December 2012  
Real Bookkeeping. Virtual Assistance.
Volume 9 Issue 8   www.offassist.com

One for the record books

Who doesn’t reflect back on the year as the holiday season approaches? For me, 2012 has been all over the map, but generally pretty amazing. We’ve had our fair share of pitfalls and successes, but, overall, we are ending this year slightly better than we did last year. That’s what we all strive for, right?

On the business side, 2012 was a year of really learning to let go. I tell people all the time to delegate and play to their strengths, but I’m just enough of a control freak that I have trouble doing it myself. Not being able to make real decisions for months while recovering from my neck fusion surgery was really hard and forced me to let go. I literally had no choice in the matter. Thanks to our back up plan, and an amazing team that just jumped right in, most of our clients didn’t even notice a blip.

It was also a time of letting go of some personal issues. This year I reached a major goal in my life, one that I frankly thought might be completely unattainable: to lose weight. It has taken 18 months, but I’ve lost 200 pounds -- yes, you read that correctly-- and life is, well, amazing. I feel better than I have in years and am prepping for my 3rd race of the year -- despite the surgery and setbacks. That’s something I never could have imagined myself doing two years ago.

Of course, the biggest change, and the one I’m having the most trouble accepting, was becoming the mother of a middle schooler. A ~hottie~ middle schooler. Make. It. Stop.

This holiday season I’m celebrating the wonderful family and friends I have, the fabulous team we have here at OffAssist, and myself -- it’s been one wild ride!

Happy Holidays to you and yours from the OffAssist Team!

In this issue...


Monetize Your Business by Speaking: What You Need to Have Ready to Go for Any Opportunity
By Katrina Sawa

Speaking is one of the least expensive, most effective marketing strategies you can do in your business. If you’re already speaking then great, what I’m sharing in this article could be a good reminder for you.

If you are not speaking yet, then why not? Are you afraid of speaking or getting in front of an audience? Are you unsure of what to speak about or saying to yourself “who would care about what I have to say?”

Regardless of what you do in business you may want to consider speaking. Speaking allows you to be the expert in front of your prospects and peers. It gives you instant credibility and trust with the audience. And it speeds up the buying process when someone likes, trusts and is able to connect with you personally.

One of the biggest mistakes I see many speakers making, is that they are rarely ever prepared for speaking opportunities that may arise at any time.

Being prepared as a speaker will get you into more doors, position yourself as a professional to the people booking you to speak and it will allow you less stress and freedom to take advantage of all opportunities whenever they come up.

Here are a few things you want to make sure you have prepared:

  1. Professional speaker sheet - include your bio and/or introduction and your talk title and description at the very least. You can add references, additional talk descriptions and places you’ve spoken as well if you have.
  2. Professional head shot - easily downloadable from your website or sent via email
  3. One to five talk topics and descriptions - you can have more than one if it makes sense for your business however if you’re just starting out, start with one signature talk to make your life easier.
  4. Cover letter or email prewritten and ready to go - include all attachments and information someone would need to decide whether they want to book you as a speaker.
  5. (Optional) Page on your website talking about you as a speaker - include your talk titles, places you’ve spoken, possibly videos of you speaking and more information someone looking for a speaker could download easily on their own.

Choosing the right signature talk you’d think is the easy part, however it can be the most crucial part of this whole equation, especially if you want to monetize your talk and your time.

You need to prepare what you’ll talk on based on what action you ultimately want the audience to take with you. Do you want them to sign up for your free newsletter? Buy your book or product? Register for your event or next program?

It’s important that you reverse engineer your talk based on what you want the audience to buy or sign up for. This is crucial and another big mistake I see many speakers making. They give a great talk then tag on a pitch to sell something totally different to the end and it feels like a sales pitch. Not good.

About The Author: Katrina Sawa is known as The JumpStart Your Biz Coach because she literally kicks her clients and their businesses into high gear. She works with motivated entrepreneurs who want to start, grow and market their business the right way from the start using online and offline marketing strategies. Get her Free Entrepreneur’s Success Kit and 2 other Free Business-Building Gifts online at www.JumpStartYourMarketing.com/gifts!

Bookkeeping Tip

Chart of Accounts

This is the time of year that new businesses may be deciding on how to set up their QB file and established businesses might be looking to make a change. When starting your business or opening a new QB file, choose the best available pre-loaded chart of accounts. When prompted for your industry, click on "help me choose". QB 2013 has over 30 chart of accounts to choose from and you can see the accounts in it when you select an industry. Remember that you can add or delete accounts afterwards to customize it to the way you want it to look. There's no need to start from scratch.

