Like it or not, you must learn how to delegate work to your employees. It’s easy to get in the mindset that if you want things done the right way you have to do them yourself. But that isn’t always the best approach at work, even if you firmly believe you’re the best person for the job. There simply isn’t enough time in the day, especially if you have a business to run.
Here are some helpful hints:
- Develop a game plan. Start by deciding which tasks to delegate and which employees will be assigned responsibilities. The workload doesn’t have to be etched in stone, but you need a basic plan to subdivide jobs.
- Find your most reliable, autonomous employees. You will need to rely on people who can think for themselves. Don’t rely on employees who you anticipate will be constantly seeking your guidance. If you have to show someone what to do every step of the way, it defeats the entire purpose.
- Don’t hinder your employees. Give them the authority to act independently and make decisions on the fly. Don’t hinder the process by requiring employees to obtain your approval on every decision. This will only turn into a variation of doing things the same old way.
- Keep track of work progress. This aspect must be handled with sensitivity. You’ll want to keep an eye on employees, but you can’t keep looking over their shoulders either. Find the proper balance.
- Analyze the results. Do this to determine if the work met your expectations. If it didn’t, offer constructive criticism for improvements. Make this a learning experience for both of you.
As you become more comfortable delegating work, you can continue to loosen the reins. When you spend less time on routine matters, you’ll have more time to devote to growing your business profits.
If you’re a business owner, one of the first questions to ask yourself is whether you should incorporate or not.
The biggest advantage of incorporating is that it limits your legal liability. Your responsibility for debts and other liabilities incurred by a corporation is generally limited to the assets of the business. Your personal assets are not usually at risk, although there can be exceptions to this general rule. The trade off is that there is a cost to incorporate and, in some cases, tax consequences.
So, should you incorporate or not?
Truth be told, you might not need to incorporate. Depending on the size and type of your business, liability may not be an issue or can be covered by insurance. If so, you could join millions of other business owners and operate as an unincorporated sole proprietor.
If you do decide to incorporate, you’ll face a choice of corporate forms. All offer limitation of your liability, but there are differences in tax and other issues. Take a look at the options:
- C corporations. The traditional form of corporation is the C corporation. This type of corporation has the most flexibility in structuring ownership and benefits. Most large companies operate in this form. The biggest drawback is double taxation. First the corporation pays tax on its profits; then the profits are taxed again as they’re paid to individual shareholders as dividends.
- S corporations and LLCs. These forms of corporations avoid this double taxation. Both are called “pass-through” entities because there’s no taxation at the corporate level. Instead, profits or losses are passed through to the shareholders and reported on their individual tax returns. S corporations have some ownership limitations. There can only be one class of stock and there can’t be more than 100 shareholders who are U.S. citizens or U.S. residents according to tax law. State registered LLCs have become a popular choice for many businesses. They offer more flexible ownership rules than S corporations, as well as certain tax advantages.
Whether you’re already in business or just starting out, choosing the right form of business is important. Even established businesses change from one form to another during their lifetime.
Call our office (and your attorney) for guidance in selecting the form that is best for your business.
Most Americans get a tax refund every year, with the average check weighing in at $2,895 last year. Even though it’s really money that they earned, many people are tempted to treat it like a windfall and splurge. If you can resist that temptation, here are some of the best ways to put your tax refund to good use:
- Pay off debt. If you have debt, part of your tax refund could be used to reduce or eliminate it. Paying off high-interest credit card or auto loan debt means freeing up the money you had been paying in interest for other uses. And making extra payments on your mortgage can put more money in your pocket over the long haul.
- Save for retirement. Saving for retirement allows the power of compound interest to work for you. Consider depositing some of your refund check into a traditional or Roth IRA. You can contribute a total of $5,500 every year, plus an extra $1,000 if you are at least 50 years old.
- Save for a home. Home ownership can be a source of wealth and stability for many people. If you dream of owning a home, consider adding your refund to a down payment fund.
- Invest in yourself. Sometimes the best investment isn’t financial, it’s personal. A course of study or conference that improves your skills or knowledge could be the best use of your money.
- Give to charity. Giving your tax refund to a charity helps others and gives you a deduction for your next tax return.
- Don’t give to scammers! Scammers are using a new tactic to separate people from their tax refunds. First, they file fraudulent refunds on behalf of their victims. Then, after a refund check arrives at the taxpayer’s address, they impersonate an IRS agent over the phone and demand to be sent the refund because it was sent in error. Remember, real IRS agents will never call over the phone and demand immediate payment for any reason.
If you use some of your refund for one of the ideas here, you can also feel good about setting a little aside for yourself to have some fun!