What does it mean for Real Estate Investors “To do Business in California”?

The State of California, by legislation, incorporates the following activities, as sufficient to require registration in California, with the Secretary of State office (http://www.sos.ca.gov/business-programs/business-entities/faqs#form).

  1. Does your business conduct regular and continuous activities in the State of CA? ……… as an example, do you fix and flip houses ? do you wholesale houses? How about Property Management?
  2. Do you have employees who live and work in CA? do you have independent contractors working on your projects?
  3. Do you need to conduct litigation against another business in the State of CA regarding your business activities?

So, the net result, is that if you are active in any of the above items, you are required to register in the State of CA, and also to pay income and/or franchise tax to the State of CA for California’s share of your revenues.

We want to help you structure your entities in such a way to minimize franchise taxes. We want to assist with planning your business process to help you address the following important issues:

  1. Structuring your Franchise Taxes appropriately (minimum $800 per year per entity)
  2. Ensure strong outside charging order protection – shelter your assets from charging orders due to liability concerns
  3. Consider the usage of a Holding LLC as nominee Manager for the active LLC
  4. Too many damn attorneys in the State of CA  – make yourself appear worthless to the outside world, and to the Government
  5. Income Taxes in the State of CA – do I have to pay CA taxes on income generated outside the State of CA ?

What about Activities that do not qualify for the doing business in CA?

  1. Owning Real Estate
  2. Maintain a trading account, and you are an active trader
  3. Private money lending, where you make the loan (c0nsidered the activity) outside of the State of CA, meaning the borrower and the property is outside of CA.

We’re experts in this field – why not work with our legal and tax team to coordinate a plan consistent with your goals. You should work with experts to secure your investments. Please open, review and complete this form, ( https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1epIax5YfvecdZmLg-cpq9MdYkH5kBnkAd83hqcshjlE/edit) and we will follow up with you to schedule your complimentary 30 minute interview. Or, just call us at (949) 502-4680 and we can talk.

For our Business Clients – let’s keep an open eye on these new Regulations

Now that the October  tax deadlines have come and gone, here are some of the biggest changes to keep an eye on as we all wrap up the 2016 year, and head into 2017:

FIRST: The Annual Form 1099 just got more difficult.  Some of the biggest tax changes small-business owners will need to pay attention to is in health care coverage. For starters, businesses that are subject to the health care mandate expands in 2016. Now, not only must companies with 100 or more full-time employees provide coverage, but smaller businesses that employ 50-99 workers must do so as well.

SECOND: While small businesses may have come into contact with this requirement in early 2016, the rule’s relative newness bears a reminder: All employees will need to fill out Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and employers will need to send these forms to the IRS. These are by no means the only changes to how employers report and provide coverage, nor are they likely to be the last as lawmakers continue to refine and tweak Obamacare.

THIRD: On January 1, 2016, a new rule was proposed by the Department of Labor that would raise the salary threshold for overtime to $50,440. That means employees that make at least this amount annually are exempt for overtime regulations. As such, employers do not have to pay them for that extra time. However, following the rule’s announcement, criticism has flooded in from employers and lawmakers, with many voicing concern that $50,440 was too big an increase from the previous threshold of $23,660. Since then, a revised number—$47,000—has been proposed as the new threshold. Once the final rule is published, employers will have 60 days before it becomes law.

Working closely with your accountant or bookkeeper will help companies best prepare and integrate the change into their workplaces. We are here to assist you implement these new rules. Just give us a call.

Nominate Your Favorite Businesses for the 2016 Work Local Awards!


Work Local Awards - FBNominate Your Favorite Businesses for the 2016 Work Local Awards!

Core Performance is excited to announce to our friends and business partners the 2016 Work Local Awards, a celebration of the best local employers in the Bay Area.

The Work Local Awards shines the spotlight on the boutiques, cafes, nonprofits, startups, and all the local employers that make our local communities thrive.

The awards are presented by Localwise—the local job community in the Bay Area—in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Kiva Zip, and more. Localwise is a mission-driven organization focused on helping local businesses hire great local people.

Share the love! Nominate your favorite local businesses today.

SUBMIT NOMINATIONS HERE 

 

What story does your Company’s financial statement tell ?

Narrative and Numbers:  Story Telling using Visionary Accounting tools, as well as solid number crunching

Are your financial statements in a strong position to tell an accurate reading of your Company, it’s past, present, and future?

