OffAssist

A Note from Candy

July,  2015
Volume 15, Issue #1

I didn’t check my email for seventeen days and, as a dear friend and client of mine pointed out, everything kept spinning even though I wasn’t there to spin it. I know that some of you that know me well think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Seventeen days! Ask my operations manager, Lanel. She’s the one that had to wade through the insanity that can be my inbox (Hopefully our clients were nice and kept it to a minimum LOL). When I came back, I had 21 emails waiting on me. Most of them were just information I needed to know.

 

It was humbling and freeing all at once. I guess you could take it different ways. Either badly that you really aren’t needed at every minute of every day. Or, like how I’ve decided, I’ve built things (with a lot of help and prodding over the past 10+ years from Lanel) so that I don’t have to know every single moving part of my business.

 

I guess I’m a reformed micromanager turned reformed information hound turned someone that can have a vacation with a little bit of peace. It was really nice and my family was super impressed, as was my team - Lanel told me before I left that she was betting there was NO WAY I’d not go into my email. I, literally, turned the sync OFF on all my devices so I never even saw it.

 

Everytime I start to step into an email thread to “help/not help” I’m reminded of a frustrated email that Lanel sent me a year or two ago that simply said “Stop trying to help, you asked me to handle it and I am, you’re making it more confusing, LET ME DO MY JOB.” I’m pretty sure she wised up and just took me off of the CC list from that point.

 

But yes, I will be doing this more often. It was definitely a much needed break. I came back with some longer term plans both for my personal and business life that I want to make a reality. Now, I just get to go make that happen!

 

For those considering an unplugged vacation ---- do it. It was SO very worth it.

 

PS: If you are a Harry Potter fan and have not been, you simply MUST find your way to Universal Orlando and see Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Make sure you go through the wall so you get “wow” effect when you look up and in front of you is…. Diagon Alley! I could have spent the two solid weeks just exploring those areas!

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In this issue...

Article: Tips for an Effective Online Business Strategy

Bookkeeping Tip: Open Windows List

Tax Deadlines: July 17, 2015 through August 17, 2015

Spotlight Movies in the Park

Tech Talk: Backing Up Data

Humor: Password Humor

Article: Tips for an Effective Online Business Strategy

by: Sumeet Khanna PhD

Always remain active online
There is a definite amount of involvement needed on your part being an online business proprietor. In case, you establish a website, you must be able to market it properly. Even otherwise you'll be unable to know your target market. A certain level of involvement is required in forums, answer bags and the social media. These types of activities definitely generate a buzz about your website and bring about traffic.

Conduct marketing of your business
Beginning an online business is one aspect; however marketing is another significant one. Deficient in marketing denotes a business without any potential customers, and this leads up augmenting your business expenses to a greater level. You can check online for the steps you necessitate to accomplish marketing of your website, such as content management, press releases, product description, blog submission, forum discussions and pay-per-click promotions.

I present ideas to empower companies to make evolutionary leaps in their go to market strategies and helps entrepreneurs catapult their small business into the 21st century by utilizing these business strategies on Fourquadrant. Many people are gazing for ways to increase their earnings through the Internet. The existing world economy has worried a lot of people as to how they will be able to cater their current requirements, and at the same time about funding their retirement. The Internet is hugely striking, since computers are available in almost every home and the prospect of earning money via the Internet is attracting the working class. There has been a great rush to accomplish business online, and you must know how to stay competitive and in front of the pack.

Identify your product
With the intention of staying ahead of the competition when it appears in online business, you must clearly identify your product. This engages getting systematically familiar with what you are going to market and how you will be able to persuade all the budding customers. An acquaintance of your products occasionally may also engross familiarity of the competitors' products.

