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Friday, October 25, 2013

Skilled Workers Needed

Some companies are struggling to find skilled workers for certain jobs, particularly those jobs that require technology skills. Some of these jobs may be in manufacturing, others in IT, Accounting and Administration to cite a few examples. Even a waiter in a restaurant often needs to be able to use a computer or mobile device.

These jobs may require years of training and most small companies do not have the will, skill, energy or time to train the number of people needed. So what do you do?

Often a relationship with a nearby High School or College can be a big help. Often they will work with you. You surely should be able to offer jobs to qualified graduates, maybe using a job fair at the school. Some years ago, I needed a specific set of skills that was not generally available. I approached a local College and worked out a training program that allowed my company to offer jobs to successful graduates.

Think ahead…what skills will your company need? Where will you get them?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

So you think you have a good invention?

Are you sure your invention can be protected?

Check trade publications, trade shows and on line web search methods

Create a dated, clear presentation with drawings

Consult a Patent Attorney


You find something similar, now what?

You may still have a chance to have uniqueness

You may be able to work with the patent holder

Consult a Patent Attorney before moving forward


Whatever you do, if you think you have a unique product and want to move forward,
contact and consult with a SCORE counselor. It will not cost you anything, and you might learn something.


Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Healthcare and Small Business

I do not want to take a political position on the issue of “Obamacare”, but I recently saw an article that said 21.3% of Floridians 18 and over do not have health insurance. That number seems staggering. We all pay for that! In Florida, the Federal Government established the required marketplace, or health care exchange because the state was not interested in implementing the health care law.

Here is the position as described on the White House web site. Check it out.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and for the 28 million small employers across the country, healthcare is a major concern. The Affordable Care Act provides benefits and opportunities to small businesses that will help increase access to affordable coverage options.
Here are five key ways the Affordable Care Act can benefit small employers and their workers:

1.                      SHOP Marketplaces: Currently, small businesses face premiums that are on average 18% higher than large businesses. On October 1, 2013, the new Small Business Health Insurance Options Program (SHOP) Marketplaces will be open for businesses, and small employers in every state will be able to shop for health coverage on a competitive marketplace, that brings unprecedented transparency to the market and gives small businesses the same purchasing clout as big businesses.

2.                      Reducing Administrative Complexity: SHOP Marketplaces include web portals that provide standardized, easy-to-understand information that will make comparing and purchasing coverage easier, and will simplify the administrative challenges that businesses often face when offering plans. Visit to learn more about the SHOP Marketplace and to get ready for open enrollment.

3.                      New Tax Credits: The small business tax credit helps small businesses afford the cost of healthcare coverage for their employees, and is already helping qualifying small businesses offset the cost of insurance by up to 35%. In 2014, this tax credit goes up to 50% and is available to qualified small businesses who obtain coverage through the SHOP Marketplace.

4.                      Improved Risk Pooling: The new SHOP Marketplaces will allow small groups to pool risks and reduce administrative complexity, thereby increasing their purchasing power and reducing costs for small businesses that want to provide coverage to their workers. Business can enroll starting on October 1, 2013, through their brokers, or directly through the SHOP Marketplace. Stay connected to the latest information on the Marketplaces by going to

5.                      Workplace Wellness: The Affordable Care Act creates new incentives to promote workplace wellness programs and encourages employers to take more opportunities to support healthier workplaces. Effective for plan years after January 1, 2014, final rules allow the maximum reward to employers using a health-contingent wellness program to increase from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of health coverage, and the maximum reward for programs designed to prevent or reduce tobacco use will be as much as 50 percent.

To help provide small business owners with the resources and information they need, the Obama Administration recently launched, a one-shop where employers of all sizes can go for customizable information about how the law impacts them, based on the size, location and future plans for offering coverage. And, the Department of Health and Human Services launched a call center specifically to serve the needs of small businesses interested in the SHOP Marketplace. This call center (1-800-706-7893) is a new resource to help business owners get information to make the right decision for their bottom line and their employees. It’s open Monday-Friday from 9 AM- 5 PM, with representatives available to help in English and Spanish.
The Small Business Administration has also teamed up with Small Business Majority to offer a weekly webinar series designed to educate small business owners about what the healthcare law means for them.

