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Law Business Podcast
59 minutes | 2 years ago
033: Live Q&A Replay - March 1st, 2019
Questions discussed in this episode: Issues with leasehold improvement asset classification Who needs to issue a 1099, when can I expect to receive one? International taxation issues Tax issues international students face
65 minutes | 2 years ago
032: Live Q&A Replay - February 15th, 2019
Questions discussed in this episode: Scam IRS calls Issues with assets and depreciation Filing status and appropriate withholding levels Business management, expenses and overhead Look out for business networking opportunities
61 minutes | 2 years ago
031: Live Q&A Replay - February 8th, 2019
Questions discussed in this episode: Various tax strategies, and keeping more of the money you earned Reasonable and customary business expenses How account systems work together Education expenses and 529 plans More tax notice questions Happy Chinese New Year!
63 minutes | 2 years ago
030: Live Q&A Replay - January 31st, 2019
Questions discussed in this episode: Do I need an accounting software, or using an excel file good enough? Subcontractors vs. Employees: why is workers comp involved? US tax issues when selling a house or property located in a different country Hiring your first employee Tax questions when selling your primary residence
41 minutes | 2 years ago
029: Live Q&A Replay - January 24th, 2019
Questions discussed in this episode: 529 Plan question; employee tuition reimbusement LLC taxation question. What is an S-Corp Does it make sense to put assets into a trust? How to find a good lawyer? What are the risks? What to do if a client uses questionable bookkeeping practices? Property value question; Accounting for rental income and expenses Completing a W-9 form. Why do contractors ask for this form? IRS payment plan issues Estimated tax payments, penalties and interest
50 minutes | 2 years ago
028: Live Q&A Replay - January 17th, 2019
Answering your business, tax & accounting related questions live on Thursday afternoons. Leave your question under the Comments! http://LawBusinessPodcast.com http://ConciergeCPAs.com Questions discussed in this episode: Bookkeeping and best practices Relying on tax advice found on random websites 1099s received that contain mistakes or wrong information W-2 withholding question, and updating W-4s throughout the year Out of pocket medical expenses, and HSA question Can you employ your kids, and give them a W-2? Questions about retirement plans
24 minutes | 3 years ago
027: Best Practices for Financial Management
Build a law firm that serves you! Freedom to pursue what inspires you and makes you happy! Profits to accomplish the things you want! Peace of mind, so that you don’t stay up at night worrying about the future of your law firm. Joy and fulfillment of serving clients that you enjoy working with. Balance. Remember, your firm needs to serve YOU, and not the other way around.
28 minutes | 4 years ago
026: A lawyer’s insight into how business people purchase legal services. Rochelle Friedman Walk, Esq.
This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Rochelle Friedman Walk Esq. She is the president and owner of the successful Walk Law Firm, PA in Tampa, Florida. Rochelle started her career at a major Cleveland law firm and then moved on to become in-house attorney for large corporations. As general counsel she helped companies reorganize, turn around and succeed in business. Rochelle was in a unique position because she was on the purchasing side of legal services. This gave her a great insight into what companies are looking for when hiring outside counsel. How do businesses want to work with lawyers? In Rochelle’s experience business people are buying based on value. The first question they ask is “how much will it cost, and what am I getting for my money?” Building on her experience from the business community, Rochelle made the decision to price her legal services based on the value she provides. Clients responded positively to the flat fee arrangements. Flat fee pricing is more complicated than one might think. A lot of effort goes into assessing the scope of the project before a price is given. Rochelle takes the time to assess the scope of the projects and to write very detailed engagement letters. Great SEO and outstanding resume pages are a vital part of acquiring new clients. The Walk Law Firm works with clients from all over the world, so being visible online is a major source of new business. Tips about work-life balance: “Hire a wonderful assistant and invest in virtual systems that are safe and accessible from anywhere.” Business advice: “Put yourself out there and define what you do well. Do writing and speaking engagements. Pick something that you are passionate about and get engaged in your community.”
26 minutes | 4 years ago
025: A Safe Space for Clients. Kristin Wilkinson, Esq.
