Where Do You Spend Your Time?

 

I thought I might share something that I recently responded to in a facebook post of what does it mean to work “on” your business for an hour a day.

As a new entrepreneur, one of the most critical things in your business is time management.  Why is time management so important?  We all have the same amount of time every day.  Entrepreneurs must learn to split their time between their personal and professional life.  They break it down even more between the many hats that they wear, being of service or operating their businesses.

If you ask any entrepreneur how much time they spend in building their business, most had to put in some very long hours to get to where they are today.  When you are starting a business,  you get to be the COE (Chief Of Everything) and the CEO.  Your duties range from answering the phones, following up with leads, record keeping, marketing manager, IT person and much more.  It can be overwhelming at times and knowing where to start is what holds people back from really becoming successful because they haven’t mastered the time management.

Here was my response to the question.  In order to grow your business, you must consistently spend time “on” growing your business. That means out networking, following up with potential clients, sales conversations, finding groups to speak to, etc. and at least an hour every day as an existing entrepreneur.  Of course, all of this depends upon what stage of business you are on; so it would be more if you’re just starting out. If you’re just starting a new business, there are many things that need to be put into place in order for you to be successful. The more solid you are in laying the ground work will generate stability, which will allow you to weather any obstacle that gets in the way of you building your business. The working “in” your business would be the actual working with clients, putting systems in place, developing marketing materials, record keeping, etc.  Looking at how you divide that time is equally important.  You need to maintain balance and spend time on things that are most beneficial to your business.

If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and don’t know what is the next best step for you, check out my website at http://www.crystaclearprofits.com.  On the website, you will find valuable resources and if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, schedule an appointment and we can discuss your next best steps.

Building the Right Foundation

I don’t think that I can hold off any longer about letting entrepreneurs know the real truth about what makes a business successful.  It’s the start of a new year and my deepest desire is to see entrepreneurs succeed.  To be successful in business requires effort and a willingness to go on a spiritual journey.  It requires planning, money, and most of all, the will to do what ever it takes.  If you can honestly say I’m not willing to risk everything, you’re not ready to be an entrepreneur.  My goal is to teach every person who wants to be an entrepreneur, how to build the right foundation.  Entrepreneurs who have the proper knowledge can withstand any kind of problem, which could cause other businesses to fail.

To be in the game of entrepreneurship, you have to understand how it’s played.  You have to constantly pay attention because the game changes as you grow your business, tax laws change, and the economy changes.

Are you ready for the games to begin?  You can master these concepts as long as you’re willing to do the work, play well with others, and be willing to learn from others.  In every case, there’s a foundation or the core part of the game that never changes. So here’s the basics or the core foundation to help you get off to a good start.

I like to equate a business to building a house.  We are going to build a house on a solid foundation where it can withstand any setback with minimal problems.

One of the biggest mistakes for entrepreneurs is to jump into a business without thinking through the process with the end goal in mind.  So in other words, how would your house look when it’s completely finished?

  1.   The conceptual planning and research stage.  Having a good idea is good but having a great idea that sells, is even better.  So in this case, it would be your vision of your home with usable and workable space.  There are so many other factors to consider as well but to give you an general idea, it will get you pointed in the right direction.  In this stage,  you would be looking at your product and how much would it be in demand.  Who are you selling to or who is your target market?   You need to research your competition, and understand your customer’s needs.
  2. Then next comes the planning stage where you set down  your criteria for your business or the blueprints of your home.  The next biggest mistake is to form your business entity without the end goal in mind and no consideration of how it will affect your personal income taxes.
  3. After the concept, it’s time to start hiring the professionals.  You need the professionals to help you build the dream.  If you’re building a good quality home,  you hire professionals; the architect, the general contractor, etc. unless you are qualified to do it yourself.  In the case of your business, you need your attorney, your CPA, and other professionals who will point you in the right direction.
  4. Now you’re finally ready to lay the foundation.  To be extra strong,  you want to add things to make the concrete stronger such as rhibar, or additives.  When you’re pouring the foundation in your business, you’re looking at your core values, how you want your business to be portrayed to the public.  The more core values you have in your business, the stronger the foundation.
  5. Next step is building the walls – you’re adding some final touches to your business like business cards, stationary, an office, etc.
  6. It’s finally taking shape so now we’re ready to fill the house with furniture or fill your business with clients.  You don’t go out and just buy any furniture to fill your house – you look for a theme, something that matches with your personality, your style, etc. You want to do the same with your clients.  Don’t just take anyone, you want them to be similar (that’s your target market).
  7. Now it’s time to add the little things that make the house nicer, warmer, more inviting.  It’s time to add more services or products for you client’s to continue to work with you.

