Episode 122 - 2018 small biz tax questions asked and answered

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As a business owner, no one knows your business better than you do. That's why you need to know the basics of income taxes. 

I know. I know.

It's annoying.

It's complicated. 

It's worse than a root canal.

So is paying too much in taxes because you don't know the rules. Yeah, that hurts, too. 

Spend some time with Jeff and Kristin as we answer questions from small business owners. Some of the questions include:

  • How do I do my own taxes without standing up and whacking my head against the wall repeatedly until the pain stops?
  • LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, S-Corporation, or C-Corporation?
  • Can I deduct my car?
  • Can I extend if I owe money?
  • Will I get audited if I claim my home office?
  • Can I claim a deduction for business-related entertainment?
  • I'm planning on taking a trip to trade show. Can I bring my family along for a vacation and still deduct my...
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Episode 121 – No more excuses

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Are you stuck in a funk growing your small biz?  Have you been putting off improving your health? Have your relationships suffered? Have you not been sleeping? It is the time that we all start living the small biz life and stop being lived by it. #NoExcuses 

You are not alone

Kristin and I have spent much of 2017 with you. We have had many excuses. Some real, but most where just extensions of our fear. Leading us to waste a lot of time, that is so precious. Join us in this podcast episode as we look at some of our biggest excuses, and some of the excuses we hear all the time. And how we can start working past them to live a year with no more excuses.

Any of these problems sound familiar?

  • What held us back?
    • Small goals
    • Using the pregnancy as an excuse early in the pregnancy
    • Lack of focus
    • Fear of selling
    • Too much to do, not enough planning
  • What is...
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Episode 120 – How to create plans that work for you and your business

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Welcome to the Small Biz Planning club

Kristin and Jeff extend this hand of invitation for you to start planning for success in your business. However, before you join Planning Club, you need to accept the 4 rules of Planning Club.

  • Rule 1 - Do not talk about planning club
  • Rule 2 - Understand the problems with goals and planning
  • Rule 3 - Plan smarter, not smart
  • Rule 4 - Create good foundations for your plans

Rule 1 - Do not talk about planning club

Okay, If you tell people to listen to the episode that is alright.  However, so often we plan and talk about the plan but fail to follow through with execution. So plan well, verify your actions daily and then EXECUTE

Rule 2 - Understand the problems with goals and planning

  • Finding good goals is tough
    • Measuring is a lot of work
  • We struggle to get from Goal to task
    • No idea how to prioritize
  • Life Happens
    • ...
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Episode 119 - How to improve your customer communication

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The key to sales is effectively communicating your message. In this episode, Kristin and Jeff discuss tips for improving your communication online and in-person.

Tips for improving general communication

  • When speaking to a crowd (social media, email, sales pages, speaking engagements, video, etc.), always speak to your avatar. 
  • Target your messaging for the platform. Your message will be slightly different depending on the medium you are using, whether it is Facebook, email, in-person, or a sales page. Know the best practices for each platform.
  • Speak their language, not yours. Do research on the terms your customers use when discussing your products and services. Avoid industry jargon. 
  • Use analogies to convey complex concepts.
  • Always use low noise environments and avoid interruptions on live video, webinars, and phone calls.
  • Always phrase questions...
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Episode 118 - The basics of Online Summits

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Kristin and I are always looking for ways to grow our online business. So we have started researching creating an online conference or summit.  They offer much of the benefits of a real-life conference with networking and sales. However, the can be put together at a fraction of the cost.

  • What are they?
    • More advanced than other forms of outreach content. However,
    • Online only conferences
    • Typically, free content for a limited time
    • Typically sells with lifetimes sales product “All-Access Pass”
  • What are they good for?
    • Building your authority
    • Building your email list
    • Creating a product to sell
      • Possibly evergreen
  • And What do I need to do them?
    • Ability to record the video interviews
      • Hangouts / Skype
    • Platform to deliver the content for free
      • Could be embedded YouTube Videos
    • Platform to upsell the content
      • Redirect all old...
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Episode 117 – Creating a destination location

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Join Kristin and I as we go deeper into the future trend of small biz retail. The destination location.

