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Business Connection

 

May 2014

lancasterchamber.org

Lancaster Chamber of Commerce

 Executive Board

                    
Chairman of the Board
Gene Melchers, Melchers Construction Co.

Chair Elect
Tamara Stoebe, Stoebe Services

Monica Grado - Treasurer
George's Cleaners

Ann Hill - Past Chairman of the Board
Business Mastermind Queen

Paul Kinison - Vice Chair
Aerotech News

Josh Mann - Vice-Chair
Mojave Partners

Dr. Douglas Weber - Secretary
Douglas B. Weber, DDS

Sandy Smith - Ex-Officio
Chief Operating Officer  
  
Board of Directors
                 
Chris Chapleau - American Business Machines

 

Sgt. Theresa Dawson - Lancaster Sheriff's Dept.

 

Rosemary Mann - Camille's Sidewalk Cafe

 

Nelson Rasse - High Desert Broadcasting

 

Bridget Razo - Antelope Valley College

 

Gina Rossall - Westside Union School District

 

Lynn Roth - SOL Graphix, Inc.

 

Dave Saltman - Passantino-Andersen

 

Chris Spicher - Antelope Valley Florist

 

Stan Turner - Edwards Federal Credit Union

  

May Quarterly Mega Mixer Hosted by

American Plumbing Services Inc.


  

Come enjoy food & drink  

 while getting to know our staff and you'll see why American Plumbing Services Inc., has been voted AV's Best for 2014!!! 

 

With Mega-Mixers, your opportunity to network with others is greatly increased as these mixers are large-scale and are FREE to our members! If you want to bring a guest who is a non-member, admission is $20. See you there!

 

Event Date: 05-29-2014

 

Event Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm

 

Event Location:

American Plumbing

Services Inc.  
42217 12th Street West
Lancaster, CA 93534

 

Click here for Chamber Events Calendar


If you are interested in hosting a mixer at your place of business, please contact Sandy at the Lancaster Chamber office for more information:

(661) 948-4518

Please click on the link below to visit our events calendar

Lancaster Chamber Events Calendar

 

A Special Thank You 

to Our Fantastic

Ambassadors 
 

  

 We appreciate all of your efforts!

For more information on becoming an Ambassador
please call the Chamber: (661) 948-4518

  

 

 Law Offices of

 

THOMPSON VON TUNGELN

A Professional Corporation

 

*CERTIFIED SPECIALIST PROBATE, ESTATE PLANNING & TRUST LAW

 

Mark E. Thompson

Kevin L. Von Tungeln Leonard A. Cosgrove

 

 Visit our Learning Center

 

www.tvttrustlaw.com

(661) 945-5868


 

  The State Bar of California - Board of Legal Specialization

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Take advantage of these special rates for chamber members!!

  

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Web Page Banner Ads

 

Please go to www.lancasterchamber.org

and look under Services/Internet Ads for description and pricing.

 

Chamber Membership Lists

 

Labels by Alpha: $50.00

Email Data: $50.00

 

2014 California Packets Are Here!!!

 

Employer Poster Set: $25.00

UI & SDI Pamphlets (10): $17.00

Sexual Harassment 

 Pamphlets (10): $17.00

Paid Family Leave

Pamphlets (10): $13.00

Workers' Compensation

Pamphlets (25): $14.00

 

*Employer Poster Set Available in Spanish & English - Laminated Upon Request w/Additional Fee

 

Please call the Chamber for more information:

 (661) 948-4518 

 

 

 

 

What can the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce do to help grow YOUR business???

 

Membership Benefits 

  • Chamber Website
  • Monthly Business Connection E-Newsletter
  • Membership Directory
  • Membership City Map
  • Radio Talk Show - Free
  • Super AV Expo
  • Quarterly Mega Mixers

 

Monthly Events 
  • Membership Luncheon
  • Members Lunch & Learn
  • Business-4-Breakfast

 

 

Discount Advertisement 

  • AV Press - Chamber Page
  • Video Commercials
  • Web Video - Business Showcase

 

Please call the Chamber for more information:

 (661) 948-4518 

 

 

Mission Statement 

 

To Serve the Community by Promoting, Protecting, Encouraging and Developing Local Business

 

 

New and Renewing Members

 

April

   

 Introducing Our Newest Members!

