Category Archives: You’re the Boss, Now

Rodan + Fields ~ A Fast-Growing Mobile Income Opportunity

Rodan + Fields ~ A Fast-Growing Mobile Income Opportunity

Clear Skin
Clear Skin

by Guest Blogger Fawn Volkert

There I sat, frustrated with the reality of my career and the inability to impact the world in the way I know that I was meant to. I wanted the opportunity to do more good and realized that even while sitting on 300 vacation hours for nearly 5 years, that no matter how hard I worked that I had hit my head squarely on the ceiling of limitations! Either I’d grow my career by title and fame or stop and reassess alternate income streams to support my mission work. In the midst of prayer, I found Rodan + Fields. Or I guess it found me, over lunch with friends.

Rodan + Fields IS a network-marketing distribution business! For that reason, I wanted to say ‘no’ to this opportunity. I thought I knew something about multi-level marketing and direct sales, as I’ve participated in a good handful already. So, I asked the questions you are all asking now!

What is Rodan + Fields selling?

We are selling dermatological-grade solutions to everyday skincare problems. Rodan + Fields anti-aging skincare line was created by the Doctors of Proativ ®. The products are based on the Stanford-trained dermatologists philosophy of Multi-Med Therapy® and to offer clinically proven results in your own home. The company also offers a 60-day money back guarantee on all products.

Is there a startup fee?

Yes, this is a business and not a job. Therefore, you must purchase your business tools and products. The startup packages are valued much higher than priced and are the only time that you will be offered product at 50% off. There are various startup packages to consider, each greatly impacting the growth-potential of your business. Pricing and content information can be found here

What’s my monthly minimum purchase requirements?

While there is an optional $24.95 online office subscription fee, there are no monthly minimum purchase requirements for consultants. Now, in order to unlock my commissions with Rodan + Fields monthly, I must fill my Sales Volume (SV) ‘bucket’ with 100 points (20 of which come from my online office subscription). The remainder of the bucket is filled by my personal and retail purchases. Essentially, one retail sale a month could fill the bucket. However, I’m a firm believer in investing in my business and because I love the product, I’m usually buying something for personal use anyhow! My monthly SV easily exceeds 100 points each month and reaching it has never been an issue.

What’s the earning potential?

These are those things I typically learn as I go and so I wasn’t concerned. I wanted personal testimony and got that. My lunch companions were funding mission trips and others were building orphanages. I knew that their success wasn’t achieved magically and that I’d have to work my business! Well working my business is absolutely paying off and I too have steadily grown my mission along with my business! In the chance that you are not a ‘learn as you go’ kind of person, you can read about more of the competitive compensation plan here. But in short, consultants earn retail commission as well as bonus residual commissions by securing loyal customers and building a successful team.

How saturated is this opportunity?

My lunch companions were about 4 people away from the founding consultant and as it turns out, this product is marketable to anyone with skin! There is roughly one dermatologist for every 30,000 people in the U.S., and Rodan + Fields has real solutions that provide visible results for the most common skin concerns.

Do I have to have parties or carry inventory?

No and no! Consultants receive websites with online ordering and Rodan + Fields manages the processing of orders!

I knew by the end of my lunch date that THIS was in fact the opportunity I was looking for. The greatest perk is that the product is absolutely amazing and I FINALLY love the skin I’m in. Rodan + Fields has been life changing!

So why should you join my team now? Because my team is #TeamBold. We link arms and encourage success with one another, we share and train together (virtually) and are growing rapidly, simply due to character! There is still a ground-level opportunity as we begin to launch Rodan + Fields into other countries. But mostly it’s time for you to claim your financial and time freedom; the opportunity to travel the world and run your business at the same time!

To learn more about this business email me Fawnv74@gmail.com or visit my website https://fvolkert.myrandf.biz/.

BIO: Fawn Volkert is passionate about her life as a mother and wife and feels drawn to work with vulnerable populations. For her, serving as encouragement to the hurting and broken, is an opportunity to give what she has been so blessed to receive. Fawn has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management in Philanthropy. Along with various leadership roles, She served as an Independent Consultant to new nonprofit organizations. Find Fawn on LinkedIn or http://about.me/FawnVolkert

How to Spot a Cash Scam

Money in hand in the form of many large bills

Whether you’re a workcamper, a vendor, or offer a service, if your business involves cash, you’re likely run into someone who’ll try to pull a cash scam on you.

Common tactics are easy to spot. I’m going to share a couple of scenarios to give an idea how they develop. And you’re invited to add your experiences to the comments section. Let’s help each other protect our transactions.

Cash Scam: Razzle-Dazzle 1

Back when we owned apartments our tenants usually paid their rent in cash. Most were honest people and never raised any suspicions. But one couple never quite met that standard. Everything they did seemed to be “one-off.”

A couple of weeks before rents were due I read about a common cash scam. The scammer comes in to pay cash for something, and pulls out all his cash. As you watch, he first counts out what he owes to you. Next, he counts out what he owes for each of his other bills (utilities, food, etc.) As you can see, he has enough to pay for everything.

So, here’s where the cash scam comes in. The scammer takes back of his money and again counts out amounts starting, now, with utilities and all of his other bills. With that money on the table he hands you the remainder, which you just saw, should be what he owes you. He hopes you won’t notice that he counted out an extra bill or two. And that reduces the amount remaining, which he hands you. If you don’t count it out again, immediately, you’ll be shorted and, later, may not know how it happened.

You might think this is silly, but it’s the razzle-dazzle surrounding the transaction that distracts you, leaving you to assume that he handed you the correct amount of money.

When rents came due I almost burst out laughing when our “one-off” tenant came in, sat down, started counting out money to pay the rent, then the utilities, etc., talking all the time. Then he put on his, “Oh, I lost count, let me do this again,” routine. As he started counting in the reverse, starting with the utilities first, I just told him to simply count out what he owed for rent and take care of his other bills privately. Apparently he’d just read the same article.

Cash-Scam Razzle Dazzle 2

Perry tells me of another scam. Three employees of a neighboring business came in because one, the woman wanted to cash her paycheck. The clerk had cashed their checks many times before, so this wasn’t unusual.

The woman asked to cash her check. The clerk noticed that the check wasn’t signed and gave it back to her to sign. As she was signing the check, the clerk began counting out the cash to give her.

Meanwhile, her two companions were talking to her about paying them back some amount she apparently owed them. There was some commotion about the denominations they wanted.

So, after the clerk had already counted out the right amount of cash, the woman asked for different denominations than what the clerk was handing her. So, he put some of the cash back and drew other bills out.

The three changed their minds a few times, and the clerk exchanged bills each time the three decided they wanted different denominations.

Although the clerk did a final and correct count of the amount he handed the woman, the distraction was enough for him to forget to get the check back from her. She walked away with both her check and the cash.

Most of you aren’t going to be cashing paychecks. But, it could work the same if the customer asked to write the check for a few dollars over the sale amount.

The Common Denominator

You can see the common tactic with these cash scams is confusion, or razzle-dazzle. To ensure you don’t get caught up in these schemes, ask the customer to resolve unrelated issues privately, then come back to pay for their purchase when they have it resolved. Or, just ask if they want to purchase/pay what they owe, and ask that they put all the other conversation aside until the transaction is completed.

If they persist, tell them that it’s beginning to look like they’re pulling an age-old scam. Ask them to leave and turn to another customer or task. You might lose that sale, but, chances are, they never intended to purchase anything, anyway.

If you’ve had some razzle-dazzle experiences, please tell us how you spotted or avoided them. Scroll down to the comments section and tell us about the scams people have tried to pull on you.

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Which Tax Status Should Entrepreneurs Choose?

tax-guy-flipped-rightThe deadline for filing taxes is approaching quickly, bringing with it one task most of us don’t look forward to ~ preparing our annual tax returns. Since there is always the chance that we’ve overlooked some essential planning, I thought this might be a good time to talk about one of those important items ~ your tax status as the IRS sees you.

When Setting Up Your Home-Based or RV Business…

Make sure you know whether you’re a Remote Employee or Self-Employed Contractor according to IRS Tax Rules. Determining this seems simple enough, but sometimes the lines seem fuzzier than they should be. So, read the IRS regulations defining Employee and Contractor Tax Status, here. This page, also, has links to several forms that you can use to get an IRS determination, in case your situation isn’t clearly described.

Why Is Tax Status Such a Big Deal?

One of the scams we entrepreneurs must constantly watch for is the client who expects us to work as though we were his employee, but under the guise of contractor status, and without providing the benefits required of employers. Don’t rely on clients to look out for your rights. Take the initiative to protect them yourself.

Many employers want to hire self-employed contractors to gain the advantages of

  • avoiding labor laws required for employees
  • not having to provide employee benefits, especially health insurance
  • better business insurance coverage and keeping rates lower
  • reducing overhead costs of office space, utilities, equipment, and supplies
  • avoiding deducting and paying Federal or State taxes on your behalf

Yet, many still try to control how you do the work as if you were an employee. When this happens (and it is more common than you’d like to think) it crosses the lines. Not only is it illegal, but you are being abused. Personally, I would sever ties with this kind of client if it becomes clear that he’s taking advantage of me.

Know your rights. You can learn them from the above-linked page on the IRS website. Tax status criteria are intended to prevent employers from gaming the system, but it depends upon us to enforce them.

Your tax status also determines

  • which records you have to keep
  • how you report your income and expenses on tax returns (whether you need to file a Schedule C)
  • the labor laws that affect you.

Finding this out at the end of the year could mean going back and trying to recover all your business receipts and records that you didn’t think you’d need. There’s reason to be concerned if you receive a 1099 when you expected a W2, or vice versa. If you didn’t pay your income taxes on a quarterly basis, because you thought you were an employee, you could be hit with fines and penalties. If you were treated as an employee, you might have a claim against the employer.

The page linked above has additional links that state the criteria to help you decide, such as whether or not the employer/client has any control over HOW, WHERE or WHEN you do you work. Knowing this in advance should help you in creating a contract or work agreement that specifies clearly what your tax status is before you do any work.

Employee vs. Contractor Obligations

If your client/employer asks you to fill out a W4 form, the employer plans to treat you as an employee (make sure they pay half your FICA tax.) If you haven’t filled out a W4, plan to treat every dollar that client pays you as Schedule C income (self employment, contractor.)

As a remote employee, the employer has much control over how, when, and where you do your work. He will also deduct your income taxes and pay them through his ordinary employee payroll tax system. He has to abide by all the labor law obligations of any employer.

If you are told by your client/employer that you’ll be sent a 1099 you will be treated by them as a self-employed contractor (be prepared to pay all of your FICA tax, yourself.)

As a self-employed contractor, the employer is actually your client. As such, he has little to say about HOW, WHEN or WHERE you do the work beyond what he wants you to accomplish for him and by what deadline. You work according to an agreement you make with your client that defines what you are to produce and by when. It’s smart to get this in writing. People have a way of forgetting these details. Outside of that, you decide how to fulfill your agreement.

Your client will NOT deduct or pay any payroll taxes. You will be responsible for filing and paying quarterly income taxes. Labor laws are not applicable in a contractor/client relationship.

This seems pretty straightforward, but there are some important things to know before you commit. Scroll down that same page  to the “Common Law Rules.” These will help you determine if the employer is classifying you in the right tax status.

Deductible Expenses

Knowing what your tax status is will help you to track tax deductions, receipts, payments and other documents consistently from the start. You will probably have tax-deductible expenses if you work from your home or RV as an employee, but fewer than if you worked from a fixed location.

I’m not a tax professional and am speaking primarily from personal experience. So, to be sure that you make the right decisions consult a tax preparer, accountant or attorney, and read the related IRS publications found also on the IRS.gov site. If you do your own taxes with a program like TurboTax or H&R Block, the software should help simplify things.

Income and Expense Reporting

As an entrepreneur, with tax status of contractor, you are responsible for your quarterly tax payments. You will have only your records to go by until you receive a 1099 in February of the following year, if your client(s) sends one at all. As I recall, they don’t have to send a 1099 if they paid you less than $600 during the year.

If you run more than one business, you’ll have a lot of bookkeeping to do. You’ll have to allocate the depreciation of your business equipment and expenses proportionally, according to each business. You’ll deduct the proportioned expenses from each respective revenue source on a separate Schedule C (sole proprietor unless you have another business format.) So, be ready to track the amount of depreciation, time (or other valid measure) each piece of equipment, or portion of supplies is used by each business, similarly to the way you would track the use of your vehicle for business expense purposes.

Principal Business or Professional Activity Codes

If your tax status is independent contractor, you will report self-employment income in your personal tax return on Schedule C, on Line B with a code and a category that you choose from the Principal Business or Professional Activity Code list (PDF download link.) If you are a remote employee, with employee tax status, you won’t use these codes. You’ll file your income as regular employee income without the Schedule C.

The Principal Business or Professional Activity Code is a six-digit code that classifies your specific income niche. You, also, can find these codes on the IRS page for Form 1120.

Look up the type of work you do, by classification, and pick the six-digit code that most closely describes what you do. If you do several things, you might find several codes that would work for everything you do. Pick one, and use it consistently from year to year. Use this code on your Schedule C, Line B where you’ll report related income and expenses. If you actually change the kind of work you do, you will have to use another code.

If necessary, file two (or more) Schedule C forms if you do both kinds of work in the same year. For example, if you are a writer, but also do workcamping, these would be two different categories. If you do RV repairs, and also sell crafts on Etsy or EBay, these would be two different categories. But if you sell crafts on Etsy and EBay and at fairs, this would probably be one category with one code (and one Schedule C,) even with different venues. It’s best to get a professional opinion if you are unsure.

As an aside, the Principal Business Activity Code list might also be useful in deciding what kind of work you can do from home or RV, if you’re still looking for RVer income ideas. If you want more ideas about work from home or RVer income ideas visit our Work From Home Ideas You an Adapt to Your RV Lifestyle page that you can download as a PDF file. http://adhocgroup.net/WFH/Work-From-Home-Ideas.pdf

Wishing y’all great RVing adventures

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Choosing a Healthcare Provider When You’re Far from Home

medicalcharting-flipped-horiz
Choosing a healthcare provider when you’re far from home is never easy to do. Since you never know when or where an urgency or emergency will occur, this isn’t something you can prepare for. But there is a way to compare providers wherever you are. This gives you an opportunity to switch providers if yours falls short of your standards.

Where to Find Healthcare Provider Reviews

Not all doctors get healthcare provider reviews on Yelp, even though it manages to list most physicians. If you don’t find useful reviews on Yelp, then try some of these other sites.

Healthcare Provider Review Sites

Healthgrades is specific to healthcare provider reviews. Just enter the zip code and specialty to get a list of providers in that area. Each provider listed shows their name, distance from the zip code you entered, specialty and star rating. If you click on the name you‘ll see a page related to that doctor’s reviews. Next, click on the “Responses” (next to the stars) to see the review page. In addition to reviews you’ll find a list of hospital affiliations for each doctor. If you click on those facilities you will get the hopsitals’ review information.

Vitals, another healthcare provider review site, fell a bit short of my confidence level. I typed in a specialty that I knew had quite a few physicians in the area I entered but the system returned only four of them. It’s possible that these were the only doctors reviewed on this system, so it may be user driven rather than listing all of the physicians. When I tried sorting them by review score (descending order,) the one with 4 points was listed before the one with 4 ½ points. So that wasn’t very reliable, either. Clicking on “Read Reviews” brings up a page listing both star ratings and review comments. Unfortunately, some excellent physicians are not listed on this site.

Zocdoc limits you to doctors who use the Zocdoc system, but, also, lists every one of their listed doctors within 50 miles. As a traveler in an unfamiliar location, you probably don’t want to have to travel that far when you could find a good doctor within just a few miles of where you are.

Medicare Sites

Many full time RVers rely on Medicare for healthcare insurance. Finding a good healthcare provider that takes Medicare may cause delays. Calling around takes time, as does finding a directory for an unfamiliar community. There are five sites where you can find healthcare providers that accept Medicare. I don’t think there’s a way to review doctors or facilities, but you can see who accepts Medicare and compare standardized survey results. Do click on the “View Rating Details” links. This takes you to the breakdown of areas comparing how physicians or facilities rated.

These sites are listed by category:

Physician Compare

“Physician Compare is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website that helps you find and choose physicians and other health care professionals enrolled in Medicare so that you can make informed choices about the health care you get, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010.

At this time you can compare group practices on Physician Compare. You’ll be able to compare individual physicians and other health care professionals in the future.”

If you can’t find a specific doctor on this site, check under the “Find Group Practices” tab. Under each practice you’ll find a list of all the doctors affiliated with that practice. There are several links to other information on this site that you might find useful.

Hospital Compare

You can search to find the hospitals in an area you set by zip code and the number of miles from that zip code. From that list, you can compare 3 at a time. The comparison page has six tabs for different areas surveyed, which compares each hospital’s results for that area of care to the state and national averages.

Nursing Home Compares Healthcare Providers in this Category 

The nursing home comparisons works similarly to the hospital comparisons. Choose up to three to compare at one time, then choose the specific tab topics you want to compare. While you hope you never have to use these services, a serious condition might require you to go temporarily to a nursing home facility to finish recovering if you cannot recover at home or in your RV.

Home Health Agency Compares Healthcare Providers in this Category 

The home health agency comparisons work similarly to the hospital and nursing home comparisons. Choose up to three to compare at a time, then choose the specific tab topics you want to compare.

Dialysis Facility Compare

Again, this site operates similarly to the others. Enter a zip code then choose up to three dialysis providers to compare.

 Hopefully, you will never need any of these services in your travels. But knowing how to find a practitioner or facility that you can trust, or that takes Medicare should make things easier. Hope this helps.

Wishing y’all great RVing adventures

 

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