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Year End Marketing! Time to Get It in Gear!

Year End Marketing! Time to Get It In Gear!

Get Your Marketing In Gear for the Last Third of the Year. You see, who’s gonna buy if you don’t tell them what and why.  So work to get your customers in line cause its your time to shine!

Here are 18 Opportunities to Market Your Business Between Now and the New Year!

  • September Birthdays
  • Labor Day
  • Back to School
  • End of Summer
  • Beginning of Fall
  • October Birthdays
  • Columbus Day (Discover Your ?)
  • Halloween (Have a Scary Good  ?)
  • November Birthdays
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday (Day after Thanksgiving Sales)
  • December Birthdays
  • End of Fall
  • Beginning of Winter
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s
  • Holiday Season (Thanksgiving through New Year Year’s)

What's HotIf you need help developing marketing ideas or products around some these ideas, give me a call at 240-356-5050.   If I can’t personally help you, then I have several product specialists, website designers and printing specialists who can.

Here’s to your financial health!

Need to Save? 22 Ideas to Help You!

Need to Save Money?  Here How!

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, as of December 1, 2012, the Personal Savings Rate in the United States was 6.5%.    This is based on savings as a percentage of Disposable Personal Income or DPI.

DPI is defined as the total amount of money available for an individual or population to spend or save after taxes have been paid.

As we struggle with the economy and the sequestration furloughs,  and look for ways to increase our savings or just maintain what we have, here are a few ideas for you to put into place.

  1. Each night when you come home, empty your pockets and put any change into a jar to save.  You’ll be surprised how quickly it can add up.
  2. Quit smoking and save on average about $6 per pack.  If you smoke 2 packs a week, that’s $624 up in smoke.
  3. Put that lottery ticket money you spend each day into a savings account instead of funding the state.  They tax you enough as it is.
  4. Take your lunch to work.  $10 a day is $50 a week or $2600 a year you could be saving.
  5. Consider a second job or part-time business opportunity.  Use it exclusively for savings goal or paying off debt.
  6. Transfer balances from high interest rate credit cards to lower rate cards.
  7. Instead of paying extra to pay down a lower interest mortgage, instead use the additional to pay 12% to 24% credit card balances.
  8. Save for your purchases instead of using credit cards
  9. Tithing is a great way of budgeting – it forces you to live on the 90%.
  10. Pay Yourself 2nd.   Start off saving at least 5% of your gross income and build from there.
  11. Current practice calls for creating an emergency savings fund equal to 3 to 6 months of your living expenses.
  12. Consider a whole life insurance policy as an alternate savings vehicle.
  13. Comparison shop for your credit cards, home owners insurance, life, auto insurance and home telephone and cellphone services.
  14. Take advantage of payroll deduction plans for retirement and savings accounts.  Payroll deduction is a painless way to save.
  15. Begin putting together a cash flow plan for your family (budget)
  16. Make a weekly or bi-weekly commitment to review the family finances with your spouse.
  17. If you regularly get a tax refund, it means the IRS is getting an interest free loan from you.
  18. Save Your Tax Refund or use it to help pay off any outstanding debts.
  19. Clip those newspaper and sales paper coupons and use them before they expire.  Buy only if you need to not because something’s on sale.
  20. Use Groupon, Living Social and other social media sites as savings resources, too.
  21. Work to improve your credit scores – the higher your scores, the lower your loan interest rates.
  22. Save your next pay increase.

Lastly, be willing to make the hard financial choices and stay the course.  Being debt free and under financial control will relieve much stress and tension from you and your family’s lives.

Need a good “cashflow tool”?  Click here and take a look at the video.  It’ll be worth your time and effort.

If I can help you with these and other financial issues, including tax planning and preparation, business consulting or incorporation services, please feel free to give me a call or visit my website at www.flemingfinancialsolutions.com and schedule an appointment.

It IS What IT is!

I’ve got to get this off my chest before I Explode!

Here’s Some Healing for Your Soul –
It Is What it IS!

Recognize that right here; right now…It is What it is!

What I mean is accept your life’s circumstances as being what they are.   That’s the current reality.  You are right now where circumstances and decisions have brought you.  Let that sink in for just a moment!

Ok, …that’s long enough.  Now realize I’m only talking about current reality as you see it.  I’m not talking about you being defeated by circumstances.  I’m building a platform for you to launch from where you are to where you want to be.

