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Arizona Bank Competes With Major Online Fast Loan Companies

Posted By Julie Smith, Horizon Community Bank, Monday, May 1, 2017

Horizon Community Bank fights unfair “wild west” internet lending practices and brings B2B lending local

Online quick loans can be a catch-22 for the average small business, balancing extremely fast funding with a painful downside: interest that can run thirty percent or more and, in many cases, a complete lack of regulation to protect borrowers.

It’s a simple solution for the busy entrepreneur or business owner with little time for the complex paperwork and lengthy waiting period that conventional funding requires, however, trouble can creep in once there’s a signature on the dotted line. Most online lenders are not regulated like a bank, so they aren’t held to the same laws and protections banks are required to follow.

Locally owned and operated Horizon Community Bank wants to address this issue and has launched an alternative to those who need an easy, fast business line of credit. Like any online loan product, the application process results in a fast decision and funding within 48 hours. Unlike non-bank lenders, though, borrowers can trust in the same regulations and federal compliance oversight that protect any banking transaction.

“By partnering a simple online quick loan product with a brick-and-mortar bank you can trust, we’re blending the best of both worlds. Online quick loans can be a bit of a Wild West environment, leaving borrowers out in the cold when questions or issues arise. The lack of regulation and compliance can come as a nasty surprise,” says Horizon Community Bank President & CEO Jerry Ernst.

“We have branches all over the state of Arizona, providing the in-person relationships and customer service that only a local community bank can provide, with branches a borrower can visit when they need business banking expertise. It’s a win-win.”

Borrowers can request a line of credit up to $50,000 at interest ranging from 15 to 18 percent, with a one-year term that automatically resets if more funds are used. For those who qualify for the loan, a lower interest rate is offered if the borrower opens a checking account at Horizon Community Bank, enabling automatic payments. Business are required to have an existing business checking account (at any bank) to qualify, along with an appropriate credit score. Learn more at http://www.horizoncommunitybank.com/az-business-banking/apply-business-loan/.

 

About HCB

Horizon Community Bank is a locally owned and operated FDIC insured commercial bank with branches in Fort Mohave, Lake Havasu City, Mesa, Parker and Quartzsite. It has almost 80 employees and provides high-touch, customized financial services to those in the healthcare, transportation, real estate, and technology industries, as well as general commercial and consumer services. Horizon Community Bank is a subsidiary of holding company Horizon Bancorp, Inc.

Tags:  arizona  business fundingsmall business  business lending 

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Don't let your client walk away Angry!

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Addressing Complaints - Dont Let your Customer Walk Away Angry!

Customer complaints should be taken seriously and handled sensitively.  You can turn a negative situation into a positive by treating complaints as opportunities to show customers how much you care about providing exceptional service.

Customer’s Bill of Rights:

  • To be taken seriously

  • To be listened to

  • To be respected

  • To receive a quick response

No business, no matter how big or small, likes to have customers complain about the service they have received or the product they have bought. It is upsetting to be the subject of a complaint, and no matter how impersonal it is, it still feels almost like a personal slight. The important thing in business is to respond to such a situation with the necessary level of grace.  Your goal is that the customer goes away raving about what a fabulous degree of customer service they have received in adversity, and promising to return when they next need a similar service.

Mistakes happen in life and business, and so much of what we are about is shown by how we deal with the consequences of these errors. The situation which a customer is complaining about may not even have been your mistake, to begin with, but regardless of who made a mistake, taking ownership of it and dealing with a complaint in a gracious, helpful manner can turn an awkward situation into one which showcases the best of your abilities. There is, in many cases, a tendency to become defensive when someone is complaining – especially if they are doing so in a very forthright manner. Maintaining a professional tone at these times can be difficult, but managing to do it and solve the problem can showcase a positive side of you and the business.

Even if you think the issue about which the customer is complaining is trivial, not a cause for complaint, or not your company’s fault, it is wise to give the client their chance to speak, show that you take them seriously, and offer to do whatever you can. If the problem genuinely turns out to be something you can do nothing about – because of a difficulty with another company’s product or the customers understanding of the way the product should work – there may still be something you can do – by placing a telephone call or getting a technician to check out the problem. By showing a commitment to helping customers, you can win some valuable reputation points.