Try to be exceptional
Due to the intense competition existing in the world of online business, there is no place for weakness or careless workmanship. Your business must be able to perform with a high degree of brilliance, ranging from the appearance of the product to customer service. You can ask for expert advice on facets such as presentation. This means that if you have to design a website it has to be expertly done by a specialized person. You have to go for a website design that is truly exceptional and make an attempt to do things like graphic design, presentations and everything related to the products or services offered. The website that looks poor and unethical ends up doing extensive harm than benefit.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sumeet_Khanna_PhD
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9024538

Bookkeeping Tip: Open Windows List

One of my favorite functions of QuickBooks (the desktop version) is the ability to switch between multiple modules. I prefer to see the windows I’m working in in full screen (edit: preferences: desktop view: one window) so any other open modules are hidden. That’s where the open window list comes in handy. To turn it on go to View: Open Window List, this will put the list of all modules you have open in the sidebar to easily click between them.

Tax Deadlines

7/15/2015 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month
7/31/2015 2nd Quarter Payroll Taxes Due
7/31/2015 Deposit FUTA tax if more than $500 was paid through June 30th
7/31/2015 Employer's Deposit Federal Unemployment (FUTA)
7/31/2015 Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500
7/31/2015 Employers File Annual Return for Employee Benefits Plan 5500-EZ
7/31/2015 Employers File request for Extension filing Employee Benefits Plan Return
7/31/2015 2nd Quarter Federal Excise Tax Return & Payment Voucher
8/17/2015 Employers Make Monthly Payroll tax deposit on the 15th of each month

 

 Spotlight: Movies in the Park


It’s summertime and even with the temperature rising, we want to enjoy being outside. Even though there aren’t any (or more than one or two) drive-in theaters any more, did you know you can still enjoy a movie outside?

Movies in the Park is a series of free films brought to you by the Austin Parks Foundation, and presented by the #1 movie theater in America, the Alamo Drafthouse. Each year, APF and the Drafthouse bring you totally free movies right in downtown Austin. Bring your dog, pack a picnic, and set up your lawn chair. Leave the alcoholic beverages, glass and styrofoam at home though because they are not permitted in the park.

How about having a movie in your own neighborhood park? Organize a movie night in your local park as a way to fundraise, celebrate holidays, or to just bring the neighborhood together. Austin Parks Foundation also partners with FunFlicks Outdoor Movies to bring you the Movies in a Box program. This program is available to current Park Adopter Groups and includes access to discounted rental rates with FunFlicks.

Info source: http://www.austinparks.org/moviesinthepark.html

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

 

Tech Talk: Backing Up Data

Tom BeauchampBy Tom Beauchamp

10 years ago if your computer died, you probably had someone try to fix it. These days, however, it is often faster and cheaper just to get a completely new machine. Of course, your data is still sitting there on the old, lifeless computer. Now you are back to hiring someone to recover your data.

Unless you had a backup plan from the beginning!

Plan 1: USB Drive Backup

If you don’t have a lot of data to backup, the USB thumb drive might be the best way for you to go. USB drives are small, cheap, and you can put it in your pocket when you leave the office for the day.

Plan 2: Network Drive Backup

If you have more data, or several computers, to backup then the Network Drive Backup would work well. There are two ways this can be set up. The first way is with a shared drive installed in a computer on your network. The second is with an external hard drive plugged into a router.

Plan 3: Off-site Internet Backup

You should always keep a copy of your backup off-site if possible. This way does it automatically. There are many different company that provide this service in different formats. Some services give you full access to your files wherever you are. Others will only let your upload and download backups.

No matter which of these or other backup methods you use, you will want always have 2 recent backups available: One on-site and one off-site.

Backup often and keep that backup safe! You never know when you are going to need it.

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

Humor: Password

One day a mom noticed that when her son was logging onto a favorite website he typed a very long password. She asked him what it was, and he replied, "MickeyMinnieGoofyPluto." She asked him why he would use such a password. "Because," he explained, "it says your password has to have at least four characters.

(Come on, you know you want to laugh!)

 

 

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 the coding talents of Next Level Digital Solutions.

 

This newsletter is published monthly by Candy Beauchamp of OffAssist. © 2015

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.