SBS Client Profile: Lorraine White of M-PASS Environmental

Welcome to another Sound Business Services’ (SBS) client profile. We recently interviewed Lorraine White, president and CEO of M-PASS Environmental in Atlanta. Here is what she had to say about her background, a bit about her company and what she gets out of the SBS relationship.

Jonathan Bill: Tell our readers what M-Pass Environmental is all about.

Lorraine White: M-PASS Environmental provides waste and recycling audits that achieve savings and enhance sustainable initiatives for organizations. M-PASS also provides turn-key hauling and recycling services to customers.

JB: You founded M-Pass Environmental is 2006.Tell us about the driving force behind why you started the company, and how your goals/expectations and the business landscape have changed in these 10 years, especially with technology.

LW: After a career in corporate America that included extensive travel and responsibility, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to take my business experience and do something different – and use it for my own company. Technology has made a big difference in our day-to-day activities. It enhances efficiencies and provides the platform to track and monitor.

JB: What sets you apart from your competition?

LW: Our waste and recycling cost reduction audit is a proprietary process; this alone separates us from other companies. I also believe our success is based on our commitment to the customer and our focus on service. The waste and recycling industry is not known to be customer friendly.

JB: When did you first engage SBS? Why did you reach out to us?

LW: I reached out to SBS approximately two years after I opened the business. We were growing and I no longer had time to manage the day-to-day accounting/bookkeeping functions.

JB: What services does SBS currently provide to your company?

LW: Over the years, SBS has performed a number of services. It has changed as M-PASS has evolved. Currently, SBS provides service for customer billing, payroll and tax reporting. I also lean on SBS for guidance, as needed.

JB: Please explain the difference that SBS has made in your company.

LW: First, let me say I have never once questioned your integrity, something tremendously valuable to me as a business owner. SBS has made a huge difference, allowing us to grow and focus on our core business.

JB: Thanks Lorraine!

My Top 5 Tips for Running a Successful Business

success-sbsRunning a business is anything but easy. The amount of time, responsibility and dedication required is off the charts. But, if you can overcome the challenges, and all the ups and downs, you can not only run a successful business, but also live a happy life, full of opportunity and growth.

We’ve certainly experienced it all at Sound Business Services – the ups and downs … and triumphs. Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way because every aspect about what we do has pushed us to reach farther and be better, ultimately getting our most joy from helping you in your businesses.

Over the last 10 years, here are the things I’ve learned to make a business successful:

#1: Be Honest

  • Don’t try to cut corners. It may be tempting to get your way to the top faster, but don’t fall into this trap. It will not only catch up to you, but also likely damage your reputation and character in the long run. Spend the time on the front end with your clients because their first impression can make or break the relationship.
  • When you make a mistake, own up to it. None of us are perfect, and we are going to make mistakes. The key is owning up to those mistakes. Your customer or client will respect honesty more than just about anything else, so admitting to your mistake is actually very positive. Then, you must fix the issue, and work on not repeating it in the future. A slew of mistakes can send the client packing, but owning up to one human mistake can actually strengthen your relationship.
  • Remember the old saying: An honest day’s pay for an honest day’s wage. Even though we are all tempted to do it, don’t try to hide business income or claim personal expenses as business expenses. These things will ultimately come back to bite you!

#2: Know Your Numbers

  • Keep good books. You probably knew I’d mention this one, but it’s so true; you must know whether you are truly making money, and not just what is in your banking account. As you know, there can be a BIG difference between what you show in online banking and what you really have.
  • Watch your numbers. You must watch your numbers trend and make adjustments accordingly. Look for when your numbers peak and when they fall, and determine the reason behind them. Noticing trends in peaks can help you plan for the future by capitalizing on why and how this happened. And, conversely, discovering your valleys, and determining why and how they occurred, can help decide how to make adjustments for the future.
  • If you are not making money, STOP! You can’t just keep going, hoping that things will get better. You have to stop, evaluate and make changes accordingly. Don’t get stuck in a rut too long, or you will dig a hole you may not be able to get out of.

#3. Manage Well

  • Manage, manage, manage. There is no way you can ultimately control your end product if you are not properly managing your people and projects. Train your people, and give them the guidance and direction they need to perform at a level that meets your expectations. That’s ultimately what makes or breaks your projects, and your business.
  • You say, “I am too busy.” You can’t afford NOT to make the time. The product or service you sell represents who you are, and all it takes is one time of not properly managing your service or product, and you and/or your business’ reputation can be scarred for life.
  • Better manage yourself, too. If you don’t have time to properly manage your team, then you need to look at reducing your other responsibilities. You can’t afford not to manage well.