 

connect with Adrienne for information on workshops on location, luncheons, classes and specialized custom presentations.  adrienne@professionalglobaletiquette.com  www.professionalglobaletiquette.com

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Tags:  Customer Service 

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Why can't I be on my phone during meetings?

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Sunday, April 23, 2017

Topic:  Top 2 reasons why millennia are lacking dining and business etiquette and how this can hurt their careers. The goal is to explain the importance of etiquette education for success.
Business etiquette isn’t just a simple list of rules and regulations – it’s the way in which employees are expected to behave in the workplace, the right things to say and do to create a healthy office environment. With the digital generation all set to enter the workforce, employers are in for a surprise: Millennials have little to no etiquette education and are at a loss on how to behave.
Now let’s consider why millennials lack knowledge on appropriate etiquette: first of all, they spend so much time on their phones and other devices that they have no idea on how to behave during in-person business situations. Simple courtesies such as maintaining proper eye contact while talking and not receiving phones during meetings are given knowledge by employers – but to a millennial, these are foreign things that have to be taught. As well as their lack of experience, there’s also the ever-rising popularity of Facebook and Snapchat.   This generation devotes so much of their time texting in shortcuts, slang, and emojis; they forget how to talk in interviews or a face-to-face conversation appropriately. Despite having an impressive online presence, to millennials, the rules of real-life etiquette are becoming increasingly blurred. 
No wonder employers are going through a severe culture shock – when their 22-year-old employee starts sending text messages during his interview, things are bound to get a little awkward!
Etiquette isn’t just essential in the workplace: business luncheons, dinners, formal parties, there’s unspoken code and manners practically everywhere. It’s hard to emphasize enough how many simple behaviors such as greeting the host with a firm handshake before the meal, saying please and thank you, and not talking with your mouth full can help set up a good impression in front of others. The importance of having good etiquette in an employee is limitless. Here are some of the benefits that a well-mannered working millennial can reap:
1.    Enhances impression: Observing the right etiquette can make you seem more confident and at ease both in and out of the workplace. To employers impressions matter a lot; out of the many applicants, they receive for each open position,  they can only pick one. If you don’t know the correct way to shake someone’s hand or give your business card, people will question your business skills, and you’ll be considered incapable of the job.
2.    Builds strong relationships: Professional etiquette builds solid relationships between management, staff, and clients because it signifies honesty and openness. People like others who exhibit good manners and this generates goodwill between employees, employers, and customers alike.
3.    Gains favor: Imagine that both you and your best friend are applying for the same job position. Both of you possess the same qualifications and academic ability required for the job. The manager then decides to ask you both to a business lunch at an elegant restaurant – who will get the job? Yes, you’ve guessed it: the smarter person with better dining etiquette.
These are just a few of the many benefits gained by displaying proper manners and presentation.  It’s essential that millennials are given a thorough etiquette education, before entering the workforce. No matter how social, tech-friendly or confident a millennial employee may be, he can only gain success in his career by displaying the right attitude and maintaining flawless business etiquette.

For more information, individual and group training and workshops for your company - contact Adrienne Barker, Professional Global Etiquette

www.professionalglobaletiquette.com for additional articles

 

Tags:  business  dining  etiquette  millenials  Professional Development 

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Ahwatukee businessman taking on the big-boy online marketing sites

Posted By Cory Cook, Thymbol, Tuesday, April 18, 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8CtF0ddqRs

Cory Cook considers himself a problem-solver, and when he saw how digital marketing platforms were costing businesses as much as 75 percent of their revenue, he saw an opportunity for his ability.

And so, the Ahwatukee man invented a website that gives consumers the same good deals they can find on places like Groupon, but also gives small businesses a chance to thrive.

And it also is helping some local charities.

“There are so many drawbacks for business owners using the current discount platforms on the market today,” Cook said. “I knew it was time to offer small business owners a mobile marketing outlet that promotes sustainable growth.”

Unlike other similar sites, Thymbol offers businesses complete control over their discount details, and charges a flat monthly fee instead of demanding a share of a client’s revenue.

