Expert Speaker and Trainer, Dr. Diane Hamilton, Available for Corporate Events

Expert Speaker and Trainer, Dr. Diane Hamilton, Available for Corporate Events

I have updated my speaker and training bio. Please click on the picture below to watch the video. To contact me for an event, please go to http://www.speakermatch.com/profile/drdianehamilton/

Purchasers from Amazon Responsible for StateTaxes

 

Article first published as Purchasers from Amazon Responsible for StateTaxes on Technorati.

Amazon has enjoyed an advantage over their competition.  They have not had to add tax to the purchase amount in states where they don’t have a physical presence.  Slate reported, “According to Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, companies are only required to collect sales taxes from their customers when they have a presence in the state in which they reside.”

This has been a sore spot for many of Amazon’s competitors.  Many of them feel that if they should have to handle the taxes for customers, so should Amazon.  This advantage has made them undersell big competitors like the Apple Store and Best Buy.

Purchasers from the Amazon site may think they are getting a better deal. In reality, there may be taxes owed, but it won’t be by Amazon.  What many people in certain states like Arizona don’t know about their purchases on Amazon, is that it is going to be up to them to keep financial records of what taxes are due.  At the end of the year, when they file their tax returns, these taxes should be included in any amount owed to the government.

According to the Arizona Republic, “If you buy something online from a retailer who doesn’t have a physical presence in Arizona and they don’t charge state tax or the tax from the state where they’re located, then you’re probably liable for the use tax – the 6.6 percent tax. The safest thing to do is if you buy something online and you get a receipt, save it. It’ll probably show if there was any sales tax from the state where it was charged. If there’s not and there is no Arizona tax, then you should think about paying the use tax on that.”

What if you haven’t kept all of your Amazon receipts?  Go to your account page on Amazon and under Order History, click on Download Order Reports.  This tool allows you to put in the date range of purchases to request a report of purchased items.

According to Amazon’s site, “Items sold by Amazon.com LLC, or its subsidiaries, and shipped to destinations in the states of Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, or Washington are subject to tax.”  It is wise to check with your state to see what your tax obligation is.  For more information from Amazon regarding taxes, click here.

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Considering Plastic Surgery? Site Lets Patients Share Stories

Visit Our Before After Photo Gallery

Sites like HysterSisters have been popular for women who want to get together and discuss their menopause and hysterectomy-related issues. Now there is a site for people to utilize who may be considering plastic surgery.  The site MakeMeHeal.com offers a variety of information including everything from post-surgical underwear choices to information about what products may be helpful to heal after specific surgeries. 

If a patient is considering eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) for example, they can go to the link specifically about that procedure to find out details about the surgery including how long it will take to recover, homeopathic remedies for pain relief, what other comfort products are available, and even what makeup works the best as camouflage.

Like the HysterSisters site, the MakeMeHeal site offers a message board.  According to their site, “Our plastic surgery message boards are for all of us who want to talk, listen, share, help, and support fellow women and men interested in cosmetic surgery and non-surgical procedures. You can read messages without logging in. To post a message, please log in or register. It’s free…and being a member gives you access to important information.”

The site even offers a directory of doctors.  Be aware that the doctors with a lot of information and recommendations may also be advertising on the site. It is important that you research any physician on additional sites.  Patients can rate their doctors and even upload their own before and after pictures.  There is a “create your photo album” option available for those interested in keeping track of several operations.   

I recently asked Dr. Robert Spies, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Arizona what he thought about this site. Dr. Spies stated, “It’s an informative, easy-to-navigate website that provides excellent up-to-date information on the latest plastic surgery procedures.” For additional information about specific operations, see the following links from Dr. Robert Spies, MD at Arizona Plastic Surgical Center:

Facelifts

Breast Augmentation

Liposuction

Tummy Tuck

Non-Surgical Procedures like Botox

5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses

 

Entrepreneurs are often looking for ways to promote their new businesses.  On March 18, the local YOB (Your Own Business) Fair will be a place where Arizona business owners can go to find out tips to help them promote their business.  I will have a booth there and I hope you will join me.  In the meantime, please check out some of the top networking tips that small businesses should be considering in order to succeed: 

