Concierge CPA March 2018

March 2018

8221 Brecksville Rd, STE 205 Brecksville, OH 44141

(440) 340-1030

Consistent Steps Toward Your Goals On the bookshelf behind my desk sits a mug that says,“I’m so far behind I think I’m first.”I got this mug as a present during the last tax season. When I feel overwhelmed, this quote makes me smile and pushes me to keep going. One thing I found that works better for me is to set up systems that help me move closer to my goals, inch by inch. Over time, these consistent small steps add up to big achievements.

It’s hard to believe that March is almost over. The first quarter of this year flew by really fast. As I take a look at the list of goals I set for myself for 2018, I realize that I’m already falling behind on certain things. I promised myself I would be more proactive this year, but not everything works out as planned.

Let me give you an example of a systemwe recently implemented. It’s been on our to-do list to publish a monthly newsletter for a long time. Months and years went by with little to no progress on this front. Finally, we decided that we needed a system to publish a newsletter. So, last fall, we signed up with a company that provides a framework for it. The project manager bugs me every month to write an article, the editor corrects my mistakes, and at the end of the process, a newsletter is produced every month. It might not be perfect, but it goes out regularly.

I’m sure I’m not the only one with this problem.

To make my goals more organized, I separated them into various categories. For example, my second category is called“Important but Not Urgent.”In this box, I put items such as getting more exercise, spending more time in nature, and reading a great book. All these goals are important but not urgent, because I don’t feel any immediate negative effects if I have to postpone them. When it comes to business and professional goals, I also have an“Important but Not Urgent”list. Writing an article, producing a new podcast episode, and implementing a newmarketing method are all important for growing our business, but these tasks are often left for another day. Like most people, I have good reasons to prioritize semi- urgent items on my list. Daily busywork comes first, and before I know it, the day is over, and the important items are left for tomorrow. I was looking for a solution, and my first thought was to improve my time-management skills. The local bar association hosted a lunch meeting with a time- management specialist. I was excited to attend and learn how to better schedule my day. I did learn a few tips and tricks, but in the end, I was back to taking care of busywork and leaving the important tasks for later. “Schedule your day more efficiently,”doesn’t seem to be a good enough solution for me, so I kept searching for a better answer.

Designing simple systems is much more fun and more effective than simply setting goals and managing time.

About two months ago, we visited one of our clients in Canada. This attorney has a growing law firm, and he is in the process of opening a second business. Running two businesses is not an easy task, so he wanted our assistance coming up with a plan that will help him succeed. I know this person reads a lot of business and financial management books, so what new information can I offer him?What secret do I know that nobody else has written about before? Well, the secret is not hidden among some obscure pieces of information. It is in setting the right goals and then creating systems and procedures to achieve those goals. After consulting with the bookkeeper and the office manager, we sat down with the managing partner and came up with a few daily and weekly procedures that will help him stay on top of things while he’s out of the office. Making drastic changes might be necessary at times; but more often, small and consistent steps will take you closer to your goals. Think about the systems you need to put in place, draft a few simple procedures you can follow daily, and see how far it takes you over time.

–Laszlo Szilagyi, CPA

1 (440) 340-1030

Are Your Customers Forgetting About You? Why Engagement Turns Customers Into Lifelong Fans

When business owners think about customer engagement, they often dwell on strategies that encourage people to buy what they’re selling. That’s far from the whole story when it comes to creating a loyal fan base that raves about your company. Customer engagement should be a constant initiative, not something that only happens when customers are thinking about buying. Engaged customers won’t forget about you. When the time to buy comes around, yours will be the first name on their lips. Engagement also drives word-of-mouthmarketing. According to a recent Nielsen study, consumers rely on referrals from trusted sources more than any other formof marketing. If you give your current customers a reason to rave, they’ll spread the word. Here are a couple of ways to ensure that your customers become fans. Be Personal Treat your customers like a number, and they’ll think of you the same way. Treat them like real people, and they’ll love you forever. Remember details about your customers, address themby name, and go the extra mile to develop a real bond. Mindy Grossman, TimAnderson is the owner andmanaging partner of TimAnderson Law, LLC., a boutique white-collar federal criminal defense firm in Red Bank, New Jersey. He currently has one associate and plans to add another within the year. Timgraduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1993. He then stayed in Minneapolis and worked for a highly respected solo criminal defense attorney for 11 years, learning the trade and discovering how successful a small law firm could be. In 2004, he decided to strike out on his own, opening his own solo criminal defense practice in Minneapolis and taking onmore federal matters. He soon learned that being a successful, highly respected lawyer doesn’t necessarily translate into having a successful business. Nevertheless, in what he characterizes as“a fairly haphazard way,”he figured out how to make it work and developed a pretty solid practice. Tim’s turning point came in 2009 when he and his wife moved back to New Jersey to be closer to his wife’s family. Although he had to start over, including taking and passing the New Jersey bar exam, Tim took the challenge as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. He decided to focus on the area of practice he lovedmost and believed would allow him to quickly succeed: federal criminal defense. He soon narrowed his practice even further to white-collar federal criminal defense. With that, otherwise competing lawyers became referral partners. Tim started to work on his business, not just in it, hiring law firm coaches and other business partners, including Borbala Banto as his CFO, who taught him

