The Miami tech movement wouldn’t be what it is without the women founders, executives, nonprofit leaders, and venture capitalists who have spent years championing the region’s innovation community. An article by Ashley Portero, Senior Reporter, South Florida Business Journal. Read more here
When it comes to financial health as your scaling your startup there are six steps to healthy financials for scaling your startup. Watch for insightful tips for your small business by our CEO and Founder Lil Roberts, at This Week in Startups – Scaling your Startup. E1224 of Low Burn.
Small businesses are making the leap into digitalization to respond to evolving consumer behavior and expectations, adapting to new working norms, putting data to work to drive performance and building business resiliency.
We believe business owners should have time to do what they love, build their business – not do bookkeeping.
The new buying habits are post-pandemic! What to expect? Xendoo CEO and Founder Lil Roberts is back to share with us the new buying habits post-pandemic and how eCommerce fits into retail’s post-pandemic future.
“We believe business owners should have time to do what they love, build their business – not do bookkeeping.”
Bookkeeping is vital to the success of every business, but business owners rarely have the time (or desire) to manage it themselves. In order to save their time and sanity, many partners with an online bookkeeping and accounting team. There are many options available, ranging from traditional CPAs to tech-savvy online providers. How do you choose the right financial partner for your business?
Today, we will take a look at two popular options: Xendoo Online Bookkeeping and Bench. Both provide quality bookkeeping and tax services, but there are some key differences in features that may tip the scale for you:
- Online bookkeeping and tax services
- Accounting software
- Free trial
In this blog post, we will explore these key differences so that you can make the best choice for your business!
Online Bookkeeping and Tax Services
Xendoo’s online bookkeeping and tax packages start at $295, with a bookkeeping-only plan that starts at $195 per month. We reconcile your books weekly, and deliver your reports as early as the 5th business day of the month, depending on the plan you select!
Bench offers three bookkeeping and tax plans, with prices starting at $299 per month ($249/annual). Bench’s Core package requires a partnership with LendingClub. You can connect your existing bank accounts and debit cards on the Flex and Pro plans, which are more expensive. Tax services are available on all plans, but they do not offer a bookkeeping-only package at this time.
What if you are behind on your bookkeeping? Outside of the ongoing subscriptions, Xendoo and Bench both offer catch up services so you can get previous months’ books in order!
The biggest difference between Xendoo and Bench is the software used to do your bookkeeping and accounting.
Xendoo works with both Quickbooks Online and Xero. The biggest advantage of these two programs is that you own the software. Working with Quickbooks Online and Xero ensures that you will always have access to your financial records, no matter who does your bookkeeping.
Bench only uses their proprietary software, which does not integrate with any other accounting programs. If you ever need to leave Bench, your records will not go with you and your financial history will have to be rebuilt. If you want to be able to hold onto your data, Bench may not be the best choice for your business.
Try Us Out
Both Xendoo and Bench offer a free trial in which we complete your books from the previous month, and provide a Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet.
What happens if Xendoo is not the best fit for you? In that case, we will gladly connect you with others in our network so you can find your ideal financial partner. The completed books and financial reports are yours to keep in your QuickBooks Online or Xero subscription!
If you decide not to work with Bench, you can hold onto the financial reports, but you will no longer have access to the previous month’s bookkeeping as it is done in their proprietary software.
For a brief summary of how Xendoo and Bench compare, check out the chart below:
*Some options may only be available on certain plans.
Who is Right for You?
It depends! Every business owner needs their bookkeeping done, and they deserve the freedom to take their data with them, no matter who they partner with. Xendoo Online Bookkeeping works with industry-standard accounting software, ensuring you will always have access to your financial records and data.
Bookkeeping. You hate it. We love it. We do it. Take your time back and do more of what you love!
Are we a fit for your business? Schedule your free consultation today!
One of Broward County’s biggest startup success stories continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Fort Lauderdale-based xendoo has developed a SaaS bookkeeping platform targeted at small businesses. The startup reported a two-year revenue growth of 777% from 2018 through 2019.
Ecommerce is booming. Total revenue will reach nearly $4.6 billion in 2021 and grow at an annual rate of 4.6% over the next five years – reaching $5.6 billion by 2025. It’s easy to see why owners of small and medium businesses are asking themselves how they can get a piece of the eCommerce pie. One popular option—the Amazon small business marketplace.
In the first quarter of 2021, 55 percent of the units sold on Amazon were from third-party sellers. For a company with sales of more than $300 billion, that’s more than pocket change. But what are the pros and cons? And is it worth the trouble?
What is Amazon marketplace?
The Amazon marketplace is an eCommerce platform that allows independent vendors and sellers to sell their goods on Amazon. The platform allows Amazon to forego the typical retail model, where it sources materials, then produces and stores each of its products until shipment. Instead, third-party vendors put products on Amazon and take care of the details, while Amazon gets a cut of the profits.
What are the pros of selling on Amazon as a small business?
