How the Cost of Business Just Went Up

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Deducting Entertainment Expenses

What You Need to Know Regarding Changes to the Entertainment Expense Deduction

We are all in the relationship business.  Relationships lead to Sales.  Sales lead to Profits.  Many times, to cultivate relationships, we wine, dine, and entertain our current clients and prospects.  Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts the expenses that you previously wrote-off may no longer be deductible.

These new laws apply to small business and big business.

ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSES:  Prior to 2018, as long as the expense was related to conducting business, you were allowed a deduction for entertainment and recreation expenses.  The deduction was usually capped at 50%, but half was better than none.

For 2018 and forward, the deduction for Entertainment is 0%.  Zero.  Nada.

No matter if you’re courting new or potential clients, meeting vendors, or networking, these expenses will NOT be deductible:

  • Season ticket holders of football tickets, or any other sport

  • Golfing and other recreation activities

  • Country club dues and expenses

  • Fishing and hunting trips

  • Spa visits, concert tickets, etc

The entertainment items that are still deductible include:

  • Entertainment expenses that you treat as compensation to your employees (i.e. include in their W-2 wages)

  • Entertainment, recreation, or social expenses where you include all employees (Christmas party, etc)

What about the Meals deduction?  This has been a muddy topic over the past month and a half, and will continue to be, until there are court cases and IRS rulings to back up their position on the matter.  Because of that I think it’s important to contact your tax preparer and discuss your particular situation.

If you are unsure on any of the information please contact our office so we can discuss your particular situation.


Joy Lizotte, CPA

Joy Lizotte, CPA

About Joy

I help service based businesses GROW by providing coaching and growth planning services that will take their business to the next level.

I promise you, working with a CPA can be much more exciting than crunching numbers and reviewing last year’s taxes. I look at the day-to-day of your business and help you find ways to perform better, grow bigger and generate revenue with greater ease. 

New Brand. Same People + Service.

Joy Lizotte-Lutz

Joy Lizotte-Lutz

it looks a little different around here...

 

Launching our new brand

For those of you that don't know, I got married in September, so with a new marriage also comes a new name!

After owning Lizotte CPA, LLC for 6 years I wanted a name that spoke more about what we do and how we want to serve our clients.  Out of that, Aligned CPA was born.

It is my vision to serve our clients and "align" their business goals, with their actions and finances. What does that mean?  We don't want to be your form filler.  We want to talk with you and discuss your business operations, what's working, and what's not.  And discuss where you want to be in 3 years, 5 years, or 10 years from now.  Then develop an action plan that will help you achieve those dreams.

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our clients succeed!

 

Where to find us

You can still find us at 224 E. Duval Street  Lake City, FL

alignedcpa.com

 

Thanks for your support

I'm honored to serve so many great businesses.  Thank you for taking this journey with us.

Truly,

Joy Lizotte-Lutz


Joy-0073.jpg

About Joy

I’m an accounting expert, business coach, and growth planner. I’m dedicated to helping you grow, set goals, and be the business owner you've always wanted to be.

We're Hiring a Bookkeeper. Is That You?

We are currently hiring for a part-time Bookkeeper/Accountant to fill the role of maintaining our client accounting files. Maintaining client accounting files includes:

  • Updating client files on a weekly basis, including:
    • Adding new bank transactions and categorizing them correctly
    • Reconciling accounts- bank accounts, credit card accounts, merchant accounts, payroll accounts, note payable accounts
    • Preparing monthly management reports and corresponding work papers
  • Scheduling bill payments for accounts payable transactions
  • Creating and sending invoices and statements
  • Updating and designing spreadsheets
  • Updating internal project management systems
  • Other administrative duties (we’re a small office so we all pitch in)

This position is for you if:

  • You are available to work 20-25 hours per week, and potentially open to having your hours increase as your workload increases
  • You are comfortable working in a paperless and cloud-based environment (i.e. tech savvy)
  • You enjoy learning new things. We have a core value of Continuous Learning.  That means we want to be on the front-end of change in our industry. We think it’s important to learn new things to benefit our clients and to better ourselves
  • You are self-motivated and don’t want to be micro-managed. You will be responsible for managing your time and meeting deadlines

Requirements:

  • Two years of QuickBooks experience
  • Two years of Microsoft Office or Google Suites experience
  • Prior CPA Firm experience is a plus
  • Detailed, organized, and self-motivated

Ready to apply?

