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Big Ideas for Small Business® is dedicated to providing small businesses with the tools they need to gain a solid foundation and future financial success. With counsel for almost every facet of entrepreneurial finance, Barbara Weltman is your source for the right ideas for growing your business.

  • 40 years of legal and small business experience
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Idea of the Day®

December 12, 2017

SBA Webinar Today on Cyber Security

Today at 2 pm ET/11 am PT, the SBA and the National Cyber Security Alliance are giving a free one-hour webinar on how to keep your business safe and secure online. Get tips on how to protect key assets and data. Register here.

New blog post today!  Human Resources: Get Ready for Law Changes Beginning in 2018

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • There are many new state and local laws that take effect on January 1, 2018, that will impact your hiring practices, wage payments, and benefits packages. Take the time now to look into which laws will change in the New Year in your area and determine what company policies will need to be altered accordingly. Here are some areas to explore: Minimum wage rate The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour. Many cities and states have higher rates, which apply in place of the federal amount. Starting on January 1, 2018, the hourly minimum wage increases — by […]

  • It’s been said that lawsuits are the cost of doing business. Individuals and businesses may be caught in bad behavior, but often these bad actors can ease their own consequences by deducting various costs … settlements, awards, legal fees. Consider that the settlement costs of $1.1 billion for the Exxon Valdez Alaska oil spill in 1989 really cost the company only between $463 million and $562 million … after tax because of deducting the costs. There’s already a bar to deducting fines and penalties paid to the government. But amounts paid to individuals or other private parties? They’re deductible. And, in […]

  • Some businesses are in the midst of the holiday-selling season and are extremely busy, others may be experiencing a slow time because of the nature of what they do. Either way, as the year winds down, there are some key year-end actions to address now. Once the New Year rings in, it’s going to be too late.  Here are some year-end actions to address now: Schedule Your Annual Meeting If your business is incorporated, state law likely requires you to hold an annual meeting. This is so even if you’re the only owner. Usually most small businesses report their income and […]

  • 5 Lessons from Big Retailers

    Just because you’re a small retailer doesn’t mean you have to act small. Large retailers have adopted certain practices that small retailers should consider.    Here are 5 of them: 1. Payment processing. Back in 2015, a new rule shifted the burden for credit card fraud to retailers that did not switch to EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) technology. EMV has customers “dip” rather than “swipe.” Most large retailers have installed the machines to accommodate EMV technology, but many small businesses still have not done so. A Manta survey in October, two years after the shift to EMV, found that […]

  • With the media onslaught of reports about sexual attacks by and against famous people ranging from serious charges of rape, drugging, and underage sex, to less serious but nonetheless troubling charges of groping and inappropriate behavior, it’s time for small businesses to review their sexual harassment policies. Sexual harassment can create an uncomfortable work environment and may violate federal and state law, leading to legal action against your business. According to a survey last year, 67% of small businesses lacked an anti-sexual harassment policy. If you don’t have a policy, it’s time to get one; if you do, maybe you […]

  • Gratitude on this Thanksgiving

    Every year on Thanksgiving I like to focus my blog on gratitude because I have so much to be grateful for. Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”   Research shows that practicing gratitude can be beneficial to your health and satisfaction. Last year my blog shared quotations about gratitude. This year I’d like to run through some of the business-related developments this past year that I’m grateful for. Small business optimism is up A year ago, the NFIB’s Small Business Monthly Index was at 94.9%. The recent NFIB’s Small Business […]

  • Office politics means exercising power and networking within a company to gain an advantage, such as a promotion. The term has a bad connotation, implying backstabbing and other negative actions that hurt co-workers. But as bad as office politics may be, or is perceived to be, politics in the office is even worse. Risks of politics in the office Expressing political views at work can be detrimental to the person who’s expressing these views as well as to the atmosphere in the office. The Harvard Business Review says “politics often doesn’t make for good workplace conversation.” This is especially so in […]

  • In the depths of the recession not too long ago, expenditures on a holiday party were nixed. Today, the holiday party is back. Last year, about 80% of businesses had holiday parties, and I’d guess it won’t be less this year. Why it’s a good idea Small business owners may be wondering whether to hold any type of festivities. There are some solid business reasons favoring a holiday party: Employee recognition. The party is a time for an owner to show appreciation to the staff. It can be used to recognize the entire staff or call out specific employees for their […]

  • Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) allow small employers that don’t offer health coverage to reimburse employees for their individually-obtained health coverage or their medical expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. QSEHRAs were created by the 21th Century Cures Act at the end of 2016 and became effective at the start of 2017. Now the IRS has issued extensive guidance explaining the rules for QSEHRAs. Here’s an overview of the rules for QSEHRAs to help you decide whether you qualify and if it’s a better option than obtaining a company health plan. Overview of QSEHRAs QSEHRAs are not a group health […]

