How to Select Your Wedding Vendors

You’ve set the date for your big day, and now it’s time to make some big decisions.  Who will shoot the photos?  How about the food for the reception?  Beverages are a big thing, too.  There are so many things to think about.  How do you know if you’re making the right decisions?

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As usual, well-meaning relatives may recommend you save money and use Uncle Fred as your photographer, or Auntie May to cook the food.  It’s the thought that counts, right?  Before agreeing to any of these, you may want to ask yourself:  “Is it worth the risk?  Or should we hire professionals?”

Here are some things to think about:

  • Photographer – Cameras are getting better and better in this digital age, but is Uncle Fred skilled in photography? Does he know what types of shots he should take?  Will he download the images onto his computer?  What if something happens and he loses them?  Your wedding day is one of the MOST IMPORTANT days of your lives.  Your photos will be a cherished keepsake full of beautiful memories of your special union.  They will be passed down for generation after generation to your children’s children.  Is it worth saving money to have unprofessional photos? Or would it be better to hire a professional photographer to ensure you have beautiful memories?
  • Caterer – Auntie May is probably the best cook this side of the Mississippi. But, does she have the experience to calculate proper portions for the number of guests attending your wedding?  How about the tableware, glassware, silverware, napkins, etc… Will she enjoy doing this?  Her and your estimations, due to lack of experience, could be way off.  Food helps set the tone of the wedding, and menu variety, quality, and presentation all contribute to the memorable experience.  What’s one of the first questions we’re all asked after attending a wedding?  “How was the food?”  To avoid the embarrassment of facing a mob of cranky, hungry guests due to the possibility of a late meal or of running out of food, it may be wise to go with a professional.
  • Beverages – Will you be serving alcoholic beverages? While you may think it cost effective to buy the alcohol for your reception, and bring it with you.  Be sure to check with your venue regarding the rules and extra fees.  What is the correct amount per person? Is there a per bottle corkage fee?  Who’s bringing the glassware?  Who will be pouring?  Do I need to pay staff to serve?

If all of this seems overwhelming, we suggest hiring a professional wedding planner.  After all, the idea is for you to enjoy your wedding day with as little stress as possible.  Wedding planners have worked with many bar tending services, and they know who is good and who is not.  They may also be able to get special pricing in some cases.   Their goal is to help you experience a once in a lifetime dream come true wedding.   So instead of worrying about food, drink and pictures, let the experts do their job.

We hope this has helped you in your decision-making process.  Do you have questions?  Please leave a comment and we will be sure to get back to you.

Photo source: flickr.com/Luke,Ma

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Maximizing Business Expenses:  What You Can & Cannot Deduct  

CaptureBy: Renee DaggettAll savvy business owners know how valuable deductions can be to their company’s bottom line.  Lower income generally means a lower tax bill, so it’s important for entrepreneurs to maximize their business expenses to reap the benefits on their income tax return.  Most expenses incurred as a cost of operating a business are deductible, but knowing which expenses you cannot deduct is crucial to keeping you out of hot water should you ever get audited.

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Let’s start with understanding how business expenses are defined according to the Internal Revenue Service.  To be deductible, a business expense must be both “ordinary and necessary.”  An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry, while a necessary expense must be considered helpful and appropriate for your business.  There might be an expense that is ordinary and necessary for a manufacturer, but it might not be ordinary and necessary for a consultant.  Do a gut check – if you can imagine sitting across from an IRS auditor, could you explain how a deduction would be ordinary and necessary for your business?

What Can You Deduct?

Here are some examples of expenses businesses often deducted.  Contact your tax preparer to confirm for your specific situation:

Advertising Interest Postage
Accounting Fees Janitorial Printing
Auto Expenses
(% used for business)
Legal Fees Rent
Bank Charges Licenses Security
Business Gifts
($25 per person/year)
Meals
(subject to limitations)
Supplies
Continuing Education Office Supplies Telephone
Employee Benefits Outside Services
(contractors require 1099’s)
Travel
(lodging, transportation)
Entertainment
(subject to limitations)
Parking and Tolls Utilities
Insurance
(liability, workers comp, medical)
Payroll Expenses Website Expenses

What Can’t You Deduct?

