Recovery Reader The February 2020
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FROM THE DESK OF Dan Larson
So, you got into business to provide a better product and service. Every once in a while, someone takes that for granted, leaving you with unpaid rents and receivables.
It’s important not to lose focus. Keep providing that better service! There are many more clients who appreciate your product than not. Sooo… for those that don’t ... that’s where we come in. I had a landlord mention the other day, “I didn’t get into this to chase past dollars. It’s so infuriating when I open that drawer and see that lost money just sitting there!” We will pursue that recovery … after all, that’s why WE got into business. We have integrated prescreening services, receivables management, service of process, collection recovery, and asset seizure. These tools serve you when they are needed. Nothing says “be my valentine” like an auction on a recovered asset. Ohhh, yes! Fall back “in love”with being a landlord by having solid processes in place and hiring a professional to support you.
MAKE THE MOST OF FEBRUARY Why the Shortest Month Is the Hardest for Business Owners January is over, along with the hustle and stress of shopping for the holidays, sending out W-2s, and preparing for the year’s close. But for some business owners, the shortest month of the year isn’t a time for celebrating. With festive decorations put away and no holidays to anticipate, customers and clients may be feeling the gloom of winter. Many may also be holding their wallets a little closer as they recover from the December spending purge. To top it off, tax season is in full swing, but this year, you have 29 days to make February count.
It will be a “best day” when you receive a recovery check from your friend Dan.
How do you do it?
There’s an old saying about only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. You know tax season is around the corner and your books are up for an intense examination to close out the year. Tax Day, April 15, 2020, and the filing deadline for S corporations, March 15, 2020, will be here before you know it, but if you prepare now, you can enjoy a steady and easy spring.
Have a great month!
January was the perfect time to wind down from the holidays, collect your plans, and ensure your employees have what they need to file taxes. Now, devote February to compiling
- Dan Larson
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everything you need for a successful tax season, and ensure all your employees’ tax documents were filed and sent out correctly. Also, commit your organizational energy to your business. What do you need for the IRS or an auditing company? What happened in 2019 to change how you approach things in 2020? What shifts do you need to make for 2021? By March, you’ll be settled from the whirlwind of responsibility the new year brings, and you can coast into spring. At this point of the year, you should have a clear idea for how the first and second quarters of 2020 will go. Because goals can shift, February is the perfect month to assess whether or not you need to make adjustments to the plan you made in 2019. Since business typically winds down to a manageable pace this month, consider how you could ramp it up come springtime. Do you need to press harder with your plans for 2020, or do you need to capitalize on what already worked in January? Compare your post-January projections to those of previous years to get a clear idea about what your next steps should be, and use February to implement them. CHECK YOUR GOALS
test new software, or ramp up education for your sales, customer service, or technician staff. Take advantage of the extra hours in the workday not devoted to a customer’s needs and make your business stronger than ever for when the busy season hits again. Your team will be better prepared for the onslaught, and their extra precision just might pay dividends to overcome another slow month.
EMBRACE THE SLOWDOWN
No one likes a slow month in business, but you can use it to your advantage. If February is a historically slow month for you and your company, consider how you could improve internally . Offer extra employee training, provide cross-training events, streamline processes,
The shortest month of the year is nothing to fear! With these tools, you can make this your best February yet.
STEALING MISS HELEN ‘Ocean’s 3’ Attempt a High-Stakes Heist
The aquarium staff was grateful to have Miss Helen back unharmed, despite her ordeal. “She’s a tough little horn shark, I’ll tell you that,” affirmed Jamie Shank, the assistant husbandry director at the aquarium.