For consumers, the Thymbol application eliminates expiration dates, blackouts and other restrictions on purchases that come with the buy-in-advance model of the big digital discounters. Money is often lost on deals paid for in advance, but never redeemed, Cook noted.

For businesses, Thymbol also builds cross-marketing and opportunities for repeat business directly into its format.

For consumers, deals can be customized to a user’s location and interests, and get an introduction to the business through online videos and photos of the establishments. And any deal can be used the same day or downloaded for future use, with no risk of losing money.

Hannah Stroke, manager at Knockouts Haircuts for Men, said she likes the video/photo feature because it “allows me to reach new clients by showcasing my many styles with the video feature.”

Francisco Preciado, manager of Fiesta Mexicana, used Thymbol to highlight his happy hour and “to reach new customers and retain them for future visits.”

Thymbol also will be partnering with the Ryan House Foundation and St. Vincent de Paul, offering donations to each charity with every download of the Thymbol app or every business’s monthly subscription.

“My goal is for Thymbol to become a household name and a go-to app for millions of consumers across the nation in the coming year, “Cook says. “We all want a great deal. We all want to feel like a VIP. With Thymbol, that is a reality. It’s a win-win for the business owner, for the consumer and for the charities we will be supporting.”

A Wisconsin resident who has lived in Ahwatukee for about a year, Cook graduated from Ottawa University and earned his master’s in business administration from Keller Graduate School of Management.

Prior to developing Thymbol, he had been part of a start-up company in Portland, Oregon, that provided landlords and prospective tenants with background checks and a list of apartments they’re qualified to rent, respectively.

He came up with the idea for Thymbol “when I discovered how much revenue business owners were losing to Groupon.”

“I knew there was a need for a healthier alternative,” said Cook, who spent five months developing the application’s coding and design.

So far, he has signed up 75 businesses in Ahwatukee and the East Valley, partly by partnering with chambers of commerce and Local First Arizona.

Business can choose one of four packages, which allows the owners to create their own digital coupons for their establishment.

They love having 100 percent control over their consumer discounts,” Cook said.

As for consumers, “a recent focus group downloaded the app for the first time and 100 percent of those surveyed said they loved it. They cited ease of use, user friendliness, video feature, social media sharing and GPS locator as some of their reasons.”

He’s using a variety of platforms to market the app, including online advertising, radio and television commercials and trade show conventions.

Now that he’s landed 75 businesses, his next goal is 50 more and to get 15,000 more consumers to download the app by March 1.

Surprisingly, his biggest challenge has not been technical.

“The biggest challenge so far has been creating the homogeneous buzz,” he said. “We haven't experienced any app bugs or website crashes. All in all, I am fairly pleased with all that has taken place.”

Cook aims to have businesses on the platform in 12 cities by the end of 2017. By the end of 2018, he added, “I want to have businesses on the app in 36 U.S. and Canadian cities.”


www.thymbol.com

 

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Customer Service Etiquette - Addressing Customer Needs

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Sunday, April 16, 2017

Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved.  Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.

-Colin Powell

The first step in improving customer service is to determine what customer's value in their interactions with your organization. What do they want? What do they need? The most obvious way to find out what customers want and need is to ask them. Businesses spend lots of time and money surveying customers, and they often come up with valuable feedback. But the people on the front lines of customer service, people who interact with customers on a daily basis, can gain useful insights into what customer's value just by listening to them and observing them.

The next step, once you have identified customer needs, is to commit yourself to meeting them. But you can’t stop there. To provide exceptional service, you need to go the extra mile to show customers how important they are to your organization.

Understanding the Customer’s Situation

Customer needs are usually fairly self-explanatory, at least on a basic level. Judging on the basis of what your business is, there are often only a few things they can possibly be looking for. What is essential, though, is that you allow the customer to communicate their needs to you rather than attempting to tell them what they need. They know what they need, and that’s why they are here. Any attempt by you to project something on to them is simply going to be taken in a bad way, and is as likely to hurt your sales as anything. Where you can help them is in explaining how those needs can best be met.

