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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Local STEM Problem


Miami to West Palm Beach rated 78 out of 100 in a recent Wallethub study of welcoming destinations for people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math backgrounds. This is a major issue for the area, as it is these backgrounds that create and sustain innovation. The study found an overabundance of low-skill, low-wage labor in the area.


This is not a good situation going forward, and should put more energy behind efforts for change.


What can you and your company do?


Steve Koenig, Score Counselor



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Small Business Payroll Questions to Consider


Payroll is an area that is often confusing for many business owners. Often, this confusion leads to problems with the IRS, resulting in various penalties and interest charges.


That's why all business owners need to consider a number of important issues regarding payroll such as:


1-Who is considered an employee and who is considered an independent contractor?


2-Should I do my own payroll or outsource it to a third party?


3-As the owner of the business, what is my employment status and how do I pay myself?


4-What are the consequences of hiring a spouse or children?


5-What fringe benefits can I offer my employees?


6-What federal and state payroll tax returns need to be filed and when are their due dates.


7-What are the rules to make federal payroll tax deposits with the IRS.


8-What safeguards and procedures should I follow if I outsource payroll to a third party?


9-What flexibility do I have regarding payroll in general?


10-What paperwork do I need to obtain when hiring employees.


11-What payroll records do I need to keep and for how long.


IRS Publications 15, 15-A, and 15-B cover federal payroll issues and are free by calling the IRS at



When it comes to payroll, you want to be sure everything is property done, on time, every time.


Remember, payroll not only impacts your business and taxes, it also impacts your employee’s taxes as well.


This article was written by Donald M. Scherzi, CPA, CFP, LLC

Mike Lupo, SCORE Counselor


Friday, February 3, 2017

Conference for Small Business Owners

Conference for 
Small Business Owners


You are invited to attend
The 8th Annual SCORE Business Conference 
Saturday, May 6th - 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM 
Saint John Paul II Academy, Boca Raton

and 20 other seminars and experts 
Just 500 Free tickets
so act NOW!

Here's Why You Should Attend:

Office Depot Foundation's PresidentMary Wong who has been named one of America's Top 20 Women in Philanthropy, Social Innovation and Civic Engagement by Philanthropy Media will deliver an inspirational presentation on overcoming personal obstacles, perseverance, success and much more.

Google's Stasia Kudrez* will show you how to get the customers you want to your website, get found on Search and get Google to verify your business at the event.

Yelp's Genna Gold*, manager of local business outreach, will help you learn the tricks on how to get your customers to rave about you online and convert those raves to sales.

Go Daddy's Shawn Pfunder* will teach you fun ways to get and keep customers and get them to purchase more.

Constant Contact's Pamela Starr*, director of training for all of North America, will teach you how to build relationships to build your business and increase sales. You will get a free trial account and free setup help at the conference.

Exclusive Appearances by all Speakers*
(only time in Florida this year)
  • Virtual Reality in Action Demo and how to use it in your business!
  • Workshops and Round tables with Major Speakers and Over 20 Seminars
  • 30 Minute Speed Mentoring Sessions, sign up at conference
Networking during the included Breakfast and Lunch

Special Feature: Hear from 3 successful local entrepreneurs who have built Multi-million dollar businesses from scratch. Learn how they did it and get timely tips from them and participate in an Open Q & A

Just 500 Free Tickets Available
Don't Miss Out 
or call (561)981-5180 Monday to Thursday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM 

South Palm Beach SCORE
7999 North Federal Highway
Suite 201
Boca Raton, FL 33487
Please support our sponsors:


Forward this email
Constant Contact is a proud sponsor of SCORE

South Florida SCORE | SCORE South Florida | 7999 N. Federal Highway | Boca Raton | FL | 33487

Special Counselor of the Month

We are delighted to shine the spotlight on a distinguished member of our staff who by his or her efforts brings great credit to our organization. This month we are honored to salute:



