I was always busy and worried at certain times of the month, and it was always because of tax preparation. I have already paid a cumulative amount of probably Php 20,000 worth of penalties. My previous freelance accountants would forget to pay (because of the multitude of clients that they had to service). I, personally, would forget deadlines, because of my busy schedule. For some forms, I didn’t get to file because I didn’t know that I needed to file them. I do love math, but I really don’t get  how taxes are computed.

My husband wanted to help me. He would see me suffer and he saw that the stress was killing me. Being the programmer that he is, he found a rudimentary way to automate the tax preparation that I did from home. From there, we saw the benefits of the automated process. We then wanted to share this with other business owners, freelancers and professionals.

Paying taxes should be something we do and we should see as our duty. We should do it because it will greatly help our country. We will do our share by making it simple and easy for each and every one of you. This is the reason why we created Taxumo. Taxumo is a do-it-yourself web application that computes, fills out forms and send the data directly to the bank/BIR. You don’t need to start loving math! haha! You don’t need to line up at the bank or the RDOs.

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What makes our team the best people to talk to is that we genuinely understand the pain that you are going through, because we have been there. We know that BIR has been trying to come up with a way to have a robust online tax preparation process and to automate collections. We are here to help both the end users and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Taxumo is a web application that helps in online tax preparation and filing — so we take care of computing, filling out the forms and submitting it to the BIR/Bank.

Although, right now, we don’t handle payments that needed to be paid in the past. What you could do is to use this online tax preparation application for your payments moving forward. Right now, we cater to percentage or non-vat payers. By December, we will also be ready to cater to VAT taxpayers. If you don’t understand these terms and if you want to know if you are a vat or a percentage/non-vat taxpayer, you can check out your certificate of registration of Form 2303. Here is a sample:

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All of the information you need to complete your profile page is in this document. If you lose it, you can visit your Revenue District Office or RDO (usually in the area where your business address is) of the BIR to secure a copy.

I also created this video so that you have a guide on how to use Taxumo.

The next deadline is on December 20 for Percentage Tax payers! 🙂 I hope you can sign up now while the system is FREE. Just go to http://taxumo.com and see how easy paying taxes can be!

If you have questions, feel free to write it on the comment section below!

 

I got this package from McCormick the other day. It was a package that contained the new McCormick Noodle and Seasoning Mixes. It had Palabok, Pad Thai and Laksa! I am not very fond of pasta or noodles, but McCormick really got it right to send me packs of those kinds of dishes that I love! I can never say no to Palabok, Pad Thai and Laksa — especially Laksa Noodles Singapore! When we went to Singapore early this year, my husband and I had a terrific time eating this dish a lot!

So today, we are very excited for dinner! We are having Laksa Noodles Singapore. Laksa is a popular dish from Singapore which I love so much! It is a spicy noodle soup that consists of rice noodles with chicken, prawn or fish. It has either a soup base which is rich and spicy curry coconut milk, or a base that is sour asam (tamarind or gelugur). Now, I can actually cook Laska Noodles Singapore at home because of the new McCormick Noodle and Seasoning Mixes.

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This is how easy it is to make Laksa.

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Step one: Buy the following ingredients: A pack of Tofu, a pack of beansprouts, shrimp, prawns or chicken and a pack of McCormick Laksa Noodle and Seasoning Mix.

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Step two: Prepare all the ingredients. You can already fry the tofu, and take the skin out of the shrimps and prawns. Prepare the beansprouts, too.

Step thee: Boil the noodles inside the McCormick Laksa pack and drain it.

Step four: Add three cups of water, the seasoning and the sauce packets into the pan, and mix the noodles.

Step five: Add the other ingredients.

That’s it! You have just created your very own Laksa Noodles Singapore special! Now I’m not a very good cook,  but I must say that this dish is a winner! The level of spiciness was just right!

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If you have tried the new McCormick Noodle and Seasoning Mixes, please do share it with me and let me know how it was when you prepared it. Our Laksa didn’t last a day!

 

 

 

MG Blog Series

Today was a light day! I got to squeeze in time for learning. I was watching and listening to videos from the Teachable summit. For 2017, I want to create a course, but I don’t know what course to create and share with you. This endeavour is something new to me. I felt confused as to where to start and how to start. I then remembered that 8 years ago, blogging was also new to me. It moved me to think about how I started blogging, and to think of the factors that made me get to where I am today. I’m pretty happy that I have gotten this far in blogging, and I attribute a big part of it to branding. Create blogs with great branding, and you’ll go places!

