Category Archives: Budget

Google Voice Typist

Google Voice Typist – Easily Transcribe Your Book

Many of our small business clients desire to write a book; however, they worry about not being great typists. Google Voice Typist is a 100% FREE tool you can use to write your book even if you don’t know how to type. All you need is a computer with internet access and a Google account (like Gmail).

How to Write a Book with Google Voice Typist

  1. Open Google Drive in your web browser at https://drive.google.com.
  2. Sign in with your Google account if you haven’t signed in already, or register if you don’t have an account. Again, FREE!
  3. Create a new Google Docs document, click on Tools in the Menu, then navigate to Voice Typist in the drop-down menu.Google Docs Voice Typist
  4. Make sure your desired microphone is selected. You may be prompted by a pop-up or you may need to click on the video camera icon that may appear in the browser search bar.
  5. Click the microphone button that appears on the left-hand side of your screen to start recording.
  6. Speak naturally and watch in awe as your words appear in the document.
  7. You can speak commands like “new line” or “period” to control punctuation.
  8. You can even speak in other languages and Google Voice Typist will transcribe that too! Results are complete with appropriate accents and other special characters.Google Voice Typist
  9. You will need to review and edit your document for accuracy but at least the hard part, getting your story down, will be done.
  10. Go write!

Now you have no excuses!

Writing a book is a great method to build your business. Business owners with published books under their belt benefit from increased credibility, increased brand recognition, increased sales, and the ability to create alternative income streams.

Writing a book also sets you apart from the competition. Your published book not only establishes you as a subject matter expert but also increases your perceived value in the marketplace. If you need additional help getting started or don’t know what to write about, you’re encouraged to seek a writing coach.

Google Voice Typist is a great tool to get your book done. You can also use it to write your blog posts, articles, eBooks, and even social media posts. Just copy/paste your edited work from Google Docs into the application of your choice.

Do you use Voice Typist? Do you know of any other transcription tools small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can use to write their books? Please let us know in the comments and if you found value in this post, please do share it with your networks.

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Make the Best Use of Your Startup Investment

Aspiring entrepreneurs often ask our consulting firm how to make the best use of their startup investment. During the startup phase while budgets are tight and there are many unknowns, your best use of available funding will always be wherever you will receive the highest return on your investment (ROI). You have to ask yourself which strategy(ies) will yield the most bang for your buck and lead you to generating revenue the fastest.

I recommend completing a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis before you spend a dime of your startup investment.startup investment A cost-benefit analysis is a systematic, quantitative approach that helps you to weigh the pros and cons (benefits vs. costs) of a particular transaction. In your case, I would create a chart with at least 3 columns.

How to Evaluate the Best Use of Your Startup Investment

  1. The first column of each row will indicate the action being evaluated. You would list your options – website, SEO, packaging/branding
  2. The second column lists the costs of the action as close to the actual dollar amount as is possible to achieve. Request quotes from vendors or perform a little research if you aren’t sure of exact costs. Make sure to consider resources available for successful implementation of the intended action as there are costs associated with this as well.
  3. The third column should identify the expected results or outcomes (the benefits) of implementing the action. Again, it is important to be as concise and specific here as possible. Focus on how much revenue will be generated (or even costs reduced if that’s a factor) as a result of taking this action. Create a sum total of all benefits associated with any action taken.

Now, review your completed chart and determine which solution will be a) cost the least to implement yet b) generate the most benefits in terms of revenue earned. Since every business model is a little different, without knowing more about your specific situation, performing a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis is my best recommendation to determine the best use of any startup investment. If you want additional assistance with this process, I highly recommend requesting an Emergency Biz Boom Session via Skype to really tackle this decision head-on.

How did you decide how to make the best use of your startup investment? Did you have a plan? Let us know in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please share it with your networks.

Understating Revenues a Big Mistake for Bootstrapping Entrepreneurs

Bootstrapping entrepreneurs often struggle with cash bootsflow and attempt to lessen their financial burden by cutting corners wherever possible. One of the ways small business owners may try to do this is by understating revenues on their income tax return to decrease taxes and maximize on refunds.   In fact, the IRS estimates that there is over $100 billion in unaccounted taxable business revenue generated in the United States each year.  While on the surface underreporting your business income can seem inconsequential, this strategy can be a big mistake.

Business owners, no matter how small, must think about their long-term strategic plan. If you intend to pursue funding to grow and expand your business, float more inventory or to increase your advertising efforts, then you will need to prove consistent business operations over a period of time. Lenders and potential investors are very interested in learning about your ability to repay or generate a return on investment. Since it can be difficult for the self-employed person to prove business revenue, the income tax return becomes the primary proofing document. If you have understated your revenues, then you have not adequately reflected your business’ potential to sustain its operations.

If you plan to pursue funding in the next two to three years, start creating a verifiable record of income and expenses now. Credit card receipts, bank statements and income tax returns are all important documents entrepreneurs can use to provide proof of their business operations and potential growth.  Here are a few things you can do to prepare proof of your business operations and financial standing.

  • Implement an easy document management system to keep track of your reporting needs.  Create both a manual, color-coded system for documents that need to be at your fingertips, and an electronic management system for backup and easy sharing or retrieval.  There are many free and low-cost software applications available to help.
  • Make sure to separate business financial documents from your personal documents to make for easier tracking of income and expenses.  Designate specific credit cards and bank accounts for business purpose.  Even if you are unable to immediately establish a business line of credit, dedicate one credit card for business use only.
  • Pay yourself a salary rather than dipping into your capital reserves when needed.  This is why it is important to have separate business and personal accounts.  You can write a check from your business account and deposit it into your personal account as payroll.  It can be easy to lose track of withdrawals without good documentation habits.
  • Generate receipts and invoices to track when you pay-in capital from your pocket and reimburse yourself with cash as business revenue is earned.  Just as you want to track when you pay yourself a salary, you also want to track when you personally cover business expenses  This becomes especially important if you have formed your business under a legal structure meant to help protect your personal assets.  Tracking business income and expenses separate from personal is your proof that your business is a separate legal entity.
  • Accurately file your business income tax returns showing all true revenue and expenses.  This not only establishes history of your business operations, but will also be your basis in making financial projections as well as identifying your business value if you decide to sell it down the line.  Knowing what you expect to earn and spend over time will make it easier to manage and pay quarterly income taxes to the IRS.

Start laying a good foundation for your small business now by strategically planning to be prepared both financially and operationally for your future needs.  You will find your entrepreneurial journey less stressful and easier to manage over the long haul.  Don’t hang yourself by your bootstraps.