Frequently Asked Questions
Have Questions? We've Got Answers.
Why is accounting important to my business?
Accounting allows you to quickly determine your company’s financial state, and whether you have adequate funding to cover costs. Keeping your income and expenses in order will also help when filing tax documents at the end of the year. A good accountant will help you maintain good record keeping and be prepared for any audit.
Can I hire a BizCentral accountant to do the accounting for me?
Yes! Hiring a good accountant can help you organize your bookkeeping quickly. They can enable you to make the changes in your business that will keep it on track toward success and sustainability.
What is a balance sheet and how can it help me?
The balance sheet shows a snapshot of the company’s financial position, including assets and liabilities. Assets are things that are owned by the business. Liabilities are things that are owed to others. Balance sheets show you and your stakeholders that finances are being utilized effectively to sustain the business’ mission.
Do I really need to create a balance sheet each month?
If your business is really small, you can manage it fine without creating a balance sheet each month. But any size business, including a part-time one, needs to create a good profit and loss statement each month. If inventories or accounts receivables are important in your business, balance sheets will clearly point out any significant fluctuations that you should be aware of.
What is an income statement?
An income statement (often called profit and loss statement or P&L) is the scorecard for a business. It shows the revenue, expenses, and profit or loss. It shows these things for some period of time, usually a month or a year. An income statement is usually titled “Income Statement for X Organization for the period January 1 to December 31.”
How can the profit & loss statement (income statement) help me?
The income statement tells you if you are remaining cost-effective and shows your costs and expenses. It shows where you are spending your money and what sources your income is coming from. If you are not covering expenses, the Profit & Loss Statement can show you where you may be able to cut costs.
What is the process for monthly bookkeeping?
After you sign up for the service, we will email you an order confirmation and service agreement. After you acknowledge this, we will forward you another email providing you access to our client only web tools & questionnaire. Once you complete this online questionnaire, we will call you within 48 hrs to set up a conference call. During this call the service consultant will confirm information, ask you questions, answer any of your questions, and begin to work on your project.
What will I receive with my monthly bookkeeping?
Our monthly bookkeeping package includes income and expenses for the month entered into QuickBooks, monthly bank reconciliations, monthly balance sheet, and monthly income statement (P&L).
What do I need to provide to BizCentral for my monthly bookkeeping services?
We have created a document checklist that you will want to keep to inform you of what we will need each month. Keep in mind, not all items on the list may apply to your business.
Business Certification Questions
What is the purpose of small business certifications
There are a number of reasons to get certified. It will limit your competition for business as an 8(a) contractor to other, similar companies, and not necessarily the behemoths of the industry. You have an opportunity to compete on price or innovation in a broader sense than you would if you were competing in the full and open marketplace. You will have the opportunity to interface with other business persons who are experiencing the same issues facing you. You will be able to take advantage of myriad business educational opportunities dealing with just about any issue in business that you can think of.
What type of information is necessary to complete the certificate application?
We will need basic information on the structure of the business, basic information on each owner/manager, personal financial information on the individual claiming disadvantage, and the business’ current financial information. If claiming certification as a minority, we will need information on minority status. We will also need information on previous contracts.
What percentage of the business must I own in order to apply for certification?
At least 51%.
Will you need information on every owner of the business?
Yes. We will need basic information on each owner/manager. We will not need each individual’s personal asset information.
What is a transmutation agreement?
Transmutation Agreement is a marital contract that provides that the ownership of a particular piece of property will, from the date of the agreement forward, be changed.
Which states are community property states?
Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
Can my financial information be estimated?
The certification agencies require that the information be true and correct. This will have to be backed up by submission of previous personal and corporate tax returns.
Can you pull my business assets figures from my financial statements?
Yes. If the organization has an accounting system which produces income statements and balance sheets, we will be able to pull the necessary information from those documents.
Do you guarantee certification?
Because your certifying agencies may revise requirements or factors that may cause disqualification are not always disclosed, we cannot guarantee your approval. However, we do prequalify our clients, and in 99% of the cases we are successful. Also we help to respond with followup questions from the certifying agency until the process is completed.
Which certification is the best?
This mostly depends on who are your key prospects. If you want to do business with the city or state then these should be your primary targets. There are certifying agencies at the city, state, federal and corporate levels. We mostly recommend state, federal and corporate for our combo deal.
Business Plan Writing Questions
Why Do I Need A Business Plan?
Do you want a loan, grant or any other type of investment to catapult your small business to the next level? Your business plan will be an essential step in this process. Drawing up a business plan will help a business identify its strengths and weaknesses plus key areas of financial risk involved in setting up the business. It represents the dynamic process of planning and reviewing the business marketing strategies and it should be updated once a year.
