Capturing the Boomer Dollar

You will have to have been residing in a cave the last few years to not know that the Baby Boomer Generation is one of the wealthiest, most active generations yet. I am proud to be counted among that number. Another truism about my generation is that if your business reaches me, it will also reach my parents, my children and my grandchildren. I stay abreast of all of their likes and dislikes so that I can use my buying power to provide travel, entertainment, clothing and dining for them as well as for myself.

We Boomers do not belong to a generation that adheres to the concept that we have never needed that type of (technology, transportation, entertainment, etc.) before so why should we invest in it now. We Boomers want to embrace the new while at the same time retain our appreciation for the old. I want to know the terminology of the younger generation but do I want to be greeted by a “Howdy” when I walk into the establishment staffed by that generation. The answer to that is a resounding “No!”

That’s why marketing to us is not only a challenge, it can be a rewarding teachable moment. Just like when I started watching the new animated films with my grandkids. Did I go into the theater expecting to be entertained? No, of course not. Was I expanding my horizon or merely pleasing my grandkids? I will be honest and say that I was merely tagging along to play the “grandma dollar card” and see the smiles. Because I have an open mind, it was blown away by the creativity, the underlying humor, the exceptional message and also by the smiles.

That’s when I started paying attention to the markets and marketers who approached me. For instance I learned when I went into a store to purchase a new computer system that I was practically invisible. Salespeople walked right by me in an attempt to go visit with either a younger customer or go back to their station to visit with other salespeople. When I did leave the store with no computer in tow and was asked if I found everything I needed, my response was that “I would have spent a lot more money if someone had actually paid attention to me!”

Boomers are not invisible, we are on the cutting edge of technology, we are stylish, we are financially savvy and we have realized that we can’t take it with us, so we are more generous with our spending power. We will pay more for good service and we will remember the server. We will cultivate new social circles that will be multigenerational. We have a healthy admiration for the younger population and know that their future will be full of change and charged with energy and success, but are very thankful that we grew up with party lines, no remotes, no GPS systems and we learned patience when ordering items because “next day delivery” wasn’t even a concept much less a realization.

So here is my suggestion for businesses who want to romance the Boomers:
• Invite a Boomer to a training session to critique the verbal interchanges that may take place within your organization.

• Stand back and actually “look” at that market. Watch the purpose in their step, the pride in the way they carry themselves and what their eyes settle on when they enter your establishment and the expression on their faces.

• Be visible and attentive but not overwhelming.

• Anticipate some of the questions they might have and have the answers.

• Be prompt.

• Be neat.

• Smile.

• No “Howdys”.

• Don’t stand in the corner on the phone where we can see you.

• Don’t gossip about people around other salespeople because I could be that person’s mother/cousin/friend or…

• Realize that my initial visit may just be a walk through or I may have a distinct purpose, treat me the same either way.

• I would not expect you to be tolerant and appreciative of my generation if I cannot extend you the same courtesy. I am not above learning how to be a courteous consumer.

How to Choose a Right QuickBooks Software for Your Small and Mid-Sized Business

Efforts gradually turning into fruition to handling lots of procedures and operations to working with a number of employees, managing a small or mid-sized business is both stressful and rewarding. To effectively fulfill the assigned tasks and to manage all resources, it is essential to automate the basic yet important tasks such as accounting. This will help you to focus or core activities and to think strategically and will help you to save your time and money.

To streamline your accounting and to manage your finances, QuickBooks comes with a vast number of apps, from which you can choose a suitable software to fulfill your specialized business needs. However, more choices come with more confusion and when it comes to choosing an app, the situation becomes more complex. And therefore, it becomes necessary for the business to do thorough research to select the best fit.

We have come up with a checklist that will help your business to find the right QuickBooks app.

Identify your top priorities and problem areas

Knowing your business needs, top priorities, and pain points will help you recognize your current and long-term business requirements. For instance, you need to consider the number of people who will be using it, your current employees’ needs, the size of the business, etc. Many software limits the number of users per account while others come up with multi-user access by charging extra costs. So, it is important to consider all aspects of your business before coming to a conclusion.

Understand Functional Requirements

Identifying the functional requirements that you want in your software will help you figure out whether the app will accomplish the required tasks or not. These tasks may include the creation of automatic expense entry in QuickBooks, extraction of receipt data, and more. Once you are done with the complete list of the ‘must-have’ and ‘need-to-have’ features, you will be able to find ideal software for your business.

Do Your Research and Browse The App Categories

Thorough research of the categories of the apps in the QuickBooks App Store will help you know the top priorities that need your attention. For instance, some of the prominent app categories of QuickBooks are managing human resource, run payroll that includes paying bills of your contracts and of employees on time, performing analytics to turn QuickBooks data into meaningful insights, tracking time of payroll and invoicing, sync data to avoid manual data entry, automated tax preparation features etc. Once you have considered the categories, you need to shortlist the selected software. Now, read about the software, customer review, description and check the demonstration. Meticulous research will help you to choose the best app to match your business needs.

Think App as a Business Investment

Apps will help you save your time and lend a helping hand by growing your sales by reaping your efforts in monetary terms. Moreover, by taking your apps to the cloud you can make your software mobile as well. QuickBooks Cloud hosting will help your employees to collaborate and cooperate with your team and clients on a real-time basis. Investing in apps will help you get more done in limited resources and will grant better control of your resources.

