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Taxes

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 @ 09:00 AM

One of the most dreaded words of the small business owner.

I wanted to share a few tips we have found to pass on along with some other links that may help some of you.

First tip: Get some professional help. I do not mean to have to pay a fortune for this help but too many small business owners think they can do it themselves and find out only years later after an audit, that they either owe money they don't have or wasted money they could have gotten back, but is now too late to recover it.

Even if you just read up on the subject, go on line for a self help like at Entrepreneur.com or pay for a tax filing program you will be ahead of the game.

Here is a link to a great lady I know Diana Crawford. She did tax audit videos for a client and it has helped many people, one link is at the end of this post. Besides just being an accountant with a CPA degree she is an Intuit QuickBooks expert. So if you use QuickBooks and have a problem give her a shout (I suggest you use some type of computer program). She will help anyone or at least steer them to a local person that can. She teaches QuickBooks small business classes for free and does Beta testing for Intuit on new versions of QuickBooks and is an Intuit Trainer. If you already have QuickBooks there is a wealth of free information just through Intuit Support on line.

dcrawford@cmccpas.com is her e-mail. Please indicate on the subject line or in your e-mail that you are a Soap Warehouse customer. She is also available to do any ones businesses taxes, her firm handles clients across the country.

Right now we are planing to start recording her free "How to set up your small business with QuickBooks" sessions so she will have more time to devote to hosting other advanced classes. We are also discussing with her to possibly make a video just for pressure washing businesses to address their specific needs to put on our site. I will let everyone know as soon as new sessions are available.

Next make sure you are tracking every expense. Do you give out coupons or give discounts for services to customers? You need to track that money as cost of advertising, this expense is to be taken against the money you made. If you list your total income minus cost of labor and supplies but forget this amount it could be costing you hundreds of dollars a year in tax savings.

Mileage vs actual cost: Always keep a log book in your company vehicle listing the beginning millage on Jan 1. on the first page and then keep a millage log to and from every customer or stop. List every dollar spent on gas, oil changes, tires, tune ups, repairs etc. I also suggest putting this information into a spreadsheet at least once a week or so. This way at the end of the year you can evaluate if you should take the flat mileage rate of the miles you drove for work or the actual costs of using your vehicle for business. Don't forgot the mileage on your personal vehicle either especially if it is used to do other errands like deposit money in the bank or pick up office supplies. Keep an estimate book in your family , so if you meet someone, hand them a card and give them an estimate, you can write off some of that mileage as well.

Even something as simple as doing your laundry can save you money. If you spend the few extra dollars to put a company name patch on your clothes you are then able to write off not only the cost of the items, but the cost of the patch and cleaning them for the entire year. Because they are then considered a uniform not just personal apparel, but I suggest wearing them sometimes even when you are not working to promote your business name. I will sometimes wear our Soap Warehouse business tag out just to try and start conversations and get new leads. Even putting a sign with your business's name and number on your personal car will allow you to write off the costs it takes to do it plus gives you the added advertising. I have even lent a set of magnetic signs to friends to put on their vehicle when I know are going on a long cross country trip to generate calls. I never know where my next customer may be coming from.

Here is a link to a video Diana did on how to report itemized deductions you might learn from.


Good Luck with Uncle Sam this year.

Tags: Entrepreneur.com, QuickBooks, Intuit, Taxes, itemized deductions

Changes this year at Soap Warehouse

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 @ 12:13 PM

First I would like to say we had a lovely time in Savannah GA for the PAMA Seminar (Professional Aviation Maintenance Association). We where a Bronze Supporter of this event and it was very nice to meet Aviation Maintenance personal from all over GA and the South. Some knew of our product "Top Gun" but many were introduced to it for the first time. We look forward to work with as many of these great people and companies as we can in the future.

We want to congratulate Mr. Charles Wilson of Luthersville, GA on winning our "Top Gun" product package at our booth. We also want to thank the attendees that bid and won our "Top Gun" product in the PAMA silent auction.

I hope that at least some of our Northern customers get to attend this weekends Pressure Washing Seminar in NY. Soap Warehouse was a Silver Sponsor at that event.

