3 Ways to Keep Track of your Expenses & Income

By Anwuli Chukwurah

The Traditional Way – Pen & Paper

This is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your books. Pen and Paper are materials you could find anywhere. I have clients who are not comfortable with technology so showing them an easy system with paper allows them to see their business transactions. Although I do try to push our clients to become more comfortable with technology, I realize people are starting at different stages. I tell all our clients, regardless of whether they’re using technology, to have 12 manila folders to keep their physical receipts, invoices, and other documents by month. Then, I ask clients to have a dedicated notebook to track their expenses and income. Clients need to track the date the transaction was made, where it’s from, the amount, and their income. The client will need to manually calculate their monthly net profit as compared to using a computer that does the calculations for you.

  • The Spreadsheet Way – Excel or Google Sheets

Using spreadsheets will allow our clients to electronically enter your transactions and share it with someone online. Spreadsheets, graphs, and reports can easily be created from their entered transactions. This allows our clients to make business decisions based on their actual numbers. If you are not familiar with spreadsheets, you can search for local resources in your area that can teach you how to use it for your business purposes. A local nonprofit focused on helping business owners or the small business program of your city can be a great resource for finding help and support. For our clients at EGBI who are past the pen and paper stage but are not quite ready for an online accounting system, I show them how to use a simple spreadsheet tracker that tracks the date, amount, vendor/supplier, and income. This is an easy way for them to see how their business is doing on a monthly basis.

  • The Online Accounting System Way – QuickBooks Online

For clients that find using a spreadsheet to be cumbersome, an online accounting system like QuickBooks Online makes their lives easier and it can also be shared with someone else. It’s easier because they won’t have to manually document each transaction because QuickBooks Online automatically connects to their bank feed. But it’s harder because the client will need to learn how to correctly use the system so that their financial reports aren’t riddled with errors. Errors can be fixed if you know what you’re doing, but I ask our clients to come in and have a chat with me so I can show them the correct way to set up their QuickBooks. If your QuickBooks is set up incorrectly, it will cost the client more to retroactively fix their books. So, it’s always better for clients to search for local resources that can teach them how to correctly use QuickBooks if watching YouTube videos and reading QuickBooks tutorials wouldn’t work for them.

Bookkeeping

Never too late to learn to swim

By Hye June Park

As summer approaches, water activities in Austin are very popular. Before enjoying in on the summer fun, you should learn to swim and take into consideration if the places you are visiting have a lifeguard for extra safety.

Seeing the need in these areas, Miranda Melendez, the owner of I AM Ready Swim, offers pool monitors, lifeguards, and teaches swim lessons. Her ideal customers are people or organizations in need of these aquatic services.

She has tips to handle clients who are afraid of water. “We try and get on our client’s level such as holding their hands and going underwater together, or doing minimal things that they are comfortable with until we can achieve the next level,” she continued. Her favorite moment was when she had taught a 68-year-old woman how to swim after being so scared of the water after a traumatic experience. It was on her bucket list before she died to learn how to swim. “Now when I go to the pool I see her swimming laps with her grandson and it brings me so much joy. I love that there is no age limit on a person learning how to swim.”

Although she knew about the aquatic business, she was limited on how to get started. Her lawyer referred her to Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) and everyone there pitched in to help her. “I learned how to build a new business module, budgeting skills and how to run my books. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without these guys.”

One day she would like to open her own indoor pool facility. Her goals for this business is to reach as many lives as possible by teaching water safety, and prevent as many drownings as she can. As long as she can change clients’ perspective of the water and make them less afraid of it, her job is done.  For more information about I Am Ready Swim, visit www.iamreadyswim.com.

I am ready swim

Find joy with artisan candies you’ve never tasted!