Why are destination locations become so appealing?

  • Are you a destination or location?
    • Destinations rely on people to make a conscious decision to stop at your business
    • Locations rely on high traffic areas to bring in customers
  • Creates a larger potential audience
  • Become a place people must see if near your area
  • Not just for craft stores
    • Jordan’s Furniture
      • IMAX theaters, rope courses, Christmas village, Ice skating rink
    • Ikea
      • Kids play area, restaurant, interesting products
    • Webs
      • Classes, one of the largest yarn stores in the U.S., knowledgeable staff
    • King Arthur Flour
      • Classes, knowledgeable staff, large selection of baking supplies that are hard to find else ware (except on their website)
    • Loveless Café
      • Good food, shopping, national...
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Episode 116 – Surviving the Holidays

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Holidays can be crazy!

Especially if you run a small business.  In the United States, it seems the craziness from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day can destroy us.  However, we do not have the Rocket War Day every Easter Day like in Chios island in Greece. It takes surviving the holidays to a whole new level.

Survival is key if you want to thrive a holiday season like we talked about in Episode 67 - Thriving through peak season. However, not everyone is busy during the holidays. If we are slow sometimes survival is more difficult so this year Kristin and I decided to look at both.

Busy

  1. Get organized before the rush
    1. Remember what worked and what didn’t last year
  2. Stay organized during the rush
  3. Hire help! Lots of college students come home around the beginning of December
  4. Cross train your staff

Slow

  1. Get some planning done for next...
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Episode 115 – Using Facebook Events to grow your business

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Facebook keeps changing how it shares information with its users. Many times they make these very attractive for business owners and then when more people use it throttle it back page grew and then groups. However, Facebook reduced the usefulness without paying for Ads.

Do not get upset, change your focus to Facebook Events. Join Kristin and Jeff as the look at how you use facebook events to grow your business.

Why use Facebook Events

  • Facebook events are not just for concerts and fairs. Any event can be a Facebook event.
  • Facebook events get great visibility
  • Facebook events remind your audience
  • Easily invite people – make them feel special
  • Stream live inside an event

Ideas for events that will work well with Facebook

  • Grand openings
  • Anniversary events
  • Special sales
  • Webinars
  • Unboxing events
  • Trunk shows
  • Special hours
  • Pop-up events
  • Craft shows
  • Classes
  • ...
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Episode 114 – Building an Audience

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Why is it when Kristin and I talk to business owners about problems with marketing and sales they always seem adverse to the idea of building an audience in any fashion. Many will spend time developing content for platforms and leave the content hidden among the billions of sites on the internet and billions and billions of post in social media.

Many owners will:

  • Create content
  • Look at engagement
  • Look at page views
  • Look at followers
  • give up if creating the material does not generate an audience

Building an audience takes effort

It is marketing. It takes energy, strategy, and persistence. There is NO easy button. However, why spend the time creating valuable content without spending the time to turn that content into a marketing guru for your company.

You can build a machine that will generate you a predictable number of leads a month, which will lead to...

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Episode 113 – Why you need an avatar

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Small business owners can be funny. We spend so much time trying to find better ways to run our businesses, we overload ourselves and get overwhelmed and avoid getting the basic work done that our business needs. We need to a few strategies when starting that we have to get done and in this episode, we are going to explain one, avatar.

Yes, we have talked avatars before

Back in Episode 4 - Who is your ideal customer? and we also talked about your avatar in the sales process in Episode 79 - The 4x4x3 Insight Guide for Sales. If you do not believe us, Russel Brunson covered the subjects in Dot Com Secrets and more in his follow up book Expert Secrets.

The truth is Avatars, Ideal customers, or Perfect customers are not a secret

So Kristin and I decided to do an entire episode talking about why having an avatar is important.

  • Enough people still...
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