  1. Find out where your customers are and connect to them through social networking.  It is important to network with as many people as you can, but remember to try and focus on those that have connections.  Spend some time looking through contacts on LinkedIn and Twitter to see who your friends and contacts know.  Get into groups on sites like LinkedIn and start threads about topics that would be of interest to people you’d like to target as customers.  Become an expert in the Q&A area on LinkedIn as well.  Create Facebook pages for your company and products.  Link your sites together so that your updates get posted to all of your social networking sites.  If you don’t know where to begin to learn how to social network, check out letsgetsocial.com for a reasonably priced series of videos to show you how to become social-networking savvy.  If you have the funds, you could hire a social media expert to do it for you.
  2. Give people something so that they will want to come to your site.  If you aren’t on Youtube, you need to be.  Create several short (3-4 minute) videos offering people something for free and post them on Youtube.  End your video with a link to your landing page to have them sign up for a free newsletter or some other free item.  This will allow you to capture their email address and get them on your mailing list in a legitimate way.  The videos do not have to be fancy.  A simple video camera can create all you need.  You can also make a PowerPoint presentation and then overlay it with Camtasia so that your file has your voice and presentation without necessarily having to have a video of your face if that makes you more comfortable.  You can upload the file to Youtube and also link to it from your website and/or blog. 
  3. Ask for word of mouth.  One of the best ways to get noticed is to have people talk about your business.  If you aren’t asking your satisfied customers to tell other people about you, then you are missing the boat.  Happy customers are usually more than willing to tell others about you if you ask them to do so.  Many just haven’t considered it until it is brought up.  Ask people if they know people who could use your service.  If they do, ask them if they will tell people about you and give them your cards or flyers to give to these people. Remember to ask people to do things based on assessing their level of comfort.  Part of connecting with others is to understand individual personalities
  4. Keep records of contacts you make.  If you have a software package like ACT! or Outlook, you can keep notes there.  Keep a record of everyone you meet and make notes about everything you know about them.  Every time you meet someone new, find out something about them that you can write down into your file and bring up later.   If you can figure out their birthday from Facebook, always send them a note saying “happy birthday”.  Find reasons to stay in contact.  Put notes into your calendar reminding yourself to drop a note, asking if the baby was born yet or how the wedding went.  Showing an interest in people draws them closer to you.  Avoid promoting your products and yourself in all outgoing messages.  Make it be about them or give them information that helps them and makes them want to come back to you.    
  5. Be a resource or mentor.  Find ways to offer your services for free to others and it will bring people back to you later.  On LinkedIn, you can answer questions in the Q&A room to help others and get recognized.  Join local groups and volunteer to do things to become noticed.  People remember kindness and are more willing to give out your name to others if they associate you with good things. 

Controlling Emotions at Work: Part of Core Employment Skills?

 

Lesley Wright’s recent article in the Arizona Republic offered some insight into a new book by author and ASU professor Vincent Waldron.  Waldron’s book, titled, “Communicating Emotion at Work”, due later this year, will include information from his 20 years of studying emotions in the workplace.

In the book, “It’s Not You It’s Your Personality” similar topics are covered in chapters about emotional intelligence and concern for impact.  Concern for impact may be defined as how much we care about how others perceive us.  In the Arizona Republic article, “Waldron argues that emotional communication should be a core employment skill.”  Emotions are a buzz word in the workplace since Daniel Goleman helped increase the popularity of emotional intelligence with his book about why emotional intelligence could matter more than IQ. Books about emotions in the workplace can be a very effective tool to help explain why people act the way they do.  This can be very important, especially in a team setting.  As more companies are creating teams, understanding one’s fellow employees and their emotions can be critical to the success of a team and their projects.

Some of the things that Waldron pointed out in his interview with Wright tied into having concern for impact which can be an important part of one’s success in the workplace. Waldron claims, “The theme of this book is that emotions, both positive and negative, have in a sense evolved to serve a purpose. Emotional communication is a tool for making our organizations and our lives richer, more moral, more humane and potentially building better workplaces. Sometimes that means regulating and suppressing emotions. So we need to be competent at understanding the emotions and learning to regulate them. I’m sort of arguing for a heightened awareness of how emotion makes us good. I don’t think there is any competitive disadvantage to being emotionally competent.”