(ADDED LATTER: We wanted to congratulate the four winners of our 5 gallon product door prizes at the Seminar and to Joe Torres the winner of our Exterior sample pack in our drawing from the fax entries we received after the Seminar.)

We are also looking forward to our next event that should be in May over in Charleston SC for a local PWNC (Pressure Washers Network of the Carolina's).

Next we are moving closer to putting our new web site on line. It will have new tabbed features to make navigating through the web site easier. It will eventually allow customers to place orders, choosing the products, sizes and amounts they want with us following up by contacting them back with the total including shipping and expected delivery date.

You will be able to choose and pay for the product total but we will still have to calculate any shipping charges and contact you for payment prior to shipping the order.

You will also be able to download MSDS info for every product. Prices will be listed with each product but an inclusive price list with volume discount pricing will still be available only by logging on to the customer only area or by a request that we send you one by mail, fax or e-mail.

We will have this Blog, Links and other information available to help our customers.

If there is any thing you would like to see on our site please contact us and request it.

Tags: Soap Warehouse, Top Gun

Time to Stock Up

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Mar 02, 2009 @ 03:50 PM

I can not believe this is March already!

We have been very busy planing for this year.

We are currently working on designing a new web site that we hope improves our customers enjoyment of our site.

This has been a very cold snowy Winter for many of our customers and as such a slow start to the new year. But with signs of Spring finally peaking through now is the best time to make sure all of your equipment and supplies are ready for the Spring boom.

If you are reading this blog and have not yet given us your e-mail address, please take time to do so. You miss out on so many opportunities when we can not keep you up to date. E-mail your address to soapwarehouse@hotmail.com, subject: add address.

Last December we started a monthly Newsletter which includes information on special offers, contests as well as things you should be aware of such as price changes, up and down. To subscribe go to this page.

This year we plan to get out as much as we can to meet current and new customers. We are supporting both the Mid America Trucking Show the middle of this month & the Northeast Pressure Washer Seminar in NY at the end of this month. We plan on attending a PAMA seminar in Savannah, GA on the 21st of this month, going to and exhibiting in the PWNC meeting mid May in Charleston, SC and later in the year going to TX to exhibit in the 2nd largest Truck Show in the country; The Great American Truck Show in Dallas TX, Aug 20,21 & 22nd. And if we are lucky we will finish out our show year in October exhibiting at the PWNA meeting and supporting again the AOPA Expo in November. Please make plans to come and see us and attend these great events. We will send out more info as the year goes on.

Here is wishing you all a great month and start to the beginning of the pressure wash year.

Tags: PWNA, Mid America Trucking Show, Great American Truck Show, PAMA, conventions

Time to Stock Up

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Mar 02, 2009 @ 03:50 PM

I can not believe this is March already!

We have been very busy planing for this year.

We are currently working on designing a new web site that we hope improves our customers enjoyment of our site.

This has been a very cold snowy Winter for many of our customers and as such a slow start to the new year. But with signs of Spring finally peaking through now is the best time to make sure all of your equipment and supplies are ready for the Spring boom.

If you are reading this blog and have not yet given us your e-mail address, please take time to do so. You miss out on so many opportunities when we can not keep you up to date. E-mail your address to soapwarehouse@hotmail.com, subject: add address.

Last December we started a monthly Newsletter which includes information on special offers, contests as well as things you should be aware of such as price changes, up and down.

This year we plan to get out as much as we can to meet current and new customers. We are supporting both the Mid America Trucking Show the middle of this month & the Northeast Pressure Washer Seminar in NY at the end of this month. We plan on attending a PAMA seminar in Savannah, GA on the 21st of this month, going to and exhibiting in the PWNC meeting mid May in Charleston, SC and later in the year going to TX to exhibit in the 2nd largest Truck Show in the country; The Great American Truck Show in Dallas TX, Aug 20,21 & 22nd. And if we are lucky we will finish out our show year in October exhibiting at the PWNA meeting and supporting again the AOPA Expo in November. Please make plans to come and see us and attend these great events. We will send out more info as the year goes on.

Here is wishing you all a great month and start to the beginning of the pressure wash year.

Tags: PWNA, Mid America Trucking Show, AOPA, Newsletter

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