Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Protecting Your Assets from the Government

Protecting Your Assets from an Out-of-Control Government, Daily Reckoning, by Terry Coxon, Posted May 10, 2012

"Every billion-dollar tick of the government debt clock, every expansion of the government’s regulatory apparatus, every overreaching judicial decision made in the name of a compelling public need, every inversion of protection for citizens into license for the state and every intellectually tortured discovery of a new meaning in the Constitution’s 4,400 old words leaves a few thousand more people wondering how prudent it is to consign all their eggs to a single national basket. Encounters with high-handed IRS agents and eager TSA gropers do nothing to ease that concern..."

Rung 1: Coins in Your Pocket

"Gold coins that you’ve stored personally give you something whose value doesn’t depend on the health of the US economy, doesn’t depend on any financial institution in the US and doesn’t depend on any US government policy..."

Rung 2: A Foreign Bank Account

"On its own initiative, the IRS can freeze any bank account in the US without warning. The action might arise from mistaken identity, from an erroneous filing by some other taxpayer, from your failure to respond to an IRS notice in time or even from a postal error. And that’s what can happen without malice. Other government agencies have similar powers to act on their own, without giving you an opportunity to object in court."


Policing for Profit - The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture , Institute of Justice, March 30, 2010

Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. With civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your property and use it to fund their budgets—all without charging you with a crime. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but with civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent—and law enforcement has a huge incentive to police for profit, not justice.

And because most state and federal laws allow police and prosecutors to pocket the proceeds, they have a big incentive to pursue profits, not justice.

No surprise—abuse is rampant. One New York police department spent forfeiture funds on food, gifts and entertainment. In Georgia, forfeiture funds paid for football tickets for a DAs office. In Louisiana, cops used funds to pay for ski trips to Aspen. And a DA in Texas used forfeiture dollars to buy TV ads for his re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, citizens are seeing cash, cars and other property taken away for the flimsiest of reasons. Carrying too much cash? Police can accuse you of selling drugs or laundering money and seize it, no conviction or even arrest required.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

L. Joseph Posner, MS, JD is Now Linked to Thumbtack

L. Joseph Posner, MS, JD is now linked to Thumbtack at Business Consultant with 35 Years Experience

Thumbtack is an Internet based service that helps consumers find service businesses.
Thumbtack lists more than 250,000 professionals across 50 states.

Monday, August 5, 2013

What steps can I take to improve my business cash flow?

To achieve a positive cash flow, you must have a sound plan. Your business can increase cash reserves in a number of ways:

• Collecting receivables: Actively manage accounts receivable and quickly collect overdue accounts. Revenues are lost when a firm's collection policies are not aggressive.

• Tightening credit requirements: As credit and terms become more stringent, more customers must pay cash for their purchases, thereby increasing the cash on hand and reducing the bad-debt expense. While tightening credit is helpful in the short run, it may not be advantageous in the long run. Looser credit allows more customers the opportunity to purchase your products or services.

• Manipulating price of products: Many small businesses fail to make a profit because they erroneously price their products or services. Before setting your prices, you must understand your product's market, distribution costs, and competition. Monitor all factors that affect pricing on a regular basis and adjust as necessary.

• Taking out short-term loans: Loans from various financial institutions are often necessary for covering short-term cash-flow problems. Revolving credit lines and equity loans are common types of credit used in this situation.

• Increasing your sales: Increased sales would appear to increase cash flow. However, if large portions of your sales are made on credit, when sales increase, your accounts receivable increase, not your cash. Meanwhile, inventory is depleted and must be replaced. Because receivables usually will not be collected until 30 days after sales, a substantial increase in sales can quickly deplete your firm's cash reserves.

What should I include in a business plan?

The following outline of a typical business plan can serve as a guide that you can adapt to your specific business:
•Financial Management
•Concluding Statement

Q: What should be included in the introduction to my business plan?

A: The introductory section of your business plan should give a detailed description of the business and its goals, discuss its ownership and legal structure, list the skills and experience you bring to the business, and identify the competitive advantage your business possesses.

Q: What should be included in the marketing section of my business plan?

A: In the marketing section, you should discuss what products/services your business offers and the customer demand for them. Furthermore, this section should identify your market and discuss its size and locations. Finally, you should explain various advertising, marketing, and pricing strategies you plan to utilize.