 

Hunter Fiat

Tim Fuller

1130 Auto Mall Drive

Lancaster, CA 93534

www.hunterfiat.com

Email: katie@hunterdodge.com

Phone: (661) 948-8411

 

 

Famous Dave's

Adrian Lara

1205 W. Rancho Vista Blvd

Palmdale, CA 93551

www.famousdaves.com

Email: palmdale@davescatering.net

Phone: (661) 225-9616

 

 

The Centre For Grants, Contracts And Business Artifacts

Corbin W. Ingram

44436 10th Street West

Lancaster, CA 93534

www.grants-contracts.com

Email: Corbin_Ingram@verizon.net

Phone: (661) 951-2492

 

 

Gifted Hands Massage and Spa

Nicole Holbrook

42315 10th Street West, Suite A

Lancaster, CA 93534

www.giftedhandsmassageandspa.com

Email: nicolesgiftedhands@gmail.com

 Phone: (661) 945-2256

 

 

Marshall Consulting

Allen Marshall

Email:  Marshallconsulting11@yahoo.com

Phone: (661) 579-6317

 

 

Rapid Response Security Academy

Mr. Julio Torres

45104 Trevor Ave Suite #108

Lancaster, CA 93534

www.rrsa-training.biz

Email: centurion1369@yahoo.com

Phone: (661) 860-8625

 

 

The Peanut Pedaler

Trinity Peck

www.mtnman.com

Email:  thepeanutpedaler@gmail.com

Phone: (661) 916-2506

 

 

Therese Caputo

www.DiscoveringAV.com

Email: TJCHere@aol.com

Phone: (818) 675-4561

 

 

Ink It Up

Hamp Morris

Email: hampmorris@yahoo.com

Phone: (626) 391-7628

 

 

Arrow Transit Mix, Inc.

Christine Follendore

507 East Avenue L12
Lancaster, CA 93535
 

Email: cfollendore@dslextreme.com

Phone: (661) 945-7600

 

 

Code 3 Mobile Notary 

Lisa Ballentine 

Email: Ballentine1@msn.com

 Phone: (661) 733-5563

 

 

Cutting Edge Tile and Granite

Jason and Shannon Hoffman

42317 10th Street West

Lancaster CA, 93534

www.cuttingedgetileandgranite.com

Email: cuttingedge24@verizon.com

Phone: (661) 949-8453

 

 

Sweet Cheeks Inc.

Katherine Dirden

44140 20th Street West #105

Lancaster, CA 93534

www.sweetcheeks4d.com

Email:sweetcheeks4d@gmail.com

Phone: (661) 723-8080

 

 

Nutrition Counseling

Morgan Knittle

www.mkdietitian.webs.com

Email: mdk_wellness@hotmail.com

Phone: (661) 810-5017

 

 

 

We Are Pleased to present our Renewing Members

  

 

Antelope Express/AV Fly Away
332 West Avenue S, Suite A

Palmdale, CA 93551

(661) 947-2529
Member Since: 1987

 

World One Telecommunications

43759 15th Street West, #243

Lancaster CA 93534

 (661) 722-1717

Member Since: 1990

 

 

Walmart Lancaster West
  44665 Valley Central Way
Lancaster, CA 93536

Phone: (661) 940-8744

Member Since: 1990

 

Antelope Valley Mall

1233 Rancho Vista Blvd, Suite 900

Palmdale CA 93551

 (661) 266-9150

Member Since: 1991

 

  

Willow Springs International Raceway

3500 75th Street West

Rosamond CA 93560-7179

 (661) 256-2471

Member Since: 1991

 

Living Stone Cathedral of Worship

37721 100th Street East

Littlerock CA 93543

 (661) 944-4128

Member Since: 1992

  

  

Chryssostomides Financial Services

2566 West Avenue K

Lancaster CA 93536

 (661) 948-0474

Member Since: 1992

 

 