Kristin represents clients in the area of civil litigation and business law, estates, and family law. What sets her apart from her competitors is that she strives to create a safe space for her clients and connect with them on a personal level. Because clients tend to cross personal boundaries, maintaining a healthy distance while showing empathy is a skill Kristin had to master. Kristin’s empathy and warm personality also influences how she runs her law business. She works with clients to provide flexible payment options and prepayment discounts, but she stands firm on getting paid for her work. She is the lawyer, but she is NOT the financier of her own work. Hiring employees and being responsible for staff also helped Kristin to be more firm on billing issues. Business tip: “Pay yourself first! Have a holistic view of your clients' situation, but don’t try to control everything your clients do.” Book recommendation: Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line – by Heather Hendershot The greatest advantage of building a law firm is that the firm’s culture can be customized to fit the owner’s personality. Kristin being a self-described “introvert’s introvert” built a firm that allows her to serve her clients and provide them a space to open up and ask for help.
5 minutes | 4 years ago
024: Happy Holidays
I wanted to take a minute to wish you and your beloved ones a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year! I wanted to leave you with three short tips for 2017: 1. Choose yourself - give yourself permission to be successful 2. Surround yourself with people who inspire you 3. Prioritize your daily activities and focus on the ones that lead to business growth
25 minutes | 4 years ago
023: 5 Tips for Higher Profits – Presentation
Build a law firm that serves you! • Freedom to pursue what inspires you and makes you happy! • Profits to accomplish the things you want! • Peace of mind, so that you don’t stay up at night worrying about the future of your law firm. • Joy and fulfillment of serving clients that you enjoy working with. • Balance. Remember, your firm needs to serve YOU, and not the other way around. 5 Tips for Higher Profits 1. STOP overpaying your taxes, and take an extra vacation a year instead 2. Get your date in the cloud to increase efficiency and to protect yourself 3. Look at your numbers regularly so you can make better business decisions 4. Set your fees so that you don’t cut your profits out of your rates 5. Consider yourself as the “CEO” of you law business
5 minutes | 5 years ago
022: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Where the Rubber Meets the Road How to be the "Chief Ecosystem Officer" of your law business. 1.Understand that you’re an Entrepreneur Selling Legal Services – Mindset Shift From What You Learned in Law School2.Recognize That as a CEO Your Job is Multi-Fold:•Vision & Strategy (Choose a niche and define what differentiates you from other firms.)•Rainmaking (Cultivate relationships, become a networking & marketing expert to attract new business.)•Operations (Manage the office and the staff, set systems, policies and procedures.)•Financial Management (Utilize your financial data to make informed business decisions. Implement a system to track and project cash-flow, as this has the biggest effect on the day-to-day operations, but represents the #1 problem small law firms struggle with. Develop financial goals, spending plans. Have a basis understanding of your key performance indicators.)3.What Is Your Excuse for Not Acting like the CEO of Your Business?•Managing partners of big Law Firms have the advantage of working with various dedicated professionals, company CEO’s have a board of advisors. •Good News: Solo & small law firm owners have a myriad of resources when it comes to building their own successful businesses: - Practice management books & coaches, outsourced CFO services, technology tools/apps, VAs, etc.•How to build your own unofficial board of advisers/accountability partners4.Building Your Successful Solo Practice Starts with “Reverse Engineering” Your Financial Goals: •Your branding/marketing, visibility, lead generation, pricing structure, staffing level, all have to be aligned with your financial goals. Know how much you want to make and build the “enterprise-machine” that will get you there. 5.Knowing & Understanding Your Numbers Is the Only Way to Build a Legitimate Business Examples of your Important Numbers & Key Performance Indicators:•Income and Spending Budget (the Plan/Goal)•Actual Income and Expense figures (the Reality) (per month & year-to-date)•Budget Variances: When you compare the actual numbers to the plan. This gives you the insights into what’s working and what needs more attention. •Profit Percentage Benchmark for Small Law Firms: 1/3rd of revenues go to staff salaries, 1/3rd to general & marketing expenses, 1/3rd is partner’s profit. This should be taken into consideration when you price your services•Successful small law firms spend at least 5-10% of their revenues on marketing•Your monthly “nut” or how much fees you have to bill & collect to pay for all regular monthly expenses, including your take home pay•Number of new clients each month•ROI (return on investment) of each type of marketing activity (long term)6.These numbers have to be looked at & interpreted REGULARLY (at least monthly, but weekly is preferred)•Financial numbers are not just to give to your tax person on April 13th (Ort Oct 13th)•They help you make better and more profitable business decisions during the year•Online programs like QBO revolutionized and made this affordable for everyone. You can create your budget in an online accounting software, then you can track variances & profitability in it•Ask your CPA to be your outsourced CFO / business adviser / accountability partner•Schedule regular (at least quarterly) meetings with them to review your progress & get insight into what your numbers & KPIs mean
24 minutes | 5 years ago
021: Replace Yourself and Grow Your Law Firm! Dana C Palmer, Esq.
