Top 10 Business Influencers to Follow in 2020

Neil Patel

Neil Patel

Known for his work within the digital marketing industry, Neil Patel is an industry giant to follow. With his entrepreneurship mindset and experience working with some of the largest companies in the world, Patel provides business owners with tools and resources to gain followers and increase brand exposure.



Vanessa Lau

Vanessa Lau

Vanessa Lau is a young and upbeat influencer to take note of. Lau’s no-filter approach provides followers with tips to create a social media presence that generates real leads. With more than 100,000 YouTube subscribers and an even larger Instagram following, Lau shares new hacks to help business owners take the Internet by storm!



Mellody Hobson

mellody hobson

As the Vice Chair of Starbucks, Director at JPMorgan Chase, and president of Ariel Investments, Mellody Hobson is an individual to keep up with. Hobson is recognized for her voice on financial literacy, and she uses her platform to challenge corporation’s approach to race relations within the workforce. Through her social media presence on Twitter, TED talks, and appearances on television, Hobson is someone to follow.


Marie Forleo

As the host of MarieTV, personal entrepreneur, and a philanthropist, Marie Forleo empowers entrepreneurs to turn their dreams and passions into a reality. Centered around her dedication to helping small business owners make an impact on the world and live a fulfilled life, Furleo is one to turn to for motivation and the tools you need to be successful.



Melinda Emerson

Featured in The New York Times, MSNBC, FOX, Black Enterprise, Fortune, and CNBC, Melinda Emerson is your go-to woman for small business advice. With 20 years of experience, she is providing insight to small businesses on starting a business, marketing, growing your business, social media engagement, finance and accounting, and more. If you currently aren’t keeping up with Emerson, make sure to follow her to level up!



Derek Halpern

Derek Halpern, founder of Social Triggers is a force to keep up with. His platform teaches entrepreneurs how to become marketers, salesmen, and persuaders. For business owners struggling to increase website traffic, his integration of content and data marketing provides business owners with the opportunity to increase sales online. If you are looking for help to increase sales online, make sure to follow Derek Halpern.



Bryan Elliott

Hosted by Bryan Elliott, Behind the Brand TV is an exclusive look into business owners from a diverse list of industries. Learn from the stories of some of the most successful people in the world. Make sure to check out this show to learn from some of your favorites!



Dave Ramsey

From hot topics such as debt, retirement, budgeting, savings, insurance, home selling, and more. Although this podcast is not specific to small businesses, his information on wealth management can be applied to your business. If you are not currently listening to The Dave Ramsey Show, make sure to follow his podcast.


Daymond Grind

As seen on the popular ABC show Shark Tank, Daymond John has created the podcast called Rise & Grind to provide business owners with the opportunity to learn success secrets from the greats. With limited time in the day, this show provides business owners with the opportunity to maximize their day.


Russel Brunson

Diving into the secrets that brought Russel Brunson great success after college, the Marketing Secrets podcast is a series dedicated to sharing the lessons Brunson learned and creating a new marketing strategy. Based on his business, his secrets provide small business owners with the opportunity to grow their business with no outside capital. Make sure to listen to Brunson’s Marketing Secrets.


Small Business Grants & Resources For Women

women-owned business grants

An article by Fundera states that there are 12.3 million women owned businesses. With 40% of U.S. businesses owned by women, it is imperative to make sure women continue to start and grow more businesses in the United States.

We’ve started a list of grants for women and will add to the list as we identify new opportunities.

Amber Grant
The Amber Grant Fund is an organization that was created to honor the late Amber Wigdahl. The award provides one woman business owner with $4,000 each month. In addition, women are eligible for a $25,000 grant at the end of the year.

Red Backpack Fund (Opens July6-13th)
The Red Backpack Fund is for minority-women owned businesses and nonprofits in the United States. 200 grantees will be selected each month to receive 5,000 and entrepreneurship advice from Sara Blakely.

IFund for Women
IFund for Women is an organization that partners with many companies such as Unilever, Adidas, Visa, and more to provide women entrepreneurs with funding to startup and grow their businesses. Make sure to check out their database for new and exciting grant opportunities!

If you have suggestions for women’s funding or other resources please comment below.

4 Moves You Can Make for More Success

4 Moves You Can Make for More Success

Are you looking for ways to grow your business or personal influence? Many professionals will create a 10-point check list that guarantees quick success. Once starting the list, it is unlikely you will have to time to complete all the points. In this blog, you will receive 4 ways to become more successful that you can integrate into your life without disrupting your entire schedule.

