fbpx

Call Us: 414-545-1890

15    16    17

Hammernik & Associates BBB Business Review

Dale Hammernik

1 2 3 8

Hammernik Weighs In On Whether To Lower Your Prices

We’ve been sitting down with some of our business owner clients for end-of-quarter planning and evaluation (as well as to get everything in before 9/15). Always enlightening for us here.

And what some of them are telling me is that they have been feeling a rising pressure from their employees, competitors and (less often, ironically) from their clients, to lower prices.

I have been known to weigh in on this topic. And I will do so again…

Hammernik Weighs In On Whether To Lower Your Prices
“You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.” – Harry Firestone

I discuss this all the time with my business owner clients — how to price their services. You see, often we might hear consumers say, “Well I would buy it if it were in my price range.” And, that idea tempts many business owners or sales people to lower their prices — just to sell more products.

This can be an extremely powerful urge.

However, as you already know, price reductions often create more problems than they solve. I’ve seen too many businesses (my clients) jump down to lower prices without consulting someone objective, only to see their revenues, profits AND business fall.

Here’s some of what you might see price reductions create within your business:

* Decrease of net profits
* Customers rush to the purchase of lower quality products
* Increasing customer demands to drop the price even lower
* Requirement of even more sales to make up the difference in revenue
* Needing a larger quantity of products and inventory to make up for lower margins

And, in the end, there will always be someone willing to go out of business faster than you. And you can’t (nor should you want to) keep up with that.

Remember this: price is not a benefit. The close of a sale is usually not determined on the cost of your product. If you properly “sell” your customers and prospects, they will purchase your products/services no matter what price you determine.

That’s the plain truth — and you’ve probably seen it in your own purchase patterns.

If a customer or prospect doesn’t buy — and they claim the cost had something to do with it — you can guess they probably wouldn’t have purchased anyway.

As a small business owner, and marketer, your job is to sell your products and services. But the actual art of selling has nothing to do with the price of the product.

By the time your contacts find out about the price, they should be determined to purchase no matter what the cost.

So, find “real” benefits (value) to sell to your customers and prospects. Help them to see how great their life is with your product, and you’ve got a customer. Point out their current pain, and your contact will do anything to get rid of it.

Set your prices and hold fast. If you’ve marketed correctly, you will still have customers anxious to do business with you.

If you’d like to sit down and conduct an analysis of your pricing strategy, this is something which we’re very equipped to help you with. Give us a call ((414) 545-1890) or send me a quick email (click the email button at the top of this page)

Feel very free forward this article to a Waukesha County business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way?While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Waukesha County families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

PS — If you are receiving this and are NOT a subscriber to our weekly “Real World” Business Strategy Note email series, send an email to me with the subject: “Add me to your business list”, and we’ll put you on there.

Further, if this is your email please also click the following link, if you have not done so already, to ensure our emails reach you in a timely and appropriate fashion!
~OptIn_7~

http://WaukeshaAccounting.com

https://twitter.com/HammernikTax
https://www.facebook.com/HammernikAssociates

+++++++++++++++++++++++
You are receiving this note because you are a client or friend of Dale Hammernik.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
To ensure we don’t make the folks at the IRS ornery, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. This message may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorized to receive this for the addressee, you must not use, copy, disclose, or take any action based on this message or any information herein. If you have received this message in error, please advise the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message. PHEW!

~OptOut_26~

Hammernik On 7 Ways To Increase Existing Customer Sales

Many Waukesha County area small business owners believe that the easiest customer to “sell” to is a referral customer, but in point of fact, the best kind of customer to sell to is … one you already have.

So, that being the case, it sure does make sense to make an investment in your relationships with your customers, yes?

You may have noticed that this is a theme I return to frequently here in my blog for Waukesha County small business owners. Why do I that?

Simple: as we look at continued uncertainty in world and national economies, the one asset that can never be taken away — and your *greatest* advantage over any other business in your space — is the relationships you have with your customers.

