Business tips 101 — Jan. 11

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer

Columnist Sandra Taylor-Sawyer offers weekly tips each month for area businesses:

This week — It is not too late to organize and arrange 2010 documents for tax preparation. One place to start is with supporting documentation for purchases and expenses.

Adequate organized receipts will fulfill this requirement. Receipts should have visible amount paid, date, the sellers’ business name, and legitimate reason of being a business expense. The latter is very important. Each meal receipt must have names of individuals who were in attendance and how the meal benefited the business.

Jan. 18 — Consumer Generated Media (CGM) also known as Social Media and Sales. One way businesses can boost traffic is to participate in the CGM world. Establishing a Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp page can be time consuming; however, once established spending five hours a week monitoring, updating, and interacting on the CGMs can have a positive impact on the bottom line. Of course, as with any new marketing approach a written plan makes for a wise decision.

Jan. 25 — Change just like taxes are inevitable. Unfortunately, we humans for the most part, fight change. For 2011, learn to embrace change such as considering new business models, letting go of a dying industry, use different market strategies, and resist the temptation of fighting change. Reinvention of a business is key to its survival.

Feb. 1— It is serious time to plan for the remainder of the year and beyond. A great place to start is dusting off that business plan and update it.

A well written plan will include the traditional topics like projected financial statements, competition, operation, marketing strategy, and the industry. However, new topics such as social media, the global economy, and investment avenues are crucial additions for the plan.

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer is director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College. Call the center at 769-4136 or visit