The following costs are off limits as a business expense deduction on your tax return:

Capital Costs – You must capitalize (or depreciate), rather than deduct, some costs. These costs are a part of your investment in your business and are called capital expenses.  Costs you capitalize include business start-up expenses, business assets and improvements.
Personal Expenses – Generally, you can’t deduct personal, living or family expenses. However, if you have an expense for something that is used partly for business and partly for personal purposes, you can deduct the business part.
Fines and Penalties – You can’t deduct the fine you paid for not estimating your taxes last year or underpayment penalties.
•Political Contributions – You can’t deduct contributions your business made to a political party or a candidate.  This includes lobbying or campaign event costs.
Hobby Losses – These are expenses that create a loss in an activity that is not deemed to be a business.  The IRS has guidelines on whether your activity can be considered a business.
Club Dues – If you belong to a country club, social club, or fitness facility, your dues are not a deductible business expense.  This is true even if you take clients or customers there.
Life Insurance – insurance for owners can be limited or not deductible.
Commuting Costs – The IRS says that traveling from home to work is not a deductible business expense.  However, you can deduct travel for business from home to meet customers or travel between business locations.
Business Gifts Over $25 – You can deduct no more than $25 for business gifts you give directly or indirectly to any one person during the tax year, regardless of the purpose.
Business Clothing – Costs of buying clothes to wear to work are not deductible.  The only exclusion to this is expenses for uniforms.  Basically, if you can wear it outside of work, it’s not deductible.

Understanding what you can and can’t deduct as an expense of your business can be overwhelming.  Obviously each reader needs to consult with their tax professional regarding their specific situation.  Admin Books is here to help you navigate through the confusion.  Give us a call for guidance or assistance.

Download PDF copy.

Capture3Did You Know?

Job hunting expenses are deductible.  Examples include newspapers purchased for employment ads, long distance calls, transportation costs to interviews, fees for legal or accounting related to employment contracts, career counseling to improve position in trade, cost of mailing resumes and the cost of recruiters.

•You may deduct the cost of your work clothes if your employer requires you to buy clothing that is specifically not made for everyday wear, such as uniform or clothing with a company logo.  In other words, if you can also wear it in public, it is not deductible.

•When you donate money and get something in return, the value is NOT tax-deductible.  For example, you donated money to a charity and you get “tickets” in return.

 

“A good PLAN is like a road map:
It shows the final destination
and usually the best way
to get there.”

~H. Stanley Judd, Writer

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Join the Nexus 25 Event with ACPWC!

As mentioned in a previous blog, the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants is turning 25 this year. We are more than excited to celebrate this wonderful occasion with you – and, considering the greatness of this moment in ACPWC’s life, we would like to invite you to our Nexus 25 event!

What is this event all about?

Nexus 25 brings together professionals in the wedding industry, allowing you to make connections and to link your own business with those of other amazing PROs in the field. Join us, celebrate with us and make this a great moment to build the connections that will make your wedding business flourish!

There’s more, though! We have a special guest speaker who will give an amazingly interesting presentation on 25 Effective Marketing Strategies that will help you make your business known for the brides and grooms out there. The guest speaker’s name is Joe Siecinski, he comes from ActionCOACH of Santa Clara and he is a professional business mentor whose purpose is to help business owners grow their enterprises as much as they want to.

Nexus 25 is a great occasion for us, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary – but even more than that, it is a great opportunity for you to learn new things that will help you push your business further. Come, connect with people in the wedding industry, build credibility for your business and celebrate with us two and a half decades of excellence in training and education!

If you decide to attend our event, here are all the details you need:

Date: Wednesday, February 25 2015

Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM (PST)

Location: The Fairmont San Jose
170 South Market Street
Garden Room
San Jose, CA 95113

We would be more than happy to see you there!

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The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants Celebrates 25 Years!

2015 has struck in full force and the entire wedding industry is getting ready for another season of magical “I DOs”. There is a positive energy and an excitement! The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants is even more excited because 2015 marks 25 years of excellence in training, certification and continuing education.

Here at our association, we genuinely believe in providing  formal training so that every consultant had the tool he/she needs to accommodate any bride or groom. For this reason, we have put together a training program that can truly turn a complete beginner into an expert wedding planner capable of delivering exquisite service for every bride he/she encounters.  We don’t jut train, but also support our students after the graduation.

We believe in making dreams come true. The certified wedding consultants we have worked with know how difficult it can be to shape a dream and bring it to life.  Helping couples communicate the vision clearly is one of the secrets to success.

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As the ACPWC celebrates this milestone occasion, we would like to thank all of you for having been there for us and with us. Thank you for having chosen ACPWC to guide you through this marvelous and always-surprising world of wedding planning. Thank you for understanding  the importance of training and elevating the wedding industry through continuing  education and relationships.  Thank you for the support you have shown over that past 25 years.

These past 25 years have been an amazing ride – and we see how the world of weddings changes with every season. Our greatest reward is seeing how our consultants  and members develop into not only great wedding planners and amazing designers who create unforgettable memories, but successful business owners. Our motto, “Members Helping Members to Succeed. Even more, we are always proud to know that the brides and grooms they encounter will be delighted with the service they receive from our graduates.

Want to know more? Contact the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants and learn more about our courses!