America's United Bank

539 West Lancaster Blvd

Lancaster CA 93534

 (661) 945-6955

Member Since: 1993

 

Round Table Pizza

44204 10th Street West

Lancaster CA 93534

(661) 945-6677

Member Since: 1993

 

A V Union High School District
44811 Sierra Highway
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661)948-7655
Member Since: 1994

 

Lancaster Marketplace

44950 Valley Central Way,

 Suite 1-105

Lancaster CA 93536

 (661) 942-7897

Member Since: 1994

 

 

California State University Bakersfield, AV

43909 30th Street West

Lancaster CA 93536

 (661) 952-5024

Member Since: 1999

 

Charles Hoey and Associates

43759 15th Street West, #243

Lancaster CA 93534

 (661) 723-3222

Member Since: 1999

 

Gilbert Snow DDS, Orthodontist

161 East Avenue J

Lancaster CA 93535

 (661) 945-2771

Member Since: 2001

 

Davis Tax Service
Roger Davis
davistax1@verizon.net
Member Since: 2002

 

Walmart Lancaster East

1731 East Avenue J

Lancaster CA 93535

(661) 945-7848

Member Since: 2002

 

Lowe's Home Improvement
  730 West Avenue K

Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)341-9000
Member Since: 2005

 

 

Edward Jones Investment

44345 Lowtree Ave

Lancaster CA 93534

 (661) 940-5624

Member Since: 2008

 

Hampton Inn & Suites - Lancaster
  2300 West Double Play Way

Lancaster, CA 93536

(661) 940-9194
Member Since: 2008

 

Homewood Suites by Hilton
 
2320 Double Play Way
Lancaster, CA 93534

(661)723-8040
Member Since: 2008

U S Bank

2831 West Avenue L

Lancaster CA 93536

 (661) 943-2448

Member Since: 2012

 

A V Chiropractic Health Care

44820 10th Street West

Lancaster CA 93534

avchiropractic@gmail.com

(661) 940-6302

Member Since: 2013

 

CASA of Los Angeles

1040 West Avenue J, Room 1153

Lancaster CA 93534

 (661) 723-2272

Member Since: 2013

 

 

Granada Villas Apartment Homes

43230 Gadsden Avenue

Lancaster CA 93534

 (661) 723-3500

Member Since: 2013

 

 

Sienna Heights Apartment Homes

43519 Kirkland Avenue

Lancaster CA 93535

 (661) 945-7191

Member Since: 2013

 

Woodlands West Townhomes

44004 Engle Way, Unit 2

Lancaster CA 93536

 (661) 948-0690

Member Since: 2013

 

OUR NEW WEBSITE OFFERS INCREDIBLE MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES TO OUR MEMBERS!

 

 

For those of you who have utilized all the wonderful features of our new website, we are confident that you have seen interest in your business grow!  We are seeing triple the traffic on our site since we rolled out the new product in late October!  It's easy for our members to use and navigate and the free marketing tools that are included are state-of-the-art!  If you have not yet had the opportunity to request optimization of your member page, upload coupons, classified ads, and member-to-member discounts, or submit your events and meetings to our community calendar, please log in to your account and take full advantage of these exciting ways to market your business on both our website and our mobile app!  If you need us to re-send your log-in information, please contact us at

 

 (661) 948-4518

  

A NEW VISITOR'S CENTER IS ON THE WAY!

 

In the coming months, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with

Destination Lancaster, will
be opening the official Lancaster Visitor's Center!  This center will be housed in the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce lobby and will feature information on local businesses, lodging, dining, and events for our out-of-town visitors!  We plan to offer small souvenirs and local postcards as well--stay tuned for more information on this exciting new venture!