So, as your numbers cruncher and (perhaps in some sense) “coach”, I know that when I can convince you to make this kind of investment, you’ll thank me — and use my accounting services here at Hammernik & Associates for longer! So it’s not simple “charity” on my part to keep spending time on these Notes for you.

I hope that’s not disillusioning. After all, when you and your Waukesha County-area business do well, it helps us to stay in business.

But all that aside, here are some more ruminations on this theme, specifically about how to use direct mail to build those “existing customer” relationships…

Hammernik On 7 Ways To Increase Existing Customer Sales
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy

I’ve spoken before about the value of a regular communication plan with your existing clients and friends here in Waukesha County (and beyond). And as I’ve done so, here are some things which I’ve discovered for you to carefully consider:

#1: Most Waukesha County small businesses pay too much in chasing new customers and too little in building repeat business with their current customers.

#2: The satisfied customer will likely purchase again. And they will purchase more, and will purchase something different.

#3: It definitely costs less to motivate a known customer to purchase again than to acquire a new customer.

#4 BIG IDEA: Customers are only fickle because a new competitor is paying more attention to them than you are.

In B2B, many companies make the huge mistake of having all their contact with their customers go through a sales representative. This leaves the customers vulnerable to theft if the representative jumps to another employer (especially if they are local in Waukesha County). It also leaves too much opportunity for negligence on the sales rep’s part.

Regardless of the layers of distribution between you and your customer, it’s a good idea to establish some direct link. The owner of a restaurant can do that by coming around and chatting personally with the customers. The chief executive officer of a large company can do it with a newsletter and maybe a hotline telephone number or an open email address.

Direct mail is also perfect for cutting through these layers (in addition to, and on top of email). Here are some of the ways that direct mail can be used to communicate with established customers.

#1: To introduce new products or services.
#2: To give advance notice of and explain price or fee increases.
#3: To offer special discounts or premiums.
#4: To provide useful information.
#5: To give recognition to top customers.
#6: To announce seasonal sales.
#7: Warm relationship building for its own sake

I’ve rarely seen a business that could not increase and improve through increased direct marketing to current customers.

Do not make the mistake of assuming knowledge on the part of the customer.

Do not take shortcuts with existing customers and do not feel that you are boring them by telling the same story repetitively.

If you have quality, service, guarantee, price or other advantages, point them out each and every time you deliver a sales presentation.

American business — especially here in the Waukesha County area — desperately needs to place a new higher value on the customer in this economy. Communicate more with your customers and you’ll do more business.

Feel very free forward this article to a Waukesha County business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way?While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Waukesha County families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

Hammernik’s 4 Tips For Sending Better Marketing Messages

First, I did want to make sure you knew about the looming deadlines:

1) Estimated taxes for the third quarter are due on Tuesday, September 15th. If this applies to you, you know who you are. We’d love to help you, though, if you need a quick word of advice. Shoot me an email (click the email button at the top of this page).

2) Corporate filings are also due on the same day (9/15). Again, you know who you are, if this is for you … but let these simple reminders not be wasted!

Secondly, I wrote last week about how we can peel away from the “old” style of adversarial selling, and got some great feedback. THANK YOU for that — I put a lot of heart and thought into these notes, so your feedback is always appreciated. I have some additional, different thoughts this week.

I think it’s high time that we all realized that our customers and prospective customers have become “wise to the game” when it comes to certain, antiquated marketing tactics.

There’s a better way, now being adopted all over the place, but not just because it is very effective … in my opinion, it’s a much more ethical and principled way to sell.

Hammernik’s 4 Tips For Sending Better Marketing Messages
“You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.” – Ken Kesey

“They” say that we’re all being slammed by over 3,000 marketing messages a day, and I believe it. Some, more than others, of course — but you have to know that your prospective customers are seeing something like that amount. Daily.

That’s a lot of messages.

And, in order to avoid information overload, many of us have trained our minds to completely ignore those messages.

