You’ve received them—probably more than once—and every single time, they’re painful, tedious, and unsolicited. Robocalls . . . Need we say more? You can experience a robocall, or an automated telephone call delivering a recorded message, on both a personal and business phone line. From scammers scamming to political parties politicizing, these calls can get in the way of your daily business activities, stop productivity, and simply annoy the life right out of you.
Here’s how you can fight them.
Don’t Let the Robocalls In
Unfortunately, robocalls can plague all types of calls, whether it’s a cell phone, analog, or VoIP call.
First, if or when you receive a robocall, hang up. Easy enough, except, you know you will eventually get another call, and then another, and more after that. These calls keep coming . . . like cockroaches.
Put your name on the National Do Not Call Registry; it’s free! Will it sufficiently work? No, not always. Yet, taking this step is proactive and it might keep one or two callers from connecting with you.
When an unwanted call does come in, there is often an option to “press a number” that is supposed to delete your number from the robocall registry. Viewpoints are split on this idea, as some say it works and others believe it does the complete opposite of what it’s intended to do. We recommend taking your chances and pressing that number. However, if you’re on the fence, don’t worry; we have more options for you!
Try downloading a call-blocking app, such as Nomorobo or Robokiller. These are subscription apps that don’t discriminate against carriers. You can also check with your particular provider to see if they offer any special blocking option. For example, Verizon has the Caller Name ID app. Both iPhones and Androids have built-in call-blocking features, while Samsung has a “Smart Call” feature to squash this issue.
You can limit your cell phone calls to “contacts only” by setting the “Do Not Disturb” feature on your smart phone, but is this a realistic option for business owners who often need to take calls from people not yet in their contacts?
Again, try contacting your service provider to see what options they offer. You may also consider purchasing a call-blocking device. Some of the call-blocking devices on the market can block up to 5000 numbers, such as the CPR V5000, which is available for less than $90.
A little trickier to fight, contact your Internet provider to see if they have a service to stop robocalls coming in via VoIP. With some clever searching, you may find an innovative blocking option online. Though, if you find a compatible match, it could be costly. Always report the unwanted call to the Federal Trade Commission.
Stop the Robocall Madness Now
The truth: Robocalls are becoming more frequent each year thanks to the double-edged sword that is the Internet. These calls show no sign of stopping. If you want them to end, you need to take action—and right now!
We’ve all heard the story about the squirrel who works hard in the sweltering heat all summer long, building a next and gathering nuts to store for the winter. When the winter weather arrives, the squirrel is warm and well fed. The squirrel was smart and prepared. Do you have a Squirrel Fund? Are you prepared for lean times?
At NetBooks, we know that fitness businesses have ebbs and flows. It’s important to save in prosperous times for your “winter” months. This makes sense, so why is it so hard to do? There is a behavioral reason for this. It’s called Parkinson’s’ Law, and it is the basis of Profit First. Parkinson’s Law states, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
For most fitness businesses, the beginning of the year is the time to start your extra savings as you see an uptick in either membership or current members increasing their services with you.
How to Build Up Your Savings
1. When you receive your member payments, pay your regular current monthly expenses first.
2. Net, calculate your average monthly operating expenses for the year. Let’s say that you have average operating expenses of $10,000 each month. Ensure you have that amount in your operating expense account to cover your operating expenses for one month.
3. Pay yourself and set aside taxes using the Profit First method – take care of you and your obligations.
4. Save! Move the remaining funds to a separate savings account. Do not leave it in your operating account. Out of sight, out of mind! As this account builds, you can develop a strategic approach to how you want to use those funds.
Create a Strategic Plan for These Funds
You’ll be surprised how quickly your savings account accumulates. Depending on your business needs and strategic plan, you can use these funds in a variety of ways!
1. Taxes – We all dread tax season, but if you have been planning and saving, it makes tax time less stressful.
2. Cushion – If you have savings, you can use these dollars to supplement your paycheck or operating expenses during your slow times.
3. Grow Your Business – Perhaps you’re considering expanding or renovating your facility or have a piece of equipment you need to purchase. You can use your savings to fund these requirements.
Whatever you decide to spend your savings on, you will sleep better knowing that you have some nuts saved up in the nest for winter.
If we can help with any questions, please contact us at any time.
A great way to make a wonderful start to 2020 is to wrap up 2019 feeling organized and on top of the world.
Here’s a checklist of items that you can start working on now to make your year-end close go smoother than ever before. And don’t worry if you don’t know how to do some of these tasks – that’s what we’re here for.
- Catch up on your books, especially if you do them only once a year. By doing it now, you’ll be able to get into your accountant faster this time of year and they will appreciate getting the work done ahead of their crunch time.
- Catch up on bank reconciliations in case they are not up to date. Don’t forget your savings accounts, PayPal, and any other cash equivalents. Void any old uncleared checks if needed. Turn over uncleared payroll checks to unclaimed income in your state.