How long of a period does the business plan cover?
Our standard business plan typically covers a 3-year period. We do offer extended plans that cover 5 years total.
What kind of information will I have to provide?
You will provide basic business information, including your company’s structure, management, and operation. We will need information on each product or service that your business provides. In addition, we will require financial information that will include pricing, sales projections, start cost, salaries etc. For start-ups or business that are newly established, we can help develop estimated financial data based on your business model and goals.
When do I receive my plan and in what format?
Within 10-15 business days from the date of interview, you can expect to receive a draft of your business plan. The draft will be emailed as a watermarked MS Word document file. You will then have 1 week to review the plan and make any revisions. Revisions may be made directly in the file. After revisions are made and approval to print is given, the business plan will be printed in color and bound in a presentation folder.
I paid for the regular business plan but I need additional content. Can you include it?
We make every effort to accommodate special client requests. If the content can be added into the plan before the plan is completed or printed, we will do so. If the addition requires more than 15 minutes of time, it will be charged at $50 per hour or fraction.
Can I send pictures to be added to my plan?
Yes. Pictures can be added into plans as long as they are sent electronically, as in a .jpg format.
Can my plan be created without financial projections?
Yes. The business plan program will allow us to remove the financial plan completely, producing a narrative plan.
Can a business plan be prepared for a non-profit?
Yes. In the case of nonprofits, financial projections are based primarily on funding sources, rather than sales.
What are the sections in the business plan outline?
Executive Summary, Company Summary, Products & Services, Market Analysis, Strategy and Implementation Summary, Management Summary, and Financial Plan.
What source do you use to find statistic on my market and demographics?
We use Wikipedia, Zipcodestats.com, and Census.gov.
Can the colors of the graphs and charts be changed?
The colors of charts and graphs can be changed, but only to different color schemes. We cannot change each bar to a specific color. There are several color schemes to choose from.
What is included in the business plan package?
A business plan package contains a complete business plan, as well as demographics, financials, and a market review.
Can you create a logo for my company to appear on the title page?
Yes. We offer logo services starting $99. This will include the creation of three distinct logos from which to choose. The chosen logo can then be placed on the cover of the plan, and anywhere else within the document that is desired. We can also add professional photos plus a PowerPoint version to share with your team and stakeholders.
Digital Marketing Questions
Why is marketing important to my company?
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of growing your organization and is an investment that will pay for itself over and over again.
For many start ups, these services are usually done by the owner/founder but while playing so many roles, when do they have time to manage marketing? Creating awareness is tough with so many organizations in the market similar to yours; having a good marketing strategy is important to help you stand out.
What type of marketing would be best for my company?
There are over a hundred types of marketing and each organization has a different strategy based on target market and budget. We can help you tailor a marketing strategy that best fits these two criteria. We will start with a free marketing review, identify the key marketing elements and provide you with a list of ideas we believe will work.
What does the free marketing review entail?
Our FREE review of your internet marketing strategy includes an assessment of your website, inbound links, social media integration, content depth, analytics, mobile-readiness, and much, much more. From there, we can assess marketing weaknesses and how to implement it on your marketing plan.
Why should my company have a marketing plan?
Just as a business plan maps out your company’s business goals and plans to achieve them, a marketing plan maps out your company’s marketing goals and how you plan to achieve them. Marketing is more than just activities that drives sales; it is a road map that explains your marketing mix. Having a written marketing plan will not only help you analyze your business, but also outline how you will utilize the 4 P’s into your business model (product, price, place and promotion). No marketing means no sales, no sales means no revenue, no revenue means no business!
Marketing plans can be time-consuming, and as a business owner you may not have time to go into depth. We can help by starting you out with a free marketing review.
What can you do for you marketing?
We offer marketing packages to help get your organization off to the right start within your budget. We also offer a la carte options for any specific area your organization may need help with.
What is content marketing and why should I have a blog?
Content Marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. Maintenance of your accounts is very important because your content is the voice of your brand to appeal to customers. They are helpful and drive traffic to your website. It is important to make your content shareable; the more people that share your content, the more your website’s SEO can improve, which can land your site on that very first page of Google.
This is also one of the many reasons your company should have a blog. Blogs will increase your inbound marketing, driving traffic to your website and raising awareness organically to reach potential leads.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the act of optimizing your website in a way which produces free or organic traffic to your site. When a user performs a search for a product or service, everyone hopes their product or service will come up on Google’s first page. A well optimized site will rank higher than one that is not. Having a great SEO plan in place will help get you there!
Which social networking sites are right for my company?