If you’re still reading this and think the position sounds like a good fit, send your resume to info@lizottecpa.com

Focus On What Matters

Growth is enhanced by focus. Often business owners will focus on many things at a time and then feel as if they are accomplishing very little.  If you will focus on ONE issue at a time you will have more traction in your business, which will cause change and spur growth.

Here's how to immediately see progress:

  • Take 1-3 minutes and identify the biggest bottleneck in your business
  • Take 5-10 minutes and brainstorm solutions to this issue
  • Implement the solution

To take this a step farther, determine if this is a people issue or a systems issue? :: If you have great Systems, but your people aren't following them, it's a People issue :: If you have great People, but no written process to follow, it's a Systems issue :: If you have bad systems and bad people, it's a Management issue

Once that bottleneck is identified and solved, move on to the next biggest bottleneck.

Identifying and solving one issue at a time will allow you to see change immediately.  This change will create momentum and traction.

 

The One Thing That Can Make You More Profitable

There is one thing that separates your business model from a well-oiled machine. No, it’s not marketing, or branding, or a dynamite product, or even customer service.

It’s one simple thing. Processes. More importantly, written processes.

If you want to…. Hire Grow Add new locations Scale Add Investors Sell your business

You need written processes.

When you started your business you developed processes, even if you didn’t realize it or have them written. It worked for you. You were doing all of the work- handling customers, ordering supplies, making sales, etc. You didn’t see the need for writing down the steps you were taking. But what happens when you add employee Number 1? Number 2? At that point, each person is handling your business the way they think it should be handled, not the way you want it handled.

As you see, the problems start when you add employees. Employees need guidance and processes to follow. They need instructions on how you want them to communicate and represent your business. And since your processes are stored in your head, your employees will be lacking that guidance.

How will having processes make you more profitable? Reduces redundancies Makes hiring easier and faster Makes training easier and faster Employees can be proactive Creates culture Every team member has the right information Employees learn to problem solve without you Business can operate without you (helloooo vacation)

That list should be enough to get you writing!

Documenting and organizing processes can be tedious unless there’s a system in place. If you feel lost but know this is the next step for your business, reach out and when can help you turn your business into a well-oiled machine.

Strategies to Grow Your Business

Growth can come in many different forms (even in pruning… more on that another day). If you’re planning to grow your business this year you need to get very clear on the HOW. How are you going to grow? That can be the overwhelming part, so let’s simplify it! There are three easy growth areas to consider.

Volume - Increase the number of sales you make Volume is all about the quantity. You want to sell more of the thing you already do. This strategy usually involves acquiring new customers which can be costly because it requires more spending in marketing and getting new customers in the door. Be sure you are creating lasting customers and not one time customers.

Price - Increase the price of your service If you want to increase your prices you need to be sure that your value aligns with the price increase. The value you deliver should out weigh your price. This results in delighted customers! If you’re not comfortable with a direct price increase think about how you could add value, then increase the value and the price. Is there a way to enhance the customer experience (this is golden)?

Services - Increase the number of services you offer Adding new services is a great way to increase sales. Figuring out what to add can be simple, but many businesses don’t do it. What is this simple step? ASK. Simply ask your current customers what else you can help them with. What are their biggest frustrations? Now figure out how to solve their frustrations.

These three strategies can be used alone or together. But remember, Focus is key. Depending on your size, your team, and your goals, you should only focus on one to two things at a time. Focus is what gets work done!

What are you going to do to grow your business this year?

