The IRS Show – How you and your business should interact with the IRS – SBS 68

This week on the Small Business Show, we start off by revisiting the concept of not setting financial goals for your business, but rather, developing systems that you can continually achieve success with and adjust for mistakes over time. Dave and Shannon have been using this concept for years, but it took Scott Adams book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big to lay it out in detail. Scott’s book is a must read.

Longtime listener Dan T. sent in a question which led us into the main topic of the show, How to interact with the IRS.

Dan’s question: Hey guys – I have a question for you. I’ve started getting some letters from the IRS about my businesses tax filings from a couple of years ago. I think I know the answer to most of the questions they have, but I’m kind of freaking out that this may lead to an audit or something. I don’t have anything to hide, but having never been through this type of thing before, any tips for dealing with the IRS?

Thanks so much for contacting us for help, Dan! It’s no surprise that we do have some tips on how to interact with the IRS that may help with your situation. We dive into a lot of details, but the two main points we want to make this week are:

First, humanize your relationship with the IRS. Pickup the phone and make contact with who sent the letter, or call your local IRS office for help. Be up front, honest and transparent and chances are, you’ll find someone at the IRS that will take a vested interest in helping your situation. Treating that person with respect and connecting with them personally can make a tremendous difference in how things go for you.

It’s also important not to forget that YOU are a customer of the IRS! That’s right, part of their job is to please you, believe it or not. IRS employees are trained to treat you well and to offer council to help solve problems to everyone’s benefit. Now, this doesn’t mean they have the power to relieve you of paying money if you owe it, but they can (and should) make the process as painless as possible. If you are not getting the type of treatment you expect, Shannon has some tips on getting someone else to take over your case.

The IRS and your business are such huge topics that, of course, we ran out of time to cover everything we wanted to. Look for a 2nd installment of the The IRS Show soon!


Salaried vs Hourly Employees, Facebook ads and more! – SBS 67

Do you compartmentalize your business? How do you keep things in perspective when solving problems? We discuss the importance of AMF (always moving forward!) when tackling problems with your small business as well as setting up triggers to help keep you accountable.

We then move into a discussion of the new Federal Overtime rules that hike the hourly threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. How will this impact your managers and supervisors that are salaried? Will you adjust pay rates to cover additional overtime payments? Dave and Shannon do their best to be objective and discuss both sides of this new rule.

In this episode, you can also find out how to get yourself one of the coveted Small Business Show T-shirts shown below. It’s simple, we promise!

sbs-shirt-back sbs-shirt-front

And we wrap up the show with some tips on Facebook advertising that you won’t want to miss with information about targeting your audience, getting help and finding out about local Facebook events near you.

Listen in, learn and join in the discussion! We would love to hear from you via our voicemail and text line at 401-472-4249 or on our Facebook page.

Show links:

New Federal overtime rules – article in the NY Post

Facebook business advertising info

What works best on Facebook? Boosted posts, promoted posts or newsfeed ads? Good article on the CBO blog.

Finding local Facebook events to learn about promoting your business on the site.


Small Business Highs and Lows. Overcoming Adversity and Powering Through Problems – SBS 66

IMG_1660Does everything always go right with your small business? We didn’t think so. Dave and Shannon have had a bad week and no amount of their patented optimistic self-delusion will get them through without spending some time on the Small Business Show sharing their stories and talking through ways to keep yourself and your team motivated when times are tough.

Shannon talks about the risks of being overly optimistic and what to do when donuts just aren’t enough to get smiles back on your employees faces after a setback. Dave share’s a story about using the law to solve a problem when things go really bad. Speaking of the law, we discuss advice from your attorney and why you should take every step possible before you file a lawsuit that will eat up your cash, your time and your mindshare that would otherwise be focused on your small business.

We’re big fans of outside advisors and this week we talk about Clarity’s service can connect you with business experts on a cost-per-minute basis when you need some quick advice in a specialized area. If you are a business consultant, Clarity also offers a good way to connect with new clients. Where else can you get a phone call from Mark Cuban, even it does set you back $167 per minute!

Listen in and you’ll learn about the importance of the destroyed floor photo above and much more on episode 66 of the Small Business Show!

Small Business Planning for the Worst and Scott Adams Book – SBS 65

What happens to your well thought-out Small Business plans if you become incapacitated? Who steps in to handle the myriad of details that you take care of each day. Dave and Shannon have discussed the more formal ways to setup a succession plan, such as disability insurance and Key Man policies, but what about the equally important, but informal information that you may have stuck in your head? We talk about how we setup “bread crumb” trails to help whoever may have to step in to take over our role, as well as ways to share information to help during a management transition. We call this the “Hit By a Bus” plan.

Shannon then opens a discussion about a new book by Scott Adams of Dilbert fame, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.” A favorite quote, “goals are for losers,” leads us to talk about Adams’ concept of Systems instead of Goals. You’ll hear about why we think this is right on target and you’ll find out if Dave or Shannon have EVER set a financial Goal for their businesses.

We wrap up the show with a powerful story from Dave based on the idea that it never hurts to ask as well as a phone call from Scott that sheds some insight into Dave’s idea of becoming an Expert Witness as a side business. Our favorite comment from Scott: “You’re basically teaching children, using adult language”. Thanks for the call, Scott!