The 5-Primary Ways Your Business Can Get Help Right Now

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I'd like to simplify things for you today.

There is so. much. noise. right now about how to survive (even thrive) in the midst of this very difficult season.

"Pivot" they say.

And yes, if you are running a business, these times call for a bit of a shift. Only a very small amount of businesses haven't been affected in some serious way by this ongoing crisis, and if you need somebody else to tell you to pivot at this point, chances are good that you are already in trouble.

I've already been writing to my clients a great deal about this dynamic, and I hope you have been finding these messages helpful. We will continue to be out in front on these matters, simply because things are constantly changing, and we are uncovering new information and new benefits (and how to receive them).

It's all getting very complicated.

That's why I hope you see why I'm working so hard to be in communication with you right now.  Read More...


SBA PPP Insights

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Before I get into some of what we have learned over the weekend about the SBA payroll program, I want to speak to you -- business owner to business owner.

To survive in this hour, you will NEED two major qualities: Clarity and Patience.

The SBA PPP (Small Business Administration - Paycheck Protection Program) offers a lifeline of hope to many of my blog business friends. In fact, we've been INUNDATED with questions and requests for help (from clients and non-clients alike).

But it is always a good idea to plan that you might not get the funding. Or at least not in a timely fashion.

You must not place all of your eggs in the PPP basket, because we don't yet have a clear picture of how quickly and effectively it will get disbursed.

Now ... I don't say that because I have particular inside information that it won't occur. I AM getting plenty of inside scoop, which I'm sharing as I learn, but that's not what drives me to say this to you. Read More...


How to Get a PPP (Forgivable Loan)

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This program allows a lender (such as a bank or credit union) to provide small business owners with a loan that then is "forgiven" when you show that you spent the money on "qualified expenses."

  • Loans can be for up to two months of your average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25% of that amount. The loan amount is capped at $10 million. AS OF YESTERDAY: The payroll calculation no longer includes 1099 contractors in the formula
  • Loans will be forgiven up to the loan amount for a borrower's payroll, rent, mortgage, and utility costs incurred and paid during an eight-week period after a loan is originated.
  • Loan forgiveness will be reduced to the extent of a) any reduction in employee headcount during this period (as compared to the prior year), and b) any reduction in pay of an employee by more than 25% (as compared to their prior year compensation). Borrowers that rehire workers will not be penalized for paying them less when they are rehired.

"Qualified expenses" include: Read More...


Disaster Relief Business Loans - Get It Right

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These days are moving VERY quickly, and we are working VERY hard to get communication out to our blog readers, clients, and friends. One huge break is the extension of filing and payment tax deadline to July 15, 2020.

You probably already heard that the CARES Act (the mammoth 880+ page disaster relief bill) was signed over the weekend, and help IS indeed on the way.

But there are so. many. rumors. flying around out there that I wanted to reach out to clear up some confusion. (I've even seen some accountants charge frightened business owners over $2K for filling out these 5-minute forms.)

First things first (and before I give you any more details):

The SBA EIDL online application is BACK up and running.

Go here >> https://covid19relief.sba.gov/ Read More...


The Feds Are Stepping Up Support For Small Business

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How are you holding up? If you haven't yet done so, please do shoot me a quick note to let me know how your business is managing.

Thanks to those readers who responded this last week. Seems all are doing well.

Depending on the situation, I have lots of ways to help ... some of which I'll give you details about today.

I will continue to be posting here more updates than normal, as there are rapidly unfolding NEW credits being considered (even as I type) by Congress, as well as a bunch of emergency actions done by various departments under the executive branch ... all designed to help YOU.

I do believe that we will get through this. This isn't a medical or epidemiological opinion (neither of which I'm particularly qualified to offer), but rather a statement about the confidence I have in my readers, my clients, and our communities, and the businesses they represent.

Crisis is one of the most powerful seedbeds of innovation, if we let it be. Read More...


How Do I Keep My Airbnb Occupied During COVID-19?

