3 posts categorized "Business Tips"

December 23, 2011

My Tech New Year's Resolutions Part 2: Teaching My Kid's Fiscal Responsibility

image from i1137.photobucket.comEvery parent I know is struggling to both connect their child’s allowance to homework and household chores. They are also encouraging their child to manage their allowance wisely, splitting the money between short-term purchases, long-term savings and charity. While my first tech new years resolution is to re-organize my business, my second tech new years resolution is to evaluate all the options to set up a responsible allowance system for my children.

1. Find an online system to manage my kids allowance that also teaches fiscal responsibility: I will be looking for a system that exists in the cloud (online) so I can set it up - then have my kids join to manage their budgeting using their laptops and desktops. Of course - then I can set it up and maintain it using my laptop. I want the system to not only keep track of chores and corresponding allowance payments due,  but also allow my kids to save up for higher price items and contribute to charity.

Continue reading "My Tech New Year's Resolutions Part 2: Teaching My Kid's Fiscal Responsibility" »

December 22, 2011

My Tech New Year's Resolutions Part 1: Re-Organize My Business

image from i1137.photobucket.com

The New Year is almost here- a perfect time to set goals to improve my business. For parents like me working at home and confined to a small work space, being organized is vital. While I have gone through my desk and decluttered over the last few months, the next step is to figure out how I can improve my business workflow and in turn improve my productivity.

1. Tame the receipts: Folders on my desktop are great for day to day review of expenses, but scanning and storing receipts either on my computer or in the cloud is a more efficient long-term solution.

2. Automate the tax Process: Using an tax accountant is helpful for quarterly and annual filings. As my business grows, so does the volume of data for tax time. Automating my business accounting saves time at the desk, improves day to day workflow, and frees up more time for clients. Next up: figure out what accounting software or apps I should use.

3. Create and stick to a business budget: I posted last month about my adventures in budgeting using the American Express Prepaid Card. Next year, my goal is to set and stick to budgets for my projects and conferences by loading up the budget in advance to my American Express Prepaid Card. When I use my regular business charge card for projects or conferences, I don't always manage to budget. It’s time to curb ad-hoc shopping while on business trips and stick to business. One resolution for 2012 is to create a more thorough suitcase packing list that adapts to different climates. How many of us arrive at a conference without a sweater to keep warm in overly cold air conditioned conference rooms?

4. Update my website: I hired a fabulous team of developers to redesign my website - and now it’s time to update the information. Techmamas.com serves 2 important roles: 1) A platform for my voice, and 2) An effecitve visual resume. I have an “about” page, but need to add information on recent press appearances, consulting services and speaking engagements. Word of mouth is effective, but a personal website that clearly communicates press information and services provided is MORE effective.

5. Use more business Apps: The first apps loaded onto my new smartphone were the standard apps including Twitter, Facebook and other social apps. Next year, I want to identify and install mobile time saving and productivity enhancing applications that can do things like  increase document travel expenses, hail taxis, figure out tips and easily share videos apps on the road.

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with American Express Prepaid Card.

December 05, 2011

Adventures in Budgeting With The American Express Prepaid Card

*see disclosures at bottom of post*

image from i1137.photobucket.comMy new career blogging about technology began after I left full time employment in the field of technology consulting to focus on raising three wonderful boys. Blogging introduced me to an amazing social media community, not only online but also at meetups, conferences and social media events. Even though I had traveled plenty for business before having kids, I found traveling for my own business very different than traveling for an employer. It really started to add up. First a conference ticket, then a hotel and taxi. Add in food and a “must have” new pair of shoes, as well as other assorted travel expenses, and I seemed to always exceed my target for travel expenses. Like others who followed a passion that lead to a business, I too learned a little too late that when running your own company, budgeting is a must.

OK, maybe I did not need the new pair of shoes and a new outfit, but considering I spend most work days at home dressed in sweats, I like to spruce it up a bit for business conferences.

So instead of spending less - I increased the budget. This works for the trip - but when I return home reality takes over. I need better fiscal control.

Enter American Express Prepaid Card for my trip to BlogWorld LA and my first attempt to stay on budget.

 

Business Trip Tips Using The American Express Prepaid Card from Beth Blecherman on Vimeo.

For my trip to BlogWorld Los Angeles in November, I used the American Express prepaid card to manage my spending and pre-loaded it with, for the first time, only the amount in my budget. Because it is prepaid I could only spend the amount I loaded on the card.

Continue reading "Adventures in Budgeting With The American Express Prepaid Card" »

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