In both business and personal life I have come to rely heavily on OneNote for keeping my thoughts and research organized and accessible. Microsoft’s OneNote application is the perfect central repository for both personal and team notes. The app’s seamless integration with Outlook makes it so easy for us to do two incredibly important things daily: (1) retain and share important emails, and (2) keep good meeting notes. If you have not tried Microsoft’s free OneNote application, I encourage you to give it a shot. I promise that disciplined use of it will transform how you keep your digital life in order. Following is an excellent walkthrough of the application:
Protect your business’s most important asset – data. Robert Herjavec speaks with Association of International Certified Professional Accountants CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, on cybersecurity trends and best practices.
This free, archived web event is designed for business executives, IT security officers, risk officers, cloud service providers, boards of directors, US CPA firms and their clients and anyone interested in having a robust cybersecurity program.
Some of our biggest headaches in business are the result of states continually seeking new ways to increase revenue and to “steal” from our margins. Government jurisdictions for decades have made income and sales tax regulations extremely complex and very difficult to comply with. In my continued pursuit of finding answers to how our businesses can effectively comply with tax regulations, I recently stumbled upon a podcast episode from Scott Voelker (www.theamazingseller.com) where he did a great job interviewing Mark Faggiano, the founder of TaxJar (www.taxjar.com).
I must give credit where credit is due. Mark does an amazing job in this interview of answering some difficult questions around sales tax as it relates to online sales. He even goes into some specifics on dealing with Amazon FBA and the ramifications of selling inventory that is stored in Amazon fulfillment centers across the country.
Have you heard the term “nexus” used in sales tax discussions? Well, it is one of the most important aspects of the taxation law to understand as it helps us determine what online sales qualify for sales tax collection. In a nutshell, nexus refers to “the place where you as a business are actually doing business”. In all cases, your business has nexus in the state in which you reside and do your work. You may also have nexus in other states where you have employees or warehouse inventory. It is important to remember that state regulations typically require your business to collect sales tax on any sales made to residents of states in which you have nexus.
I am a little wiser after having consumed this interview and its rich content. Here are 3 nuggets of wisdom that I was able to dig out:
- When we determine that we have nexus in a state, we must get a sales tax license in that state, collect sales tax from customers in that state, and file sales tax returns in that state.
- If Amazon sells your inventory and collects sales tax from your customer, Amazon does not send that tax to the state on your behalf but rather gives you the money to remit to the state yourself (along with the proper sales tax returns with that state). It is your responsibility, not Amazon’s, to stay in compliance.
- Most states unfortunately have numerous “layers” of sales tax compliance requiring us to pay close attention to staying in compliance with not only the state government but also the many jurisdictions that may also be looking for tax returns and remittances (i.e. county, city, school district, utility district, etc.)
Do you need help with sales tax compliance? Contact us with questions or go check out www.taxjar.com.
The entrepreneurial mindset can be both a blessing and a curse. It drives us to always be improving and innovating but also pushes us at times to a lack of contentment. My contention is that this is the only way to live life to its fullest. Apply this mindset to every aspect of your life and your experiences will be so much more fulfilling.
As a result of reaching this conclusion, my business partners and I continually explore opportunities to learn, serve, and innovate. We explore such things as subscription based models, info products, coaching, website development, and webinars.
All of those opportunities have great potential but are based primarily on selling services rather than tangible products. In this article I share five things learned from one of our ventures: selling books on Amazon.
Selling your product on Amazon is simple and efficient. Here are five reasons why you should give it a try.
1. Become an Amazon seller with just a few clicks of the mouse. Amazon’s systems make the process so easy. Simply start by establishing an account at sellercentral.amazon.com where you are given a powerful dashboard for managing products, inventory, and sales. It’s a full inventory and sales management system right at your fingertips.
2. Enter products and manage inventory using a smartphone. One of the most powerful features of the system is its ability to be managed using a smartphone or tablet. Numerous apps are available that use the camera on a mobile device to identify a product simply by scanning the barcode on the item. The identifying information received from the barcode is used to instantly search the Amazon database for all information on the product necessary to sell it.
