Finances

The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI (BufferSocial)

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If the concept of social media ROI feels rather enormous, you’re not alone. I am amazed—and sometimes astounded—at the breadth of the topic.So that’s made the exercise of writing a “delightfully short” guide to social media ROI all the more fun and challenging. I’ve given myself under 1,000 words to provide an overview of social media ROI and how to apply it to your social media marketing efforts. What Does Social Media ROI Look Like?ROI has its roots in business finance. Businesses use ROI to calculate the dollars-and-cents return on a dollars-and-cents investment.Social media ROI is what you get back from all the time, effort, and resources you commit to social. And it’s best calculated with dollar amounts.Of course, there are no dollar signs dangling from retweets or likes. Twitter, Facebook, and others are no-cost marketing channels to join, potentially a zero-dollar investment (which makes any return exponentially fantastic, right!). So in order to track ROI, the key elements would be:Identifying your monetary investment in social mediaAttaching a dollar amount to your social media goals.Difficult? Possibly.Possible? Definitely.View full article 
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Budgeting for Unpredictable Incomes

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A simple guide for budgeting as a freelancer with unpredictable income streams. Written by Tara Faircloth, freelance opera director based in Houston, Texas. Download the e-book for a very modest fee. (Fresh Arts gives this resource a thumbs up! It's worth a few dollars for sure.)
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Fresh Arts Development Finance and Operation Basics 2014

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THE PRESENTATION FROM THE WORKSHOP DESCRIBED IS EMBEDDED BELOW. Development Finance and Operation Basicsfor the Jack-of-All Arts Administrator(Gift Acceptance, Disclosure Rules & Basic Financial Reporting)For arts administrators of small to mid-sized nonprofitsWednesday, June 4th, 2014@ Fresh Arts, 2101 Winter Street, #B11, Houston, TX 77007PRESENTERS:Amy Lampi, Associate Director of Development, Alley TheatreJoanna Torok, Director of Advancement Operations, Houston Grand OperaAre you in charge of fundraising AND finance within a small organization? Do you struggle with creating a regular routine for acknowledging donations? Do you know how to present your financial position effectively to your board? Are you certain you’re in total compliance with the IRS when accepting gifts? Administrators can expect to walk away from this workshop better equipped to manage broad financial concerns along with a simple check-list of things to do each day to ensure you are staying in compliance.Topics will include: - Creating simple systems for fund development management and operations- Timing, rules, and language for donor receipts- Common mistakes in communicating the tax benefits of donations- How to determine Fair Market Value for special events, etc.- Basic financial reports- Forecasting revenues- Reconciling fundraising activities with greater financial goals Development finance & operation basics for nonprofits_Fresh Arts 2014 from Fresh Arts
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What Your Art Business Will Cost You

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When you own your own business, it’s important to look at expenses as well as income in order to remain profitable. I looked into various (not all – not even education or supplies and materials!) expenses for artists and thought it might be interesting to share the results. Feel free to add to our completely unscientific list in a comment on the Art Biz Blog. Studio Space These numbers are based on responses I received through Twitter and Facebook. (sf = square feet) Central Virginia (476sf): $355/month Key West, FL (750sf – 3 rooms): $1600 for studio + store front Ravenswood, Chicago, IL (600+ sf): $540/month Downtown Chicago, IL (sf n/a): $485/month Gages Lake, IL (1200sf): $500/month with utilities Albuquerque, NM (175sf): $200/mo in nonprofit art center, includes utilities, not air-conditioned Colorado Springs, CO (400sf): $455 includes utilities San Francisco, CA (154sf): $431/month and says most of her friends pay around $800 for an equivalent space San Diego, CA (185sf): $550/month is on the high side because it’s in a retail space and on the art walk path Los Angeles, CA (800sf, skylight, private bathroom, gated parking): $1050/month .... Read more
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Tax Write-Offs for Artists

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Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle. The career of a professional artist can be a battle to succeed. Making a living is tough and utilizing IRS tax deductions at the end of the year can allow an artist to keep more of what she makes. Tax write-offs are similar to those used by other self-employed workers across the country; they include costs such as office space and equipment deductions...read more. - Art Supplies and Materials- Art Studio Space- Education Expenses- Travel and Promotion .
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Four Key Secrets to Funding Your Business

