June

OffAssist

A Note from Candy

June,  2015
Volume 14, Issue #1

I’m going to do it. No, really! I am! I’m going on a family vacation and I’m NOT going to check my business email. I’m going to turn the sync off on my phone and tablet and log OUT of it on my laptop so I’m not tempted. One of the team members will be watching my email and forwarding anything they can’t handle to my personal account.

 

But if I’m being really honest with myself, I can’t think of a single thing that they can’t do without me. In some ways it makes me proud to think that I’ve managed to build this thing and make it so that I CAN take time away.. But, again being really honest, it’s also because my team has the confidence to tell me to butt out when I need to. It’s also humbling to realize that everyone is replaceable, ya know?

 

For the past 13 years, every time we take a vacation, I bring work with me. I think that my family deserves my full attention for two weeks. So, this time, I won’t be spending two hours on the phone in Epcot trying to untangle a mess. I won’t be skipping dinner out to run a payroll. I’ll be unwinding and enjoying two full weeks of disconnecting 100%.

 

Now, to just keep myself from peeking at my email…

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In this issue...

Article: 6 Strategies to Keep Customers Coming Back for More

Bookkeeping Tip: Customizing Icon Bar and Favorites Menu

Tax Deadlines: June 15, 2015 through July 15, 2015

Spotlight Amy's Ice Creams

Tech Talk: Editing Software

Humor: Fatherly Advice

Article: 6 Strategies to Keep Customers Coming Back for More

What is more important (or difficult) - Attracting new customers or not losing those that you already have? And that's exactly where most of the small business owners fail to make a cut. If you're serious about growing your business, you should always strive to fulfill your customers' requirements, enhance their experience and keep them coming back to use your products or services, over and over again.

If you're unable to build a loyal customer base, you won't be in business for long. Given below are six strategies you can use to retain customers for a longer period and continue growing your small business.>

#1. Listen

Listening can, in fact, be the best strategy for keeping existing customers. It's through listening that you'll know what your customers like, what they don't and what they are actually looking for. If you're unable to retain customers for a longer period, it might be the right time to start listening carefully.

#2. Make Your Customers Feel Special

What happens when you make someone feel special? It immediately creates an emotional attachment. If you run a small business, you should never miss an opportunity to make your customers feel you really care. You can send birthday wishes to your customers. You can wish them Happy New Year. You can wish them on other special occasions and festivals. Keep looking for more opportunities to connect on a personal level.

#3. Build a Sense of Community

The biggest benefit of building a community around your business is that it increases the ROI extensively. Definitely, there are hundreds of ways to advertise a service or business. But you'll never achieve a greater ROI than what you do through community building. When customers start to connect with one another as in a community, they'll be happy and continue to come back for more. And social media is definitely a powerful tool that you can use to build a community about your business.

In any case, you should never mistake community building for a marketing or advertising campaign. The community that you develop is, in fact, the lifeblood of your business.

#4. Think of Customers as Your Business Partners

Another important strategy for keeping customers happy is to think of them as your business partners, rather than someone who you're trying to sell a product or service and gain only short-term benefits. When you start looking to your customers as business partners, you will start to value them more. And that's where the magic will begin to happen!

#5. Enrich Your Customers' Life

You can never expect to retain customers or compel them to come back if you aren't able to make their life easier. While creating products or developing services, you should always have one goal in mind - solve your audience's day-to-day problems. This is certainly a time-tested strategy that doesn't only retain existing customers, but also brings in the new. Try to answer this - why does Apple have such a cult following?

#6. Stand Right Behind Your Products (or Services)

Before stepping into a relationship with your brand or small business, customers will want to make sure whether you'll stand by them when things go wrong. By standing right behind your work, you can quickly gain the trust of your customers and keep them returning.

There's really no point in attracting new customers for your business, if you will only ignore them later. If your existing customers continue to walk out the backdoor, you'll soon be out of business. It's time to take some serious action, focus on the customers that you have acquired already and make them happy.