CEO ofWeightWatchers, says,“Our ability to create that one-on- one engagement with a customer is a point of differentiation and strategic advantage for us.”Nomatter your industry, you can create that advantage for your business. Make Proactive Contact If you only engage with customers when they are looking to buy, you’re a pricing company. Once a customer is shopping around, they already knowwhat they want. They’re just looking for the best deal. Conversely, if you reach out to your customers to follow up, provide themwith information, or even just share something fun, you’ll build brand loyalty. Create a Community Speaking to your customers is great, but giving them a way to speak to each other can be just as valuable. Savvy use of social media is a great way to achieve this goal. Give people a reason to share their experience with your business and a forum in which to share it. Even better, incentivize. Offer customers discounts on future purchases for the importance of tracking his numbers. He learned to develop policies and procedures for his firm, and he created efficiencies such as using a law office management system (CLIO) and a virtual receptionist service (Ruby Receptionist). Timgot involved in the New Jersey State Bar Association and other groups to network and get his name out. Within five years of his move to New Jersey, he became chair of the Solo and Small Firm Section of the state bar, which focuses on helping solo and small firms learn tomanage and run their practices successfully. Tim’s philosophy for his firm is to approach every client with empathy and understanding and to be true to himself, projecting decency and credibility. His mission is to help as many people as possible while also having a financially and professionally successful firm. His mantra is, “What is the highest and best use of my time?”He tries to delegate everything else. Finally, Tim strongly believes in the importance of a good work-life balance and spends as much time as possible hiking, road cycling, running, working in the yard, traveling, and spending time with his wife and family.

Client of the Month: Tim Anderson Check out our podcast interviewwithTimon

In short, Tim loves what he does: He gets to help people through very stressful situations while alsomaking a good living and having time to enjoy life with his family and friends.

Website: Email:


The Fluffy Files Meet the Newest Member of the Family

For the longest time, my daughter, Julianna, has wanted a dog.

Last year, we took a family trip to New York City over Labor Day. We walked along the streets over the three-day weekend, exploring the city and seeing the sights. It was slow going. It seemed like every other person had a dog with them, and Julianna had to stop and see every single one. “Can I pet your puppy?” she asked everyone. I have four kids, and we have never had a dog — or any kind of pet, for that matter. My husband grew up in an apartment and has also never had a dog. Together, we decided Julianna could have a puppy when she turned 15. Well, Julianna turns 7 this month, and my husband thought, why wait another eight years? So, for my daughter’s seventh birthday, we decided to get a puppy. I’m not sure who is more excited, Julianna or my husband. He has been reading books and doing a ton of research on caring for and training dogs. We found the perfect puppy. He’s a Pomeranian, and he is a little ball of fur. As my husband trains the dog, Julianna excitedly waits for the weather to improve so she can take her new best friend on walks. Over the next few months, our newest member of the family is going to learn a lot — and most likely teach us quite a bit, as well! This adorable new addition to our family will bring joy to all of us.

posting about their experience on Facebook. The more creative you are, the more engagement you’ll see.

Engaged customers are loyal customers. But it’s up to you to engage them. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing only on customers who will buy in the next 30 days.

Zesty Zucchini ENCHILADAS

INGREDIENTS • 4 large zucchini • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee • 1 large onion, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oven to 350 F. To make enchilada sauce, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Add chicken to 1 cup prepared enchilada sauce.

• 2 teaspoons cumin • 2 teaspoons chili powder • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken • 2 cups shredded cheese Lay out three slices, slightly overlapping, and spoon chicken mixture on top. Roll the zucchini “tortilla” and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini and chicken is used. 3. Cover the enchiladas with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, and enjoy!

Meet Fluffy.

2. Use vegetable peeler to thinly slice zucchini lengthwise.

3 (440) 340-1030

8221 Brecksville Rd, STE 205 Brecksville, OH 44141


(440) 340-1030

INSIDE Take Small Steps to Achieve Goals Page 1 Don’t Let Your Customers Forget You Page 2

Client of the Month: Tim Anderson Page 2

Meet the Newest Member of the Family Page 3

Go Carb-Free for Dinner Page 3

Book Review: ‘Extreme Ownership’ Page 4

No Leadership No Team

Laws of Combat Simplify, prioritize and execute, and

Effective leadership is the most important key to success, and to say that “Extreme Ownership”will empower you as a leader is an understatement. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin use their experiences as former U.S. Navy SEALs to provide a backdrop for their views on leadership. Their stories drop you right in the middle of the action, both on the battlefield and within the confines of corporate America, in order to teach you invaluable leadership lessons. The book is divided into three main points and designed to make it as easy as possible for you to apply extreme ownership in your own life Winning theWar Within Leaders are responsible for everything and everyone within their purview. Willink and Babin make the bold assertion that there are no bad teams, just bad leaders. They use examples from the battlefield and the boardroom to show that all failures can be traced back to poor leadership.

decentralize command. Applied to an office setting, these combat strategies show how simplifying plans and organizing priorities will improve your operational efficiency. While there is a need for clearly designated leaders, junior leaders must be empowered to make their own decisions — and their own mistakes. Sustaining Victory To drive their point home, Willink and Babin provide a plan for how to implement and sustain the concepts of extreme ownership. They highlight the importance of decisiveness and show you how to create planning checklists that enable your team to operate like one fluid unit. “Extreme Ownership” differs from other leadership books by emphasizing that there can be no leadership where there is no

team. Its main points revolve around the importance of teams, not just individuals. Leaders who embody extreme ownership don’t just take the blame for mistakes — they own them.


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