Customers will come in many different forms, and each of these forms will present certain challenges. There will be some customers who are very clear about what they want and need, and will put up with very little sales patter from a salesperson. There are others who have only the vaguest idea of what they want to buy, and will essentially give you a rundown of their needs and ask you to fill in the blanks. There are some who will have a lot of questions, and others who will simply want you to do what they ask. In the first few sentences a customer says to you, you will be able to identify their needs or situation, and can operate from there.

The more time you spend in a customer facing role, the more you will learn about the kinds of customer, and the different needs that they have. You will become adept at learning what a certain customer wants from you, and will be able to identify the way the situation will go without needing to ask too many questions. The benefit of experience is in how it allows you to make quick decisions and satisfy the customer in an efficient and courteous manner. It is often said that there are no bonuses or statistics for customer service, but it is customer service that will bring the most sales and the most repeat business.

Staying Outside the Box

Many people argue that the quickest way of judging a situation is to pre-judge it. Those who trust their instincts to give them the right steer in a situation may often get it right, and find that there is real benefit in doing so. Certainly, the advantages of having good instincts are clearly evidenced by good results in terms of sales. However, it can also be negative to be too quick off the mark in terms of identifying a customer’s needs. The results of this course of action can be that you appear either presumptuous or incompetent, and you may even insult the customer by being so bold. It is generally worth allowing the customer a chance to let you know what they want. They may well leave some information incomplete, and this is where your sales instincts can be most useful.

There are many ways you can fall into the trap of presuming too much. Many people tend to judge customers by appearance, and assume that because a customer of the same age, gender or any other grouping tends to want a specific item, that this will necessarily hold true of any customer in that sector. It helps to allow the customer to say what they are going to say first, and then fill in any blanks that are left. It may seem like a neat trick to “know” what the customer wants before they say anything, but when you get it wrong it seems less like a trick and more like a really stupid thing to do. Appearing competent is what’s essential.

Apart from any other reason to pause and listen, there is the fact that it is just good manners to do so. Appearing impolite and almost trying to give the impression that you know the customer’s needs better than they themselves do, is something that will lose you sales. What you really want to portray is that you have the wisdom to recognize the customer’s needs, and the good grace to let them make things clear themselves. You will benefit a lot more from showing consideration than you will from any party tricks.

http://www.professionalglobaletiquette.com/2017/04/customer-service-etiquette-addressing-customer-needs/

 

Tags:  adrienne barker  business service  customer service  etiquette  Improve Sales 

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THE PLANE IS AT THE GATE

Posted By Susan F. Moody, Starshine Associates, Saturday, April 1, 2017

Are you a female entrepreneur in the Phoenix area?  Then you are in the fastest growing demographic of business owners in the country!

Last week, Kristin Slice of the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and leader of Empowered PhXX gave a presentation at StarshineAZ in Glendale on the latest research, data and trends on building women owned businesses in our community. “I am so pleased that StarshineAZ is opening this May”, says Slice. “I love to see women helping women to collectively grow their businesses.”

 

Research provided by Empowered PhXX has proven that women business owners are a key economic factor in creating sustainable, dynamic, local communities. Also noted was that there is a huge gap of support for women-owned businesses in the ready-for-growth stage.

 

StarshineAZ is planning to fill that gap in the West Valley by offering a collaborative co-working space and co-op that provides female entrepreneurs the opportunity to thrive in connection with others and make a positive impact on the community while fostering their personal health and well-being. 

“There are so many local resources in place for the start-up entrepreneur,” stated Susan F. Moody, Starshine co-founder. “but what is available for those of us who have already launched our business and need a community and connections to continue to grow?”

Plans are well under way for creating this innovative, collaborative space in the West Valley at the Glendale Airport. With a launch date scheduled this May, Starshine is pre-selling memberships. “There are only so many seats on this plane,” says Leeanne Gardner, Starshine co-founder, “so you may want to buy your ticket now. And, yes, early bird pricing is available!”

StarshineAZ inspires, supports and mentors women business owners who find their passion and their purpose through their company and provides them with the Systems, Training, Advice and Resources so they can achieve greater success in their business and happiness in their life.

