Meet an EGBI client- Julieta Molina

“I am Mexican, originally from Chihuahua Mexico but I grew up in San Luis Potosi. 20 years of marriage and two marvelous sons. My passion is being a mom and my hobby is spending time with my sons. I enjoy good inspiring movies and I like listening to podcasts about how to create successful families. I would have liked being a Psychologist and it’s a dream that I might be able to reach once my kids go to college!”

Tell me, what inspired you to start this business?

“My husband was the one that motivated me to take this step. I didn’t have a job and with what he was making, we could barely afford to pay rent and services. He suggested we start this business as an extra job, he would do the grass while I offered cleaning services.”

Why did you two choose to join EGBI?

“We joined EGBI because even though we already had a business, we wanted to make it grow. EGBI gave us the tools to make our clients grow.”

Did you two struggle with any obstacle? If so, how did you overcome it?

“Of course we did, at the beginning, when we got into construction cleaning my husband left his job to join the company. Without his income our economic situation got complicated. We didn’t have the resources to cover our personal expenses. Our few savings ran out and we lived from personal loans to cover our personal expenses. Little by little when our clients increased we were able to overcome that stage.

How does your business differ from others?

“Client service, we manage the hours in a way that we accomplish with the 99.99% of the cleanings at the required time and if for any reason we do not arrive at a cleaning we offer an extra $0 cost service to compensate for the mistake.”

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

“I would have liked to have 10 kids, but my husband only wanted 2!!!!”

Are you happy with what you have accomplished?

“Yes, of course, the sacrifices have been worth it, but with no doubt we have plans for a second business!!!!!”

How has EGBI helped you?

“EGBI has given us legal advice and accountability to be able to manage our business. It has given us training and has given us a platform to meet other entrepreneurs and cher each other.”

You also want to help the communities around you? Then become a volunteer at EGBI. Contact us in 

Translated by, Berenice Osorio Alvarez.

Find the Spanish version here.

Wait, The Business Needs More Insurance?!

By Anwuli Chukwurah

Five most common types of insurance for a business. Yes, there’s more to insurance than health insurance.

Woolichooks recently got three types of insurance, and I feel like I’ve entered my teenage years as a business owner.  Insurance is something you need to have as another layer of protection. Yes, it may feel like you’re throwing money away into the void. Still, you’ll be glad you have it when those costly, unexpected events happen in your business — an employee gets injured, a client thinks you made an error, or a customer sues you because of your product. Below are the most common types of insurance for a business:

  1. General Liabilities
  2. Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  3. Directors & Officers
  4. Property Insurance
  5. Health Insurance

General Liabilities

General liability insurance covers claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury (like copyright infringement and slander). All businesses should have this insurance as their first policy. If you only have enough money to get one type of insurance, get general liabilities. As you grow, you will continue to add to general liabilities the other types of insurance that make sense for your business.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The business will also need workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees. This helps benefit employees who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses, covering medical expenses and lost wages.

Directors & Officers

Directors & Officers insurance covers the personal assets of company/nonprofit directors and officers if they’re sued for alleged wrongful acts during their board service. All my nonprofit clients have this insurance as a standard yearly cost.

Property Insurance

Property insurance protects your business’s physical assets, such as buildings, equipment, and inventory, from fire, theft, or natural disasters. So, this protects everything in your balance sheet’s current and fixed assets section.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance allows the business to provide the employees with medical, dental, and vision insurance as a benefit of working at the company. It’s always great to provide this benefit as the business grows. I’ll write a deeper post about health insurance in the future as this is an actual benefit that employees can enroll in instead of the other types of insurance listed in this post.

Insurance is a way to hedge against potential risks to the business. Some grants, such as government grants, will require specific insurance so the funders can be assured that the business can cover any potential claims. Application for each insurance type will require you to provide information on your financials, employees, and general business info. Insurance can be one of your bigger expense line items, but it’s the fixed cost of doing business.

About the author:

Anwuli Chukwurah is a versatile finance professional with a track record of starting new finance organizations and scaling them for growth in fast-paced entrepreneurial environments. She has over 6+ years of experience working with small business owners, startups, and nonprofit organizations to help connect finance with their business goals. She aims to ensure her clients become comfortable and adept at navigating their numbers. She works with clients at Woolichooks and writes a newsletter for non-finance folks.