There’s no question that Amazon is popular with small businesses: In 2018, nearly three-quarters of Amazon sellers had between one and five employees. And Amazon for small business does have plenty of benefits, like the following.
You can reach a larger audience
One of the biggest benefits of selling products on Amazon is that it can connect you with a wider audience: There are more than 200 million Amazon Prime members worldwide, and that’s not counting site visitors who don’t subscribe to Prime. That’s a huge audience for Amazon small businesses.
Amazon can take a lot of the work off your plate
Getting set up with Amazon marketplace is relatively easy: Just sign up and add products to the catalog. If you want Amazon to do more work for you, you can sign up for Amazon FBA, or Fulfilled by Amazon, which allows you to use Amazon’s warehousing, packaging, shipping, and customer service.
Amazon has tools to help you sell
In addition to Sponsored Ads – which actually make Amazon the third-largest digital advertiser behind only Google and Facebook – Amazon small businesses have access to MerchantWords, a proprietary keyword research tool. It uses actual Amazon data to help you optimize your product names, descriptions, and ads.
Amazon provides technical support
Amazon Seller Central is the platform’s support team for Amazon small businesses. It’s available 24 hours a day, although most sellers will be required to submit a request and wait for a callback. Still, most sellers receive a prompt response and are happy with the support they receive
What are the cons of selling on Amazon as a small business?
Amazon Marketplace sounds pretty great, right? For many small and medium businesses, it is. But it also has a few drawbacks you should be aware of.
It can be expensive
With charges for selling, referral fees, and Amazon sales tax, the cost of selling on the marketplace can quickly add up. Sellers without a monthly plan will pay 99 cents per item sold, while those with a Professional Plan pay $39.99 per month. If you opt for extra features, like Fulfilled by Amazon, expect to pay more fees.
It can be time consuming
Getting set up with Amazon Marketplace is easy – understanding how to be successful there can be more time-consuming. Diving into the tools Amazon provides and optimizing your product take time. Plus you’ll need to figure out Amazon bookkeeping and accounting, inventory management, and more.
The competition is fierce
There were 1.1 million active Amazon marketplace sellers in the United States alone in 2019. Amazon Marketplace is also incredibly popular with Chinese merchants, some of whom sell products at super-low, factory-direct prices. You’ll even compete with Amazon’s own private label brands. And fake reviews abound on the platform, with competitors using bots to write thousands of five-star reviews at once.
It’s Amazon’s world, you’re just selling in it
Some Amazon small businesses feel they don’t have much power over the selling process. There are reports of Amazon punishing businesses for selling at lower prices on other marketplaces, or pressuring them to sign up for extra services.
Should I use Amazon for my small business?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should sell products on Amazon. Certain categories, like personal care, beauty, and home goods, seem to have greater success on the platform. Businesses with high margins, who can afford to give Amazon its cut, can also do well. However, success with Amazon for small business depends more on your ability to figure out what works for you than on the type of business.
Xendoo can help dive into your books and help you make a sound decision on whether to sell on Amazon Marketplace. If you’re already a seller, we can ensure your books are in order – allowing you more time to focus on selling.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Cash flow is a measure of your business’s liquidity and ability to pay its debts from sales revenue. Cash flow management can be one of the most challenging aspects of being an online business owner. Your business can be profitable but still have a negative cash flow because profit calculation takes into account assets like inventory that you can’t use to pay bills.
E-commerce businesses have an edge in cash flow management by virtue of the immediacy of the transaction, but that doesn’t mean online retailers are immune to cash flow problems. The customer has to pay you before you ship the item, so that means you don’t have to deal with an accounts receivables ledger full of aging accounts. But you still have operating expenses that can deplete your bank account, and you might end up having a lot of cash tied up in inventory before being sold. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to smooth out the turbulence and keep your cash flow – and your business – on an even keel. Read on to see our cash flow management tips to keep your eCommerce business sailing smoothly.
If your inventory is sitting on the shelf for more than 30 days, you have too much. You can’t afford to have that much cash tied up doing nothing. Use stock-keeping units (SKUs) to track the sell-through rate for each item in your inventory. The sell-through rate is the ratio of inventory sold during the month to new inventory added. If you see that an item’s sell-through rate is too low, you need to dig deeper and find out why. Are you producing too much of it? Is demand for it falling? Maybe some of the cash tied up in that product can be shifted to a more popular item that’s selling better, or it might even need to be discontinued. Don’t be lured in by bulk discount offers from suppliers unless you know for sure the item will move quickly. The right inventory management software can help you make sense of what is going, out, coming in, and just sitting there.
Get Creative with Sales
At the risk of stating the obvious, one of the best ways to keep a positively manage cash flow is to get more sales from your eCommerce business. The big question, though, is how to do that. What’s the best way to drive traffic to your site and increase the conversion rate of your visitors, and maybe even do a little upselling in the process? Here are a few ideas you can try for driving website sales.