#4: Pray Often 

  • My life’s verse: “Except the Lord build the house, we labor in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1) At the end of the day, we can put forth our best effort, but if God doesn’t bless it, it is going nowhere.
  • Pray, pray, pray. Pray about every aspect of your business. God wants you to share your heart with him. He doesn’t mind if you share the good, the bad and the ugly about your business with him (he actually wants you to share it with him).
  • Make it your aim to please the Lord. We were made to please the Lord, and that includes our businesses. When we finally understand and apply this, it will change our entire life.

#5: Don’t Give Up!

  • Having your own business is hard. Just like life, having your own business is never easy. In fact, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 50% of businesses fail during their first year. Let’s be honest, there will be pain, tears and joy – a whole gamut of emotions. But, your hard work and dedication can be rewarded in the long run: the SBA also says that of those businesses that make it past the first year, about 66% of small businesses will survive their first two years in business. There is hope!
  • It’s a privilege to have your own business. It may not always seem so, but it is. Your own business is your baby – you nurture it from ground zero, all the way to the top. It is good from time to time to reflect upon the benefits of having your own business.
  • Dream big and be thankful. Don’t become satisfied with the status quo. Keep pressing on to make things better, and keep improving yourself. Also, be thankful. Don’t always look forward or focus on all the problems at hand. Take time to reflect on where you’ve been and all that you have learned in the process.

These are my 5 tips for running a successful business. I would love to get your feedback on what has helped you run a successful business. Contact us today with your input!

QuickBooks Desktop 2017 New Features: All About Your Experience

QBOLogoQuickBooks Desktop 2017 was recently released, and with it comes several big improvements that are catered and customized to improve your experience.

Here are some of the new features in QuickBooks Desktop 2017:

Scheduled Reporting. Sending the same reports over and over not only is a time warp and stressful, but can also lead to errors if you forget to do so. Now, with scheduled reporting, the process is automated, allowing you to streamline your daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly goals and practices, through automatic emails. To learn more, click here.

Smart Search. The user experience goes up a notch with Smart Search. After enabling your preference setting, you can simply search for anything faster, such as accounts, items and clients, by entering part of a name or keyword; QuickBooks will take care of the rest. You also can search for transactions by entering a range of values where the transaction falls in between. This filtered feature not only speeds up the process, but also makes sure you can find important data anytime, anywhere, at your fingertips.

Reports Filters and Vendor and Customer Type Filter. Speaking of filters, you no longer have to worry about scrolling through a list and having to choose the one you want. Now, it’s very easy to see and select multiple report filters with just one click. Also, the new filter tools makes it easy to go back and forth between reports, as well as keep up on customers and vendors faster and simpler through the Customer Type/Vendor Type filters in custom search.

Visual Reminder to Record Deposits. QuickBooks Desktop 2017 has you covered when it comes to letting you know that the funds you received from customer invoices have not yet been recorded as deposits to your bank account. A new badge will appear that is too big to miss.

Delete Username in Audit Trail. If an admin makes an honest mistake and deletes a user, or an ex-employee is removed from the system and you need his or her transaction history, there’s a solution for that called Audit Trail, getting you accurately tracked transactions for deleted users. While Audit Trail isn’t new, the ability to delete a user is a new feature.

Multi-User Mode. QuickBooks Desktop 2017 makes Multi-User Mode in QuickBooks Enterprise 17.0 easier than ever. You can now work with multiple users to pay bills, print and scan checks; link estimates to invoices; and links payments to bills, all in Multi-User Mode. A built-in communication tool also improves the experience.

Credit Card Status. Few things provide more relief than knowing your credit card has been reconciled and a payment went through. Now, a cleared flag in all caps will indicate the status of your credit card and when it cleared.

Find All Improvements in the Feature Tour. QuickBooks Desktop 2017 has gone above and beyond by offering a feature tour, providing all the new features in one place for you to learn and share.

Sound Business Services is Here to Help

As you can see, there are significant enhancements in QuickBooks Desktop 2017 that can help you run your business with greater efficiency and purpose. We will help you install the software and ensure a smooth transition by transferring all your data from previous versions, as well as answer any questions you have.

Contact us today to get started or learn more. You’ll be running more soundly and securely, realizing greater results in no time.