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Are all Accountants CPAs?

No!

All CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs.  CPA is the abbreviation for Certified Public Accountant.

The principal differences between accountants and CPAs are education and experience. In order to become a CPA, there are education and experience requirements needed to be fulfill.  In addition, a Uniform CPA Exam must be passed.

CPAs are many things. They are chief financial officers for Fortune 500 companies and advisors to small neighborhood businesses. They are well-respected strategic business advisors and decision-makers. They act as consultants on many issues, including taxes and accounting.

A Certified Public Accountant is a trusted financial advisor who helps individuals, businesses, and other organizations plan and reach their financial goals.

Entrepreneur Without Money

Entrepreneur Without Money Arrives …..Beware!

Actually, a lot of enterprising entrepreneurs don’t have any money. A hard reality to understand, but it is true. Often they just have a lot of moxy and/or gambler instincts.

They simply have the intestinal fortitude (guts!) to take chances. Sometimes they win and make a lot of money (usually for themselves!!). The wonderful part of their great plan is to SHARE the opportunity with others.

Maybe YOU are their prime candidate (a person with MONEY!). You have been selected to be their partner in a new business venture. It could be that you have the contacts….the know-how….etc. For some reason, YOU are important to their business success.

Your question is….are THEY important to MY success?? Ask yourself if there are any benefits to YOU in joining forces with someone else. Why do you need a partner? Can you do just as well by yourself? What contribution will a partner make to your success? Obviously, your answer may just be YES!! You need a partner!

Your next step is to….make sure (verify) the background of any person whom you would consider as a partner. None of us can LOOK at another person and have any idea of their honesty and integrity. A CON-MAN/WOMAN (we need to give women equal fare) looks like any other outstanding citizen. He/she can be handsome; well dressed; well spoken; live in a fine home; drive a big car, etc.

NOTHING is wrong yet. YOU simply need to make sure that your entrepreneur friend or future business partner is on the UP and UP (a man/woman of integrity!).

DON’T invest YOUR money just YET! Let’s take a few more IMPORTANT steps as a matter of self-protection. I would recommend that you HIRE a professional investigator to research the background of any potential partner/s in a business.

A BONUS FOLLOWS….

As you know…this newsletter covers more than business interest. Almost all of life falls somewhere in-between. You may not agree with me, but I would investigate the background of a potential marriage partner; a preacher; a choir director; an executive; and ALL other new employees being hired into my firm. Why take unnecessary chances with your life and future? He who hires well…profits well! He who marries well … LOVES life!

Understand that a DEAL (a great opportunity for YOU!) can be structured in such a way that you will think everything is OK…until you look at the fine print. Unfortunately, most of us laymen don’t understand the language. Our usual thought process causes us to believe what other people tell us. Since we are honest, we ASS-U-ME that everyone else is too!

MY POINT is to open your eyes to the reality that you must stay alert. Don’t take a NAP when you are dealing with YOUR life and YOUR money. Be sure you really know the person you’re dealing with before making a wrong decision and losing your nest egg of funds.


BUSINESS TIP: Know YOUR partner/s. NOT everyone is HONEST. You can loose your money much QUICKER than you can MAKE IT! Protect YOUR ASSETS with your life. Don’t be fooled by TITLES. SMART folks have COUNSEL. YOU MUST HAVE YOUR OWN TEAM OF ADVISORS to guide you.

Is It Too Good To Be True?

Life never seems to turn out just like you had planned. A good friend of mine worked in a small warehousing / trucking operation for many years. The BOSS owned 90% of the stock in the firm, which means he had full control. Another employee (the Manager) owned 8% of the stock. The two children of the boss owned the remaining 2%.

Basically, owning 8%, 20% or 49% of the stock in a small (closely held) company is of LITTLE value or importance UNTIL you SELL the stock or it changes hands at death.

Let me insert an important question…..try it on personally, today! If your BOSS were to die or become disabled (unable to work) TODAY….how would it affect your status in life? Your family? Could the business survive without him? This is very important if you are in a small firm and the boss holds the key to survival.

As an aside…many stocks are referred to as “phantom” stock. Usually given to employees as a means to keep them happy as “owners” of the business. In reality, the ownership control remains with the guys who OWN 51% plus of the company stock portfolio.