  

 

 Sweet Cheeks 4D Ultrasound
  

 Lancaster Chamber Luncheon

 Work Ethics Scholarship Ceremony
  

Chairman of the Board

Gene Melchers 

Presenting Ribbon Cutting Certificate 


   

Americana Referral Services

B-4-B Table Sponsor

 $50 B-4-B Winner

Gene Melchers 
    

 


     

 

 


     

 

 

In This Issue
New and Renewing Members
Ensuring Your Financial Success in 2014
Tips for Small Businesses
The Month In Pictures
Featured Article
Lancaster Chamber of Commerce May Luncheon  
  
Public School Updates:
  
- What's New?
- How To Do Business With Public Schools 
  
  
  
  
 
 
Presenters:
Regina (Gina) Rossall, Superintendent, Westside Union School District Shawn Cabey, Assistant Superintendent, Westside Union School District Jeri Holmes, Purchasing, Westside Union School District
 

California has just launched the greatest change in the funding of public schools in the last 40 years. Due to be fully implemented in the 2014-15 school year, this presentation will discuss how schools are going to be funded, what changes are required in the delivery of instruction including changes to curriculum, and how are the community stakeholders involved in this change. Though the presenters are from a single district, the presentation is being made on behalf of all the districts in the AV.

 

Of great interest to our Chamber members will be how to do business with public schools. Unlike doing business in the private sector, public sector businesses have different rules that must be followed. An overview of the process will be discussed in the hopes that more local businesses will be able to participate in selling goods and services to our local schools.

  

RSVPs are strongly suggested for this event.

 

Lancaster Chamber members:       $20 (pay online) or

                                                                   $25 at the door

 

Non-Members:                                 $25 (pay online) or

                                                                   $30 at the door

  
                         
                    EVENT INFORMATION

 

Date: May 14th

 

Time: 11:30am - 1pm

 

Location: J.P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center 43404 30th Street West, Lancaster 93536 

 

Chairman's Message

                       

  
  

As I enter my eleventh month as the Chairman of the Board for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, I can't help but reflect back on the successes we have experienced in recent months as well as all of the exciting projects that lie ahead.

On May 4, we held yet another successful Flea Market and coupled it with a new event, our Shop Local Showcase. Local businesspeople found this to be a great marketing tool and it resulted in many new leads for our members. In the very near future, we will be sending out a survey to those who participated in the Showcase in order to gain their valuable opinions. If you participated, please take the time to complete and return the survey-we want to know your thoughts!

We are continuing to build momentum for our new Young Entrepreneur's Academy, This 30-week course for middle school students will begin in October 2014 and will culminate in each student emerging from the program with a fully functioning, legal business or social movement. We are already in the process of obtaining sponsors and scholarship donors for this exciting venture so, if you are interested in hearing more about this opportunity, please let us know.

A final reminder-please "save the date" for our 2014 Installation Dinner-it will be held at Hacienda Lane Ranch on Friday, June 27 and we have a lot of fun and exciting plans for this cowboy-themed party! More information will be provided soon!

Have a great month of May and may your businesses continue to prosper!

 

Gene Melchers

Chairman of the Board

 

 Simplified Option for the Home Office Deduction


 

 

 

Courtesy of Cobb Doerfler & Associates, CPA    Accountants and      Tax Preparers    

 

 

 

 

If you're one of the more than 3.4 million taxpayers claimed deductions for business use of a home (commonly referred to as the home office deduction), don't forget about the new simplified option available for taxpayers starting with 2013 tax returns being filed now.

 

The new optional deduction is capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet. It is expected to reduce the paperwork and recordkeeping burden on small businesses by an estimated 1.6 million hours annually.

 

Currently, taxpayers claiming the home office deduction are generally required to fill out a 43-line form (Form 8829) often with complex calculations of allocated expenses, depreciation and carryovers of unused deductions. Taxpayers claiming the optional deduction will complete a significantly simplified form.

 

Though homeowners using the new option cannot depreciate the portion of their home used in a trade or business, they can claim allowable mortgage interest, real estate taxes and casualty losses on the home as itemized deductions on Schedule A. These deductions need not be allocated between personal and business use, as is required under the regular method. Business expenses unrelated to the home, such as advertising, supplies and wages paid to employees are still fully deductible.

 

Current restrictions on the home office deduction, such as the requirement that a home office must be used regularly and exclusively for business and the limit tied to the income derived from the particular business, still apply under the new option.

