Posts Tagged ‘newsletter’

Your 2019 Potential Depends on What You Do NOW!

By Mike Bedel, CPA, CGMA, MBA
Partner, Director of Audit & Assurance Services
mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com

Now that we’re in the fourth quarter of 2018, you’re likely focused on wrapping up the year and ringing in the holidays. But in order for your business to continue thriving, it’s imperative for you to shift focus and start laying a firm foundation for 2019. To make next year successful, it’s vital that deliberate efforts are made NOW in order to adequately allocate your company’s resources for the coming year.

Any business owner should be proactive rather than reactive. Instead of allowing yourself to get struck down by unexpected setbacks, build a plan for success that allows you and your business to withstand the many challenges that are bound to occur. Now is the time to identify the obstacles you may face in the upcoming year and develop a contingent strategy for how to overcome them. The less planned may see failure, but the savvy entrepreneur sees an opportunity for profit!

One step toward building strength in the next year is to increase recruiting efforts of top talent and skillsets! Think of new ways to keep employees engaged. What can you plan and promise now, or in the near future, that will compel them to stay committed through 2019 and beyond? And don’t just focus on vetting incentives for your employees; think of all the stakeholders in your business. How can you more effectively manage and motivate your human capital?

In addition to adding talented members to your team, you may find that you need to expand your line of products and services. And in that case, you’ll want to be sure and develop an operating and capital expenditures budget. During this process, take inventory of the resources you have at your disposal and determine how to effectively allocate them.

Financial planning and budgeting in particular is crucial this time of year. Be realistic in your planned assumptions, but also utilize stretch goals to energize your team. If you’re not prepared, the new year will only deliver mediocre results, and no one aspires to be average! Stay ahead of your competition!

If we can assist you with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Mike Bedel at (317) 613-7852 or email him at mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com.

Employee Spotlight: Vince Ravotto

Vince Ravotto first joined Sponsel CPA Group as an intern in the midst of the 2017 tax season. He started full-time as a Staff Accountant in the Audit & Assurance Services in mid-September of this year. A graduate of Marian University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Vince brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team.

Vince’s duties include conducting audits, reviews, compilations and agreed-upon procedures for clients across a broad spectrum of industries including construction, distribution, manufacturing, service and not-for-profit.

Outside of work, Vince enjoys cheering on his favorite sports teams — the Chicago Cubs, the Minnesota Vikings and the Virginia Tech Hokies. He’s also an avid golfer and world traveler. Welcome to the team, Vince!

Do You Need to Pivot? — Adapt to the Market

By Tom Sponsel, CPA/ABV, CFF
Managing Partner
tsponsel@sponselcpagroup.com

Life doesn’t always go as planned, especially in the business world. But don’t be afraid of change! Use any detour or setback as a springboard toward new and exciting opportunities. As the year slowly draws to a close, you may want to ask yourself if your business needs to pivot in a different direction — which may include changes in product or services, marketplace, management, salesforce, maybe even the go forward vision for your company!

Many companies have done this with great success. Take PayPal, for instance. After operating as a subsidiary of eBay for more than a decade, it went on to thrive as an independent company. It changed its business model to attract users across multiple platforms outside of the eBay auction community. It smoothly stepped out of eBay’s shadow and formed its own identity.

Ash & Elm Cider Co., the start-up business featured in this month’s client profile, also adapted in a similar way. The founders, Aaron and Andréa Homoya, originally wanted to tap into the craft beer industry. But as they saw it crowding the market in Indianapolis, they decided to stand out by making and selling hard cider instead. (Read more about them and their company here.)

Other companies that successfully changed their business models include: Yamaha, which started as a piano company and went on to manufacture motorcycles, car engines, boats and more; Nokia, whose roots as a paper mill grew into the start of a mobile communications brand; and Abercrombie & Fitch, which detoured from sporting goods to focus on selling clothes. These are just a few of the many examples of booming businesses that have evolved for the better.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t stubbornly stick to your initial vision if your results are disappointing — a brighter opportunity may be around the corner. Strive for innovation and challenge the status quo. And most importantly, prepare for failure. But don’t think of it as a final step — it’s just part of the pathway toward success.