3. Obtain relevant market data on every book being sold. Amazon doesn’t just account for the information you tell it about your product being sold. Its powerful system delivers to you relevant sales history, current pricing, and customer feedback so that you can make an informed decision on how to market your product. This includes determining an optimal sales price based on data from how the product is being sold by other sellers in the global Amazon marketplace.
4. Adopt proven packing and shipping techniques for minimizing time and expense on each books sold. When it comes to specifically shipping a book sold to an Amazon customer, there are some proven techniques that are both affordable and efficient. Since Amazon by default charges $3.99 to the customer for shipping and handling a book sold, you can keep packaging and shipping costs low and add little margin on this phase of the sale. Here is some specific information you will find useful in minimizing time and expense around packing and shipping books:
5. Leverage Amazon’s 24/7 global reach to optimize sales potential. Think about it… what makes more sense? Should you let that product sit on the bookshelf collecting dust? Or, should you offer it for sale on the incredible global Amazon platform? It amazes me how simple the process can be if you are willing to invest a little time in building your storefront and adding both products and inventory.
I encourage you to give Amazon Seller Central a try today. If you have any thoughts about selling products, Amazon makes it incredibly easy to get started. We tried it out by selling 2 books, now you should give it a try too.
If you find this information useful, please email us or drop a note in the comments. We would like to hear what you think of Amazon’s platform for selling products to the world.
Minimalism and simplicity are at the foundation of my life goals; therefore, I am always attracted to tools or processes that can help me stick to these 2 important tenets. At its core the idea of simplicity requires daily discipline and focus on many of the basics of life: healthy food, ample sleep, stringent exercise, meaningful meditation, and continual learning. Of all these basics, I’ve spent more time recently working on the development of a simple system that makes it easier for me to stay focused on continual learning.
Every person no matter their age should find ways to continually learn and advance in knowledge. Continual learning can be both exciting and humbling at the same time, and a disciplined approach to the idea can result in tremendous insight into what is most meaningful in life.
One simple discipline that helps me to stay motivated and continually learning is that of “note taking”. I often tell others that if I don’t write it down I won’t remember it, and this approach has resulted in volumes of both hand-written and electronic notes over the years. When listening to public speaking, participating in a meeting, watching a video, reading an article, or consuming a good book, I’ve discovered that my retention of important content is much stronger when taking notes.
My methods vary based on the situation, but I typically find myself using one of these three tools:
- pen and paper
Each tool obviously varies in its features and ability to capture and retain my thoughts, but the one tool that has caught my attention the most recently is Simplenote. Here are a few of the features this very simple application delivers that are intriguing to me:
- Instant synchronization of documents across devices. Most apps do this but Simplenote through its simple text based system does it lightning fast. Since notes are not bloated with images and formatting, I can always count on fast backup and synchronization across devices.
Plain text. It does seem odd that with the availability of powerful word processing solutions that I would gravitate towards a plain text editor. My primary reason for doing so is the portability of plain text to any application, WordPress in particular. I don’t have to worry about unusual differences in formatting of text that creates unnecessary rework of documents.
Built in preview of notes written using Markdown. In combination with plain text the simple Markdown formatting language gives me just what I need to build formatting into a text document that will be published to a blog and viewed through a web browser.
Easy sharing and collaboration on the web. Most collaborative tools that make use of the cloud are pretty good at this feature, but Simplenote does an amazing job of using simple tags for sharing with another Simplenote user. In addition, the “publish” feature gives the user a quick way to publish to the web for all the world to see.
Clean distraction-free interface. The minimalistic interface makes writing text documents a breeze with its lack of “bloated” features along with the ability to write in full screen “distraction free” mode.
In a world of complex software applications, Simplenote is a breath of fresh air. With its primary purpose being to manage simple plain text notes, it has found a place in my toolbox for being one of the most effective cloud based writing tools I have found.
I encourage you to give Simplenote a try today at www.simplenote.com. It will only take you a few minutes to master the application, and you may find that it transforms your processes for note taking and writing.
We’d like to hear what you think of this article so please message us however you like with your feedback. Check back to this channel regularly for continued relevant information for increasing value and productivity.