Growing a business takes a certain level of both personal and professional investment to better the likelihood of success.  With the nonstop demands that come with running a business, even the most energetic of leaders can get worn down and many entrepreneurs have experienced firsthand how not letting go of the “CEO of Everything” mentality can lead to sub-par results. Here are a few ways to keep things in check so you can consistently show up at your best.

Take a 10,000 foot view. With the daily influx of emails, message pings and phone calls, it’s easy to see productivity as a measure of how fast we clear our inboxes and how many items we tick off our to-do lists. These lists are certainly helpful, but the real value CEOs bring to the table doesn’t always fit in a series of checkboxes. To fully comprehend crises, challenges and opportunities within a business, CEOs do well to take a 10,000-foot perspective, not just a close-up.

Don’t micro-manage mundane tasks. The surest way to stifle innovation and decrease your own productivity as well as that of your staff and partners—is to micro-manage every task. Eventually, as your business grows, the day-to-day administrative tasks of running an organization will take valuable time away from growing your business.  Smart business owners know when it’s time to hire help to scale their growth initiatives.

Systemize and automate as much as possible. Take a closer look at how your business process works, from your marketing process to your customer acquisition to purchase fulfillment and look for ways to make each step easier. Is there a part of your business that slows you down or frustrates you? Find a way to make challenging aspects work on autopilot (or as much as possible) and it will free you up to tackle other responsibilities and make your business run smoother.

It’s necessary for business leaders to be keenly aware of the goings-on, processes and results in their companies, providing guidance and support where needed. But is it necessary to enter every invoice yourself? Make every social media post? Schedule every vendor meeting? Instead, find team members and service partners who can help you focus what you do best: grow your business.

To learn more how Talley can help grow your business, give us a call today.

For the entrepreneur, there’s usually much more to personal finance than a W-2 employee content to passively funnel money into 401(k)s and IRAs full of mutual funds.

Here are three key questions to ask yourself when planning for future success.

Are you taking advantage of all the legally allowed tax savings? The IRS tax code is more than 5,700 pages long (over 75,000+ pages if you count supporting documents like court case rulings). That includes which deductions you can take and which strategies you can implement. Whether it’s forgetting to deduct the interest from business loans, paying business items on a personal credit card, not recording self-employed health insurance properly, or forgetting to write-off business transportation taxes, missed deductions add up fast.

Do you have the capital to take advantage of growth opportunities and to get through hard times? With enough liquidity in your “back pocket” you can greatly reward your business and even save it in the future. For example, if the right business opportunity comes along and it requires a capital investment, you’ll be able to act quickly. Additionally, if your business hits a rough patch, you won’t need to look at financing options to get through the tough times.

Do you have an estate plan in order? It seems morbid, but it’s a vital issue to address. What happens if you’re not around anymore? Do you have a succession plan for your business in the event of incapacity or death?

Proper estate planning—deciding on the “who, what, when, and how”—and executing this with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs possible is a challenging affair. Start early.

Proper business planning is a complex and on-going effort. It requires expert counsel from a professional with knowledge and experience, one who’s familiar with the challenges that characterize an entrepreneur’s business ventures.

Talley shares the same entrepreneurial spirit that has helped propel our clients to their current levels of success. With over 25 years of experience helping high net worth individuals and business owners, Talley has the expertise necessary to assist entrepreneurs throughout their entire journey, from formation through succession.