That’s why you must properly implement a series of steps to *lead* your prospect to becoming a client — effectively AND ethically. Effective, because it actually works. Ethical, because it’s about delivering ALL of the information needed for a purchasing decision … and it’s not reliant on “sneaky” sales tactics.

And once you *implement* these steps to leading your customer to a sale…you can easily overcome those marketing filters your prospects have.

Here are the steps:

1) Get to know them.
When you know everything there is to know about your prospects, your messages become much more targeted. Which gets your prospect’s attention. And, your prospects will feel as though you truly care about them.

2) Follow up consistently.
When you consistently and effectively follow up with your prospects, your message will eventually sink in.

3) Offer your prospect actual value.
Every marketing message out there is an attempt to get your prospects’ money from their wallet. Imagine how you’ll stand out when your message does more than make a pitch. It educates, engages, entertains and/or helps your prospect in some way.

4) Value your customers.
Once your prospect becomes your customer, don’t abandon them. They need the same attention you offered them as a prospect. Offer that same personal attention and they will become a raving fan!

These are things which I’m consistently emphasizing to my Waukesha County business owner clients and friends. It’s because they work. And it’s a much more satisfying way to build sales.

Feel very free to share this article with a Waukesha County business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Waukesha Countyfamilies and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

8 Tips for Small Business Growth for Waukesha County Business Owners

It’s easy to make excuses when you run a business…

“The economy stinks.” (And yes, the Chinese markets have dived 9 percent, and the dollar is taking a tumble too. It does affect you … but wait for what I have to say.)

“Funding dried up.”

“The big chains are killing me.”

“My employees are messing up.”

Etc., etc., ad nauseum. Well, I don’t want to see you falling prey to shifting blame or responsibility in your business. After all, it really does stop with YOU, the business owner, to be the primary driver of revenue and growth which lasts.

You have to be the one to create the surges for your business. It’s tempting to think that sales growth will just … come … on the wings of a strong service or product and “getting your name out.” But that’s an elusive proposition.

We want to be more than just a number-cruncher for you. We want to help you think about ways that you can actually grow. Like these, perhaps…

8 Tips for Small Business Growth for Waukesha County Business Owners
“In actual life every great enterprise begins with and takes its first forward step in faith.” – Friedrich Schlegel

No matter what happens in your business, you can’t be reliant on the “business environment” to improve (indeed, some of my clients are seeing their businesses skyrocket during these “tough times”).

Sometimes you have to make it happen. So, based on what I’ve seen some of my smarter clients pull off, I’ve compiled some ideas for small business growth for the final quarter of 2015.

1. Cut the fat. Yes, now’s the time to review your company finances in a calm and collected manner. Be sure to look at what is being paid on time. Then look for waste and how you can save — there are certain to be a few places where this is possible. Eliminate expenses that aren’t essential to your core business. NOTE: resist the temptation to cut down your marketing!

*Let us know if we can help you analyze your books for cost-saving adjustments. (414) 545-1890 or send me an email by clicking the button at the top of this page.

2. Get to know your clients. Spend time with your customers and find out more about their needs so you can deliver what they want — when they want it. Also, consider sending out a customer satisfaction survey to gain additional insights. Continue offering great service and going above and beyond so that every customer feels as if they are getting the VIP treatment.

3. Stay ahead of the competition. Researching your competition is invaluable for making sure you’re competitive with their quality and service. Also remember that during harder times, some of the people who are laid off may start their own businesses. Monitor the market for newcomers, but remember that you have a head start.

4. Enhance your offers. Cutting prices is one way to make your product or service more attractive, but it’s NOT the only way — in fact, it can be a curse. You see, once you lower your prices, it can be hard to raise them again. So, think about adding other incentives like reduced delivery times or added bonuses instead.

5. Adapt to the market. If you notice that sales are declining in one sector, focus your efforts on areas that are seeing more sales. Don’t waste your time on sectors that are in freefall. If your business is focused on a single product, consider repackaging it, or a different positioning and be ready to cater to people’s changing needs.