What strategies are you using so that you don't lose your existing customers, one after another? Please feel free to share more tips and ideas.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Daisy_Graham_Jones"
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9053800

Bookkeeping Tip: Customizing Icon Bar and Favorites Menu

To customize which icons show up on your icon bar right click on the icon bar and click Customer Icon Bar.  You can add or remove the icons you’d like easy access to, you also have the option of changing the icon.

If you have a few things you do in QB often you can add them to your favorites menu for easy access.  First, make sure your favorites menu is viewable, if not go to View and check “Favorites Menu”.  To customize the favorites menu select Favorites: Customize Favorites and choose what options you want listed.

Just a few tips to make working in QuickBooks easier.

Tax Deadlines

6/15/2015

Individuals, Farmers & Fishermen Pay 2nd Quarter Estimated Tax Payment

6/15/2015

Corporations - 2nd Quarter Estimate Tax payment Due

6/15/2015

Estates & Trusts 2nd Estimated Tax Payment

6/15/2015

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

6/15/2015

US Taxpayers Overseas Individual Personal Returns due<

6/15/2015

US Taxpayers Overseas Claim Foreign Earned Income

6/15/2015

US Individuals Overseas Personal Return Extensions due

6/30/2013

File Form TDF 90-22.1 - Report of Foreign Banks with $10,000 anytime during year

7/15/2015

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

 

 Spotlight: Amy's Ice Cream

Can you feel the heat? It is definitely summertime in Texas!  One of the best ways to cool off in summer is to have a big heaping bowl of ice cream. While many Texans are mourning the temporary loss of Blue Bell, many others realize there are other ice cream choices. (I’m ducking from those die hard Blue Bell fans!) One of those choices is Amy’s Ice Cream in Austin. They bill themselves as “Home of the world famous Mexican Vanilla Ice Cream”.

Established in 1984 when, according to their website, Amy wrote a hot check to open her first location. Amy's handcrafts artisan super premium ice creams, dairy-free fruit ices and frozen yogurt. Apparently chancing a hot check paid off because Amy’s is now in three Texas cities: San Antonio, Houston, and has several locations in Austin. Their website tells their story with images and graphics so much better than we can tell it here. Be sure to check out their story, it is really quite entertaining.

They offer everything from baked goods, to gift baskets and catering. They even have some flavors of ice cream that have a little alcohol in them, a win for parents and kids alike! Stop by one of their many locations and cool off when you get the chance.

http://www.amysicecreams.com/

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: Editing Software

Tom BeauchampBy Tom Beauchamp

Every so often I found myself hearing that the reason people buy Apple computers is to be creative. “All of the good creative software is made for Apples.” While you can somewhat say this was true of graphic software somewhere prior to 2010, the truth is that nowadays it comes down to your hardware and your editing software of choice.

Add to that that the Apple hardware and software tends to be very pricey, a lot of would be artists feel left out in the cold.

So, for those folks, here is a list of free tools that let just about anyone explore their creative side:

Image Editor: GIMP -Primary uses: photo retouching, image composition, and image creation. www.sourceforge.net/projects/gimp-win

Video Editor: Window Movie Maker – Primary uses: trim videos, link videos with or without a transition, custom soundtrack, and file format conversion. If you run Windows, you probably already have it installed.

Sound Editor: Audacity –Primary uses: record, combine, cut, and edit audio files. www.sourceforge.net/projects/audacity

Music Creation: LMMS –Primary uses: creation of melodies and beats, synthesize and mix sound, and arrange samples. Lmms.io

And there are many, many more out there. These are just a few that I have used and found to be just as easy to use and feature rich as their commercial competition. Have a favorite piece of free creative software? Let me know and I’ll compile a full list later this year.

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

Humor: Fatherly Advice

A father is trying to get his teenage son to finish his homework.

He tells the boy, “When Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president, was your age, he had to study by candlelight.”

The boy replies, “Yeah, well, when he was your age he was president.”

 

 
 

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.