How to Keep Records on Your Hot Dog Business?
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I know it’s boring, but it is important. A successful business will always have good records. Luckily with the HDV business it is super easy.
Keep good records and keep your business funds separate from personal funds. I am not going to bore you to tears here but if you will purchase a simple business ledger or even a plain old notebook, and write down your expenses, separate these into two categories, operation costs and goods purchased for resell. Supplies will be those necessities that you purchase that aren’t being resold. i.e. pens, coolers, condiment containers, pans, your cart, etc. You will want to keep another list for the goods you are reselling, food, napkins, drinks, ice etc. I advise you sit down with an accountant or good bookkeeper, they can advise you of all the deductions that you will be able to claim, like you car, your mileage, even some entertainment can be expensed.
Keeping your receipts is a must and keeping good records will help you make more money. Less than 3 minutes a day and you can have good records.
Having another section in your ledger for sales each day is important. You can write down your sales when you get home each day along with the sales tax collected. I explained how to figure taxes earlier. Whatever you do, don’t go home and write down your sales as, let’s say you did $ 450 and then add up the sales tax on top of the $ 450. This would cause you to pay taxes you didn’t collect. You collected $ 450, not $ 450 plus tax. So back out the correct amount. If your tax rate is 10% as ours is, (actually 9.75%) then you would write down sales of approximately $ 409 and tax collected of $ 41
To make life easier you can tally up the numbers each week.
Obviously you will need to take out some money for yourself, it’s my favorite part of bookkeeping; paying myself. Write the amount you pay yourself each week on this ledger list also.
A good bookkeeper or accountant can help you with this and they are not expensive. Then at the end of the year, you simply give them your records and they do their magic.
If you really, really want to make life easy, Steve Schiable with HotDogProfits.com has developed a software program that does all the math for you. You simply input the numbers and it does the rest.
If you are handy with a computer, you can make a simple Microsoft Excel form for all of it. QuickBooks or even Quicken can manage it for you also.
Another benefit to keeping good records is if you decide to sell your business at some point. The better your records, the more it will be worth. You will have demonstrable evidence of its success. I will cover selling your business a little later in the course.
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