Q: What should be included in the financial management section of my business plan?

A: In this section, explain the source and amount of initial equity capital. Also, develop a monthly operating budget for the first year as well as an expected return on investment, or ROI, and monthly cash flow for the first year. Next, provide projected income statements and balance sheets for a two-year period, and discuss your break-even point. Explain your personal balance sheet and method of compensation. Discuss who will maintain your accounting records and how they will be kept. Finally, provide "what if" statements that address alternative approaches to any problem that may develop.

Q: What should be included in the operations section of my business plan?

A: This section explains how the business will be managed on a day-to-day basis. It should cover hiring and personnel procedures, insurance, lease or rent agreements. It should also account for the equipment necessary to produce your products or services and for production and delivery of products and services.

Q: What should be included in the concluding statement of my business plan?

A: In the ending summary statement, summarize your business goals and objectives and express your commitment to the success of your business. Also be specific as to how you plan to achieve your goals.

Business Succession Planning

How can I ensure that my small business will survive the transition into the next generation?

Less than one third of family businesses survive the transition from first to second generation ownership. Of those that do, about half do not survive the transition from second to third generation ownership. At any given time, 40 percent of U.S. businesses are facing the transfer of ownership issue. Founders are trying to decide what to do with their businesses; however, the options are few.

The following is a list of options to consider:
•Close the doors.
•Sell to an outsider or employee.
•Retain ownership but hire outside management.
•Retain family ownership and management control.

There are four basic reasons why family firms fail to transfer the business successfully:
•Lack of viability of the business.
•Lack of planning.
•Little desire on the owner's part to transfer the firm.
•Reluctance of offspring to join the firm.

The primary cause for failure is the lack of planning. With the right succession plans in place, the business, in most cases, will remain healthy.

What's involved in succession planning for family businesses?

Transferring the family business requires the family to make a determined effort to do the following:
•Create a business strategic plan.
•Create a family strategic plan.
•Prepare an Estate Plan.
•Prepare a Succession Plan, including arranging for successor training and setting a retirement date.

These are the four plans that make up the transition process. By implementing them, you will virtually ensure the successful transfer of your business within the family hierarchy.

Q: What is a business strategic plan?

A: A strategic plan for the business will allow each generation an opportunity to chart a course for the firm. Setting business goals as a family will ensure that everyone has a clear picture of the company's future. This plan is long term in nature and focuses on where you want the business to be at some future date.

Q: What is a family strategic plan?

A: The family strategic plan is needed to maintain a healthy, viable business. It establishes policies for the family's role in the business. For example, it may include an entry and exit policy that outlines the criteria for working in the business. It should include the creed or mission statement that spells out your family's values and basic policies for the business. The plan should consider which family members desire to have a part in management of the business versus those who desire a more passive role.

Q: What is an estate plan?

A: An estate plan is critical for the family and the business. Without it, you will pay higher estate taxes than necessary, allocating less of the estate to your heirs. The estate plan should be used in conjunction with the succession plan to see that the family business is transferred in a tax effective manner.

Q: What is a succession plan?

A: A succession plan will ease the founding or current generation's concerns about transferring the firm. It outlines how succession will occur and how to know when the successor is ready.

Business Market Valuations:

DEFINITION - What exactly is a Business Market Valuation?
A Business Market Valuation shows what a business is worth and can sell for at this moment. We do a complete market valuation analysis then provide a detailed report. Our valuations are based on multiple factors including actual cash flow and hard assets. We then apply an industry specific formula to determine your market value. This is a 3-5 page report and will not only provide you the actual market value but will also provide alternative pricing methods for comparison purposes.

NEEDS - Who needs a Business Market Valuation and why?

1.EVERY Business Owner - you should know your value at all times OR...
2.A Business Owner interested in selling in the next 12 months
3.A Business Owner already selling without a business valuation
4.A Business Owner considering expansion financing
5.A Business Buyer interested in a business for sale but wants a real valuation

PROCESS - It is a very simple 3-Step Process to getting your valuation?
1.Set up your Market Valuation Consultation meeting with us below
2.Meet a representative of our company to review your financials with you
3.We will take notes regarding your business and financials then send you the valuation within 2-3 business days
4.WE DO NOT need to take your financials with us but you will need them for the consultation