Because we perform real-time business accounting using mature cloud accounting and reporting solutions, we are able to effectively leverage our traditional analytical and number crunching skills to paint an accurate picture of your Company. Given the current competitive landscape, more than ever, our clients are looking to their accounting adviser for guidance on how to grow their business and drive profitability.

With cloud accounting, time that was once spent keying in data can now be spent critically reviewing and analysing the information to draw out useful insights. This means the small business receives not only complete and accurate data, but also real insights on performance, facilitating more strategic and effective decision-making.  The benefits of the cloud are no secret. It enables our firm, and yours, to boost productivity with access to needed information from anywhere, at any time and on any device. Most importantly, it means you have access to a full picture of your business’ finances in real time so the advice we provide is based on accurate data.

We do not believe that the only things that matter are the numbers and that imagination/creativity are dangerous distractions. Both are critical to tell the story – – problem is, most Accountants and Bookkeepers are so buried in the details of the Accounts and the data entry process, that they’re not available to do the analysis, interpretation, and address the big picture.

We also do not believe that the full story is found just by story tellers, who build on the stories that can be told about companies and how these stories will bring untold wealth. In our view, you need both sides persisting to lead the storyline; and being used to cross-check and audit the other side of the story. Stories matter, but only if they are connected with numbers, and numbers are empty, unless they are connected with narratives. In our firm, we have designed accounting practices and procedures by which we help you build your Company’s narrative, we check them against reality and transition them into passionate business stories that capture the imagination.

We’re Experts at Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH Act”)

CoreGroupWe know all the Details of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“PATH Act”)

Congressional leaders unveiled a massive comprehensive package last week, which will not only keep the government funded through September 2016, but also addresses the extension of many valuable tax provisions. Some of the most relevant provisions of the new legislation are summarized below. As always, consult your Marcum Tax professional to discuss how these provisions can benefit you and your business for 2015 and future years.

PROVISIONS 

CHANGES

KEY INDIVIDUAL TAX PROVISIONS
Tax-free IRA contributions to charity after age 70 1/2 Made permanent
State and local sales taxes itemized deduction Made permanent
American Opportunity Tax Credit (College Costs) Made permanent with new restrictions to claim credit
Enhanced Child Tax Credit Made permanent with new restrictions to claim credit
Basis adjustment to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of appreciated property Made permanent
Income exclusion for discharged mortgage debt Extended for two years (2015 through 2016)
Deduction of mortgage insurance premiums Extended for two years (2015 through 2016)
Deduction of qualified tuition & fees “above-the-line” Extended for two years (2015 through 2016)
KEY BUSINESS TAX PROVISIONS
Research Tax Credit   •   Made permanent
•   The credit is refundable up to $250,000 against employer payroll taxes for any business under five years of age and with less than $5 million in annual gross receipts
•     Private companies with less than $50 million in gross receipts can use the credit against Alternative Minimum Tax
Five-year holding period for S Corporation built-in gains for dispositions Made permanent
Subpart F exception for active financing income Made permanent
Qualified small business stock gain exclusion Made permanent
Work Opportunity Tax Credit   •   Extended through 2019
•   Increases the credit to 40% of first $6,000 of wages for individuals who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more and have received unemployment compensation
CFC-related payment look-through rule Extended through 2019
Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction Extended for two years (2015 through 2016)
New Markets Tax Credit Extended through 2019 with an annual allocation of $3.5 billion and extends the carryover period to 2024
Production Tax Credit for Renewables Extended for five years (2015 through 2019)
Affordable Care Act “Cadillac Tax” Postponed the starting date from 2018 to 2020
Affordable Care Act Medical Device Tax Two year moratorium
KEY DEPRECIATION PROVISIONS
Bonus depreciation   •   Extended for property placed in service through 2019 (2020 for certain long-lived and transportation property)
•   50% rate for 2015-2017, 40% rate for 2018, and 30% rate for 2019
Section 179 depreciation (first year expensing)   •   Made permanent
•   $500,000 expensing allowance and $2 million phase-out threshold which will be indexed for inflation for years after December 31, 2015
•   Computer software and HVAC units made eligible
•   Elimination of the Section 179 expensing cap for qualified real property beginning in 2016
15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements, and qualified retail improvements Made permanent

Humanity as a Competitive Advantage !

Do you have a great relationship with your Accountant?