If you’d like to grow your business but you’re not real sure where to start, contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll see how we can help you reach your goals.

Growth Cost Money- Avoid the Unexpected

I was recently talking with a client who is at the end of year 1 of his 3 year growth plan. We were recapping with an After Action Review (a report of what worked and what didn’t), and I was surprised by some of his comments. Although, in the beginning of year one he created a written plan for growing his business, he never thought about the additional costs he would have to support that growth.

Fortunately for him, he had savings socked away so he didn’t have any hiccups in his plan. But without that savings his growth plan could have been a flop.

So what costs can increase when you’re growing your business...

If You're Adding New Services-  Many times a business will grow by adding new services. This requires an investment in education, new processes, and marketing for the new service. Learning will not only cost money but time as well. Be sure you have planned for both!

If You're Hiring-  Many times if you are increasing your business volume you will also need to hire. You’ll need to budget for the increased salary as well as payroll taxes, benefits, paid time-off, and workers comp insurance.

If You're Increasing Sales-  If your growth is coming from increased sales you will probably need to increase your marketing budget. This will involve time and money. Will you outsource this or do it in-house? Are you growing online or in a new region? Aligning your marketing needs with a marketing budget will help you plan accordingly.

If You're Increasing Production-  If you’re developing new products, or producing more products, you'll not only need to invest in more equipment but you'll also need more raw materials on hand. This could also lead to hiring, and increased marketing, which increases your upfront costs.

If You're Adding Locations-  If you are scaling your business by opening new locations you need to be aware of not only the upfront costs to open a location but also the ongoing costs. When adding locations you need to be focused on process development and improvement above all else. Clear and concise processes are the only way you can get your business to run without you there… and isn’t that the ultimate goal?

It's important to not only understand these costs but to also have them at the forefront of your growth plan. Failing to plan for these extra costs can be detrimental to your business if you don’t factor them in.

If you’d like to grow your business but you’re not real sure where to start, contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll see how we can help you reach your goals.

We're Hiring!

We are a CPA firm dedicated to supporting small business clients by providing valuable services, innovative solutions, and personal attention. We are passionate about small business and want others who share that passion.  We specialize in outsourced accounting, business coaching, and growth planning. We are currently hiring for a part-time accounting specialist to fill the role of maintaining our client accounting files.

Maintaining client accounting files includes:

  • Updating client files on a weekly basis, including:
    • Adding new bank transactions and categorizing them correctly
    • Reconciling accounts- bank accounts, credit card accounts, merchant accounts, payroll accounts, note payable accounts
    • Preparing monthly management reports and corresponding work papers
  • Scheduling bill payments for accounts payable transactions
  • Creating and sending invoices and statements
  • Updating and designing spreadsheets
  • Updating internal project management systems
  • Other administrative duties (we're a small office so we all pitch in)

This position is for you if:

  • You are available to work 20 hours per week, and potentially open to having your hours increase as your workload increases
  • You are able to track time per firm standards. While we don't bill time to our clients we do measure time for internal benchmarking
  • You enjoy learning new things. We have a core value of Continuous Learning.  That means we want to be on the front-end of change in our industry. We think it's important to learn new things to benefit our clients and to better ourselves
  • You are self-motivated and don't want to be micro-managed. You will be responsible for managing your time and meeting deadlines (#adulting)
  • You are comfortable working in a paperless and cloud-based environment (i.e. tech savvy)

Requirements:

  • Two years of QuickBooks experience
  • Two years of Microsoft Office experience

Ready to apply?

If you're still reading this and think the position sounds like a good fit, send your resume to info@lizottecpa.com

  • Your cover letter should be the body of the email.
  • Subject line should read- "I Want To Be Your Next Hire" 

(Failure to do those things tells us you're not good with details... and accounting is all about the details)

Growth Companies: 4 Numbers You Need to Know

Service-based business owners have no problem focusing on new customers and serving current customers. But many don’t know how to take their business to the next level. If you’re looking to grow your business, you must pay close attention to your financials and key metrics. Key metrics are financial numbers that you need to hit in order to reach your overall goals. When planning with clients I always tie a goal to a metric or target. How else will you know you achieved the goal?

