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Image for E297: Going Paperless in Your Massage Practice

EPISODE 297

Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

Quick Tips

Sponsors

Transcript:

Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by Yomassage. Become an expert in all things restorative stretch, mindfulness, meditation, and therapeutic touch in a comprehensive, three-week virtual Yomassage therapist certification. In this training, you will learn practices you can offer your clients virtually and an innovative modality that enables you to serve clients in a group or one-on-one setting. You will build community with the other therapists going through this training. You'll have assignments due each week, weekly discussion posts, live Q&As, weekly quizzes, and lots of one-to-one feedback from your instructor. Payment plans are available for the May and June 2020 virtual trainings. And this training offers 10.5 NCBTMB CE hours. And because that's not enough, our listeners can get $50 off courses May through July. Use the code BLUEPRINT -- one word, all caps, BLUEPRINT. To learn more and register for Yomassage virtual training, visit massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage.

Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we help you navigate the crazy that is 2020. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines I’m Allissa Haines.

MR And we’re your hosts. Welcome to this episode of today's podcast. We're glad you're here. [Indiscernible], Allissa.

AH We are glad you're here. Thanks for sticking with us. What's up, Michael?

MR What's up? Things and stuff. You want to hear what I'm reading?

AH I want to hear what you're reading.

MR Because I have a thing that is going to be interesting to a lot of our listeners, and it is that the PPP loan forgiveness application has been released. It is out in the wild. It is available. I know we've had a ton of questions about PPP loan forgiveness. What does it look like? How do we it? Blah, blah, blah, all the things. So it has been released as of a few days ago. The application is online. And specifically what I'm reading is -- there's a couple of articles that have come out kind of breaking it down, and one in particular I really loved, and so I've linked it in the show notes, it is called PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Guidance for the Self-Employed, Freelancers, and Contractors. So the self-employed portion is kind of was what we're zoning in on here for most of our audience.

So it was a -- first of all, warning, it's from Forbes. I hate the Forbes website because any article on Forbes results in melting my machine down because there's all these videos and ads pop up, and it takes literally a minute and a half to load the page. So be warned. It's on Forbes. I'm sorry.

But the article is amazing. It really walks through the -- it breaks down the application itself, specifically for self-employed people, and it kind of breaks down the sections that could be confusing. It goes through examples of what you might put in the application and all the stuff you need to kind of figure that out. And so I'm not going to go through all the specifics because it's much more visual and very detailed, so what I would advise everyone to do who got PPP funding is to go check out the show notes on our website -- this is Episode 297 -- and go grab the link, and go through this article as you fill out the application. And I think it will be a big help. So I was really happy to see that, happy the application is out, and I'm hoping that helps a lot of people put their minds at ease and when applying for forgiveness. So that's what I have been reading this week.

AH Nice. I have nothing to contribute here because I have not been reading. I have been just unable to concentrate on very much, so the focus I do have I have been throwing into rewriting a bunch of our content for the new Massage Business Blueprint premium platform. And that is it. I have not been reading anything for pleasure for like -- I finished the Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes. I finished that over the weekend, and then, I'm done. I'm just -- yeah.

MR That's all right.

AH Yeah. I feel bad because I put a whole bunch of books on hold at the digital library thing, and every two days, I get an email that's like, hey, this is available for you to read. And I'm like, I don't -- I'm not going to read it.

MR [Laughing] You're like, I'll pass. Pass.

AH But it's cool because you can totally pass on it. You can actually -- you can step out of line, and it's great. You click a button or two, and it's like, I'm not ready for this book yet, but please put me next or four more people back in line and offer it to me again, which it does. I just feel like the same books have come up a bunch of times in the last month or two, and I've been like, yeah, I can't. I don't have time for this.

MR On that note, what's interesting is I took your advice on downloading books from the library, and then taking my Kindle offline so it won't release them and delete them after the two weeks is up. And so what that means is I can't check out anything new until I commit to finishing what I have, or I'll lose what I have. So it's kind of forcing me to commit to what I have on my Kindle before I take it back online and they disappear from my device. Kind of funny.

AH Right. Yup. It's a weird pressure situation. But there it is. But that's what I've been reading -- pretty much nothing.

MR That is fair. You know what? Do what you got to do. You do you. Crazy times we live in. So why don't we go ahead and hit our sponsor with a little bit of love and then move on to our discussion?

AH We sure can.

MR So tell us about Acuity.

