Living in My Dream House

So I’ve been living in my dream house for the last 13 years.  So I’ve gotten some useful wear out of it.  I’ve hosted lots of parties for kids and adults alike but now with my kids gone it seems a little big for 2 people and there are months that go by the I don’t even see parts of the house.

Keeping it clean is a major challenge.  It could be a full time job just to dust, vacuum, and clean toilets in rooms I don’t even go into.  So I’ve considered down sizing and maybe even moving to a warmer climate.  My dream house in Sandy, UT is only 15 minutes from Snowbird so you can imagine that winters can be harsh, but this last winter of 2012 did me in.  It was cold — really cold the entire winter and even with my trusty giant snowblower winter just seems to have lost its sizzle for me.

So for the last 3 days we’ve been painting to spruce things up a bit.  Today I painted the hallway in the upstairs.  Sure I could have hired it out and now after having done the work I may wish I had in the days to come when I find out which muscles I haven’t been using lately but I do find satisfaction in manual labor and I like to consider myself somewhat of a DIY (Do it Yourself) kind of guy.  2 days before today my wife and I painted our stair railings and I can definitely say that we should have hired that one out.  We did a two tone black and gray and it took twice as long as we anticipated but we do have the satisfaction of having done something ourselves and it is smokin’ hot!  We do excellent work!

We haven’t fully committed to moving just yet but anything we do in the mean time will make us happy we live here and there is something to that.

I may have to share some photos of my dream house, because it is after all, the dream house for the solopreneur.

 

Posted in Go Solo

How Long Do I Keep Tax Records?

Business Record Guidelines   

Employee earnings

Maintain for a minimum of four years, to meet various state and federal requirements.

Employee
time cards

Keep for at least three years if your business is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (engaged in interstate commerce); although it’s a good practice for all businesses to keep the files for several years in case questions arise.

Personnel records

Retain three years after an employee has been terminated.

Employment tax records

Keep four years from the date the tax was due, or the date it was paid — whichever is longer.

Employee business expenses

For travel and transportation expenses supported by mileage logs and other receipts, keep supporting documents for the three-year statute of limitations period.

Sales tax returns

State regulations vary. For example, New York generally requires sales tax records to be retained for three years, while California requires four years, and Arkansas, six. Check with your tax adviser for the required record retention period for returns and supporting documents.

Business property

Records used to substantiate the cost and deductions (such as depreciation, amortization and depletion) associated with business property must be maintained to determine the basis and gain (or loss) on the sale. Keep these for as long as you own the asset, plus seven years, according to IRS guidelines.

Posted in Coaching, Solopreneur Skillset

FTC Boss Exiting – Can’t Wait!

You need to read this article if your business uses direct response for customer acquisition.

http://blog.avalanchecreative.tv/2012/10/17/best-news-for-drtv-ftc-boss-exiting/

I couldn’t agree more.

Posted in Lead Generation, Marketing Online, Traffic Generation

GoDaddy Shows How to Best Recover From a Crisis

Barry Moltz, Barry Moltz

CEO Scott Wagner sent an e-mail to each customer with a formal apology. Using Wagner’s own words, here are the seven steps every company should take to apologize to their customers as a result of a crisis:

1. Admit wrongdoing. “We owe you a big apology for the intermittent service outages we experienced on September 10 that may have impacted your Website, your e-mail and other Go Daddy services.” In this litigious world, it is never easy to admit when your company is wrong. This first step goes a long way with customers who value a company that actually takes responsibility.

2. Let them know this is serious. “We let you down and we know it. We take our responsibilities—and the trust you place in us—very seriously. I cannot express how sorry I am to those of you who were inconvenienced.” Customers rarely receive an apology by any company. This will immediately set your company apart from the competition.

3Explain why it happened. “The service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables. Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and GoDaddy.com. We have implemented a series of immediate measures to fix the problem.” Customers want to know details on exactly what happened. It helps them actually empathize with your company and accept the outcome.

4. Reassure the customer. “At no time was any sensitive customer information, including credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised.” This is what the customer really wants to know; was there a security breach and is there any permanent damage to their account?

5. Repeat your track record and commitment to learning from the crisis. “Throughout our history, we have provided 99.999% uptime in our DNS infrastructure. This is the level of performance we expect from ourselves. Monday, we fell short of these expectations. We have learned from this event and will use it to drive improvement in our services.” Show the customer that this is an isolated incident based on past history and how it will never ever happen again.

6. Give them financial remuneration. “As a result of this disruption, your account will be credited for the value of 1-month of service for each of your active/published sites. This credit will be available to you for the next 7 days. Please click the button below to redeem your credit.” Every customer loves a refund because it shows that the company is seriously taking responsibility. This cost of keeping that customer is much smaller than acquiring a new one.

7. Do not sweep it under the rug. “It’s an honor to serve you. Thank you for the opportunity to re-earn your business and trust.” Don’t assume that your apology makes it “all better” and let’s get back to business. Tell the customer that you know it will take time to re-earn their trust.

Posted in Marketing Online, Solopreneur Skillset

Direct Response Payment Analysis





I don’t know about you, but this data is very revealing.  It appears that US locations that have limited access to shopping locally are willing to spend more in Direct Response purchases.  What do you think?

Posted in Marketing Online, Trends