Here is a list of 4 key metrics that are important to track in your service-based business.

Sales Close Ratio. You get this number by dividing the number of sales proposals made by the number of proposals you closed. This tells you the percentage of proposals you win. Obviously, you want this number to be high, but not too high. Chances are if you’re closing 90%-100% of proposals you make, you are walking away from money on the table.

Project Margin. This metric measures the profit you will make on each project you undertake. It is the percentage of project revenue - direct costs you will pay to complete the project. The higher the number the better!

Profit margin metrics will help you with making profitable proposals and driving overall profits. I recommend determining your lowest acceptable project margin. Then, when you are giving new proposals be sure to never go below your minimum.

Monthly Operating Expenses. Your operating expenses are the expenses you have every single month. Why should you know this number? Because this is what you will have to spend each month just to keep the doors open. You’ll spend this even if you have zero collections. I suggest taking your annual operating expenses and dividing by 12. This gives you a monthly average.

You can also use this number as a target for how much you should have in savings. In an ideal world having 3 to 5 months cash set aside would be sufficient. In reality, it takes dedication and time to get that built up.

Billable Utilization. This rate will help you track productivity. On an annual basis you’ll divide the employee’s total billable hours by 2,000 hours. This gives you each employee’s productivity. You should monitor this to determine if you have space to add more client work or if it’s time to add more employees.

However, I don’t think this number should be monitored by itself. An employee can have a low utilization rate but it’s out of their control. You must also look at overall profit, prospects in the pipeline, and marketing budgets.

Why are these numbers important for growth? Because growth cost money! Your business goals must be aligned with your resources (time, money, and energy) or you’re setting yourself up for failure.

If you’re struggling to monitor and track your financial information, contact us and we can schedule a free consultation to see if we can help get you on track.

Growth Planning Workshop

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? On October 18th, and again on November 10th, we're hosting a 1/2 day workshop to help you develop an action plan for GROWTH.

Read all about it here:  www.lizottecpa.com/workshop

We'll spend time working through your business, determine where your focus should be, and create a detailed  action plan to make it happen.

planning

 

3 Reasons Your Business is Not Growing

This was the year! The year you wanted to grow your business. However, you're just not seeing the results. You started the year out strong with high hopes but quickly got busy in the day to day activities. Being busy turns into exhaustion and before you know it you're burned out. Then the last thing you want to do is think about growing a business you're burned out in. Unfortunately, this is pretty common for business owners. Several (aka: a million) things went wrong in the business growth.

Here's the top 3 reasons I see for a business not growing:

  • No Clear Plan. When growing a business you should have a clear, concise, and communicated plan in place. And not just an annual plan. You need a plan that is broken down into quarters, then into months, and then into days. Yes, I said DAYS! You and your team should know what needs to be done each day to move you one step closer to the target.
  • Competing on Price. Unless you happen to be Wal-Mart, you should NOT be competing on price. Wanna know why? Because Wal-Mart will win on price every time. EVERY TIME. Competing on price is a race to the bottom. If you offer a low price this week, next week the guy down the street will go lower, then the following week you'll go lower, and so on. Before you know it you'll be wondering why you're not making a profit.
  • Shiny Object Syndrome. So you did happen to have a written plan for growing then... SQUIRREL! Letting yourself get distracted by the latest and greatest will stall growth. I know new technology is fun or a new business opportunity sounds terrific, but if you constantly get derailed and can't stick to a plan already in place, you won't be able to grow your business. Strategy is about what you need to say NO to.

So do any of the above reasons sound familiar? If so, don't beat yourself up over it. Recognize the issues, make a plan, and move forward. Make today the day you start growing!