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What is good branding? When you create blogs, consider thinking about the following:

1. Define a blogging objective.

What is the main thing or specific thing that you want people to do, learn or read from your blog. It is important that you have this in mind 24/7 when you create blogs. The topics that you choose, the videos that you make or even the picture or font that you use should be with aligned with the mood, tone or feel of the objective of the blog. Everything should be consistent. Consistency will come in when you have a clear objective.

2. Check on what you can offer that others cannot.

Uniqueness is a big part of the game. All of us can be a certain type of blogger (mom blogger, travel blogger, etc.). What sets you apart can be how you craft your content, the tools and methods of how you relay your message, the tone of your message, and the chosen angle of your message. These are all dependent on what particular niche you are trying to talk to. Knowing your readers really well is what makes you know of your “uniqueness”.  Truly listening and engaging with them will steer you towards the direction you alone will be taking.

3. Don’t forget offline marketing.

Talking to people offline is as important as chatting with them via social media. Building trust or just getting to know people who are part of your chosen community or niche is one big factor for successful branding. People should know who you are as a person. They will trust you more once you connect with them in both the online and offline world. This is especially true when you don’t have your own flock of brand believers who will tell others of who your are and your story.

These are just some tips that worked for me. Do you know of other tips that may have worked for you to develop a good brand. Share them with me please at the comments section below.

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From one of the largest cities in the European Union, Budapest (in Hungary), a very admirable lady named Renáta Tamási-Irsai runs a technology company. She is one of the women in power that I have met during my short visit to Israel. She is the CEO of Samebug, a technology company.

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Renata founded Samebug with her husband who she married 10 years ago. She is a mother of three young children. “I am raising a child who is different than other people, through this I develop an understanding of what it means not fitting in to society. Using this experience I am able to listen and help other mothers who are in the same situation,” Renata added.

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Renata also mentions that her Christian faith plays an important role in her life.

She is a very organized person and she love things to be in order in every aspect of her life. She’s a member of the Budapest Toastmaster Club: http://toastmasters.hu/. She is also very passionate about cooking. She loves inviting people either to cook together or eat what they have cooked. In fact, cooking is another shared interest with her husband. “I am an introvert, but if you know me deep and long enough, you would not tell. Reading is my favorite activity when I want be alone,” Renata says. “My goal in life is to get to know the purpose of my life and become the person who I was created to be.”

My interview with Start-up Founder, Renáta Tamási-Irsai, CEO of Samebug

Ginger: Hi Reni! Can you share with my readers what your start-up is about?

Renata: Samebug is an online software startup company that builds a platform to help developers to find solutions to software problems. Simply take a stack trace from a crash, plug it into Samebug (either via a browser or plugin to IntelliJ IDEA or Android Studio) and it will search across over 800,000 (and growing) solutions to determine if the problem causing the crash has been solved by another engineer or not. If it has, Samebug will present the solution, if the problem has not been solved, Samebug will connect you with experts who can help. Founded in 2015, Samebug is headquartered in Budapest, Hungary and owned by a Delaware Corp, Samebug, Inc. The three co-founders are full-time employed, two of them are computer scientists, the CEO has a MBA degree in Finance.

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Ginger: Your product is a bit technical. I was wondering who your target market is for your product/services?

Renata: 18.5 million developers all over the globe. Our software is a developer tool, the market is given. The technical founders who are developers are solving their own problem. Developers are spoiled all of over the world – they are in high demand as every company is becoming more and more digital. Good developers are expensive and rare. They are used to use development tools free, so it is hard to get them to pay for any tool.

Also in our market the user and the customer is two different person, and you have to find the ways to make both of them happy at the same time.

Ginger: Excellent! So how did you and your husband come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

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Renata: My husband, Árpád has been a developer for 25 years and an entrepreneur for 10 years, developing tailor-made softwares to a financial company. 3 years ago, when the business was struggling and he got his Master degree, we both felt that we need to change what we are doing. Samebug was one of the option out of the three we evaluated, things pointed towards Samebug and we took plunge, jumped and has been doing it for 3 years.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Renata: Lack of knowledge of startup world, funding.