Photo source: flickr.com/ iz4aks

 

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Hey Brides-to-Be … Check Out These Great Cyber Monday 2014 Deals

With  tons of great deals happening on Cyber Monday, it’s time for you brides and bridesmaids to get out your shopping lists and take advantage of these.  With a bit of planning, you can turn your shopping into ‘super fun with the girls’!

Check out these great deals posted by professionals in the wedding industry:

1)  Wedding Party has a fantastic list of deals on their blog for you to peruse through: http://www.weddingpartyapp.com/blog/2014/11/25/bride-bridesmaid-style-deals-best-black-friday-cyber-monday-steals-scoop-weekend/

2)  Get the exclusive deals on Wedding Invitations at A2zWeddingCards on Cyber Monday 2014 shopping deals.Grab the most stylish invites.

 

http://www.a2zweddingcards.com/blog/2014/11/cyber-monday-2014-wedding-invitationss-deals/

3)  How about booking your honeymoon on Cyber Monday?

http://www.myhotelwedding.com/tag/cyber-monday-hotel-deal

This is a great way to turn a potentially overwhelming day into a day full of memories with those who will be a part of your big day.

The ACPWC is always looking for unique ideas to help you with your wedding planning.  We would like to say “Congratulations on your big day”!  We wish you the best!

 

 

 

 

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Creating Your Own Signature Wedding

What do brides really want?  They want to create a signature wedding, something unique, that no one else had! They want to select elements from weddings they have attended and incorporate them into their own. And of course it can’t be exactly the same – It has to be different.  It has to be better – the best.  How do you achieve this? How do you create your signature wedding?

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photo from wix.com

First of all, anyone seeking the best results knows it has now become trendy to hire a wedding planner.   A certified wedding consultant will help you with planning, designing and implementing your ideas.  Hiring a professional is not just for the rich and famous anymore.

Creating your signature wedding has now become easier with the help of online platforms like Pinterest, Etsy and Instagram.  They provide a great way to see & share ideas and information.  Try creating an experience instead of duplicating an idea. Copying an idea is ok but, improving on that idea is better. Be creative & use those ideas as a base for designing your signature wedding. Then add personal elements that showcase your own unique touch (anything that means something to you can be used) – now you are on your way to creating your signature wedding.

We call this process branding – similar to a product brand. When people see a certain idea or item, it makes them think about you or your wedding.

So how do you brand your wedding? Simply, implement new ideas and customize some of the elements you are already using.  Carry this theme throughout your event, repeating it in all areas from invitations to favors to centerpieces.  And have fun!

Be sure to keep your eyes open for great ideas for your signature wedding in upcoming articles.

The ACPWC has many knowledgeable Wedding Consultants to help you with your signature wedding.  For information on reputable Professional Wedding planners in your area, click here.

 

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Are You Missing Money ?

Would you know if you were missing money?  While researching this newsletter, an employee  on Renee’s Team discovered that she had more than $1500 in Unclaimed Property funds!  Take a few minutes to read through the following article and see if you have your own pot of gold waiting for you to claim!

Are You Missing Money

by Renee Daggett

Renee Daggett, President

Renee Daggett, President

Are you missing money?  While we would all like to think that we would be able to answer that question with a resounding “no,” the answer might really be YES!

You may be one of millions of Californians owed money by the State!

According to the California State Controller’s Office, the State of California is in possession of more than $6.9 billion in unclaimed property belonging to approximately 24.9 million individuals and organizations!  Examples of Unclaimed Property include:

  • dollar_signs_4_jpg_280x280_crop_q95Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
  • Uncashed cashier’s checks or money orders
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Matured or terminated insurance policies
  • Estates
  • Mineral interests and royalty payments, trust funds, and escrow accounts

With Unclaimed Property, often the owner forgets that the account exists or moves without leaving a forwarding address.  In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.

Click here to check on your missing money!

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ACPWC Tips on How to Start Your Own Wedding Planning Business – Final Article: Organization

The ACPWC’s plan called DIVO –  Direction, Influence, Value and Organization - is a series of articles designed to help you successfully get started in your own wedding planning business and is paramount to your success.  Our final article covers the topic of Organization.

ORGANIZATION

Organization is essential to your success and is one of the top qualifications that make a professional wedding consultant invaluable.  Without organization in your life, you could be spending twice the time needed to get your business up and going.  Fortunately organization is an acquirable skill.

writerNot only is organization important for your business, but it is also important for each wedding or event you run.  You will need to create systems that will cover every detail of an event so that nothing is forgotten.  Top organizational skills include being detail-oriented, precise and efficient, having the ability to prioritize, having a well-thought out plan in place (and backup plan) prior to starting your project, and detailed checklists to assure it is smooth running.

From overwhelmed brides to forgetful grooms, wedding planners and event coordinators take care of those tiny details that make the wedding everything a bride could want.  As their wedding planner, it is your responsibility to remind your couple regularly throughout the planning process of what needs to happen and when.  Once you have initially created your system, you can use it for every event you plan.