The Clarity of Having a Business Coach

There are lots of articles on business coaching that spells out the "how" business coaching works, but not necessarily the "why" or the experience of coaching. My hope is that this post will give you the "feel" of coaching. When I first start working with a client I ask questions so I can understand where they are coming from and dig deep into how I can help. Here are a few responses I've received:

  • "I'd like to have more control over my business instead of it controlling me"
  • "I'm worried that I'm not making changes fast enough in my business"
  • "My biggest concern is getting new customers"
  • "I'm stretched too thin"
  • "I lose sleep over thinking about cash flow"

You can see that those are very personal responses. That requires a lot of trust. Trust and vulnerability. And sometimes that hurts. And sometimes it sucks. Few enjoy talking about weaknesses, but the only way to make a positive change (and business altering change) is to be honest and put it out there.

If I know my client's concerns, issues, and weaknesses I can work with them on making positive changes to help achieve their dreams. I create a space for them to feel understood, accepted, and open to digging deeper to what it would look like if they purposely worked on changing their actions or attitudes around a matter.

For example, when a client says "I'd like to have more control over my business instead of it controlling me", I might would ask:

  • Describe a normal day for me
  • What tasks are you doing that can be delegated to someone else?
  • If those tasks were delegated to someone else, how much time would that free up?
  • What would you do with the extra time? Could you use that time to sell more services?
  • If that means more time to sell, how much additional income could you make in 1 week?
  • What would that look like over a 1 year time frame?

What I've done in that example is to guide them to an end result that they are looking for (higher income) and away from the problem (not enough time in the day). The client is only thinking of the right now, but if I can get them to think in big picture and long-term results then there is a better likelihood of making a positive change.

Again, this is just an example. Each client is different and has different challenges and goals, but this is the experience of coaching.

My objective as a coach is to help you work through the challenges that you face as well as helping you see the value in making positive changes. I am also helping you with clarity, offering you a safe and confidential place, giving you someone to lean on, and helping you push trough to achieve your dreams (..oh, and becoming your #1 cheerleader).

If you think you could benefit from having a business coach, let's connect. We can schedule a free discovery call to see if we are a right fit for each other.

How To UN-Complicate a Strategic Plan

According to the dictionary, strategic planning is "a systematic process of envisioning a desired future, and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them." So what does that really mean?

In basic terms, it is a written plan that will help you reach your goals. It is a simple way to make sure everyone on your team knows what they are working towards, what needs to happen, when it needs to happen, and who's going to do it. If the plan is followed (with potential tweaks, as needed) at the end of the time period your business will be where you want it.

I call this a Growth Plan (you can read more HERE). For example, if you said you wanted to grow your revenues by 30%, your growth plan would detail the strategies we are going to use to reach the goal of 30%.

When setting up a Growth Plan we:

  • Determine your current position in the market - How you compete in the market, your strengths and weaknesses, study your competition, understand your business model
  • Develop your strategic parts - Where do you want to be in 3-5 years, what about in 10 years, what do you stand for, what's your business purpose, and what strategies do you use to compete
  • Document the Growth Plan - Overall annual goal, quarterly goals, and outcomes that we want. Also, document the actions to be done to reach those goals, details on who will do what and when they will do it.
  • Implementation of the Plan - Communicating the goals and strategies with the entire team, as well as monitoring the progress

Not so complicated, right? It's really not but we humans tend to over-complicate things!

The golden nugget in a Growth Plan is in Phase 4- Implementation. You can make the best, biggest, and shiniest plan but unless you implement it it's worth nothing.

So I'd like to challenge you to write your own growth plan. Work through the above 4 steps and let me know how it goes!

If you'd like valuable tips delivered to your inbox, signup HERE.

You Can't Grow With Bad Numbers

I recently met with a prospect that was interested in growing her business (super exciting stuff... my favorite prospects to meet with!). Her energy was contagious and I could tell she had a passion for what she was doing. It made me even more interested in how I could help her achieve her goals. Our conversation started off with her talking about her business- what service she provides, her customer demographics, the values her business holds, and where she wants to be in the next year or so.