Get a Masters in Free University
Whether it be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or maybe even email, you have most likely received a notification about an informational webinar session. With your busy schedule and list of to-dos, the idea of listening to someone talking may seem like a sacrifice of time you don’t have to give away.

However, there are many benefits to attending informational sessions for your industry, interests, and overall informationals about issues you may need help with.

–You can learn new ways to become more successful in your industry

–Attending webinars provide you with networking opportunities

–They can provide you with exclusive information

Talk to Influencers
If you wanted to learn how to play an instrument, you can pick up a trumpet and learn from trial and error. This is a method some pursue; however, you may learn incorrectly, or the process may take longer.

The same applies to small business owners. If you see someone where you aspire to be, don’t be afraid to reach out to those individuals. An email or LinkedIn message may lead to an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, successes, or you may simply gain a useful contact. Reach out and connect with people who are doing what you want to do in life.

Stay up to Date in Your Industry
When first entering the workforce or starting your own business, it was essential to be aware of the current climate of your industry. In order to impress the hiring manager or new customer, it was essential to know what events, people, or new developments were occurring around you. After many years, it may not seem as important to research who, or what, is changing around you. There is already an established workplace or steady stream of customers.

Ask yourself when the last time you read an article, watched a special, or used another outlet to challenge the way you worked. Be aware of your competition, industry leaders, and new technology. By staying up to date, you will see an increase in ideas and opportunities that can lead to success.

Become Creative with your Yes
The phrase, “thinking outside of the box” has commonly been used to inspire creativity.  Inadvertently, this may foster a non-productive thought process. Instead of focusing on the limitations, consider the possibilities when thinking of creative solutions, goals, and other ways to grow.

Write down a list of things to say yes to that you may have put off, not considered, or decided was not possible. Look at the list of things you will say yes to and follow through on. Success is based on the ability to see a challenge and take the risk.

As you are writing this list, you may realize you never said no to any of your goals, but not completing a task is the same as saying no. Starting today, challenge yourself to stop saying no.

Defining small goals is a great way to integrate these ideas into your week. We hope these four suggestions got you thinking about your next steps. What’s one habit you’d like to create?

5 Major Changes Involving the PPP

5 Major Changes Involving the Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) portion of the recent CARES Act was aimed at helping small and mid-sized businesses by supporting the ability of employers to keep workers on their payrolls with forgivable loans.

Lawmakers passed a bill on June 5th, 2020 that would severely impact how the funds of the original PPP loan are allocated within a business. The new bill is called PPPFA (Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act) and it modifies the original terms of the PPP agreement.

1. Originally, at least 75% of the PPP loan proceeds must go toward payroll for the loan to be forgiven. In the newly signed legislation, the 75% threshold was lowered to 60% so that businesses can spend the other 40% of PPP loan proceeds on non-payroll costs and still be eligible for forgiveness.

The law did not change the provision on how the PPP funds for non-related payroll cost is spent. Non-related payroll eligible expenses include rent, mortgage payments (not including principle), utility payments and interest on loans.

This new change is very beneficial for business owners that don’t have as high of a payroll cost and have more non-payroll related expenses. However, you will owe money when the loan is due if you use the loan amount for anything other than payroll costs, mortgage, interest, rent and utilities payments.

2. The time period to use the PPP funds was 8 weeks and it has now been extended to 24 weeks OR no later than December 31, 2020.  Prior to the new signed legislation, a business owner would have had to meet the requirements for the PPP and that owner would have only had 8 weeks of forgiveness. After those 8 weeks were up, the rest would be considered a loan and would have to be paid back. However, now, the time period to use the funds is extended to 24 weeks and whatever funds remaining after the 24 weeks will be considered a loan.

3. The deadline to rehire employees was June 30th and has now been extended to December 31st, 2020. This new deadline assures loan forgiveness will not be reduced if the borrower can document the good faith attempt to rehire former employees or find similarly qualified replacements by December 31, 2020.

Since many businesses were concerned that they would not be able to meet the re-hire standards, lawmakers have significantly extended the deadline to rehire. This new date must be met in order for the employees’ salaries to be forgiven. However, the per person salary cap remains at $100,000 in terms of how much can be forgiven.

4. The PPPFA also eased the rehire requirements by adding additional exceptions for a reduced head count. The new laws state that a business can receive forgiveness on payroll amounts if the business:

–Is unable to rehire an individual who was an employee of the eligible recipient on or before February 15, 2020.