Find the Spanish version here.

How to Separate your Business and Personal Expenses

By Anwuli Chukwurah

3 ways to separate your business and personal expenses as a business owner

You just opened up your first business. All the money your business makes is yours, right?! I mean, why not? You can use the money for whatever you want. No one can tell you what to do with the money. Right?

Wrong. If this is your thinking, you’re on the fast track to a potential audit and massive headaches when tax season comes around. You must despise your accountant if you decide to run your life this way.

A business is a separate entity from you as the owner. Colluding funds by using business funds for personal expenses not only screws up your financial reports but can also be a flag for a potential IRS audit. You have no idea of the profitability of your business and no control over your personal funds. You can’t plan for retirement because you have no idea the difference between your business and personal money. Below are ways you can use to separate your business and personal expenses.

  1. Mindset shift
  2. Separate bank accounts
  3. Separate business and personal budgets

Mindset Shift

As a business owner, I know you feel that the business is yours to do whatever with. But, you must consider the business as a separate entity with its own life cycle. You can’t see the business and you as one. The business has obligations to your vendors, customers, IRS, employees, and other partners. As an individual, you have obligations to yourself, your family, your hobbies, and the rest of your life. Yes, a tiny part of you works in the business, but it’s not the whole of you. This mindset shift is the most difficult thing I see my clients struggle with. Many small business owners start businesses to fulfill personal goals like buying a house, but now that business entity has more oversight (as a legal business). If you decide to apply for government grants or contracts, this separation is even more necessary because your financials will be under scrutiny.

Separate Bank Accounts

Separate personal and business bank accounts are the fastest way to separate your expenses. If your personal and business accounts are with the same bank, make sure you distinguish between the cards. I’ve had clients mistake a business debit/credit card for a personal one because they look the same. You can put a sticker or customize the background to do something noticeable. It’s fine if personal expenses happen infrequently; you can easily pay the business back if it is a mistake. If multiple personal expenses occur every month in the business account, then a conversation will need to be had to help reduce the occurrence. As the owner, if you aren’t on payroll and want to buy something personal, transfer the money from the business account to your personal. Then, that transfer will be classified as an owner’s draw on the balance sheet.

Separate Budgets

Having separate personal and business budgets will help solidify the differences in expenses in your mind. Having a personal budget will let you know how much you need in owner’s draw or payroll from the business each month to live your life. You need a business budget to understand how your business revenue is spent. At the beginning of your business, you’ll want to make enough net profit to pay yourself your breakeven monthly personal expenses.

It’s imperative that you quickly separate your personal expenses from the business. Any future business growth planning will be useless if your financials are inundated with your personal expenses. It will be hard initially, but this discipline is required from you as the business owner.

About the author:

Anwuli Chukwurah is a versatile finance professional with a track record of starting new finance organizations and scaling them for growth in fast-paced entrepreneurial environments. She has over 6+ years of experience working with small business owners, startups, and nonprofit organizations to help connect finance with their business goals. She aims to ensure her clients become comfortable and adept at navigating their numbers. She works with clients at Woolichooks and writes a newsletter for non-finance folks.

Find the Spanish version here.

Navigating the Impact of New Overtime Rules on Small Businesses

By Rutu Ruparel

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a significant update to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), introducing a new final rule that raises the minimum salary for most workers exempt from overtime pay. This change will impact how and when businesses must compensate employees for working overtime.

Key Changes to the Overtime Rule

Previously, salaried workers in certain executive, administrative, and professional roles earning less than $35,568 annually were generally exempt from overtime pay. However, starting July 1, 2024, businesses must deliver overtime pay to salaried workers who earn less than $43,888 a year. This threshold will further increase to $58,656 on January 1, 2025.

Impact on Small Businesses

Employers will now be required to pay salaried employees at least time-and-a-half for working beyond 40 hours in a single workweek. For highly compensated employees, the new salary threshold for exemption from overtime will increase from $107,432 to $132,964 starting July 1, 2024. That threshold will rise again to $151,164 on January 1, 2025. Additionally, salary thresholds will update every three years starting July 1, 2027.

