Peninsula Small Business Talk

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Posts Tagged ‘Michael J. Clark CPA’

We are back with new members!

After a short blogging hiatus we are back!  A successful membership drive in May and June has given us FOUR new members.

Meet our newest members:

Neal Coogler, All About Business Services

Classification: Social Media, Local Search Optimization, and Financial Record Keeping

Member Since: May 2012

Neal Coogler, All About Business Services and her associate member Melanie Maxwell can provide a range of services for other small businesses. Neal does remote bookkeeping for clients and recently announced a partnership with Mike Clark, Michael J. Clark, CPA. She will be working with Mike to get his clients set up in QuickBooks and give consultation and training, as well as live accounting and historical write-ups as needed.  Together Neal and Melanie will asses your social media and local web presence and help you optimize your website.  Check back next week for a blog post on their recent Classification talk!

Lisa Mitzel, Home Care Assistance

Classification: In-Home Care

Member Since: June 2012

In 2002 Home Care Assistance, a home care company that provides high-quality, consistent care, was founded.  Home Care Assistance is bonded and insured, and covers all employees with workers’ compensation. Their strong commitment to excellent caregivers has helped us become a leading provider of non-medical, in-home senior care.  Home Care Assistance caregivers are expertly matched with the right clients to build long-term relationships. They provide services tailored to the needs of homebound older adults, as well as services that help mobile older adults enhance their quality of life.

Ana Marie Corona, A&C Hauling Solutions

Classification: Hauling

Member Since: July 2012

A&C Hauling Solutions is an owner-operated, full-service hauling company located in the San Francisco Bay Area. They accommodate the needs of their customers with dedication and strong work ethics. They understand flexibility is key to each client and successfully meet the expectation of each project. They give free estimates and can provide same day service for most jobs.  There is no job too big or too small for A&C Hauling!

Mike Ellerin, Home Preservation Services

Classification: Home Care Maintenance

Member Since: July 2012

Home Preservation Services provides a package of services tailored to sustainably control your home’s condition, efficiency and cost.  They combines the efforts of inspectors, specialty contractors, technicians and more into a single powerful service, conveniently delivered in quarterly appointments, with help available 24/7, 365 days a year.  They have identified key service tasks that are crucial to the function and durability of your home. Their personnel are specially trained across multiple trades to perform these specific tasks so they can do in one trip what would normally require a dozen or more separate contractors. They also create a database on each home so if something goes awry they can often troubleshoot and arrange repairs without time consuming and expensive fact-finding trips.

March Success Stories Round-up!


  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s Autoworks thanked Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage for the refinance.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio got a call from another attorney from the law firm that he mentioned in his classification for more visual information design.  His work will also be used by the Los Altos Rotary for their upcoming Fine Arts in the Park.
  • Randy Mills, Pioneer Services bought a new van through Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing and said it was much better than going through a dealership.
  • Maureen Clark, Clark Associates thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for coming to the rescue again.
  • Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving reported that they just finished looking at their quarterly results and were up 25% in January and 15% in February.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons thanked David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties for fulfilling her small order – buttons congratulating a friend who just won an award for being an exceptional woman in publishing.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler reported that they won Best Jewelry Store and Best Watch Repair.
  • Judy Ott, Judy Ott Organization and Design thanked Dan Ingerman, Wemorph for the postcards she handed out at a recent presentation. Lastly, she thanked Richard Phillips, Advantage Career Solutions who has help her friend from out of state find a job at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga (Go Gaels!).
  • John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers had his hair cut by the President… of PEA, Susan Scott, Expressions Salon.
  • David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties thanked Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery for the amethyst he bought for his wife and Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing for the help with getting his brand new Prius.
  • Avi Safar, Footwear, Etc said after throwing his back out on Monday he saw Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic who adjusted him and used a laser treatment on his back.  Only three hours later, Avi felt much better.
  • Skip Gould, San Mateo Daily Journal thanked Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures for running an ad in the paper for her recent estate sale.  He was able to get the ad in past the normal deadline and was happy to hear the sale was a success.
  • Executive Director Neal Coogler, announced a success for PEA.  The PEA Facebook page now has more than 35 ‘Likes’!  Mike Clark, Michael J. Clark, CPA won the grand prize drawing for three pounds of Connoisseur Coffee.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist recently had her car in the shop at Larry’s Autoworks. She really appreciates the top notch service there, including the fact that they take time to thoroughly answer all her questions.
  • Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto thanked Werner Rogmans, Stanford Floral Design for his help weekend before last.  She was attending a housewarming party and needed a gift.  She went by Werner’s shop and he arranged a beautiful house plant for her.
  • Nichole Fox, Payroll City announced that they have just taken on a big new client.  The client, who has 135 employees, went from a big name payroll service to Payroll City and in the process is going from an annual cost of $13,000 to $8,000.
  • Dr. Linda Hur, Mountain View Optometry thanked Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody, for fixing her car for the second time.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage won a pound of Connoisseur Coffee in the PEA Facebook page contest a week or two ago.  She gave the coffee to her aunt, who is a dedicated coffee drinker.  Her aunt loved the coffee and ordered three more pounds through Julie.

Other Awards from the 2012 Anniversary Meeting

Besides the prestigious Craig Calkins Executive of the Year Award (presented this year to Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto), PEA hands out many other awards at the annual Anniversary meeting. Here are some highlights of this year’s awards!

Fun statistics:

Breakfasts consumed in 2011: …… 2,571.

Total leads given:…… 5,260 (Direct: 3,240. Referral: 1,580. Internet: 440)

New Members: President Mike Feller, Innovative Sales and Leasing recognized the new members of 2011, and presented the certificate award for Rookie of the Year to new member Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors!