This advice is very true for “start–ups,” which are trying to bootstrap their way to financial stability, as well as mature companies. Do you recall that IBM (the largest mainframe computer company at the time) thought the personal computer was not going to be an acceptable product in the marketplace and left the marketplace wide open for young startups at the time — like Dell!

Be OPEN to the PIVOT: Listen to your customers and the marketplace!

If we can assist you further with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Tom Sponsel at (317) 608-6691 or email tsponsel@sponselcpagroup.com.

Client Profile: Ash & Elm Cider Co.

Ash Elm & Cider Co. is a relatively new family business run by the husband and wife team of Aaron and Andréa Homoya. After roughly two years of planning, they opened the craft cidery in the summer of 2016.

Aaron, the chief fermentation officer, has been brewing beer at home for more than a decade. But as the craft beer industry seemed to be crowding the market in Indy, he and Andréa decided to shift their focus to hard cider. A particularly tasty cider they tried in Ireland inspired them to start making their own. And they wanted to stand out from the local competition.

“No one in Indianapolis was making craft cider the way we wanted to, and as a category, cider was really becoming a lot more popular nationwide,” Andréa said. “The skills transferred pretty well between brewing and cider-making, so we decided to go for it.”

Aaron kept his day job as an electrical engineer, moonlighting as the manager of Ash & Elm’s cider-making process. As CEO, Andréa oversees the daily operations, making sure everything in the tasting room and kitchen runs smoothly and working with local bars and restaurants to get the company’s ciders on taps and retail shelves all around town.

Everything at Ash & Elm is local — from the Indiana-grown apples used to make the ciders to the meats and cheeses on its delicious pressed sandwiches. Aaron and Andréa take pride in the company’s Hoosier roots.

The Homoyas’ relationship with Sponsel CPA Group began when Ash & Elm was still in its infancy.

“Our lawyer, Dave Castor, recommended Sponsel back when we were still a business in planning,” Andréa said. “We were looking to secure some bank financing and needed help with our business projections. We hired Sponsel to help us with that project, and then we decided to continue the relationship after finding them great to work with and very knowledgeable.”

Ash & Elm continues to grow and thrive. Keep an eye out for its upcoming seasonal ciders — pumpkin, raspberry and winter spice. Click here to learn more about the company.

Employee Spotlight: Philip Jackson

Not to be confused as the former professional basketball coach, Philip Jackson is a new Manager in our firm’s Tax Services department. He is also a CPA with more than 20 years of experience in public accounting in assisting businesses, individuals and not-for-profits through tax consulting and compliance services. A University of Indianapolis graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Philip enjoys explaining tax considerations and options to keep clients informed of current and potential tax regulations. This allows him to proactively provide knowledge and expertise from a tax planning perspective.

Having experience with clients in a wide variety of industries and sizes allows Philip to focus on a business’s specific needs and tailor the various solutions accordingly. This industry experience includes manufacturing, real estate, professional services and healthcare, to name just a few. Philip also has experience and interest working with technology companies and startups to provide business entity selection considerations and financial guidance.

As Chairman of the Indiana CPA Society’s Tax Resource Advisory Council and member of the Indiana Commissioner’s Tax Advisory Council, Philip works with federal and state taxing authorities as an advocate for clients and the public regarding various tax matters. In addition, he contributes his time as the leader of the All Pro Dad’s program for a community school, founded by former Indianapolis Colts head coach, Tony Dungy.

Philip’s wife is a fourth grade elementary school teacher and has two children, Katherine (age 12) and Thomas (age 7). When he’s not crunching numbers, Philip enjoys attending his children’s school and extracurricular activities, watching movies, following politics and traveling.

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