6. Invest in yourself. Now is the perfect time to build on your knowledge, skills, and talents by attending conferences, taking a professional development course, or investing in a business coach. It will help position you as an expert in your field and give you a competitive edge. It can seem “expensive”, but often we need to get away from the day-to-day in order to think more clearly.

7. Make more noise. Continue advertising if you can afford it, but look for other inexpensive ways to get the word out. Perhaps start a blog, join social media groups in your field (especially on Facebook), or write a column for a trade publication or local newspaper.

Lastly…

8. Prepare for the good times! Remember that hard times are periodic, and they don’t last forever (especially if you are getting active, like I’m suggesting). Resist the urge to run for cover. Instead, keep doing business … and don’t get caught by shoddy operations or preparations when the surge comes.

Remember … the good times will come again — this is your chance to make sure you’re a part of them.

Feel very free to share this article with a Waukesha County business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Waukesha County families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

Dale Hammernik’s 5 SMART Rules to Setting Business Goals

When I get together with my business owner clients, we try to look at EVERY aspect of their business (not just their books) … but also what’s *behind* the books (marketing, sales, management, etc.).

The good news for my business owner clients is that when we put in place clear metrics and financial reports, they shed clear light on strategic decisions.

But the problem I’ve often found, is that OUTSIDE of the financial reports we’re able to create for our clients, there are very few additional metrics in place to evaluate that they’re headed in the right direction — from a strategic, tactical and growth-oriented perspective.

Sure, financial numbers are great — but what are your GOALS? And, I don’t just mean sales goals. What do you want your business to look like two years from now? Five years from now?

Too often, business owners are so busy working “in” their business, that they don’t have the time to work ON these sorts of things properly.

So, I’ve got some words for you this week on the subject: setting business goals right.

Dale Hammernik’s 5 SMART Rules to Setting Business Goals
“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.” – Elbert Hubbard

Sometimes as a business owner, you become so overwhelmed, the only thing you can do is take it one step at a time. And, although this may get you through the week, it’s not going to help grow your business. Real growth comes from writing out the goals you plan to achieve — and then putting those goals into action.

Here are five important rules to follow that we’ve found useful with clients in creating metrics and other goals:

1. Specific- Know exactly what your goal is.
2. Measurable- Know whether you achieved the goal.
3. Achievable- Speaks for itself.
4. Relevant- Relates to the big picture.
5. Time Bound- When will you reach the goal?

Did you know … only 3% of the population has written goals?

And, guess what?

They earn far more than the rest.

If you truly want to see improvement and growth in your company, take the time to create SMART goals. Then, be sure to make yourself and your employees accountable for those goals. Otherwise, you will always be taking it a day at a time.

Feel very free to share this article with a Waukesha County business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Waukesha County families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

Dale Hammernik’s 5 Fresh Small Business Strategies For You

Don’t you just love Congressional tricks?

One of my personal “favorites” is when they cram a bunch of unrelated business into their bills.

Which is what just recently happened, and it could affect you…

H.R. 3236, popularly known as “The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015” (yes, that’s how these things are named) brought some tax-law-related changes.

Regular tax returns are still due on April 15th — and a six month extension period is still available. But …

* Partnership tax returns are due March 15, NOT April 15 as in the past. If your partnership isn’t on a calendar year, the return is due on the 15th day of the third month following the close of your tax year.

* C corporation tax returns are due April 15, NOT March 15. For non-calendar years, it is due on the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the tax year.

* S corporation tax returns remain unchanged–they are still due March 15, or the third month following the close of the taxable year.

On TOP of that, another doozy: audits can get you for six years now, instead of three. Without going into all of the details, essentially if you withhold reporting of 25% or more of your income, the IRS has six years to figure it out. They’ve always had unlimited time for fraud or criminality … but there was some wiggle room for underreporting in the past. No longer.

All this (and MORE!) in one measly highway bill.