Train Your Staff

To avoid confusion and garner the utmost usability of your software it is quintessential to train your employees. It also helps to make them aware of the features and its usability. Doing this will help integrate new software into your existing system. Above all, ‘learning is not a spectator sport’ and therefore learning should be an inherent part of the business.

Benefit Of Having Good And Timely Financial Report

While there are numerous benefits of having accurate and timely financial reports, we have identified few key benefits of financial statements.
1. Understanding the Financial Status of Your Business
The complete financial status of your business can be presented in a quality financial statement. The three main financial statements are the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement. The balance sheet reflects the owner’s equity after the liabilities are subtracted from the assets. The income statement which is also known as the profit and loss statement shows the profit derived from income over a defined period of time. A cash flow statement is a valuable tool for showing if there is enough cash coming in to pay for the operations of the business. A cash flow can be projected out over several months. The Income Statement shows how the restaurant and hotel perform over a period of time (i.e. a week, month or year). It takes all restaurant and hotel expenses into account, from prepaid expenses to expenses paid in the future. Overall, the Income Statement tells the operator if the business is making a profit. From there, the operator can begin making changes in policy and implementing strategies that will help the restaurant achieve its goals. Should new sales programs be implemented? Does food cost in line with menu prices? Is the restaurant hitting its budgets? Can the owner(s) make distributions to the partners? These are some of the key questions that need to be addressed. The basic formula for an Income Statement is:
Sales – Cost of Goods Sold – Expenses = Profit/Loss
The Income Statement is everyone’s favorite financial statement to review because it reveals the nature of the restaurants and hotel success. Restaurant and Hotel financial statements should be broken down into the following categories:
• Sales/room revenue
• Salaries
• Employee Benefits
• Controllable
• Occupancy
• General and Administrative
• Depreciation
• Interest
• Other Income

If sales and expenses are broken down into specific categories, the operator can easily compare and analyze his or her restaurant and hotel to industry standard percentages. Timely financial reporting will help to control the cost of goods sold like beverage cost food cost
The health of a restaurant and hotel can be analyzed from the Balance Sheet at any point in time (i.e. today, last month or tomorrow). The Balance Sheet allows operators to forecast short and long-term cash flow. As important as it is to review the Balance Sheet, few restaurants ever bother to prepare it. By checking the accuracy of the Balance Sheet, an operator can ensure the accuracy of the Income Statement. The Balance Sheet lists all the assets, liabilities and equity of the restaurant. The formula for the Balance Sheet is:
Assets = Liabilities + Equity
In the simplest terms, assets are what the business owns such as equipment, inventory or cash. Liabilities are what the business owes such as vendor bills, loans, notes, and leases. Even a gift certificate is a liability because the restaurant owes someone a meal at a future date. Equity is the ownership of the business.
It is important that assets and liabilities are properly classified on the Balance Sheet. To get a clearer picture of the business, an operator should break down the Balance Sheet into subcategories. The breakdown is explained as follows:
• Current Assets: assets with the life less than a year (i.e. cash, credit card receivables, inventory and prepaid expenses).
• Fixed Assets: assets with a life greater than a year that directly attributes to producing revenue (i.e. equipment, computers, furniture and leasehold improvements).
• Other Assets: assets with a life longer than a year that is not directly involved in the production of revenue (i.e. security deposits, trademarks and artwork).
Liabilities require a similar classification and are broken down as follows:
• Current Liabilities: debts due within one year (i.e. accounts payable, accrued expenses, short-term loans and even gift certificates).
• Long-Term Liabilities: debts due that extend beyond one year (i.e. notes payable or long-term leases).
There is so much information to be gained from the Balance Sheet. For example, a restaurant and hoteliers that have large debts may have major cash flow problems. Identifying the current debts from the long-term debts on the Balance Sheet help determine the short and long-term cash needs, as well as the business potential success. Restaurateurs and hoteliers who take on large debts upon opening could be shooting themselves in the foot. The restaurant may show large profits based on the Income Statement, but the restaurant may not have money because it is paying out the outstanding debt (which is revealed in the Balance Sheet).
Most restaurants and hotels are set up as Partnerships or Sub Chapter S corporations, they have to explain all business expenses and income to all partner.
2. Sales Pattern
Financial statements reveal how much a restaurant owner and hoteliers earns per year in sales. The sales may fluctuate, but financial planners should be able to identify a pattern over years of sales figures. For example, the restaurant owner and hoteliers may have a pattern of increased sales when a new product is released. The sales may drop after a year or so of being on the market. This is beneficial, as it shows potential and sales patterns so executives know to expect a drop in sales.
3. Financial Statements Will Help Prepare A Budget And Make Financial Decisions
Timely financial reporting will help you prepare a budget and make an easy way to take the financial decisions to grow the business.
4. Improved financial management
Timely financial reporting helps you to examine and correct any weaknesses in your financial systems. Improved financial management allows you to focus on current financial matters and develop future plans.
5. Better resource management
Due to timely frame financial report the restaurant owners and hoteliers will get accurate numbers of resources, therefore, they can use optimum use of all resources.
6. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
Under this type of accounting practice, Business Owners may assess the performance of the Employees in the financial performance of the business.