Saturday, March 15, 2008

New Look & Features for Our Newsletter

Our regular readers will immediately notice that we have a new look for our monthly newsletter. In addition, we have added a number of features which will enable you to:

  • view archived articles from previous months by subject (see links on the left)
  • browse older editions by month/year (see links on the left)
  • search both current and archived articles (see top left search box)
  • participate in polls (see links on the left)
  • much more to come…

At this time, we have included articles from previous months back to June, 2007. Over the next month we will be adding more content from earlier in 2007 and 2006.

Stay tuned!

Immunize Your Business Against Economic Flu

score_tjpg_woodard This article was written by Carl Woodard,
SCORE Orange County Second Vice Chairman

With so many predictions of pending economic sickness, it may be tempting to believe that every business, yours included, must eventually suffer the symptoms. How many small business owners will “protect” their businesses against a predicted downturn by cutting back employees, reducing advertising expenses, canceling promotions and turning off the “Open for Business” sign a little early each day?

Do not follow this temptation!

Those that do, may blame the “poor economy” for their pain and suffering, and overlook the fact that their business suffers from their own actions….or inaction.

Now is the time to find preventative medicine so you can come through without as much as a sniffle. So, where do you find all of the Vitamin C and medications to inject into your daily operation? The good news is that remedies are close at hand. But, they will require some effort on your part.

Start by strengthening the business that you have. Cling to your good customers. It is always easier to keep a good customer than to get a new one. Call them and see how their business is performing. Sympathize if they have a glitch. Ask yourself if you can provide a new service that they may need.

If a segment of your business base is in need of help, see if you can temporarily reorganize to meet the need. Be flexible in unusually demanding times. Your customers will remember your effort.

Ask your customers for referrals in order to build your business. Referrals lead to future referrals.

Control your variable costs, but not to the point that it leads to more pain. Low inventory may be good business, but an out-of-stock condition is a lost sale. And keeping your sales volume high is a sure way to minimize headaches.

If, after doing all that you can do to keep your business healthy, you find that you are in need of a fresh perspective about getting back on a healthier track, remember that you can call on the more that 100 business counselors at SCORE Orange County for an office visit. No medical plan is required; however, an appointment is necessary, and easily obtained.

Call Orange County SCORE at 714-550-7369. We will set a convenient time for you. Remember to call us before those first signs of a cough or fever. Perhaps, together we can prevent problems from becoming serious.

Oh, yes….our office visits are always free!

Some Business Friendly Extras in the Recent Fiscal Stimulus Bill

score_tjpg_Ginnaty This article was written by Dick Ginnaty, CPA

All the hype on the recent tax bill that the President signed was concentrated on the rebates to be paid starting in May, but for small business there were two provisions that are potentially worth a lot more than the $600 rebate.

The first goodie has to do with Section 179 (the expensing provision) that has allowed small businesses to write off equipment purchases instead of depreciation them over multiple years. The new bill doubled the amount of equipment that a small business can write off to $250,000 for 2008. Yes, a qualifying small business can write off the first $250,000 of equipment purchased in 2008 provided the total equipment purchased in 2008 does not exceed $800,000.

The second goodie affects passenger cars. Finally, after keeping the lid on the write offs on cars for the last ten to fifteen years, the new tax act increases the first year write off by $8,000. This is $8,000 in addition to the existing first year maximum of $3,060 for cars under 6,000 GWT. Please note these limits assume that the car is 100% used for business purposes. If the car is used for personal purposes, then these limits are reduced pro rata for the non business use.

Good luck and here’s hoping it “all adds up” for you.

