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“Extender” Legislation Impacts Individuals and Small Businesses

Tax Tip: Extenders - Ketel Thorstenson, LLP

The federal spending package that was enacted in the waning days of 2019 contains numerous provisions that will impact both businesses and individuals. In addition to repealing three health care taxes and making changes to retirement plan rules, the legislation extends several expired tax provisions. Here is an overview of several of the more important provisions in the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2019.

Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums

Before the Act, mortgage insurance premiums paid or accrued before January 1, 2018, were potentially deductible as qualified residence interest, subject to a phase-out based on the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). The Act retroactively extends this treatment through 2020.

Reduction in Medical Expense Deduction Floor

For 2017 and 2018, taxpayers were able to claim an itemized deduction for unreimbursed medical expenses to the extent that such expenses were greater than 7.5% of AGI. The AGI threshold was scheduled to increase to 10% of AGI for 2019 and later tax years. Under the Act, the 7.5% of AGI threshold is extended through 2020.

Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses Deduction

The above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses for higher education, which expired at the end of 2017, has been extended through 2020. The deduction is capped at $4,000 for a taxpayer whose modified AGI does not exceed $65,000 ($130,000 for those filing jointly) or $2,000 for a taxpayer whose modified AGI is not greater than $80,000 ($160,000 for joint filers). The deduction is not allowed with a modified AGI of more than $80,000 ($160,000 if you are a joint filer).

Credit for Energy-Efficient Home Improvements

The 10% credit for certain qualified energy improvements (windows, doors, roofs, skylights) to a principal residence has been extended through 2020, as have the credits for purchases of energy-efficient property (furnaces, boilers, biomass stoves, heat pumps, water heaters, central air conditions, and circulating fans), subject to a lifetime cap of $500.

Empowerment Zone Tax Incentives

Businesses and individual residents within economically depressed areas that are designated as “Empowerment Zones” are eligible for special tax incentives. Empowerment Zone designations, which expired on December 31, 2017, have been extended through December 31, 2020, under the new tax law.

Employer Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave

A provision in the tax code permits eligible employers to claim an elective general business credit based on eligible wages paid to qualified employees with respect to the family and medical leave. This credit has been extended through 2020.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Employers who hire individuals who belong to one or more of 10 targeted groups can receive an elective general business credit under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program. The recent tax law extends this credit through 2020.

For details about these and other tax breaks included in the recent law, please consult your tax advisor.

COVID-19 Notice: Ensuring Your Safety, Health and Well-Being

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the virus.  To those who are sick, we send our thoughts and best wishes for a speedy recovery.  For those businesses and employees who have been negatively impacted, we are sorry. We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe.

Given the current environment and need to operate with best practices, we have elected to take action to protect your physical health as well starting with avoiding the use of cash and credit cards, you can easily Buy Digital Currency Coins online to use from your cell phone or any smartphone.

In-person meetings with clients – While our firm is still working during tax season, our physical office is closed.  We must limit in-person interaction for your benefit and ours. In lieu of in-person meetings, contact us and we can talk on the phone or schedule a video meeting.

Remote staffing – To practice safely, some of our team is working from home and using technology to work securely and online.

Secure electronic document exchange – We are using Protected Xchange to securely and safely exchange electronic documents without physically touching paper.  Protected Xchange provides encryption and is safer than email. The COVID-19 virus can live on paper documents and checks so we prefer to work electronically.  If you have work papers, please scan and send electronically using Protected Xchange. If you mail or drop off documents, please understand that we will need to quarantine paper documents and this will slow things up.

Payments – To operate safely, we are using BizPayO to accept electronic payments.  BizPayO accepts electronic checks, credit card, and debit card payments. We want to avoid physical checks and cash.

Legislation Changes – There will be a series of legislation changes and clarifications coming for 2020 (federal and state). At the moment, we are focused on completing tax filings for 2019 so please provide your information promptly.

Thank you for choosing us as your trusted advisor.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Time to Embrace a Digital Payment Platform

The world has forever changed, and a cloud of economic uncertainty is looming. One thing for certain – the traditional payment ecosystem exposes the general public to health risk. Antiquated payment methods, such as cash, checks, credit cards, touchscreens, and terminals, harbor germs and place the payer and payee at risk to exposure. Millions of transactions, each and every day, are creating millions of opportunities to spread illness and infection.