 

If you need more details about the new simplified home office deduction for tax year 2013 (or 2014), don't hesitate to give us a call. We're here to help.

 

We Can Help

If you'd like to better understand the ins and outs of your business and create sound guidance for internal decision making, you might consider cost accounting.
And we can help. Allow us to evaluate your business from top to bottom and determine the real cost of each component. With that as a foundation, we can help you draft budgets, adjust pricing, keep an appropriate level of inventory, and much more. Give us a call today.
  
(661)948-2661

 


 

 

Business-4-Breakfast
  
  

      Join us for business, stay for breakfast!

             

               7:00 a.m. Thursday, May 22, 2014

                                      

Event Location

 

Schooners Patio Grille

2797 W. Ave L, Lancaster 93536 (30th St. West)
           
Table Sponsor

 

 Sam's Club - Julie Martinez (661) 575-9200

&  

Therapuetic Time, Inc.

Dr. Trisha Rich Thurm (661) 430-6173



                        

To RSVP please contact the Chamber Office

Phone: (661) 948-4518

Fax: (661) 949-1212

Email: Anna@lancasterchamber.org

 

 

Cash Prize $50.00 - 1 Winner will be chosen at every breakfast

 

 Sponsored by: Choices in Learning

Bernie Longjohn

 

 

*Please note - If you RSVP and do not attend you will be invoiced for $10.00

  

  
   

 

  

California Governor Jerry Brown Helps BYD Showcase its Breakthrough Battery Technology During Unveiling of State's First Ever Long-Range Electric Bus Factory in Lancaster, California


ELECTRIC, ZERO EMISSION, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY BUSES DO NOT USE ANY GASOLINE: BATTERIES LAST 24 HOURS ON A SINGLE CHARGE

Lancaster, CA, April 28, 2014 --- In a historic event attended by State of California Governor Jerry Brown, BYD unveiled the first California-made, all-electric, long-range, 40-foot rapid transit bus. The ceremony was held in Lancaster, California at BYD's first ever electric bus factory in the United States, which has created more than 60 new jobs for American workers.

"The City of Lancaster strongly believes in the importance of building solid private-public partnerships, such as our ongoing relationship with BYD. Together, we were recognized internationally for our innovative solar programs at the 2012 World Energy Globe Awards'" said City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. . "BYD continues to bring much-needed manufacturing jobs to our community, having already brought more than 60 new jobs to our region.  We look forward to their continued growth, and the resulting economic prosperity they bring to the Antelope Valley and the State of California."

BYD expects to increase the number of new jobs created to 100 by the end of the year, while adding 200 more by the end of next year. The company hopes this will be the first of many cities where BYD will provide clean energy electric buses, while creating more jobs for Americans.

"This event is truly historic with the unveiling of the first California-made, all-electric, long-range, 40-foot rapid transit buses lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge," said CEO of BYD Motors, Stella Li. "BYD has a long and solid commitment to provide zero-emission, superior technology transportation vehicles in the United States. We are starting out here in Lancaster, California with the goal of providing clean energy electric buses, throughout the United States creating even more jobs for Americans.  BYD is proud to deliver this breakthrough environmentally friendly technology to California."
  

BYD's breakthrough battery and EV technologies have resulted in an electricity-powered, 24-hour, long-range battery that provides emission-free, silent, and economic public and private transportation.  As the world's largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, BYD's mission is to create safer and more environmentally-friendly battery technologies This has resulted in the BYD Iron Phosphate Battery.

"This is a small beginning - a few buses - but it holds the promise of something very big and very important," added California Governor Jerry Brown. "I am glad to hear that this Republican village is the renewable energy capital of America!"

Speakers at the ceremony included:

Governor Jerry Brown - Governor of California 
Mayor R. Rex Parris - Mayor of Lancaster, California Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich - Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Bill Allen - President and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
Stella Li- CEO, BYD Motors Lanny Davis - Attorney for BYD and former White House Special Counsel

 

ABOUT BYD Motors Inc.:

BYD Motors Inc. is an American manufacturing company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of BYD Company Ltd, the largest domestic auto-manufacturer and electric-bus manufacturer in China. BYD is a publicly traded company, with the Hong Kong listed stock 60% of which is owned by U.S. investors, and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway as the largest single shareholder at 9.9%.

