[Some Business Updates For February 2019]
SALES TAX NEXUS
Lots of changes for small businesses occurred in 2018. One of the most notable, sales tax nexuses. While it mainly will affect larger distributors or businesses selling large ticket items, there's ridiculousness of transaction volume limits of 200 transactions or in some cases 100 transactions per state. That means it's entirely possible for a very small business doing a volume of small dollar transactions to hit these thresholds... and at that point, you back-owe sales taxes to the state that will come out of YOUR pocket since it wasn't planned. Not something I care to play around with and one of the main reasons I've decided to take it easy with selling in volume with some items.
The sales tax nexus laws are set by individual states, and it's a convoluted mess right now. It's also just a matter of time before requests are made to Paypal, etc by individual states, once they have made adjustments to their own processes and can start collecting more $$ for state revenue. My plan is to discuss with a CPA this year when I do my taxes & figure out how this affects me. That will help me set direction for 2019. While this change is good in some ways long-term, it's going to take a while for this to get sorted out enough it's easy for smaller businesses.
Postal rates have recently gone up. Affects First Class Mail a good amount, but some other mail as well. I'm going to eat the difference right now for the most part, but may need to make some adjustments to some of the weight rates I've got setup as time goes on.
Had some recent FEDEX orders nailed with about $400 in customs duties. Suppose I shouldn't complain too much, as for the most part small orders don't get hit with anything & it's cost of doing business. This is a wait-and-see for me in terms of deciding if any price changes need to be made. Until I get hit with something that causes a significant rise in material cost, I'll try to keep prices where they're at now. Trying to order some things in-advance knowing it could get worse before it gets better.
1ST QUARTER 2019
Going to be busy 1st quarter between whatever orders come in and tax paperwork, along with trying to get ahead of inventory a bit. So I don't anticipate having a ton of time to knock out new designs unfortunately. As long as I'm comfortable with things around April/May time-frame regarding sales tax nexuses & other tax stuff, I'll then proceed with knocking out some designs I had going last year and working on some new projects. It's really a shame that the paperwork end of things hampers my design time so heavily, so I'd like to get setup better on that end so it doesn't continue to be a problem.
PINITECH - BOUTIQUE PARTS MANUFACTURER
I'm now calling PINITECH a "boutique pinball parts manufacturer". The products I'll be offering will be high quality, unique and creative solutions that look and/or function different than what else is out there. Projects will be chosen, as they often have, based on my own creative interests in wanting to improve a design or see something exist that can solve a problem in a unique way. In other words, I have no plans to be doing the reproductions of original boards like MPUs, driver boards, power supplies, etc. There's enough of that out there & it's not a business model that interests me.
Instead, I'll be keeping it "boutique" and provide great service and high quality products that are different than what else is available. The products that go out of stock, if there's plenty of demand, won't be out of stock for long. The stuff that doesn't sell that often may have delays of months or longer. So if you're interested in anything niche (ie. diagnostic tools definitely fall into this category), I'd suggest buy it when you see it's available to order because there may be significant delays in when it's available again.
http://www.pinitech.com - "Pinball Inspired Technology"
NVRAM, Bally/Stern LED Displays & Mods for pinball machines