do you get people to open up? Here are four tips to nudge them toward sharing creative suggestions for growing the business:

1. Share the big picture. 

If employees don’t understand the financial state of your business — and what you’ve 
got planned for the future — it’s difficult for them to offer useful feedback. Take every 
opportunity to share information about the business, both successes and setbacks, so 
they have a better sense of how their knowledge and creativity might help spur growth.

2. Actively encourage participation. 

There are plenty of ways to encourage employees to share their ideas for improving the company: 

 • Have an “open door policy” (at least during part of the work week).
 • Hold occasional brainstorming sessions outside of the workplace.
 • Put up a suggestion box.
 • Create a “shopping list” of topics you’d like to see addressed and invite employees to offer comments and suggestions.

Encourage employee participation by communicating the benefits of their ideas to your organization, your customers, as well as employees themselves. Make it clear there’s no such thing as a bad idea. Employees (like just about everyone else) are generally risk-averse. An idea could mean they will have to explain it, give a presentation, or risk difficult questions on unfamiliar topics.

Some employee ideas may be game-changers. Some will result in only marginal improvement. Others will simply fall flat. You must make it clear that, regardless of the outcome, there’s no penalty for sincerely offered ideas that fail to move the needle.

3. Reward your employees’ creativity. 

Whether an idea results in explosive growth or simply helps overcome a minor operational 
hurdle, people are more forthcoming when some type of reward is involved. Always start
with a publicly delivered “thank you” to everyone who offers suggestions. Other low-cost
rewards might include an extra day off, special notice at a staff meeting, a coffee shop or
movie gift card, a free car wash, or a company-hosted lunch at a local restaurant.

The trick to giving your people rewards that make a real difference is to personalize them.

4. Get to know your team. 

Encouraging open communication and rewarding ideas for improvement to your business cannot be a one-size-fits-all type of reward.  Take a few minutes each week to connect with your employees.  Personal interaction and knowing what motivates your employees will make your rewards effective.  

Hopefully you stay in tune with your business and employees as much as possible.  urBook$ strives to communicate pro-actively when it comes to your bookkeeping. bill pay and payroll services.  Contact urBook$ today to become a client and experience the urBook$ difference

Monday, February 2, 2015

urBook$ offers SmartVault for Secure Information Sharing

Many business owners and managers prefer to keep their files and accounts up to date on a daily basis. Bookkeepers and businesses have struggles in the past finding a secure way to continuously share and update information related to their business.  E-mail is a great form of communication but unfortunately it is not very secure.  Who wants the personal financial information of their business accessible to anyone with access to e-mail?

With SmartVault urBook$ client's can access their data anytime of day or night and know it is up to date and secure.

SmartVault offers the ability for clients to:

1. Access files at any time and from any device.  Enjoy the ability to access your data without having to be in front of a computer.  SmartVault is mobile friendly and can easily be utilized from any device you are using.

2 Securely share files with clients, employees and partners at your discretion.  You can customize your vault to have select groups that can access certain files without having to share your entire vault of sensitive information.

3. You can attach and view files utilizing apps such as Quickbooks from any device.  SmartVault allows you to have the ability to update your information or attach new data directly from software to your vault.

These 3 key features of SmartVault allows urBook$ to maintain accurate and up to date data for your business, and allows you access to your data any time and any place.  This feature can allow urBook$ to serve it's clients anywhere in the world.  No more trips to your bookkeepers office - it can all be done securely online with urBook$.  Contact urBook$ today and get started as a urBook$ client.  You will find our secure vault and data sharing allows you to easily pass off the day to day bookkeeping, bill paying and payroll tasks - saving you time to focus on what you do best...YOUR BUSINESS!

Monday, January 19, 2015

3 Tips to Grow Your Business

Have you ever heard of a business that is NOT interested with increasing their revenue?  Any business can benefit from increasing their bottom line and decreasing costs.  At urBook$ we are constantly researching ideas for ways to improve our clients revenue while decreasing operating costs.

Below are a few different tips that have proven to be beneficial to a majority of our clients.

1. Never be afraid to ask for help.  Often times business owners carry the weight of decision making entirely on their shoulders.  It's not that you should give up the decision making; however, you should gather insight and advice from any and every expert you can.  Humility will get you far in life....pride will only hold you back. Maybe your strong quality as a business owner is not in logistics of the business but marketing your product.  Seek advice from someone who has their strength in logistics and always be willing to give sought advice in your strong suits.

2. ALWAYS carefully plan any changes, expansion and/or anticipated growth to your business.  Strategic planning can play a vital role in the success of launching a new product, changing locations or adding a location to your business to name a few.  However, overthinking and planning can also debilitate your ability to successfully achieve these tasks.  Finding the balance between a properly planned goal and implementing the goal can be a very difficult task.  Try to find the balance and don't over analyze the steps.

3. Implementation is key.  Once you have sought expert advice, weighed pros and cons, and strategically planned out your next business you must implement.  Ideas are not expensive, implementing these ideas incorrectly can come with an extremely high price tag.  Try to always keep cost in mind when going forward with your timeline of business strategy, and GO FOR IT.  Don't let fear keep you from acting on your intuition.

If your business is not benefiting from sound bookkeeping, bill paying, and payroll services look to urBook$ to solve your small business needs.  We specialize in taking the burden of these tasks off your plate and allowing you to focus on your forte - your business! Contact urBook$ today to schedule your initial complimentary consultation and get on your way to achieving your business goals for 2015!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Setting Goals for Your Business in 2015

The dreaded New Year's Resolutions....

We have all done the usual broad personal resolutions: lose weight, save more, spend less... Have you ever analyzed how many of your personal resolutions have been successful?  According to Forbes, only 8& of people actually achieve their New Year's Resolutions! Why? Because there is no method of setting an achievable, measurable goal.

For example, if you set to resolve "to lose weight."  This term is broad.  However, if you set to lose 10 pounds in 6 months by going to the gym Mon/Wed/Fri for 60 minutes, eating out only 5 times per month, making frequent grocery store trips to ensure fresh fruits and veggies for healthy eating; Now you have an achievable measurable goal.

This same principal can be applies to your business.  Although it takes more time on the front end to strategically plan out your goals, in the long run you will increase your success rate of accomplishing your goals 10 fold.

If you have trouble goal setting as many people do, try setting your goals using the SMART method.


Taking our same goal of "weight loss" from above you can quickly see how breaking this down in to:

Specific: lose 10 lbs in 6 months
Measurable: 10 lbs in 6 month
Attainable: Work-out 3 x per week; eat better
Relevant: Eating out 5 times per month; frequent grocery store trips
Time-bound: 6 months

This takes a simple task with no limits of "weight loss" to very specific goals and limits.

Try starting 2015 off with setting SMART goals for your small business.  urBook$ can assist with your small business bill pay, account ledger, payroll and bookkeeping.  Taking these tasks and achieving your SMART goals for 2015!

Call urBook$ today to start your journey as a urBook$ client and experience the urBook$ difference today!