The “boss” (90% stockowner) spent his time running around the country, going fishing and taking care of his personal needs and wants. Every once in a while he would call back and ask the GM (general mgr.) if “they” had any money??

Then he would say, “put $1,000 in my account!” This was at a time when minimum wage was about 50 cents an hour. Owning 90% of the company was a powerful position and he could make any request and get it done…as long as the money was available.

Verbal Contracts Are Worthless

Our BOSS was really a nice guy. Honest! A real entrepreneur. He supposedly was a very generous person, too. He made some important VERBAL commitments to his General Manager/Vice President. The BOSS was considerably older than the GM/VP.

I’ll FIX everything so YOU (GM/VP) will OWN the business when I’m gone. A loyal employee…the GM/VP ran the firm for 45 years (a career lifetime!). The GM/VP would own the business when the boss kicked the bucket (died). There would not be a problem with the boss’ heirs (a son and daughter).

Do You See The Problem??

The boss (maybe!?) probably did have GOOD INTENTIONS! The boss did die and the GM/VP ended up with NOTHING more than his original 8% of the stock.

The two CHILDREN of the boss INHERITED the other 90%!! from their father without any knowledge of a verbal agreement made to the GM/VP. They SOLD the business and the GM/VP was forced into retirement.

BUSINESS TIP: AN “UNWRITTEN” PROMISE DIES WITH THE PROMISOR. Good Intentions PAVE a road to NOWHERE! Unless the promise is IN THE WILL or in a LEGAL DOCUMENT…DON’T COUNT ON IT! IF you want to be sure…. don’t let the sun go down UNTIL the PROMISE is written down in a LEGAL document.

Should I Own 51% of the Stock?

Why Should I Own 51% of the Stock?

Why is 51% such an important STOCK OWNERSHIP percentage? Others own 49%…ONLY 2% difference. Is 2% such a BIG DEAL?? YES! YES! YES!

Obviously, your PARTNERS may be SMART, too! What IF they want to OWN 51% and let YOU be the 49% owner? DEPENDS! An old saying is….HE who has the GOLD makes the RULES. Maybe you are really getting a wonderful deal when someone offers you any OWNERSHIP in a company. It could be 25%. Maybe 10%. It all depends on many FACTORS.

What are YOU contributing to the deal? Do you have the GOLD? Expertise? Contacts? Following? Etc.? YOUR contribution may be MORE VALUABLE than the money. Without YOU…maybe there is NO company. YOU’VE got a powerful CARD to play in this equation and I would REQUIRE equity. Why 51% ownership? Its called POWER! You may never have to use it. It simply protects YOU! YOU cannot be FIRED! Own 49% and YOU can lose YOUR position without recourse. The AMAZING value of owning 2%!! More.

Do ALL EQUAL business ventures GO WRONG??

Absolutely NOT! When you are in business with PARTNERS of Equal ownership….NOBODY has control. If you need to make a MAJOR decision and cannot agree….the challenge begins.

Do not say…WE WILL NEVER HAVE A PROBLEM! Business partners is another term for Marriage! You are in bed with your business partner (not really, unless it’s your spouse!). However, be assured you will have some challenges.

No business….no marriage….no church family….YOUR family….simply CANNOT run for long without a few challenges. Could be called OPPORTUNITIES. Either way, the running will not always be smooth sailing.

What kind of problems? Let me give you a Few examples. Who puts in the MONEY? How much VACATION? Company car? Hire my kids? Spouse? Buy a computer? Set up retirement? Buy a bus? Bring MY dog to work? Hundreds of questions that must be answered….this is ONLY the beginning.


BUSINESS TIP: Ask YOURSELF…whom do I want to make these decisions? Own 51% of the stock and YOU control the FINAL decision. Again, YOU need good counsel. You can OWN 51%…make a BAD decision…and be BANKRUPT. Your ownership of a business does not GUARANTEE success.

Folks Going To Bible Study

Watch Out For Folks Going To Bible Study

This is an OLD experience for my family. It happened many years ago. Can it happen again?? It almost did just 3 years ago. YOU can never let your guard down when doing business. There are just too many folks ready to make the easy dollar…. AT YOUR EXPENSE.