Leads Given in the Triple Digits: The following people were recognized for giving leads in the triple digits last year-

Mike awarded the certificate for Most Direct Leads Given to Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… who gave the most direct leads(171)  after Hall of Famers Larry and Laurie Moore (268).

Referral Leads Given in the Triple Digits: The following two people gave referral leads in the triple digits-

He awarded the certificate for Most Referral Leads Given to Judy Ott, Judy Ott Organization and Design!  (She and runner-up Bette Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting have been in the triple digits four years running!)

Best Attendance: Tie for first place went to Larry and Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks and Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic

Honorable Mention Attendance: Only one meeting behind the best attendance members, honorable mention attendance was a tie between Mike Feller, Innovative Sales and Leasing, Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist, and Julie and Rick Stern, Stern Mortgage

Award Certificates: Mike presented Certificates of Award to the following members:

Mike also congratulated Paul Kraus, formerly of GoodCo Press, who was visiting and is our newest Emeritus Member.

We concluded by all making a toast to PEA’s 34th anniversary!

Marketing Without the Internet: Tips and Tricks from PEA

Besides sharing information on services, tips, advice, etc. from each business, PEA also spends one meeting a quarter focused on special programs, including discussions on marketing, panels of members sharing their expertise, and tips on how to become a green business.  Back in July, the Program Committee planned a special program designed to give everyone a few new marketing ideas the old-fashioned way rather than through Internet marketing.  This was an opportunity to hear ideas for getting new customers or keeping existing ones that work for other businesses.

Here are a few of the ideas mentioned at the meeting:

  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks said that they use license plate frames, recyclable bags, post it notes, a monthly newsletter and they ask their satisfied customers to give them referrals.  Larry MooreLarry’s Autoworks added that they pre-book service appointments and give both reminder and follow-up calls.  They use line ads in the yellow pages that focus on what they do, not their name.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… invites clients to a tasting at her warehouse once a year.  They are encouraged to bring a guest with them.
  • Mike Clark, Michael J. Clark, CPA makes completing your tax returns as easy as possible.  They are already stamped and only need to be signed and mailed with a check.
  • Rick Rosensweig, Morgan Stanley runs events where he invites outside speakers.  He also sends out a newsletter.
  • Rolf Kruger, Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada belongs to professional associations and works to make sure his clients have a positive experience.
  • Sam Harding, Retirement Administration supports local organizations like the Obon Festival, especially when there is a connection with one of his clients.
  • John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers has learned not to assume that his clients already know about all of his services.
  • Shawn McMillan, Connoisseur Coffee has signs for his clients to display reading “Proudly serving Connoisseur Coffee.”  They give open houses and donate coffee to community events.
  • Don Miller, Honorary Member said that when he was a practicing dentist, he called patients at night to check on them after a procedure.
  • Larry Hassett, Hardware Stores sponsors community events like the Rock the Block event in Half Moon Bay and belongs to service clubs.
  • Konrad Thaler, Smilin Dogs makes sure that every sense is addressed when you walk into Smilin Dogs:  it smells clean, the floor looks clean, the atmosphere is friendly, and there are photos of client dogs having fun to spark the human clients’ imaginations.
  • Cheri Jackson, Older Adult Care Management says they have a celebrity spokesperson, Willie Mays’ wife.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage has a by-invitation special networking event for professionals in related fields.  Each participant receives a roster with contact information for all participants for the day.
  • Randy Mills, Pioneer Services uses his van as a mobile billboard.
  • Fawni Hill, Larick Alan Hill uses job signs and sends postcards to clients with photos of recent projects.
  • John King, Keller-Williams Realty puts up signs at every property and gives out pens, key chains, and water bottles.  He uses a direct mail campaign and has been a Little League team sponsor.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons does speaking engagements, belongs to professional groups, and attends senior fairs.  She gives out personal information organizers with her business name.
  • Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving has the company name on trucks, uses direct mail, gives their business name to realtors, and sends out Christmas cards.
  • Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management says that Arborwell has a marketing manager and takes marketing very seriously.  They do it all: run ads, go to trade shows, golf tournaments, send thank you cards, and have a direct mail campaign.  Their white trucks with company logo are washed every week, and they have sponsorships and practice philanthropy.
  • Scott Foster, Cassidy Turley BT Commercial tells everyone what he does, including when he coaches water polo.

A full list summarizing all the tips mentioned was handed out to all of PEA’s members.

Interested in joining PEA?  Visit our website to learn more.

How to Handle a Tax Notice with Mike Clark

You know that sinking feeling you get when you see flashing red lights behind you on the road?  Many people also experience that feeling when they get a tax notice.  Mike Clark, Michael J. Clark, CPA shared some tips on what to do when it happens to you.

  1. Respond early.  This will be to your advantage.  When you receive the notice, note the date that you received it and schedule a response date.  Mike recommends that you respond in about two weeks.
  2. Read the entire notice.  Read the notice carefully from beginning to end.  Mike is surprised at the number of clients who never got past the first page (or didn’t open the letter).
  3. Pull out your tax return. Compare your tax return to the notice and take notes.  In as many as 90% of cases, there is a factual dispute. 
  4. Decide if you need help. If you need help with your response, decide what level of help you need.  Begin drafting a response. 

 

Be sure to verify all facts before you send a response or call the IRS or state tax board.  The notice from the IRS will have an AUR number on it – use that to refer to your case.  The letter will also have an identifying number on it which you should also refer to.  Other tips: be sure the SSN on the notice is actually yours.  Mike reassures everyone that tax notices are frequently wrong and are not necessarily a cause for panic.

Thanks for the advice Mike!  If you are in need of an accountant, talk to Mike ClarkMichael J. Clark, CPA.

August Success Stories Round-up!

It’s that time again… time to celebrate successes in August!