Xendoo’s 25 Exclusive Interview Questions As Seen on CNBC’s The Job Interview

Please tell us a little bit about yourself? (This opens the door to many other questions and topics for conversation)

Why did you choose the accounting field?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

How would you describe yourself?

What do you know about Xendoo?

Why do you think you’re qualified for this job?

What is your favorite app on your phone? Can I see your phone? (Looking for folder organization, unread email notifications, location of their favorite app)

What is most important to you in looking for a new job and/or position? (tasks vs environment, opens the door to ask about previous jobs, roles and responsibilities, what they liked or didn’t like)

How do you handle stress and pressure in your work environment? Describe what brings you stress in a work environment.

Tell us about a time when you were under pressure and/or stress. How did you handle it? Be specific.

If we knew someone where you worked previously what would they tell us about you?

In what order do these three areas drive you- Praise, Financial, Accomplishment?

SPEED ROUND

Hand the interviewee a piece of paper and a pencil and ask them to draw a 4 bedroom, 2-bathroom house

What is the angle between the hour-hand and minute-hand at 2:40?

If a bus conductor issues 50 tickets in 30 minutes how many tickets can be issued in 8 hours?

What percent of 80 is 100?

If we were to hire you for this job and granted you 3 promises with regard to working here what would they be and why?

Teach us how to make an omelet

If you could have a dinner party with 3 people dead or alive, who would you bring and why?

When you are home on a Friday night, what makes you happy about the workweek?

How best do you learn? By doing, hearing, or seeing?

How do you know when to solve a problem on your own or ask for help?

Describe your ideal work environment?

Do you prefer working independently or in groups on projects? And for your everyday tasks?

What do you feel is one of your greatest strengths? Greatest weaknesses?

If we were to come to your home and looked in your closet, please describe what we would see. (If we looked to the left/right, what would we see where)

How familiar are you with Small Businesses?

What industry do you feel you are very knowledgeable in?

What do you think will change in that industry in the next 5-10 years?

What would be your best guess estimate as to what the margins/profit are in that industry?

What do you think are a few of the greatest challenges an owner in that industry faces?

Show the interviewee a Profit and Loss Statement and ask them to point out whatever discrepancies they find.

What would you say to your previous boss? Do you have any advice for them?

What would your pet say about you if we asked for a reference?

Why is this job important to you or your family?

Why should we hire you?

 

This post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult your attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in our content. Xendoo assumes no liability for any actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

 

Rolling in the Dough: 5 ways to make your restaurant or food truck more profitable

The restaurant business can be growl- I mean, grueling. An astounding 60% of restaurants close or change ownership in the first three years. If you plan to beat the odds, you must focus on making your restaurant profitable as soon as possible. Here are five ways to make sure you’re not leaving any profit on the table.

1. Know your numbers

Do you know the exact percentage of your food cost during any given time of year? Do you forecast sales and use those figures to schedule staff and control inventory? If not, it’s time to get a handle on your restaurant’s numbers so you can make decisions based on more than your gut. Here’s even more on controlling your food/labor costs and how to prevent food waste.

2. Determine your role and hire the best

When it comes to operating a restaurant, it may not be a bad thing to have too many cooks in the kitchen. Beginning with a great front-of-house that warmly greets customers and manages crowds, to servers who are on their a-game, all the way back to solid cooks, bartenders, and bussers – hiring experienced, teachable staff, helps guarantee a great customer experience every time. But don’t rely on what they already know: making sure your team is trained and updated with weekly meetings help them help you run a better restaurant.

3. Offer a take out menu

Take out orders do two great things: keep your kitchen busy and leave the dining room open for more customers. Offering a modified version of your menu for hungry diners so they can take your food home will help you bring more bacon home (see what I did there?).

4. Put customers first

A disappointing dining experience may not just stay at your restaurant. With the ability to “check-in” online, leave reviews, or even just rant to their personal followers, diners now have a megaphone to share their experiences and they won’t be afraid to use it. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make good on a bad meal before the guest gets their check. If you need to, comp a dish (or the whole meal) or offer a free dessert. And don’t forget to give a coupon good for a future visit so they give you a second chance. The loss you’ll take on these items is far less than the loss of customers resulting from a poor online review.

5. Don’t wait till it’s too late to market

Even if the business is booming, restaurant owners should never rest on their laurels. The scene is always changing and new competition looking to steal your lunch could pop up at any time. Always have a solid marketing plan in place that, at the very least, includes an attractive, easy-to-use website and updated social media pages. When you’re ready to take things to the next level, get creative with digital marketing, local print advertising, or mass marketing tools like radio and TV.

Follow these five tips and you’ll be on your way to a more profitable restaurant or food truck. If you’re looking for even more ways to save during tax time, check out Seven Tax Tips for Restaurant Owners.

 

This post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult your attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in our content. Xendoo assumes no liability for any actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

 

Happy Hours: A growth guide for service professionals who charge by the hour

Do you run a business that charges clients by the hour? Whether you’re an accountant, lawyer, designer, or consultant and you’re ready to expand – or hope to one day – there are a few things to consider to make sure your growth strategy is profitable.

Let’s start with the basics…

How does the billable hour pricing model work?