Our primary GOAL in writing about personal and business experiences is to put YOU on guard. We want to keep you SAFE from the barracudas. They are HARD to recognize! Like a CON MAN. You never recognize them UNTIL they take YOUR MONEY….and disappear! When you are faced with major decisions, we want to be there. Those decisions that have a big impact on your success. Where financial rewards are important. YOU don’t want to get left at the starting gate by a CROOK!

Vending Service Experience

My brother had just completed 4 years in the Air Force. He and a buddy had MUSTERING OUT PAY. After receiving their final paycheck from Uncle Sam, they were ready for the world. Just outside the gate, there was a SUPER salesman waiting! If you have been in the military, you know the rest of the story (according to Paul Harvey!). A VENDING MACHINE SALESMAN! BUY 3 machines that sell coffee, hot chocolate, soup, etc. AND you’re in YOUR OWN BUSINESS!

Vending machines BREAKDOWN! If the machine fails to give coffee (10 cents!) you can bet some burley REDNECK is going to turn the machine OVER or kick it until it works. Or gets HIS money back! (The year was about 1957!) Can you imagine 10 cents for a drink?

Unfortunately, the “buddy” grew up in Idaho. HE was the MECHANIC! Got HOMESICK and we haven’t seen HIM since.

Fortunately, a good mechanic came along and bought into the business. The pieces began to fall into place. More machines were bought. A truck was added. SUCCESS was happening!

Competitor Wants to Buy our Business…..Why?

Why did he want our little business? This guy was in his own drink vending business. HE WANTED OUR MECHANIC! Obviously, buy our business and he would get the mechanic. He had a nice warehouse, his own offices, and was mature in the world of operating a business.

In his office on a Wednesday night about 6 PM we had a meeting. His phone rang. After a few minutes on the phone, he turns around and says I let PRAYER MEETING slip my mind. HE HAD TO GO! A RED FLAG said to us…don’t do it! Something is not right.

This “BUYER” was OUT OF BUSINESS in 90 days. How easily we could have been influenced. Be very careful. Buying; selling; franchising; etc. all have their pitfalls, so be careful.

BUSINESS TIP: Don’t be swayed for the WRONG REASONS. A business can LOOK GREAT! It may just be on the verge of BANKRUPTCY. YOU have to look BEYOND what appears to be….and LOOK inside WITH your ADVISOR TEAM. Don’t be FOOLED by false appearances of PIETY. A GOOD PERSON may just OWN a BAD business….and YOU want to RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

Contracts Can Backfire

Contracts Can Backfire In Your Face!!

Some years ago, our firm had an employee who was labeled as the MARKETING Manager. Also, the Sales Manager. Obviously, a very IMPORTANT position. YOUNG and ENERGETIC! SINGLE! A real GO-GETTER!! As you might expect, HE got engaged, then married to a NICE GAL. Intelligent. A good businesswoman, too.

Not a bad situation for him. OUR PROBLEM?? His new wife was 3 HOURS away! How can we keep THIS valuable employee? WE had NO BUSINESS in the CITY where he needed to live with his new wife. He wanted to stay in the business and we certainly desired his continued employment with us.

ACTUALLY, he had gone to SCHOOL and LIVED in the city before. An obvious benefit to him and to us. He would have FRIENDS who could be PRIME prospects to become clients/customers. We LICENSED him to do BUSINESS…be HIS OWN BOSS! He was the OWNER of the business. It would give us an introduction into a NEW MARKET. A NEW BEGINNING…. with OUR BLESSING.

We were pleased as punch. EVERYTHING was off to a wonderful beginning. The business came in and grew QUICKLY. He was the PRESIDENT and brought in the business. We gave him BACK-OFFICE support…materials; payroll; billing, etc. We had a LEGAL agreement to provide services on a FEE basis. A good deal for BOTH of us. Our fee was FAR below industry norms. Even then, we REDUCED our fees further when he had difficulty with expenses.

According to industry standards, we had set our LICENSE FEES at a discount in the very beginning. A CONTRACT was WRITTEN and SIGNED! We wanted our former employee to succeed in his new business. It was not our intention to saddle him with unreasonable expenses.

Our Generosity Backfires…

We REDUCED the LICENSE fee WITHOUT changing our AGREEMENT. It seemed like a very generous act on our part. We saw no reason to bother with re-writing the contract. We were giving him a bigger slice of the pie with no strings attached. Not a good idea!

