Announcing our joint venture: Demandforce and Henry Schein

Henry Schein One Demandforce joint venture

Demandforce is excited to announce that we will enter into a joint venture with Henry Schein, Inc., the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health, and medical practitioners. This joint venture is to be named Henry Schein One, and is being created to address the challenges created by the current lack of technology integration in dental practices.

What’s to Come

Joining forces with will allow Demandforce to create even more advanced integrated solutions that improve office management, marketing and client loyalty.

“By combining Henry Schein’s strength in practice management software with our leading digital marketing applications in this new joint venture, we intend to leverage the considerable resources of both companies to provide our customers and their patients with a better experience,” said Bob Brisco, CEO of Internet Brands.

This means nothing will change for current customers. Our goal is to continue to provide you the best technology to communicate with your clients, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on new product developments as they occur.

For more details on this joint venture, please read this press release.

 

National Doctor’s Day: Appreciating our Doctors

National Doctor Day- Appreciating Doctors

March 30th represents National Doctor’s Day, a holiday declared by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 as a day to recognize the hard work and dedication physicians provide us everyday. Proclamation 6253 by the 41st President was written in the spirit of recognition:

“All those Americans who serve as licensed physicians have engaged in years of study and training, often at great financial cost. Most endure long and unpredictable hours, and many must cope with the conflicting demands of work and family life.”

Ways to recognize your physician

Whether they are your co-worker, boss or primary care doctor, this is a great time to give a token of your appreciation. Here are some ideas:

  • Send a thank you card

The art of a hand-written note will never get old. Write your doctor a special message and have family members sign as well if they also see this physician.

  • Order custom balloons

There’s no better way to mark a celebration than with big, bright red balloons. The Southern Medical Association makes these balloons just for the occasion.

  • Have red carnations delivered

The red carnation is the official flower for Doctor’s Day. Send those to your favorite physicians and be sure to include a special note.

  • Gift them a special pen

Doctors write prescriptions everyday, so gifting them a custom pen would go to good use. Monogram it with their full name or initials to really make it personal.

 

National Doctor’s Day is a great day to not just recognize their hard work and long hours, but also the service they have provided to our personal health. A special Thank You from the Demandforce family to all of the doctors and physicians who have made an impact in our lives!

 

Tax changes your small business can’t ignore

Tax Changes Your Small Business Can't Ignore

This year the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 should be top-of-mind for small business owners.

There were changes to both tax and pass-through deductions that may affect the daily decisions you make as a business owner. The good news is none of your standard deductions were taken away – only slight updates were made to two of the many. The iffy news is on the 20% pass-through deduction – it’s great to have, but who qualifies?

Let’s get into it.

Tax Deduction Updates

Meals and entertainment

  • Entertaining clients or employees is no longer a deductible expense. The meals you purchase when entertaining are still covered, but those tickets to Hamilton are coming out of your pocket. It’s probably best to keep client or employee engagement to dining experiences only.

Business automobiles

  • If you own or lease a business automobile, or was planning on doing so, the deductible just increased. With the new tax plan, you can deduct $18,000 the first year you own a new car. If your business needs a truck or SUV, the vehicle is 100% deductible. Now is the time to get that business car, and make sure to negotiate to start off with a great price.

The Pass-Through Deduction

What does it mean?

  • A pass-through business is one where tax laws ignore the separate existence of the business itself, and allows any income, deductions, credits or other provisions to pass directly through the owner instead. This doesn’t include most corporations, but does include limited liability companies, partnerships and sole proprietors.

Now if your business is a pass-through entity, the new tax law is implying that you can deduct 20%, or one fifth, of your qualified business income until it expires in 2025. To be clear, as you’ll find the law currently is not, qualified business income is the net amount (or taxable amount) of income, gain, deduction, and loss that is tied to your operating business.

What businesses/industries qualify?

  • This is the biggest question that many, including tax professionals, have raised. The stipulation on exactly what type of services are excluded from the deduction is very narrow:

Health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, consulting athletics, financial services, brokerage services, or any trade or business where the principal asset of such trade or business is the reputation or skill of 1 or more of its employees.

The specific exclusion of the principal asset of the business being a skill of 1 or more employees is really what has America’s small businesses up in arms. Because of this – the American Institute of CPAs has written a letter to the IRS asking for immediate guidance on the entire pass-through deduction. According to the LA Times, the IRS plans on providing guidelines by June 2018.

While you wait, it’s recommended you make an appointment with a tax adviser for a date after the guideline has been provided. It’s an important time to learn what can and cannot be considered tax deductible for your business.

Blog sources:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-pass-through-tax-deduction-20180312-story.html

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2018/01/03/can-you-win-from-the-pass-through-deduction.aspx

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/309096

Implementing Your Online Reputation Strategy

Implementing your online reputation strategy

In the first part of this series, Getting Started: Taking Control of your Online Reputation, we kick off where to begin when building and monitoring your online presence. Now that you have your reputation marketing plan mapped out, here are some tools to help you implement your strategy.

1. Claim your business listings and social pages

Customers are searching you online for two reasons: to get your contact information, and to see what other people are saying.

There are some top sites for business listings depending on your industry. Review the ones that show up on the first page of your search and make sure your contact information is correct. If there are other important sites you know as a professional that your business should be listed on – add it! No stone should go unturned.

When it comes to what people are saying about their experience with you, managing your reputation is huge. First, claim your business on Yelp and Google.

If your business doesn’t show up – create your profile! Add your logo and put up some pictures of the inside and outside of your business. It wouldn’t hurt to have a picture of the team either. Customers like to see what they are walking into – it gives them a sense of familiarity.