Thanks to the ongoing evolution in the payments industry, there are cleaner, healthier options, such as digital payment systems for business. Billing your customers is vital – but even more critical is getting paid in a safe, secure manner.  Digital payment platforms, such as BizPayo, provide a safe, contactless payment gateway via a business’s website. Besides safety, digital payment methods facilitate a faster, simpler, and more secure way of getting paid.

The quest for contactless payments is showing immediate signs of ramping up in the wake of COVID-19, and the tipping point for contactless payments for professional services may arrive faster than originally projected. It’s inevitable – – enterprising businesses across the U.S. have already made the migration to digital payment methods, and more are sure to follow.

 

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

President Trump Signs Families First COVID Response Act (H.R. 6201)

President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act H.R. 6201into law on March 18, 2020. In the coming days and weeks, there will be additional bills that will expand, modify, and clarify H.R. 6201. The following Frequently Asked Questions surrounding H.R. 6201 was devised to help answer questions you may have. Updates will be posted as new information is made available.

FAQ – What businesses are affected by the new bill?

If you have fewer than 500 employees, then this bill covers your business

FAQ – When does this bill go int effect?

The bill was signed into law on March 18, 2020 and goes into effect 15 days later and will remain into effect until the end of 2020.

FAQ – Can I opt out of the new bill?

Companies with fewer than 50 employees will be allowed to opt out of the bill provisions if it would jeopardize the viability of the business.

Companies between 50 and 500 employees cannot opt out of the bill’s provisions.

FAQ – How can I opt out if the viability of my business would be affected by this bill?

The Secretary of Labor has the authority to exempt small businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the bill’s paid leave.  The Department of Labor will establish guidelines and procedures on how small businesses will be able to apply for this exemption.

FAQ – I’m a healthcare provider.  Can I exclude the leave provisions of this bill?

Exception for Health Care Providers and Emergency Responders. Employers who are health care providers or emergency responders may elect to exclude their employees from the public health emergency leave provisions of the bill.

FAQ – What paid leave can my employees claim?

  1. They have been exposed to coronavirus or exhibit symptoms
  2. They are recommended to quarantine by a healthcare provider and cannot work from home
  3. They need to care for a family member who has been exposed to coronavirus or exhibits symptoms of coronavirus
  4. They need to care for a child younger than 18 years old because their school or day care is closed, or their childcare provider is unavailable.

FAQ – How much paid leave can my employees claim?

Employees under the bill are entitled to 10 weeks of paid leave (a provision of the bill has any extension beyond 10 weeks to be granted only to parents taking care of children with shuttered schools and day care centers).

The first 14 days of leave: under the bill, the first 14 days in which an employee takes emergency leave may be unpaid. An employee may elect, or an employer may require the employee, to substitute any accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or sick leave for unpaid leave.

Paid Leave Rate for Subsequent Days:After 14 days of unpaid leave, an employer is required to provide paid leave at an amount not less than two-thirds of an employee’s regular rate of pay up to $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate.

The bill also addresses hourly employees whose schedules vary to the extent than an employer cannot determine the exact number of hours the employee would have worked. For those employees, the employee’s paid leave rate should equal the average number of hours that the employee was scheduled per day over the six-month period prior to the leave. If the employee did not work in the preceding six-month period, the paid leave rate should equal the “reasonable expectation” of the employee at the time of hiring with respect to the average number of hours per day that the employee would be scheduled to work.

The following are further details:

Paid Sick Time: Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours that the employee works, on average, over a two-week period.

For hourly employees whose schedules vary, the employee’s paid leave rate should equal the average number of hours that the employee was scheduled per day over the six-month period prior to the leave. If the employee did not work in the preceding six-month period, the paid leave rate should equal the “reasonable expectation” of the employee at the time of hiring with respect to the average number of hours per day that the employee would be scheduled to work.

Once an employee’s coronavirus-related need for using the emergency paid sick leave ends, then the employer may terminate the paid sick time. Further, paid sick time provided under H.R. 6201 shall not carry over from one year to the next.

Paid Leave Rate: Employees who take paid sick leave because they are subject to a quarantine or isolation order, have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, or are experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis are entitled to be paid at their regular pay rate or at the federal, state or local minimum wage, whichever is greater. In these circumstances, the paid sick leave rate may not exceed $511 per day, or $5,110 in aggregate.

