November 2008  
All of your business needs. One easy solution.
Volume 5 Issue 11   www.offassist.com
Thankful for Fall

Fall has finally arrived here in central Texas and with it some cooler air! This month, I'm giving thanks that the unusually hot Summer we've had this year is finally coming to an end.

September marked the six and a half year anniversary (hey, when you're small you celebrate every milestone you pass!) of OffAssist. All I can say is, "Wow!" I am constantly amazed by everything we have accomplished with this business.

November is when we celebrate Thanksgiving in America. With that in mind, I want to say a big, hearty, "Thank YOU!" to everyone who helps make OffAssist a success, our clients, our team, our vendors and our colleagues. Of course, I know we owe the biggest debt of gratitude to our families, both my family and the families of our team members. These are the people who stand beside us and pick up the slack when things get crazy.

Happy Autumn all!

In this issue...

This month's spotlight subject was someone we ran across on Twitter who is effectively marketing their business that way. Several more of our upcoming spotlights will feature people we met while Tweeting about life, bookkeeping, and OffAssist. Social media seemed an appropriate article topic, under the circumstances.

Social Media Power
by Will Paccione

Obviously, the Internet is constantly evolving. The difference now is that the Internet is no longer a one way conversation. You don't need to have a business website to have a voice online anymore. Like Chuck D. said, "Power to the People!"

As users, we can now get what we want, when we want it.

Check out these stats:
  • More than 1 in 8 viewers make a purchase after watching a video ad online - eMarketer
  • Facebook has 150,000 new users sign up every single day - Time Magazine
  • As of October 2006, about 100,000 new Blogs were created every day - Technorati
  • In January 2008 alone, nearly 79 million users watched over 3 billion videos on YouTube - CNN
Hubspot calls the old way of marketing Interruption Marketing - where sales people interrupt whatever you're doing. It just doesn't work anymore. Case in point:
  • TV commercials - I have a DVR
  • Radio commercials - I have Sirius (Howard!)
  • Telemarketers - Do Not Call list, you bet I'm on it.
Today, we have the ability to follow what we want. We have RSS feeds of our favorite blogs, our favorite professional connections on LinkedIn, our friends on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

When I hear a salesperson say "If I could show you a way to [insert their company's service] would you get started today?" Are they serious? If I hear that, even if they're selling World Peace with Hostess Cupcakes, they won't get my business.

I choose to do business with people I've connected with. People that aren't scared to give me some useful information from their line of work like Blogs, Q&A's or email newsletters. Their confidence that I'll come back is actually what brings me back.

How do you get involved in Social Media Networking as a business?

Use sites like Facebook or LinkedIn (see Guy Kawasaki's 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn). Become part of the community helping people, by answering their questions and giving advice. Be their Go-To-Person in your profession. Upload some interesting and informative company videos to YouTube.

Do all of this and you're credibility will skyrocket.

Will Paccione - www.WSINetSpecialists.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com


Humor
In celebration of the season, a fine array of Thanksgiving jokes, mostly provided by the kids of our OA Team.

Why do turkeys go, "gobble, gobble, gobble?" Because they never learned good table manners!

What happened when the turkey got in a fight? He got the stuffing knocked out of him!

Why did the turkey cross the road? It was the chicken's day off!

What's the best dance to do on Thanksgiving? The turkey trot!
 
 
Tax Deadlines
November 15 - Texas Franchise Tax return final due date (if extension filed 5/15)

November 15 - IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for October issued payroll

November 20 - Sales & Use Tax Return due for monthly filers

December 15 - IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for November issued payroll

December 20 - Sales & Use Tax Return due for monthly filers
Tech Talk With Tom...
Tom is hitting the final stages of his degree program right now, so this month, I'm talking Tech. Since I'm not a techno kinda girl, I'm going to do what I DO know how to do: Research.

Most businesses are still running on Windows XP - if you are one of our many open source friends, forgive me, but this article is for everyone else :-) Being a Microsoft product, Windows frequently runs slower than a three-legged turtle. I tracked down a spiffy article on the Tech Republic blog that talks about ways to speed up XP. It is a bit technical, but it has lots of pictures, and even a video, with a lot of good info to help even neophyte techs get their systems back up to speed.

Enjoy y'all! Tom should be back in December.
- Dy Larson, OA News editor

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

We heard about this month's spotlight business, AddsYou.com, on Twitter. They have been successfully parlaying social media savvy on sites like Twitter and Facebook into a lot of pre-launch buzz. What's the buzz about?

AddsYou.com is scheduled for a preliminary, invite-only launch in this month. When asked what they do, AddsYou.com, Inc. President Sean Callahan says, "a network that could bring writers (authors, bloggers, journalist, and ordinary people) together to publish and share knowledge to the masses and help them increase their exposure and visibility both on and offline in addition to rewarding them for their contribution."

Sounds pretty interesting, but how will they be different from any other content or article/knowledgebase site? The answer seems to be marketing. Callahan says, "marketing and making our members' content available on and offline through a variety of distribution channels we've solidified gives them the opportunity to be discovered and fully monetize their content."

One of the most interesting things about AddsYou is that they are not planning to be just another article/information site. Their model includes artistic content as well, things like short stories and poetry as well as information pieces.

AddsYou doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. For a business that is created alot of its buzz via social media that's surprising. When asked about the name, Sean says, "the logic behind what we do is the site adds “you”, the writer, not only to the Internet, but to a variety of distribution channels..."

If you are looking for a good outlet for your writing, whether its an article showing off your expertise or the poetry you don't normally tell people you write, check them out at www.addsyou.com.
 
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 Candy@OffAssist.com and we'll see if we can put you in the limelight.

QuickBooks Tip
Quickie QB Question

Q: I received a credit for a bill I already paid. How do I enter the credit?

A: This is actually very easy to handle. Go to the Vendors menu and click Enter Bills. At the top of the Enter Bills window, click Credit. Enter the vendor's name and the amount of the credit. In the detail area, enter the expense accounts, customers, jobs or classes to which you want to assign the credit (it should be the same as the original invoice paid). Save the credit.

This will create a negative balance in your AP for that vendor, which can be applied to either a refund check or your next payment to that vendor.
 
Do YOU have a QuickBooks question OffAssist can help with? Email it to dyanna@offassist.com and we might just include it in a future newsletter!

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 VA Lab Designs.