2. Listen to what your customers are saying

After you’ve claimed your online presence, read any existing customer reviews. Were the reviews accurate to your product or customer service? Are they pointing out areas that you need to improve? It may be hard to read opinions or experiences that aren’t sugar coated, but use it as helpful feedback. It could be really beneficial to your business, and could start bringing in more 4 or 5 star reviews instead of 3 or less.

If there are a couple of unhappy customers that you feel you can help, respond to the reviews and offer them a solution. Thank the customer for their feedback, explain your process and why that may have happened, and possibly offer a solution. But it’s important to know that once you start review management you have to commit to it. Customers will begin to expect a response from you – even the happy ones!

Do online reviews still make you a little nervous? Here is the secret to online reviews.

3. Create targeted messaging for happy customers

Happy customers can be gold for your online reputation. There are a lot of different ways to encourage customers to leave you reviews. Your front desk employees can encourage it verbally at the end of a service, or you can have them send automated texts or emails if you use a marketing software. These messages are normally triggered after an appointment, and if you use a reputation management software, the reviews will be sent straight to Google. And all your staff had to do was click a button!

 

 

 

 

Getting Started: Take Control of your Online Reputation

Getting started with online reputation strategy

What exactly does online reputation mean to your small business?

Think about when you first put up your ‘Open’ sign. Potential patients or clients drove by and considered stopping in, and friends and family showed their support by bringing you business to start you off. Your business’ presence in the community was building – but when attracted customers wanted to learn more, they searched the internet and found an old business listed under your address. Or worse – they found one negative review and nothing else. Now your online reputation is working against you and your new presence in the community.

Taking control of your online reputation may seem overwhelming, so we’ve gathered some tips on where you should get started.

1.  Run a search on Google and Bing

The best place to start is running a simple search on the main search engines. Search your business name alone, and with other important terms like ‘reviews,’ ‘pricing,’ and ‘customer service.’

Right off the bat you’ll get a pulse for what customers are – or are not – saying about your business. You’ll also be able to see where your company website lands in the search engine results. Hopefully it’s the first!

2.  Is the look of your brand consistent?

Your brand’s color palette helps people know they are in the right place. Just like when you order a soda and you are handed a red cup with white lettering – you know right away you’re drinking a Coca-Cola. Make sure you’re seeing consistent colors and logos on your website, social media channels, and business listings. Your brand is a huge support to your online presence, and really acts as the face of your company.

3.  Set reputation goals you want to accomplish

A great way to not be overwhelmed with managing your online reputation is by setting some attainable goals. This will also help you measure your success. Maybe you want to increase the amount of positive reviews you get online to three a month. Pick a review site and detail a plan on how you want to accomplish that. Our Choice Plus package is a great tool to help you set goals. The online reputation dashboard gives you a view into your competitors online presence, your business listings on top sites, and all of your customer reviews in one place.

Be sure to include your employees in these goals so everyone knows what the company is trying to achieve, and consider rewarding them when the goal is met. Taking control of your online reputation should be an enlightening and rewarding experience for the whole team!

Stay tuned for part two of this blog for a roadmap on how to implement your online reputation goals.

Announcing Text Reviews

We would like to announce the addition of our all-new Text Reviews functionality that enables merchants to collect feedback faster by sending review requests where customers are sure to see them: via text message on their smartphones.

Collecting reviews from customers has always been challenging for merchants, as phone calls and emails requesting reviews have historically yielded low response rates. Our Text Reviews offers customers the convenience of providing immediate feedback about their recent visit by sending a review request via text message to their smartphone.

To send text review requests using Text Reviews, merchants get verbal consent from customers to send them text messages. A one-time text opt-in request is then sent to the customer’s confirmed number, providing an easy way for merchants to collect text opt-ins for future text communication with the customer. The customer then receives a text message with a link to a review request containing a unique URL. Reviews submitted from the unique URL are then posted on any merchant web pages and Facebook business profiles connected to a merchant’s Demandforce dashboard.

Demandforce Text Reviews is the latest Demandforce innovation designed to help merchants improve customer satisfaction and retention using technology. Text requests see a 98% open rate compared with just 20-30% for email requests according to a recent Velocify study. This greatly increases the odds that customers will provide reviews with actionable feedback for merchants that can be used to improve the customer experience.

More information on Demandforce Text Reviews functionality, which is available immediately, can be found here

Introducing Demandforce Choice Plus!

The introduction of Demandforce Choice Plus enables you to take more complete control of your online reputation.

We made the shift to a tiered product offering with the introduction of Demandforce Choice and Demandforce Choice Plus. This evolution coincides with the introduction of new tools designed to help our customers manage and enhance their online reputations.

Demandforce Choice: Proven Value That Drives Business

The existing Demandforce product suite is now known as Demandforce Choice, and includes the core features upon which Demandforce built its reputation: online scheduling, appointment reminders, online review management, and email marketing tools to help your company save time, reduce no-shows and acquire more customers.

Demandforce Choice Plus: Mastering Online Reputation Management

Demandforce Choice Plus bundles the traditional benefits of Demandforce Choice with new solutions for online reputation management, including:

Intelligent Reviews: Automated review requests via email and text enable merchants to get more reviews published directly to Google.

Multi-listing Management: A consolidated view of a merchant’s business listings and reviews in one place, including listings on Google+, Yelp, Facebook, and Demandforce Local.

Competitor Dashboard: An instant, real-time snapshot of how a merchant’s ratings, reviews, and promotions compare to those of top competitors.

Demandforce Choice Plus is available immediately. If you would like to learn more information can be found at http://go.demandforce.com/ChoicePlus.