 BYD Motors established its headquarters in downtown Los Angeles in October 2011 and has now hired over 60 Americans to support BYD Electric Bus and Energy Module factories in Lancaster, California which will be delivering their first electric buses at the end of the month. There are also over 25 American research and development and sales support personnel at the Los Angeles headquarters. BYD expects to create 100 new jobs by the end of this year, with 200 by the end of next year all devoted to building BYD's breakthrough battery technologies enabling zero-emission, electric buses, higher utility fleet delivery vehicles, taxis and longer lasting batteries than any other manufacturer in the U.S.
 
As the world's largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, BYD's mission is to create safer and more environmentally-friendly battery technologies. This has resulted in the BYD Iron Phosphate Battery, a fire-safe, completely recyclable, and incredibly long-cycle technology -- the foundation of BYD's clean energy platforms.

The technology BYD has brought to California has been touted as break-through with the following distinctions:

         Electric buses run entirely off battery power lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge, with single off-peak charging time of 3-5 hours.
         Buses run entirely off of batteries, with NO transmissions, clutches, or an internal-combustion engine.
         Buses can hold up to 60 passengers designed with low floors without any steps, made possible with in-wheel hub motors, making it elderly and disability friendly.
         Battery chemistry environmentally friendly, making it disposable and pollution-free with zero-emissions.
         Due to its track record for superior technology, BYD has won the most contracts for electric buses in United States.
         BYD has globally produced more electric buses than any other manufacturer with over 1,300 buses worldwide.
         BYD's electric bus has been tested for more North American miles at more Transit Authorities than any other electric bus.
         Buses that will drive out of the Lancaster factory on April 28th have the ability to save 2.77 trees per day, literally a forest each month on U.S. roads.



     
         Promote YOUR business FREE of Charge
 
  
    
  FREE Chamber Radio 
Talk Show
  
 "Minding Your Business"
                       
    Saturday, 12-1pm
 Call Anna Zarley: (661) 948-4518
  

 Expert Answers - Small Business Financial

Management Basics

Article by:  Lou Davenport SCORE Mentor; Former Senior Financial Executive

 

All small businesses have something in common: a need to fully understand financial aspects such as budgets, cash flow, pricing and balance sheets. Otherwise, entrepreneurs may not fully understand what's happening with their business until it's too late.    

Lou Davenport, a SCORE mentor for over 14 years, has helped hundreds of small business owners develop basic financial management skills that lead to success. Read his advice on how you can master your numbers.   

You've no doubt counseled many aspiring entrepreneurs who were apprehensive or intimidated by the financial aspects of running a small business. What can help them become more comfortable with this all- important facet of business ownership? If you were to spend a long time in another country, you'd have a difficult time getting by if you didn't know the language. The same is true for being an entrepreneur in a new business environment. You need to understand what financial reports are about, interpret them and use that information for sound financial planning. Not doing so puts the survival of your business at risk. It also gives your competitors an edge because they most likely know how important financial reports are.   

What are the keys to effective short- and long-term financial planning?  Typically, small business budgets are planned for one year, while long-term financial planning should be done for up to three years. SCORE offers some great Excel spreadsheet templates with built-in formulas that can help you prepare pro forma forecasts for up to three years. Once you learn how to use what-if scenarios, you can better analyze, track and compare business results. You can then use first-year projections as your budget, tracking things as you go along.     

Coming up with any kind of budget may be difficult for a start-up with no previous experience. How does one make accurate projections without this experience? SCORE templates can be helpful here also, because they provide various expense categories for start-up and ongoing operations. While they will help trigger your thinking, it's a good idea to review your projections with a SCORE counselor. Having likely worked with many different types of businesses, he or she can serve as a third party to make sure you've covered everything accurately. That helps make your job easier. 
What are some frequently overlooked considerations in small business budgeting and financial planning? A common reason small businesses fail is because they run out of money. And this is often due to new business owners not paying enough attention to their balance sheet and cash flow forecast. For example, you may determine that $30,000 will get a business started. But if it takes a year and a half to break even, it may well cost another $30,000 to reach that point and become profitable. Not recognizing and planning for these situations by failing to track your financial data is a fatal error that may cost you your business.   

