16 Nov 2018
Why is it so important to fail at something before we can succeed? Whether you simply drop the ball, or experience an epic fail, it is almost a necessity to see that failure is part of the process and to see it as a tool as opposed to a roadblock. For over 25 years, Group 11 Advisors and our affiliate, Talley LLP has had the pleasure of working with many successful entrepreneurs and world championship athletes. Here are a few of our favorite lessons on failure we’ve picked up along the way.
Success grows from failure. Bill Gates is one of the most recognizable figures in the tech industry, and is on Forbes’ list of wealthiest people on the planet. Many people attribute his success to having had a great idea at just the right time during the technology boom. But the reality is, Gates experienced a sizeable failure before he ever dreamed up Microsoft. Originally, Gates and his business partner Paul Allen created a product called Traf-O-Data, which analyzed data from traffic tapes. The device had some serious kinks and the company never took off, but it was seminal in preparing Gates to make Microsoft’s first product several years later.
Failure can simply mean a change in direction is required. Love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? You’re not alone. Here is a story of two gentlemen that completely reversed course in their lives yet managed to become admirably successful. Mr. Ben Cohen dropped out of college, while Mr. Jerry Greenfield failed to get into medical school, and both managed to become and remain wildly successful after attending an ice-cream making class and putting together a $12,000 investment.
Don’t give up. Despite now having dozens of financially successful and popularly titles in circulation, Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was nearly a failure. The novel was rejected 30 times before it was finally accepted and published, leading to King’s breakout career. King considered quitting, but his perseverance (or arguably his wife’s) kept him going.
At Group 11 Advisors, we understand the challenges facing both professional athletes and entrepreneurs when it comes to generating and protecting income earned in the ring, on the field or in the boardroom. Whether you’re looking to improve your tax position, build your brand through a business transaction, or wish to guarantee a legacy for your family, Talley & Company is uniquely equipped to provide the technical and managerial expertise to help you plan, negotiate, structure and execute upon your goals.
The U.K. said it will move ahead with plans to introduce a first-of-its-kind tax on locally generated revenue by large technology firms, representing the most tangible attempt yet by an industrialized nation to transition its tax code into an increasingly digital era.
Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, on Monday unveiled a 2 percent tax on the revenue that big search engines, social-media platforms and online marketplaces earn in the country.
Such taxes, which are separate from corporate income taxes many companies already pay, are generally known as digital taxes and could add billions of dollars to companies’ tax bills. They seek to impose levies on digital services sold by global companies in a given country from units based outside that country.
As large tech firms have grown into global, digital consumer-service giants, governments outside their home jurisdictions have struggled with the digital nature of their wares in coming up with an appropriate level of local tax to levy.
Big American tech firms have been criticized for reporting relatively little of their profit in local jurisdictions, opening them up to scrutiny. An international effort among rich nations to help standardize how and where to tax these digital services has been progressing slowly. The U.K. on Monday said it could no longer wait. As part of its annual budget, it said it was moving ahead with a plan to begin a digital tax for large tech firms by 2020.
The new digital U.K. tax puts pressure on other big countries, including the U.S., to speed up the global effort. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a forum of wealthy countries, has been leading the international digital-tax talks.
Only broadly experienced tax advisory professionals can provide a truly global perspective so you can preserve, enhance and pass on to the next generation the assets and wealth that you’ve worked hard to build. Talley welcomes the opportunity to discuss with you the current opportunities available to you and your family. For more information, contact us today.
19 Oct 2018
It’s not unusual for entrepreneurs to face a multitude of unique challenges every day that can stretch their ability to stay productive. When you have employees relying on you and a mountain of deadlines to meet, shutting your door and curling up into a ball in the corner is not an option. Besides money and health, time is the greatest commodity an entrepreneur can have. It makes sense, then, that the most successful business owners have figured out how to work more efficiently with the time they do have. Listed below are some productivity tips that we’ve picked up along the way.
“Eat your frog” first. Wait, what?! Mark Twain said it best: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In other words, spend your morning working on something that you don’t want to do, which requires a large amount of concentration. By doing so, you’ll get the more tedious task done, freeing yourself up to move on to the other pressing items on your to-do list.