Why is it so important to fail at something before we can succeed? Whether you simply drop the ball, or experience an epic fail, it is almost a necessity to see that failure is part of the process and to see it as a tool as opposed to a roadblock. For over 25 years, Talley LLP has had the pleasure of working with many successful entrepreneurs and world championship athletes. Here are a few of our favorite lessons on failure we’ve picked up along the way.
Success grows from failure. Bill Gates is one of the most recognizable figures in the tech industry, and is on Forbes’ list of wealthiest people on the planet. Many people attribute his success to having had a great idea at just the right time during the technology boom. But the reality is, Gates experienced a sizeable failure before he ever dreamed up Microsoft. Originally, Gates and his business partner Paul Allen created a product called Traf-O-Data, which analyzed data from traffic tapes. The device had some serious kinks and the company never took off, but it was seminal in preparing Gates to make Microsoft’s first product several years later.
Failure can simply mean a change in direction is required. Love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? You’re not alone. Here is a story of two gentlemen that completely reversed course in their lives yet managed to become admirably successful. Mr. Ben Cohen dropped out of college, while Mr. Jerry Greenfield failed to get into medical school, and both managed to become and remain wildly successful after attending an ice-cream making class and putting together a $12,000 investment.
Don’t give up. Despite now having dozens of financially successful and popularly titles in circulation, Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was nearly a failure. The novel was rejected 30 times before it was finally accepted and published, leading to King’s breakout career. King considered quitting, but his perseverance (or arguably his wife’s) kept him going.
At Talley, we understand the challenges facing both professional athletes and entrepreneurs when it comes to generating and protecting income earned in the ring, on the field or in the boardroom. Whether you’re looking to improve your tax position, build your brand through a business transaction, or wish to guarantee a legacy for your family, Talley & Company is uniquely equipped to provide the technical and managerial expertise to help you plan, negotiate, structure and execute upon your goals.

Do people often refer to you as the “Chief Everything Officer”? You may think single-handedly managing your books, administering your tax burden, and being your own IT professional is saving you money, but is it? If you’re spending more time tackling everyday tasks than you are growing your business, you’re probably spreading yourself too thin and not focusing on growing your company and meeting the needs of your customers.

Are your talents best used bringing in new business, serving and growing your top clientele and improving the quality of the product or service you provide? -Most likely so. Here are some key outsourcing opportunities you may want to consider outsourcing to save you time, money and opportunity cost.

Accounting. Here’s the bad news first: When it comes to ranking the best and worst states to be a taxpayer, California ranks #2 on the list of states with the highest tax burdens, with New Jersey taking the top spot. Outsourcing your accounting not only saves you time, but it can also bring invaluable insights from specialists who’re dialed into the latest practices, strategies, and technologies in their fields.

Banking. Most small business owners are no stranger to the bank. In fact, more than 80% of small business owners use some sort of financing to help grow their business. Finding the right bank and obtaining all the financial reports necessary could prove challenging to a time-strapped entrepreneur. Partnering with the right CPA firm can increase your chances of successfully obtaining loans, grants, lines of credit and more by presenting your financial data in the most favorable way.

Social Media. Not every entrepreneur dreams of becoming the next big social media star to go viral, but the latest numbers don’t lie: 81% of small businesses employ a social media strategy to grow their business.  Keeping up with the latest and greatest social media strategies as well as posting, responding and article linking is a time-consuming process probably best suited for someone who has the time and savvy to tackle this emerging marketing tool.

Leading businesses are partnering with Talley to take advantage of our wide range of services, such as bookkeeping, financial reporting, technology advising, tax planning, auditing, and estate planning, all under one roof. Letting go can be hard at first, especially with our hearts and minds deeply invested in our businesses, but it can allow you to focus on what you do best and take back control of your business’ productivity and profitability.

For more information on how Talley can help grow your business, give us a call today.

