TB We haven’t changed and that is OK

During my annual computer ‘refresh’, I ran across some old content.  I smiled when I saw the below – happy to still put customers first. — LaMae
(ok – so our writing style has changed a bit – that’s ok too)

As a leading Los Angeles based web design company with global web development offices, we are committed to maintaining a one on one relationship with you and providing a team you can count on right here at home. We are dedicated to creating an environment of trust that will keep your project moving, on time and on budget.

We understand that along with being one of LA’s top web design companies, comes our responsibility to assure that our design is inextricably balanced with functionality. Whether we are designing an eCommerce site or the latest app, we will make sure our creative team delivers your message with style and ease of use.

Whether we are designing and launching a new website or app, our Los Angeles team of web developers, marketing hot shots, and analytic gurus will arm you with an integrated marketing strategy that will achieve your goals.

Whether we are designing an app to interpret whole-genome sequence data and identify disease-related mutations, programming an image recognition platform, or connect a plethora of social media platforms in a single application, our team of technology mavericks is working 24-7 to bring innovation and functionality to everything we do.

While the “rules” keep on changing, you don’t need to worry about that, we will stay on top of them for you, making sure your website is found by people who are relevant to your business and likely to use your services.

If there is not a software out there that can meet the needs of our client, we create it. We have programmed and customized software specifically for the unique requirements of many of our customers.

            Long before World Wide Web, software development has been an integral part of our business. We created software for devices ranging from etching equipment, to movie data management. Please take a look at one our best wares – ARTdynamix for a glimpse of what is possible. 

Mother of Invention

If there has ever been a necessity, it was 2020.

We all have lots of stories, ours includes knee surgeries, burglary and our need to quickly help our clients with some technologies they never thought they would need, but had become their new paradigm.

Technology brought us many great things in 2020. And it was more than medical-related items – although medical technologists made so many things possible.

Looking closer to our own work, zoom expanded capacity and improved its security quickly.   Desktop and web streaming technologies, and services bloomed and became a life saver.  Over ten months ago, we did an article LinkedIn about an interesting read on a new technology that was saving live symphonic music. The article referred to Dan Tepfer and Michael Dessen who had worked with a decade-old open-source software – JackTrip – which due to necessity was coming to its own.

To quote NPR, “[…] when it comes to playing music online with any kind of rhythmic integrity, latency quickly becomes a total dealbreaker […] The solution: an open-source software called JackTrip, developed by Stanford University researchers Chris Chafe and Juan-Pablo Cáceres over a decade ago, that can transfer high quality audio data across the Internet at low enough latencies, within a geographic radius, to mimic someone playing music roughly 30 feet away […]”

Full circle I just read a series of new articles about the  JackTrip Foundation which was helping singers and musicians collaborate online.  The little engine that could has proven mighty and is going strong.

This was only one of the many stories of technological accomplishments in face of the dreaded 2020.  During the same period, we worked with Clients and friends to bring quality live performance to the public: from simplicity of using DaCast, to the more complex Kaltura, to Isadora or OBS with zoom, and for many others using OBS with Youtube or Vimeo and even a couple of other very esoteric combinations that proved themselves.

And while we helping clients with their web streaming, we had to jump on the bandwagon and build up and expand on the technology behind our systems.  Stay tuned for the next release of ARTdynamix™ which will knock your socks off.

-LaMae

Breaking up or Together Forever?

I (LaMae) have probably advised you on vendors, set-ups or other miscellaneous curiosities.  I’m always happy to chat and advocate for you.

One of the things we talk about most often is how to determine vendors and whether to use a vendor with packaged services or purchase the services individually.  My answer still remains -keep them separate.  But when you consider how to make that decision, think about control, integration, and cost.  I’ll offer some examples that may help.

Credit Card Processing:  As you know, you will need a Merchant Account, a Gateway, Bank Account, and a form/cart/shopping tool.  You have the option to use an integrated service such as Stripe and quickly add your bank account and that can work great.  Or you can put things together on your own, work a bit more upfront and pay less over time.  I have selected our gateway provider and merchant processor separately and then linked them together.  Why?  So if one doesn’t work out, I can quickly find a replacement to connect in and I have not lost a minute.  If I purchase everything together, I feel a bit at the other’s mercy.  If an all-in processor turns out not to work as expected,  you have to start all over.