Employees who take paid sick leave to care for another individual or child or because they are experiencing another substantially similar illness (as specified by HHS) are entitled to be paid at two-thirds their regular rate. In these circumstances, the paid sick leave rate may not exceed $200 per day, or $2,000 in aggregate.

The bill requires the Secretary of Labor to issue guidelines to assist employers in calculating paid sick time within 15 days of the bill’s enactment.

FAQ – Can I discourage my employees from taking this leave?

Employers cannot discourage or prevent eligible employers from claiming paid sick leave.  If they do, it could be considered discriminatory or an obstruction of their legal rights.

Employer Notice Requirement:Employers shall post and keep posted, in conspicuous places, notice of the emergency paid sick leave requirements made available under H.R. 6201. Within seven days of the enactment of the bill, the Secretary of Labor will provide a model notice for use by employers.

FAQ – Will my business get reimbursed 

Employers initially pay for the sick leave and are reimbursed by the federal government within three months through refundable tax credits that count against employers’ payroll tax.

FAQ – How does the reimbursement work?

EMPLOYER TAX CREDITS

H.R. 6201 provides for employer tax credits to offset the costs associated with the paid public health emergency leave and sick leave required for employees under Divisions C and E of the bill.

Payroll Tax Credit: The bill provides a refundable tax credit worth 100 percent of qualified public health emergency leave wages (as provided by Division C) and qualified paid sick leave wages (as provided by Division E) paid by an employer for each calendar quarter through the end of 2020. The tax credit is allowed against the tax imposed under the employer portion of Social Security and Railroad Retirement payroll taxes.

Credit Amount: The bill allows employers to take tax credits for qualified public health emergency leave wages and qualified sick leave wages:

Credit Amount for Public Health Emergency Leave Wages. The amount of qualified public health leave wages taken into account for each employee is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 for all calendar quarters.

Credit Amount for Sick Leave Wages. In instances when an employee receives paid sick leave because they are subject to a quarantine or isolation order, have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, or are experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis, the amount of qualified sick leave wages taken into account for each employee is capped at $511 per day.

n instances when an employee receives paid sick leave because they are caring for another individual or child or because they are experiencing another substantially similar illness (as specified by HHS) the amount of qualified sick leave wages taken into account for each employee is capped at $200 per day.

In determining the total amount of an employer’s qualified sick leave wages paid for a calendar quarter, the total number of days that the employer can take into account with respect to a particular employee for that quarter may not exceed 10 days minus the number of days taken into account for that employee for all previous quarters.

Credit for Health Plan Expenses. Under the bill, the public health emergency leave and paid sick leave credits would be increased to include amounts employers pay for the employee’s health plan coverage while they are on leave. Specifically, the bill allows for the credit amounts to be increased by the amount of the employer’s group health plan expenses that are “properly allocated” to the qualified emergency leave and sick leave wages. Health plan expenses are “properly allocated” to qualified wages if made on a pro rata basis (among covered employees and periods of coverage).

FAQ – If an employee goes on leave, then what happens when they come back to work?

Generally, eligible employees who take emergency paid leave are entitled to be restored to the position they held when the leave commenced or to obtain an equivalent position with their employer. H.R. 6201 limits this rule for employers with fewer than 25 employees. In such circumstances, if an employee takes emergency leave, then the employer does not need to return the employee to their position if:

  • The position does not exist due to changes in the employer’s economic or operating condition that affect employment and were caused by the coronavirus emergency;
  • The employer makes “reasonable efforts” to restore the employee to an equivalent position; and
  • If these efforts fail, the employer makes an additional reasonable effort to contact the employee if an equivalent position becomes available. The “contact period” is the one-year window beginning on the earlier of (a) the date on which the employee no longer needs to take leave to care for the child or (b) 12 weeks after the employee’s paid leave commences.

Refundability of Excess Credit: The amount of the paid sick leave credit that is allowed for any calendar quarter cannot exceed the total employer payroll tax obligations on all wages for all employees. If the amount of the credit that would otherwise be allowed is so limited, the amount of the limitation is refundable to the employer.

Limitation on Tax Credits:Employers may not receive the tax credit if they are also receiving a credit for paid family and medical leave under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97). Employers would instead have to include the credit in their gross income.

FAQ – My business was shut down and I had to layoff my employees.  Are they eligible for unemployment?