It was a TOUGH lesson for us to learn. We had to PAY THOUSANDS of extra dollars on a BUY BACK formula when we purchased the business from our licensee. In effect we had changed the contract by our action which caused the formula to change on our buy-back agreement.


BUSINESS TIP: NEVER do anything without YOUR attorney (legal advisor). It seemed so SIMPLE. Kindhearted. FAIR! Legal issues are LEGION. DON’T try to be your own advisor. AVOID TROUBLE WITH GOOD COUNSEL.

Start an Online Business

So You’ve Decided to Start an Online Business

Many people ask: Can you start an online business to make money? A better question would be: Can you start an online business that will be profitable? Starting an online business requires patience, skill, knowledge, and belief in your ability to succeed.

Yes, it’s easier and cheaper to start an online Internet business, than a brick and mortar business. Yes, your online business will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (24x7x365). Yes, millions of people, around the world, will be able to access your web site. Yes, you can make a lot of money on the Internet.

Unfortunately, “If you build it, they will come” worked fine in the 1989 film “Field of Dreams”, but it will not work on the Internet without effort and dedication.

Many people assume that it is too late to start an online business, that the Internet is too competitive, all the good products and services are taken, and the skills required to succeed are too difficult to learn. These assumptions are false. Learning how to start a profitable Internet Business doesn’t have to be complicated. If you can use email and navigate the Internet you can learn basic Internet marketing skills, concepts and techniques.

If you have an idea for an Internet business, Cire Web Site Design & Hosting can help you turn your dream into a reality. They have have been in business since 1996. Cire offers affordable web site design and hosting. They will help you choose and obtain an appropriate Internet domain name for your online business.

Unlike other web design companies, Cire cares about the success of your Internet business. The knowledge, expertise and marketing experience they possess can turn your idea into a profit maker. They will show you how to get visitors to your web site, how to get listed on the major search engines, how to improve your search engine rankings, how to inexpensively accept online payments, and most importantly how to be successful with your Internet business.

Remember, this is your online business and you have to treat it as such. No one is going to do the work for you. If you think an Internet business is self sufficient or that you don’t have to put any work into it, you are wrong. It may take many months before you begin to see a profit for your efforts, but if you devote the time, money and energy into building your online business, you will succeed in reaching your goals.

This blog is dedicated to providing the knowledge to succeed and to turn your dream of a profitable online business into a reality.

Ready to Buy a Franchise

Are You Ready to Buy a Franchise

Lots of folk think all you have to do is buy a franchise from some company and you are on your way to great success. NOTHING is farther from the truth!!

How do I know? Been there! Done that! It is more often than not a bad deal and a lot of money up front. You’ll pay FUTURE fees for the privilege of doing business. If you don’t like to be told what to do and how to do it, then you probably want to look long and hard before buying a franchise.

It is not a cookie cutter kind of deal. Many of the reasons a franchise is successful in one area of the country may not exist where you live. It could be the weather. Maybe senior citizens. No yuppie folks available to buy your product. Who is your customer? Do they exist where you are? There are many reasons a franchisee fails.

My own experiences prove you have to do your own research. How important it is that you know WHY a franchise is extremely successful. There are lots of reasons. Is it the area of the country? What is your area like? In 1966, 32 years ago, I bought a personnel agency franchise. (Obviously, I was very young!) Which means I didn’t know what I was doing, I let my ego guide my decision.

My own business was an exciting idea. President of a personnel agency with ownership. The home office (franchiser) was doing great and there was every reason to believe that we could do the same in our city.

What Did We Miss??

It just happened to slip by us that the manager of the home office was hired to run the company AFTER being very active (an officer) in the personnel association in his city. Do you already see OUR problem? The buyers of personnel services belong to the personnel association! NO ONE on our staff was a member nor were any of us known by the members of the personnel Association. He had an inside track!! He already knew the buyers, not only as trusted friends, but they knew him as a trusted and knowledgeable personnel executive.

I’ll tell you later how I came out ahead in this deal. It takes us back to realizing that we are on a journey, not a destination. This is not where we ended. Good things happen when we keep on keeping on thru life. We can’t give up!


BUSINESS TIP: Buying a FRANCHISE is NO GUARANTEE of Success. YOU must know the reasons others are successful. LOCATION is important. FINANCES are extremely important. BEST DEAL…go WORK for another franchisee… FREE! YOU will quickly LEARN more than you ever wanted to know…

Foreign Outsourcing

Foreign Outsourcing of American Jobs

Is foreign outsourcing of American jobs by American Companies immoral? I Say YES!