Domains:   Always own and keep access to your own domain — end of the story.  (I’ve spent hours and hours helping folks untangle domain ownership)

So with these examples in mind, here are my general guidelines

  • Make sure control is key — you should own what is yours and have an understanding of what an exit path may be.
  • How much work is it to change…both from figuring it out and the actual changes needed.
  • Read reviews
  • Ask an expert

And for the cost decision — that will probably become clear when you review the above items.  Technology is becoming more flexible, interchangeable, and cost-effective.

Compare apples to apples and do your homework.

Flushing Town Hall Launches

Congratulations Shawn and the Flushing Town Hall team!  What a pleasure to work with you on your site launch – thank you for putting your trust in the Dream Warrior Group.  Like many of our customers, Flushing Town Hall has proactively dived into virtual presentations and the results have been great.  So their new ARTdynamix™ version manages ‘Virtual’ Locations  and is ready to jump back to in-person or a mix going forward.

Their site contains many of ARTdynamix™ latest features (multi-lingual, accessibility) as well as customer favorites such as widgets, rentals, calendars, press releases, live streaming and deep links.  Ticketing is connected via API to AudienceView  which saves time and minimizes clicks.  You will also see the accessibility menu that must be a best practice for all organizations to serve your patrons as well as avoid potential litigation.

Here is Flushing Town Hall’s amazing mission but I recommend you check out their site to read more:

The mission of Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts (FCCA) is to present multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens, New York and New York City, New York, in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve as stewards of Flushing Town Hall, restoring, managing and programming the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FCCA celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world, and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657

I Just Started a Company. What Should I Do Now?

At DWG, we support a lot of start-up businesses with their digital marketing and online presence.  Owner’s often have a lot of financial questions so when I saw this article from our bookkeeping service, I thought it could be of help.  Thanks for letting us repost, Maya.  You may want to see SolvencyNow.com

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I get asked this question all the time, and the answer is – it depends. Let’s say you just started a company and you are not making any money, yet. First things first – do not stress. The IRS cannot take money you have not earned. So, there is nothing to worry about, and you don’t yet have to go  “What tax structures should I have? Should I incorporate?”

You do not have to go into any of that until you start earning money. Once you’re making over $100,000 in revenue and over $50,000 or $60,000 in profit, you need to consider tax structures. Just start making money. If you have something to sell, a product or service, start selling it and bringing in money.

Yes, you should track it. You should get bookkeeping software or an Excel spreadsheet to track the money in and out. You should have a bank account. A personal account will do, but use it only for business in and out. Keep it simple.

You don’t have to go get a DBA. DBA stands for “Doing Business As” and it is a legal term used if a person or company does business under another name than their own. In order to get one, you would fill out a form and send it to the Secretary of State or similar government position in your state. A DBA can be used for opening a bank account. When you need it, a DBA is easy to get; you could sign up through Legal Zoom or similar websites. Or you can ask your Bookkeeper or CPA to file for you. Otherwise, just ask your customers or your clients to write checks made out to you, (even better, have them send money online straight to your bank account.)

You don’t have to do anything more until you are making more money. But, do keep track of money coming in and what you’re spending.

My motto is: “Keep it simple”. Keep it as simple as possible until you’re making over $100,000 in revenue, at which time you will want to look at incorporating as an S Corp. That is usually the best way to go.

At the point where you are hitting the $100,000 revenue range, a good CPA will be your best friend and help you plan your tax structure in the best way to achieve your goals.

After you incorporate, you will want to get a business bank account and to set up payroll, but that comes later.

To recap, if you just started, the first thing is don’t stress the legal structures, tax structures, and IRS. Don’t worry about any of that. Build your business; do what you need to do and make some money.

Sincerely,
Maya Weinreb | Founder & CEO
813-336-1574