Author: Janet Behm (59 articles found) - Clear Search


Optimizing Productive Time for You and Your Team

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"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." -Abraham Lincoln

Anybody can see there's a huge difference between activity and progress. But this is one of those topics that many of us *think* we have handled pretty well, when in reality, we might be fooling ourselves.

So, consider this: How much time do you (and your staff) waste in meetings?

A recent survey of Fortune 500 CEOs showed they averaged only 28 MINUTES of actual productive time during a day, primarily due to useless meetings.

You're probably doing considerably better than that in your small business because of less bureaucracy, but still ... eye-opening, yes?

So, I have three cautions for you -- and inherent to each of them, I believe, you'll see the kind of "opposite" behavior you need, to win the time-management game for business owners:

1) Unless you have an agenda and specific goal for every meeting, you're probably wasting your time. Which leaves even less time that day for you to concentrate on the really important things. Read More...


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The Importance of the Landlord Screening Component of the Screening Process

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Hello, I’m Cody Reeder with Reeder Asset Management. We are a full- service property management company, serving Cache Valley to Utah County. Today I would like to talk about the screening process. In particular the landlord screening component of the screening process.

A lot of times when I talk with owners, they will tell me that they do screening and that is great. But, as I dig a little deeper overwhelming the majority just do a credit check. Sometimes they may call to make sure that they do work in the place they claim to work.  As I talk with owners I realize they are missing a very important component, and that is the landlord referral.  Part of our screening is the credit check, we check the sex offender list, we do a criminal background check, employment verification, we do previous landlord, we are a part of rent bureau, it’s kind of how property management companies talk to each other.  As I said, each one warrants their own discussion. But today I want to dive into the previous landlord because it is so important. In my opinion, it’s the most important. For example, we’ve had just recently a prospective tenant that we screened have a 780 credit score but had one tradeline. And the trade line had been opened for about 6 months. He was a young kid trying to build his credit. At first glance that looks really attractive, but as you look a little at the tradelines you realize they haven’t established themselves as a creditworthy tenant. That is why I want to dive in a little bit deeper and you should be diving in deeper than just the credit check.  Read More...


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IRS Scams Targeting Those Needing Tax Debt Help

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"The worst kind of lying I've ever done is keeping things from people." -Elijah Wood

With the October 15th deadline nearing (for extended personal returns), there is almost always an uptick in scammer activity, especially seeking out those who are facing debts to the IRS. Yes, criminals use databases too.

Let's start with email...

Take note of these email subject headlines:

"Automatic Income Tax Reminder"

Or

"Electronic Tax Reminder"

If you see an email with either of those subject lines, or something even close to resembling the like, PLEASE DO NOT CLICK. These emails can contain faulty information from scammers looking for personal information so that they can access your money. Read More...


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Preserving Your Digital Estate

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"A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door." -Confucius

This isn't particularly a "fun" topic, but again, this day and age calls for it. If you have a lot of important business and data online (most of us do) let's ensure that nothing is ever lost.

Define "Digital Asset"

Before we go any further, the following could be considered digital assets in your name:

  1. Emails
  2. Social Media Sites
  3. Blogs
  4. Financial Accounts
  5. Music Files
  6. Photographs
  7. Videos
  8. Customer Database
  9. Cryptocurrency

The list goes on, but these are a few common personal online assets. Read More...


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The Role Of The Business Owner

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"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." -Robert F. Kennedy

When I meet with Salt Lake County business owners and clients, we always go over the particulars of their business (how money comes in, how it goes out, accrual vs. cash, etc.), but when the moment is right, I often stump the client when I ask them this question -- and, actually, I'll ask it of you:

"What business are you actually in?"

As an example of what I'm talking about, let's say you run a daycare business.

In fact, not only do you run a daycare business, you run it very well. Your employees are licensed and trained to the highest standards; your facilities are top-notch; you've got years of experience and parents rave about how their kids are happy when they pick them up.

But you're losing money, because you don't "get" what I'm about to tell you.

You see, you could have the World's Greatest [your industry here] Business (in absolute truth), and still have a poor bottom line. Read More...


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Three Overlooked Ways To Control Costs In Your Business

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"Never spend your money before you have it." -Thomas Jefferson

Profitable revenue is the only thing that will grow your business.

Are there other elements that fuel that process? Absolutely. But you must control costs so that you can forecast and attain PROFIT for the good of your business.