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Courtesy of Walter Good, Chief Marketing Officer of BusinessFundability.com, fromScore.org.----- Each year, over 1,000,000 new businesses incorporate, yet 9 out of 10 of these businesses will fail in the first 5 years. The leading cause of this business failure is the lack of preparation and timely access to adequate funding and credit. You can change the odds in your favor. Here are four key funding secrets that every business owner should know: Secret #1 -- If you wait until you need funding and credit, it’s usually too late. Most business owners don’t understand the need to prepare in advance for access to funding -- that is, to maximize the “fundability” of the business in the eyes of lenders. This means having several critical components in place: 1. You have created a business entity that is credible to lenders. 2. You can clearly state the assets of the business. 3. You can present company finances in a way that maximizes your creditworthiness. 4. Your business is “compliant” with lender criteria. 5. You have existing relationships with a funding advisor who understands your business model and will work with you to achieve lending goals. Secret #2 -- Credibility is the key to your business’s success. You may not know this, but every day your business is being reviewed by bankers, potential partners, prospects, and clients who are deciding if your company is “credible” enough to do business with. In today’s market, credibility is a critical differentiator between you and your competitors. If you are looking for money but don’t have financial credibility or an existing credit-asset foundation, you are probably out of luck (note that over 90% of all business loan applications are rejected). You can’t afford to be unprepared! Lenders have strict underwriting guidelines that require them to check your business’s creditworthiness -- is it a fundable business? Every business owner should understand these compliance guidelines and ensure that their business is in compliance long before actually seeking a loan. Secret #3 -- What you don’t know CAN hurt you -- and lenders often want to keep you in the dark! Would you be surprised to learn that many financial consultants, bankers, and loan brokers do not want you to know all of your options regarding building commercial credit for your business? They do NOT want you to know that the more business credit you build, the less personally liable you will be to these same financial services companies! They prefer that your business is financed with credit secured by your personal credit pledge. Don’t fall into the trap of securing your business’s credit and debt with your personal assets and savings. Rather, learn how to leverage your business to secure debt and grow a credit asset independent of your personal credit! Secret #4 -- Running a business should NOT put personal assets at risk! In view of Secret #3, as a top priority, you should build a credit line into your business that is not tied to your personal credit. We call this a Business Credit Asset™. Yes - business credit is actually an *asset* to your business, whereas personal credit debt is a liability. Most small business owners do not realize this, and therefore are putting their family’s personal assets at risk every day. Don’t make this mistake! There is a right way to structure your business that will offer security for you and your family’s assets, and will further create business assets that result in enhanced, long-term business value. Building business credit and protecting personal assets should be top priorities. Establishing this financial foundation will not only accelerate your business goals, but is also some of the best disaster insurance you can acquire! The time to start making your business FUNDABLE is today.-----Explore more at score.org
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SBA.Gov Online Courses for Financing Your Business

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 Online Courses for Financing Your BusinessKnowledge about the finances of your business is essential to its success. About These CoursesSeveral free online courses are offered by the SBA to help prospective and existing entrepreneurs understand basic finance and accounting principles. These self-paced courses are easy to use and understand. They will take about 30 minutes to complete. You can, however, exit a course at any time. Because most of the courses offer audio explanations, it is recommended that your computer speakers be turned on.Before entering a course, you will be prompted to complete an online registration form. The registration process is simple, asks only a couple of questions and will take less than a minute to complete. Available Free CoursesFinance Primer: Guide to SBA’s Loan Guaranty ProgramsHow to Prepare a Loan PackageIntroduction to Accounting   
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Greater Houston Partnership Small Business Resource Center

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SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTERThe Greater Houston Partnership provides a platform for businesses of all sizes to grow their company. Not just for Fortune 500 multinationals, the Partnership is the premier business organization in Houston for building your business. The Partnership is the place to network, gain key insights on issues facing today’s businesses and to work alongside other Houston area business leaders to make Houston the world’s best place to live, work and build a business.The Small Business Resource Center is an online portal filled with resources and tools to help address the needs of small businesses.If you have any questions about how your business can benefit from engaging at the Partnership, contact the Member Engagement Division at member.engagement@houston.org
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VIDEO: IRS, Small Business / Self-Employed, VIRTUAL Small Business Tax Workshop

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Video Workshop courtesy of IRS.gov.  Includes 9 tax lessons for Small Business or Self-Employed.
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VIDEO: Bookkeeping & Taxes for Artists

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Steven Goldglit, Managing Partner of Goldglit & Company, speaks to students at the New York Academy of Artabout taxes, bookkeeping and good habits on accounting for artists.Taxes & Bookkeeping for Artists - Steven Goldglit from New York Academy of Art on Vimeo.
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