Your goal and only goal for 2013 and forward should be to make better decisions through better information and prayer; and to act as quickly as possible to move you from where you are to where you want to be – bridging the gap.

This is going to require some letting go and some reaching out.  You’re going to have to let go of some attitudes, some habits, some possessions and some people.  You’re going to have to create some new attitudes and habits, acquire some new possessions and meet some new people.  Every thing you need is out there and the power to get it is within you.

Change is going to be painful.  It’s like a bad tooth.  A filling and a cap may be a solution but sometimes it just has to come out.   A bridge can fill the space and be supported by the other teeth and keep the good teeth in their rightful place. (I don’t know why the tooth analogy but I think it works.)

Do some soul searching – recognize where you are, be angry about it if need be, grieve the situation if need be and then accept that right now…it is what it is.

Now determine to change and go forward – its not going to happen overnight but stay your course.

  • Fully determine where you are – physically, financially emotionally and spiritually
  • Decide on what you really want and need (You may want the Maserati but the little Mazda will get you where you need to go.)
  • Through prayer, reading and wise council decide how you will change your circumstances.
  •   Take an immediate first step.   Don’t just stand there, do something…or stop doing something…whichever applies.
  • Access the damage and the forward progress.  Creation often destroys or disturbs first before progress is made.  (An offensive lineman has to move the defensive lineman out of his way before the running back can make forward progress.  Go ‘Skins….I mean, Ravens….sorry about that!)
  • Keep moving; once you stop, starting again can be difficult.  Stay prayerful and active
  • Keep your eyes on your goal.   Focus on the solution and not the problem.

Yes.     It is What It is….Until It Isn’t!

4 I’s and Can’t C!

Hello, this is James Fleming, Fleming Financial Solutions with a message that hopefully doesn’t bring back painful memories for anybody…else!)

As I was growing up and going to elementary school and junior high, there were not a lot of kids who wore eyeglasses. At least that’s the way it seemed to me because I felt I was the only one or one of few being picked on.

In school, being different in any way brought on unwanted or undeserved attention. There were attempts to take my eyeglasses; there were requests to try the glasses on, there was name calling (and some fighting).

Probably the worse though was a phrase that stuck with me a long time…4 eyes and can’t see! That one really bothered me for some reason. It meant that even with my own eyes and a pair of glasses, I still couldn’t see. Boy that bothered me!

Well, fast forward a few years and as a business owner and marketer, that phrase – 4 eyes and can’t C – has taken on a new meaning.

The four (4) i’s are –

Invisible – incapable of being seen.

Intangible – not touchable or touching

Immaterial – of no substantial consequence: unimportant

Inconsequential – lacking weight, position, or influence

If your business is suffering from these 4 I’s then you definitely can’t C – can’t get a customer or client.

Let’s see if we can make this clearer.

  • Invisible – are you not being seen? Are you present in your community, industry or market? When was the last time you attended a networking meeting or community event. If you haven’t recently, then its quite possible you are invisible.
  • Intangible – who have you touched or been touched by lately. Are you reaching out and making contacts with both current and potential clients; with potential joint venture and business partners. If you haven’t recently, then its quite possible you are intangible.
  • Immaterial – are you a positive influence or any influence in the market place? Are you important – a thought leader. Do people seek you out for your opinion? If not, then its quite possible you’ve become immaterial.
  • Inconsequential – are you helping clients and prospects? are you educating the market and provding solutions? Are you being a positive force for change in people’s lives. If not, then its quite possible you’ve become inconsequential.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, then you definitely can’t C. You can’t get a customer or client. You’re not earning any money for your family, your employees or your business. If you are going to survive in business, you’ve got to turn this around – NOW!

So get out there in the market place and be visible – go meet some people; be tangible – go touch some people where they live; be material – let it be known that you have an opinion or voice that’s worth listening to and lastly, be consequential – make a difference in people’s lives, be a problem solver. Do all this and you’ll not only get customers and clients, you’ll get another C – that’s Confidence!

This is James Fleming, Fleming Financial Solutions. If I can be of service to you, please feel free to give me a call at 240-356-5050 or email me at james@flemingfinancialsolutions.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

IRS Delays Open of Filing Season!

Though we got past the tax portion of the Fiscal Cliff, it wasn’t without problems. The IRS announced that it won’t begin accepting tax returns for most filers until January 30, 2013 and for some select filers until February or March. See the letter from the IRS below –


30th Anniversary Offer – Celebrate With Me!

It’s my 30th Anniversary in Business and I want to share it with you!