Note: Check with your accounting professional before doing this to be sure that's how they'd like it done. YMMV!

Susan Kovalesky is the owner of Balanced Bookkeeping Solutions and is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, a certification updated annually. She is also a team member of OffAssist. Follow her on Facebook.

 
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Tax Deadlines

December 17
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
- Corporations - 4th Quarter Estimate Due

December 31
- Last Day to Open KEOGH account for 2012 deposits

January 15
- Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 4th Quarter Estimated Tax Payment
- Estates & Trusts 4th Estimated Tax Payment
- Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

January 31
- File Form 2290 - Heavy Highway Vehicles
- Furnish W-2s recipients
- Furnish 1099 MISC to recipients
- Furnish 1099 Interest to recipients
- Furnish 1099 Dividends to recipients
- 4th Quarter Payroll Reports
- File Employers Annual Payroll Reports
- File Annual Payroll for Agricultural employees
- 4th Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher

Tech Talk With Tom...

Wherever you go, you're online
By Tom Beauchamp

You can be online at your favorite restaurant. You can browse the web in line at the grocery store. Your kids can even play multiplayer games while at the park. An old saying goes, “Wherever you go, there you are.” These days it might as well say, “Wherever you go, you’re online.”

And if you are online, you are using your data plan. Which if you go over your allotted GBs can mean unexpected charges on your next phone bill. Luckily, both Android and iPhone provide easy ways to check where you stand when it comes to your data usage.

Android users:

Go to Applications and tap “Settings”.

Then, tap “Data Usage”.

You will see a nifty graph as well as details on just where you have used your data and whether it was incoming (downloading apps or websites) or outgoing (uploading messages, pictures, or files). You can set warnings, limits, and also turn off applications access to your data plan.

iPhone users:

Go to your settings app scroll down to “General” and click “Usage”.

You will see your usage since you got your phone. You can tap “Reset Statistics” and check back in a week to give yourself a good estimate of what your data usage is like.

Also, there are several data usage trackers available from the Apple App Store. You’ll have to check them out, but several offer the same level of information as available on the Android OS.

Users that still have unlimited data plans rejoice! This tech tip is not for you. The rest of us will have to make do with watching what we download and paying for the extra GBs if we just have to have the latest Angry Pigeons IV: Green Eggs and Spam.

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

Spotlight On...

Spotlight: Katrina Sawa, The JumpStart Your Biz Coach

Katrina Sawa is known as The JumpStart Your Biz Coach because she literally kicks her clients and their businesses into high gear. She works with highly motivated women entrepreneurs who want to maximize and fast-track their business to make more money and enjoy more free time...NOW, not later.

Katrina teaches her clients to uses online and offline relationship marketing systems & strategies to leverage their existing resources, contacts and expertise. After founding her business in 2002, Kat was quickly dubbed, "The Networking Queen," by her peers and clients.

Katrina has her B.S. in Business, Marketing Concentration, from California State University, Sacramento. She's the author of Love Yourself Successful and she's been featured in three other entrepreneur-related compilation books as well as being featured on the Law of Attraction Radio Show on the Oprah and Friends Network.

You can find out more about how Kat kicks butt at JumpStartYourMarketing.com. You can also check out Kat's blog for articles, videos and more, or listen to her bi-weekly radio show, "Jumpstart Your Business NOW," on BlogTalk Radio.

Have you nursed a secret longing to be in the spotlight, center-stage, all eyes on you?

If you would like to be featured in the OffAssist spotlight column, and have not been featured in the past twelve months, contact Patty@OffAssist.com and we'll see if we can put you in the limelight.

Fine print: We do reserve the right not to feature anyone and a request is not a guarantee that you will make it into the newsletter. Also, if your news, announcement, etc. is time sensitive or tied to a specific date, please let Patty know in your email.

Humor

The Secret of His Success

After the presentation dinner a reporter cornered the winner of this year’s “Businessman of the Year” award. “Sir,” the reported asked, “To what do you owe your success?” The award winner smiled and said, “Five things contributed to my success” and he ticked them off on his fingers as he spoke:

  1. First, I alway treat people fairly.
  2. Second, I always offer a fair price.
  3. Third, I am always honest.
  4. Fourth, I am always generous to my employees.
  5. And fifth, my Great-Aunt Agatha died a few years back and left me two and a half million dollars.

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.

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