109 Bedford Avenue
Bellmore, New York 11710
516-409-1120
sjohnson@sgjcpa.com

Friday, February 24, 2017

Rainmaker


How to be a Rainmaker in 2017

Rain·mak·er – An executive with exceptional ability to attract clients.
Many people believe that rainmakers have special talents.  In some cases that may be true but the skills needed to be a rainmaker are easily learned. 

Step 1 – Write a Marketing Plan
  •          Who is my target market?  Be specific.  Define age, income level, industry…
  •          What products or services will I provide? 
  •          When should I market my business? 
  •          Where shall I network?  Where will I advertise?  Where will I get published?
  •          How will I get my name out to the public?


Step 2 – Know Your Competition
  •          Locate your competition by expertise and/or geographic area
  •          Determine what sets you apart from your competition and be prepared to exploit that difference
  •         Which of your competitors is more successful than you?  Why?  What are they doing that you are not?  Learn from them. 
  •          Form relationships with your competition.  Often competitors can become referral sources. 


Step 3 – Create Your Image
  •          Dress for success
  •          Get involved with the right organizations
  •          Have the proper credentials
  •          Evaluate the look and location of your business


Step 4 – Set Yourself Apart as an Expert
  •          Lecture
  •          Teach a class or seminar
  •          Write an article or book
  •          Get quoted


Step 5 – Develop an Internet Presence
  •          Create a website
  •          Participate in social media
  •          Write a blog
  •          Post your newsletter
  •         Communicate with your clients, colleagues, vendors and prospects through regular email blasts


Step 6 – Network, Network, Network
  •          Research the meeting you plan to attend.  Will the right people be in attendance?  Who do you want to speak to?
  •          Don’t monopolize anyone’s time
  •          Focus on the person you’re speaking with.  Don’t scan the room for your next target.
  •          Be generous.  Be willing to give a lead before getting one. 
  •          Follow up within 24 hours


Step 7 – Track Your Results
  •          Create a referral file
  •          Ask every person who calls, “How did you hear about us?”
  •          Don’t waste your time on meetings, people, advertising, etc. that do not bring in results


Finally…
  •          Be consistent
  •          Learn from others
  •          Update your marketing plan periodically
  •          Market 365 days a year
  •         Market everywhere you go
  •          Make marketing a way of life
  •          Have fun! 


Sandra G. Johnson, CPA
February 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

On the Side


A Little Something on the Side

More and more, I’m hearing about people who have started “doing something on the side” to help bridge the income gap.  I admire their enthusiasm, ingenuity and hard work.  And then I think about income taxes.  Record keeping for income taxes is not usually at the forefront of the thought process when someone makes the decision to start their side business.

When we earn money, the government wants a piece.  We have to include income from these side businesses, but we can also deduct the expenses incurred to generate income, but only if good records are kept.  Assuming you’re in it to make a profit, you will likely need to file a schedule C with your personal income taxes. 

You may receive a form 1099-MISC from companies or individuals who paid you $600 or more.  Even if you do not, you need to report your income.  Consider keeping a list or spreadsheet to track income and expenses. 

Expenses that are both ordinary and necessary for your business can be deducted from the income you generate.  Keep a record of all expenses and keep your receipts in one folder or box.  Depending on the nature of your side business, expenses may include supplies, travel, dues & subscriptions, insurance, telephone, etc.  If you use your car for deliveries or sales calls, keep a log of dates, destinations, mileage, repairs & maintenance, insurance and purpose of each drive.  As your side business grows, consider establishing a separate bank account for use only by the business.  Depositing all business income and paying all expenses from one account can make tax time that much easier.

As always, let your CPA know about any changes in your income so they can keep you informed and up to date on your tax filings!  We encourage our clients to reach out to us during the year – better to be informed and meet all filing requirements, than to incur additional penalties and interest later.


Honorine M. Campisi, CPA

Friday, January 20, 2017

Check's in the Mail


The Check’s in the Mail

It’s that time of year again; the cooler weather, snow days and the Property Tax Credit Checks.  Yes, you read that right!

If you own a home in New York State and your taxing district has complied with certain requirements, you may be receiving a check to offset the increase in your property tax bill.  This year, New York will include the $130 or $185 property tax relief credit in the same check.  Sorry New York City residents, this doesn’t apply to you, since you aren’t subject to the tax cap.

Will I get a check?
To be eligible for the Property Tax Freeze / Relief check, you must:
1    1.   Receive the STAR exemption
2    2.  Be located in a tax jurisdiction that remained under the NYS property tax cap and has an approved
           Government Efficiency Plan that reduces costs.
3    3.  Live in applicable counties (not NYC)
4    4.  Have income of $275,000 or less

How much will I get?
This is what everyone really wants to know.  The amount of the check is generally equal to the increase in your tax bill.  If there was no increase,  the State will multiply the previous year’s bill by an inflation factor (but no more than 2%), to determine the amount.  Your property tax relief credit, either $130 or $185 will be included as well.  The amount is $130 for Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Rockland Westchester, and Dutchess counties.  All other counties (except New York City) receive $185.

When will I receive my check?
Be on the look out this winter for your check, according the the State.  In past years, some homeowners received checks into January and beyond.

Tax time hint
Save that tiny stub that is attached to your check with your income tax documents, and note the date you received it.  Your CPA will need that information at tax time.

Honorine M. Campisi, CPA