OffAssist

A Note from Candy

October 2014
Volume 12, Issue #1

Wow. October.

 

This month, business wise, I’m focusing on quarterly stuff. Getting those 941s filed with the IRS and getting internal financial statements to our clients. Then there is the chaos of my personal life. Kids, school, teacher hubby, auto repair, phone calls, appointments. It all adds up, doesn't it?

 

This month marks the 14th birthday for Jamie. I know, every year, I say I cannot believe how grown up my little man is. And it’s true. He’s tall, has a deep voice, broad shouldered and one of the sweetest kids in the world. I was looking back at really old photos from Jamie’s 5th birthday party and I was getting a little teary. It’s SO hard to imagine that that little boy is this grown young man now. I’m so proud of him. For those of you that don’t know Jamie, he’s an amazing individual (and yes, I am just a little biased). He’s always there with a smile and a hug, has the most amazing ability to make you laugh when you need it the most. He’s loyal and kind and just an all around great kid. I’m lucky to have him. Happy Birthday, Jamie!

 

Candy

 

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In this issue...

Article: 30 Ways to Thank Your Customer

Quickbooks Tip: Employee Tracking

Tax Deadlines: October 2014 - December 2014

Spotlight on Teamwork PM

Tech Talk: One Device: Many Uses – Business Use Edition.

Humor: Fun(ny) Site

30 Ways to Thank Your Customer

Yes, it’s only October and Thanksgiving is next month, but it’s never too early to start thinking about customer and staff appreciation.

 

By Joellyn Sargent

 

There's an Art to Customer Appreciation

 

Making customers feel appreciated can seem harder than it should be. We all want to express our thanks in ways that are unique and make clients feel special without busting our budgets.

 

Surprisingly, it doesn't take a big, flashy or expensive gift to show that you value loyal customers. As with any gift, the sincerity behind the effort is what matters most.

 

If you're looking for a few good way to say "Thank You" to your customers, here's a quick list of 30 ways to show your gratitude.

 

(Helpful hint: These are great for employee appreciation, and to thank your partners and colleagues!)

 

  1. Simply say "Thank you." Yes, it sounds easy, but how often do we forget these two little words of appreciation? You can't use them enough.

  2. Recognize key customers on your website.

  3. Mention them in a newsletter. Try a "customer spotlight" column.

  4. Showcase your customer's success in case study.

  5. Introduce them to someone they'll appreciate meeting, even if it has nothing to do with business.

  6. Invite them to an important event.

  7. Send a card with a personal note of appreciation.

  8. Deliver breakfast for their office. Healthy or not, that's up to you.

  9. Buy lunch, one-on-one, no interruptions.

  10. Host a free educational session for a group of clients on a topic of interest.

  11. Call just to see how things are going.

  12. Ask them to share their insights about your business and how you can serve them better.

  13. Support a cause you client believes in.

  14. Plant a tree in their honor.

  15. Treat them to an unforgettable experience. (A good one, of course!)

  16. Connect them with a new partner or prospect for their business.

  17. Listen. (Yep, just listen.)

  18. Invite them to come speak with your employees about their area of expertise.

  19. Offer to talk with their staff about topic where you can add value (maybe even do a free lunch & learn).

  20. Recommend a customer to speak at a conference.

  21. Use your connections to open doors for their kids.

  22. Sponsor their children's sports teams.

  23. Provide a reference or recommendation.

  24. Free goodies (anything from candy to coupons to swag is nice).

  25. Honor them with an award. Have fun and make it meaningful

  26. Nominate them for an award.

  27. Suggest them for a board position.

  28. Volunteer on a project, working side-by-side.

  29. Follow, tweet, retweet and generally promote via social media.

  30. Be present (wholly present) in every interaction.

About the author: As founder and principal of the Claravon Consulting Group, Joellyn 'Joey' Sargent provides the clarity, vision and insight that leaders need to create powerful momentum for growth. She helps executives align strategy, performance and customer experience, delivering breakthrough results.

Joey is a popular speaker and is regularly quoted in the media on strategy, leadership and branding. Joey blogs at JoeySargent.com. For more information, visit Claravon.com or call 678.823.8228.