- Offer free shipping on larger orders to encourage bigger quantities
- Create a loyalty program for repeat customers
- Offer Buy One, Get One (BOGO) on items with a high margin
- Bundle high-margin products with best-selling products
- Cross-sell by offering related add-ons at check-out
- Offer a recurring purchase option for consumable products
- Offer incentives to “abandoned cart” visitors
- Use a human or automated chatbot to engage with visitors
- Implement a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy to improve your site’s rank in search results.
If each of these strategies can increase your site’s average order by just 1 or 2%, that can quickly add up to 10% or more extra revenue coming into your bank account to help ease the cash flow. If you do go the free shipping route, make sure to read our tips on how to reduce shipping costs.
Manage Your Payables
The other side of cash flow management is what’s going out to your accounts payable. You need to maximize the amount of time the cash stays in your bank account instead of going to your suppliers. When you set up contracts with suppliers, try to negotiate the terms. Standard terms will typically be 30 days, but some suppliers may be willing to go as far out as 60 or 90 days if you ask. Whatever the terms are, you should generally wait until the end of the term to make the payment so you can hang onto the cash as long as possible. Watch out for late fees, though. However, if your supplier offers discounts for early payment, they may be worth taking advantage of.
Consider an Inventory Loan
If you’ve done your best but still find yourself in a cash crunch and need to restock inventory, an inventory loan may be an easier option than a traditional bank loan. Lenders will look at more than just your credit history and will take into account your sales history and the stability of your business. Inventory loans can be either lump-sum loans or lines of credit with the bank that you can use over time. You won’t be able to finance the entire cost of your inventory, but you can expect to be able to cover around 50% of the cost through a loan.
Managing your cash flow wisely can be the difference between success and failure for your eCommerce business, even if you’re showing a profit on the books. Xendoo’s suite of products and bookkeeping services for small businesses can help you know exactly where your money is going so that you can manage it more effectively. Contact Xendoo today to start your free trial and see how we can help your small business grow.
As an eCommerce retailer, you may not have a brick-and-mortar store, or even your own warehouse and fulfillment facility. But that doesn’t mean inventory control has to be more difficult. With the right mix of tools and strategies, you can manage your merchandise supplies and turnover efficiently and cost-effectively.
Decide how much stock to keep on hand.
Your goal is to strike a balance between too little and too much. In most cases, a one-month supply will be enough to meet any unexpected increases in customer demand, without tying up unnecessary working capital or warehouse space.
To calculate your one-month supply, analyze sales and fulfillment information from previous years. If you’re a new startup, research the performance of your product category as a whole.
Allow for variables in your stock-on-hand plan.
Depending on your business, you may need to adjust inventory levels for:
- Seasonal fluctuations, such as the Q4 holiday shopping season
- Shipping time from the manufacturer to your warehouse, import delays, etc.
- Store promotions such as an annual sale
Apply the same variables to fulfillment planning.
During periods of higher sales volumes, you will also need more packaging materials as well as additional employees to do the order processing, packing, and shipping.
Keep a close eye on your inventory — digitally.
Real-time inventory software can save a ton of time and effort. By using bar code identification, it automatically updates your stock levels whenever an item is sold, alerts you, and website visitors when an item is out of stock and tracks delivery to customers.
Keep a close eye on your inventory — manually.
It may seem old-fashioned, but a physical stock count is the only sure way to know what’s in your warehouse. Do it weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually, whatever makes sense for your business.
Have a plan for out-of-stock incidents.
Your software should notify you in time to replenish stock before it runs out. But in case there are snafus at the manufacturer or in transit, be prepared to respond and keep customers happy:
- Remove the product page from your website, or add an “out of stock” message letting customers know when it will be available again
- Take backorders
- Pay extra attention to stock levels of fast-moving products and reorder them farther in advance
Choose the right business management system.
A system that’s specifically designed for eCommerce is an invaluable asset. For example, it can show order processing and shipping costs in relation to revenues. Even better, it can link inventory management to other operating systems within your business, such as accounting and payroll, greatly reducing administration time and duplication of effort.
Organize your warehouse for a fast response.
Keep your best-selling items on the shelves that are easiest to reach. Slower moving merchandise can go in less accessible areas.
Consider off-site warehousing options.
The advantages of storing some or all of your inventory in other locations include reduced shipping time to your customers and saving on overhead. Check out:
- Adding regional warehouse locations
- Renting warehouse space from a national retail chain or postal service
- Using Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) — you advertise your product on Amazon and they handle merchandise storage, order processing, shipping, and customer service
Stay on top of record keeping.
For both current decision-making and long-term planning, “knowing your numbers” is essential. So checking them at the same time every day or week is a great habit to get into. (It only takes a couple of seconds with the right software, just press a button to see inventory status, turnover, and associated costs.) You’ll always have a clear picture of your inventory … and your business.
For successful inventory management, every eCommerce business must find the right balance between too much or too little stock, online and hands-on tools, and on-site or off-site locations. Most important of all, accurate records will reveal what’s working and what isn’t, so that the future will be even more rewarding than the past.