- Review unpaid invoices in accounts receivable and get aggressive about collecting them, especially if you are a cash basis taxpayer. Clean up any items that are incorrect so that the account reconciles.
- Write off any invoices that are no longer collectible.
- Ask employees and vendors to update their addresses in your payroll system so that W-2s and 1099s will reflect the correct addresses.
- Collect any W-9s that you don’t already have on file for contractors that will receive a 1099 form from you.
- Collect workers compensation proof of insurance certificates from contractors so you won’t have to pay workers comp on payments you have made to them.
- Decide if you’ll pay employee bonuses prior to year-end.
- Review employee PTO and vacation time and reset or rollover the days in your payroll system.
- After the final payroll runs, contact your payroll software company to make any W-2 adjustments necessary for things like health insurance.
- Set the date to take inventory, and once you have, make adjustments to your books as necessary.
- Write off any inventory that is unsalable.
- Prepare a fixed assets register, calculate depreciation, and make book adjustments as needed.
- Record all bills due through year-end, and reconcile your accounts payable balance to these open bills.
- Make loan adjustments to reflect interest and principal allocations.
- Perform account analysis on all other balance sheet accounts to make sure all balances are correct and current.
- Make any additional accrual entries needed, or if you’re a cash basis taxpayer, make those adjustments as needed.
- Get an idea of what your profit number will be. Choose whether you want to maximize deductions to save on taxes or whether to want to reflect more income. Decide what you can defer into 2020 or what you want to have as part of your 2019 results.
- Match all transactions with their corresponding documents – receipts, bills, packing slips, etc. – to make sure you have the paper trail you need.
- Download your bank statements and store them in a safe place.
- Download any payroll reports and store them in a safe place.
- Scan in paper documents so that they’re stored electronically.
- File any important papers such as new leases, asset purchases, employee hiring contracts and other business contracts.
- Prepare a budget for 2020 and enter it into your accounting system.
- Take a look at the 2020 calendar to determine which holidays you’ll close and give employees a copy.
- Review your product and service prices if this is the time of year you do that and make any changes you decide on.
- Update your payroll system for any new unemployment insurance percentages received in a letter each year.
- Update the mileage deduction rate if that rate has changed at the beginning of the year.
- Set a time with your accountant to go over 2019 results and get ideas on how to meet your financial goals in 2020.
- Review the metrics you’ve been using in 2019 and decide on the list of metrics and corresponding values that will take you through 2020.
- Celebrate the new year; it’s a wonderful time to gain perspective and be hopeful about the upcoming year.
Start 2020 with a bang and this year-end checklist, and feel free to reach out if we can help with anything.
It’s November. That means Thanksgiving in the United States and gratitude is everywhere this month.
But it shouldn’t just be November.
How do you live gratefully year-round?
It is one of the most effective and efficient ways to increase anything; be truly grateful for what you have and more will come to you: happiness, love, family, health, business!
This struck me deeply recently when I received a note back from a new client. As some of you know, when you become one of our clients, you receive a handwritten thank you note. I’m not writing this to toot our own horn and probably would be using a different example except that I know how much it is appreciated because our newest client told us so. He just wrote, “I just received your card in today’s mail. And I wanted to say THANK YOU. Hand written notes are rare and something I’m grateful for.” And all it took was 5 minutes of my time.
Your members will feel the same.
So simple. So rare. So effective.
How do you make this most effective? Create a system around it. This isn’t to minimize the sentiment but to ensure gratitude is remembered all year and shown at the appropriate times. Do you know members birthdays, anniversaries, rejoin dates and notice when they are missing from your facility for any length of time? If so, what is the system to make them aware you are missing them and grateful for them?
One of our clients incorporates “out of the blue” gratitude into his monthly staff meetings. They take 10 minutes each month for each staff member to write 3 handwritten cards to appreciate their clients. That is a meaningful system. And any well-done system will also increase your profitability.
Finally, I want to give some credit to my daughter for the topic of this article. I haphazardly asked her, “What should I write about?” She replied, “Me!” And I started thinking, “How am I going to do that?” Then, later that day, as we were going through our normal routine, it came to me. Every day I ask each of my children to name three “gratefuls” and I share some of mine with them. Do you need an accountability partner to make this one of your habits? If so, Lewis Howes, author of School of Greatness suggests asking the person you last say good night to every night for their list of three things for which they are grateful and then sharing yours with them. What a restorative, blessed way to end your day? Not just the 30 days of November, but every. single. day. you wake up with a pulse, you have something for which to be grateful. Share it and start blessing others, too!
If we can help with any questions, please contact us at any time.
Ready to MAXIMIZE Your Profits?
Learn how with a FREE Download of the first five chapters of Mike Michalowicz’s book, “Profit First”.