Sponsor message Acuity is a scheduling assistant that makes it easy for traditional businesses to become virtual if they want to, and it works behind the scenes to fill your calendar 24/7. It is a business suite, and it takes hours of work off your plate, gives you the freedom to focus on the work you do best. Yeah. You never need to ask, what time works for you?, to clients again. You can totally avoid the whole "email back-and-forth to try to schedule people" because with a click of a button, they can schedule their in-person or online appointment with you. You can get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

MR Thanks, Acuity. We love you guys.

AH We do.

MR They make good stuff. All right. We're talking about going paperless, which makes me giddy because you know how much I hate paper.

AH No kidding. You really hate it, like more than I do.

MR I do.

AH So this came up -- and it's a topic that we've covered before. But it is -- because their technology keeps changing and because we're in this weird time where many of us are not actively putting our hands on people, we've found little bits of time to do some of the administrative work and make some of the changes that we just have not had time previously to do. So going paperless is one of those things. And a question came up in our premium group with someone who had a whole bunch of questions about what to do with the three drawers of her file cabinet of ten years' worth of client files. And I just want to very simply -- this is going to be a short episode -- go through some of the steps of going paperless and dealing with old and new paperwork.

And step one is just getting rid of what you no longer need. If you go through both your personal and your business filing cabinets, you will very likely find things that you don't need, like oil change records from a car that you no longer have, or school transcripts that you don't need anymore, and all kinds of things. And not just things you don't need, which should be shredded. You get to go through that, and you can visit the IRS website if you're not sure about -- and I'll put a link in the notes about what kinds of documents you need to keep for how long. But I would guess everybody's got at least a drawer's worth of stuff they can get rid of. So shred what you no longer need, or build yourself a little fire and roast some marshmallows over it. And then, what's left, you can probably scan it and upload it to some kind of cloud storage to minimize the paper.

So all kinds of business documents. And there are things you want to keep originals of, like your original signed lease, and I'm trying to think of other things, and I don't have that in my head right now. But you can -- if you have stacks of the last ten years' worth of tax returns along with the paper copies for every invoice and receipt and everything that went along with that Schedule C or that tax return, you can start getting rid of some of that.

And again, I think it's -- Michael, is it seven years on tax returns?

MR It is seven years.

AH Yeah. Yeah. So you can even -- and even for the ones that are sooner, more recent than that, you can scan all of those receipts from before you were paperless and store them in a cloud, so you're only keeping the actual physical tax return. Or you can scan that and upload that as well.

So what do I mean by scan and upload? So scanning, it is what it is. It's taking a picture of the document and putting it into electronic form. And you can do this a few different ways. You might have an old-school scanner. We used to have printers and copy machines and scanners and stuff. Awesome. You can use that. Typically, you plug it into your computer, you hit "scan," and it moves that image to a PDF on your desktop. Or there's plenty of mobile apps. The one that Michael and I love and use is particularly for iPhones, iOS, called Scannable, and the full name is Evernote Scannable. And you can use it without using the Evernote app. But it's a great scanner. It just works well. And if you're using a non-iPhone, another app that I really like is called JotNot. And again, I'll have the links to all these in the show notes. And JotNot's really good too. It works really well. Each of these apps -- it's very easy to scan any kind of document, and it converts it into, typically, a black and white style PDF file. And it's nice because you can scan a multi-page document, and it will wrap that all into one PDF doc, which is just really helpful.

I have used this app -- this Scannable -- and the JotNot so much more lately because with the kids' school work, with this virtual learning stuff, we have to -- you can just do stuff on a screen, so we print out a lot of math worksheets, and he writes it in, and then I have to sign it and upload it. And I feel like I'm using Scannable like 20 times a day. It's pretty wild. So let me just backtrack and find my notes here because I got really excited and lost my place.

MR Yeah. I love Scannable. It's amazing.

AH Yeah. So what do you do now that you have these electronic files? Where do you put them? You can put them in any kind of cloud storage. For a lot of people, that means Dropbox, which has a free level of service that may or may not have all the space that you need. You can also pay for a small upgrade to Dropbox and be able to store a much greater amount of information. Or Google Drive, which is my preference because I use it for everything else in my business, so it keeps everything in one place. And it's pretty easy with both of these apps to upload either directly to Google Drive or to just email the documents to yourself, which is actually what I do. I like the extra step because I have a very particular method of naming documents so that they're much easier for me to find later. So I just have to scroll to my -- I have a lot of notes about this whole paperless thing because I've been writing this mega post for our premium members on it. So I just need to scroll to my notes about how I name my documents. I am super absurd about it -- only I can't find my notes.

