Entrepreneur Series – Lesson 7 – Milking The Business

Before I opened up my own business, I spent over 10 years at a very high level of senior management for a Fortune 500 corporation. While I garnered a ton of personal and professional growth over the years, nothing can still really prepare you 100% for …

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Can You Pay 0% Capital Gains Tax?

Most of us have heard through the major media outlets how tax law changes will adversely affect our overall income taxes here in 2013. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that when your expenses consistently exceed your revenue, cost cutting alone won’t improve your bottom line. This means that raising various types of taxes will definitely be one strategy to increase revenue in order to pay off the massive U.S. debt. The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012 was passed by Congress on January 1st, 2013 and was only a partial resolution to the fiscal cliff; just wait until fiscal cliff part II which will look more like ‘Hangover Part II’, Mike Tyson tattoo and all. While the ATRA did impose more taxes on the upper end of the scale and raised capital gains taxes on the very upper end of the income brackets, there is a unique opportunity for many Americans to look at their overall portfolio and potentially pay 0% in capital gains tax here…

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5 Ways To Cut Down Your Cell Phone Bill

Many of the clients I sit down with tell me how their basic bills continue to rise year over year.   Two of the main monthly costs that keep going up and up for many families …

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When Are Companies Going To Learn To Just Shoot Straight?

I’m excited that 2012 is here and consumers are starting to realize that they can win the money battle when they know something is just flat out wrong with a new offering from their provider.    …

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2010 Mileage Rates!

As each year changes, so do the deductions we can take every year as it relates to mileage with business, charitable, and medical mileage. I often find that people I …

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Top 5 Ways to Help Someone Who Is Unemployed

With the unemployment rate continue to hover above 10%, everyone is feeling a little pinch in the wallet. If you know someone who is currently unemployed, here are some ideas on how you could …

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So you wanted to have a child?

Over the last few months, I have noticed an interesting pattern happening among newly married couples. These are the young early 30’s couples who spend their 20’s growing their incomes, dining and entertaining like it was going out of style, and most importantly getting the American Dream (at least in their head) of having a $500,000 home with all of the toppings. These couples seemingly had nothing that could stand in their way of financial success.

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Health Insurance- Where are we headed?

There has been a ton of press over the past few months regarding health insurance. Democrats slamming Republicans, and Republicans slamming back Democrats.

I too have a political party. The party of the small business owner. We take all of our cash, put a business plan together, and work 70 to 80 hours per week creating the dream of building something that will live beyond our lifetime. However, with all that has gone on over the past year, where is the small business owner to turn when the policies from Washington, D.C. come to fruition.

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10 Ways to Save – Ideas for saving thousands in restauranteur operations costs.

10 Ways to Save

Ideas for saving thousands in operations costs.
QSR tapped the best minds in the business to come up with a realistic list of ways operators could save thousands of dollars in less than one year. There’s no advanced logic or restaurant expertise needed—just a willingness to try new systems or make a few adjustments to existing protocols. From the bathroom to tax forms, QSR found the easiest ways operators can immediately boost the bottom line.

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Letter from a Seller about Their Agent Friend – Important

Dear Rhonda:

First I want to say thank you for taking the time to help me with a very sticky situation. My wife and I have had a friend for thirty years that got their real estate license after ending another career. And as a result of having this friendship for so long, of course, it was always intimated, and somewhat expected, that we were going to use them to sell our home when the time was ready. However, when they came over to give us their presentation, we realized we were in trouble. The fees were higher than we were comfortable with and we knew the bottom line would be that we would not get what we needed for our home. At the same time we HAD to sell our home due to health issues and quickly get to the new house that we were closing on within two months. Before we committed to her, I did a little research on the Internet and found you. I am so grateful that I called the office that day and you answered the phone and I am so thankful that you took the time to talk about the options available in saving my friendship while at the same time getting to use your more powerful service. I don’t think that I have told you this enough. You really saved my dignity and more importantly my equity that we desperately needed to allow us move on to the next house.

What I have learned from this experience is that a little flexibility goes a long way. I never in a million years would have thought that our friend would do this plan, but I was presently surprised when we talked about it with them and they agreed to participate. I must say, it really worked out for everyone. I want to call my agent friend Chris in this letter because I didn’t ask her permission to use her name.

As you know, we sold our home with you at a time that even Chris told us was impossible and that we may have to give our home away to get a buyer to “take” it from us. We did not hold it against Chris when our house sold at a higher price than what she recommended, but it was only because we understood that the typical agent really focuses on the price as the method of selling the home instead of the exposure. We learned this when we did our research on the Internet and read blog after blog from agents talking about lowering the price as their best approach to get a home sold and then reading between the lines to uncover their motives to do this.

Anyway, per your request, here is the exact plan that we used with Chris.

1. Chris came over and gave us her opinion of our home and what we should fix. We paid them $100.00 for her time, right then, which included a follow-up after we completed the work. By the time that you guys came over the work was done and Melissa from your office said that we were in good shape and she listed the property. She even printed up a copy of our listing for us to proof before she left our home. Very cutting edge, I might add.

2. Chris had already done a really thorough market analysis when they came to the house to interview. But we came up with an idea to see some of our competitors. We paid Chris $125.00 the day we had her take us out to see other properties on the market near us.

3. When fielding inquiries to see our home, we told Chris that at any time we received a call from a buyer who did not have an agent and we could not show the house, we would call her and she could show the home to the buyer. We told her that we would even pay her more than the 3% buyer’s commission advertised in the MLS, we would pay her 4%. Chris did show the home 2 times in 5 months.

4. We agreed that Chris could keep those buyers and sell them a home if they did not want our home – Chris was really happy about this!

5. We told her that she could hold open houses and keep the buyers for herself and again we agreed that we would pay her more commission than we offered other agents in the MLS.

6. We agreed with Chris upfront that if we needed more help in the contract process we would pay her something extra to help us. We did not need her, thanks to Stacey from your office. Stacey used your conference call feature with not only the agent, but also the buyers to get us under contract and on to closing!

7. After we moved, Betsy took a gift certificate from a local restaurant to our Chris and her family as a thank you for their help and all seems well.

Rhonda, again, I want to say a BIG Thank You because you really helped us through a sticky time with someone we love to socialize with and with whom we respect. Because you took the time to talk this through with me and get me thinking, I was able to have the best of both worlds. I got to use the best agent around, you, and your awesome business model and still acknowledge Chris’s expertise as well.

Betsy and I talk about this all the time as we look back on the sale. You saved us! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I hope that this plan saves a few of your other clients from having to struggle with the decision between friendship and money as well.

Sincerely – Your Fans Always,

Tom and Betsy Chattin

P.S. My son will be calling you soon. We are expecting our 4th grandchild and they need a bigger house!