Since 90% of new businesses fail, your first responsibility is to make sure you’re doing something different.
— Mark Lee, CPA

 Started a Business on Maui?

A clear eyed perspective on entrepreneurship in Hawaii 

It's not all Aloha all the time out here. The Hawaii business environment can be brutal for the unprepared or uninformed. A tentacular regulatory regime, cultural bias against development, and sky high taxes don't make it easy here in the Aloha State.  Hawaii occupies a permanent spot in top five lists of states with the highest taxes and most challenging business environments. You need a CPA on Maui who understands the lay of the land.

These are big, messy challenges. And not for the faint of heart. The silver lining is ... Maui: Regularly voted the best island destination in the world. Cracking the code of creating (or growing) a successful small business here provides opportunities for an enviable mix of financial and lifestyle rewards.

Don't make amateur mistakes. Choosing an inappropriate business form, spending unnecessary time and money on administrative matters, running afoul the notorious Hawaii Department of Taxation. The right advice can save needless hassle and expense. Maui.tax is more than just just Maui tax preparation. Call or schedule an appointment online for solid, useful advice in getting your business up and running. And keeping it that way.


 

Been Here a While?  

Business consulting either provides value or wastes money. If the value is not obvious - generally there is none.

Gimmicks don’t work in consulting anymore than they do in your business. Good ad copy doesn’t mean good advice. And consulting spending by a small business is a big decision. A thirty minute conversation sometimes gets me a job, and sometimes just a nice conversation. Either way, there’s no charge to find out if there’s something I can help you with.

Old Dogs. New Tricks. Some of the most important advice you can buy is the kind that protects your position in the market. Although the wisdom of using outside help for an opportunity or a problem may sometimes be obvious, sometimes a refresh in your perspective on your existing, successful operations can provide even more value.

I started washing dishes in my old man’s restaurant at twelve. I’ve been the boss’s kid, a small business owner, or a business consultant every day since then. I’ve seen all kinds of businesses succeed - and fail. Up close. From big energy companies, to small restaurant chains, to the young artist selling her jewelry at the swap meet; there are some things that work, and a lot more that don’t. You’ve been in the game a while. By definition, you know a lot of those things already.

But you don’t know them all. And the new ones are coming (and the old ones going) faster than at any time in history. Staying in business means you’ll need to keep learning. You’ll need to keep changing. And as always, you’ll need to keep getting better at what you do. Few clients engage a business consultant unless they have a problem. Good consultants get your problems solved. Great ones offer actionable advice you never asked for. This is how business consultants stay in business.

The Millennials are coming.* And they are some of the most change adaptive, “open source”, creative people you’ll face as competitors in the next 20 years. As you may have already figured out, they don’t think like you. Did you know more people under 25 are operating successful small business than at any time in the history of capitalism. And if you did know that - have you figured out what it means for your business? There are adolescents making more money than you with Instagram accounts and Twitter feeds. This is not a fad. This is change you pay attention to.

If you’ve been in business more than 10 years, congratulations. You’re in rarefied air where listening is more important than ever. Decisions will have to be made faster and technology will continue to disrupt everything. These facts will affect your business to an extent that, though it can’t be predicted, must be apprehended.

If you’re facing a few small problems you want solve or one big one, I hope you get in touch and let me interview for your business.

 

* The Millennials really are coming. Read the full essay.