“Billable hours pricing” is a method used by many different services with one thing in common – customers pay by the hour. Businesses that use this model estimate the maximum number of hours in a year that they can generate revenue, and use that number to set hourly rates. Here’s an example:

Dr. John Watson owns a private investigation firm and is the sole investigator. He plans to work a typical 40-hour workweek and take two weeks off for vacation.

40 (hours per week) x 1 (employee) x 50 (workweeks in a year) = 2,000 billable hours

But Dr. Watson is not a robot and has to plan time during the workweek to eat, travel to clients, and handle administrative work in the office. He estimates this will take about 1,000 hours.

2,000 (billable hours) – 1,000 (non-billable hours) = 1,000 maximum billable hours for the year

Watson has already determined that his business’s operating expenses (marketing, administrative, office lease, etc.) will be quite low since he is well-known and works from home. He uses that figure to set his break-even rate.

$20,000 (total expenses) / 1,000 (maximum billable hours) = $20 per hour

If Watson charges just $20/hour, he’ll be able to cover all of his expenses. Anything higher than this number will go straight to the bottom line, which is why he’s decided to charge $60/hour.

So what you’re saying is I should just bill more hours, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not so elementary. Looking at the last equation above, you’ll see that lowering expenses, increasing the number of billable hours, or increasing rates could all send profits skyward. But if you’re a sole proprietor and many of your expenses are fixed, what are you to do?

Grow my team?!

If Dr. Watson hired a junior investigator at $30,000/year…

$30,000 (salary) / 2,000 billable hours = $15/hour nominal cost

could he simply re-bill her at $30/hour? Keep in mind that you have to account for federal holidays, employment tax, vacation and sick time, in-office work, and training for new staff. When all is said and done, the true cost of an employee is actually double their “nominal cost,” which means he’d have to re-bill his junior P.I. at much than $30/hour to make a profit. Expanding your staff could be the answer, you just have to be sure the numbers work out.

So, hire several more people all at once?
This could also be a solution, but with more employees comes more clients to maintain employee turnover, and a need for more office space and support staff. Hiring subcontractors, versus full-time employees, does offset some of those issues, but subs typically charge higher rates since no one is covering their vacation time and health insurance.

Can’t I just increase my prices?

If Dr. Watson increases his hourly rate from $60 to $70, this $10 increase would yield $10K more in pure profit. But he risks driving away loyal clients or attracting a different type of clientele that come with challenges he hasn’t faced before. Increasing your rates is a viable solution, as long as your customers are prepared and see a good reason for it.

As you can see, growing a billable-hours business can be done in a number of ways, but you’ll have to use your powers of observation to determine which method makes the most sense for your business.

 

This post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult your attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in our content. Xendoo assumes no liability for any actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.

 

Sales Tax Nexus: How States are Closing the eCommerce Loophole

Once upon a time, retailers didn’t have to collect or remit sales tax on merchandise sold to out-of-state customers. Period. But with the phenomenal growth of online shopping over the last couple of decades, states realized they were missing a huge revenue opportunity. And so sales tax nexus was born.

The nexus concept basically says that if you have significant business connections within a state, you are obligated to abide by its sales tax laws. Although they vary from state to state, here are some of the most common factors:

  • Your location — headquarters, branches, stores, warehouses, other real estates
  • Drop shipper or distributor location
  • Employee location — sales reps, delivery people, contractors
  • Advertising and referral services location — including click-through advertising
  • Economic nexus — exceeding a total sales dollar amount and/or number of transactions within the state
  • Regular event attendance — trade shows, consumer fairs

To make things even trickier, states continue to expand their remote seller nexus rules, necessitating that you check regularly for the latest requirements.

eCommerce giants like Amazon have found it easier to simply register in every state as a preemptive strike against future regulatory and compliance hassles. For smaller businesses, this may not be a cost-effective solution. So how can you bullet-proof your sales tax strategy?

Read the rules.

Check with the taxing authority in each state where you think you might have nexus, and register for a sales tax permit when/as required. Also, you will be collecting tax based not on your home state’s rules, but on those of each state. So you need to know percentage rates, whether or not shipping charges are taxable, what classifications of merchandise are exempt, remittance due dates, etc.

Make sure you’re collecting tax on all channels.

For example, you may already be set up to collect sales tax on your own site. But if you start selling through Amazon’s FBA program, you may need to set up for some new states where Amazon is storing your inventory.

Notify the state when you no longer have nexus there.

Maybe you’ve moved your headquarters, or terminated your relationship with a distributor. Call or write the state’s department of revenue so they can update their records before the next return is due. Also, be aware that some states have “trailing nexus” that lasts for up to a year after your nexus in the state ends; you may have to file another return even if it’s for zero dollars.

Automate the process.

Good software makes compliance a breeze. Sales tax registration, returns, remittance, due date notifications, regulation updates, reporting tools and records maintenance, all done in just a few clicks, are some of the ways it can save you much time and effort.

Over the next few years, we expect that states will continue to close loopholes and challenge old legislation. Staying current will be the key to minimizing the time you spend on sales tax collecting, reporting, and remitting. And having the right processes and tools in place will be more important than ever.

 

This post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal, business, or tax advice. Please consult your attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in our content. Xendoo assumes no liability for any actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.