Successful Coeur d’Alene Idaho business negotiations can take a great deal of time, often spanning more than one meeting or even more than a few weeks or months depending on what is being sold and at what value.
Consequently, understand that the true value of the sale is not in the immediate value off what is on the table presently, but in the value the customer represents over a lifetime of loyalty to your CDA Idaho business and brand. Selling a car for $25,000 today is great but taking the time to build a strong relationship with your customers that can result in selling ten $25,000 cars over a lifetime is ten times more valuable. Likewise, do not rush prospects to make a decision if you see that they require time to do so. Not everyone is comfortable or used to making buying decisions on the spot; some need time away to collect their thoughts and rationalize or justify the purchase and you must give these people that space.
In the end if you have done your job properly and stay in contact with “slow deciders,” the majority will eventually go ahead with the deal.
Accountants supply information to people both inside and outside the Coeur d’Alene Idaho business by issuing formal reports that are called financial statements.
The financial statements are usually issue at least once a year. In many cases they are issued quarterly or more often where necessary. A set of rules, called General Accepted Accounting Principles GAAP, govern the preparation of the financial statements. GAAP has been defined as a set of objectives, conventions, and principles to govern the preparation and presentation of financial statements. These rules can be found in volumes of documents issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants AICPA, the Financial Accounting Standards Board FASB, the Internal Revenue Service IRS, and the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC.
The basic financial statements include:
- Balance sheet
- Income statement
- Statement of cash flows
- Statement of retained earnings
The best way to track the effectiveness of your CDA Idaho business marketing activities is to simply ask your customers how they heard about your business. Create a simple form like the one shown on the next page, listing all the marketing methods you are currently using to promote and market your shop such as print ads, radio or television ads, direct marketing, coupons, referral, drive past, and any other types of marketing you use. Print numerous copies of the form and keep them beside telephones and the cash register so they can be completed quickly and conveniently.
You will find that the clear majority of customers you ask will not mind telling you how they heard about your Coeur d’Alene Idaho business, in fact most will likely be impressed that you care enough to ask. Also make sure that all staff get a quick rundown in the theory behind the new practice, that they fully understand the importance of asking customers how they heard about your business, and that the forms are completed accurately.
Tabulate the results monthly and use the results to increase the marketing activities that work and drop marketing activities that are not working and therefore are not cost efficient. This is a really simple marketing trick that can pay off large so be sure to create “How did you hear about us?” forms and put them to work for your shop today. On the next page is a sample form that you can use.
Additionally, ask for specific information such as the name of the person who may have recommended your Coeur d’Alene business (so you can thank him), and the newspaper they saw the ad in if you’re running more than one display advertisement at any one time. Once you and your staff are in the habit of asking, you’d be amazed at how quickly the form can be completed and even more amazed by the results this simple exercise can have on bottom-line profits.
Profit from the Coeur d’Alene Idaho business cards and personal information you collect while networking by developing a contact list so that you can stay in touch with your new prospects by sending them your newsletter, a special offer, or your monthly e-zine if you publish one.
Build your Idaho company contact list using customer and prospect management software, such as Maximizer. One of the most valuable mailing and contact lists that you can use for direct-marketing purposes is the one that you have personally created, a compilation of names of the people you have personally been contact with, a putting a face to the message approach This is called a house list and can be considered one of your most valuable business assets. Additionally, the first time you mail to a new prospect make sure that you include where you met and the fact that it was a pleasure to meet, and you enjoyed the conversation you shared.
Being a portable advertisement for your Coeur d’Alene business simply means that you are walking and talking example of what your business does and sells. So finely tuned and defined is your ability at being a portable advertisement hat in less than 30 seconds you can explain what you do and how people benefit because of it.
And most important, the people you speak to instantly understand your advertisement and associate you with your Idaho business and the goods and services you provide. Additionally, as a portable advertisement for your CDA Idaho business you are always ready and armed with information, promotional items, business cards, samples, and just about anything else that is related to your business and that promotes it in such a way as to invite new business.
How many times have you been engaged in conversation and asked for a business card only to watch the other person flounder helplessly for one and come up red-faced and out of luck? Often, I am sure, but don’t let this happen to you. Instead become a walking, talking, and well-armed advertisement for your business and people will remember you and refer you to others because of the extra effort you put forth to promote your Coeur d’Alene company, products, or services.