The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants (ACPWC) provides comprehensive training and certification for aspiring wedding consultants and event coordinators. With over 24 years of industry expertise, we have built a program designed specifically for wedding planners and event coordinators that will help make your ideal wedding business a reality.

Whether you are considering becoming a wedding consultant, have already started your business, or are a professional wedding consultant looking to become certified and grow your network, the ACPWC can help.

 (Click here for more information)

 

Posted in Business Tips, small business tips, Uncategorized, Wedding Planner Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACPWC Tips on How to Start Your Own Wedding Planning Business – Part 3

This is the third article in the ACPWC’s plan called DIVO Direction, Influence, Value and Organization… a series of articles designed to help you successfully get started in your own wedding planning business.  This week we’ll talk about Value.

 VALUE

 It is important to recognize how valuable a professional Wedding Planner is to the entire planning process in order to achieve the beautiful end results that happen on a couple’s wedding day.  So many people do not realize what goes into creating a wedding, let alone the knowledge, skills, and abilities a planner must possess.   Wedding Professionals:

  • provide a higher level of comfort for everyone. Professionals enjoy working with other professionals.
  • are trained to handle scenarios and unexpected occurrences at weddings.
  • are familiar with the latest trends and they have the best resources.
  • know the best locations and services for each bride’s particular needs.
  • can help the bride find and select the right vendors for other aspects of the wedding.
  • are trained to keep the bride within her budget and protect her from making costly mistakes.
  • can save couples time in researching options. They already know what works best and why.

And the list goes on and on…
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VALUE 2

As a professional consultant, what can you do to increase your value?  Get proper training.  Education and experience are essential to success.   When you work harder on you than you do on your business by increasing your knowledge and skills, you put yourself in line to be absolutely invaluable.  When you reach this level of expertise, you can then charge according to your worth.  Be careful not to lower your prices to fit a bride’s budget. If you do, you will undermine your value and the value of every other planner.   Believe in yourself.  Brides who understand what you are worth will not have a problem paying what you want.


The ACPWC
 has created a technical course that goes into every detail necessary to help you become a Professional Certified Wedding Consultant.  There’s no need for you to reinvent the wheel.  At an affordable fee for the course, you can be up and running with all of the necessary details for your wedding business to be successful.

(Click here for more information)

______________________________________________________________

 Personalized Classroom Experience
Wedding Planner Training Course
San Jose, CA  October 27-30, 2014
Guest Presenter -Tina Moran of Oh So Swank!
Continuing Education Day on Thursday, October 30.

Deadline to register is October 17.

______________________________________________________________

 Can’t make it to class? Join our Homes Study Program.

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ACPWC Tips on How to Start Your Own Wedding Planning Business – Part 2

This is the second article in our series on ACPWC Tips on How to Start Your Own Wedding Planning Business.  In order to help you reach success, the ACPWC has put together a plan called DIVODirection, Influence, Value and Organization.  In the last article we discussed DirectionThis week we’ll talk about Influence.

INFLUENCEProfessional Woman on White

It’s time to get active in the small business world by increasing your influence .  In doing this you will make an impression in the marketplace and help in the growth of your wedding and event planning business.  How do you do this?  You can begin by branding yourself.  According to Yahoo! Small Business Advisor,  by creating gravity around” your brand “with content, employee advocacy and social buzz”, you “come to occupy a place in the minds of prospects and even passive candidates.”   What does this mean?  It means find avenues to share content, stories and testimonials with your target market. One example would be to create a press release… or design a blog for your company and write consistent short articles. You can do this on Facebook as well.  Get input from your team on ideas. Offer incentives.  Be active and consistent in social media and networking with other businesses in the wedding industry.  Offer yourself as a speaker at local events.

Trust is closely linked to influence.  So, in anything you do, it is very important to be consistent and back up what you say.  Care about others by first listening and then responding, not just to your customers, but also to your employees and businesses you network with.  Building relationships through networking is vital.  Word of mouth and being recommended on a personal level is still your best marketing avenue, so how you affect those associated with your business is important. Being trustworthy is of prime importance.

The ACPWC has created a technical course that goes into every detail necessary to help you become a Professional Certified Wedding Consultant.  There’s no need for you to reinvent the wheel.  At an affordable fee for the course, you can be up and running with all of the necessary details for your wedding business to be successful.

 (Click here for more information)

______________________________________________________________

Personalized Classroom Experience
Wedding Planner Training Course
San Jose, CA  October 27-30, 2014
Guest Presenter -Tina Moran of Oh So Swank!
Continuing Education Day on Thursday, October 30.

 Deadline to register is October 17.

 ________________________________________________________

Can’t make it to class? Join our Homes Study Program.

Posted in Business Tips, Courses, small business tips, Uncategorized, Wedding Planner Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment