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INNOVATE! Tools, Tips & Techniques from!
March 2006

Dear Client,

Welcome to INNOVATE!, an administrative resource for small business owners. INNOVATE! is run by Patricia Beckman, founder of, a professional Virtual Assistant company. In these monthly emails we will be giving you fabulous and numerous resources and tips you can use in your business, your home, your office and your life!

In this issue...

Taming Desktop Chaos!
Desktop Chaos

Can you see the surface of your desk? Or do you have piles of "who knows what" precariously perched everywhere? If so, it is time to get organized!!

In this article, we will take a look at -

  • How you organize your paperwork
  • What method do you use to organize your computer files
  • Options for a computer backup solution
  • Calendar and Task management tips

Identity Theft! It's YOUR Identity to Protect...
Locked Wallet

Your name and social security number is all that is needed for today's modern criminal to commit a crime of fraud or identity theft. It would be devastating to your business if a criminal was able to get your client data and victimize your clients.

To help minimize identity theft from happening to your business or yourself you can follow these steps:

  • Toss out your junk mail and trash carefully, shred any important documents with your personal information listed.
  • Put any outgoing mail in a post office collection box rather than an unsecured mailbox.
  • Shred any credit card receipts or credit applications, and any personal information such as insurance forms.
  • If your company deals with a large volume of documents that need to be shredded consider utilizing a company such as Shred It ( or Weyerhaeuser to help with document destruction.

Implementing Email Newsletters in Your Marketing Efforts
Email Newsletters

You probably get numerous email and mailed newsletters come across your desk each month - how many do you read, really? There are probably some you scan for good info, others you just toss, then, of course, there are ones that you read every last word.

What makes the ones you read interesting or valuable to you? What kind of information are they providing? Do catchy headings and photos attract your attention or not? Does fancy HTML attract your attention in emailed ones or is it frustrating due to your download time or does it clog up your email? Now how much of this is important to your target audience? Don't base your decisions solely on what you like or do.

By Katrina Sawa, K. Sawa Marketing

Preview of Next Month's INNOVATE! Newsletter...

Watch for the April issue of Innovate! where we will explore

  • QuickBooks Integrated Online Banking - Features, Benefits and Costs
  • Contact Databases - Making the most of yours!
  • What is Your Time Really Worth?

Important Tax Deadlines

March 15
- S-Corp election paperwork due for those changing status
March 15 - Returns/Extensions due for corporate returns
March 31 - If you file Forms 1098, 1099, W-2, or W-2G electronically, your due date has been extended from Feb 28 to today.

April 17th Tax Day!

  • File Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ and pay any tax due.
  • Deposit Payroll tax for March if the monthly deposit rule applies.
  • Individuals: Pay the first installment of your estimated tax for 2006.
  • Partnerships: File a 2005 calendar year return (Form 1065).
  • Provide each partner with a copy of K-1.
  • Corporations: Deposit the first installment of your estimated tax for 2006.

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