Yes you expect an Accountant to be very technical, and demonstrate expertise about taxes, accounting and the law. Yes? ….But how about the way they treat you ? meaning their human skills.

We are open and direct Accountants and Advisers, and yet we are genuinely interested in helping you overcome and succeed in your business. We will live inside your business alongside you. That is how we are wired. It’s always been that way.  We ask intelligent questions, we want to know how you want to work, and we intend to be flexible in our style working with you. We follow up regularly, we answer all of your questions, and we do not bill you for the time we spend. In fact, our fees will be based on an understanding that we reach at the beginning of the engagement, and will be derived from the value you and we muutally agree upon. How does that sound? very good I expect.

1. What’s the best way to contact you and how often should we be in touch?

This might seem obvious, but clear, effective and frequent communication is the key to a healthy, beneficial relationship with your accountant. Establish early on how often you’ll connect, either in person, on the phone or online, via text, email, Skype or Google Hangouts. Decide together if you’ll meet weekly, monthly or bimonthly.

2. How can you help me get the best tax result?

Untangling the time sink of preparing filings for the tax authorities, including VAT / Sales tax, payroll taxes and year end company taxes, is often the number-one reason small businesses hire an accountant in the first place.

At the same time, ask them if there are any new tax laws you should take advantage of to maximize write-offs.

Tax opportunities, such as the R&D credits, accelerated depreciation, payroll tax rebates, are something they should be very aware of.

Does your accountant have a pre year-end tax planning meeting with you? It’s too late once the deadline’s passed (at least for the current year) to take advantage of any extra deductions or allowances.

3. What areas, other than tax, can they help you with?

A skilled accountant should get to know you and your business well enough to regularly keep you aware of an array of factors that could effect your bottom line, for better or for worse.

Your accountant should be well-versed in several disciplines, including corporate and individual tax, retirement planning and financial planning.

They should also be able to help you weigh the financial ramifications of certain decisions, such as hiring an independent contractor vs full-time employee, buy or rent an office space, or rent or lease a company car. Your accountant should also work collaboratively with you in a way that makes it easy for you to consider and understand which actions you need to take now and in the future. We develop full year tax plans, a year ahead, at a time.

4. How can you help me manage my cash flow?

Cashflow is the lifeblood of every business. Detailed cashflow forecasts are time consuming however this is definitely something your accountant should be able to do for you.

Your accountant should be able to help you develop an organised cash flow model that allows you to adjust your operations in ways that help you survive shortfalls, as well as improve receivables and manage payables. We do.

5. What is my break-even point?

Again, this may sound obvious however it’s one of the most important numbers for any business. If you’re below breakeven, eventually you will run out of money. If you’re above breakeven, then it’s the timing issues (such as payables and receivables) which will make or break your cashflow. This is a critical area of the planning and ongoing monitoring that we develop for all of our clients.

6. Can you assess the overall value of my business?

Is the accountant heavily involved in your industry sector, and is thus across what business’s are selling for right now, and also how this moves? Good insight into this is invaluable, especially if you want to sell or raise capital.

A good understanding of the valuation drivers in your industry will mean you can focus on those metrics to improve the value you eventually get. This needs to be done over an extended period of time so is something your accountant should be on top of.

7. Can you help me review and negotiate business contracts before I sign them?

This is a common question for accountants, and they definitely should be able to help you with the commercial terms. This doesn’t negate the need for good legal advise – often your accountant and legal counsel will work hand in hand.  We will assist you in these areas.

8. What are the trends in my particular industry and how aware is the accountant of those trends?

Businesses in different industries come with their own unique accounting issues. Your accountant should be knowledgeable about the various ones that specifically apply to yours.

9. What are some common mistakes that I should avoid when working with you?

Failing to follow the advice of your accountant is a common mistake. The whole point of hiring an accountant is for their expert advice. If you’re not following it because you have concerns about the quality of that advice, that may be a good indicator it’s time to look at a new accountant.

 

Peter P. Cullen   Partner, Core Performance
photo Phone: 949 381-5629
Mobile: 949 246-0502
Email: visionaccounting@gmail.com
Website: www.coreperformance.net
Address: 5151 California Ave. | Suite100 | Irvine, CA 92617

  

Need an A/R Makeover? A Quick, 5-Item Best Practice Checklist

Technology has allowed businesses to make substantial improvements in their customer invoicing processes.  The good news is that when you implement these technologies, you will almost always get paid much faster.