If you notice, there are distinct stages to building the house.  These distinct stages in business will ensure that you have a strong foundation.

Part of the journey of entrepreneurship is learning about yourself.  You may come across things you didn’t anticipate and need to be dealt with, costs needs to be constantly checked to make sure you don’t run out of money.  As you evolve,  your business will evolve.  As I said earlier, these are the basic foundational things that will never change but how we build our home and decorate it is all up to you.

If you enjoyed the article, please share it with your entrepreneur friends.

To learn more about the foundations of a successful business visit me at ww.crystalclearprofits.com

 

© 2016 | Crystal Clear Profits, Inc. | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

Making the Right Choice?

Do you ever wonder whether you’re making the right choice or maybe have buyers remorse after it’s too late?  We’ve all been there, including me.

Today, I wanted to shed some light on what to consider when choosing a tax preparer, if you don’t prepare your own tax returns.

And by the way, I’ve come to live by this rule; if I don’t know how to do it myself, hire a professional.  I do that with my car, with improvements on my home, etc.  And seriously, the biggest one is …if you don’t know the tax laws,  hire a specialist.  One of my biggest mistakes is always to think that I can do it cheaper.  After the headaches, the re-do’s, the additional time that I didn’t have all added up to..I could have hired a professional and it would have been done faster with less stress.  And, I could have been working earning the money to pay for the thing that needed to be done.  So my lesson…if I were to calculate my hourly rate times the number of hours it took me to complete, did I lose or make money.

So after the hustle and bustle of the Holiday’s, it’s time to get down to the truth of what do you want for 2016.

Do you want another year of just getting by? Or how about the attitude of I’m doing something different because I want more out of my life?

As you go about selecting a person to prepare your taxes, ask yourself, what do I need this person to help me with.  You see not all tax preparers are the same.  There are actually three different levels of tax preparers but many people don’t know the difference.  I want to explain the difference so you know what to look for and ask the right questions.

Enrolled Agents (EA) are licensed by the IRS. Enrolled agents are subject to a suitability check and must pass a three-part Special Enrollment Examination, which is a comprehensive exam that requires them to demonstrate proficiency in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation, and representation. They must complete 72 hours of continuing education every 3 years.  You will typically find them in public practice or companies like H & R Block or Liberty Tax.  Many will not know the accounting side of your business can affect  your taxes.  They only know the tax laws and  how to complete the tax return.

Certified Public Accountants  (CPA) are licensed by the individual state boards of accountancy. Certified public accountants have passed the Uniform CPA Examination. They have completed a study in accounting at a college or university and also met experience and good character requirements established by their respective boards of accountancy. In addition, CPAs must comply with ethical requirements and complete specified levels of continuing education in order to maintain an active CPA license. CPAs may offer a range of services including the accounting side of your business in conjunction with tax preparation and planning.

Tax Attorneys  are licensed by state courts, the District of Columbia or their designees, such as the state bar. Generally, they have earned a degree in law and passed a bar exam. Attorneys generally have on-going continuing education and professional character standards and the Tax attorneys may offer a range of services in taxation related to business, real estate, and estate planning.

Now that you know the difference and you’ve examined about what you want to have for the upcoming year.  One of the greatest mistakes is when you think that you’re saving a few hundred dollars.  That savings could translate into saving thousands of dollars in taxes when you hire the professional and you’ve lost the benefit of doing the tax planning for next year and many years to come.

Make the choice that’s right for a better 2016!

facebook: Nancy Lee Ma

twitter:@nancyleema

google+:Nancy Lee Ma

Linkedin: NancyLeeMa

To book an appointment copy and paste the link to your browser:  http://meetme.so/NancyLeeMa  or visit me at http://www.crystalclearprofits.com

 

© 2016 | Crystal Clear Profits, Inc. | All Rights Reserved

 

 

Are You an Entrepreneur Flying Under the Radar?

What do you mean by flying under the radar? If you were a pilot, you would fly under the radar so you don’t get spotted. As an entrepreneur, you’re operating your business just enough that you don’t get noticed by the governmental agencies.

In my 28+ years of practice as a CPA, the increase in more entrepreneurs to open up their own businesses had grown 60% since 2011 or total around 29 million. In addition, there are more do-it-yourself software programs that attempt to help people save money. In reality, it will end up costing you more; not only in time and money but in being able to reach your highest potential for success in business.

How can it end up costing me? The lack of understanding will cost you in the end by paying higher taxes and wasting time because it takes more of your efforts away from you operating your business; and can eventually cause loss of your customers due to lack of professionalism.

