Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don’t miss Michael Gerber Presentation on Tuesday Jan 6, at Chapman University

Awakening the Entrepreneur Within -- How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies - Michael Gerber

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 from 10:00-noon at Chapman University

Here’s an incredible opportunity to hear from a world-renowned speaker, Michael Gerber. If any individual can rightfully be called “The World’s Number One Small Business Guru,” it is Michael Gerber. His E-Myth books have touched the lives of millions of business readers, in every industry, throughout the world.

e_myth The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber’s opus on why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it, was first published in 1986. With over 2 million copies sold, it continues to make the Top 10 list of the hottest business books in the U.S. More than just an author, Michael Gerber writes about what he has done himself, not only on his own behalf as Founder and CEO of E-Myth Worldwide, but on behalf of the millions of business owners for whom Michael Gerber’s E-Myth principles and systems have been successfully put to work. Michael’s latest focus is the entrepreneur as dreamer with his latest book – Awakening the Entrepreneur Within; How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies, and his 3-day intensives: In the Dreaming Room.

To register or for more details, click here or visit the workshop page at

This event is brought to you by:


Celebrating Another Year Coming to an End

score_tjpg_mcculloch This article was written by Ben McCulloch, Chairman, SCORE Orange County

Here in mid-December perhaps you, too, have the surprise feeling of ‘where did that year go?! … Offset (more than a little bit) by a twinge of ‘I thought it would never end!’ As the last two months have repeatedly reminded us, business cycles don’t pay much attention to the calendar. But, the end of one year signals the beginning of another, and the time in-between provides a short pause to take stock.

What have we learned this year?

For many, the year has presented numerous, unforeseen challenges. For some, it’s also presented a few unexpected opportunities. Our shared experience is a reminder that there are many factors over which we have no control, nor can we anticipate with confidence. You may have begun the year with well-constructed business plans, but they may not have prepared you for the surprises and uncertainties since September.

How to prepare for next year?

Keep planning! Uncertainty doesn’t mean you can’t plan. Instead, build on your current business plans with a different approach, mindful that risk increases the further out you try to project, and that the consequence of being wrong may have increased substantially. Focus you’re planning on the fundamentals of your business: costs and cash flow, of course. But also key on your core customers, your products and services, and how you market to bring those two together. And, if you need assistance, or just need a sounding board, give us a call.

As we continue into the Holidays, and on behalf of the women and men of your SCORE chapter, I wish you a happy, restful, and safe season. Congratulations on dealing with a historic set of challenges, and best wishes for success in the coming year. We look forward to seeing you again soon, and working together to make an impact in the Orange County business community.

QuickBooks 2009; Some Interesting Additions, and Improvements

score_tjpg_Ginnaty This article was written by Dick Ginnaty, CPA

QuickBooks 2009 is out and in the stores, and contains some clear enhancements from 2008. Most of the improvements/additions have to do with the Web, such as accessing “Live Community” (effectively, an on-line chat room for QuickBook users), creating a professional website, and communicating to others (your accountant, vendors, customers) through what they are calling “QB Messenger”.

Other operational enhancements include tracking international sales and expenses in multiple currencies (a big enhancement in this ever shrinking world), and the ability to download invoices and estimates created through Adobe’s software PDF form templates (just Google: Adobe Inc.)

The enhancements in QuickBooks 2009 version brings up the question of how often should you update your QuickBooks. The answer is every two years at least. The reason for the two year maximum between updates is simply that Intuit, the company that produces QuickBooks, does not support versions older than two years. Obviously, you should check out the changes in each version and make the economic decision if the enhancements are worth the update cost.

Well that’s it for 2008, I hope you and yours the very best for this holiday season, and prosperity and health for the new year.

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)

Next Women’s Breakfast January 16, 2009

Ring In The New Year With 10 Resolutions

score_tjpg_ryan This article was written by Martha Ryan, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

The Orange County SCORE Women in Business Breakfast series has planned another great event to help you ring in the New Year. Join us on January 16, 2009 at the Center Club in Costa Mesa, to hear Dr. Deborah Gaut share ten New Years’ resolutions that you can easily make (and keep!) to enhance your company’s image, build loyal relationships with customers, and create word-of-mouth buzz for your company.

If you want to NETWORK and share ideas, experiences and advice with other women in a variety of service and product businesses, DISCOVER the variety of available of services and resources provided by SCORE and their partners to enhance or help you start your business and SHARE your knowledge and experience through the opportunity of exhibiting at the breakfast…join us!

wib-logo Deborah is the author of three best-selling communication textbooks and has 20 year of training and consulting experience in business and industry. She is the President of OnYourMark! Communications, Inc., and co-founder of the California Institute for Veterans Studies.