If it’s been a few years since the last time you’ve changed your accounts receivable processes, it’s time for a new look.  Here are five tips you can use to rate your own invoicing process, step by step.

1.     Invoice Creation

The best way to create all of your invoices is by the push of a button from one of about five types of systems that already have all of your data:

  •  Time and billing, if you bill hourly
  • Estimating and project management, if you use proposals
  • Customer relations management (CRM) systems that have invoicing as a feature
  • Point of sales systems that track open accounts
  • Accounting system that includes an A/R component

There are a couple of key best-practice concepts to follow at this step:

  • Eliminate any duplicate data entry you can.  You should only have to enter your invoicing data in one place, and it should flow to every other system that needs it.
  • Automate as much of the process as possible.  Never start in Word or Excel, because this always means duplicate data entry somewhere.
  • Have an easy approval process so someone else can do the data entry if needed.
  • Keep your invoice data real-time so you can benefit from the next step, which is….

2.     Invoice Delivery

How you create your invoice will vary by the type of business you have, but the main thing to make sure of is that the invoice is approved quickly and sent out to the client as soon as the work has been done.

The only way to do this is electronically.  If you’re still printing, stuffing, stamping, and mailing you invoices, you’re losing anywhere from two days to nearly a week before your customer even sees the bill.  Change that by using email or delivering the invoice electronically.

3.     Invoice Terms

When do you want to get paid?  Most people feel it’s realistic to aim for 30 days.  But if you set your payment terms to Net 30, you’re more likely to get paid in 45 days, not 30, according to recent research by Xero, where over 12 million small business invoices were reviewed.

Set your terms to 13 days or less, Xero suggests, because most small business debtors pay two weeks late.  Here is the infographic in case you want to check it out:  http://www.xero.com/guides/invoicing/

4.     Payment Method

How does your business rate when it comes to payment options?  If all you take is checks, you can add another week’s delay to your payment.  Instead, we recommend creating lots of choices for customers, such as taking:

  •  Credit and debit cards through MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover
    • You can set up links online (best) or receive a fax or scanned form where you can enter the card into your back office.
  • PayPal
  • ACH for recurring payments that the client agrees to draft from their bank account
  • Checks

Your industry may even have more options.  For example, in accounting, Intuit has their Intuit Payment Network (IPN) where small businesses can receive money electronically and send and receive requests for money.  IPN is far cheaper than PayPal fees, too.

5.     Receipt

When you get paid electronically, it’s in your bank (or your merchant account) within minutes.  If you bank online, you can see things immediately now (it’s really amazing!).  When you receive a check, you have the overhead of preparing the deposit and making the trip to the bank.  If you have hundreds of paper checks, you also have additional bank fees incurred from processing the checks.

If your accounting system interfaces with your bank, then you save a lot of time and money not having to post those transactions.

Invoice-Free Zone

Why not get out of the invoicing business altogether by offering a pay-in-advance option?  Your Accounts Receivable balance goes to nothing, to name one of many benefits.  Not every industry can adopt this practice, but if you think creatively, you might find some ways you can implement this in your business.

How did your A/R process rate on the 5-point checklist?  Got some ideas for improvement?  As always, please reach out if you have A/R questions or if we can help you implement your best practice invoicing system.

Is Hosted QuickBooks Right for You?

If you are currently using the popular QuickBooks desktop software, you now have a fairly new option available to you:  hosted QuickBooks.  In this article, we’ll talk about what it is, what type of businesses it’s right for, and how to get started if you decide it’s for you.

A Host of Opportunities

Hosted QuickBooks changes the location of your QuickBooks company file from your local computer to one of the dozen authorized QuickBooks hosting companies.  You then access your QuickBooks file through a secure Internet connection.  The good news is you continue using the exact same QuickBooks software, screens, forms, and reports that you are comfortably familiar with, so the additional learning curve is extremely low.   The two biggest differences are:

  • You access your QuickBooks differently; instead of accessing your local software, you will access the same version of QuickBooks software via the cloud on a secure server provided by a hosting vendor.  You will most likely access your QuickBooks by clicking on a desktop icon or accessing a screen and entering your login information.
  • The pricing is different.  Instead of paying a large software fee at the beginning and then optionally paying for annual upgrades, you pay monthly, like a lease.