Lawmakers in more than 25 states and in the United States Congress have identified foreign outsourcing as a threat to US employment and prosperity. Legislators must ban federal or state contracts with companies that would outsource jobs to foreign countries.

If no action is taking, US companies will continue to fire American workers in significant numbers and replacing them with foreign workers in low-wage countries such as India, China and Eastern Europe.

Of course, outsourcing is nothing new. The US and State governments and American Corporations have been outsourcing domestically for decades such services as data base management, janitorial services and payroll.

The recent increase in foreign outsourcing in which US companies buy services from foreign-based providers has been make increasingly cost effective due to the personal computer and the Internet.

According to the data from several experts, over one third of the world trade growth has been achieved by means of foreign outsourcing to other countries. This has caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States and has had a major effect on the US Economy.

Foreign outsourcing has changed the demand for skilled and unskilled labor and altered the structure of wages in the United States. Foreign outsourcing sends production to countries where labor costs are lower than in the US.

As a professional web designer, I have seen many American businesses outsource their web projects to foreign countries. American businesses fail to realize that they are spending their money overseas and not supporting the US economy. They are causing American workers to lose their jobs.

Cire Web Site Design & Hosting provides affordable web design and hosting. We have been in business since 1996. Due to foreign outsourcing we have been forced to reduce our workforce by over 70%.

Buying American may cost more, but it is the moral thing to do. Stand proud America and buy American.

No Personal Guarantees

No Personal Guarantees….Your Best Deal!!

Things you may not expect USUALLY HAPPEN! Here’s what happened to a good friend of mine several years ago. Timing doesn’t matter, it could happen TODAY.

My friend went out of town on vacation. Upon his return, he discovered that his “PARTNERS” had signed a MAJOR contract to PURCHASE an expensive computer system WITHOUT even consulting with him.

This is why your AGREEMENTS are so IMPORTANT and MUST be in WRITING! My point is…this can happen to you unless your LEGAL advisor has PROTECTED your best interest in the business. You DO NOT want someone making decisions for you when it is YOUR money at RISK. Even more serious is being on the hook for any borrowed funds from your banker.

Small business owners usually sign PERSONAL guarantees with their banker, which means everything YOU own backs up the company debt. Your % ownership is NOT CONSIDERED unless your legal counsel has protected YOU!

It is a MAJOR decision on your part, just as it has been in my case, to be involved with diverse ownership of your business. You could own 8%, 10% of the firm, however, if YOU sign personal guarantees for the debt of the company then you are backing up 100% of the debt, not just the 8% or 10% based on your ownership.

This is very important for you to understand in your business dealings. Do not THINK these personal guarantees don’t hold “water”. Heaven forbid, but IF your business fails and you (your company) owe the bank money, YOUR FRIENDLY BANKER changes his/her personality.

He now becomes your friendly COLLECTOR and demands full payment (immediately!). It is an amazing sight to see. But, you will not be a happy camper with this new person you are about to find on your doorstep.

Keep in mind, the bank will go after the most LIQUID ASSETS owned by you and/or the other partners. Or the easiest property to sell and convert to CASH. It makes no difference to the banker (now collector) who the fortunate one is to cough up the assets or cash from PERSONAL assets.

The bank expects to be PAID. The bank has ONE concern. Protecting their client’s (customer’s) money. You are facing tough times, yet you agreed to hold them harmless by backing up your loan with personal assets.

With good legal advice, you may be able to limit your liability to the % of stock owned rather than to the whole amount owed. You must put this in place as part of your agreement with the bank at the beginning, not after things go sour.

Obviously, NO PERSONAL GUARANTEES is the best deal of all for YOU! Seek your funds from different sources and try to find a bank that will NOT require a personal endorsement. You have served your firm well when you accomplish this goal.


BUSINESS TIP: Let your legal advisor guide you in everything you do; every paper you sign; every decision you make in business. PROTECT the INTEREST of YOUR LOVED ONES!! Do not think, NOTHING can go wrong!! Hire the VERY BEST COUNSEL. OWN 51% of the Stock in your company. THINK long and hard BEFORE accepting any less. Consider all the options available to you


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