A loss on your Idaho business tax return is by no means a sure cause for audit. It is not uncommon for new businesses to show a loss the first year or two, with high business startup costs and early, slow business.
A warning however, to people who manage to show a business loss year after year: if you do not show a profit for at least three out of five consecutive years, the IRS, if it audits you, might rule that your Idaho business is not really a business, but a hobby. The IRS treats any income from a hobby as taxable income, but losses are not deductible. By contrast a business loss is deductible. (I you breed, train, race, or show horses, the IRS hobby loss test is two out of seven years instead of three out of five.)
The hobby loses rule is not a firm rule. An Idaho business can deduct losses for several years in a row without ever being challenged by the IRS. In the event of an audit, the IRS will allow the ongoing losses if they are convinced that you are operating a real business and trying, though unsuccessfully, to make a profit. The key issue is intent. What are you really doing? Trying to earn some money, or just having fun? It will help if your Idaho business looks like a real business with income and expense records, bank account, business cards and if you’re devoting to it in a businesslike manner.
An Idaho business EIN, standing for employer identification number, is also known as a federal tax identification number. This number is designed to help the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identify your CDA business as an operating entity within the United States. If you apply for an EIN number, it also enables business owners to conduct tax-related actions that would otherwise need a social security number.
You will need to register for an EIN in Idaho if:
- You have Idaho employees
- You operate your business in Idaho as a partnership or firm
- You file Idaho excise, alcohol, tobacco, employment, or firearms tax returns
- You withhold taxes on revenue in Idaho
- You are involved with an Idaho trust, IRA, estate, non-profit, real estate mortgage investment conduit, farmers’ cooperative, or plan administrator program
- You incorporate your business in Idaho
- You receive an Idaho company that you run as a sole proprietorship
Another reason you may want to obtain an EIN in Idaho is for privacy. If working with customers that need your social security number for payment and tax related issues, an EIN number will take its place and protect your identity from theft.
No. All profits, wages, or draws, must include self-employment taxes of 15.3% per the Idaho LLC laws. Unfortunately, Coeur d’Alene Idaho LLC owners are unable to deduct these expenses from the business and get stuck paying all payroll taxes out of pocket. An Idaho LLC is the least preferred by higher income earners.
Idaho C or S-Corporation Elections: While your taxes will change, the facts, ownership, and management structure will not.
Under the Table Payments
Paying an Idaho worker “under the table” (off the books) means that the worker is not on the payroll as an employee, payment is usually in cash, and no record is made of the payment. This is usually done to avoid payroll taxes and the expenses of workers’ compensation insurance, or to hire undocumented worker (non-US citizens), both of which are illegal and can get you in more trouble that its worth.
If the worker is supposed to be an employee, not only can you get in the same trouble as the independent contractor problems, you have no defense whatsoever when you are mislabeling employees as independent contractors, you can argue the issue and possibly minimize penalties.
If your “under the table” worker doesn’t file taxes, that’s fraud, and you could well be implicated. Again, an injury on the job could be disastrous. On top of all this misery, since you don’t record the payment, you lose the expense deduction and pay more income taxes.
As you know, one potential Coeur d’Alene Idaho business tax reduction strategy is to hire independent contractors instead of employees. If a worker’s classification fits within the tax law, it’s a legitimate strategy that can save your Idaho business thousands of dollars.
Sometimes the classification isn’t clear-cut.
You may think you have the independent contractor classification correct, but when the IRS does the audit, you learn that those contractors are W-2 employees. This can cost you a huge sum of money in back payroll taxes in Idaho.
The law requires that you withhold taxes on the wages that you pay to your employees. If you don’t, you are liable for the withholding and FICA (i.e., Social Security and Medicare) taxes that you neglected to remit to the IRS.
Thus, if the IRS reclassifies your independent contractors as W-2 employees, you are on the hook for the taxes you should have taken from the paychecks.
However, you have a way out of a big chunk of this potential tax bill: if you can show the worker paid the taxes, then you aren’t liable for them. This rule prevents the taxes from being double-paid. For this favorable treatment, which is on a worker-by-worker basis, you need the worker to sign IRS Form 4669, Statement of Payments Received.
Of course, your first step should be to make sure that you classify your workers correctly using the law as your guide. You don’t want an IRS employee classification audit and the headaches that come with it. Get your Idaho business prepared properly by making all Idaho 1099 independent contractors sign form 4669.