By Hye June Park

Traditional Mexican candy is a great treat that all families and friends can eat together. Local made artisan candies by Sweet Tsopelik have a variety of ingredients from fruits, nuts, honey, syrup, flour, and corn which makes it perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Daniela Ariza, the owner of Sweet Tsopelik, specializes in creating her own artisan candies that people may have not seen in the United States before.  Tsopelik means sweet or candy in Nahuatl, an ancestral language from Mexico.  She uses organic ingredients and less sugar than the original candies from Mexico. She also gives the option for vegans as well. “I didn’t want to use ingredients that need refrigeration like milk or eggs. So now, anyone from a toddler to a senior can try my candies.”

She started her business after taking one of Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) workshop series, “I took the class which helped me find business ideas.”

“I created “Garapiñados” which are peanuts covered with sugar from my town. Even though it is my first time to make candies, I read books, did research, and taught myself. I had many failures to make perfect ones, but what I needed was more patience. Finally, I shared good ones with my sisters in law and they loved the sweet treats. That is how I decided to make my business about candies,” she explained.

Starting a business was not always easy and Daniela had some obstacles. Due to her lack of transportation, the venues she could sell her products to were limited. EGBI connected her to organizations such as The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Las Comadres para las Americas, and Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. Daniela has received help and support from those resources and the community to reach more customers. Her next goal is to reach a broader, worldwide audience that will buy her products.

These special artisan candies can be found when shopping at HOPE Farmer’s Market located in 412 Comal St, Austin every Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm.  For more information about Sweet Tsopelik, visit sweetsopelik.com.

Mexican food truck with plenty of Amor to give

By Hye June Park

Austin’s own Alicia’s Tacoriendo adds something extra to their food; amor! 

Max Varela, owner of Alicia’s Tacoriendo, cooks all of the meals with passion and love for great tasting food. Alicia who is famous in Mustang Ridge for tamales is his mother, so he used her recipes. His local, family-owned business specializes in authentic Mexican food from Monterrey, Mexico at an affordable price. He offers catering for any type of occasion or venue, along with, readily available tamales made to your delight.

“I have worked alongside my mother at many food vending festivals and events. My mother has over 30 years in the food serving industry and owned her own food truck. I want to provide opportunities for my family as we continue to grow,” he said. The community that visits his food truck receives the love he puts in every dish.

Although he had experience before, it was not easy to establish and promote his business. To solve the problem, Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI), helped him refine his business plan and provided him ideas on marketing. More importantly, they continue to offer him business advice and counseling. By completing the EGBI small business workshop series, he was eligible for a free year’s membership to the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce(GAHCC). Being part of the GAHCC will give his business more exposure to potential customers.   You can visit his food truck which is located in 8503 Hillmoore Drive, Austin, Texas 78719.  For more information about Alica’s Tacoriendo visit www.facebook.com/aliciastacoriendo.

Mexicna food

Planning for the future

By: Barbra Boeta

March was a horrible month for me personally – my car decided to leave me on the side of the road and I lost two beloved family members. Car repairs, funeral and travel expenses just about pushed me to the edge. It’s times like these I realize the importance of having an emergency saving account.
As small business owners, we rarely take the time to put money aside for a rainy day. Mainly because we’re too busy trying to keep up and when we have a little extra we want to reinvest in our businesses. Investing I. Your business is great but you also have to invest in yourselves.
We all know we need a savings, account, and a retirement account. But knowing we need something and actually doing it are two VERY different things.
Here are a couple of my tips to start a personal savings account.

  1. Set a reasonable goal – setting and accomplishing goals is a great way to feel like you are moving forward instead of just going in circles. Example: I want to save $200 over three months. I need to add $30 to my savings every two weeks to reach my goal.
  2. Where to put your money. When I’m putting money in my emergency savings I try to keep it at a different bank than my personal checking. This way I’m less likely to spend it. I believe in the out of sight out of mind theory.
  3. Follow your schedule – if you plan on putting money in your account make sure you do it. But. If something happens that you can’t one week don’t beat yourself up and give up. Get back on track and continue to save.
  4. Once you accomplish that goal set another one. You don’t have to increase the amount you are saving. If you aren’t ready, just continue to save. Your new goal could be in 3 months I want to have a total of $400 in my savings.