Unemployment Insurance: The bill provides for the Secretary of Labor to make emergency administration grants to states in the Unemployment Trust Fund. States are directed to demonstrate steps toward easing eligibility requirements and expand access to unemployment compensation for claimants directly impacted by COVID-19. The legislation also appropriates funds for states that aim to establish work-sharing programs that permit employers to reduce employee hours rather than laying them off. Under such programs, employees would receive partial unemployment benefits to offset the wage loss.

FAQ – Will this bill change?

Many new bills are being worked on that can and likely will make changes to this bill and/or clarify many of it’s provisions.

Pros and Cons of a Paperless Business

Has your bank, broker, credit card company, or maybe even your phone or utility company sent you information about getting your statements online instead of through the mail? Going paperless has its advantages — not the least of which may be seeing your countertop for the first time in months. But it also has its drawbacks. Before you completely eliminate paper statements, look at both the pros and cons.

The Benefits

When customers manage their accounts online, companies can save substantial amounts of money in printing and mailing costs. That’s why many companies offer incentives, such as reducing interest rates or fees or making donations to environmental groups, to encourage customers to go paperless. And fewer mailings mean there’s less risk that someone could steal personal documents from your mailbox and use the information fraudulently.

The Drawbacks

While companies claim financial information sent electronically is more secure, not everyone agrees. When they happen, security breaches can put your personal information at risk. And it may be easier to miss the e-mail or forget about reviewing statements or paying bills when you don’t have them right in front of you.

Another potential drawback: Retrieving statements that are more than a few months old may be difficult, although many companies say they’re working on archiving several years’ worth of documents.

Going paperless may be to your advantage, but weigh everything carefully before you sign up.

Take charge of your financial future. Give us a call, today, to find out how we can assist you and your business.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Need a Loan – Follow these Steps First

Is it time to put your expansion plan on the front burner? Have you outgrown your current location? Do you need to replace some equipment? There are many reasons small business owners might be in the market for a loan. If you’ll be shopping soon, here are some pointers from www.GTRwallet.com.

Check your credit. When you apply for a loan, the lender will look at your personal and your business credit histories. Before you start the application process, check to make sure both are accurate and up to date. If there are errors, resolve them ahead of time.

Why Does a Poor Credit Score Limit my Borrowing Options? A credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. It is what most lenders look at (among other things) to determine how likely you are to repay a potential loan on time. It’s in lenders’ best interest to lend money only to borrowers who can pay the loan back on time, which is why you may find it a bit harder to acquire a loan from some traditional lenders if your credit rating has received a recent drop.

Polish your plan. Prospective lenders will want to know as much as possible about your business. Prepare a comprehensive, up-to-date business plan that provides information about your company (a description and an executive summary) and yourself (educational background and relevant experience). Since your plan may be pivotal in convincing potential lenders to approve your loan, consider including an overview of your management team and key personnel along with some market analysis and a marketing plan. Take this opportunity to learn more about the lending process. Find information that will help you with the purchase of your new home in Kansas City. Fill out our no-obligation application to see what interest rate you qualify for and obtain a pre-approval letter. Below and throughout this site, you will find information that will help you with the purchase of your new house or refinancing an existing home. You will get know your home loan options, do visit. If you are looking for a home lender in Kansas City that answers their phone, give us a call. From the real estate agent, Title company, Financial Adviser, Insurance agents and Underwriters, all with the highest and best level of customer service, we have you covered.We are the recipients of the 2020 Five Star Award. This represents fewer than 3 percent of Loan Officers. Our production levels, our partnerships, and our client satisfaction ratings say it all. Let us help you make your Kansas City dreams a reality, visit our local office today.

You should also be prepared to provide financial statements and cash flow projections with good knowledge of your banking account status. Lenders may request personal financial statements for you and other owners as well.

Check your equity. Before you submit a loan application, make sure you have enough equity in the business. Although requirements can vary, lenders generally want a company’s total liabilities to be less than four times equity. A lender may require you to put some additional money into your business before approving you for a loan.

Identify collateral. Lenders generally require collateral, an alternate repayment source that can be used in case your business isn’t generating enough cash to make payments on your loan. Either business or personal assets can be used. If you don’t have anything you can use as collateral, perhaps you can find someone who does who will cosign the loan.

Look for a good match. If you already have a good working relationship with a bank that lends to small businesses, it makes sense to start there. If you don’t, or if your bank isn’t a good match, do your homework. Look for lenders that do business with companies similar in size to your own. Finding a lender that’s familiar with your industry is an added bonus.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Stretching QuickBooks Online: What You Can Do With Apps

QuickBooks Online has worked well for countless businesses as is. But if you need more than it offers in some areas, there’s likely to be an app for that.