Let me paint a scenario that may apply to you or a friend that you know. One day, you decide “I’d really love to have my own business”. Based upon what friends tell you, you decide to start a side business while you still have your day job. Not knowing what your local regulations are or investigating what all is required for you to be in compliance with all Federal, State and Local government agencies, you decide to start soliciting for business. You start to tell your friends and family and they recommend that you start an LLC (Limited Liability Company) to protect yourself. You decide that an attorney is going to cost way too much, so you use an online company to help you get your LLC. You learn how to build your own website, and get inexpensive business cards printed. After that, you’re ready to go and start operating and at the end of the year you try and save money by preparing your own tax return. Sound familiar? Let’s take an in-depth look at what was just created.

Some of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs fail to check out are the following:

Governmental Compliance
If I’m operating out of my home, do I need a permit?
What required tax filings am I responsible for at the end of the year?
Did I file for a FBN (Fictitious Business Name)
Did I file for a City Business License?
What’s the purpose of a FEIN (Federal Tax ID Number)
Understanding when you must put a person on payroll versus a 1099 contractor

The next scenario is :
You don’t have enough funds to hire a professional to help you set up your bookkeeping properly so you take a poll and ask your friends what they suggest that you use. You buy the software and get frustrated because it takes you too long to learn so you sporadically try to enter the data or you just give up and begin to accumulate receipts in a box.

Setting up Your Business for Success
Have you carefully thought out a plan for the business; a business or success plan?
What’s my available resources; money, time, and people?
Do you mix your personal funds with your business funds?
Do you properly account for you income and expenses and how often do your review it?

The last scenario is:
It’s the end of the year and now it’s time to do your taxes. You attempt to put all of your receipts together and decide that preparing your taxes on your own shouldn’t be a problem. You begin to fill out the schedule C but don’t know all of the tax laws so rather than get caught on something you don’t understand about, you don’t want to get audited and claim less expenses than you are entitled.

Maximizing Your Profits and Paying Taxes
What kinds of deductions am I entitled?
How come I have to pay so much in taxes?
Why am I being penalized?
Why does it show that I made so much money but don’t have the money in my bank account?

Do these things sound familiar?  Some of the items listed above are actually things that subconsciously hold you back from reaching your highest potential in business.

To learn more about  my work, subscribe to my e-mail list or receive a free 15 minute consultation, briefly tell me you biggest challenge in the comment section.

connect with me on

facebook: Nancy Lee Ma

twitter:@nancyleema

Linkedin: NancyLeeMa

© 2015 | Crystal Clear Profits, Inc. | All Rights Reserved

Who is The Transformational CPA™?

An overview

I used to…never speak up about what I really wanted
I used to…not speak honestly about the truth to someone I really cared about, hoping they liked me
I used to…think that I had to run my business all by myself
I used to…believe what the media told people about abundance or the lack of

Then I met…a life coach; and started to change…the way I look at life and became a life coach myself to help my clients
Then I met…a friend who could honestly tell me the truth; and started to change…how I viewed peoples thoughts about me when they did it from a place of love
Then I met…business mentors I sought out to help me and believed in my vision; and I started to change…the way I look at other people in business as collaborators rather than competitors
Then I met…coaches who taught about abundance and really began to learn who God really is and the benefits of his love; and started to change…the way I look at my mindset and abundance

And little by little…I have better communication and relationships with my family, friends and clients
And little by little…I was able to intuitively tell if someone was telling me truth and direction from a place of love or evil
And little by little…I can support other people in their visions because I have a better understanding that relationships are the most important thing in our lives, and without them, we would die
And little by little…I’m in a state of consciousness that allows the abundance to flow, and have a heart of gratitude for every little thing that comes into my life

And now I’m…blessed because I have great people in my life
And now I’m…more compassionate because I genuinely care about people and help them face life’s challenges
And now I’m…changing the face of my accounting practice to be proactive with people in their finances
And now I’m…heading out to teach financial literacy to the masses

Can you imagine your life transformed?  Do you see how transformation takes time, a willingness to be vulnerable, love and acceptance of yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you?

Would you care enough to be a part of a movement to help raise the consciousness of the planet or to transform your own life, through financial literacy?

Come and join me and see the benefits of how financial literacy can change your life!  Contact me at: nancy@crystalclearprofits.com or connect with me at one of the following:

facebook: Nancy Lee Ma

twitter:@nancyleema

Linkedin: NancyLeeMa

© 2015 | Crystal Clear Profits, Inc. | All Rights Reserved