We welcome Dana C Palmer, Esq. back on the Law Business Podcast.To listen to our previous interview with him, please check out episode 012.The reason we called Dana back the show is because recently he took six (yes, 6!) weeks off of work with emergency access only, and while he was away, his law firm continued to function normally.We were curious about how he achieved this level of freedom, and what preparations were necessary for his law firm to function without him being in the office.Dana was more than generous in sharing every detail about the process he went through to achieve his goals.Taking six weeks off cannot be done without motivated team members. Dana talks about how he finds the right employees, and how he keeps them motivated. As a real CEO, Dana works a lot on building his business, but spends progressively less time doing actual legal work. To buy his time back and to be able to focus on higher level issues, he kept hiring new team members to replace himself.Listening to Dana’s experiences really clarifies what “working on your law firm” means in practice.
23 minutes | 5 years ago
020: Improving Online Visibility for your Law Firm with Inbound Marketing
Consumers now use an average of 10.4 resources before making a buying decision. Pre-shopping is occurring more and more frequently, and this is true in the legal industry. If you want to be found online, you need to be visible. Inbound marketing is a methodology where you attract potential clients to your business with blogs, white papers and social media. Once you convert visitors into leads, you begin to interact with them as they are making a decision about which law firm to hire. As you nurture your leads, you close the clients who are the best fit for your firm. You continue to delight them with excellent content and service, all while establish an ongoing relationship that helps build your law firm’s brand. Essentially, the inbound methodology helps consumers go from search to buying, and then to promoters of your brand.Liz also discusses three common marketing mistakes that attorneys make:• They don’t consider their target market• They are unwilling to test campaigns• There is a disconnect between marketing and sales Liz’s website: http://hershpr.com/Liz’s inbound marketing blog: http://blog.hershpr.com/
43 minutes | 5 years ago
019: Search. Watch. Hire.
This week we welcome Chris Hildebrand, Esq. of Hildebrand Law, PC and President of the Local Lawyer Guide and Tighe Wilhelmy, VP of Operations & Business Development of Local Lawyer Guide. Chris’s law firm is a Scottsdale, Arizona divorce, family law and estate planning firm. He and the attorneys working for him created a client-focused practice built on cooperative and trusting relationships with their clients. They are recipients of numerous awards, recognitions and Five Star reviews. If building a successful, fast growing, multi-location law firm wouldn’t be enough, Chris has built another business, Local Lawyer Guide that is a place to find local lawyers, law firms and legal information using the largest legal video search engine. This service is dedicated to aiding lawyers in connecting with the public in a new, open, personal and more effective manner than traditional channels of advertising. While everybody agrees that in today’s world video is a must in all professional service firm marketing, and can have a huge impact in being found by ideal clients, most law firms still under-utilize or neglect it altogether. Chris gave us an insight how video and search engine optimization was a game-changer in marketing his own law firm, while Tighe shared with us how Local Lawyer Guide works and helps small and large law firms across the nation connect with their ideal clients. Learn more at www.LocalLawyerGuide.com and create a profile for your law firm today!Contact Chris at Chris@locallawyerguide.com and Tighe at firstname.lastname@example.orgCheck out www.HildebrandLaw.com to see how Chris distinguishes himself and his firm in the marketplace with high quality videos and the way he utilizes them in a professional, classy and attractive way!