We might have to edit this part out, Michael, I'm sorry. I'm having a day. Where did it go? I had these --

MR [Laughing] I have faith you can find it quickly.

AH I have these really detailed --

MR That's funny. I'm usually the kind of person that does that, like naming things, but I don't name those because when I -- I don't name the receipts of just random documents I've scanned because Google Drive does a pretty good job of detecting text inside of them that lets you search on them. So your method is very thorough. I'm a little bit lazier. I just let Google kind of index them.

AH Yeah. So okay. I found my notes. Thank you for vamping for me.

I don't like Michael's method. I used it for a while, but I found that I could never get the right search terms in Google to bring up the receipt I was looking for, and it was just a pain in the neck, and I ended up having to back and rename files.

MR Oh, your method is better. Don't get me wrong. I agree.

AH Yeah. And it's pretty rare that my system is more organized than yours.

MR That's why I called it out.

AH Yeah. So what I do -- so I email -- when I scan a document, I email it to myself. I don't do good working on a phone and trying to type on a phone. So I do better if, on the fly, I'm out at Target, and I have to get whatever for the office -- typically, when I get to my car, I still have the receipt in my hand, and I scan it with my device, and I immediately email it to myself. And then, when I go and sit down at my computer, there it is to deal with. I usually let three or four of these pile up before I start dealing with them, but I deal with them typically, if not on a daily, then a twice-a-week basis. So I'm sitting in front of my computer. I probably got something on the TV on another screen, and this is like mindless busy work for me. But I do -- with documents, I tend to put the full name of the document and the date in the file name.

So I was just doing this the other day, and I found my hardcopy of my DBA certificate, my business certificate, and I realized that I didn't need the hard copy of that anymore because I've moved out of my location. I'm going to have to get a new one when I get a new office anyway that notes my new location. And so I was like, I don't need the hardcopy, but I want to keep an e-copy. So I scanned it and I named it DBA Haines Massage 2018, which was when I first got the DBA. That's it. And it'll be really, really easy to find once I get it -- if I ever need to look it up on my Google Drive. Or I just got my new insurance policy through ABMP, so I don't keep that physical copy because I don't need it and also because you can download your insurance policy anytime from the ABMP website. But I scan it and I name it ABMP Insurance June 2020, which was when that policy starts up again.

So with receipts, I do it a little differently. I name it with the store, the date of the purchase, and then the amount of the purchase. And I found that a lot of times when I'm doing bookkeeping, I'll catch up at the end of a week or a month, and I'll be like, oh, I went to Target. What did I get there, because I always want -- I'm good at separating my business and personal expenses, but I want to double-check the receipt to make sure that if I bought a candy bar along with my file folders, I'm categorizing everything correctly so that I'm not trying to claim a tax deduction on my candy bar. So I name my store receipts Target 6/2020 -- so like June 2020 -- with the amount, $25.97. And it makes it so easy to find a receipt if I have to look for it later.

I actually have found that searching my email for amounts -- like if I need to find some extra receipt for an online purchase, I search my email for the actual amount of the transaction, and it's so easy. So I started doing that on my virtual receipts and stuff as well. So it feels like a little bit of work on the front end, and it is, but it also makes me more aware of my purchases and my documents, and it keeps them filed in a way that's just super easy. So figure out a pattern that works for you, and do your best to follow it for every document and receipt. Yeah. So I just want to get back to the other part of my notes here. Flip that --

MR Your notes must be massive.

AH I'm sorry?

MR Your notes must be massive.

AH Well, dude, I'm writing like 2,000 words for this resource for our platform. I have been busy this week, Michael.

All right. So the next thing that I wanted to note is that it really, really helps -- if you're using Google Drive, it super-duper helps to create useful file names. And Michael taught me this. We have -- for Massage Business Blueprint, we operate all our stuff through Google Drive, and he has some file names that really made sense for me because there's like Business Operating Documents. So that's where my DBA is stored. That's where my certificate that says I'm allowed to charge sales tax is stored. All kinds of stuff like that goes into the Business Operating Documents file. I've got a Client Chart file, which all my client charts are in, which I do virtually using Google Forms, which is, again, is why I use Google Drive for storing all my documents because I'm using it anyway for virtual forms.

