Archive | Entrepreneur RSS for this section

Every Business Owner Should Listen to These 3 Very Non-Business (But Very British) Podcasts

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.04.17 AM

(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Because I live in a city I do a lot of walking. Because I have a number of clients to visit I do a lot of driving. Because I speak frequently I frequently travel. Back in the day I used to listen to a lot of music. I still do. But nowadays I also listen to podcasts.  I use an app called Castbox where I subscribe to about 15 or so of my favorites and bookmark specific episodes to go back and listen to whenever I have time.

Are they business related? No.

Maybe it’s because I read a lot of business content every day. Or maybe it’s because I’m so absorbed in my business that I need a break. But even though I don’t listen to business podcasts, the ones I do listen to are having a big impact on how I manage my life…and my company. So let me share with you three great podcasts that aren’t business related, but will help you manage your business — and your world — just a little better.

Warning:  they’re all British and they’re all from the BBC. I’m not sure why that is, but who cares? All three are excellent. Read More…

Advertisements

Here’s a Very Simple Solution to the Mystery of Why You Can’t Find Employees

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.04.17 AM

(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

A few years ago my wife and I decided to put our house on the market. It was an older house with lots of space and lots of memories. But, like any older house, it also had its share of maintenance and structural problems. We fretted that it wouldn’t sell. That is, until our real estate agent put things into perspective.

“Look,” he said to us as we were putting the paperwork together. “If you list the house for $1, it’ll sell tomorrow. If you list it for $1 million, you might not have a buyer. We just have to find a price in between.”

It’s smart advice, but when you think about it, it’s not exactly genius. It’s just supply and demand. That’s how prices are determined. This guy sells houses for a living. No one knows better about pricing than he does. Read More…

Thanks to the New Tax Law There’s Never Been a Better Time to Hire Your Kid

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.04.17 AM

(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

As a certified public accountant, I often get asked for ways to save on taxes. Thanks to the new tax reform bill, there are puh-lenty. But there’s one tax benefit in particular that I’ve been recommending to business owners of late, mainly because schools are about to let out for the summer: hire your kid!

Don’t let some other employer steal your children this summer! What, you think some pimply manager at the local fast food restaurant is going to teach your child all the things about life and the meaning of a hard day’s work like you can? No way. This is a golden opportunity for you. You are a devoted parent who wants to raise good, hard-working, law-abiding and conscientious children. Of course, saving a few bucks on your tax bill wouldn’t hurt either, right? This year, you can save big. Read More…

Starbucks Is Now Open for Loitering and It’s a Terrible Business Decision

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.04.17 AM

(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Starbucks, in an effort to walk back from the recent bad press it received, has just made a terrible business decision. Did you catch it?

According to USA Today and other reports, the company, in a letter to its employees this past weekend, said that “any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer.” Starbucks employees were told to follow company procedures for people that are acting in a “disruptive manner,” particularly when there’s a potential safety concern.

The company is also asking its customers to “behave in a manner that maintains a warm and welcoming environment by using spaces as intended, being considerate of others and communicating with respect.” That’s fine for “customers.” But if a guy’s not buying any coffee how can you call him a customer? Read More…

Amazon Just Confirmed My Biggest Fear About Cloud Applications

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.04.17 AM

(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Do you have concerns about cloud based applications? You should. But not for the reason you’re thinking.

If you’re like most of my clients, you’re probably thinking about security, right? You’re concerned that your data is at risk. You’re not 100 percent comfortable that the people hosting your data are doing everything possible to safeguard your information. When you hear about all those breaches and hacks, you think to yourself “Oh no, what if that happens to me?” Could your cloud based provider be more secure than all the giant companies — even government departments — that have fallen victim to malware attacks, data loss and theft? You just don’t know.

It’s a reasonable concern. If your data is breached or stolen your business could be shut down for days, even weeks. You could lose important information that you need to run your business. You could lose confidential data about your employees and your customers. You could be exposed to expensive lawsuits and negative publicity. The issue is vexing because it has a great impact on your business. Read More…

Is Kim Jong-un the World’s Greatest Salesman?

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.04.17 AM

(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Ruthless dictator. Human rights abuser. International criminal. Little Rocket Man.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has been called a lot of names over the past seven years since taking over as the Supreme Leader of his country. But how about world’s greatest salesman?

OK, I admit this is not the guy you want visiting prospective customers anytime soon (although the site of him arriving surrounded by a dozen jogging security guys would certainly create a cool buzz, right?). However, when it comes to sales, Kim is certainly no slouch. I doubt the guy has ever made a cold call in his life. But he sure is swaying a lot of influential people — and world opinion — in his favor as the date of a summit with President Trump approaches.

So, do you think the guy is legit? Kim promises to de-nuclearize his country, sign a peach treaty formally ending the war with South Korea and normalize relations with the rest of the world. Whether or not you believe this sales pitch makes no difference. What makes a difference is that I’m writing this and you, like so many others, are starting to at least consider that he could be — maybe and perhaps — for real. Considering the guy’s past, this is a pretty impressive feat. Turns out that Kim — the “ruthless thug,” the “maniac,” the “madman” is teaching us all a few fundamentals about sales. Read More…

Your Taxes Are Done but Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth From Your Accountant?

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.04.17 AM

(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Now that tax season is over, you’re probably asking a question that many business owners ask: should I fire my accountant? It’s not an unreasonable question.

Just to be clear, and to prevent my fellow Certified Public Accountants getting all up in arms at me, there are many, many good accountants. The accounting community is, for the most part, ethical, professional and competent. I believe that every business owner should have a close relationship with a good CPA.

But I also believe that we CPAs should always be striving to do a better job for our clients. The world has changed. The demographics of our client base has changed. Expectations are different. We cannot sit back and just assume that our clients are going to keep coming back to us. If you run a business you shouldn’t just assume that you’re stuck with your accountant. You’re not. You should be demanding the same high standards of your CPA as you demand from any partner working with your business. You should expect your CPA to be doing at least these five things. Read More…