Here are our top article picks from the month of January. We hope you find them as interesting and useful as we did.

Advice for business owners 

Got Business Data? You’re Probably Using It Wrong | PCMag

Yikes. Not a headline you want to read. Especially since more businesses pour hours into gathering and analyzing data. So if you’re ready for a change in the way you understand and use business data, check out this article. (Read)

Small Business Owners: 6 Tips to Help You Retire | Due

Retirement sneaks up on many workers—including business owners. But don’t stress. To prepare for retirement, consider hiring professional guidance, calculating your living expenses, dealing with your debt, and the other three tips in this article. (Read)

Marketing your business

How to Create a Marketing Plan for a Small Business That Works | OutboundEngine

Drop that pen! Before you create your killer marketing plan, you need to ask yourself some questions and plan for success. After you gather some information (like your mission statement and customer demographics), you can decide what marketing channels to use. Read this article for a phase-by-phase guide on creating your marketing plan. (Read)

When it comes to sales 

5 Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service (With Examples) | SuperOffice

How far would you go for your customers? From showing up at an airport with a porterhouse steak to resending a brand new PlayStation, these brands found a way to provide great customer service to their customers (and get great PR doing it!). Follow the tips in this article to give your customer service a boost. (Read)

16 Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales | Tripleseat

Own a restaurant? If so, this read is for you. From optimizing your menu to partnering with popular delivery services, there are a number of ways to give your restaurant sales a boost during COVID-19 and beyond. (Read)

Small business security

8 Cyber Security Best Practices For Your Small To Medium-Size Business | Cox BLUE

The majority (71%) of cyber attacks happen at businesses with less than 100 employees. Sigh. To arm your small- or medium-sized business, follow cyber security best practices, such as using a firewall, educating employees, and using multifactor identification. Read more about cyber security best practices here. (Read)

Small business articles from Patriot

Here are some of the top accounting and payroll articles published by Patriot Software.

Accounting 

Shipping for Small Business: How to Get Started, Costs, Accounting, & More

If you’re ready to ship to the billions of online shoppers out there, start here. This article goes over shipping rate prices, possible vendors, how to record shipping costs in your books, and more. (Read)

Demand Forecasting 101: How to Predict When Sales Will Spike

Want to see into the future? With demand forecasting, you (kind of) can. Demand forecasting is the process of making predictions about future demand for a product or service. Ta-da! Check out this article to learn more about the process and how to do it. (Read)

Payroll 

How to Handle Taxes on Vacation Payout

Do you let your employees cash out their unused vacation days? Vacation payouts are taxable compensation. And that means you need to withhold taxes on vacation payouts. Learn how to handle taxes on vacation payouts in this easy-to-read article. (Read)

How Long Does Payroll Take to Process?

When you run a business, every minute counts. So, it’s no surprise that employers want to know exactly how long they need to set aside for payroll. After all, how long payroll takes to process determines when you collect timesheets, run payroll, and get wages into your employees’ hands or bank accounts. Check out this article for the scoop. (Read)