How are you dealing with this for your business?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Don't develop a web site without SCORE

Counseling for Business Success


Presented by SCORE South Florida

STOP! Don't Do It...
Don't develop a website without SCORE's free help
South Palm Beach SCORE

has a celebrated Tech Team
to help you create your new website.
This is a great, free SCORE program... use it now.
Call to arrange your private sessions. We're accepting 90 minute appointments available October 28th and beyond.
SCORE does not charge for this service

We will help you:
  • Develop a successful website
  • Save thousands of dollars(SCORE does not charge for this service)
  • By Showing You Tips on how to be found by Google and Bing search(SEO)
  • Explain the best way to develop your site
  • Pick an appropriate domain name(s)
  • Plus much, much more
...And remember SCORE does not charge for this service... call now.
Call Now to Schedule Your Appointment
(Limited Number of Appointments Available)
for this no charge service
Call (561)981-5180

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What's in a name?

The answer may the difference between success and failure. The right name can make your business, the wrong one can…well, you know…it fails!

So what should your business name do?

1. Tell who you are/what you do. Make it easy to be understood right at the start.

What do you want people to think when they see or hear your name? What does “Potters” say to you? How about “Potter the Plumber”?

2. Tell how you do it. Try “ACTION” words like ‘On-Line”.“Fast”, “Speedy”, “On Call”, “24 hour”, ”Complete”, “Kitchen”, etc. words that add value to who you are.

3. Differentiate yourself from the competition., and make the prospect want to know more. Address the question: “Why you?” Try: “Potter Air Plumbers: we use air and water.” (as opposed to wires in your pipes)

Be sure you name does not insult prospects.

Coming up with the right name for your business can become complicated. If this is the case for you, consider an expert. There are naming firms that can help. Don’t forget the trademark situations you will have to deal with as well.

What’s in your name?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tax Planning for Small Business Owners

Tax planning is the process of looking at various tax options in order to determine when, whether, and how to conduct business and personal transactions to reduce or eliminate tax liability.

Many small business owners ignore tax planning. They don't even think about their taxes until it's time to meet with their accountants, but tax planning is an ongoing process and good tax advice is a valuable commodity. It is to your benefit to review your income and expenses monthly and meet with your CPA or tax advisor quarterly to analyze how you can take full advantage of the provisions, credits and deductions that are legally available to you.

Although tax avoidance planning is legal, tax evasion - the reduction of tax through deceit, subterfuge, or concealment - is not. Frequently what sets tax evasion apart from tax avoidance is the IRS's finding that there was fraudulent intent on the part of the business owner. The following are four of the areas most commonly focused on by IRS examiners as pointing to possible fraud:

Failure to report substantial amounts of income such as a shareholder's failure to report dividends or a store owner's failure to report a portion of the daily business receipts.

Claims for fictitious or improper deductions on a return such as a sales representative's substantial overstatement of travel expenses or a taxpayer's claim of a large deduction for charitable contributions when no verification exists.

Accounting irregularities such as a business's failure to keep adequate records or a discrepancy between amounts reported on a corporation's return and amounts reported on its financial statements.

Improper allocation of income to a related taxpayer who is in a lower tax bracket such as where a corporation makes distributions to the controlling shareholder's children.

Tax Planning Strategies

Countless tax planning strategies are available to small business owners. Some are aimed at the owner's individual tax situation, and some at the business itself, but regardless of how simple or how complex a tax strategy is, it will be based on structuring the strategy to accomplish one or more of these often overlapping goals:

Reducing the amount of taxable income

Lowering your tax rate

Controlling the time when the tax must be paid

Claiming any available tax credits

Controlling the effects of the Alternative Minimum Tax

Avoiding the most common tax planning mistakes

In order to plan effectively, you'll need to estimate your personal and business income for the next few years. This is necessary because many tax planning strategies will save tax dollars at one income level, but will create a larger tax bill at other income levels. You will want to avoid having the "right" tax plan made "wrong" by erroneous income projections. Once you know what your approximate income will be, you can then take the next step: estimating your tax bracket.