And then, I have a file called Financials, and you open that up, and it breaks down every year. So I have a file folder in there for 2014, '15, whatever, right up through 2020, and within each year, I've got all the receipts and invoices for transactions for that year that needed to be recorded for business purposes. I have any W-2s and W-9s and anything like that. And I have usually a copy of that year's tax return in that file as well. And it's so easy. When I applied for the EIDL and the PPP, it was so easy to find my tax return and my Schedule C and all of these things because it was really cleanly filed. And I got to say this. It's only like the first or second year that I have really been good about all of this virtual, paperless filing. And I'm so fortunate the timing was good for me.

So yeah. That's what I wanted to make note of. And I also kind of wanted to note -- we're moving in this -- who know what this mid-COVID or post-COVID world is going to be like, but it does seem within all of the safety and hygiene protocols, there is a huge move towards everything paperless and nobody having to touch anything superfluous in your office. So having a clipboard and a pen and a paper intake form, that probably needs to go away, or it's going to mean a lot of extra cleaning and careful filing and such for you.

And ditto that for payments. Even dealing with -- if there's clients who need receipts, you want to email them in a PDF form. You don't want to have to be dealing with paper. And ditto that for getting really hip with all kinds of virtual options for payment methods, including having a Pay Now button in the email confirmation for the appointment so that you can reduce the amount of cash and checks and people touching your phone to sign the screen and all of those things, having people prepay before they step in the door for that appointment or tap the button right after the appointment on their own device to pay.

We really have to start rethinking every physical object in our office, and pulling client charts is one of those things. We will do a follow-up episode in the next couple of weeks about moving all of your client charting to paperless, but if you have not taken the step of reducing the paper that gets handled in your massage business, start here. Start by cleaning out your file cabinet and scanning and uploading all of those papers. And then, client charts could be step two when you're a little more proficient in the whole process.

So that's my step one, Michael, and that's all I have for today.

MR Nice. Yeah, to clarify, I do name other documents very specifically.

AH Yeah, you do.

MR It's just receipts I'm lazy on. But yeah, I would go crazy if I didn't have folders for business documents and banking docs and tax returns. All of that is named really carefully. Yeah. Good stuff.

AH Yeah, I know. And it cracks me up that you don't do that. It's kind of like when someone's got a really neat kitchen, but then you open their silverware drawer, and all the silverware is all mixed up together.

MR Oh, that's me.

AH Really?

MR If you can close the door on it or a closet of something and it's messy behind the door, I'm okay with that because it's -- and here's the thing about receipts. I'm sure the time will come -- it's good to have this ready for the time that does come -- but I have never had to go find a receipt to prove something. So it's just so infrequently used that I figure if I do really need the receipts, I know exactly where to pinpoint the date range. The folder is by year. I can search in there. It'll probably take me a little while. I can probably find it though. So the ratio of frequency of use to effort to name things is just -- I tilt it in favor of just being lazy for receipts, but that's just me. Your way is better.

AH And I think this is like -- you know, the things you do in your business too. You don't do your own bookkeeping, whereas I do my own bookkeeping and then, just provide reports for my tax preparer.

MR That is true.

AH So because I do my own bookkeeping, I'm a little more anal retentive about being very quickly able to find the receipt that I need to go with any given transaction. And I got to say, I've tried a lot of different bookkeeping systems, and I have yet to find one that really cleanly will attach an image of a receipt to a transaction. Even Wave, it was like very convoluted. When I used QuickBooks, it was just a total pain in the neck, and I have yet to find an accounting system that I love that also keeps track of the physical receipts of the -- like the e-version of a receipt -- so that's why Google Drive works for me. So we're all just hacking these tools to our preference.

MR Well, I like having the receipts stored separate from the accounting software anyway because if you change your accounting software, then there's no issue of losing that data.

AH Word.

MR So. Hey, there we go. All right. That was awesome. I love talking about going digital, so I can't wait for the next round of this. But for now, let's give the shout out and some love to our other sponsor, Jojoba!

Sponsor message Hey, people. As you know, I recommend HobaCare jojoba for use in your massage practice, which I hope will start up again safely soon. And it never goes rancid, so if you've had that jojoba on the shelf in your office for the past 12 to 14 weeks, it's still good -- yay! -- even if it got hot and cold. But with all the handwashing that we have been doing and all of the handwashing to come in the future, it's good to remind yourself that you can throw a few drops of jojoba on your hands after a proper handwashing, and it will keep your skin from being all broken and dry and horrible. You, my friends, can get 10% off the price of the product on orders of $35 or more when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba, and that's J-O-J-O-B-A.

MR All righty. Quick tip time. You got anything?