It’s not unusual for entrepreneurs to face a multitude of unique challenges every day that can stretch their ability to stay productive. When you have employees relying on you and a mountain of deadlines to meet, shutting your door and curling up into a ball in the corner is not an option. Besides money and health, time is the greatest commodity an entrepreneur can have. It makes sense, then, that the most successful business owners have figured out how to work more efficiently with the time they do have. Listed below are some productivity tips that we’ve picked up along the way.
“Eat your frog” first. Wait, what?! Mark Twain said it best: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In other words, spend your morning working on something that you don’t want to do, which requires a large amount of concentration. By doing so, you’ll get the more tedious task done, freeing yourself up to move on to the other pressing items on your to-do list.
Want to be productive? Don’t multitask. Multitasking in the morning when you have lots to do, tons of energy, and a venti-sized cup of coffee with a double shot of espresso in front of you, is tempting. However, doing so can set your whole day back. Research conducted at Stanford University confirmed that multitasking is less productive than working on one task at a time. Researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another, as well as those who complete one task at a time.
Take care of yourself. This is both the most important and the most overlooked tip for any entrepreneur to follow. All the business and productivity advice in the world won’t help you if you’re already stressed out, sleep deprived, and running yourself into the ground before you take that first sip of coffee or tea in the morning.
Whether you’re looking to improve your tax position, build your brand through a business transaction, or guarantee a legacy for your family, Talley is uniquely equipped to provide the technical and managerial expertise to help you plan, negotiate, structure, and execute your goals.
To learn more how Talley can help your business become more productive and profitable, contact us today.
Great leadership touches every space and process of a growing business, from employee engagement to brand value, operational productivity, and ultimately—profitability. Here are three ways to refine your leadership strategy with perspectives from Howard Schultz, Steve Jobs and Larry Page.
Empower others.  
Successful leaders provide vision, focus and direction for their teams, but they also give their people a voice. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said it this way, “People want guidance, not rhetoric. They need to know what the plan of action is, and how it will be implemented.” And, “They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and authority to act on it.”
While management and leadership are two inextricably linked jobs, it’s been said that the manager relies on control, while the leader inspires trust. By helping people within a company unlock their own talents, leaders can fully benefit from the ideas and abilities of their staff.
Maintain focus as a leader and as a company.
Rather than create an army of mediocre offerings, Steve Jobs made sure Apple was known for creating a few iconic products. He once said, “Focusing is about saying no.” That’s because fixed resources and time dictate that leaders identify and develop areas with the greatest potential for their companies.
Without the right information in front of you, it’s much harder to accurately identify what those areas are for your business. This data is all around you, from profit/loss statements to month-over-month sales trends, changes in the cost of goods sold, changes in your social media following, and much more. Tap into this data to define, reinforce or shift your focus while keeping your company’s core values in mind.
Balance short-term solutions with long-term opportunity.
Google’s Larry Page once said, “Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.” External forces like shifting consumer trends and new technological developments can render a company irrelevant in the marketplace if company leaders don’t pivot in time. Internal forces, can too, based on decision-making. For example, an equipment sale one year might actually increase a company’s tax liabilities over the long haul if the long-term tax effects are not considered.  
No CEO goes it alone; you can be sure these didn’t. Regardless if your company is large or modest, draw on a network of knowledgeable advisors by partnering with Talley. Whether you’re looking to improve your tax position, build your brand through a business transaction, or guarantee a legacy for your family, Talley is uniquely equipped to provide the technical and managerial expertise to help you plan, negotiate, structure, and execute your goals.

A CPA-trained business consultant can give you deeper insight into key decisions made on a regular basis, such as buying or renting office space, hiring independent contractors or full-time employees, renting or leasing equipment, and much more. Here are three questions you might ask to help you get the most out of your relationship.

What’s the Best Way for Me to Track, Monitor and Improve Cash Flow? Whether you’re running a startup or an established business, properly projecting your cash flow is essential to maintaining its health and navigating out of challenging periods. An accountant can help you develop an effective cash flow model to improve receivables, manage payables, and work through shortfalls. Experienced business advisory teams also alert leaders to damaging missteps and profit maximization opportunities that may not be immediately apparent.

Am I Taking Advantage of Opportunities Unique to My Industry? Advisors like those at Talley and Company have decades of experience working with a number of different industries, from retail to construction to high tech, and can spotlight opportunities that apply to specific businesses. For example, companies in the tech industry can take advantage of certain R&D, facilities and manufacturing tax credits or exemptions. Working with your advisor can ensure you’re following industry best practices and managing your business competitively.

What Are My Options for Securing Capital for Growth? There are more financing options today than ever before, from equity vs. debt financing, loans, grants, venture capital, angel investing, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and of course friends, family, and colleagues. Depending on the intended use for the capital, the urgency of the need, the state of your industry, the strength of your management team, and many other factors, experienced advisors can help you assess your financial situation and discover whether one option might suit your needs better than another. The right team can also help you prepare your business to be considered favorably by banks, lenders, and investors when outlining your plan for the next five years and showing what your revenue stream will look like.

These are only some of the areas in which Talley LLP advisors can offer business and tax advice throughout the year. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you become more profitable.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, successful entrepreneurs are utilizing technology to gain a competitive edge against stiff competition. Just take a look at this home-building robot that could potentially put human construction crews out of business. It is undeniable that innovation in technology is having a critical driving impact not only in the success of tech giants accustomed to introducing disruptive technology but throughout the business world as a whole.

What Can Technology Do for the Entrepreneur?