On a hot summer day in late July 2018, three people entered Miss Helen’s home, forcibly removed her, put her in a stroller, and ran toward their getaway vehicle. This might sound like a typical kidnapping story, but Miss Helen is no ordinary person. She is a 16-inch horn shark living at the San Antonio Aquarium. Fortunately, their fishy behavior didn’t go unnoticed, and someone alerted the aquarium staff. One perpetrator drove away with Miss Helen in tow, but the other two were stopped by aquarium staff, later confessing to their involvement. Thanks to some observant witnesses and aquarium surveillance, police were able to identify the third thief and obtain a warrant to search his house. As it turned out, he had an extensive aquarium in his home and possibly hoped to add Miss Helen to his collection. After being identified, Miss Helen was returned home safely.
NO MINOR CRIME
While many animal lovers might disagree, animals are considered personal property, so stealing them is a crime of theft, not kidnapping. The penalties for stealing animals vary depending on each state’s laws, and some states have specific laws regarding animal theft. In Texas, larceny law designates the theft of property valued between $1,500–$20,000 as a felony. In the case of Miss Helen, who’s valued by the aquarium at $2,000, the thieves committed a felony. Also, transporting certain animals requires special permits, which led to additional charges against the three thieves.
The Animal Welfare Act, which was adopted in 1966, is the only federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Interestingly, it only applies to warm-blooded animals, so if Miss Helen had needed further protection, she would be left out in the cold.
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KEEP UPWITHTHE BIG BUSINESSES 3 Tech Trends to Accelerate Your Company
The line between technologies that are beneficial for large businesses and those beneficial for small businesses continues to blur. While the latest software programs were once only available to large companies that could afford them, some of these programs have also become available and profitable for small businesses to use. In an age of increasing connectivity, these are a few tech trends that small businesses should watch out for. COLLABORATIONWITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE While it certainly shouldn’t replace every customer interaction, using AI software programs for small tasks — like email marketing, data entry, accounting, and some low-stress forms of customer service — is invaluable to small businesses. Delegating menial tasks to AI can free up time for you to focus on those more important face-to-face interactions with your customers. INCREASED USE OF DATA ANALYTICS “Big data” is intimidating. For years, sifting through customer data and extracting valuable information that can be used to grow businesses was something that only the largest companies had the time, funds, and expertise to do. However, more programs that reduce the upfront investment and expertise necessary to contextualize customer data are popping up. If you can make use of your customers’ data, you can give them an experience with your business that they won’t find many other places.
CONTINUED RELIANCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA Social media marketing remains an effective tool for attracting customers to your small business, even if the tools continue to change. While marketing on Facebook and Instagram might seem like old news, marketing on trendier apps, like TikTok, Pinterest, or Snapchat, can still work to your business’s benefit. A recent study showed that 45% of consumers head to social media when they have a question about something — are you going to be there to answer it? Keeping up with the latest and greatest tech trends in small-business management can be exhausting, but in an age where technological advancement is accelerating faster than ever, it’s necessary for the survival of businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Take a Break!
DATE TRUFFLES Inspired by The Minimalist Baker
Valentine’s Day is all about love …and chocolate. Enjoy these chocolate peanut butter date truffles with your date this Valentine’s Day.
1/4 cup peanut butter 1 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 lb medjool dates, pitted (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1. Using a food processor, blend dates and sea salt until dough can be formed into a ball. Slowly add enough warm water to mixture to thicken dough. 2. Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Freeze for 20–30 minutes. 3. In microwave, warm 1/4 cup peanut butter for 30 seconds, then drizzle peanut butter on top of balls. Freeze balls for another 20 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, in microwave, warm chocolate with coconut oil until melted. Stir well. 5. Coat balls in chocolate and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 6. Top with additional salt and freeze for 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Dan PAGE 1 A Business Owner’s Guide to Surviving February PAGE 1 A Slippery Crime PAGE 2 Important Tech Trends for Small Businesses to Keep Up With PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Date Truffles PAGE 3 Learn All About Leap Year PAGE 4 Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion LEAP INTO 2020 Facts About the Leap Year
people in the world, only about five million of them are“leaplings.”The number of leaplings currently living in the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. WHERE Anthony, Texas/NewMexico (a single town that straddles the two states’borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of theWorld.”The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big.
Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.
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