7 minutes | 6 years ago
018: Is Tax Planning More than Knowing How Much Quarterly Estimates I Have to Pay?
Today’s question is: Is tax planning more than knowing how much quarterly estimates I have to pay?We received this question from a small law firm owner, who was a fellow attendee of a Rainmaker Retreat with Stephen Fairley and the Rainmaker Institute. We talk a lot about proactive and strategic tax planning here at Better Numbers for Lawyers, so the short answer to this question is: ABSOLUTELY! Tax planning is much more than knowing how much quarterly estimates you have to pay.And let me start the longer version of the answer with this: it’s absolutely not my new friend’s fault that he did not know that. It wasn’t his fault that his tax accountant never let him know that they are only doing tax compliance for him, and not serving as his tax planners and tax coaches as well. Because you know, you can always find good people who can put the right numbers in the right boxes on April 14th, but that does not necessarily means that they also tell you know about tax planning opportunities available to your unique situation. So the first question is: When was the last time your tax accountant came to you and said: Here is an idea that I think will save you money?If the answer is never, then unfortunately you outgrew your current tax accountant or CPA. Did you now that by conservative estimates US taxpayers overpay their taxes by 160 billion per year? This is the largest expense of a business every year, yet so many of us don’t give it a second thought. Please do yourself a favor and find yourself a tax coach who will analyze your unique personal and business tax picture, will ask you some questions and then present you with a written tax plan with recommendations of which tax strategies apply to you at this time. And let’s not leave out the 2 most important aspects of a tax plan: an estimate of how much you’ll save by putting in place these tax strategies, and an implementation plan, which if it’s done correctly it should absolutely not take up a lot of your own valuable time. So when I say tax strategies, I mean 100% legitimate and IRS approved strategies. We‘re not talking about offshore investments or shady practices here. Fortunately there are plenty of IRS approved strategies that we can use and still sleep well at night. So make sure your tax coach or tax planner is certified and a recognized expert in this field. You, as a lawyer, provide your clients your best, so why not work with the best expert when it comes to your own family and business?So what if somebody already has a CPA they like working with?Sure. Some of the law firm owners we work with have their own tax accountant and they go back to them to have the strategic tax plan implemented. Some quickly realize the power of being proactive and the peace of mind that comes with working with a CPA who is interested in seeing you not just once a year at tax time, but keeping in touch with you every month of the year. As you can imagine, this is a totally different kind of relationship. It’s a more intimate relationship when we technically prepare a projected tax return for our clients each quarter, so you we never get a surprise at taxtime. Borbala, can you give us a real life example?I can think of this great client we have, who we became good friends with. His practice grew from $50,000 profit in one year to literally a couple of dollars short of $200,000 the next year. He was in our bootcamp first and then we became his CPAs and CFO’s mid-year. Of course we immediately did a tax projection for him and told him that the little over $100 quarterly estimate vouchers his former accountant gave him will by no means cover the taxes on the quadrupled profit. Also, as we still had time, we presented to him and ultimately implement some tax strategies that year that immediately saved him $5,700 at tax time. Which by the way more than paid for this bootcamp and tax plan. Then the following year we implemented some more tax strategies that will save him more than $15,000 every single year. Just imagine your spouse’s or your kids’ face when you tell them that you can take an extra nice vacation every year instead of sending that money to the IRS. Or you can finally pay off your credit cards or run an extra marketing campaign that will bring you more business in the long run. So we get a tax plan. How long is it good for?Of course as good as a tax plan is, it has to be continually updated as your business grows and your family situation changes, and the tax laws can also change. There are different tax saving opportunities for different stages of every business and personal family situation. For example there is a widely used strategy we only recommend after you have about $50-60k profit per year. There is another strategy that comes handy if you have a lot of out of pocket medical expenses, like kids’ braces that can run up to $8-10 grand or even doctor prescribed weekly chiropractor or massage sessions or a private weight loss coach. And I’m not talking about a getting a simple HSA or FSA here. So please do yourself, your family and your business a favor and find a proper tax coach or tax planner so you don’t pay more taxes than you have to. Over a couple of decades the difference could be great vacation memories with your family, or driving your dream car or a significantly bigger retirement nest egg.If that sounds like something you want to explore, take us up on our offer to give you a free mini tax-plan and tell you how much of your tax bill every year could stay in your own pocket. Please call 216-333-3413 or check us out at BetterNumbersForLawyers.com. If you have a question for us, please email to Questions@LawBusinessPodcast.comThank you for listening, talk to you soon!
