Is your business adequately diversified? Relying on too few customers, vendors, or key employees can leave you open to risks that can be catastrophic.
Here’s what to consider.
Customers. Do you depend on just a few customers for the majority of your sales? What will happen to your business if your largest customer requests a major price reduction, starts buying from your competitor, or is bought out? Even if your company sells to many customers, you aren’t adequately diversified if most of them are in the same industry. This is known as concentration risk. Reduce it by targeting customers in different industries.
Vendors. How many suppliers do you rely on for the smooth operation of your business? Do you have a backup option if a key vendor raises prices, can’t provide enough product, or goes out of business?
Employees. Do you count on the skills and reliability of one key second-in-command person? What would happen if that individual suffered a family emergency and had to leave unexpectedly? Sharing information and allocating responsibilities among employees can keep the work flowing.
When your business is new, diversification may be difficult. But putting a plan in place to reduce your vulnerability to manageable risks is essential for your long-term success. Contact us for tips and suggestions.
Is your tax return finished? If not, this year you have an extra day – or two – to file. April 18, 2016, is the due date to file your 2015 individual federal income tax return and pay any balance due. If you live in Maine or Massachusetts, you have until Tuesday, April 19, to file and pay.
Here’s why. The normal due date – Friday, April 15 – is Emancipation Day. That’s a holiday in the District of Columbia, so the tax filing deadline shifts to Monday, April 18. However, Monday, April 18, is also a holiday (Patriots Day) in Maine and Massachusetts. That means if you live in either of those states, your deadline moves to April 19. The extended due dates apply whether you file electronically or on paper.
Here are other major mid-April deadlines.
● The above due dates also apply to filing an automatic extension for your 2015 individual income tax return if you can’t file by the deadline. You don’t need to explain to the IRS why you need more time and the automatic extension gives you until October 17, 2016, to file your return. An extension does not, generally, give you more time to pay taxes you still owe. To avoid penalty and interest charges, taxes must be paid by the April deadline.
● Filing 2015 partnership returns for calendar year partnerships.
● Filing 2015 income tax returns for calendar year trusts and estates.
● Filing 2015 annual gift tax returns.
● Making 2015 IRA contributions.
● Paying the first quarterly installment of 2016 individual estimated tax.
● Amending 2012 individual tax returns (unless the 2012 return had a filing extension).
● Original filing of a 2012 individual income tax return to claim a refund of taxes. If you have tax refunds due for prior years, the refund is lost unless you file a return to claim it.