I think without a doubt the one thing all of my clients have a unified emotion over is paying taxes. I bet you can guess what that emotion is. We all have to pay taxes if we are making a profit, so that is the good news; we are profitable.
How can we reduce the tax bill though? I think about this during October every year and I know many of you are discussing your options with your accountant. The one thing I really, really do not recommend is spending money on things you don’t need just to reduce your tax bill.
Tax Deduction Strategies
As a matter of fact, the first strategy I recommend is to think about the expenses you will have in your business anyway that can be moved into the current year. If you have to incur the expense and you can move it up, it will save on your taxes this year because we never know what the situation will be in the next year.
Secondly, if you are trying to reduce your tax bill I recommend investing back in areas that will help your company grow in the future. Usually that will be expenses in the marketing and sales arena, new product development, etc.
Invest in Your Website
The one item I want to discuss today is another one of the necessary evils of business. In this period of history all businesses need a website. It is what everyone looks up to verify that you are indeed a legitimate business. If you are going to have a website, you might as well have one that helps you grow your business.
What characteristics should your website have to be a tool for sales growth?
- A clear brand look and message. Yes, we want our website to look pretty and have the latest technology, yet it is imperative to also have a message. This message will hopefully resonate with your ideal clients/customers about who you are as a company and what your point of difference is to competitors. Many small businesses feel they can barely afford a website and give up on getting clear branding and messaging. It is just as important to have a message as a pretty site.
- A prominent call to action. Because we are investing a lot in a website we sometimes make the mistake of having too many call to actions on a page. The key rule of thumb here is that anyone visiting your website should be able to easily determine the one thing you want them to do on the page. Do you want them to call you? Are you trying to get their email? Should they fill out a contact form? I know we want them to do any and all of these things. The first is to make sure there is at least one call to action. The second step is to make sure that only one is really prominent so visitors are not confused on what you want them to do.
- Simple navigation throughout the site. Over time we add pages and information to current pages. Soon our sites can get cluttered and confusing. Poor navigation will increase your bounce rate. That means people will quickly abandon your site. If you haven’t updated your website in several years, chances are that the navigation could be easier.
- A mobile friendly format. Just this year the number of visitors who view our website on mobile increased above a desktop. It just switched one month and never went back. A mobile-friendly site is necessary to ensure easy navigation, readability, and effective call to actions. Not to mention that Google doesn’t recognize non-mobile friendly site in their search engine searches anymore.
- A full description of your products and services. I used to go to websites to read an article and then surf around to figure out what the company did or sold. I can think of several that I never really figured out. This is a second, or maybe even first, store front for our business. Make sure your website communicates your products and services to your target audience efficiently and effectively. Many times people are visiting our websites at night when they can’t reach us. If they do not understand what we do, we may never here from them.
Are You Due for a Website Revamp?
I did some research for a client a couple of months ago that confirmed a consensus of several sources all agreeing that we need to do a major revamp or a whole new site every three years on average. I know that seems short, but this ensures we keep our message and navigation clear and that we are keeping up with the ever-changing technology. You can tell right away if a website is old if it is on one of those box-y template web builders or if the site isn’t mobile-friendly. All platforms are mobile-friendly now. It is a definite sign of an out of date website.
Update Your Website and Reduce Your Tax Bill
The bottom line is, a website is a business expense that is tax deductible and is necessary for all business owners. Why not make a wise investment and build a website that sells and reduces your taxes at the same time?
If you are not sure where to start, we would love to help. We can build your website and we try to always make sure the above 5 aspects are always included.
If you would like to discuss a new website, email [email protected] and he will set up a time to discuss. You can also reach us by phone at 225-341-4147. There isn’t a lot of time left to get this expense into this year. Make sure you call your web developer right away.