Surf City Lawyers February 2018



BUILD STRONGER CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS During the busy season, you don’t have time for every special client retention project that pops up. But, during the off-season, you more than likely have time to spare. Don’t wait for the next season to ramp up your referral campaigns or customer outreach. Get that marketing pitch off the ground and get people excited about your business. That way, when your busy season returns, your customers or clients will be ready. Do everything you can to keep your business top of mind. Send them newsletters (like this one) or send them a card. If you don’t, you may end up with fewer customers than expected when things pick up again. Your existing customers and your prospects may have legitimately forgotten about you. AUDIT YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE Run a review campaign for your Google or Facebook profiles. Turn it into a contest and get people involved. When you keep customers or clients engaged, they will be more likely to be there for you when the off-season comes to a close. Even better, take a holistic look at your web content. How is your search engine optimization working for you? While you may have an off-season, Google definitely doesn’t, and they constantly update their web standards. Check your blog and make sure your own web standards are up to par, and confirm that your business’s contact information is correct on Google Maps.

Almost every business — no matter the industry or niche — has an off- season. Year after year, it takes people by surprise. You may plan to have fewer customers, but then when the time comes, your savings aren’t adequate or your budget isn’t tight enough. The reality is, some businesses don’t survive their off-season because they fail to properly prepare for it. Don’t be that kind of business! DIVERSIFY YOUR SERVICES In the northern parts of the United States and Canada, landscaping businesses retool for the winter. They plow snow, clear ice, and haul and cut firewood when the weather won’t quite allow for their normal work. Meanwhile, golf courses let their patrons know the clubhouse is available to rent for corporate and family events during colder seasons, and when it comes to the green itself, courses often offer significantly reduced rates to players. An alternative revenue stream keeps your business up and running no matter the season and it keeps your team employed. Just don’t try to overdiversify and enter a niche you’re not equipped to handle. Be smart about it. For instance, landscapers have trucks and trailers, both of which make it easier to plow snow and haul wood. What can you use or repurpose that you already have access to? One of the most important services we offer at Surf City Lawyers is what we do for probate hearings. This is generally a twofold process that is included in estate planning. The first priority is centered around preventative maintenance. This is where we help you set up an estate so that you can avoid probate court at all costs. The second priority is when probate becomes inevitable, and this is when we take on the challenge of helping you through the process. DRAWN OUT PROCESS Probate takes up to six months to even get a court date set. From there, the actual date is 3–4 months out from that point. This leaves you waiting for a year just to make sure all the items of an estate go where they need to. By setting up a clear line of succession through complete estate planning, we can make sure you avoid this monster. WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE TO GO TO COURT? Sometimes probate is unavoidable due to a litany of circumstances. In this case, we step in and help in any way possible. How we help is really up to you. Many clients like to organize things on their own, in which case we provide a checklist and oversight for all the items needed. In other cases, clients are too busy to handle the mounds of paperwork that go into probate hearings. In this instance, we’ll go through all the information for you and make sure your case is foundationally solid and ready for court. DON’T LEAVE YOUR VALUABLES UP TO THE COURTS Avoid Probate by Setting Up an Estate

Regardless if you go to court or not, it’s important to be understanding throughout this process. Something that doesn’t matter to you may have extreme importance to someone else. Money and valuables are very touchy subjects, and this is why keeping an open door and mind is key to having a smooth and seamless probate process. If you find yourself needing help with estate planning or going to probate court, contact us today at 714-533-9210 and ask for Anna. 2

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