What do you consider to be the most critical financial statistics to monitor and why? The most important financial statistic to monitor is Gross Profit Margin as a Percentage of Sales. Here's why: 1. Sales alone aren't real money. You can't pay expenses with them. 2. If the standard for your industry is 40% and you're only at 30%, you have a serious problem. You're either pricing poorly, making inaccurate cost estimates or working inefficiently.  

Collecting on receivables is a common challenge for small businesses. What are some ways to prevent late payments from becoming an issue and affecting cash flow? You have to be persistent, consistent and insistent. This is not the most pleasant part of owning a business, but you have to be disciplined enough to regularly push late-paying clients and take a firm stand on what they owe you and when they have to pay it.   

Collection tends to have a negative, confrontational implication. Are there more positive, non- confrontational ways to get customers to pay what they owe you? Establish a clear understanding with your client up front on the terms and conditions of sale, including everything from cash discounts for early payment to fees for being late. It's much easier to set and agree on the payment ground rules at the front end of the transaction than to try to collect later on.  
What are some tips for setting a sound pricing structure for your products or services? 

 

 1. As noted above, understand the industry benchmarks for Gross Profit Margins for your business. 

 

2. Remember that prices are market-driven, not cost-driven. It doesn't matter what your costs are because the market doesn't care. What matters is if you can make a profit at the price the market will bear. 

 

3. Don't underprice when you're starting out. Many businesses try to do this in order to get a toehold when, in reality, they're giving their competitors an advantage. There's no way you can survive for the long term and meet your clients' expectations by pricing under the market. Instead, set prices based on what the market will bear.   

How often should you review your pricing structure to ensure you're staying abreast of cost fluctuations? You should review your pricing structure constantly. In today's world, pricing is transparent. Prices and pricing factors are available on the Internet. It's essential to regularly research pricing factors specifically for your type of business.   

Existing small business owner may think they already know all the in's and out's of accounting. But are there new things they can learn or do as well? Sit down with your financial advisor or SCORE counselor every quarter to six months and go through the financial reports. There is value in getting the perspective of someone who follows things that you might not. And because SCORE counseling is free, you have nothing to lose.   

Is a CPA always needed to help with your accounting and financial needs? A CPA is not always needed for routine bookkeeping. There are services that can do it efficiently and accurately for a reasonable cost. A CPA can be very helpful with your tax returns as an advisor, but don't consult with your CPA only for taxes. They offer many other services and perspectives that can benefit your financial management and planning.   

What's the best piece of advice you can give a small business owner when it comes to financial management issues? Learn to push yourself out of your comfort zone into places where you're not completely comfortable. You'll find that small business financial management is not rocket science. It's actually quite learnable. By learning basic financial management skills, you can learn what the numbers mean, why they're important, and what you should do about them. By doing this, you can put your small business in the position to succeed.    

Want more financial management advice? Get free, confidential mentoring from SCORE experts today. And get more helpful tips and strategies delivered to your inbox by subscribing to SCORE newsletters.

 

 

The Month In Pictures

April 

 

 

 

 

 Sweet Cheeks 4D Ultrasound

 Ribbon Cutting and Grand Reopening


                   
  

Lancaster Chamber Luncheon 

Annual Work Ethics Scholarship

Award Ceremony

  
  

                      

 

CNG (Compressed Natural Gas)

Southern California Gas Co.  

Ribbon Cutting Event 

 

 

      

 

Business-4-Breakfast 

 Ambassador Kim Perkins and Chairman of the Board Gene Melchers

Presenting Best Commercial Award to

Don Ryan with Farmers Insurance

  

In Loving Memory Of Our Dear Friends 

Larry Leroy Dyer

           August 21, 1938 - March 2nd, 2014

  

Paul Joseph Porteus 

     November 11, 1961 - April 15, 2014