Ginger: Yes, I have to agree. This is what we went through as well. How about anything specific to your country? What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Renata, CEO of Samebug

 

Funding. Lack of understanding of the startup world, building a global company and lack of trust. Most of our family and friends do not understand what we are doing, what we are live on and why is it exciting.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Start-up founder should have when starting their own business?

Renata: Risk taking, commitment and willingness to be different and work hard.

Ginger: Do you have any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder?

Renata: I rather let go of what I have worked for and sacrificed a lot rather than doing a bad deal or make compromises on my values.

Ginger: Oh, that’s great! I just read an article yesterday of one company that was looking to hire a CEO that would die working or would rather spend time working than spend time with his family, and I just thought it was so sad. So, what advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Renata: Act as you don’t have Plan B, but have a Plan B to act on it when it is necessary. Be honest and transparent and stick to your values (if they are good) I also don’t believe tha everyone should be entrepreneurs. I believe there are many things that has to play in harmony for someone to be willing to take the risk.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Renata: Angel investors abroad and when the product gets to that stage later stage investors in abroad. There is very little chance to raise it in Hungary. The culture of building a global company is almost non-existent. We can provide services and from the money we can fund our startup.

Ginger: What is your growth strategy?

Renata: We are Software-as-a-Service company, selling online and later on targeting major enterprise corporations.

Ginger: Just to give others an ideay, what are tech tools that you use for your business?

Renata: Evernote, Slack, Jira, Skype, Google Docs, Balsamiq Mockup, Sketch

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today, Renata. Again, it was great having one of the women in power from Hungary join us today! 🙂

If you want to know more about SameBug, here are the details:
Website: https://samebug.io
Email address: renata.tamasi@samebug.io
Mobile Number: +36 70 381 9619
Twitter account: @samebug

Times have definitely changed. With the changing times, the market has also evolved. Needs have changed and reactions on how to address those needs have changed even more. With this, traditional marketing as we know it is not that effective anymore. Brands now have to change the way they deal with customers. I have identified 3 things that big brands should learn about marketing in today’s times.

Before we jump into the 3 things, let’s again define what marketing is. Marketing is the exchange of values between buyer and seller. When we talk about values, it doesn’t necessarily mean money (so as to put it in context). Some people may consider other things more valuable like time, relationship, service, etc.

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Going back, these are the 3 things that big brands should learn about marketing and dealing with their customers.

1. Worry about ME, hopefully more than you worry about competition.

I don’t know what made us so competitive. My daughter who is three years old thinks that everything’s a game and she needs to win. She thinks being first to get to elevator, brushing her teeth, taking a bath, all of these things are games to her. For a three year old, I get it. I think these kids just want to have fun.

I don’t get big brands though, when they get very competitive.  It’s good to be aware of what the competitor is doing, but it will be better if you place more focus on us, your potential customers. Sometimes you lose us, because you’re too focused on what the competitor is doing. Focus on what we want rather on getting ahead.

2. Talk to me like i’m a person, because I AM A PERSON.

Personally, i’m sick and tired of brands who see me as “revenue”, “target market” or as a “lead”. See me as a person, because that is what I am.  I am a marketer and the essence of what marketing is all about is understanding the person. Marketing is understanding the behaviour, the feelings, the effect of things on a person, the sentiments of a person and trying to look for a solution and address those by linking your product or service.

It’s not the other way around. Don’t be so in love with your brand, because as a consumer, I couldn’t care less. I have a plethora of choices (and the internet makes it easier to switch), and being a big name doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is that you listen, not only to me, but also to your other customers. You try to win my trust, and yes, you will eventually do if you just listen and make me feel like I matter to you, too.

3. Build relationships as people and not as a brand.

A lot of big companies look into what startup businesses do (especially in the tech startup world). They think tech startups are magical. They try to peek into what these tech startups do, and what made them as big as Facebook, Uber, and the like. I’ve been a part of both worlds — a corporate slave and a struggling tech startup founder, and I have observed some differences. Pertaining to the topic today, I have seen that startups are known not only as brands but as people. And I think that most of the start-ups are not only known as brands, because customer validation and getting out of the building to know their customers is a key thing that do. With this, people or possible clients get to know the people behind the brand and not the brand alone.

One of the things that the big brands can do is send their people to where their customers are so that they can have intimate and real conversations with them. Check on the mood and the sentiments of the customers. Leave the office!

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