–Is able to demonstrate an inability to hire similarly qualified employees on or before December 31, 2020; or

–Is able to demonstrate an inability to return to the same level of business activity as such business was operating prior to February 15, 2020.

An important note about these statements is that the new plan hasn’t addressed what it means by “inability to rehire back employees” so there are still some details that need to be sorted out.

5. The time to pay back the PPP loan was 2 years and it has now been extended to 5 years. This allows more time for business owners to pay back any of the loan that isn’t “forgiven.” It’s also important to note that this loan only contains a 1% interest rate on PPP funds not forgiven.

If you would like assistance with your business, need help completing the forgiveness application, or if you would like a conversation regarding the PPP regulations, contact us to schedule a free consultation!





Why Your Small Business Need to Outsource Bookkeeping?

benefits of outsourcing

Being an entrepreneur is an exciting, educational, and frightening experience. If you’re like most small business owners, you wear many hats, including finances, sales, customer service, human resources, and operations.

If there’s not enough of you to go around, and you are considering ways to grow your business, outsourcing has many benefits and potential cost-savings to consider.

Focus on Your Why
You went into business focused on creating the next best service or product, and are inspired by interacting with customers and watching your business grow. As sales and employees increase, the paperwork and number crunching increases too.

Very few business owners enjoy managing their accounting tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparation. Outsourcing accounting tasks will allow you to spend more time doing what you entered business for and free up your time to get creative.

Save Money
Hiring an in-house accountant is a big financial commitment. In addition to the costly salary required by a licensed professional, there are benefits, taxes, and other expenses associated.

Hiring a bookkeeping service eliminates the need to manage and develop another staff member and typically saves 25% compared to an internal hire.

Avoid Mistakes
If you were experiencing serious chest pains, you would turn to medical professional. Likewise, if you were to purchase a house, you would reach out to a real estate agent. With health or large purchases, we seek out the most experienced and educated individuals.

Your business is one of the most important investments you could make. Handling your finances, overseeing daily operations, increasing marketing, and attempting to grow your business can allow for things to slip through the cracks. Outsourcing will help you avoid costly financial errors and prevent you from making mistakes due to lack of knowledge.

Get Expert Help
Although you may not have an accountant working in your office, outsourcing can be a great way to get the expertise you need. By using a virtual accounting service you have an experienced, dedicated team to handle accounting tasks like payroll and bookkeeping.

T. Williams and Associates is a trusted accounting services provider. Whether you are applying for bank financing, looking for ways to reduce taxes, or facing a financial challenge, we’re here to answer questions and provide support you need to reach your business goals.

Take the step today to consider outsourcing, it’s easy to get started, just reach out to our team!

Entrepreneurial Burnout

entrepreneurial burnout

Running a business is difficult and 2020 has been an exhausting year. You may experience burnout due to long hours, financial issues, and dealing with the constant need to ensure the business is profitable, and customers and employees are happy.

Burnout was first coined in 1974 by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired result.” You may be experiencing burnout if you’re feeling discouraged or frustrated with business challenges.

Burnout may flare up due to unavoidable circumstances like the pandemic, or when business owners take on too many tasks. This is especially true for small business owners because they may not have (or they may not know) the resources available to help them.

Some other symptoms of burnout include health issues, emotional stress, exhaustion, reduced performance, and alienation from work related activities.

You are working hard, but you can’t do everything on your own.

Outsourcing Time-Consuming Tasks

One huge issue for many business owners is that they spend too much time managing small tasks instead of working on ways to grow their business.

According to SCORE, 40% of small business owners spend 80+ hours a year on tax prep alone. These hours are not only costly to one’s mental health, but they also cut into business profits by taking the owner away from more important duties.

SCORE also noted about 40% of small business owners claim bookkeeping and taxes are the worst part about owning a business.

This doesn’t need to be the case.

Avoid Financial Mistakes

Outsourcing services (such as bookkeeping, payroll and taxes) can be very beneficial for small businesses. Outsourcing is cost effective and can significantly reduce the legal liability of making mistakes on your taxes.

According to the IRS, four costly mistakes small business owners make:

–underpaying estimated taxes
–depositing employment taxes
–filing late
–not separating business and personal taxes

Outsourcing taxes, as well as bookkeeping, can reduce the risk of burnout by delegating tasks that business owners simply find unappealing.

If you could use a hand with accounting tasks like bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, and reporting, we can help.  It’s easy to get started, contact us to learn more.