6 minutes | 6 years ago
017: Are Tax Problems Holding You Back?
Are tax problems holding you back?Welcome to this episode of the Law Business Podcast. I’m your host Borbala Banto in the studio with Laz.So Laz, what is today’s question?Today’s question is: I started my law firm five years ago, but I haven’t filed any business tax returns. How do I resolve this issue so I can move forward?Thank you for trusting us with this question. Trust me when I tell you that you are not alone in this Nobody wants to talk about these issues. We are CPAs, we work with law firm owners from 17 states and accept clients from all 50. Based on our experience 5 to 10 percent of attorneys have the same problem as you do.That is why we created this 100% confidentiality and judgement free zone. We are not here to judge you, but to take this weight off your shoulders.Not filing your tax returns is more serious than not paying your taxes. If you owe the IRS and don’t work out a payment plan, they might levy your bank accounts, but if you don’t file the returns you could lose your bar license, driver’s license, or even go to jail. It is not uncommon that we resolve our client’s IRS issues and take care of unfiled tax returns in 6 to 8 weeks. After the past is not holding you back from growing your business, now it is the time to plan ahead. Bookkeeping, internal control, tax planning. We will talk about these in upcoming episodes.If you are a lawyer and you do not have an accountant, or if you outgrew your current accountant, let us show you the concierge way: learn more about our services at BetterNumbersForLawyers.comIf you have a question for us, send us an email Questions@LawBusinessPodcast.com
8 minutes | 6 years ago
016: I'm thinking about opening a second office location. Is it a good idea?
In the past only larger firms could afford to open multiple offices. Why more and more small law firms take the risk and open a second office?The main reason behind opening a second office is to increase the market size.The cost of opening a second office is much lower than it used to be for two main reasons: Technology and dynamic office arrangements. Technology allows for easy document sharing, a long term office lease is no longer neccessary because of on-demand office spaces.
13 minutes | 6 years ago
015: It takes a community to build a successful business. Jorge Pla, Esq.
When you support your community, in return your community will support your business.Jorge Luis Pla is one of the two founding partners of RaslanPla & Company, LLC in Cleveland, OH. His firm has earned the reputation of being skilled negotiators and tenacious advocates of their clients’ rights.Jorge believes in the importance of education, hard work, valuing family and the community. He regularly gives back by offering pro bono work and by participating in various functions in the community.Business Advice: Working on the development of the business is just as important as delivering quality legal work.
42 minutes | 6 years ago
014: Winning in business with personality. John Miller, Esq
What does a law firm and a rock band have in common?This might sound like the beginning of a nerdy joke, but this time it is the beginning of a success story.Besides running a successful law firm, John is the lead singer and bass player of a blues rock band called BayStreet. A few years ago John decided to let his personality come through his business and renamed it to Rock Solid Business Law, PLLC.Giving personality to a business might seem like a risky move, but John can attest to the benefits of his decision. He attracts clients who he enjoys working with and who also like him in return. Building long term relationships this way is much easier. John is passionate about helping people, so he decided to take a holistic approach and to offer estate planning services in addition to real estate and business law.In addition to being passionate about helping people, John is also a savvy business owner. He is a firm believer in paying attention to the numbers and understanding where the dollars come from and how they are spent.John’s business advice:•Market and advertise your services to keep new clients coming through the door.•Get a good handle on what your money situation is and regularly review your numbers.
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