Social Media Tip from Jessica Murr

This month’s tip is to use ‘Lists’
on Facebook.

Use lists to organize your “friends” and “fans” into categories like “Past customers” “Good Leads” or “Referrals”. This way you can be sure to interact with and maintain relationships you already have, nurture relationships with new customers, and build relationships with people who are not yet customers. Building relationships is one of the best uses for online social networking and you can build loyalty in just a few minutes a week.

For more on creating lists and interacting with customers to build relationships and accomplish other goals through online social media call the Small Business Development Center at 530-242-7630 and ask to schedule an appointment with Jessica Murr in Mt Shasta or Yreka.

Jessica Murr is an online social media consultant for the Small Business Development Center hosted at Shasta College serving Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, Modoc and Lassen Counties. She is also a private business owner serving businesses all around the globe with consultations, profile management, online marketing strategies, and education.  Contact Information:

Jessica Murr
jessica@socialmediabutterfly.co (dot co, not dot com)

Social Media Consultant with the SBDCSC
http://www.sbdcsc.org/
(530) 225-2770 Office
1420 Butte Street, Redding, CA 96001

“Your small business success is our business”

Stephanie’s December Business News

This month I interviewed Sharon Shepard of Siskiyou Counseling and Consultation Services, whom recently opened up her practice during these challenging economic times.

Q: What services do you offer?

A: I am a Marriage Family Therapist (MFT) and offer counseling for children, individuals, couples and families. Over the past 25 years I have specialized in counseling children and adolescents, abuse survivors, marriage relationships and people who are in transition in their lives. I have been in Siskiyou County for the past 11 years and have been in charge of Children’s Mental Health services. For a year I was in charge of Alcohol and Other Drug services and most recently have also been in charge of Adult Services.

Q: Was it a difficult decision to open up a business while the economy made many people nervous about spending money?

A: Counseling is about helping people through difficult situations and experiences. The current economic situation is very sobering and is creating stress and anxiety for many people. Having a private practice allows me the opportunity to come alongside of people, to encourage them and to help them along the path of their life. I offer a sliding scale for some of my services to assist those who need counseling.

Q: What has surprised you the most about opening up a therapy practice?

A: I was surprised at the quality of support and training through the Small Business Development Center, JEDI and the Chamber of Commerce. Also, it has been great being part of a small community where people are helpful and supportive.

Q: How do people know about your practice?

A: I have had referrals from local pastors, attorneys and other professionals in the community. Also, I have had requests for counseling from people who have accessed my website (siskiyoucounseling.com). Otherwise, referrals have come by word of mouth and from clients referring others.

Q: What help did you get from the Small Business Development Center?

A: Stephanie Hoffman has been great! She is very knowledgeable and has given me suggestions and direction in making business contacts in the community. She has helped me develop a plan for my business and to stay on track with that plan. In addition, I took some great courses at the Small Business Development Center in Redding.

Q: Any plans for business expansion?

A: I recently took the training necessary to do child custody evaluations. Separation and divorce is very difficult for each member of the family. My hope is to be of service in various ways to children and their parents as they go through this difficult experience. I am also exploring the possibility of opening an office in Mt. Shasta.

Q: What is your contact information?

A: Siskiyou Counseling and Consultation Services, 208 Fourth Street (Yreka)

(530) 842-7227 / www.siskiyoucounseling.com

The Northeastern Small Business Development Center is available to assist you with the mentioned suggestions and can help businesses be competitive in a complex marketplace. Our center provides no cost one-on-one business consulting for Siskiyou, Shasta, and Trinity Counties. We are hosted by both College of the Siskiyous and Shasta College. For more tips call our Yreka office (located at 212 Butte St.) to make an appointment with business consultant Stephanie Hoffman at 842-2470 or email shoffman@sbdcsc.org www.sbdcsc.org

Stephanie’s November Business Tip:

Record Keeping Basics

Record keeping may not sound like an exciting topic to cover in a blog; however, it is essential to understand how it leads to business success. Without good record keeping it is impossible to determine the financial condition or profitability of a business. Typically, medium and large size companies have accounting departments and expensive software programs to guide management. Small business owners usually rely on a bookkeeper and themselves for record keeping.

Savvy entrepreneurs tend to make decisions on instinct; however, it is important not to solely rely on intuition when making financial decisions. Recording and keeping good records helps you make intelligent decisions and identify how much the business needs to keep the doors open.

Can You Answer These Questions?

  • How much income are you generating now and how much income can you expect to generate in the future?
  • How much cash is tied up in accounts receivable (and not available to you) and for how long?
  • How much do you owe for merchandise? Rent? Utilities? Equipment?
  • What are your expenses, including payroll, payroll taxes, merchandise, advertising, equipment and facilities maintenance, and benefit plans for yourself and employees (such as health insurance, retirement, etc.)?
  • How much cash do you have on hand? How much cash is tied up in inventory? What is your actual working-capital budget?
  • What is your gross profit? What is your net profit?

If you are having trouble answering the above questions, then I highly recommend you implement a record keeping system to help you manage the business.

Basic Record Keeping Systems

A basic record keeping system, whether on paper or an off-the-shelf computer software program, like QuickBooks, should be simple to use, easy to understand, reliable, accurate, consistent, and designed to provide information on a timely basis. It generally needs:

  • A basic journal to record transactions (receipts, disbursements, sales, purchases, etc.)
  • Accounts receivable records
  • Accounts payable records
  • Payroll records
  • Petty cash records
  • Inventory records

Your bookkeeper or accountant can develop the entire system most suitable for your business needs and train you in maintaining these records on a regular basis. These records will form the basis of your financial statements and tax returns.

The Northeastern Small Business Development Center is available to assist you with the mentioned suggestions and can help businesses be competitive in a complex marketplace.  Our center provides no cost one-on-one business consulting for Siskiyou, Shasta, and Trinity Counties.  We are hosted by both College of the Siskiyous and Shasta College.  For more tips call our Yreka office (located at 212 Butte St.) to make an appointment with business consultant Stephanie Hoffman at 842-2470 or email shoffman@sbdcsc.org

www.sbdcsc.org