The Lighthouse Project
The Lighthouse Project is a comprehensive small-business consulting program rooted in over a quarter century of experience.
"There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it."
George Bernard Shaw
Small-business consulting program offers business forecasting, bookkeeping services
"No Small Business Ever Failed Because It Ran Out Of Money...
Small Businesses Fail Because They Run Out Of Time."
Richard J. Sacks, president
The Sacks Group
Most people think that the lack of money is the obvious culprit in the failure of small businesses. But the inefficient use of time is the real enemy. If a small-business owner doesn't learn fast, avoid trial and error and develop a consistent track record quickly, capital can disappear in no time.
For the past 25 years, The Sacks Group has been keeping small businesses from failing. The Sacks Group's success rate of guiding small businesses to a stable future is well-documented. Its principals have spent decades studying small businesses and is an authority on every aspect of small-business operation.
The Lighthouse Project, as offered by The Sacks Group, is a continuation of that high-quality, valuable and critical problem-solving counseling that keeps small businesses alive.
What is The Lighthouse Project?
Not sure where your business is headed? The Lighthouse Project is a comprehensive small-business consulting program that assesses the fitness of your existing business, identifies gaps or problems and finds solutions to get you back on track. The Lighthouse Project provides an objective point of view of where your business is right now and where it will go from here. The Lighthouse Project lights the way to a safe harbor for existing businesses by:
- Assessing the current situation
- Establishing solutions to problems
- Creating a plan for future growth
The Lighthouse team can help reduce the stress, worry and all-around anxiety of running a small business by:
- Determining exactly where you want to go, what you have to do to get there, when you have to do it and why.
- Monitoring your progress, spotting deficiencies, steering you in the right direction and helping you weather the unexpected.
- Getting the best results from your time and money.
The Lighthouse team will work face-to-face, one-on-one with you, using our tools of the trade to help you manage issues and help you run your business more smoothly.
The Lighthouse Project lights a clear path to progress for business owners by providing:
- A Sounding Board. You have questions; we have answers. You have ideas; we are an idea clearing-house. You talk; we listen. Then we talk, and you listen. Through give-and-take, we achieve progress and results.
- Risk Evaluation. Being afraid of the unknown, you usually assume everything is a high-risk situation. If this were so, sound decisions would be unattainable. We help you evaluate risk so you can avoid stressful crises. We continually provide expert advice concerning any risk you are considering taking.
- Alternative Options. Even when there appear to be no good answers, business decisions must be made every day. The Lighthouse team helps you reach sound conclusions by raising alternative scenarios and probing alternative options. Often, there is no ideal solution to a problem. We help you choose the best available solution from all viable options.
- Administrative Support. While you're away from the office, we can make sure your administrative tasks are taken care of in one of two ways: We either supervise your employees or perform the work ourselves. You won't worry about what's going on back at the ranch. You'll know the situation is in hand because we're always on call for your people.
- Maximum Efficiency in Minimum Time. In our relationship with you, we become your friend and confidante. You learn to lean on us, and we'll prove worthy of your trust and confidence. We'll form a team with you, specifically dedicated to your success. We'll identify issues, prioritize needs, develop strategies and implement specific tasks.
Using sophisticated business forecasting computer algorithms, every variable for calculating ratios, establishing capacities and projecting performance is identified and placed in its appropriate context. This tool is used to:
- Develop strategies
- Assign costs
- Determine expectations
- Identify deficiencies
The business forecasting model is designed to play the "what if" game so you can:
- Make educated and informed decisions about today's issues and tomorrow's plans,
- Maintain that delicate but necessary balance between time and money, and
- Develop a crystal clear picture of the 12-month period ahead.
If you are like most small-business owners, at some point you may realize you can’t do it all nor do you want to. The Lighthouse Project can provide small-business owners the kind of high-level financial expertise usually afforded only by large businesses.
We provide full financial, tax, administrative and data-processing services. These services assist you in the design, implementation and supervision of your financial recordkeeping and internal control systems.
Our services are tailored to fit your needs. We may be doing every facet of your bookkeeping, such as billing accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, reconciliation or a combination of needs. You have control. You decide. We provide a no-worries, financial foundation to help your business grow.
- Balancing the Books: We can handle all billing and provide up-to-date financial reports on the status of your business.
- Accounts Payable: We can organize your accounts payable, process the payments on deadline and take advantage of early payment credits.
- Accounts Receivable: We can record payments from customers, create invoices and provide aging reports to track customer balances.
- Collection Calls: We can strengthen your cash flow and reduce your days outstanding.
- Payroll: We can relieve you of the time-consuming and tedious bi-monthly or weekly chore of paying your employees.
Balancing the Books
The Sacks Group has the tools and knowledge to balance your books efficiently and effectively. Don’t waste the end of your month on reconciliation. Let our certified staff handle cash flow, sales, receipts and payments.
