Four Key Steps For Effective Customer Care


"Humility is attentive patience." -Simone Weil

In April of 2017, NPR conducted a survey which produced some eye-opening stats on Americans' beliefs about the tax code. Among those stats: nine out of 10 Americans, across party lines, believe the tax code is too confusing.

Let that sink in ... 90%.

But rest assured, that is why we are here -- to help Salt Lake County individuals like you who have any type of question regarding your personal or business taxes. As you can imagine, we've heard every kind of question (about which, let me say, there are no dumb questions when it comes to this stuff), and we have all the answers to help guide you. Read More...

Janet Behm's Three Simple Steps Towards a Better Business Budget



"We must consult our means rather than our wishes." - George Washington

Preface: Your budgeting team should schedule a recurring meeting at the beginning or end of each month to discuss what's going well, what needs to change, etc.

That's the first thing you need to do.

1. The Costs You Count On

Once your meetings are set, and you've created a budget document (Excel, Sheets, Quickbooks, etc.), record income and fixed costs which you'll revisit every month. Those two items are crucial to surviving and thriving as a business. Read More...

How to Eliminate Workplace Gossip in Your Business


"Be warned: A person content to sit with you and criticize others will speak critically of you out of earshot." - Richelle Goodrich

There are clearly some big problems going on in our world today. And on the nightly news, we often get the 1,000-foot view of how divided our nation is. Yet a topic like gossip is a bit more up-close and personal to us because it's something many of us face everyday. How should we respond to it?

"Everyone thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself."

- Leo Tolstoy

You see, this topic is touchy. Why? Because no one wants to admit that they are partaking in workplace gossip. Instead, men and women across the country will instead refer to gossip, if not verbally than at least rationally, as confirmation. Here's what I mean...

Jonathan in Sales

When fellow employees get on your nerves regularly, it's easy to keep those feelings inside. Why start drama with him or her when your team has too much to get done?

But because Jonathan in sales is regularly late on reporting data, which helps you do your job, you may start to seek confirmation that Jonathan is doing his job poorly -- this way, others will know why your job might be suffering as a result. Read More...

Janet Behm's Updated Tax Preparation Checklist for 2019


"Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past." - Tyron Edwards

With all of the changes every year (and, of course, that's especially true THIS year), filing your taxes on your own is not for the faint of heart. That's even with nice-looking software on the market which purports to make it easy for you.

But that's what we're here for. Let us make it easy for you.

Below is a list of what you will need during the tax preparation process. Not all of them will apply to you -- probably MOST will not. Nonetheless, it's a useful checklist.

Before you get overwhelmed: yes, this is a long list -- but it's the unfortunate reality of our tax code that it's not even comprehensive. But these items will cover 95% of our clients. Really, this is for ensuring that we're able to help you keep every dollar you can keep under our tax code. Read More...

The TCJA And What It Means For Your Business


"Tax complexity itself is a kind of tax." - Max Daucus

A, B, C, D, E, F, G ... something, something ... T, C, J and A.

Remember when the alphabet meant singing songs in class? We don't really either...

But now, thanks to those last four letters, it means small income tax rate reductions for individuals, and larger ones for corporations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed on December 22nd, 2017 and brought many new provisions with it.

As far as Salt Lake County businesses are concerned, the new law is worth looking into. If you have yet to do so, my goal below is to highlight some specifics before your eyes glaze over ... I do remember that from school. Read More...

Strategizing Your Business's Cash Flow Plan For 2019



"Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." - George Washington Carver

If I've learned anything by watching hundreds of businesses succeed and fail during the course of running my business, it's this: the lifeblood of any business is its ability to collect cash and pay bills as well as pay its employees, particularly its owners.

However, many Salt Lake County small businesses are profitable on paper, but they do not have enough operating capital to meet their current needs. Consequently, they may be forced to sell out to a stronger competitor, sell a portion of the company to investors at an undesirable price, or close the doors and put the company out of business. None of these alternatives are typically what the owners intended when they started their business.

They're working without a map, and as they say: cash is king. Not knowing how to plan for it could be killing your business.

Any cash flow plan prepared by the management of the company or an outside consultant can be no more than a guess as to when your customers will pay. It is a little easier to forecast when your business obligations are due, but many variables interfere here as well. Hopefully, the more effort that is put into cash forecasting, the better will be the educated guess and the more accurate the resulting picture of the future operations of your business. Read More...

What Success Looks Like in Real Life



"Success" is a state-of-mind -- and it's tied to gratitude. It affects how you see sales, savings, retirement, the local marketplace, and investment. And, of course, gratitude is the enemy of fear. It's like an opposite magnet for it -- walk in gratitude, and fear just melts away.

So, here's my advice for this week: Whatever financial situation you happen to find your business to be in, find a way to be thankful. There are hidden blessings in any trial ... and hidden fears lying within any windfall. Find them, savor the blessings, and watch your business (and your mind) thrive. Read More...

Essentials On Small Business Insurance Coverage



"Go start a business!" they said.

"It'll be fun and you'll make a lot of money!" they said. "FLEXIBILITY!" "BE YOUR OWN BOSS."

But then ... well,you are your own boss now.And there are so-many-things to think about beyond what you got into your business to actually do.

It's time to put on your grown-up pants, because whether you're newly freelancing or have a "bigger" small business in Salt Lake County (i.e. you have employees, overhead, and more), there are a few essential components for which to make sure you have a plan.

Because if you don't, you might find your business in jeopardy should things shake out in a particular way.

These are "the big six" for any small business owner, new freelancer, or participant in the growing "gig economy" to make sure they have covered...

Janet Behm's Essentials On Small Business Insurance Coverage

"F-E-A-R has two meanings: 'Forget Everything And Run' or 'Face Everything And Rise.' The choice is yours." - Zig Ziglar

Most freelancers, and a surprising number of small business owners, have NOT made a plan forsix essential coverage needs for their business. Read More...

Brand Leverage: How to Maximize your Salt Lake County Small Business' Strengths


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

In my observation, many entrepreneurs struggle with the same problem: lack of focus. It's hard to say no to good ideas. It's even harder to say no to great ideas.

But when you don't realize that there are some basic points of leverage in your business, you can begin to make better decisions, and more easily turn down the distractions that so readily come at you as a business owner. Read More...

What Is The Proper Role Of A Salt Lake County Small Business Owner?


"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." - Henry David Thoreau

I'm curious. What drove you to start your own small business? A passion for the product or service you provide? A desire to be your own boss? A chance to dust off some ambition? A drive to stick it to "the man"?

Did you become a small business owner because you enjoy marketing or management? Probably not. But, if you're going to continue to grow your business you have to realize this important fact: Unless you want your Salt Lake County business to forever stay in the category of "side hustle", you must move on from seeing yourself as a service or product provider.

Let me quickly show you the difference between an OWNER and a service/product provider. Read More...