For more information on The West Valley’s 1st Co-Op and Co-Working Space for Women, check out their website at www.StarshineAZ.com

Tags:  bu  coaching and mentoring  co-op community  co-working space  female entrepreneur  networking 

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4 Tips for 5 Star Customer Service Review

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Tuesday, March 28, 2017

If you are in business, then you are in the business of customer service.   Everyone in a company, even if you are a one-man band, is responsible for providing effective service that will contribute to success and profits for the company.   The differences between effective and ineffective service is a matter of sensitivity, sincerity, attitude and human relations skills.  The good news is that these skills can be learned.  It is important to have the following:  positive attitude, cheerful outlook, enjoy people, enjoy putting customers on center state, high energy, fast pace, flexible and enjoy new demands and experiences and can allow customers to be right even when not.   If you tend to be depressed, angry, like to work alone or with items, need to be center of attention, works at a relaxed pace, no care about the client, likes everything predictable and orderly and you want others to know you are right will lead to service failures.   Let’s talk about how we can turn this around with just a character adjustment.

Customer Service has 2 parts, the procedural and personal.  It is important to have established systems and protocol to deliver the products and service.  On the personal side, it is how your people interact with the customers.   Let’s talk about the person side of customer service.  

First, understand that attitude is a state of mind influenced by feelings, thoughts and actions.  The saying, the attitude you send out is usually the attitude you get back is true.   First step is send a positive attitude to others.  Remember that every time you work with the client, you are on the big stage, and you need to act accordingly just as if you were an actor.   You need to check any poor attitude at the door and work on being positive.  First step is to make sure your appearance matches your positive personality.  You never get a second chance to make a first positive first impression.  Keep in mind your hairstyle, personal cleanliness habits, clothing and jewelry, neatness and general grooming. 

Next is your body language and my advice is to hold your head high and steady, make sure your arms move in a natural and unaffected manner.  Are your facial muscles relaxed and under control and do you find it easy to maintain a natural smile?  How is your eye contact?

Another important part of your attitude is the sound of your voice.  Remember the tone of your voice, or how you say something is more important than the words you use.

When you are using the telephone your positive attitude must come through the phone.  The adage to put a smile on your face is one that works and the client can feel your smile through the phone.

Another important part is to stay energized. The realities of customer service are the exertion of emotional labor.  It does take its toll.  Make sure that you are energized and can charge your batteries when needed.  Never take out the fact you are tired on the client. Also, don’t talk about being tired and working too hard when on the job.

Remember that a positive attitude is nothing more than really liking your job and allowing your actions and words to broadcast this enjoyment to your customers, supervisors and fellow employees.   Make sure you have the right mindset and take this part of customer service important.   This is just step one in customer service.   Even these simple tips will help you score 5 star reviews.

 

Thank you to Kaylee from the BBB Tucson office for the artwork design.

 

Tags:  business services  customer service  Improve Sales  small 

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Open New Doors for Prospecting

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sales are contingent on the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect. William Clement Stone

In your business, how often does your salesforce actually recruit new clients? I know some companies make it mandatory and other places leave it up to each salesperson. Are your salespeople sharing  the results with others and do they find their own competitive spirit helps to push them to continue to seek out new clients? I believe in a consistent approach to prospecting.


For prospecting to be successful make sure you always choose a time for scheduling sales calls. See the list below of the various ways we can search out new clients. I would suggest early in the day but pick a time that is the most productive for yourself and your prospects. Make sure your team is prepared and knows what they will say ahead of time, but remember to be flexible and never read from a script. Last you must remain professional and don’t let a negative attitude get in your way.


Let’s think about your ideal client! Remember you can fulfill the needs and wants of your ideal customer so go after them. Be confident. Conduct research to determine who benefits from your product. The information that you must find beyond how your product meets client needs includes the following:

·       Values and priorities

·       Budgets

·       Age

·       Gender

·       Buying habits

·       Profession

·       Interests


Once you have identified the ideal customer, you will be able to focus your time on prospects who are likely to become your clients.  My ideal buyers that I enjoyed helping were retirement homes, teachers unions, schools, camps, health care, nonprofits and at one time I called every funeral home in CT. Every call I made got me closer to the sale. I learned from each call and enjoyed making sure I asked the right questions. By the way, the minute they answered the phone I introduced myself and asked if this was a good time to talk. Asking this question is important, and I get many calls each day trying to sell me, and not one person asks me if it is the right opportunity to have a conversation. It shows respect when you ask that question. Don’t just assume because I answer the phone that it is a good time to chat. I often respond to the phone in case the call is an emergency regarding a family member.