(If there is any area in accounting or tax that you think needs to be addressed in this newsletter please e-mail Dick at and if it is of general interest, he will address it in future articles)

Mandatory Documents For New Hires

Bern Lefson This article was written by Bern Lefson,
SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

Are you about to hire your first or more employees? What, you may ask, do I need in the way of documentation? Here is a rundown of what California employers need to provide their new hire(s):

1. Provide employee with a sexual harassment information sheet (Gov’t Code 12950).

2. Provide employee with Paid Family Leave pamphlet (DE 2511) [Unemployment Ins. Code 2613].

3. If employee is a minor, obtain a work permit.

4. Employment eligibility verification, IRCA form I-9, within three business days after employee begins work.

5. Distribute State Disability Insurance Provisions pamphlet (DE 2515) to employee within five days of hire.

6. Obtain employee withholding form (IRS W-4), prior to first pay date.

7. By the end of first pay period, provide employee with Workers’ Compensation Rights and Benefits Notice which can be obtained from your workers’ comp. insurance carrier.

8. Provide employee with “Predesignation of Personal Physician or Personal Chiropractor” form which allows the employee to opt to use his/her personal physician or chiropractor for work-related injury.


All employers should consider the following additional documentation to be given the new hire or ask of the new hire and placed in the personnel file.

a. Employee Handbook

b. If an employee handbook does not exist, write and provide to the new hire a list of what is expected of the employee as far as attendance, behavior and work output.

c. Who to contact in case employee cannot come to work on time or at all (name of company person to be contacted in this situation).

d. When payday is; what the regular workday is; and, what the regular workweek is.

e. Who to contact within the firm if any harassment or workplace intimidation takes place.

f. Who to contact in the event the employee is involved in an emergency, ill or injured while at work.

SCORE Volunteers Wanted in Riverside Area

Have you often thought that you would like to bring your business experience to the local community?   Why not think about volunteering as a SCORE Counselor.  Presently working or retired, we help you put your skills to good use.  The rewards are great!  We have over 10,500 SCORE volunteers around the country who will be your colleagues.  For more information email Mike Munz at: phone 949-723-4576. Tell us about yourself.  You will be glad you did.

Next Women’s Breakfast Set for May 7, 2008

women in business breakfast For our May networking breakfast, we have Mary Scarborough, noted marketing guru, who believes that "successful marketing has to do with matching your message to your market using the suitable vehicle..." Join us for a great networking event on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at the Center Club in Costa Mesa. We invite to find out more and to register for this event at our web site

The women's networking breakfast in March was a big hit! For this event we had Lee Silber an award winning author and radio talk show host talk about " things a you need to know to build your business..". He shared several actions a business person can take to grow their businesses.

SCORE Adds New Online Resources for Manufacturers at

Washington, D.C.-SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" announces a new section specifically for manufacturers at the SCORE Web site, Manufacturers can include businesses that specialize in transportation equipment, computers and electronics, chemicals, machinery and more. The new content area offers valuable information, statistics and mentoring to help these small business owners succeed.

Visitors to will find the following resources:

Resources for Manufacturers features a list of 10 organizations, groups and Web sites that offer news, strategies, statistics and advice. SCORE Counselors with Manufacturing

Expertise describes how to find both face-to-face and online SCORE experts who have a background in manufacturing.

Facts about U.S. Manufacturing offers a comprehensive overview of the manufacturing industry from the National Association of Manufacturers.

How SCORE Can Help You highlights SCORE's free online and face-to-face counseling, low-cost workshops and free eNewsletters.

Since 1964, SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" has helped more than 7.9 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through counseling and business workshops. More than 10,500 volunteer business counselors in 389 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses.

SCORE Orange County - Our Sponsors

SCORE Orange County is most grateful to its sponsors for their commitment to help small businesses in our area. Our sponsors are...

Chairman's Council

College Works Painting

College Works Painting



Commerce National Bank

Commerce National Bank



Kring and Chung Attorneys

Kring & Chung Attorneys LLP




National Vendor Insurance

National Vendor Insurance




NPI Services, Inc.





Omaha Steaks




PFF Bank




Sam's Club








Union Bank of California








Washington Mutual




Web Advanced




Wildflower Linen










Farmers & Merchants Bank