How to Set Up a Simple Low-Cost Record Keeping System
Every mail order business requires an accurate record-keeping system. This is necessary to keep tabs on orders, record shipments, prevent duplication, etc. It is also important for tax purposes.
After many years in this business, we think this is the ideal combination filing AND bookkeeping system. This method is inexpensive, easy to use and extremely reliable and efficient.
The secret lies in the use of standard 3" x 5" "Index" cards, available in white and a variety of colors, ruled or plain. These may be purchased from most variety, stationery, department stores, etc. The cards are packaged in units of 100 each and priced within everyone's budget. Greater savings can be had by buying from wholesale paper companies or retail/wholesale firms specializing in office & stationery supplies. (look in your Yellow Pages under "Paper Dealers" and "Paper Dealers-Wholesale & Mfrs."). In some cases, when purchasing from wholesalers, only case lots or 10 packs (1000 cards) is possible. However, the extra savings can be substantial. The corrugated carton in which the cards are packed makes an ideal space-saving "file-drawer" when the cover is carefully removed. 1,000 cards occupy less space than a 1-lb loaf of bread!
Select a different color card for each year, such as white for 1079, blue for 1980, etc. The use of various colors facilitates easier up-dating and "cleaning out" inactive accounts., than searching cards for dates actual orders are recorded on the same card. The name of the customer (last name first) is recorded in the upper left hand corner.. Complete address follows. These are filed in alphabetical order. To save space, notes on the cards may be abbreviated. But it is extremely important that these notes are understood by all who will be working with the file... Complicated "codes" could cause frustrating problems.
Upon opening every piece of incoming mail, the file must first be checked to see if a card for that customer already exists. If not, a card is promptly completed.
All pertinent information is recorded on the card, in addition to the customer's name and address: date received, origin of order (from which ad in which publication, or circular), item ordered, type of payment (check, money order, cash), or item customer inquired about. For inquiries, specify exactly what was sent in return, such as letter, circular, etc.
Most important is the recording of the date the order was shipped and what method: 1st class mail, 3rd class mail, parcel post, UPS, etc.. This is necessary in the event the order is not received in due course.
You may also record the home address and phone number of the customer, which may appear on the order form, check, letterhead, etc. Also, the check number. Also the name of the person who placed the order, if it is a company. And signer of the check, if legible.
Coupons from ads or circulars may be stapled to the back of the card. All future business transactions must be recorded on each customer's card. When one card is filled, staple a second to the front of the first.
For customers living within your state, where you must pay sales taxes on orders, a small red check mark or "X" in either upper corner helps separate these customers at year's end, when taxes must be completed.
This Handbook on the basic regulations and related services administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) is designed primarily for small businesses in general industry. It begins with a general overview of DOL requirements.
The cottage industry, an old-fashioned enterprise, is enjoying a revival so strong that it's difficult to find out just how many Americans are now working at home. Estimates range from two to five million and the numbers may double by 1990.
Some small business persons cannot understand why a lending institution refused to lend them money. Others have no trouble getting funds, but they are surprised to find strings attached to their loans.
Success in business comes as a result of planning. You have to have a detailed, written plan that shows you what the ultimate goal is, the reason for the goal, and each milestone that must be passed in order to reach your goal.
In these days, it's becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet with just one source of income. Thus, more and more people are investigating the possibilities of starting their own extra-income business.
Here again, it is helpful to form your corporation in Delaware. In this state the law allows you to assign any "par-value" to your stock as you like - even though there are no assets to back up your valuation.
Twenty million home-based businesses will be in operation by 1999, according to Link Resource's 1995 National Work-at Home Survey. All around the country, people who want more control over their lives are starting home businesses
Once you have formed your own non-profit organization, you merely place in your corporate charter the provision that medical care be paid by the organization of which you are a member.
Your Guide to Setting Up Your Own Business at Home
Every year, several thousand people develop an interest in "going into business." Many of these people have an idea, a product or a service they hope to promote into an in come producing business which they can operate from their own homes.