This really is the final week of the calendar year, and as such there are all kinds of things that you and I are both zeroed in on.

And I mentioned this in my email to individual and family contacts, but we’ve been able to clear out four appointment slots this week for fast-acting clients and friends who want to be pro-active, and ensure that their tax bill for 2015 is the lowest it can possibly be.

Simply click the button at the top of this page right away to email me, and snag one, or call: (516) 449-2852 — and may I suggest you do it quickly? These slots are sure to go quickly. After that point, you’ll be put on a short waiting list.

However, if you don’t have the time or inclination to come in for an actual meeting (during which we would be able to make specific recommendations), here are some off-the-cuff, “End of Year” (EOY) ideas that are generally applicable to any business, for reducing taxable income for 2015:

* Donate to your favorite charity (I’m sure you’re being flooded with EOY appeals)
* Pay some of your vendor costs early, or annually upfront
* Defer some revenue (if you’re able)
* Write off bad debts, or customers in collection
* Harvest investment losses, especially if you’re looking at a modified AGI higher than 200K

Along those lines, if you are needing a cash infusion, perhaps some of YOUR customers would be interested in paying you up-front for an entire year’s worth of products or services? Just a thought …

Speaking of cash infusions, I thought I’d remind you about a marketing strategy that you should consider in 2016. It used to be one of the most common ways to reach prospects, but has fallen out of fashion … even though it can be extremely effective.

4 Marketing Ideas For Leveraging “Old” Media Effectively In Your Long Island and Stamford Business
“If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.” – B C Forbes

Have you noticed that mailboxes are slightly less “empty” these days than they were a year or two ago?

(Not your email inbox, but, you know — that old, actually *physical* one out front.)

I think businesses are back to investing there, and it’s smart. But before you jump in, here’s some good advice so you don’t get burned, which I picked up from one of my marketing mentors.

Direct Mail can be “expensive” — which is why you do NOT want to “come huge” right out of the gate with it. Instead, it’s a very good idea to “test” small, and then continue to tweak and improve different marketing ideas that prove to work for you and your business.

Here’s how you do that:

1) Start with a small list of about 300 prospects. Anything less than this isn’t a very good sample size for a test. Frankly, even this is a bit small — 1000 names or more seems to make for a truer test, but if you are on a tight budget, 300 will do.

2) Send out at least 2 steps before you consider it a failure. There are a variety of reasons why marketing pieces fail, and not all of them are under your control.

3) Include a true tracking mechanism. This can be a specialized 800 number, a dedicated local number (special to this particular mailing), a unique URL, a specific appointment request form, a coupon — it actually doesn’t matter a LOT. What matters most is that you have a way to reliably separate out any respondents from this particular mailing AWAY from other kinds of inquiries from your website, pay-per-click, referrals, etc.

4) Measure results by ROI. You can spend a bunch of cash to get high response numbers, but as a “details” person, I’m most interested in seeing specific dollar returns on marketing before it’s judged to be worthwhile.

I hope this helps.

Feel very free to share this article with a Long Island and Stamford business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? These particular articles usually relate to business strategy because, as you know, we are Profitability Consultants also specializing in tax preparation and planning for Long Island and Stamford families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Michael J. Kessler, CPA
(516) 449-2852
(203) 658-5092

PS–Join us for our show Business Profits In The Real World Saturday afternoons at 4 on 103.9FM WRCN where we bring you Long Island and The New York-Metro’s most successful business owners sharing how you too can bring your business to among the most profitable in your industry.  No radio? No problem! Listen live at LINewsRadio.com – or can’t listen live?  Hear our past shows at MichaelKesslerCPA.com