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5 Tools to Make You a Smarter Salesperson

1045_4601245Whether you’re just starting a business or are expanding your sales team, every little bit of advice helps. When it comes to sales, certainly being talented in the field helps, but you can always make your work easier with the help of the right tools. Here are five that I think make the whole process of finding a lead, nurturing it, and closing that sale a lot easier.

 

  1. Customer Relationship Management Software

 

Also called CRM, this software is a salesperson’s dream come true. It is designed to help you keep on top of client data, like contact information, notes on past interactions, and purchases they’ve made. But today’s CRM goes a lot further. Brands like Insightly are coming up with new and exciting features like being able to monitor what your customers are saying on social media, or assign tasks to make sure you close that sale.

By |April 17th, 2015|Running A Small Business|0 Comments

Paying Your Small Business Taxes: Three Options to Consider

285_2792143If you’re like most small business owners, you groan when April rolls around. You know you have a hefty tax bill waiting for you, and it’s one you despise paying.

What’s your plan for paying that tax bill? Did you know you had options? Let’s look at three smart ways you can get your taxes paid with minimum stress or fees.

Method 1: The Plan-Ahead Strategy

Now, we’re not all this diligent, but if you plan now for the taxes you’ll need to pay in 2016, you can easily set aside enough to cover the bill. Likely, your tax bill is pretty steadily the same amount each year. So use this year’s amount as a guideline for next year. How much would you need to set aside monthly to cover it in 12 months?

If you don’t have a business savings account, set one up so the money is diverted from your savings account and you’re not tempted to spend it. Look for a high-yield savings account so the interest helps you toward your financial goal.

You can also send the IRS quarterly estimated tax payments to keep from having a gigantic bill come April.

By |April 15th, 2015|Taxes|0 Comments

5 Strategies You Should Add to Your Email Marketing Campaigns

609_3546844As social media marketing has grown in popularity, marketers have gradually lost focus on one of the best ways to reach customers on a one-on-one basis. Email marketing is still extremely relevant, however, offering brands an opportunity to connect with customers using coupons and special offers. Data analytics has made it possible for brands to be more effective than ever in their efforts, learning what works and what doesn’t in order to craft more successful campaigns.

But technology has only made the email marketing landscape more competitive. To truly improve click-through rates and increase conversions, brands have to be proactive. Here are five strategies that can help your email marketing campaigns succeed.

By |April 14th, 2015|Marketing Your Business|0 Comments

Should You Offer Equity to Employees?

571_3161065When your staff feels like family, it’s only natural that you would want to get them more involved with your business. After all, employees who feel vested in your company are more likely to work hard!

One way to involve them more is to offer equity to employees. Here we’ll look at whether it’s a good fit for your business.

Why Offer Equity

When you first start a business, your company’s success relies completely on you. But as it grows, you come to rely on others to help you grow your business. Offering equity is one way to show your appreciation of the people who work so hard for you every day.

But the benefits go beyond that. Many companies use equity as an employee perk to save money. If you offer slightly less in salary, but offer some great stock options, an employee has the potential to make more than they would with just the salary.

By |April 13th, 2015|Managing People|0 Comments

Florida Annual Report: 7 Things You Must Know

70_2985283If you have incorporated in Florida or formed an LLC in Florida, your deadline for filing your Annual Report is May 1. Here are 7 facts that you need to know to ensure that your corporation or LLC remains compliant in the state of Florida.

  1. You Must File an Annual Report Whether Your Business Has Changes or Not

While the purpose of the Annual Report is to ensure that the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations has your company’s most updated information, you still have to file the document, even if you have no changes since last year.

  1. You Can Change Several Types of Information

Whether you file your Annual Report online or let CorpNet file your Annual Report, there are several things you can tweak on it, including:

  • Names and/or addresses of officers, directors, managers, managing members, and addresses only of general partners
  • Registered agent and registered office address
  • Principal office address and mailing address for your business
  • Federal employer identification number

By |April 10th, 2015|Business Filings|0 Comments

What Every Content Producer Needs to Know About IP Protection

1019_4240500*Join Nellie Akalp at NMX Monday, April 13th speaking on IP Protection for content creators! This post is a preview of her session!*

You’ve worked hard to write a fantabulous blog post or create an animation. Then you see someone else trying to pass it off as their own elsewhere on the web! There’s nothing more frustrating. You can send a cease and desist letter to ask them to take down the plagiarized content, but that’s a big ole pain in the you-know-what.

