If we have learned nothing else from the pandemic, we should now know that planning for the unexpected is the new norm. Creating a separate account for these expenses is no longer a “rainy day” strategy, rather it is to be anticipated and written into the DNA of all businesses. Whether the business is large or small, if unexpected expenses hit, the strain on the business will be hard to bare. During the two-year covid 19 pandemic and shutdown, the majority of businesses had not planned to be closed for that significant amount of time. With no income coming in they quickly exhausted their limited business savings and profit margins dropped precariously.

Layoffs and loss of commercial spaces quickly ensued and many businesses and families are still trying to recover. Creating a rainy-day fund of 6-9 months would be a good use of business profits and tax refunds. Instead of that annual cruise or red bottom shoes, building up a fund to cover unexpected expenses would be a sound strategy.

Strategies for Reducing Debt 

Like 60 is the new 30, the new status symbol is a high credit score and low debt. Today it is easier than ever to create strategies to reduce debt and liabilities and increase ways to improve credit and build assets.



There are online tools and apps that make tracking and reducing debt easier than ever before. Rocket Money is an online app that will cancel unwanted subscriptions, announce large transactions, provide credit score updates, manage online payments and suggest ways to help you reduce your credit all at your fingertips. There are apps that help you save money automatically, like Divvy, and Digit and apps to help you invest extra money, pennies at a time. The mystery debt management has found its match with these free and inexpensive tools that help you track your spending and savings to the penny. Debt sometimes feels like death, it’s time for a resurrection!

One of the most important things a business can do at its inception is create a culture of retention. The historical “gold watch” upon retirement after years at one company is hard to fathom today. Employees have been known to leave a company for a rate increase of 25 cents an hour. Loyalty to one company is a rarity, but still is an essential tool for small businesses to be able to grow and maintain a talent pool of trained individuals who are as intent upon the success of the company as the owner. How is this done in these times when loyalty is hard to come by?

Some things never change, respecting the employee and honoring their value with the company, allowing them to grow and contribute, creating a Team natured company, when one goes up all go up, and understanding the family units of employees are as important as the employee themselves. Access to the backend and the infrastructure of a company is also key to retaining employees, people want to be able to know who and what it takes to make an enterprise successful. And making sure that people feel valued, when the company is profitable, everyone should be recipients of the resources they have helped to bring in.

Investing in the education of employees and acknowledging their work in a positive way also creates a work environment people want to remain in as long as possible.

The Power of Positive Beings 

Remaining passionate and positive during tough times – GMEN went through two years of the roughest work we have experienced in our 25-year history. Watching businesses close, families in economic trauma, evictions and foreclosures across the state. We pulled together teams of contractors to help us mitigate all the damages but weekly we also “checked in” to see how we were doing while continuing to help others. It gave us the opportunity to also share our fears that we weren’t doing enough, tell the stories of people who had treated us badly that week while we were trying to help them, encourage one another when we also experienced our own personal crises. How do you stay positive when the world is falling apart for so many people? Norman

Vincent Peale wrote the seminal book “The Power of Positive Thinking” which focuses on the mind taking control of bad situations and reframing them to see the positive aspects. There is even more power though in connecting to other positive beings, people who can ride the waves, the storms of life and pull out and hold up their umbrella when yours turns inside out. Thinking positive is great but nothing can supersede the power of positive beings doing life together.


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6 Tips for Staying Compliant With the IRS  and other Taxing Authorities 

Staying compliant with the IRS and other taxing authorities can be daunting, but it is essential to avoid  costly fines and penalties. Here are six tips to help you stay compliant with your tax obligations: 

  1. File your tax returns on time: Filing your tax returns on time is one of the most important  aspects of compliance. The IRS sets specific deadlines for filing tax returns, and failure to file on  time can result in penalties and interest. 
  2. Keep accurate records: Accurate record-keeping is essential for compliance with tax laws. Make  sure to keep detailed records of all income, expenses, and any documentation that supports the  information reported on your tax returns. This includes receipts, invoices, bank statements, and  other relevant documents. 
  3. Pay taxes on time: Paying taxes on time is another important aspect of compliance. This includes  making estimated tax payments if you are self-employed or have other income types that are not subject to withholding. Failure to make timely payments can result in interest and penalties. 
  4. Stay informed of tax laws: The tax code is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up  with the new rules and regulations. Stay informed of any changes to the tax laws that may affect  your compliance obligations. Consult with a tax professional if you are unsure how a new law  applies. 
  5. Seek help when needed: If you are unsure of your compliance obligations or have any questions,  seek help from a tax professional. They can provide guidance and advice on how to stay  compliant with the IRS and other tax authorities. 
  6. Understand your tax treaty benefits: If you are a non-resident and your country has a tax treaty  with the US, you may be eligible for reduced withholding rates or exemptions on certain types  of income. Ensure you understand the treaty’s provisions and how they apply to your situation. 