It’s hard to believe but I have been involved in some form of business ownership since 1982.

I began with one bookkeeping client on a Digital VAX machine running one of the first computerized accounting packages. That evolved into tax preparation. I later added life and health insurance and basic financial planning. I’ve dabbled in mortgage loan origination and helped many companies with their sales and marketing. Its been a fun ride and I still have some hair left after wearing some many different hats.

So, as I said, I’m celebrating my 30th Anniversary and didn’t want to do it alone. I’ve decided to make some special offers to you to celebrate with me and to give you a “jumpstart” for the new year.

Here’s what I’ve got –

Business Plan If you need a business plan, you can save $450 by celebrating with me. I’ll create your complete business plan including SWOT analysis and financials and consultations with me and other resources as needed. The usual fee for this is $1,500 – your invest is $1,050.

Call re:  Payment plan for this offer!

CLICK HERE for Business Plan

Incorporation Services -You’ve been putting off properly setting up your business. Well, now is the time to do it right. Whether you need an LLC, Partnership, S Corporation or C Corporation, lets get it done for the new year.

I’ll create the necessary Articles, get your Sales and Use Tax number (if needed), your Federal Employer ID Number and provide at least one hour of consulting to be sure we get it right. Oh, and also I’ll be your resident agent (in Maryland) and get you a corporate seal to boot and get you done in 2 weeks. (Try that with my competitors and see what happens!)

You’ll save $150 off of the usual $500 fee – Your investment only $350.00. (Investment does not include the state filing fees)

CLICK HERE for Incorporation Services

501(c)3 Application Assistance– You’ve always wanted to be a servant and help those in need. You have a passion to help but didn’t have a vehicle to do so. You thought that setting up a 501(c)3 organization was both confusing and expensive.

Well, now is the time to act.

I will walk you through every bit of the 1023 application to make the process easy. I’ll help you with the Narrative, the Financials, Conflict of Interest and any other sections that might be a stumbling block.

You would normally invest $600 for this service; celebrate my anniversary and you’ll save $180. Your invest – $420 (Does not include state incorporation fees or the IRS application fee)

CLICK HERE for 501(c)3 Assistance

Incorporation and 501(c)3 Combination – If you need to complete both the incorporation and the 501(c)3 application process, click below to get the combination offering

CLICK HERE for Combination Services

Deadline has been extended to January 5, 2013. (Services can be provided throughout 2013 as needed)

So act now! Celebrate my anniversary and celebrate your dreams.

P.S. – Offer is not available for projects already started!

Why Sales People Fail!

Why Do Sales People Fail?

I was once asked this question while during a training on “How to condition your mind to Master Sales” ‘……. Why sales people fail”? I was able to answer this question in a few little words  – “Lack of Persistence”.

A good definition of persistence is found on dictionary.com

1) Persistence is refusing to give up or let go,
2) To hold firm and steady to a purpose, state or understanding.

To be persistent is the core ingredient to success; the lack of persistence is the only ingredient needed to fail.

We as adults are challenged daily to hold firm on our direction to never give up. In the midst of difficulty, it is easier for us to find excuses to fail rather then the determination to succeed.

As children we do not recognize Lack of Persistence. In trials of difficulties,  we find reasons to push forward, to not let go, to never accept No!

I often ask sales people to convert their thinking back to when they were a child. Can you think of 3 examples of when as a child you demonstrated the will to persist?

1)_____________________, 2)______________________, 3)______________________

I can remember my 3 examples….

1) When I first learn how to ride a bike,
2) When I learned how to walk
3) Getting what I wanted for Christmas.

Each one of these examples is a statement of refusing to  give up or to let go. We do not recognize as children words like, Impossible, Improvable, not able, or I can not do it. Why is this? The answer is simple. To persist, to succeed is a natural part of who we are and how we are built from the grace of God. We are contaminated with failure as we grow into adulthood which brings on excuses for lack of persistence in our daily lives.

To succeed as a sales person, all we need is to condition our minds to convert back to who we were as children. Unchain yourself from the word “No”, don’t be afraid to stumble and fall, just brush yourself off and start over again.

Last but not least when you find that your day was not as productive as it could have been, remember the 5 Ps in sales “Proper Planning Prevent Poor Performance”.

So stay on your course, never give up and hold firm on your Goal. And with that I want you to “Persist until you succeed”

By Micheal McGee Director of Sales, Training and Development For Mountain Climbers Sales and Consulting Firm www.mcsalesconsulting.com

Author of the book “The Re-Birth of the Blackman….Re-Building a Generation”.