Think of putting money in your savings like paying your rent. It’s not an option. Once you get in the habit of adding money to your savings account you won’t even miss the money your saving. And then when you have that emergency, you will have a little extra to help ease your stress.

Good Luck My Friends!

Horizons, Better Days. budget

CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP AND March EVENTS

By: Monica Peña

We are consistently encouraging our alumni to increase their circle of influence by attending professional events in the area. We are proud of the community partnership that we have with the four chambers; including Austin Young ChamberGreater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC)Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce (GABC), and Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC). When our clients graduate from the Build Your Business PLAN workshop series, they qualify for one year membership to one of these chambers. Each chamber has unique opportunities for business owners.

Here are some of the opportunities the chambers have this month to learn something new or meet other business owners.

March 20th- Coffee Connection Presented by Rudy’s

March 22nd and 23rd- Asian Eats Night Market

March 28th- Small Biz U

MEMBRESIAS DE CAMARAS DE COMERCIO Y EVENTOS DE MARZO

Por: Mónica Peña

Constantemente alentamos a nuestros alumnos a incrementar su círculo de influencias atendiendo a eventos profesionales en el área. Nos sentimos orgullosos de la asociación comunitaria que tenemos con las cuatro cámaras de comercio; incluyendo, Austin Young ChamberGreater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC)Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce (GABC), y Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC). Cuando nuestros clientes se gradúan de la serie de talleres; Construye tu PLAN de Negocios, ellos califican para una membresía de un año a cualquiera de las cámaras. Cada cámara tiene oportunidades únicas para dueños de negocios.

Aquí están algunas de las oportunidades que las cámaras tienen este mes, para aprender algo nuevo o conocer a otros dueños de negocios.

20 de marzo- Coffee Connection Presented by Rudy’s

22 y 23 de marzo- Asian Eats Night Market

28 de marzo- Small Biz U

LA ALEGRIA DE PROBAR NUEVAS RECETAS

Por Hye June Park

La primavera es un buen tiempo para aprender a cocinar. Te recomiendo que visites la página web Tye Cooks Austin la cual tiene muchas recetas.

Tye Lewis, dueña de Tye Cooks Austin le encanta enseñar a la gente a cocinar comida gourmet saludable, utilizando materias primas que se encuentran en la mayoría de las despensas. Su negocio combina su entrenamiento como maestra y su pasión por la comida. Ella ofrece clases de cocina personalizadas y en grupos pequeños. Además, ofrece clases de cocina en grupo a equipos de organizaciones del área de Austin. Ella se siente feliz cuando sus clientes se dan cuenta de que pueden cocinar platillos saludables y sabrosos en su propia cocina.

Sin embargo, no siempre ha sido fácil comenzar un negocio. Ella enfrentó obstáculos: cómo desarrollar una misión clara, encontrar a su “cliente” y obtener fondos para la puesta en marcha. Ella obtuvo ayuda de Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI). EGBI le ayudó a aprender los conceptos básicos de cómo crear una empresa desde cero. “También el valor del seguro, la fijación de precios, el refinamiento de mi propuesta de ascensor y ver el valor total del servicio que ofrezco a mis clientes” Tye se ofreció. “Ahora mis metas son expandirme dentro de más mercados aquí en el área metropolitana de Austin, así como también otra ciudad de Texas. Estoy trabajando en la publicación de un libro de cocina multicultural orientado a quienes padecen alergias e intolerancia alimentaria”. Puedes encontrar sus recetas en su sitio web, las cuales consisten en ingredientes encontrados en la mayoría de las despensas de las personas, pero también de un ingrediente que puede ser encontrado muy fácilmente en cualquier tienda local, pero es muy versátil. Cualquiera puede probar una de las recetas gratuitas y aumentar su confianza en sus propias habilidades culinarias.

Para más información acerca de Tye Cooks Austin, visita www.tyecooksaustin.com.