Today’s business environment demands that an entrepreneur focuses on his or her strengths to grow the business, maintain profitability and achieve those objectives the entrepreneur set forth in forming the company. It is unreasonable for an entrepreneur to expect that he or she could keep up with the latest innovations and best practices in their industry. The proper utilization of technology allows a business owner to maintain a profitable operation while simultaneously operating in an efficient and productive infrastructure. Leading-edge businesses are partnering with Talley & Company to take advantage of this opportunity and outperforming their competitors who remain wedded to the traditional structure and antiquated technology.

Talley LLP and its affiliate, Group 11 Advisors, keep clients on track with how to properly leverage technology to meet the needs of their growing businesses.  From outsourced accounting solutions to management information, analysis and reporting, we are the premier business consulting practice to entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses.

Call Talley LLP today to see how technology can be an asset to your business and not just an expense.

There’s a never-ending supply of new fitness devices available today, but most of the data they report is useless.  Yes, you are counting steps, flights of stairs climbed, and hours of sleep, but are you honestly doing anything with that data?  There’s even “smart” clothing on the horizon, which will read your vital signs, stress levels, and even tell you to cut back on the amount of Thanksgiving turkey you’re eating. As our culture moves closer to measuring everything, it seems as though we are moving further away from tracking and measuring information that we actually need to know.

The argument for the usefulness of real-time data tracking is valid. It’s not an illogical leap to think any individual could potentially improve their overall fitness and health on the fly by leveraging better KPIs and insightful metrics. For most people, however, effectively utilizing that data it is a challenging task. We track our steps every day(and that’s great), but do we have an actionable plan? Are we getting any healthier?

More data does not make better decision makers by itself. While having additional data equals more opportunities to make better decisions, the key to leveraging data and translating it into meaningful results is knowing what to focus on, how to interpret it, and how to utilize it during the decision-making process. Data is only valuable if it is actionable. Are you confident that you are taking advantage of all the metrics available to your business?

With over 25 years of experience consulting with industry-leading companies, Talley LLP and our affiliate, Group 11 Advisors, provide clear, knowledgeable, and applicable financial data and analysis solutions, thereby enabling management to intelligently track performance, progress, and profits. To determine whether or not your business is taking advantage of all its available metrics to make the most informed decisions for future success, schedule a time to talk with us today.

While the definition of success will vary depending on who you ask, everyone strives to be successful in their personal and professional lives. Much has been written about how entrepreneurs and executives should “hope for the best and prepare for the worst”…But what happens once your business experiences initial success or substantial growth? What do you do now?

We here at Talley LLP believe that success is something that is continually created, not acquired. It is created by aspiring individuals who have no limits in terms of how they approach and execute creativity, intelligence, ingenuity, talent, persistence and determination. We’ve worked with countless inspirational athletes and entrepreneurs over the years and picked up some pointers along the way.  Here are a few that we’d like to share with you as you chase down your own personal version of success. 

Keep a positive attitude. Many entrepreneurs and executives face unexpected negative consequences after experiencing initial success, such as anxiety over being able to maintain their “winning streak”, fearing that they are being set up to fail, and experiencing the envy others feel towards their accomplishments. While some stress may be a good thing, when stress turns into anxiety, it can be detrimental both to your mental health and to the health of your business.

Set bigger goals and work “backwards”. Once you’ve achieved initial success, map out your next long-term goal or objective and work backwards to figure out what it will take to accomplish it.  But why start at the end?  Many times, the end-result seems so far away and impossible to reach.  Through backward planning, one can mentally prepare him or herself for specific challenges and milestones that need to be achieved to reach an important goal.

Don’t be afraid of letting go of the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. You are bound to run into unforeseen challenges as you achieve success and grow your business. For an example of this, see our business lesson write-up on Pablo Escobar.  A business in growth or scale mode faces a whole new set of different challenges and opportunities that may require a change in attitude and approach. Your ability to recognize this can mean the difference between spinning your wheels and achieving your next milestone.

Talley LLP understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs with generating and protecting income. Whether you’re looking to improve your profitability, build your brand through a business transaction, or wish to guarantee your legacy through estate planning, Talley is the consulting and financial services firm dedicated to strategic business solutions that deliver meaningful results.


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