Great! She had that info down and rattled off answers to all of my questions.

It was downhill from there.

The conversation continued with "Okay, this is where you want to be. Where are you now?"

Her response was "Well... I'm not real sure what our sales are. Nope, not real sure what my gross profit is. Ugh, no idea how much my monthly payroll runs."

What?!? I followed that up with, "How would we monitor your growth if we don't know your numbers?"

Crickets.

What I went on to explain to her was that it is impossible to do financial coaching or growth planning without accurate numbers. Accounting can be overwhelming and intimidating but numbers are concrete. They provide a map to your growth (positive or negative). They allow us to monitor progress, make adjustments to your strategies, and keep growing.

So at the end of the day you can have the best action plan and strategies, but without the ability to rely on your numbers you won't be able to measure whether you're going to reach your long-term goals or not. You need to be able to tell whether your plans are really working, or if you should change tactics to reach your goals.

If you've been relying on bad numbers, or NO numbers at all you should consider outsourcing your accounting to an expert. Let's setup a time to chat and see how we can help you GROW your business.

Are You Using the "Economy" Excuse in Business?

If I had a dollar for every time someone blamed their business results on the economy... I would probably have a couple hundred bucks. Have you ever used any of these excuses when discussing why your business isn't where you want it to be?

-  "People just aren't spending money." -  "Consumers want the cheapest price." -  "I just can't compete with my competitors pricing."

Well if you've said "People aren't sending money" then you've never been to the mall, the movies, or tried to eat out on the weekend. Otherwise you would know people are spending money! Lots of it. They may not be spending it with you, but they're spending it.

And if you've used either of the other two excuses then you have a different problem. You're either targeting the wrong customers OR you're not delivering enough value.

The {Right} customers will pay for value and if you aren't delivering it to them someone else will.

If growing your business is something you've struggled with it may be time to bring in outside help (and lucky for you that's what we do). A consultant can help you identify problem areas, brainstorm solutions, set goals, hold you accountable, and so much more.

Because... People Are Spending Money.

Why Time Management is a Hoax

Do you know how many books, webinars, and tools there are in the market to help you with Time Management? I don't know exactly but I'd assume there's hundreds of thousands, and here's why I think you're wasting your money buying them. (Sidenote... this comes from the brilliance of my business coach, Todd Herman)

You can't manage time. It's a finite number. Everyone on this planet will get 24 hours in every single day. Period.

What you can do is prioritize your time. You can manage the right ACTIVITIES at the right time. If you are working 8 hours a day, what is the best use of that time? What is the most valuable use? What activities can you do that will grow your business?

The goal is to only be doing the activities that bring the highest value to your business. Outsource everything else. I want to challenge you this week. As you're going through your work week track everything that you are doing. Beside every activity write a dollar amount of what that brings to your business, or what it could potentially bring. After doing this for a week review your activities. What are you doing that you can assign to someone else? Are you using your time at the highest and best use?

Manage the activities, not the time. That, simply, is what time management is.

Growing with the Right Strategies

"Strategic Planning" sounds like a really fancy, complicated process, where in reality, it's not. When I would say those words to different clients I could see their eyes gloss over. This is why I started using the term "Growth Planning". Growth Planning in itself tells you the plan. The Plan is to GROW. How are you going to accomplish that? The "How" is really what strategic planning is.

Most small businesses fail in this department. They want to grow but they don't develop how they will grow. If your plan revolves around what will get cash in the door, that's not a strategy. That's called survival. You don't want to constantly be in survival mode because that's a short-term strategy. You can't keep that pace long-term. You'll run out of money. Or sanity.

Here's what you do need to know....

There are 3 levels of strategy and you must decide where you want to compete. Not committing to one will hurt you long-term. You can be good at something, but it's better to be great at something. Here's the 3 levels:

  • Product Excellence (think Apple) - These companies focus on design and having the best product on the market.
  • Operational Efficiency (think Southwest or Walmart) - These companies are your cost leaders. Their strategy is to keep costs low, and therefore, their prices low.
  • Customer Intimacy (think Disney or Nordstrom) - These companies focus on the customer experience. Notice: I said "experience", not customer service. Customer Service is a must. It's not a strategy.