Some people will see this as greedy or profiteering, but a lot of those people just don't know what it takes to run a business. For the rest of us, it's important to keep one another in check with various systems in place to control costs and maintain profitability.

Here are three ideas that often go overlooked -- and if you have questions about any item, please reach out and let me know. I'm available to discuss ways to help you save (and therefore gain).

Annual Renegotiation

Depending on your business model, setting a yearly meeting with vendors to renegotiate terms and payment can be a great first step to controlling costs for your business.

Before setting meetings in stone, you should probably follow a guiding principle in business: whenever possible don't set a contract any longer than a year. This might seem obvious, but many businesses think this longer-term strategy will help them lower costs. That is not the case. Read More...


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Cash vs. Accrual Accounting: Two Main Differences For Businesses To Consider

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"Accounting is the language of business." -Warren Buffett

Let's look at a few differentiators between the two and how each could help, or hurt, your business moving forward.

As always, please let me know if you or your accounting team has any questions on this topic. I would love to help in any way I can, or provide resources for further understanding. My goal is for your business to succeed!

Timing

The key difference between cash and accrual accounting is largely due to timing.

For instance, cash accounting considers revenue right when the cash is received, and right when you pay expenses. Many businesses opt for cash accounting because it's easier to keep track of -- it's a simple method especially for entry-level accountants to maintain.

On the other hand, accrual-based accounting keeps track of earnings as opposed to what's actually been received. Although cash accounting is simple, accrual is more popular because of this timing: businesses consider revenue upon "project completion" instead of waiting to receive the money. Read More...


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Smart Employers Are Rewarding These Four Traits In Their Employees

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"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers." -Stephen R. Covey

When you go out of your way to reward an employee, it's easy to wonder: What do other employees think about this?

And although jealousy is a possibility, rewarding team members can also motivate other employees to "level up" their performance to get on a similar track for growth.

To foster a culture built on growth and "raising the bar" for one another, it's important to reward your employees with regularity and honesty. But it's equally important to do so on an objective basis.

Here are a few items to look out for when rewarding your employees. These are "soft skills" that don't necessarily show up in typical employee evaluations, but they are critical to building a healthy team.

(Exactly what to reward them with is another conversation for another day. But get creative with it -- they will value the thought you put into those rewards.) Read More...


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Are You Safe From the Financial Storm?

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Whether it's the rumors of recession (or worse), continued chaos in the political world (and still over a year away from elections -- yikes), increasing cultural division, or something more local, it's a mess out there.

Behm's Key Reminders to Keep Safe from the Financial Storm:

1) What you choose to "ingest" will greatly impact your state of mind.

This will always be the case. Truly -- the media outlets and websites do better (financially) when there is chaos.

That means that there is a very real (monetary) incentive for them to highlight turmoil. If you're wise, you steer clear. I'm not suggesting that you stick your head in the sand, just ... use a strong filter.

2) The only thing certain about the stock market is that it's volatile.

With all that talk of negative yield curves and spooked markets, it's hard to feel confident about long-term outlooks. Which might mean that the best "investment" these days may be YOURSELF ... and your business.

Which leads to...

3) The only thing you can truly control is yourself. The economy, the local market for your goods and services, your retirement -- much of it is out of your hands, in a very real sense.

That said, we met with business owners and clients last week who were taking positive action. With our advice, just a few small tweaks can realize six figures of true savings over the course of years.

Let me know if I can do the same for you.

Until then...

BE THE ROAR not the echo®

Warmly,

Janet Behm
Utah Real Estate Accountants
(801) 278-2700


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Focus Less On Sales Pitch And More On Adding Value

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"I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way." -Lee Iacocca

We've made it one of our goals to give our clients more than they expect from us, and go beyond the mere transaction level. We never regret the investment we make into relationships with you and our clients.

So, along those lines, I wanted to give you some ideas that we've picked up over the years for why and HOW you can do this too.

You see, not every marketing message should be a targeted sales pitch. That can really pester your clients and prospects -- when your only interaction with them is about whether or not to buy from you. I've written plenty about how critical your *relationship* is with your customers and prospects.

And, thinking in those terms, if you're constantly "pitching", it's like asking a girl you like to go on a date with you every time you see her. That won't work in romance ... and it doesn't work in a real business.

There are many ways that you can do this more effectively -- ranging from simple gifts, to other ways to demonstrate that you care. But with all of the tools and resources out there, it's important that you remember that you can also provide your prospects and clients with knowledge. And specialized knowledge is always welcomed. Read More...


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