Instead, take precautionary measures to prevent that situation in the first place. Did you realize there are measures you can take to secure your content, be it typed, drawn, or recorded? Here we’ll look at three types of Intellectual Property protection.

Copyright for Your Writing

You can copyright anything you create, whether that’s a blog post, photo, podcast, or web copy. Doing so ensures that no one else tries to use your creation; if they do, there are serious legal penalties. Simply by creating your content, you have the right to claim copyright over it. But going one step further can provide an additional layer of protection.

By |April 9th, 2015|Legal Tips For Small Businesses, Trademarks|0 Comments

Starting a Business? You Can’t Deduct All Your Startup Costs Up Front

609_3543649When first-time entrepreneurs begin the process of starting a business, they sometimes throw caution to the wind when it comes to investing in that business, because they assume they can write off all of their business expenses.

Those entrepreneurs are in for a serious shakeup, because that’s not explicitly true. There are some rules about what and when you can deduct as it relates to startup costs. Take notes, folks. This is important.

You Can Only Deduct Once Your Business is Operating

Let’s say you started investing in your new business in November of 2014. You bought office supplies, furniture, and inventory. But you didn’t actually start your business until January 2015. You won’t be able to claim those business expenses on your taxes for your 2014 taxes; instead, you’ve got to wait until next year when you file your 2015 taxes.

By |April 8th, 2015|Starting a Business, Taxes|0 Comments

Small Business Taxes and How Incorporating Affects Them

705_3546205This time of year, most business owners are thinking about their small business taxes: how much they owe, what they need to do to file them, whether they have enough to pay what they owe.

But did you realize that if you incorporate a business, how you file your small business taxes and how much you pay can sway in your favor (depending on the corporate structure you choose)? Let’s take a look at how incorporating affects your taxes.

Small Business Taxes and the C Corporation

As I said, being incorporated can be better for you taxwise, but not always. If you incorporate as a C Corp, there’s actually some drawback to your tax situation. Essentially, you’re taxed twice on profits: first you’re taxed on the profits of the corporation, then you as a shareholder are taxed on your dividends that you receive from the company. And the tax rate for a corporation can be higher than what it is for a sole proprietor.

By |April 6th, 2015|Taxes|0 Comments

How to Become an LLC

705_3548361You know that forming an LLC provides so many benefits to your company, from tax savings to personal asset protection. But maybe you’re still on the fence about taking that next step, because you’re unsure how forming an LLC will affect your business.

In The Beginning

If you haven’t yet started your business and form an LLC before you launch, you’re setting yourself up for success. One benefit of creating your LLC structure before you open up shop is that you won’t have to transition from being a sole proprietorship to an LLC. You’ll simply operate as an LLC from day one, and take advantage of those pass through tax benefits from the start.

By |April 3rd, 2015|Forming An LLC|0 Comments

14 Days til Tax Day? 14 Things You Must Take Care Of Before Then

257_4577185If you’re like a lot of other small business owners, you drag your feet until the last minute to file and pay your taxes. It’s getting down to the wire, folks, so even if you want to wait until April 15 to file your taxes, you still have a lot of work to do to prepare.

1. Decide: DIY or Professional?

Your decision here can determine how easy it is to get your taxes filed. If you’re filing them yourself (easiest for solopreneurs with simple tax situations), you might need more than a day or two to do so. Start blocking off time to sit down and go over your taxes. If you’re planning to hire a tax professional, it might not take as long to do, but you’ll be competing for that pro’s time. Book your appointment now so you don’t miss the deadline.

2. Consider an Extension

If you’ve been frantically working to pull together all the necessary documents to file your taxes, but still don’t have them, you can file an extension. This can get you up to 6 months to work on your taxes. It’s not ideal, but sometimes it’s the best option.

By |April 1st, 2015|Taxes|0 Comments