There are a few other very minor differences, such as how you back up your file, how you print checks, invoices, and other forms, and how you interface with other software such as Microsoft Outlook® or Word®.  At most, the learning curve for each of these minor changes is five minutes top for any user.

Who Benefits

You will benefit from hosted QuickBooks if any of the following are true:

  • You, your team, your bookkeeper, or your CPA needs to be able to access your QuickBooks files from multiple locations.
  • You are spending at least one hour per month restoring the file from one location to another.
  • You have experienced errors in the past from backing up and restoring the company file or the Accountant’s Copy because of passing it back and forth among people who need to update it or to get information from it.
  • You prefer to save the time it takes installing QuickBooks and applying the upgrades to QuickBooks software.  With hosted QuickBooks, the hosting vendor takes care of all of that.
  • You do not have a recent backup of QuickBooks and forget to take backups on a regular basis.  With hosted QuickBooks, backups are a routine part of the process.
  • You’re great at working on the core items of your business, but want to reduce time spent on IT-related tasks.
  • You dislike or feel inadequate when it comes to technology, and you agree it makes sense to outsource as much as possible.

Any Concerns

Hosted QuickBooks is great, but it’s not right for everyone.  If you feel “safer” with no one having access to your QuickBooks, then hosting it may not be right for you.  Although the data centers are far more secure than the PCs in most people’s homes and offices because they have to undergo a rigorous security audit to become a hosting vendor, some people are simply uncomfortable passing their financial data to others.  If you want to consider hosted QuickBooks and wonder about security, we’ll be happy to have a conversation with you about that.

Hosted QuickBooks is also not right for people that are using very old software versions because you may be forced to upgrade to a newer version.

Hosted QuickBooks is also not right for people who have much more free time than budget.  Although hosted QuickBooks is not particularly expensive, there is a cost outlay that will buy you time savings.  If the free time you gain (that you can apply to completing more important priorities in your business) is not valuable to you, then hosted QuickBooks may not be right for you.

Getting Started

Before moving to a hosted QuickBooks solution, your accounting professional will want to ask you questions about how you are using QuickBooks, if they aren’t already familiar with your requirements.  Selecting the right hosting solution means evaluating:

  • What version and line of QuickBooks you are currently using because this has to be exactly matched with the hosting vendor.
  • What other applications access QuickBooks, such as online banking and payroll.
  • What add-ons you are using with QuickBooks, if any.
  • What printers, Microsoft software, email software, and other peripheral needs you have when using QuickBooks.

Once those answers are gathered, your accounting professional can provide you with some hosting solutions, costs, and implementation plans.  Most accounting professionals partner with one or more hosting companies so that you can get a seamless one-stop shop experience.  You may also be able to benefit from volume or package pricing through your accounting professional.

If you are thinking that hosted QuickBooks might be right for your business, please email us or give us a call so we can talk more about it.

 

Have You Been Hacked? How to Minimize Your Risk

Just about every day, we read in the news that another company has been hacked.  You might have already been directly affected by the password thefts at LinkedIn last year or Evernote this year.  Or you might have had your own social media account, email, website, network, or computer hacked.  Worse, many of you have been hacked but don’t even know it.

So how can you minimize the damage and risk of hackers?  Here are several tips, some familiar, some not so familiar.  As you go through the list, check off the ones you’re already doing and make a list of new ideas to implement to protect your business and personal assets.

Signing Your Life Away

Your signature might look great in a graphic in your email signature line, your website, or your newsletter, but it’s a huge risk.  You’re giving away your handwriting, and forgers can easily replicate, master your handwriting, and impersonate you.  To reduce identity theft, don’t publish your real signature anywhere.

Money, Honey

Implement strong passwords on all of your financial accounts:  banks, credit unions, PayPal, credit cards, and your accounting system.  We know it’s painful, but do not use the same password for your financial accounts anywhere else, especially social media!  If possible, use a different password for each account to reduce risk further.

What’s Your Password?

Here are some quick password tips:

  • Do not use your name, your pet’s names or your kid’s names in your passwords.  There’s just too much information available publicly to do that safely anymore.
  • Mix up letters, numbers, capital letters, and special characters, if they are allowed.
  • The longer, the more secure; most apps require at least 8 digits.
  • Change passwords quarterly to be on the safe side.