By following these tips, you can help ensure that you comply with all relevant tax laws and avoid costly  mistakes. Remember, compliance is an ongoing process, and staying informed and seeking help when  needed is essential. 

ALW Tax & Financial Services 


Office Number: (706)744-6711

Strongbox West
Strongbox West is a coworking space designed to accommodate startups, small businesses, freelancers, artists, and makers. Their memberships include packages covering desks, offices, meeting rooms, or just working space for a day.

The Gathering Spot
An innovative, private, members-only city club that brings together a motivated
and diverse community of professionals, creatives and entrepreneurs. Members will benefit from
a 24/7 alternative work and social environment, complete with stimulating events, concierge
services, integrated technology and a full-service restaurant and bar.

Atlanta Tech Village
Atlanta Tech Village provides a community of other passionate, supportive entrepreneurs who will support and collaborate with other entities along their respective start-up journeys. Space at the Village provides interaction space to solve problems, mentors and advisors, event and networking opportunities, and more. 

F6S Network
F6S is an online platform that provides opportunities to connect with accelerators, funds, and investors, get help and advice, and grow your startup. The search engine allows users to search by location and use other filters to get the most individualized results for each person.

Startup Grind
Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. It is powered by Google for entrepreneurs. The platform host monthly events in 200 cities and 85 countries and has a community in Atlanta. Its events feature successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road.

General Assembly
General Assembly’s curriculum and training programs offer a variety of tech, data, design, and business courses to keep your skills marketable and relevant to today’s work force demands. They have a campus in Midtown, Atlanta, but also offer online classes with both full- and part-time schedules. 

Tech Square Labs
TechSquare Labs is a workspace and incubator that works with startups and corporate design and invention teams. They invest via their own venture fund, and offer extensive coaching and support services to the TechSquare Labs community.

WeWork provides collaboration space and community for small businesses and entrepreneurs all over the world, with five locations right in Atlanta. They have different packages and membership options, which is perfect for those looking to tailor their work space based on their individual needs.

Switchyards Downtown Club
Switchyards Downtown Club is a gathering place in downtown Atlanta meant for accelerating and growing consumer and design-focused companies. The building itself is 19,000 square feet and includes an expresso bar, 250 seat theater, 12 conference rooms, and a ping pong table.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI)
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative is an incubator in Atlanta whose mission is to empower, support, and provide resources to women as they aspire to open their own businesses.

Rising costs, wage increases, and regulatory changes can all impact your business, but there are ways to navigate these waters and maintain a successful business.

Determine Your Expenses

To build your business preparedness, analyze the existing financial condition of your company by calculating your revenues and profits along with your expenses. This process will help you determine your cash flow and understand how to structure your costs, such as wages, supplies, rent, and other expenses. An accountant can be helpful in this regard; it also helps to gain bookkeeping skills or have a trusted bookkeeper to ensure that you are accurately recording your financial transactions, including purchases, sales, receipts, and payments.

Understand your inventory

To remain competitive, small businesses constantly have to find new ways to offer high-quality goods at a price point that is affordable to their customers. It helps to have a strong point-of-sale (POS) system or other reliable method to track your inventory, so you have a good sense of how much product you have and how often you need to order your products and supplies so that you can minimize your waste. If your financial assessment shows that the current cost of your supplies is too high to be profitable, consider exploring other vendors or work with your current vendor to renegotiate your agreement.

You can also use your point-of-sale or inventory system to understand what is selling well and what isn’t selling well and adjust your business model accordingly. Talking with your peers and customers, staying up to date on current trends, and attending trade shows are all good ways to understand if there are new products or services that you can offer to your customers that will help to grow your business, or if there are current products that you offer that are no longer relevant or popular. Having the ability to anticipate and adapt to the changing needs of your customer is a great way to make your business stronger.

Assess your prices

After you’ve determined your expenses, you’ll need to make sure that you can continue to turn a profit to stay in business. If your prices are not covering your costs, you may try to identify ways to reduce your supply and operational costs, or you may consider raising your prices. You’ll want to research what other businesses are charging for similar goods and services so that you remain competitive, or consider ways that you can change or rebrand your business and products or services to support a price increase.

Identify operational efficiencies

In addition to supplies and prices, you can also look at your business operations to find ways to decrease your costs. For instance, if you find yourself driving to the post office several times a day to mail packages, you might try different methods to bundle your deliveries or see if there are services that can do the deliveries for you to reduce your driving time and mailing costs. Or if you have very labor intensive or manual processes, you may consider new software or technology that can automate some of those tasks, freeing up time that can be put towards other parts of your business. Review all aspects of your operations and think creatively about whether there are ways to increase your business’ efficiency and productivity. If needed, a business process consultant may be able to find ways to decrease your operational costs.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Don’t miss any deadlines; mark important dates on your calendar so you can prepare for them in advance. Find due dates and links for additional information for important license renewals, tax statements, and reporting forms below.
  • License expires – December 31
  • Renewal deadline – February 15
  • Payment deadline – April 1

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