Want to be productive? Don’t multitask. Multitasking in the morning when you have lots to do, tons of energy, and a venti-sized cup of coffee with a double shot of espresso in front of you, is tempting. However, doing so can set your whole day back. Research conducted at Stanford University confirmed that multitasking is less productive than working on one task at a time. Researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another, as well as those who complete one task at a time.
Take care of yourself. This is both the most important and the most overlooked tip for any entrepreneur to follow. All the business and productivity advice in the world won’t help you if you’re already stressed out, sleep deprived, and running yourself into the ground before you take that first sip of coffee or tea in the morning.
Whether you’re looking to improve your tax position, build your brand through a business transaction, or guarantee a legacy for your family, Talley is uniquely equipped to provide the technical and managerial expertise to help you plan, negotiate, structure, and execute your goals.
To learn more how Group 11 Advisors can help your business become more productive and profitable, contact us today.
For most of us—but business owners especially—time is scarce. There is always more to do than hours in the day. So what tech solutions are you leveraging to be more productive with the time you have? When time is money, tech solutions can bring in a lot more of both. See how these five options might enhance the day-to-day operations of your business.
Virtual Meeting Tools – Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting when it comes to cementing a business partnership or getting a deal done. But with the use of virtual communication tools like Skype and GoToMeeting, business leaders can spend finite resources on in-person meetings in ways that provide the greatest return. For example, web conferences can be used to present preliminary proposals and, based on initial feedback, be modified for a later in-person presentation to clients in refined form.
Bookkeeping Applications – With so many viable and cost-effective accounting applications for small businesses, no one should be manually tracking income and expenses across multiple tables, spreadsheets and systems. Software and cloud-based options allow business decision-makers to create and track professional invoices, see payments and outstanding balances at a glance, enter bills and print checks, and reconcile for tax purposes.
Online Timesheet and Payroll Services – Online time-tracking solutions make it easy for employees to submit timesheets (and managers to approve them) from anywhere and everywhere. To choose the right system for your business, think about the ways different employees would use it and where their data will need to go, from payroll to billing to reporting. If you have an existing accounting program like QuickBooks in place, a payroll solution that syncs data and issues paychecks to employees can be a great option.
Social Media Tools – It’s a full-time job creating a strategy for a business’s social media presence, selecting the channels that best suit outlined goals, and then implementing a plan of action. Programs like Buffer and HootSuite help connect accounts so businesses can plan, schedule and post to multiple outlets at one time. Leaders can set up a schedule for sharing content based on the best time for it to be released. Plus, you get the chance to see comparative analytics that can improve future planning.
Customer Service Support – With tech applications like Desk.com and Zendesk, a business can be small but still have a big customer service presence. Help desk solutions can increase the number of positive interactions customers have with you company, improve their opinions of your brand, and raise their intent to purchase from your business. Support staff can field inquiries from email, phone calls, live chat or social media using one main system, giving customers the chance to choose their preferred form of interaction.
If accounting, timesheet or payroll technologies are on your list of productivity tools to investigate, Group 11 Advisors can provide you with important points to consider when choosing the right tool for your business. Contact us and we’ll be glad to assist.
There’s a never-ending supply of new fitness devices and trackers available today, but most of the data they report is useless. Yes, you are counting steps, flights of stairs climbed and hours of sleep, but are you honestly really doing anything with the data? There’s even “smart” clothing on the horizon, which will read your vital signs, stress levels and even tell you to cut back on your Thanksgiving turkey. As our culture moves closer to measuring everything, it seems as if we are moving further away from tracking and measuring what we actually need to know.
For both the fitness buff and C-level executive, the argument for the usefulness of real-time data tracking is valid. It’s not an illogical leap to think any individual could potentially improve performance and adjust strategies on-the-fly by leveraging better KPIs and insightful metrics. For most though, taking that data and knowing how to utilize it is a tough barrier to overcome. We track our steps (and that’s great), but are we getting any healthier?
More data alone doesn’t make better decision makers. While having additional data equals more opportunity to make better decisions, the key to leveraging data and translating it into meaningful results is knowing what to focus on, how to interpret it, and how to utilize it in the decision-making process. Data is only valuable if it is actionable. Are you confident you are taking advantage of all the metrics available to your business?
With over 25 years’ experience consulting with industry-leading companies, Talley & Company and our affiliate Group 11 Advisors are committed to provide clear, knowledgeable and applicable financial data and analysis solutions, enabling management to intelligently track performance, progress and profits. To determine whether your business is taking advantage of all metrics available to make the most informed decisions for future success, schedule a time to talk with us today.
12 Jun 2015
With almost 400,000 employees worldwide and holding more patents than any other U.S. based tech company, IBM is one of the most recognized brands in business innovation. In 1964, IBM solidified its place in the tech industry, producing approximately 70% of all computers, but has struggled in recent years due to missing a key technology shift in an increasingly mobile and online business environment. Though IBM has made strides to keep up with the times by shedding low-margin hardware products and re-inventing itself as a business technology solutions provider, sometimes even those in the business of innovation can fall victim to the status quo.
IBM Bans Uber. Earlier this year, IBM issued a firm-wide ban on reimbursement for use of Uber and other ride-sharing services over safety and security concerns, noting that such services might carry inadequate insurance, fail to conduct background checks on drivers and were even illegal in some cities.
IBM’s ban on ride-sharing services did not sit well with Max Black, a global business consultant with the company and early adopter of Uber rides for business travel. He posted a petition on IBM’s internal social network, arguing that Uber saved IBM money, improved accountability and was not a safety risk. His final point struck a major chord with IBM’s top brass: “We are being hypocritical…IBM is in the business of preaching mobility transformation to its clients, but we are effectively outlawing for our employees one of the best examples of mobile innovations.”
Within hours, hundreds of comments from fellow co-workers flooded in, expressing their unanimous support for IBM to lift the ban on Uber. The result: 16 hours later, head of HR and senior VP Diane Gherson reversed the ban on ride-sharing services.
The real lesson? Don’t let the status quo impede innovative thinking. Accept that complacency is a business killer and be open-minded when looking at new processes, procedures and business tools that challenge the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality.
Leading-edge businesses are partnering with Group 11 Advisors and its affiliates to take advantage of our wide range of services, such as bookkeeping, financial reporting, technology advising, tax planning, and estate planning. Group 11 Advisors can help you design and execute fully customizable solutions to fit the unique needs of your business.
05 Jun 2015
When many think of the millennial generation, the scourge of “selfies” and entitlement come to mind. –But regardless of your feelings towards them (good or bad), Millennials represent the next generation of managers and key personnel to many middle-aged entrepreneurs as they start to wind down and think of retirement.
Integrating Millennials into a Baby Boomer culture is a big challenge for business. So how do we manage their expectations while maintaining high performing organizations?
Many entrepreneurs and executives will tell you their number-one mistake is hiring the wrong person for the job. This crippling error can be avoided if you’re in tune with the strengths and culture of your organization and how others can “plug into” the system already in place. As with any small organization or startup, it’s critical that every person is right for their job. So how do you ensure you’re hiring the right millennials?
A strengths assessment of your existing personnel is an ideal place to start. Think of it as a SWOT analysis on your most valuable resource — your people. It identifies key personality and behavioral traits and can help you understand how to best leverage the combination of those talents and how to add to them by finding the right people to hire.
Start with the “Why”. A lifelong career with work/life balance may have been a goal for previous generations but it is not as enticing to millennials. In order to capture their passions, start with why they should care. Why does your company exist? How can they contribute? By articulating this and making sure they have a sense of purpose in your organization, you can ensure they find meaning in their work efforts and stay engaged.
Take note of Millennials’ affinity with the digital world. Millennials can’t imagine a world without constant social media updates and 24/7 WiFi. This generation is 100% plugged in and expects instant access to information and the world around them. This extends into their worklife: They want to be able to work from wherever they happen to be at the time. Many companies are starting to see the value of this and are transitioning to cloud-based platforms, allow employees to set up shop and work wherever they may find themselves.
Hiring is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges companies face, and, at the same time one of the most rewarding opportunities. Executing it well the first time will help you avoid costly & time-consuming repercussions and have a positive impact on your existing team. Group 11 Advisors and its affiliates offer staff assessment & educational tools that provide business owners a complete picture of what skills and expertise their administrative personnel have and what they need to succeed. To find out more about how Group 11 Advisors can help your business grow, contact us today.