Password Storage

Most apps that help you save time with passwords are NOT safe!  Here’s what we do and don’t recommend:

DO:

  • Password-protect your computer, even though you don’t have to.
  • Keep a separate file of your passwords on your computer, but DO password-protect that file and make sure it is not shared with anyone on a network.  Also name the file something totally unrelated like bio, letter, or goulash recipe; do not name it “passwords.doc!”
  • You can also keep a record of your passwords offline, but be sure to lock it up in a safe.
  • When you make file and disk backups, be sure those are locked up and password-protected too.  They will no longer have your PC password to protect them.

DON’T

  • Don’t give in to your browser or any website when it asks to remember your user ID and password, especially for your financial accounts or client information.  All of the major browsers have been hacked – Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and even Safari.

If you use password management applications, proceed with caution.  Be sure you have properly vetted their security claims.  Most of these are simply form fillers that are not safe.

Vulnerable Applications

Avoid leaving vulnerable PC ports open and unattended, including chat, messaging, FTP (file transfer protocol), Skype, webinars, Google hangouts, video sharing, and the like. It’s like having all the doors and windows unlocked in your house; an intruder has a lot of choices for easy entry.  When you are on these more vulnerable connections, shut the others down, and close the applications you don’t need.  Then logoff when you are done.

A Plug for Software

As soon as a hacker has found a new exploit, the software companies will learn about it and make an update available within days.  The hacker community is tight;  other hackers will look for software that is not updated and exploit the hack.  Avoid the copycat hackers by staying on top of your software updates, not just your anti-virus, but also your Microsoft and other software updates.  Doing this will eliminate a great deal of the risk out there.

New Users

If multiple team members need to access your software, consider setting up additional users rather than having one account.  If one person gets hacked, the others will likely still have access and can react quicker to the intrusion.

Stay Safe Out There

How many of these are you already doing?  Give yourself a reward, and then get busy implementing the rest so you can stay safe.

Seven Strategies to Put the Spring into Your Sales

Spring is here and that’s the perfect time to try something new in your business to make things fresh.  Here are seven ideas to try in your business; pick the one that’s most likely to put the spring in your sales.

1. BOGO

“Buy one, get one” or BOGO deals are always hot and never grow old.  Even if it’s not common in your industry, see if you can adapt and create a deal like this.  The best thing about a BOGO strategy is it spreads more of your product or service around to a wider customer base, which can spur referrals or word-of-mouth, the best kind of sale.

Here’s an example of a BOGO applied to a service: Purchase a seat at a training workshop and bring a co-worker at no extra charge (or charge the price of materials and lunch to cover costs).  You can also offer one month free (cheaper than offering 10 percent off on an annual basis) if you have a service that is performed over time.

 2.Weekend Sale

Sales can move a lot of people to action.  The key is to limit the time that they can get the discount to a very small window.  Hold a time-limited sale when it is slow for you (could be during this month when people are hit with tax bills) to boost your volume.

 3.Freshen Up Your Displays

If you have a storefront, when is the last time you’ve freshened up your look?  Retail businesses work hard at this, but even if you aren’t in retail, take a look at what the customer sees.  Is it inviting?  Fresh?  Pleasant?  If not, do some spring cleaning!

If you work from home or have a virtual office, your website is your storefront.  See if it needs some spring cleaning so that you look more attractive to your prospects and clients.

4.Introduce New Features

Make a slight change to your existing product by adding a new feature, offering it in a new color, or something similar.  It will feel a little fresher to your clients, which may cause an increase in perceived value.

 5. Start a New Niche

Once you’ve gotten a couple of clients from a new industry, you’re off and running.  You will be able to learn from working with this new industry, and then you will be more valuable to others in that space.

Take a look at your client list, and see where you have just a few clients in the same industry but would like more clients like them.  Then go for it!

6.Flavor of the Month Club

Baskin-Robbins used to have a “flavor of the month” so that customers would be enticed to come into their ice cream shops over and over again.  You may be able to have an “item of the month” or even a VIP club where your customers get something new each month.  Your VIP Club could also include priority treatment with specials or discounts.  VIP clubs done right are especially effective in restaurants and retail, but can work in other industries too.  The goal is to increase the frequency of visits to your business by enticing clients to become regulars.

7.The Biggest Opportunity of All

We often overlook the top opportunity that’s under our own noses:  our current and past clients.  They trust us the most, which is the highest hurdle to new business.  If you haven’t contacted your top clients in a while, make a point to reach out.  More sales could be just a phone call away.

Now it’s time to spring into action on the one idea that resonates most for your business.

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