The key to strategy is determining where you will compete and sticking to it. And remember, part of a competitive strategy is being unique and different than your competitors. What sets you apart? (If you say customer service you should re-read this article).

If you found this valuable and want additional information on how we could help your business, send us at email at joy@lizottecpa.com

3 Simple Questions to Grow Your Business

Now that 2016 is in full swing it's a great time to make changes in how you operate your business. If you know you want (or need) to make a change but have no idea where to start, I encourage you to sit down and answer these three simple, but smart, questions: What should I STOP doing? The things you should stop doing would be the things that do not produce value for your customers or enhance your business. These are things or tasks that won't help you reach your goals. Or sometimes they are tasks that could be outsourced because you're not great at them.

  • Tip: Ask yourself, "If I wasn't do X, what could I do with that time in order to grow my business?"

What should I START doing? This could be anything from starting to produce a new product, to develop a new service, or maybe starting a process to help you connect with customers. What can you put in place to improve your business, achieve goals, change behaviors, etc?

  • Tip: Many times I find that businesses don't have a system in place to track, monitor, or keep in contact with their customers. This would be a great system to start.

What should we CONTINUE doing? Looking back over the last year what has worked well for you? These are things that will help you reach your goals. Or it could be a service that you're great at, a system that works well for you, or an activity that makes you better than your competitors.

  • Tip: Growing a business is tough and slow. It's important for you to recognize the things your are doing right instead of only focusing on the things that you are doing wrong.

Working through these three simple questions should give you lots of ideas for smart changes to help you grow. Once you know what you want to change, set goals and specific tasks to help you reach your goals.

If you found this valuable and want additional information on how we could help your business, send us at email at joy@lizottecpa.com

The Gap – the Future Versus the Beginning

I read an article a few years ago that stuck in my mind, and I recently came across it again. It discussed how your mental status and feelings can affect your progress and motivations. It comes from Dan Sullivan and The Strategic Coach- The Gap. As a business owner we are planning for and thinking about the future. Having a plan for the future is great, and I believe, imperative for you to reach your long term goals. However, if you are constantly thinking of how far you have to go to reach your long term goals you can get stressed, disappointed, or overwhelmed. STOP thinking that way!

This is when you need to think about “The Gap”. Not the Gap of where you are versus where you want to be, but instead, where you are versus where you started.

The Gap

 

It is easy to feel overwhelmed in your business. There are lots of days where you probably feel like you’re up against the impossible, you’ll never reach your goals, or there are too many obstacles in the way. But if you will take 2 to 3 minutes to think about where you started, the progress you’ve made, the obstacles you’ve overcome, or the lessons you’ve learned along the way you will feel much better about your progress towards the future.

Celebrate your accomplishments and let that be your fuel to achieve your future.

If you found this valuable and would like more information contact Joy at joy@lizottecpa.com

Outlawing the word "Write-off"

A group of my peers were recently discussing a blog post written by another service provider encouraging business owners to spend as much as possible and decrease revenue as the year is wrapping up. Here's my professional opinion on that statement- What a Load of Crap! Yes, we all want to pay the least amount of tax as possible, but wouldn't you rather have the after-tax cash than no cash at all? You should never want to make business decisions solely based on saving on taxes. As my CFO friend Philip Campbell says, "the term write-off turns smart people into horrible decisions-makers."

My advice (it's free advice so it may just be worth what you paid for it), make spending decisions based on operations. Will the purchase make you more profitable, more efficient, or above all else, does it help you reach your quarterly priorities, annual goals, or 3 year vision?* If the answer is no, then don't make the purchase.

(*If you don't have quarterly priorities, annual goals, or a 3 year vision you need to take the time to do so and figure out where you want to take your business)