So, it pays even more to work with a pro, yes?

These sort of issues are what we specialize in worrying all about — so you don’t have to. Because YOU have to keep your head in a bigger picture. Some thoughts for that below…

Dale Hammernik’s 5 Fresh Small Business Strategies For You
“Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn’t work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach.” – Roger Von Oech

Waukesha County Entrepreneurs (like you) know that hard work and a great idea don’t guarantee success. Fortunately, most of them also know that failure isn’t final — almost every successful business owner client of mine has crashed and burned at least once in his or her career.

One of the best ways to pick yourself or your business back up off the ground is to take a fresh look at things that you “thought” were set in stone. Here are some small business strategies I compiled for you to possibly give your business a fresh lease on life, come fall, or into 2016…

1. Re-target your market. In the heat of start-up passion, entrepreneurs frequently try to interest too broad a market: “Everyone will want to buy this!” The result: getting lost in the crowd. The more closely you define your market, the more success you will experience.

2. Re-examine your price. Price is obviously supremely important. See how you can lower your overhead or cut production costs. Perhaps there’s a new way to package your products, so that your average transaction value can go up?

3. Identify and push your best product. Focus on what works. If your hot product is coffee cups, look for ways to highlight and expand that niche instead of veering into new territory. How about different colors and holders for those cups?

4. Make your marketing materials more memorable. Emphasize the benefits — SPECIFICALLY how features of your product or service will improve business or the quality of life for your customer. And scrutinize your advertising. Using big media is not always the answer, especially when you have narrowed your market. Don’t overlook narrowly-targeted marketing efforts, or joint promotions.

5. Keep promoting! Make sure your message sinks in. Find affordable ways to reach your target market, and use these avenues as often as you can. Try social advertising!

These ideas are to get you started. There may be longer conversations to be had. And that’s what I’m here for.

Feel very free to share this article with a Waukesha County business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Waukesha County families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

Dale Hammernik on Service Culture and the Deadly “Oversell”

I believe that one of the underreported stories in the business world over the last decade or so has been the creation of a thriving culture of service in the private marketplace.

This is an extremely good thing — it means a more pleasant marketplace, and it can actually be a competitive advantage for certain businesses (Zappos is one famous example, and there are others like it popping up everywhere).

But do you think, like I do, that it can be taken too far?

Now, please realize that what I’m talking about is actually not the “after-the-sale” aspect of serving your clients. I’d like to think it’s obvious that I believe it’s extremely important to make sure you can overperform on expectations and provide awesome service.

No, what has become problematic for many small business owners and sales professionals is that this service culture is leading them to create horrible positioning BEFORE a sale is actually made.

And that’s what I’d like to help you think about today, if you’ll let me.

Dale Hammernik on Service Culture and the Deadly “Oversell”
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible to others. – Jonathan Swift

Some say that you must ‘prove to your client that you’re willing to work harder, drive more miles, and bend over further than everyone else to earn his business.’

And, at first glance it seems like foolishness to say that anything less than fantastic customer service is going to cut it in today’s marketplace.

But here’s the problem: Most businesses try to communicate this way too soon, in the process of being way too eager to win the client’s business.

So you end up chasing the prospect, saying ‘Call me any time, day or night, text me, in fact here’s my home phone number. Shoot, I’ll jump out of bed and come and see you in the middle of the night, because man, lemme tell ya, I’m eager to win your business!’

Of course, prospects know that after the contract has been agreed upon, they still likely end up dealing with a bunch of apathetic drones in client service, and their work will STILL probably be late anyway — regardless of how eager the presentation.

That’s why your enthusiasm doesn’t help you.

So here are some tips to fix this problem:

1) Stop acting so eager.

Your client service people ARE busy, and they don’t have time to hold the hands of problem customers. Don’t be afraid to tell your prospects that they have to *qualify* to do business with you.

It’s counter-intuitive, but especially in certain kinds of industries, when the client finds out that you’re not drooling all over yourself to get his business, he’s going to respect you more.