Start with a plan. End with a plan.

There are numerous prospecting methods available, and each one can be discussed more in detail. While you will probably choose multiple methods of prospecting, you must focus your energy on ways that your prospects will respond to when they are exposed to them. For example, younger buyers are less likely to answer to cold calling and more liable to answer to social networking and webinars. Prospecting methods commonly used include:

  • ·       Cold calling
  •         Direct Mail
  • ·       Referrals
  • ·       Content marketing
  • ·       Email marketing
  • ·       Networking
  • ·       Seminars
  • ·       Social networking
  • ·       Webinars
  • ·       Advertising

Develop a habit. It is like a virus, the more you make connections, the more you want more. It will be hard to stop.  The excitement of cold calling will drive you to continue to push out calls.  I can spout number facts for you but the point is that you not only need to, but you will want to call every day.   I found that it did become a habit and looked forward to making time to connect each day.

I realize there are thousands of articles on cold calling, but I want to add my voice. I enjoyed cold calling, and I made hundreds of calls each week when I worked with MDA selling Shamrocks Against Dystrophy. I was successful because I worked each call to its fullest ability. I did the same at BSC because even when I felt extremely busy, I knew it there could be a time when you lose a client, or sales would slow down. I believed every call I made was my insurance policy for future sales. These calls would protect me and guarantee that I continue to gain new clients and orders.

The success of cold calling often depends on the attitude of the caller. A sales person who does not believe in the effectiveness of cold calling is not going to project the confidence necessary for success. Maintaining a positive attitude will go further than you think. Cold calling has become increasingly difficult, but it is worth the reward. Do not expect to close a sale with a cold call. While it may happen, the purpose is to connect with the prospect. It is not for everyone; you need true grit and motivation. If your sales people are highly competitive, then I would probably suggest an incentive sales program. Start this process with the team and when the habit is formed then everyone will already be prepared.

Successful cold calling requires extensive preparation. You need to understand the prospect and how your product relates to the prospect’s needs. You need to focus on:

1.     Introducing yourself and your company – make sure you know your unique value proposition. To understand this, you need to know your competition.

2.     Finding out the prospect needs – you want to make sure these questions flow freely so it does not sound like you are asking them, but you should try to get this information.

3.     Educating the prospect about how you can meet needs

4.     Maintain contact with the prospect. Find out their social media information, let them know you are interested and also connect on Linkedin! Have an offer so you can stay connected. Try an email blast showing specials, or sign up to read great blogs of education. Confirm their street address and then follow up with a direct mail for a great double whammy!

Next article will focus on Direct Mail.

Where we are today in regards to email and social media, really makes direct mail something that is new and unusual. We need to realize this is another great way to show your creative side and snag a new client.

Be sure to visit www.promoindustry.guru for up to date news stories showcasing the promotional product and manufacturing industry.

Tags:  cold calls  direct mail  Sales Prospecting 

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HOBBY OR BUSINESS

Posted By George (Clint) Frederick CPA PLLC, George Frederick CPA PLLC, Wednesday, March 15, 2017

HOBBY OR BUSINESS

The March issue of “The Tax Advisor” published by the Tax Division of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) contained a number of articles on whether an activity was a hobby or a business.  Having raised horses for years we always took a deduction for our horses.  We bred horses, sold the offspring, and although we always had the intent to show a profit, rarely did we profit from our horse breeding business. All it would take was one ‘world beater’ that would put us on the map as world class horse breeders.  Although we thought we were close a few times we were never able to breed that million dollar horse.  So, these cases mentioned in “The Tax Advisor” are of interest, not only to us personally, but also to many other tax payers who may be in the equine or other non-hobby business. 