You’d be hard-pressed to find two small businesses in the U.S. that have exactly the same needs when it comes to financial management. Fortunately, QuickBooks Online is powerful and flexible enough to please hundreds of thousands of small businesses.

As companies grow, they often find that the core features, user interface, and navigational tools that QuickBooks Online offers still suit them just fine. Still, they need to move beyond the tools offered in one or more areas.

That’s why QuickBooks Online has dozens of add-on applications – apps – that focus on one specific area of QuickBooks Online and extend what’s offered there. Since they’re all cloud-based, you have access to them anywhere, anytime, on a PC or mobile device, once you’ve set up an account.

To see what’s available, just click on the Apps link in the left vertical toolbar.

Figure 1: You can choose from dozens of integrated applications built specifically to add features and flexibility to individual areas of QuickBooks Online.

Take a look around this page, and click on any of them to get more information. All of the apps listed were designed to fit QuickBooks Online, but if you’re new to integrated applications or wondering whether a specific one would be a good match for your business, we can help you decide – and get started with it.

QuickBooks Online’s apps cover a lot of ground. Each falls into one of several categories, including billing and collections, expense management, time tracking, and customer relationship management. We’ll look at three of them here.

Bill.com automates your accounts payable and receivable. It began its life as a billing app (hence the name), adding receivables a few years ago. Though you could use it as a sole proprietor, its features are more fully utilized in a team setting. You email, fax, or upload incoming bills to your Bill.com account, where they can be entered, routed to the appropriate staff person, approved, and processed (transmitted directly to a vendor bank account or remitted via paper check). The ability to store all related documents in the cloud and maintain a strict audit trail add to the site’s security. Automated invoices, reminders, and payments simplify your receivables workflow. Bill.com also provides a close, real-time look at your current cash flow and also projects future scenarios.

Concur Travel and Expense has very tight integration with QuickBooks Online; it shares, for example, customer, vendor, and employee records, as well as job data and expense types. Your employees can either enter expense data manually or use a smartphone to take pictures of receipts, which can then be uploaded directly into Concur and automatically attached to their expense reports, along with any credit card charges (which can also be sent directly). Once you’ve approved an expense report, Concur handles the background bookkeeping and transfers funds into your employees’ bank accounts.

Figure 2: Your mobile employees can create and submit expense reports on the road using the mobile Concur app. iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry are also supported.

Method CRM marries your QuickBooks Online data to your customer relationship management tasks. Lists of your customers, vendors, items, etc. and their associated records are available in the app, as are transactions like invoices, payments, and vendor bills. When prospects fill out forms on your website asking for product and/or service information, a new lead/sales opportunity is created in Method CRM. If a lead becomes a customer, that data is shared with QuickBooks. The app is exceptionally customizable, down to the actual design (should you decide to tackle this, though, let us work with you from the start).

There are many other types of apps that can be integrated with QuickBooks Online, including:

– Constant Contact: Email marketing

 

– TSheets Time Tracking: Timesheets and time tracking

 

– Bigcommerce: Online shopping cart management

 

– F|G Receivables Manager: Smart accounts receivable management

 

– Shoeboxed: Scans and categorizes paper receipts

Figure 3: You can upload or drag and drop files, forward emails, or send paper receipts through U.S. Mail in a prepaid envelope to Shoeboxed.

These apps are easy to use for the most part, but whenever you’re moving data in and out of QuickBooks Online, you need to have a clear understanding of the source and destination. We’ll be happy to assist as you move beyond the boundaries of QuickBooks Online.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Learning To Live With (and Appreciate) Employee Vacations

When it comes to employee benefits, paid vacation time is a favorite. Although not legally required in the U.S. (as it is in most other developed countries), most employers — about 77% of businesses in the private sector — provide their employees with paid vacation time.1

What’s in It for You?