What does balancing the books involve? Balancing the books is a process of determining the amount of an account balance at the end of an accounting period. We compare the cash amount in the general ledger to the amounts appearing on the bank statement to ensure consistency between the amounts for accuracy.
The Sacks Group expertise at bookkeeping can help with problem solving so that you will once again have accurate business information. Don’t go another day without taking steps toward current, accurate financial information for intelligent business decision making.
Let The Sacks Group help you control your expenses and payables. We can reconcile your accounts payable ledgers and catch errors on vendor bills and recorded payables.
What are accounts payable? Accounts payable are unpaid bills of your business. This is the money you owe to suppliers, vendors, creditors and anyone else who wants your money. The sum of all these amounts is listed as a current liability on your balance sheet.
Why is it so important? The accounts payable manager plays an important role in the future of your business. Paying bills on time and according to the terms and conditions of vendors can affect company credit ratings and business relationships.
Managing and collecting payments on accounts receivable can be a full-time worry. The Sacks Group can handle the management, collection and analysis for you.
What are accounts receivable? Accounts receivable are simply unpaid customer invoices/bills and any other money owed to your business by your customers. The sum of all your customer accounts receivable is listed on your balance sheet as a current asset.
For most businesses, statements should be sent once a month to all customers with an account balance.
An accounts receivable invoice statement may contain the following:
- A beginning balance (the previous month’s ending balance)
- All invoices charged during the month
- Payments on account during the month
- Any debit memos or credit memos
- An ending balance
- A due date
Associated accounting services include recognizing accounts receivable, valuing accounts receivable and disposing of accounts receivable. You should periodically prepare an accounts receivable aging report. This is a valuable cash management tool, which you will use to contact past due customers.
Anyone will tell you the timely and accurate delivery of pay checks are critical to keeping the wheels of the business moving ahead. Confidentiality and adherence to tax regulations go along with the responsibility of this service. Let the tax specialists at The Sacks Group provide your company with accurate, confidential and timely distribution of paychecks.
What is payroll? The primary mission of the payroll department is to ensure that all employees are paid accurately and timely with the correct withholdings and deductions, and to ensure the withholdings and deductions are remitted in a timely manner. This includes salary payments, tax withholdings and deductions from a paycheck.
Why is it important? Payroll plays a major role in a company for several reasons. Payroll is crucial because it can considerably affect the net income of most companies, and it is subject to laws and regulations. Plus, employee morale can be negatively affected unless payroll is paid timely and accurately. Don’t risk payroll errors or irregularities.
Let the tax and financial experts at The Sacks Group help you with your payroll needs.
As our client, you can expect us to be at your office on a regular basis. This is a good time to be prepared with a list of questions and problems you'd like to discuss, and we'll work through them together. However, if you simply want to get away from it all, that's the time to come by our place. We'll keep in close touch with each other, and we're always happy to meet with you. Because we feel it's important to keep the lines of communication open between us, client visits are unlimited and included in your monthly fee.
Please consider this a personal and open invitation to visit our offices. We suggest you make up a list of questions, starting with your most vexing concerns. We'll help you find the most workable answers. The Sacks Group is here to help and at your service. We look forward to meeting you.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Lighthouse Project charges on a flat monthly fee to clients. We find this to be easier for small businesses to budget and manage.
The Sacks Group provides a wide range of services to enhance the strength and stability of your business. As a small-business counselor, The Sacks Group goes to great lengths to ensure your comfort and security, assess your current situation, establish a solution to any problems and create a plan for future growth. It provides one-on-one monitoring and risk evaluation services as well as business forecasting and administrative support. Plus, The Sacks Group can provide the kind of expert, high-quality financial management services that are typically afforded only by large companies. All these services can be tailored to fit your needs.
The typical response we get from clients is: “Your services cost less than what I’m paying right now for similar services!” The high-quality and above-and-beyond service inherent in the services at The Sacks Group allows microbusiness owners to access expert, hands-on, personal service at a very affordable price.
The Sacks Group specializes in “microbusinesses,” or businesses that have less than 10 employees. Microbusinesses have characteristics and challenges that are different from companies in the “small-business” category, which is categorized by 100 employees or less. We understand what it takes to handle the stress and strain on microbusiness owners, and we provide close, hands-on, accessible help whenever you need it. The company is very hands-on and provides unlimited access to its experts. Its team is committed to your success.
The Sacks Group has been working with microbusiness owners for the past 25 years. The company’s reputation and track record of guiding small businesses to a stable future is well-known in the St. Charles community. Richard Sacks has spent his career studying and understanding small business and is an authority on every aspect of small-business operation.
Yes, you can. But if you don’t want to have to manage your books during your free time, at your kitchen table, or late at night when you are too tired to think, then let’s talk. We provide bookkeeping and accounting services to allow you the highest and best use of your time. We can work with your QuickBooks system. We can perform these services remotely with special access, or we can handle all your needs in-house at our office.