Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Is your business model too rigid? Forbes Article says maybe!

By: Stan Washington
Date: December 10, 2013

Forbes Article has some wonderful words describing how people jump the gun before they have their business ready.  Take it from me, business development takes an extreme amount of time and for those who
are doing your business part time, I would suggest hiring people to do many aspects of your business as quickly as possible.

Check out the article:

Here are my thoughts:

Plan to grow!
I know you have heard me say this before!  Plan, plan plan but do not go into analysis paralysis!  How are you going to get new clients? What is your real pipeline?  Social Media is nice, but are you really meeting people?

Develop new products and services
There is nothing worse than a stale one trick business.  Your clients expect more from you than one idea. If you desire repeat business then you may have to discover new lines of business.

Develop a compelling story
Are you making a compelling statement to purchase your product or do you sound like everyone else?  Why you? Why your product?

Revisit your pricing
Are you too low?  Yes I said it. People need to value your services and if it's too low they will think it is not a value.  On the other hand, be careful not to price yourself out of the market.

By revisiting your plan you can determine where you need to put your energy!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Expiring Tax Credits and Being Prepared for Year End 2013

By: Stan Washington
Date: December 04.2013

T'is the season to be jolly, thankful and prepared! Yes it's that time of year where we want to relax and enjoy in many festivities, but are you prepared to relax? I remember one year I worked extremely hard and was too busy to focus on taxes.  My accountant asked for my documents and I had a pile of garbage.

She looked at me and shook her head with a despondent stare.  Her retort was "Come back to me when you are prepared." Okay, she wasn't that harsh but it felt that way!

Start Preparing for Taxes NOW
Why not start collecting your documentation now.  Before you schedule your next party, schedule time for collecting documents and summarizing your year. I have included tax credits to prepare you for your conversation with your accountant. You should schedule a meeting before the year ends.

Expiring tax credit full document: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43124.pdf

Bank Statements
I don't know about your bank, but mine makes it easy to access statements online for one (1) year. This means you need to collect your statements from last December until now if you haven't done so already.

Other Considerations
Have you done charity work? Do you have miles listed for business expenses? Have you tallied all operational expenses? Are you missing tax credits you are unaware of? Do you have an opportunity to get a credit in the next three weeks? Are you aware of the filing date for next year? (There is a two week delay extending the start of the season to February 04, 2014). Is your hardware fully depreciated? Should you purchase computer and other hardware now?

Filing season link:http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/2014-Tax-Season-to-Start-Later-Following-Government-Closure;-IRS-Sees-Heavy-Demand-As-Operations-Resume

Being prepared will help you reduce your heartache and headaches!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What comes up when you Google your company?

By: Stan Washington
Date: December 03, 2013

After Google-ing "Is Illinois..." I noticed a strange thing, the auto-complete gave me a list of suggestions asked about the state of Illinois.  Go to Bloomberg Businessweek to see what people are looking up about the state you live in. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-03/the-united-states-of-google-an-autofill-atlas#r=recent

After seeing what people are asking about states, I thought about small business owners who struggle to get their company recognized by the large search engines.  Their business barely shows up.  Have a friend type in the name of your business into Google and see if they can find you.  Of course you can find you, but will your customers?

Optimize your web page with SEO rich keywords
Search Engine Optimization is probably one of the most important things you can do to make people find you.  Most people only look at the first or second page of a search before giving up and changing to a new search. Use keywords on your page that will enable people to find you!

Get a Google+ Account
Yes, that's right I said it! Another social media tool you have to keep track of.  This one is emerging to be important though.  Google is positioning themselves to compete against Facebook and lifting your company's name to the front page of the search simply by having an account.  The more places you are, the more your name will show up in the search.

Use Social Media to mention your website
Place the name of your website in blogs, Facebook posts, tweets and any other communication vehicles you can. This becomes a referrer to your page and helps people find you!

http:www.careercoachoffice.com helps people find you by giving you your own web presence page! Try it today!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Do your clients understand what you are saying?

By: Stan Washington
Date: December 02, 2013

Original Story and pictures

If you would have told me there are more than 24 dialects in America before I read this article, I would have said you were crazy.  Four at the most, maybe five!  Business Insider quotes Robert Delaney who studied regional dialects in America. This map lists 24 or more dialects in America.  Read the article for more detail on each dialect.

How Can Dialects Affect Your Message?
If you are using regional references in your communication, you may be confusing potential clients and losing business.  In Chicago we say "Da Bears" which may not translate well if I'm speaking about "Da business!" Neutralize your regional references because you are facing a national or global client.

Does Your Humor Translate?
I have read many of your articles and some of the humor does not translate across regions very well.  Connect with your friends in other regions and ask their opinion of what you are writing.  This opinion can save you from sending out something offensive.

Look at Other Regions
Where are you getting your information from?  If you are getting local information, then maybe it's time for you to read news from other cities to get a fresh perspective. Check out what's going on in different countries, states or cities to round out your communication. Your clients will appreciate your broad perspective,

Visit http://www.careercoachoffice.com and try out our client management tool. Your clients can log on and get the custom plan you built for them! 
Not Just for coaches!
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