But what is the business impact of letting your employees go on vacation? Isn’t it bad, especially for small businesses, when key employees are gone for a week or longer? Actually, it isn’t. While it may be disruptive in the short term, providing paid vacation time can benefit employers. A survey of human resources professionals, a large majority ranked taking vacation as very or extremely important for employee performance (94%), morale (92%), wellness (92%), productivity (90%), a positive culture (90%), and employee retention (88%).2

Survival Strategies

Vacations may be a win-win, but you still need to minimize disruption and maintain productivity when employees are away. Here are a few tips:

  • If you don’t already have one, formalize a vacation policy that spells out how to request vacation time, how many employees may be gone at the same time, how disputes will be handled, etc.
  • Create a master calendar and record all approved time off.
  • Cross-train employees; try to have at least two people trained to cover each job.
  • Have employees update their job descriptions and provide access to any passwords or other information that may be needed during their absence.
  • Prior to leaving, make sure employees compose “away” messages for voicemail and e-mail and let key customers and contacts know how long they will be gone.

Benefits Are the Bottom Line

A comprehensive, competitive benefits package is the best way to attract and retain employees. Top prospects want health insurance, voluntary benefits, and a retirement plan in addition to vacation time. How do your benefits stack up? Your financial professional knows the marketplace and can provide guidance to help you make your benefits package more competitive.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Making a Year’s Profit in a Seasonal Business

If you have a seasonal business, you most likely face some challenges that year-round businesses don’t. After all, trying to squeeze a year’s worth of business into a far shorter period can get pretty hectic. Here are some tips that may help.

Cash Control

All small business owners have to be careful cash managers. Strict wealth management is particularly critical when cash flows in over a relatively short period of time. One very important lesson to learn: Control the temptation to overspend when cash is plentiful.

Arming yourself with a realistic budget and sound financial projections, including next season’s start-up costs, can help you maintain control. And you may want to establish a line of credit just in case.

In the Off-Season

It’s difficult to maintain visibility when you aren’t in business year round. But there’s no reason why you can’t send your customers periodic updates via e-mail or snail mail. You’ll certainly want to announce your reopening date well ahead of time. You can also spend time developing new leads and lining up new business.

Time for R and R

You deserve it, so take some time for rest and relaxation. But you’ll also want to use the time your business is closed to make any necessary repairs and take care of any sprucing up you’d like to do. You can also use the off-season to shop around and look for deals on items you keep in stock and/or equipment you need to buy or replace.

Expansion Plans

If you’re thinking of making the transition from “closed for the season” to “open all year,” start investigating new product lines or services. If you diversify in ways that are complementary to and compatible with your core business, your current customer base may provide support right away. A well-thought-out expansion can be the key to a successful transition into a year-round business.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v

Hard Times? Get Back to Business Basics

It’s reassuring to remember that downturns are a normal part of the business cycle. And, just as there are strategies that help businesses thrive during profitable times, there are basic survival tactics that businesses can employ when the outlook is less than rosy.

Control Spending

Finances should be your fundamental concern when economic conditions are unsettled. When sales slow, it’s time to preserve your cash. Look closely at how you can reduce overhead. Make certain that all your operating expenses are necessary. Even if you’ve recently made cuts, see if there are other measures you can take. Unless absolutely necessary, consider putting plans that call for capital investment on the back burner until conditions improve.

And to make sure that you give your staff the very best rewards possible you need to also make sure that you are using a top-class and flexible benefits system so that they all get exactly what they like the most.

Maintain Customers

While containing costs is essential, maintaining your customer base is also crucial. So, when you’re deciding how to trim spending, make sure you don’t make cuts in areas that deliver real value to your customers. At the same time, watch your receivables. Make sure your customers’ accounts stay current.

You should really spend a bit of time on google and do some research if you want to learn how to open a mattress store. There are plenty of big box stores like Mattress Firm, and Sleep Number, but there are people in your local area that actually want to save money on a mattress.

Think Short Term

Plan purchases for the short term, keeping a minimum of cash tied up in inventory. At the same time, however, make sure you’ll be able to restock quickly. Your suppliers may be able to suggest ways you can cut costs (perhaps by using different materials or an alternative manufacturing process). See if you can negotiate better credit terms.

Plan for Contingencies

There’s a big difference between imagining that you might have to seriously scale back your business and having an action plan in place that you can quickly execute. To develop a realistic contingency plan, prepare a budget based on the impact you imagine an extended downturn would have on your business. Then outline the steps you would need to take to survive those conditions. For an added level of preparedness, draw up a second, “worst case scenario” budget and chart the cost-cutting steps you’d need to take to outlive those more dire circumstances.

Many businesses will survive these challenging economic times by being informed about their financial condition and by planning ahead to succeed. Connect with us, right now, for tax advice and business planning.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v

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