It is definitely NOT too early to be planning ahead. I regulary talk with others outside this forum and know we are all working hard to make our businesses even better in 2007! Everyone should have done or be doing tax planning VERY soon. (Actually, I like to think that I do tax planning year 'round, but sometimes things get so crazy that perhaps that would not be a true statement.)
Jim and I have now moved a number of things from our “planning” to our “accomplishing” files. We actually BOUGHT a park in 2006 instead of looking for and not finding one! (Yes, for all of you who have been looking for awhile. It actually can be done.) Jim is having the time of his life because he is currently living the dream.
We have also made the big decision to sell all of our rental properties that we own in Florida. The market is a little bit down for sales, but we bought them right so will still make a nice profit on each. This will give us funds to invest in other ways - both in the park and elsewhere. We have found that there are so many properties currently in the Florida rental market (speculators unable to sell the homes they had built) that cash flow is either non-existent or negligible.
I have actually given notice to my employer - another big decision. The “safety net” is going away. Even though I had cut down to 3/4 time, there was still guaranteed income each month. However, the long-distance relationship leaves a lot to be desired. (Plus, he is having too much fun!) We have formed another company, which will house my consulting business. This business will specialize in mobile home park accounting as well as car dealership accounting issues. I am very excited about the prospects, and it will give me flexibility that I don’t currently have.
So…my last day is just two days before MOM. Next time most of you see me I will be gainfully unemployed!
Quite obviously, MOM is on our planning calandar, as is MHM. We have been going to both since each started, and have made a number of friends as well as business arrangements from people we have met there. You never know who your next business partner will be! The person you are talking with might just have the deal you will be interested in! There are always people at these functions with money to help do your deal, OR with a deal that will put your money to work!
We have also decided to end one of our companies at the end of the year. It no longer makes sense to have this particular entity structure in Florida.
(We have another company with the same structure, but it is Alabama based.)
So, my point (finally) is to THINK about what your plans are - and yes, your dreams as well. What do you want short-term, what do you want long-term? How hard are you looking for the park or the self-storage facility, or whatever it is you want? How are your going to pursue that in the coming year? What are you willing to put on the line to actually get what you want? (It is not always money…what about family life?)
So, with great optimism, we look ahead to 2007. If YOU are in the market for a person who knows the ins and outs of mobile home park and investment accounting, give me a call. Although it appears expensive to outsource something as “easy” as your accounting, it is not. Even with QuickBooks or other programs, if things are not done correctly you can lose a lot of money. This is NOT just if the IRS audits you and you haven’t claimed things correctly - you can lose money simply because you have not done things thoroughly! Believe me, it is easier to have things done professionally to begin with and not have to re-create (and not remember) down the road - even a few months. January is the time to make the decision to go in this direction. My rates are substantially less than your CPA who does your taxes. (I leave taxes to tax professionals, but provide them with a solid set of books that minimizes the time they must spend on your tax returns.)