Article Source:  EzineArticles.com

QuickBooks Tip - Employee Tracking

If you have employees you know how important it is to keep track of promotions and raises for each person.  QuickBooks has a way to track notes and to do’s.  Within the employee center each employee has a section at the bottom with Transactions, To Do’s and Notes.  The Transaction tab is the default and what you’ll see when you first log look at an employee.  The other tabs are very helpful.

 

To Do’s will allow you to track tasks that need to be done with dates.  For example, if an employee is due for a review in six months you can enter that information and it will show up on your to do list.  One downfall of QuickBooks To Do’s is that you have to manually run a report to see what is due.

 

Notes is another function that is very helpful.  When you want to track an event or note about an employee click on the notes tab and select add new under the manage notes tab.  It’s helpful to click the date/time stamp so that is noted then enter your note.  Notes are helpful for tracking position changes, rate changes, disciplinary actions and other items related to that employee.

 

These are some often overlooked but very helpful functions.

 

Tax Deadlines

10/31/2014

- 3rd Quarter Payroll Taxes Due

- Employer's Deposit Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) - if total due is more than $500 through Sept 30th.

- 3rd Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher - Form 720

 

11/17/2014

- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

 

12/16/2014

- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

- Corporations - 4th Quarter Estimate Due

 

12/31/2014

- Last Day to Open KEOGH account for 2014 deposits

 

Spotlight: Managing a Team

 

OffAssist isn’t just me anymore. As my team has grown, so has the number of projects we work on and the tasks that need to be assigned, tracked, and completed. I’ve gone through a lot of options over the last decade trying to find the right tool to manage my team without being overwhelmed by a complex system that does far more than a small business like mine needs.

 

Then I found Teamwork PM. I can’t say enough good things about their product, I really can’t. The user interface is simple, even for the less technically inclined members of my team, and I can manage multiple projects, even multiple businesses, from one master screen.

 

Check them out at https://www.teamwork.com/. And if you end up talking to Sam, tell him I said, “Hi!”

 

Tech Talk: One Device: Many Uses – Business Use Edition

Tom BeauchampBy Tom Beauchamp

One Device: Many Uses – Miscellaneous Edition
 

In the “Lord of the Rings” movies, there was “One Ring to Rule Them All.” I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve found that I have too many devices for very specific purposes. You can actually go buy “multipurpose” electronics or you can use the one that is already in your pocket: the Smartphone.
 

Here are three “new” tricks that you can easily teach your Smartphone:
 

1.) Panorama app: Once upon a time I took some panoramic pictures. I stopped when I got the bill. They looked awesome though! Now you can take panoramic pictures with your iPhone and Android phone with “Photosynth”. Yes, it is from Microsoft, but it is awesome and free!
 

2.) Important Documents on the Go: A lot of people now scan their important documents. But what if you need a copy of your last insurance statement or grocery receipt while on the go? Install the DropBox app and you can access any file you are storing in your DropBox from your phone.
 

3.) Remember things: Pictures, to-do lists, notes, business cards we’ve all got a lot of things to remember these days. While there are many apps out there to help you, www.evernote.com should be at the top of your list to check out!
 

The Smartphone really is a multi-purpose tool like no other. If I were stuck on a desert island, this would be my gadget of choice (as long as I could take a solar charger, of course!).

 

Tom Beauchamp is the marketing and tech expert behind OffAssist. He can be reached at tom@offassist.com.

Humor

Fun(ny) Site

We have the best clients here at OffAssist. No, really. Not everyone is as lucky as we are, if they were, this month’s hilarious website wouldn’t exist.  Check out Clients from Hell to see what we mean, and why we are thankful that you are all ~awesome~.

 

Have an article you'd like to write for our monthly newsletter or want to be spotlighted? Have a QuickBooks question or something you'd like to see in the Tech Tip? Email candy@offassist.com.

The OffAssist newsletter is made possible by the copywriting/editing skills of Ink Think VA, and the coding talents of Next Level Digital Solutions.

 

Ink Think       

 

 

This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. © 2014

Much of the advice in this newsletter is based upon the research, professional and personal experiences of the authors. If the reader has any questions concerning any material or procedure mentioned, the publisher and authors strongly suggest seeking the advice of a qualified CPA or other professional.