Background:  Internal Revenue Section 183-2 (b) provides relevant factors on whether an activity is engaged for profit or a hobby. No one factor is controlling but intended to be taken into account in determination of the taxpayer’s intent. These factors are:

1.     Manner in which the taxpayer carries on the activity – i.e. is it business like.

2.     Experience of the taxpayer or his advisors –

3.     Time and effort expended by the taxpayer in carrying on the activity –

4.     Expectation of appreciation in value of the assets used in the activity

5.     Success of taxpayer in carrying on other or dissimilar activities

6.     History of income or losses with respect to the activity –

7.     The amount of occasional profits ,if any, which are earned –

8.     The financial status of the taxpayer – if there is substantial other income it may be a hobby

9.     Elements of personal pleasure or recreation –

The first case cited in “The Tax Advisor’ was a Horse Breeding activity.  That is obviously what perked my interest in the article.  The taxpayer started the horse breeding activity as a hobby, but in later years turned the hobby into a business.  (Not unlike our situation) The tax court disallowed the horse breeding expenses for two years, but on appeal the Seventh Court ruled the start-up expenses were a hobby, but allowed the later years deductions.  The court stated, “…it may have been a fun business, but fun doesn’t convert a business to a hobby.”

Next was a car restoration business.  A close friend of mine does this – and since his wife prepares tax returns I would imagine it is a business for him.  In the case reported the taxpayer was a very successful patent attorney.  His passion was restoring 1955 and 1956 Plymouth cars.  The court ruled that although the activity was unsophisticated, it was businesslike, and allowed his deductions.

The car restoration business was followed by a Hair Braiding business.  The taxpayer never showed a profit.  She leased a space in a shopping mall under a long-term lease for nine years.  The tax court found she had a profit motive and had a loss primarily because of her rental contract. The court found there was no personal pleasure in operating the salon activity, “Although the taxpayer had a nostalgic fondness for hair braiding, sitting in an empty booth in a shopping mall is not as much fun as (say) riding horse.” 

In another case a wealthy taxpayer lost his deductions for his aircraft leasing business since he failed to prove that he was in the business for a profit, even though he had positive cash flow from the activity.  The reason the taxpayer did not avoid “avoidable losses’ and did not abandon unprofitable activities that would indicate a profit motive.  The taxpayer deducted over half-million in losses attributed to the activity while reporting other income of over $2 million.

Something many housewives might be engaged in is selling Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, and other products.  In this situation the taxpayer was engaged in selling Amway products.  The taxpayer had seven years of losses from being a distributor.  For these seven years the taxpayer did not seek any outside business advice and did not show that it was operating as a business.  All she had were receipts for expenditures, and no receipts for sells to customers.  The losses were not allowed. 

Whether your activity is a hobby, or you are in the business for a profit, the best advice you can get is from someone that is in the business, and be sure to check with your CPA when preparing your taxes.  

George C. Frederick CPA CFE

480 502 1617

Tags:  BUSINESS  HOBBY  TAX 

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#MemberMonday

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 6, 2017

Have we mentioned how much we <3 our members? So much so that we'll be featuring new members every week! Get familiar with this week's fresh faces. 

Randstad Staffing-Office Administratiive
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding 
nv, a $24.5 billion global provider of HR services. As one of the largest staffing organizations in the United States, Randstad provides temporary, temporary-to-hire and permanent placement services each week to over 100,000 people through its network of more than 900 branches and on-site locations.

Connect with Randstad Staffing - Office Administrative 

Chapman Group Holdings LLC

Chapman Group Holdings, LLC, is a business that was started in 2015, with the sole purpose of assisting asset management companies, realtors, and banks. We currently offer services that include, but are not limited to: interior/exterior cleaning, debris/trash removal, and lawn maintenance care.

Connect with Chapman Group Holdings LLC

A&J Bookkeeping and Business Support
Our staff has extensive experience in preparation and supervision of day-to-day and analytical accounting, including: administration all accounting through financial statements, tax records and meeting deadlines, cost accounting, work in progress, cash flow controls, set up of managerial reports, set up of budget processes. We work with your staff to create the managerial reports to assist and support your business; A & J Bookkeeping and Business Support enables their clients to make timely and strategic business decisions.

Connect with A & J Bookkeeping and Business Support

Tags:  ASBA  ASBA News  AZ Small Biz  New Members  Small Business 

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