I was proud to be recognized as one of 18 Influential Women in Business of 2015 by the Business Ledger at their annual awards ceremony on November 5th. 

The awards were presented to outstanding women executives who own or work for a business located in the Suburban Chicago area and have excelled in business, civic and personal arenas.  

It's because of clients and friends like you that I enjoying what I do.

Thank you all for your support!

What Services Are You Looking For?
  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • A/R and A/P
  • Bill Payments
  • Quotes
  • Invoicing
  • Bank, Credit Card and Loan Account Reconciliations
  • Payroll Taxes
  • Monthly Financial Reporting
  • Personal Financial Statements
  • Data Entry
  • Word Processing
  • Contract Management
  • CRM
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Travel Arrangements
  • Social Media Management
  • Office Organization
  • Excel Spreadsheets
  • Concierge Services
  • Internet Search 
  • Marketing Assistance

Why Off-Site Business Services?

We are available and reliable throughout normal business hours, 

all year long.


Clients only pay for the hours of service used.

We do bookkeeping for less than half the cost 

of a CPA firm.

We do not charge a monthly fee for a payroll account.

Our staff updates their skills regularly through 

continuing education.


Our services are tailored to fit your needs., whether you need one service 

or several.


 A qualified, specially trained and experienced employee is assigned

to your account. 

Tomorrow is 
Veterans Day.

Thank them 
for their service 
to our country!

     Tuesday Tips and Tricks

                                                     November 10, 2015

Your Year in Review 

Yep, it's almost over. How is your business doing? Have you conducted a business review lately? As 2015 draws to a close, there is no better time to start planning again - and this invariably means taking stock of the business year, reviewing your market position, and deciding where to take your business next year.

Conducting a holistic year-end review has meaningful benefits for every small business owner - not least of which is planning for and positioning your business for economic recovery in the year ahead. Below are some tried and tested tactics you can employ to review your business performance.

Pat Yourself on the Back - Focus on Your Accomplishments

Where better place to start than focusing in on what your business has done well - a year is a long time in business and while we celebrate the highs, it is often the lows that stay with us. Remind yourself of your successes and consider ways to repeat them. Then take stock of key areas of your business including core activities, sales and marketing, employees, and business finances, here are some things to consider:

Assess your Core Activities (i.e. What you Do and Who Your Market Is)
Core activities essentially encompass your business operations - areas to assess include your core products and services as well as your customer base. Ask yourself questions such as:
  • Which products or services are the most profitable? How can you optimize operations around the success of these?
  • Are any products that are failing? Are there any changes you can make to enhance their sales or profitability (production, distribution, sales, marketing, price, etc.)?
  • Are your products or services still aligned with your target market? Has your core customer base changed in the past year, what market forces impact your customer base? If the answer is yes, you may need to go back to the drawing board and assess what your customer needs are.
  • What can you do to optimize your cost base? Many businesses have closed their brick and mortar establishments to operate online only. Others have become home-based to save costs. Where can you realize efficiencies?
  • What do your customers think of you? How "customer-centric" is your approach to business? Successful businesses watch the customer, become the customer, and involve the customer.
Conduct a Sales and Marketing Review
In addition to measuring your sales performance and marketing ROI against your objectives and business plan, a full sales and marketing review should also include an analysis of market forces and the benchmarking of your business against the competition - an efficient way to do this is to conduct a SWOT analysis.
Evaluate your Employees
Annual performance reviews are traditionally always something that managers and employees alike tend to dislike, if not dread. But a well prepared and honest performance review is an invaluable way to base line employee performance (strengths and weaknesses), recognize achievement, and ensure that individual goals are aligned with overall business goals.

Review your Business Finances
Every business is different so it's worth talking to your accountant about your individual circumstances, but as a guide you will need to review:
  • Budget - Do you have one and are you sticking to it?
  • Cash flow - Is it sufficient? Can you forecast cash flow trends so that you can anticipate problems and prepare for them in advance? Do you need and have a contingency plan?
  • Profit - What is the state of your gross profit margin?
  • Cost Base and Pricing - Review your cost base (constantly). Do you need to adjust pricing - how will this impact your customer relationships?
  • Borrowing - Are you staying on top of your business loan or overdraft obligations? Should you options for refinancing?
  • Taxes - Get a step ahead of tax season pressures now to help maximize your deductions and sail through tax season.
If you feel you are going to need help in any of these areas in 2016, give Off-Site Business Services a call. We can help you find the resources to make next year your best year yet.
Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make With Executive Assistants 

I've worked with several executive assistants over the years, and I have found it is a make-or-break relationship when it comes to my success.
Think about it: None of us can do it all on our own. We need to bring others into our work to help us succeed in it. And the bigger the dream, the more help we usually need.

In my corporate days, I had some very effective executive assistants, and I couldn't imagine doing the work without them. The same has been true since going on my own again in 2011, though at first I thought I could just operate as a one-man show. I was wrong. I couldn't.

It wasn't long before I was completely buried in email, speaking requests, travel details, calendar complications, expense reports, and more. I knew I needed help. Fortunately, I found a virtual executive assistant who enabled me to dig out of my pile, offload the stuff I hated, and get back to the essentials.

There are a lot of ways to blow it with your EA, and after talking with Bryan Miles of eaHELP.com, I have identified the top-ten mistakes leaders make with their executive assistants, regardless of whether they're virtual or sitting right outside your office. If we can avoid these, we can amplify our chances for success:

Full-time Professional Office Management-

                                                  Without the Full-time Cost.

Kimberly Shannon

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