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The name of the game is to pivot, the vacation rental industry is not what it was 10 days ago. If you are not sure you want to work crazy hard, staying in this industry may not be for you. In the last 10 days I think we have worked harder as a company than ever before, and probably made far less proportionally as well. I’m not sure the accuracy of the stats but 80% of existing reservations were cancelled, with an estimated greater amount where the reservation was kept because a refund could not be awarded. Airbnb’s cancellation policy override has crushed many hosts, but we are seeing now more than ever there are NEEDS for flexible housing options.

I love what we do as a property management company, especially now that we have the opportunity to provide housing for those that desperately need it. Lives depend on medical workers and necessary staff in many industries, we can house those staff and others. If you want to stay in the industry the time is now to pivot or take a break. 

Here are entirely too many ideas to keep your units occupied, you choose which ones work for your units, markets and situation.  Read More...


Let's Get Real for RIGHT NOW...

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No, this is NOT just another "here's what we're doing about COVID-19" message.

The time for that was last week. Every brand and their brother sent out those messages, and they lost their usefulness -- right now, it's a marketplace expectation that we're all taking serious steps.

Regardless of what you feel about this situation, or the governmental response to it, it's time that we recognize that the ground has already shifted under our feet.

You can waste your (precious) breath to rail against that, or you can get productive.

But more about that in a moment.

For now, you don't need any medical advice from me, nor would it be beneficial for me to share with you my "work from home tips" (though those will be coming sometime soon).

Instead, I'm going to stay in my lane, and get real with you about your business right now. Read More...


Going Broke By Going It Alone

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"Things are never quite as scary when you've got a best friend." -Bill Watterson

Perhaps the most epic image of American excellence is the picture of the "rugged individualist". You know, Teddy Roosevelt, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, etc. In many ways, this image formed many characteristics of the fabric of our nation that have led to great prosperity.

But here's the problem: it is (and has always been) an illusion.

Or at least, our interpretation of it is. The rugged individualist who can solve his or her own problems (the opposite of an entitlement mentality) IS a great standard.

But in most parts of life, your business very much included, you simply can't do it all yourself.

Or, if you do, you're going to find that you sacrifice the things you're very good at for the things you either are barely competent at or, worse yet, fail miserably at. Read More...


Making Our Money Match Our Heart

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"Don't give up because things are hard, but work harder, when you think of giving up." - Anthony Liccione

Tax time can remind us of our choices over the course of the entire previous year. We see how easy it is to pull the trigger on more expensive choices because we convince ourselves that "we deserve it". Rather than wanting this nice thing (whether it's as simple and perhaps-trivial as a clothing item or a dinner at a fine restaurant) -- we think we *need* this new thing.

I've compiled a short list of ideas on how to address these financial matters of the heart ... and some simple ways to put guardrails in place. The goal here is that we would train our hearts to more clearly align with good stewardship and wisdom, when sometimes we aren't used to practicing it.

1) Understand why you are purchasing what you are purchasing.
Sometimes the real reason we are buying something isn't actually the reason we might think we are buying something. Read More...



Estate Planning for Real Estate Investors

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"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see further.” - Thomas Carlyle

When a person with assets over $100,000 passes away (as is the case with MOST business owners), their assets will be handled in one of three ways:

(1) if they had no will, their assets will be distributed as mandated by the state probate code through a court proceeding called probate;

(2) if the person had a valid will, the estate will still have to go through the probate process, but the court will carry out their wishes as stated in their will; or

(3) if the person had a valid living trust (and their assets were re-titled in the name of their living trust), their wishes would be carried out in private, without the court's involvement. 

So ... why does this matter to you, as a business owner?

Leaving aside the issue of what happens to the business itself (which is something very much worth its own strategy note -- forthcoming at some point), the answer to the question above depends on how much you care about what your loved ones have to deal with after you are gone and how much control you want to have as to who gets what, and when and how they get it.  Read More...