2) *Guarantee* results to the client – with teeth.

Guarantee on-time delivery, specific levels of performance, with negative consequences for YOUR business if it doesn’t deliver the level of accuracy or quality you promised. But you do not have to promise people the moon! You just have to keep the promises you DO make.

This requires support from YOU, the business owner and on down. And most businesses don’t like to guarantee anything. (But when push comes to shove, you still have to deliver results anyway, right? Giving a guarantee often just means clearly stating what’s already true.)

If you aren’t willing to guarantee anything, then may I ask: “Why not?” Why should your clients take all the risk, after they’ve heard a bunch of empty promises which aren’t backed by an actual guarantee?

Even a modest guarantee can enormously empower your sales message. Define what you can and can’t deliver, go to the mat to keep your promises, and draw the line right there. Clients will be far more responsive and you won’t appear desperate.

People are cynical, and they’ll only believe what you can prove. Put something on the line … and they’ll trust you MORE.

Feel very free to share this article with a Waukesha County business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Waukesha County families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

Temper Your Media Diet: Waukesha County Businesses’ Guide to Thrive in 2015

Iran and nuclear weapons.

Greece, the deteriorating European Union, and signs of shakiness in Chinese markets.

Continued social upheaval at home, and on the border.

Presidential campaign silliness, and the political chaos to which we’re all about to be subjected for the next 15+ months.

And in the middle of it all, we’re all facing our own private fears, struggles and frustrations.

So … may I remind you of a few things?

Hammernik’s Key Reminder #1: What you choose to “ingest” over these weeks will greatly impact your state-of-mind. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. And, of course, the opposite is true — when you surround yourself with excellence and clear-eyed determination, you find that your heart and mind carry much greater strength.

Temper your media diet this week, as most of those outlets are (quite literally) merchants of fear.

Hammernik’s Key Reminder #2: The financial markets are driven by emotions — and by complicated algorithms that react on a hair-trigger to economic disruptions. Truly, the only thing certain about the stock market is that it’s volatile. So those of you with many assets resting there, don’t make moves out of panic. Sit down to discuss a tax-advantaged strategy … not a knee-jerk fear response.

Hammernik’s Key Reminder #3: The only thing you can truly control is yourself.You can’t control the market, you can’t control our foreign affairs (unless, of course, Mr. Kerry or Obama are somehow reading this — perhaps you guys can!), and there’s a real sense in which you can’t even, really, control your salary and income.

So, with those key reminders in mind, here’s what I suggest:

Call my office this week: (414) 545-1890 (or click the button at the top of this page to email me) and request one of our limited Tax Planning Strategy Sessions. During this session, we will analyze your current situation and identify the most tax-advantaged, wisest and most effective plan for your business income, no matter what happens with the economy, or with other outside factors.

After all, you CAN control your business … and we can help. The implications of theACA are continuing to be felt by businesses everywhere, and there are a raft of tax law changes already implemented for 2015, as well as others coming down the pike in 2016 for which you’ll want to be prepared.

I’m personally dedicated to the success of your business–and to your finances! Can other accounting professionals say that?

Warmly,

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

Hammernik on How to Grow Your Bottom Line in 2015

I have a question for you, one that I think you should think hard about:

Have you considered paying yourself more out of your business?

In some cases, it actually might make more sense to pay yourself less — but bring home more at the same time.

Well, if you’re not clear on how you could accomplish that, then reading this post right now will be very important.

Because, as you know, it is hard — and it is LONELY — to be a business owner in this environment. The media is bombarding your customers with messages of chaos and fear … and, of course, you can’t help but have some of those messages trickle into your own consciousness as well.

Which is why it’s so important for you to have a clear handle on the bottom line for your business — and on ALL of the tax implications you’ll be facing, and how to get ahead of them.

Look … I hope it’s no mystery to you why I often write about marketing and sales. Frankly, that’s the easiest way for you to grow your bottom line (add more to the top line).