AH No.

MR All right. Well, then, I will take it from here and say that my quick tip today is go join our new community. We have rebooted our premium membership. We're just calling it our Community now, and it is completely redone from the ground up. It is on a new platform. It is not on Facebook, so those who were getting tired of the drama and the crap on Facebook, you'll be happy to know that we are done with Facebook as the group. The group is still there for now. We're going to kind of slowly sunset it and keep it archived for searching old stuff, but the new community discussions are on our new platform that is its own system. It also stores all of the resources and documents and articles and stock photos and marketing materials and office hours, events. Everything is one place, which is awesome.

And we've also rebooted the pricing because #COVID19. So right now, if you join -- first of all, we've shut off the old system, so if you were on the old system, hopefully you know this, but your membership for the old system has been canceled. We've taken care of that for you. No more money will come out until you sign up for the new system. So we brought over -- we invited our existing members over, and now it's open to the public, so anybody out there can join, even if you've never been a member before.

And it is 30 days free. So we're giving you 30 days just to kind of hang out, try it out, get to know people, see what it looks like, take a month free especially as we're getting through this downtime and no one's working. And then, after that, it is $4.99 per month for the foreseeable future until the profession, as a whole, we feel is back on its feet enough that we can raise it a little to more normal pricing. Now, it won't be crazy dramatic increase, but it'll be back to more normal rates. But for now, the membership is $4.99 per month while we're kind of all getting through this rough patch together.

And we'd like you to go check it out. So if you want to join, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/join, or just go to our main website and look for the Community. It's all there. You can click and join and sign up online. And more than half of our existing premium members are moved over or were joining every day. People are kind of trickling over. And we are awesome. We're having a great discussion about all sorts of things in there and helping people with all the challenges that go with these crazy times.

So what would you add, Allissa? Did I cover everything?

AH Yeah, you did. I also want to add this new network that we're using, this new platform, is called Mighty Networks, and it's really good looking. It's slick. It's easy to read. I think it's easier to find our premium resources now because they're right within that platform. And it's got a great app, and I'm just really -- I like it.

MR Yeah.

AH I did think of a quick tip when you're ready for me to go.

MR Go for it.

AH So actually, I was -- this might even explain why I'm a little bit flaky for today's podcast, is that I have a very particular project of finishing this resource about going paperless for our new platform for the Business Practices section. And it came up like maybe the end of last week, I think, is when the member asked some questions about it, and I was like, yeah, this is the next topic that I definitely need to, like, go through all of our old resources and watch some of our old webcasts on it, and then create a whole new updated resource, like a big mega-post, about it.

And I made that my one task for like the next seven to ten days. This was last week, so I've still got some time left here. I have focused almost exclusively on that one task, and it felt a little overwhelming the other day. I was like, oh, my gosh, I have all this work in front of me, and that's all I'm going to do this week, and my head is spinning with notes about scanning apps, and I read 50 reviews about all these different scanning apps because I want to give better advice than just the one that I use because not everybody has a device that's exactly like mine.

So I got a little overwhelmed with all that. And then I realized that by deep-diving and focusing on this one project this week -- and I gave it a hard deadline. I want to be done with this by Saturday afternoon. And I've really legit been able to focus on it so well knowing that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, which is Saturday afternoon, I feel good about being done with this. It helps me focus. And that's kind of why I haven't read anything because as soon as I finished Year of Yes, I didn't start anything else because I need to deep-dive on this. I do better work when I focus and deep-dive, which makes me a little bit flaky about everything else like recording podcast episodes. But I'm excited about this resource that I'm creating, and it's going to be really great, and it's going to be out by Saturday afternoon, darn it.

So that's my quick tip. If you're -- feel like you're flailing, pick one thing. Focus on it. Give it a deadline. And let that be comforting instead of overwhelming. There you go. I'm done.

MR Nice. I like it. All right. Well, thanks for that. I think we're all set. So let's wrap it up there. Thanks for joining --

AH You can think about that for a while. [Laughing] Sorry.

MR Well, yeah. [Laughing] I’m just thinking about what you said, just listening. I was kind of lost in the moment, so. [Laughing] But I'll go ahead and wrap us up. Let's finish this out. So thanks for joining us, everybody. We're glad you're with us today. As usual, our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. It's a new and shiny website, so go check it out if you haven't been there for a while. And you can send us a note through there, or you can join our community, or just reach out any way that we can help you. So with that, have a great day, and we'll see you next time.

AH Bye.