The Women in Business breakfast will be held on Friday, January 16, 2009, from 7:30AM to 10:00AM (registration starts at 7:00AM) at the Center Club, 650 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa (free valet parking located just past the ticket office for the OC Performing Arts). The cost for the breakfast is $30.00 advanced registration, $35.00 at the door. Add an additional $35.00 to reserve an exhibit table. Sign up on the SCORE website to reserve your space as seating is limited.

Business Practice Patents Take Major Hit!

score_tjpg_Fulton This article was written by Jim Fulton, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

On 30 October, 2008, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Washington Circuit (which handles all Patent appeals) substantially reversed the position it had adopted in 1998 with regard to Business Practice Patents.  As a result, Business Practice Patents will be harder to acquire.  The Court upheld the position taken recently by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office in the matter of Bilski & Warsaw vs. the USPTO.

The Court essentially returned to the pre-1998 position by reversing its “State Street decision.”  The “State Street decision” had caused great controversy due to its vague wording.    It said in that case “business practices were patentable so long as they’re useful, concrete and tangible.” This language is no longer effective.  The Court, in a 9-3 decision, wrote that in order for a process to receive patent protection, it has to either “transform an article to a different state or thing” or be “tied to a particular machine.”  This places the Business Process Patent in parallel with previous process patents found most often in chemistry.

It is clear that it will be more difficult to obtain business practice patents in the fields of accounting, banking, insurance and software in general.  It also opens the way to litigation related to patents issued during the interim period.

The decision is subject to appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court.  However, that Court is notoriously reluctant to become involved in the technical details of patent matters.  It specifically formed the above named Court to handle such matters for it.

Opportunities for the Future

score_tjpg_bour This article was written by Norm Bour, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

As this economy remains in a state of chaos, let’s try to look at the bright side. This crisis shall pass in time and no matter what is thrown at us, we, as Americans, will endure and survive. That is well and good for the “Big Picture”, but what about you, the reader, the one who is trying to keep their current business going or possibly looking to start a new one? Where shall you look? What businesses look like better gambles (?) in the next few years?

The Ageing Population

I’m a Baby Boomer and most of the people I know are too, if not beyond that. Health care is better than it’s ever been and the average life expectancy in this country is now over 78 years of age. That means a support system will be needed for tens of millions of people ranging from health care, care giving, even mundane tasks like help with shopping or chauffeuring from place to place. This new Baby Boomer generation will be the largest and wealthiest mass ever to enter retirement age. And they fight and kick the whole way! For the most part this generational group of ex-hippies, ex-executives and every other career that they engaged in likes to be active and they truly do think young. What businesses can enhance that and support that attitude?

For the most part this generation is more active than most before them. Exercise, athletics, entertainment, personal training, beauty treatments, cosmetic surgery; these will all be in high demand in the decades to come. Golf, hiking, fishing, you name the sport and there will be more people engaged in solitary (not team) sports than ever before. Though youth may be gone, the ILLUSION of youth remains strong. How can you profit from that?

In addition, the majority of these Boomers do not like cold climates, so keep that in mind when you think about starting or maintaining a business where there are more people leaving than arriving. In California we’re probably fine, but the Northeast and Middle America will not be the destinations of choice.

The New, more Complex World

Another area of profit is the ever growing and ever more complicated world of computerization. A novelty 20 years ago, computers are a necessary part of life and their complexity grows each year. Wi-fi, networking, new operating systems, and even the “dark side”, viruses and other Trojans and malware will create opportunities for those that wish to service the less sophisticated. And the computer opens up opportunities for growing on-line businesses, networking with vast amounts of like-minded people, and working in areas that you may not have had access to in the past. Location restrictions are less important than ever before and doing business cross country and even worldwide is not out of reach.

Keep an open mind

These are just two of the many ideas that will have a greater chance of success in the years to come. Other areas:

· How about the “Green Movement”, which is here to stay? Energy savings will remain a mandate from all levels and there will be opportunities. Energy auditing, support of hybrids and a host of businesses we cannot even imagine will open up in the next decade.

· Career counseling. Even though the population is aging, many are not financially able to retire. These people need direction, counseling and guidance in their next steps.

· And along those lines they also need financial help and counseling. Financial advisors and planners will remain busy in the years to come.

So as we approach 2009 try not to think of the past for it will never be the same again. All the old rules are gone and the stability we’ve nurtured our entire lives may also be gone. If your business is not doing what it used to, or what it should, remember it’s smarter to cut your losses if you need to change direction and if you start fresh do your homework first.

Happy holidays and a Make a toast to a successful 2009

Score Counselors Select Winners in Aerospace Competition

Six Score 114 counselors each reviewed 120 applications for the Supplier Excellence Alliance. SEA is an industry alliance which promotes supply chain improvements and supplier collaboration. Winners were presented awards at their Gala on November 12 in Indian Wells, Ca.


Judges in the picture are from left to right, Bob Lichtsinn, Jim Fulton, Angelo Farro, Bern Lefson, and Jerry Margolin. Jack James was not present.