Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A professional touch is crucial: Proper Interaction

          Sometimes it’s easy to forget how important your interaction with others can affect outcomes.  How you engage yourself can play a deciding factor whether or not you close a deal with a new client, or completing a partnership agreement necessary to carry your business forward.  Displaying your level of interest will help provide trust and respect for whom you’re interacting with.  Here are a few helpful tips and reminders to boost your competitive advantage.

        Dress the part:
It doesn’t hurt to show that you care what the other person thinks of you.  Dress appropriately and create a good appearance.  A good rule of thumb; less is more.  Keep your look simple and classic.  Remove facial and body piercings, cover visible tattoos, and keep fragrances, makeup and jewelry to a minimum.  You don’t want to attract negative attention to yourself.

       Greeting and acknowledging others:
When extending a simple greeting, make sure you pay attention when getting their name.  Use their name when possible throughout the conversation while making good eye contact.  This lets your acquaintance know you’re engaged, and your time at the moment is dedicated to them.  If you’re meeting someone for the first time, make sure you give a firm handshake.  You may have heard this a hundred times but people still seem to give the “power grip” or the “floppy fish handshake.”  Don’t let something so simple kill your first impression. 
       Cell phones during meetings and conversations:
Put the cell phone away!  Technology is a great and powerful thing that keeps us moving and can be difficult to put down.  However it’s very important you show proper respect of someone’s time and effort to be involved with your interactions.  Have you ever had someone checking their blackberry, or sending a text message while you tried to talk to them about something important?  You get the impression that they’re just not that interested and it can be very frustrating.  If it’s a situation that can’t be avoided, kindly excuse yourself for the moment or let whoever know you’re expecting a critical call or message. 
Keep these suggestions in the back of your mind next time you meet with someone. Small details can be the final ingredient to huge success!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A professional touch is crucial: First Impressions

In today’s world you have to keep a competitive edge.  Knowing the how to’s and importance of being professional can really give you that advantage.  One important way to show that your business is highly respectable is to have a great looking and functional website.  Yes, most everyone by now knows the importance of having a website; however they don’t realize how big of a factor the appearance of that site is. In the world we live in, people often check out your website before they come to you in person.  We all know how important first impressions are right?  So if they don’t like what they see from their web visit, they’re likely to keep looking elsewhere for the same service.  I’m not saying you have to spend a ton of money for super showy flash features.  You want a clean, fresh, and modern look that functions well, while getting your information across. However, there is certainly nothing wrong with making it socially interactive.  People like to stay connected, and have everything they do be connected.  You can visit help links such as http://developers.facebook.com/, from various social media sites to learn how to integrate social media plugins to your webpage.  No matter how you want to make your site engaging and unique, remember to keep a neat professional look to it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Identity Theft


           Identity theft can be extremely costly and have a detrimental impact on your life.  There are nearly ten million victims each year, and out of these, 85% discover the problem too late.  The average victim could lose up to $6,383.  This isn’t an easy fix either.  The impact of falling victim to identity theft could last up to ten years!     
            This crime can be committed by stealing any of the following: Name and address, social security number, credit card number, bank account numbers and PINs, driver’s license number, and mother’s maiden name.  These items are most commonly stolen by someone stealing purses, wallets, and mail, as well as simply dumpster diving. 
Things you can do to protect yourself from this crime include:
  • Guard your personal information
    •   Limit what you carry in your wallet.  You should also shred disposable items containing personal information such as credit card offers and bank statement.
  • Control incoming and outgoing mail
    •    Use official U.S Postal Service offices and collection boxes, pick up your mail promptly, pay attention to billing cycles, and place mail on hold when you’re away.
  • Protect passwords
    •  Avoid easily accessed information and memorize your PINs and passwords.  Make sure you do not use common information for your passwords or PINs.  Ex: birthday, address, initials, etc.
  •  Be aware of online threats
    • Review your emails carefully, make sure your using a secured website when shopping, and password protect your computer.
  • Do not provide secure information over the phone
  • Order credit reports
    •   There are three major agencies that will give you a free report once every year.
  • Consider an ID theft protection service
    • These can be provided for a low monthly fee, give you peace of mind, and help prevent the issue before it happens.

If you become a victim you need to immediately file a report with the police, contact your local bank, and the three major credit bureaus.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New IRS Worker Reclassification Program

At the end of September, the IRS announced a new voluntary disclosure for companies with misclassified workers. Workers are frequently misclassified for a variety of reasons, either intentionally to save costs, or simply because there was a lack of knowledge. 
The IRS’ Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) provides an opportunity for employers to reclassify their workers as employees for future tax periods with partial relief from federal employment taxes.  The VCSP is available to employers who are currently classifying their workers as independent contractors or other nonemployees and want to correct the classification voluntarily.
To be eligible for the program, the employer must have consistently treated the workers as nonemployees, and must have filed all required 1099 forms on the workers that need to be reclassified.  Additionally, the company cannot be involved in any current audit by the IRS, Department of Labor, or by a state government agency. If the IRS or the Department of Labor has previously audited the business concerning the classification of the workers, they will be eligible only if the employer has complied with the results of that audit. Exempt organizations and Government entities may participate in VCSP if they meet all of the eligibility requirements.
If you are questioning whether or not your employees are classified correctly, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.