But the second-best way to grow your bottom line is to avoid all of the unnecessary expenses and taxes which so many businesses end up paying, simply because they didn’t plan ahead of time.

When I meet with a biz owner, I often wear many hats — CFO, Marketing Advisor, COO, etc. — truly whatever fits the need of our client most precisely. Because business owners can make rash decisions in times of perceived crisis (like during “tax season”) — and they often have unforeseen complications down the road.

Which is why it’s critical that we take a look at how things are set up for you and your business for the rest of 2015. Here in the middle of summer (and BEFORE the fall rush) is the perfect time to take a clear-eyed look at things, and plan for the best outcome for your business, come January.

The implications of the ACA are continuing to be felt by businesses everywhere, and there are a raft of tax law changes already implemented for 2015, as well as others coming down the pike in 2016 that you’ll want to be prepared for.

And we’re going to make it easy for you. We’ll encourage you, give you good options … and point you into the best direction for your business’ long-term wealth preservation and growth.

Call us today to schedule an appointment: (414) 545-1890 (or send us an email by clicking the button at the top of this page).

I’m personally dedicated to the success of your business–and to your finances! Can other accounting professionals say that?

Warmly,

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

Dale Hammernik On Why Managers SHOULD Sweat the Small Stuff

I’m going to deliver a bit of a rant today, and I hope you’ll forgive me in advance.

I suppose the subject would be consistent with the traits which make for success in my chosen profession, how I like to run my business, and my particular tendencies. However, that doesn’t mean this is any less true.

There’s a disturbing trend for small business owners these days. I don’t know if it’s because of the skyrocketing demands on our attention or exactly what is the possible explanation for it, but it’s a surefire way to allow your business to fail (notice my word choice there– ‘allow’).

Enough introduction, read on for what I hope is a shot in the arm of inspiration and, perhaps, a healthy challenge…

Dale Hammernik On Why Managers SHOULD Sweat the Small Stuff
“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.” – John Lennon

Perhaps it’s not at all surprising that today’s manager is pulled in so many directions — and often does such a poor job.

It’s the irony of the digital age — we have so many tools at our disposal to “virtually” connect with one another, that the real work of connecting in person is becoming a lost art. Posting status updates, sending emails, blogging (yes, I get the irony), texting — we’ve forgotten how to work without the digital assistance.

And, ultimately, being a business manager is about actual interpersonal influence and leadership. When you’re used to leading virtually, it’s harder to lead in person.

Even worse, perhaps because of all of these distractions (or, perhaps because of a modern, misplaced desire to be liked) managers learn to ignore the “small things”, because there are just so many to keep track of that it seems “uptight” to track them.But when you start relaxing standards in the small tasks of your business, your bottom line will eventually be the real victim.

I was watching a speech from a corporate training expert, Stephen Paskoff, and he told an illustrative story.

Starting his first “real” job as a part-time salesperson at a shoe store, he was told by his boss to show up for his first day wearing a dark suit and a white shirt. But since Paskoff owned only a heavy gray suit of wool, and when the day dawned hot and muggy, he decided to avoid sweating all day by wearing a dark-blue blazer and matching slacks.

He walked into the store and was immediately greeted by his boss with, “Where’s your suit?” Paskoff replied, “It’s hot, and this is just like a suit.”

The boss told him, “I said a suit, not ‘just like a suit.’ Go home and come back in a suit if you have one. If not, forget it.”

Paskoff went home, changed, and spent his first month of work at the shoe store sweating until he could afford a lighter-weight suit.

What’s your response to that story? Do you think this is over the top? Perhaps you do — but you’d also be missing the part where this boss got results. Do you think that Paskoff was inclined to slack off on other managerial expectations after such a response? No, much like the “Broken Window Theory” often cited by economists, when we actually sweat the small stuff — and do it with the social grace of a caring leader — everything changes.

Feel very free to share this article with a Waukesha County business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Waukesha County families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890

Hammernik & Associates

1 2 3 8