While there’s an ample amount of social media sites out there, only use the ones that are best suited for your business. This really depends on what you’re selling. To give you an idea… if you are selling something that is artistic in nature or can be used in an artistic display (decor, photography, books, etc.), then you need to be on Instagram. If your business is about getting news out quickly to your audience, you better be on Twitter. And, there is now more people on Facebook than ever before, making it easier for you to speak directly to your selected audience segments. We can show you how to best use social media and which ones are right for you. Our packages of one, three or five social networking sites include set up and training.
What are the best ways to market/promote my special event?
There are a variety of ways you can market your special event. Some of these include: a press release, an email newsletter for your subscribers, social networking event announcements, postcards, flyers and more.
How long does it take to see results for SEO and Digital Marketing Campaigns?
This is a tricky question and depends on Google’s algorithms, as well as Bing, Yahoo and other search engine algorithms. When you update content on your website, it will depend on the cycle of the algorithm to when your site could benefit from your most recent content update. One of the most important things when it comes to SEO, is to focus on writing great content. Keep writing content that entertains or educates your audience.
Graphic Design FAQ
What is the process?
After you sign up for the service, we email you an order confirmation and terms. After you acknowledge this, we will forward you another email proving you access to our client only web tools & questionnaire. Once you complete this online questionnaire, we will call you within 48 hrs to set up a conference call with your service consultant. During this call the consultant will confirm information, ask you questions, answer any of your questions and begin to work on your project. Usually it is completed within 10-15 days after this call.
What is your experience with graphic design?
We have all the tools and trained graphic professionals. We are capable of producing high-quality designs that meet needed specifications.
Does your pricing include printing?
No, our base pricing only includes the design work. We do work with a printer that provides extremely affordable pricing, and they will ship your final work directly to you. If you choose this option, your service consultant will send you several quantity options along with shipping charges to choose from.
Is printing something I can do on my own?
Yes, however print shops require different “bleed” DPI and formats not commonly known to someone not involved with graphic design. Because of these challenges, most clients prefer us to source out the job to a professional printer.
Do you use templates?
Most of our work is custom-built to client specs, however, in some cases for budget-restrained clients, we have a variety of template designs with limited customization.
What types of graphic design work do you do?
We do a variety of graphic design work for any budget. Some examples of this include: business cards, stationery, tri-fold brochures, flyers, print and online ads, wall banners, trade show banners, signage, popup banners and more.
Am I able to make revisions to my design?
Most clients provide us with some text and general information about what they want. The designer will select appropriate pictures, colors and layouts. Once a sample is created, the designer will forward a copy to you for approval or revisions.
Web Development FAQ
What is the process?
After you sign up for the service, we email you an order confirmation & service agreement. After you acknowledge this, we will forward you another email proving you access to our client-only web tools & questionnaire. Once you complete this online questionnaire, we will call you within 48 hrs to set up a conference call with your website service consultant. During this call the consultant will confirm information, ask you questions, answer any of your questions, and begin to work on your project.
How long does the process take?
It usually takes between 10-15 business days, after we receive all the necessary information from you.
Are there any other fees involved?
There is a domain registration fee of approximately $15 dollars per year payable to a domain registration company of your choosing, or you can register the domain via BizCentral. The development of a website does not include content research, pictures or monthly updates, these are available for an additional price. Also for clients using a their own host, there is a $59 setup fee.
How does your maintenance program work?
Our web developer will provide one hour of service each month. This will include, content updates, new picture or page, virus removal, troubleshooting etc.
How long does it take for the developer to contact me?
Once we receive your questionnaire, we will schedule the phone interview with the developer. As soon as we get your content, pictures, logo and color or design choices we will get to work. Most clients will receive a draft within 10 business days or sooner.
How many pages do I need for my website?
The average website is between 5-10 pages, however, depending on your business products and services, your website may require more pages. After your initial consultation, we will provide a quote for your unique website package.
What are the minimum pages recommended for a website?
The minimum pages for a typical website are the following: Home, About Us, Services, Contact Us, and Store (if applicable).
Can I add a store to my website?
Yes, we can add a store with pictures, item descriptions, and automated checkout, to ensure you receive payment, which will be deposited into your bank account directly.
Can we have options for people to register online?
Yes, we can set up a database to capture prospect information so you can follow-up with them later. Also, they can register for newsletters, blogs, and other items.
Do you work with music or video?
Yes, we are experienced with these technologies and have the software and tools to meet your needs.
Do you only use pre-designed layouts, or do you build custom websites?
All of our website are customized to each client. In some cases we do use similar layouts that are popular however, content, colors and pictures are unique to each client.
How much will my custom website cost?
Websites are priced by packages with select features that meet most budgets. However, packages can be modified based on client needs. Please speak to a sales representative or the web developer for a quote on additional pages, features, marketing solutions, SEO or content research.