15 May 2015
You’ve worked hard to create opportunities for your loved ones, and you want to make sure they enjoy the benefits as part of your legacy. So, how do you decide what amount to leave them? A Merrill Lynch survey of high-net-worth individuals says that they believe for every $100 million, $26 million is too little for one child, but $63 million is too much. Estate planning isn’t only about how to mitigate your estate tax burden or the quantity to bequeath, but in what form to leave it, in what increments, and how to prepare benefactors to make the most of their futures with it.
These are tough, emotionally charged questions every affluent family is faced with at some point, whether they have $100 million or $10 million to bequeath to one or more children, nieces and nephews, or grandchildren. Leave too much and it’s possible to create a sense of entitlement; leave too little and you could spark resentment. The right number is decidedly a personal one, both from a philosophical standpoint and in regards to each family’s tax profile.
As we noted in an earlier post, in the U.S. alone, $6.04 billion will be transferred to the next generation over the coming 30 years. These assets could be subject to as much as 40 percent of their value in inheritance taxes, with state taxes ranging between zero and 16 percent. The individuals surveyed in Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit all had a minimum of $5 million in investible assets, very close to the threshold at which the estate tax is triggered.
What’s right for the next family isn’t necessarily the best course of action for yours. One might have a business to sell or to designate a successor for, another may have real estate investment property across multiple state lines. These situations require different courses of action in order to retain as much value for benefactors instead of the IRS. In some cases, beginning the distribution process during one’s lifetime via gifts and other vehicles may be the best choice after considering all parties’ interests.
Money figures aside, affluent families are tasked with ensuring heirs are properly educated on the full scope of management responsibilities for the types of assets inherited, and that they have time to recover from natural missteps that come with the territory. Structuring an inheritance in stair-step fashion based on factors such as age is one approach some families take in hopes of protecting heirs against permanent losses.
The only real way to arrive at the right number, structure and tax strategy for you and your benefactors is by discussing your options with the help of estate planning professionals. Whether your children are 5, 15, or 25, it’s not too early or too late to get started. The more time you build into the process, the longer you have to prepare everyone involved, including yourself.
Accounting software is a must-have for managing day-to-day bookkeeping, but it makes up just one part of the total package for effective financial decision-making. A CPA-trained business consultant can give you deeper insight into key decisions made on a regular basis, such as buying or renting office space, hiring independent contractors or full-time employees, renting or leasing equipment, and much more. Here are three questions from dozens you might ask to help you get the most out of your relationship.
What’s the Best Way for Me to Track, Monitor and Improve Cash Flow? Whether you’re running a startup or an established business, properly projecting your cash flow is essential to maintaining its health and navigating out of challenging periods. An accountant can help you develop an effective cash flow model to improve receivables, manage payables, and work through shortfalls. Experienced business advisory teams also alert leaders to damaging missteps and profit maximization opportunities that may not be immediately apparent.
Am I Taking Advantage of Opportunities Unique to My Industry? Advisors like those at Talley and Company have decades of experience working with a number of different industries, from retail to construction to high tech, and can spotlight opportunities that apply to specific businesses. For example, companies in the tech industry can take advantage of certain R&D, facilities and manufacturing tax credits or exemptions. Working with your advisor can ensure you’re following industry best practices and managing your business competitively.
What Are My Options for Securing Capital for Growth? There are more financing options today than ever before, from equity vs. debt financing, loans, grants, venture capital, angel investing, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and of course friends, family and colleagues. Depending on the intended use for the capital, the urgency of the need, the state of your industry, the strength of your management team, and many other factors, experienced advisors can help you assess your financial situation and discover whether one option might suit your needs better than another. The right team can also help you prepare your business to be considered favorably by banks, lenders and investors when outlining your plan for the next five years and showing what your revenue stream will look like.
These are only some of the areas in which Group 11 Advisors can offer business and tax advice throughout the year. Meet with us to learn more about how we can offer specialized information pertaining to your business and industry, save you money, and help you budget for periods of growth and constriction.