When Larry joined our Chapter, a little over two years ago, he brought with him an impressive portfolio of 35+ years of executive leadership in the fast food industry, along with a sterling record of community service. And it hasn’t taken very long for Larry’s mentoring and leadership skills  to reflect well, both for our clients, and the Chapter itself.
Larry quickly demonstrated his expertise working with clients, and he has broadened that base  by becoming an Online Mentor to  the SCORE national community, where he serves clients across the country by Skype and email.
In addition, Larry has established a new client Roundtable devoted to Sales & Marketing, which he expertly facilitates each month. He also has served on Ad Hoc committees, and currently serves on the Strategic Planning Sub-Committee, where his marketing knowledge will richly benefit the planning process.
When Larry joined the Chapter, members of the CTT commented on the impressive bios of the group he joined with. That observation has richly borne fruit, and we are delighted to announce that Larry has been elected Special Counselor of the Quarter for January, February, and March 2017.
Thank you Larry, for all you do. You truly have made us a better Chapter, and we all congratulate you and wish you continuing success!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Mistake, Mistake, Mistake

Here is an example of a classic small business mistake I saw coming down the track.


A young girl, following her dream, ran right into a stone wall. It is not that she was young or a girl that mattered here. It simply was that her dream clouded her view of reality.


It is not clear to me if she had prior experience in her chosen field. If she did it would have reflected itself in the quality she provided, which I did not see, and I am not sure anyone had the opportunity to experience in her new business.


She appeared to begin her business with an investment in a one year lease and additional expenses improving the leased property. After a month of work on the property, about two weeks prior to opening the business a sign appeared in the window announcing the date of opening of her YOGA studio and classes.


At no time that the business operated did she have more than four people show up, and that happened only one time. After about three months the business was shuttered, and the landlord was seeking another tenant.


So what did I see that she missed? First, there were four competing operations within walking distance. Second, she could not provide free parking for her clients. Third, her competitors were on main streets, her business was not, Fourth there appeared to be no competitive advantage offered.


The key learning from this example is to study, study, study. Study the competitive situation. Study the location. Keep on top of your situation.



Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Leasing a Car In Your Business

If you lease a vehicle that you use in your trade or business, you can use the standard mileage rate or actual expenses to figure your deductible expenses.

If you use the standard mileage rate method, the following applies:

You must use this method over the entire lease term.

You figure your deduction by multiplying the number of business miles times the standard mileage rate for the particular year.

You cannot deduct any other expenses except business-related parking and road tolls.

If you use the actual expense method, the following applies:

You can deduct the part of each lease payment that is for the business use of the car in your business.

You must spread any advance lease payments over the entire lease term.

If you lease a car for 30-days or more, you may have to reduce your lease payments deduction by an “inclusion amount” each year.

You can deduct your other car expenses by the business percentage use of the car each year.

You cannot claim depreciation.

Proper record-keeping is required to document and substantiate your auto expenses.


This article was written by Donald M. Scherzi, CPA, CFP, LLC

Mike Lupo, SCORE Counselor







Friday, January 13, 2017

Horror over the Air

Here is a story with a message for all businesses.


A cell phone senior citizen customer went to a retail distributor for a major cell phone carrier, with a request to repair a power cord connector on a “flip” phone. It seems the plug could not be inserted in that particular phone, while it functioned fine on another phone in the household. The store representative stated that the connector was damaged beyond repair and, proceeded to “up-sell” the customer to two “smart phones” in the household. The sale included the ability to rescind within 14 days.


Within 2 days the customer retuned to the distributor and wanted to rescind the sale because the new phones increased the monthly charges approximately four times over those preciously paid, without much added value, based on past use. The distributor rescinded the sale, returned two new “flip” phones, and recorded new “flip” phone sales on the cell phone company records. He could have simply reinitiated the original service the customer had. In addition to selling something with limited customer value, recording a “new” sale is a major source of the issues here. A new sale started a new two year contract!


Over that two year period the customer attempted to upgrade to more expensive “smart” phones on multiple occasions with the same service provider, each time being told by the service provider that this could not be done until the two year contract period expired. Now, here was a company turning away the opportunity to increase revenue from a customer. Smart???


As the contract termination period approached, the customer requested that the service provider remove the exorbitant cancellation fee for the last 30 days of the contract, and was refused.


By the way, the original “flip” phone problem was repaired with a slight bit of pressure of a screw driver.


Here was a customer that was now committed to leave this service provider, and never do business with the distributor again!!! Their friends, family and acquaintances are hearing this story as well!!!


A lot to learn from this example. How does your business compare?



Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor