SPAN Blog

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Low-Level Trajectory For Long-Term Success

Edward Dzialo 10/19/2020 Be the first to comment!

 


Sometimes I get apprehensive when people eagerly offer free advice. At the risk of becoming the type
of person I just warned you about, here’s something I’ve learned: choose the path of the lowest trajectory aimed at the far-away horizon. In other words, have a plan for the future. Don’t grab at short-term gains, despite how glittery they may appear.

Why am I talking about this now?

This is a trait I have come to value when working alongside other people, and it is certainly something I see incorporated into SPAN Enterprises’ values.

What is so exciting about working here is that I really don’t know what the company is going to look like in five years—and this is a great thing. For instance, no one who works here is content with this company doing the exact same thing we are doing now five years into the future.

This isn’t to say that SPAN Enterprises is willing to walk away from something solely for the sake of change. What I am saying is the exact opposite. Everyone here wants to build off what we have worked so hard to create. We seek to discover the natural evolution of our products.


Organic and Natural


Seeking to discover the natural evolution of our products is critical. To allow a product to grow, it must happen organically. This happens in the best way possible: by listening to our customers and clients. 

Our founders and tech team design products and software brilliantly. It’s not only the know-how and experience that is noteworthy, but it is their ability to generate solutions before the product has launched. They anticipate how the client will interact with our software and design accordingly.

Though our products are well-thought-out and crafted before being sent out into the world, the world changes. Laws are created. Regulations get added. These needs are not problems but opportunities to evolve to meet the needs of our clients.

Pivot or Disappear


Think of this: At their peak, Blockbuster ran 9,904 stores worldwide. They had $5.9 billion in revenue (half a billion came in late fees alone!). Without question, this was an upper-echelon company.

And they had the opportunity to purchase Netflix for $50 million. Blockbuster’s CEO, reportedly, laughed the offer out of his office.

We know where this story ends. Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2010, and now, Netflix is valued at $194 billion.

I am not mocking the decision because I have the benefit of hindsight. Maybe I would have made the same decision as the Blockbuster CEO did. But when I look to the leadership of SPAN Enterprises, I believe in their ability to do what Blockbuster did not: to see the evolving needs of the consumer.

When I said earlier that the people at SPAN Enterprises are not content to be doing the same thing five years into the future, this is what I meant.

Resting on what you have is short term. Using foresight to adapt your product to the needs of the consumer before they need them is long-term. That is evolution. And that is what SPAN Enterprises does.

ExpressEfile


Our products are solutions. The 3rd Quarter Form 941 is due by November 2, 2020. If you want a quick and secure way of filing, use ExpressEFile. You can file your Form 941 for only $3.99.


Try ExpressEFile Today!




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Friday, October 9, 2020

Anniversaries & Other Milestones

Edward Dzialo 10/09/2020 Be the first to comment!

 


Four days ago, as all of the employees of SPAN were working remotely, our office made the private announcement that we had reached our 11th anniversary. On October 5, 2009, our two founders, Agie Sundaram and Naga Palanisamy, filed for incorporation. During that first year, they released three software products. And now, eleven year later, we’ve nearly quadriped our products. In a few months, we’re moving into a new 12,000 sq ft office.

Half in Five


Half of all new small businesses will fail within five years. There are external factors at play like the market shifting, new laws and regulations, zoning problems, increased costs of products or raw materials.

Internally, some business owners cannot manage people, or their ability to handle all the indirect responsibilities of building a business like running payroll, taxes, record-keeping is below where it needs to be for their business to remain viable.

When I look at some of the reasons why business owners—or anyone—succeed, it’s because they have more than one idea. There is no such thing as a million-dollar idea. To survive as a business, you may need a million ideas. Every hour, every minute requires the dogged pursuit of a goal. You may have an idea, but there are an infinite amount of factors working against you. The entrepreneur that is still standing after ten years (or eleven, in our case), is the one who can make the right decision, in the moment, that will move his or her business closer to being viable and sustainable.

Finding The Wrong Way


If you study the world's top performers, it won’t take you long to discover that they failed, often times for years, before discovering even a modicum of success.

There are stories of Michael Jordan locking himself in his room and crying after he was cut from his high school basketball team. Steve Jobs is marked as a visionary, but he was removed from the very company he started. Abraham Lincoln was defeated in eight elections. To find any level of success, you cannot be afraid of failure. These are the moments when you learn the most and realize that you want something badly enough to stand up one more time.

To make it as a small business, you almost have to seek out failure—to an extent, and you certainly cannot too afraid to make a decision because of it.

Valuable Time


I once heard someone point out that people always refer to the “good ‘ole days,” but rarely do they realize how wonderful the time is when they are actually living them. It’s not uncommon for people to look back and reminisce about the struggle, the long nights, the unending days filled with tireless work cycles.

As we begin our eleventh year, we keep this in mind. It’s not so much about the last decade as it about the next. There are always new ways to better serve our clients, to create software that solves problems where there are no solutions.

The traits I have gone over, the ones attached to successful people, are the same ones I recognize amongst my peers and superiors.

One of the most exciting things about being around for eleven years is the Endless Possibilities for the next eleven.

TaxBandits


Here’s a quick reminder: your 3rd quarter (July, August, September), Federal Tax Return is due November 2, 2020. If you need a quick, efficient, and cost-effective solution, go to TaxBandits and file your Form 941. All the third-quarter changes will be accounted for.

Try TaxBandits Today!





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Thursday, October 1, 2020

3 Reasons Why We Are Excited About The New Office

Edward Dzialo 10/01/2020 Be the first to comment!

 


SPAN Enterprises is proudly returning to where it started: Celanese Road in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Though the physical location of SPAN Enterprises will be near the site of the first office, the company has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2009 by two entrepreneurs, Agie Sundaram and Naga Palanisamy. What started out as an idea (several ideas, in fact) has evolved into a fully-staffed company serving over half a million clients.

In the midst of a pandemic when companies are discussing the possibility of making remote work a permanent fixture, there’s still something to be said about having a centralized, physical location.

A Place To Be Proud Of


There are so many different things an office can say about your business. For instance, if I were to tell you that SPAN Enterprises began in an office that was 100sq ft and is now moving into a 12,000sq ft space, what does that imply? Not only does it show growth, but it also, indirectly, hints at the amount of work, perseverance, and creativity that were required for this business to amount to what it is.

Whether you are an employee or a client, seeing our office should indicate our level of attention-to-detail. When you see clean work stations and thoughtful meeting locations, you can draw multiple conclusions. If someone takes the time to do the small things right, then it suggests that they are capable of doing larger tasks well too. By seeing the shared areas, you get a feel for our sense of community and camaraderie. Employees who take pride in the tangibles (our office) will extend that to the intangibles (their work ethic).

Community


There’s always going to be more to a person than their job. When we work remotely, a lot of interaction gets missed. By working next to someone, you get to know them on a personal level: the type of music they listen to, how they drink their coffee, the things they look forward to doing on the weekend.

Friendships and strong, professional relationships are developed this way. The people next to you become more than just coworkers. They are the people you look forward to collaborating with on long projects, the people you like to share coffee with while brainstorming creative concepts, the people you ask for help from when you need an extra set of eyes to look over your assignments.

Even the simple act of eating lunch with someone is a shared communal experience. There’s a reason why families get together to eat, why firefighters spend time making meals for the whole house to share. These relationships can be the foundation of a successful business and increased productivity.

Productivity


If you’ve ever hiked before with a backpack, you’ll understand this saying: Ounces make pounds. It’s a sort of mantra to consider when putting items into your pack to carry. Don’t haphazardly put stuff in because it’s small or that it won’t matter. Ounces make pounds. Put thought into what you decide to bring because those small items will weigh heavy on your shoulders two or three miles into your hike.

In the business world, seconds make hours. There is a finite amount of minutes in the day. Wasting twenty seconds is time you’ll never get back. When you work with someone in the same physical location, things can happen in real-time.

Think of this: if I need a coworker to edit something for me, but I can physically see she’s on the phone with a client, I can switch to another assignment and check back in shortly. When you’re working remotely, you’d have to message or call her. If she’s in the middle of a client presentation, you might not get a response.

Though it may seem small, these lost seconds build over time. If you lose just one minute a day, over the course of a year, that’s almost four and a half hours. Half a workday lost to waiting.

Granted, this isn’t a factory or an assembly line, but we all want to be a value-add in our lives. Doing the little things efficiently for the overall improvement of the group is one way of achieving that.

123PayStubs


Part of why we have grown is because we’ve sought it out. Over time, our products have improved to meet the needs of our clients. Any business that sits back and rides out one idea is going to be short-lived.

Take our product, 123PayStubs. Because some states have started requiring employers to document and display their employees’ vacation time, we added a new feature. Employers who either are required to do this or are choosing to will be able to stay compliant with state laws seamlessly.


Try 123PayStubs Today!




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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Is Our Social Security In Jeopardy?

Edward Dzialo 9/23/2020 Be the first to comment!


While following the tax changes this year, it’s been interesting to see how the payroll tax cut has been approached. Last summer, the idea of payroll tax cut was being heralded as a way to give workers more money in lieu of a second stimulus package. 

The problem was Social Security and how it would be funded. In 2019, payroll taxes brought in $945 billion in revenue. 89% of Social Security was funded by these very taxes.

And then payroll taxes got cut, temporarily.

Eligible businesses were able to opt into a payroll tax deferment. Neither they nor their employees would have to pay their payroll taxes, but they’d have to pay them back during the first half of next year. Look at it as a very, very short-term loan.

The current President has suggested that these loans might be forgiven. There’s also been a discussion about cutting payroll taxes permanently. During the Great Recession, payroll taxes were reduced to help workers. So this is not a new idea, nor is it a new issue. Political parties on both sides of the aisle have supported it at one time or another.

This is an open-ended question that has no political underpinnings whatsoever: How will Social Security be funded?

What we have at the moment is a payroll tax that has been suspended and opted into by some, and the source of Social Security may or may not end. For it to end, it would require 60 votes in the Senate for a payroll tax to have even the remote possibility of ending. It does seem like the issue of Social Security is not an issue to be discussed in the future any longer

Regardless of your political beliefs, whoever is elected next, is going to face the issue of our Social Security funds running out. There were concerns about them being depleted in the future, but the pandemic has brought that issue to the forefront.

The most successful businesses can quickly realign their priorities based on what their clients want and deserve. During these opening days of fall, a lot of our customers have just completed filing their Form 941s, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. The due date for these forms was September 15th, but that’s not to say tax season is over. For anyone who received an extension on their 2019 tax return, the due date for those is October 15, 2020.

And there’s still one more quarter to go in 2020.

For all the challenges that 2020 has brought to our country and economy, there have been large financial relief packages for employers and employees alike. With those has come a continuous wave of tax changes.

Part of being a professional is following these changes on behalf of our clients. For instance, Form 941 was being revised shortly before it the second quarter’s filings were due. That form contained 18 new lines. Having an understanding of them allows us to explain their applicability to our clients when needed.

TaxBandits


There’s still one more quarter to go before 2020 ends. As complex as taxes are, filing your Form 941 doesn’t have to be. Choose TaxBandits and make this last quarter an easy one.




 

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