Options for Small Employers

Small employers have several options to consider in response to the new overtime rule:

  1. Reduce or Eliminate Overtime Hours: Limit the amount of overtime worked to control costs.
  2. Increase Salaries: Increase employee wages to meet the new threshold to maintain their exempt status..
  3. Use Annual Bonuses: Employers can use annual bonuses to satisfy up to 10% of the salary threshold for highly compensated employees.
  4. Adjust Base Salaries: Decrease the portion of the employee’s base salary, ensuring they still earn at least the applicable hourly minimum wage, to cover the increased overtime pay.
  5. Combination Approach: Implement a mix of the above strategies to manage costs effectively.

Exemptions from the New Overtime Threshold

Although the FLSA does not offer explicit exemptions for small businesses, the updated salary thresholds typically encompass employees working for enterprises with an annual gross volume of $500,000 or higher in sales. Additionally, it applies to employees covered under the law due to their involvement in interstate commerce or the production of goods for commerce. For businesses operating in states with more protective overtime standards than those outlined in the FLSA, the higher standard applies in that state.

Steps for Employers

To comply with the new rule, employers should:

  1. Review Salaries: Ensure that exempt employees’ salaries meet or exceed the new thresholds.
  2. Adjust Compensation: Consider increasing salaries, paying overtime, or limiting overtime hours.
  3. Communicate Changes: Explain the new requirements to employees, emphasizing the mandatory nature of the changes and promoting them positively.
  4. Regulate Timekeeping: Train newly non-exempt employees on accurate time tracking.

The new DOL overtime rule will significantly impact small businesses, requiring adjustments to salary structures and employee classifications. By proactively reviewing and modifying compensation strategies, small business owners can navigate these changes effectively while maintaining compliance with the FLSA.

Find the Spanish version here.

Securing Your Google Account

By Rutu Ruparel

In an era where cyber threats are constantly evolving, securing your online presence has never been more important. Google accounts, which often hold sensitive personal and professional information, are frequent targets for hackers. One of the most effective ways to fortify your Google account is by enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). This added layer of security ensures that even if your password is compromised, your account remains protected. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to set up 2FA using an authenticator app to keep your Google account safe.

Step 1: Sign in to Your Google Account

  1. Open your web browser and go to Google Account.
  2. Enter your email and password to sign in.

Step 2: Access Security Settings

  1. Once signed in, click on your profile picture or initial in the top-right corner.
  2. Select “Manage your Google Account.”
  3. In the left-hand menu, click on “Security.”

Step 3: Set Up 2-Step Verification

  1. Under the “Signing in to Google” section, find “2-Step Verification” and click on it.
  2. Click on “Get Started” and enter your password again if prompted.

Step 4: Choose Your Verification Method

  1. Google will first prompt you to add a phone number for text message or voice call verification. Enter your phone number and choose the method you prefer.
  2. Click “Next” and enter the code sent to your phone to verify it.

Step 5: Set Up Authenticator App

  1. After verifying your phone number, you’ll see an option to set up the authenticator app. Click on “Set Up” under “Authenticator app.”
  2. Choose your device type (Android or iPhone) and click “Next.”

Step 6: Install Authenticator App

  1. If you haven’t already, install an authenticator app on your mobile device. Popular options include Google Authenticator, Authy, and Microsoft Authenticator.
  2. Open the authenticator app and select the option to add a new account. This is usually done by tapping a “+” icon or selecting “Scan barcode.”

Step 7: Scan QR Code

  1. Back on your Google Account setup page, you’ll see a QR code.
  2. Use your authenticator app to scan the QR code. This will automatically add your Google account to the app.

Step 8: Enter the Verification Code

  1. After scanning the QR code, your authenticator app will generate a 6-digit code.
  2. Enter this code on the Google Account setup page and click “Verify.”

Step 9: Backup Codes

  1. Google will provide a set of backup codes. These codes can be used if you lose access to your authenticator app.
  2. Click “Download” or “Print” to save these codes in a secure location.

Step 10: Finish Setup

  1. Once verified, click “Done” to complete the setup.
  2. Your Google account is now secured with Two-Factor Authentication using an authenticator app.

By following these steps, you will have added an extra layer of security to your Google account. Stay vigilant and enjoy a safer online experience!

Find the Spanish version here.