The effort to come up with crystal-ball estimates may be difficult and by its very nature will be inexact. On the other hand, you should already be projecting your sales revenues, income, and cash flow for general business planning purposes. The better your estimates, the better the odds that your tax planning efforts will succeed.


Barry Eisenberg, SCORE Counselor, email:


Thursday, October 3, 2013

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:


Eric Mankuta

Eric Mankuta is the personification of what a SCORE Counselor can be. Dedicated to his craft, Eric, a highly recognized HR expert, serves in that capacity as an owner in two HR concerns, and simultaneously makes time to serve as a National Email Counselor.
Thru the many years of his SCORE service Eric has brought a deep and abiding concern for the welfare of every client he serves. And clients in turn have saluted that commitment and expertise through letters of commendation and donations to SCORE in appreciation of his mentoring and guidance.
Currently, despite the fact Eric has two fulltime businesses to manage, he continues to serve SCORE clients across the country as a pre-eminent member of our Email Counseling Team. And in doing so, Eric consistently generates among the highest caseloads in our Chapter, as he assists clients all over the country.

Eric’s service to the Chapter has included outstanding service on numerous committees, as Chapter Treasurer on our Executive Committee, and always as a caring, dedicated Counselor to whom going above and beyond is his standard operating procedure.
Any organization would welcome volunteers the caliber of Eric Mankuta. That he is a member of our Chapter is another important reason why we are, and continue to be, among the elite of all SCORE Chapters.
Congratulations, Eric, on being elected Special Counselor of the Month for October, November and December 2013. You are a very important reason SCORE Chapter 412 is a National Award Winning Chapter!

Bill of Lading

THE BILL OF LADING - B/L: Core instrument in Export Transactions

Nobody likes to pay for something until it's received. To avoid an L/C (see a previous blog on LC's), ship & collect on basis of a draft. A draft is a payment demand through the bank that has connected to it a B/L. The B/L has the delivery of the goods tied to the phrase "Order of Shipper". The draft is presented to the buyer who authorizes the payment and the goods are then reclaimed from the carrier. The B/L is signed as "Paid" by the bank. Without this B/L the buyer cannot get the goods.

Do you see how the mdse. remans in your control until your customer pays? The "Order of Shipper" (that's you) controls the ownership. This cannot be done with Air Frt. In effect you have extended credit to your customer under the belief they will pay when the draft is presented to them by the bank. This is called a Sight Draft - payment when your buyer sees it.

The Order of Shipper uses the carrier to hold the goods in your behalf. No charge except storage. To avoid problems, make sure you do due diligence on the credit of your customer. (see a previous blog on credit & collection).

Another draft collection method tied to the B/L is a "time draft". Here the draft stipulates payment at some future date. It can be any arrangement up to 1 yr. The draft is appended to the Order of Shipper B/L. The bank is instructed to obtain an I O U for a specific time in the future and hands over the B/L. When the I O U matures up to date the bank requests the buyer to transfer the payment to you. These type of drafts can be for one single payment or several remittances known as "Split Drafts"
NOTE: Obviously here extremely careful credit research is indicated as the buyer has absolutely no obligation to pay and the bank cannot make them.

Because air shipments are time sensitive, the airlines will not hold mdse. pending collection. There is no Order of Shipper B/lL available. You can still use the draft system but your goods must be consigned directly to some destination that will accept to hold them until a draft is paid or accepted for future payment. You will need the services of a freight agent in the destination country who will hold the goods just like the steamship line. They are given instruction to hand the goods over upon proof of payment or acceptance of payment by your buyer.

To learn more about "How to Export"; contact SCORE.ORG
Hank Samuel Certified Counselor

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