5 Tools You Need to Start Your Business or Ministry!

4 Rs and 1 F

I was inspired by Pastor Carolyn Streeter,  New Covenant International Ministries, message on Financial Blessings, so I wrote this article to help you as you consider starting or expanding your own business or ministry.

Exodus 4:2 – “And the LORD said unto him, What [is] that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.”

Resume – Yours and Others
What are the giftings, passions and strong desires that you have that can be used to help others in need? What’s in your hands? What job skills or education do you have that could be valuable to some one else? Who do you know who has complimentary skills, ie you’re a tech person and the other is a good sales person?

Proverbs 15:22 – “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established”

Research – Who is your market and what do they need?
What are the needs of the community you serve or want to serve? Is anyone providing these services now? If no, why not? If yes, how well are they doing well and is there room for someone else to help? (McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s all serve the same need just differently). How would or could you reach this community effectively and profitably?

Ephesians 3:20“Now unto HE that is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh within us!”

Resources – What will you need to make this happen?
Do you have the necessary skills, knowledge or personnel to make this a viable business or ministry? Can you get the resources you need if you don’t have them now and how would you get the resources? Can you create an on-going monthly recurring income from the services you provide?

Luke 14:28“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?”

Realism – Can you realistically create the business or ministry?
First of all, the answer to this is yes…but will you? Do you have the character, passion and motivation to stay with the plan through the peaks and valleys? There will be financial, people and family pressures that may make you want to throw up your hands.

Hebrews 11:33 – “…….Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,…….”

Faith – This is where it all begins and ends.
After you’ve finished the 4 Rs,  you realize that without faith, you will accomplish nothing.  So let faith be your beginning and ending in any venture that you take up.

Feel free to comment and share.

If you’d like to contact me regarding this or other tax planning or business ideas, please give me a call at  240-356-5050.

To Your Financial Health.

Getting Married? Financial Questions to Ask Before You “Tie the Knot”!

Whether you are married, engaged or thinking about, here are some “tough love” questions to ask before and after!

  1. How much income do you make?
  2. How much do you have in savings?
  3. How much have you saved for retirement?
  4. How much debt do you have?
  5. Do you have a plan to pay off your debt?
  6. My debts and your debts – will we pay them all off together or will we be responsible for our individual debts as well as what ever we create together?
  7. Will we have combined checking and savings accounts or separate accounts?
  8. What are your credit scores?
  9. Do you have life insurance, health insurance or disability insurance?
  10. When will the beneficiary be changed to the new spouse?
  11. Do you want children?
  12. If so, daycare or 1 parent will stay at home?
  13. Will we homeschool, public school or private school?
  14. Will we save for their college and/or let them pursue grants, scholarships or loans?
  15. Do you owe child support and if so, how much and for how much longer?
  16. Are all your tax returns filed?
  17. Do you owe Federal and/or State “back” taxes? If so, how much on each?
  18. If you owe, are you paying on them now?

I’m sure that the answers you’ll get will generate more “lively” discussions.

Feel free to responsibly comment! To Your Financial Health!

Healthcare Reform Upheld – What It Means for You!

By now of course you’ve heard that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” In an unexpected twist, the Court ruled that the controversial individual mandate is constitutional, but under the government’s power to tax, rather than to regulate commerce.

We don’t need to go into the details of the ruling itself — just turn on your television, and somewhere, somebody is opining on it right now! But we do want to remind you the Court’s decision means several new taxes will go into effect as scheduled:

    • On January 1, 2013, the Medicare tax will go up by 0.9% for individuals earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers, $125,000 for married individuals filing separately).

    • Also on January 1, there will be a new “Unearned Income Medicare Contribution” of 3.8% on investment income, for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers).

    • Beginning on January 1, 2014, there will be a new $2,500 limit on tax-free contributions to flexible spending accounts, and employers with more than 50 employees will face a penalty of $2,000 per employee for not offering health insurance to full-time employees.

    • Finally, the threshold for deducting medical and dental expenses rises from 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10%. This will make these expenses even harder to deduct without help from advanced strategies like Health Savings Accounts or Medical Expense Reimbursement Plans.

So, while the constitutional issues may be settled, several planning challenges certainly remain. We’ll be following developments carefully in order to help you navigate these new challenges. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 240-356-5050.