  • Wellness programs can enable employees to lose weight, stop smoking, learn about health risks, and more. So it’s a great idea for employers to encourage their staff to improve their health? And why not offer incentives for this purpose? And maybe even save employment taxes? All of this all sounds good, but be cautious before you take any action. Here are some things that wellness programs can do, as well as the problems that wellness programs present, and what you must do if you want to move forward with them. Value of wellness programs While wellness programs are more common […]

Multimedia

Resources For Your Business

Book Interview - J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2018

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

December 12, 2017

UPCOMING TWEETCHATS

  • 12:00 pm
    #CMWorld

    Each Tuesday from 12-1pm ET
    Sponsored by: Content Marketing Institute

  • 9:00 pm
    #GetRealChat

    Each Tuesday from 9-10pmET
    Sponsored by: Pam Moore - @PamMktgNut

Events in December 2017

barbara’s books

  • The ultimate money-saving tax guide for the small business owner.   J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes is designed to help business owners make sense of their taxes and file correctly, on time, without over- or under-paying.  Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this reliable resource offers a complete overview of small business tax planning and provides you with the information needed to make tax-smart decisions throughout the year. Focusing on strategies that help you use deductions and tax credits effectively, shield business income, and maximize other aspects of small business taxes, this practical guide will show you how your actions in business today can affect your bottom line from a tax perspective tomorrow.
  • The complete guide to all deductions and credits for individual taxpayers.   J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks shows you just how much money you can save on your taxes—legally—simply by taking advantage of what's out there. Millions of Americans overpay their taxes by billions of dollars every year, because constantly evolving laws and regulations make keeping track of deductions and breaks next to impossible for the everyday taxpayer. This book helps you put a stop to overpayment so you can keep more of your hard-earned money. Fully updated to reflect the latest rulings and laws — including an e-supplement with the latest tax developments from the IRS and Congress — this book answers all of your "Can I claim…" questions with guidance from the nation's most trusted tax advisors.
  • Tax facts and strategies every self-employed person needs to know As a self-employed person you have to handle many, if not all, of the aspects of running your business. J.K. Lasser's Guide to Self-Employment is intended to help you with some business aspects with which you may not be familiar—but which have a great impact on your bottom line. It skillfully focuses on taxes as well as many legal and financial matters that may pertain to your business.3
  • Smooth Failing - Living Edition

    This is the Living Edition of Smooth Failing. New stories from business leaders on their business failures and the lessons learned will be added regularly at no additional cost. Alerts will be sent out automatically when each new version is available. Specific requests and challenges can be submitted by the reader for future consideration and these will dictate how often and how many additional stories will be made available.
  • Small Business Survival Book

    12 surefire ways for your business to survive and thrive! Owning a small business can be a fulfilling and financially rewarding experience, but to be successful, you must know what to do while the business is up and running, and, most importantly, what to do when the business runs into trouble. This book is definitely part of what you need to succeed!
  • As Vicki Raeburn of Dun & Bradstreet notes in the forward, "...the successful creation of credit by small business has a significant effect on one of the most important business drivers, namely cash flow. ...     [This book has] the information needed to understand and build business credit."

testimonials

  • " Best information for a small business owner!
    For a small business owner, the information [in your book] is absolutely one of the best I’ve come across! Thanks so much for the break-down of information. ”

    -Michelle Joe

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    I just wanted to reach out and give you a very big, truly heartfelt "thank you" for all the work that you do to help small business owners grow and succeed. More specifically, I wanted to offer you some praise for your blog posts and Idea of the Day®. My email inbox gets so very cluttered. And honestly, on most days I will do a wholesale delete of many, many messages. But I literally stop and specifically look for your name and your small business Idea of the Day®. I don't want to miss it! In fact, I look forward to reading it daily (even on weekends!) because I know I'm going to learn something new that saves me money, time or just adds to my professional knowledge in a way that helps me help others too. So thank you, thank you, thank you for your efforts! ”

    -Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach

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    Thank you for finding this important information. Getting your daily email is like getting an MBA in small business. ”

    -J. S. Budnik

  • " Thank You, Barbara!
    "Thank you, Barbara Weltman, for all of your articles and tax advice to small business owners! All the best." ”

    -Shane Madigan

  • " Thanks for providing such useful information!
    I follow your blog religiously for the great tips you provide. I love the new look. It makes me smile to see that your blog got an update.  Thanks for providing such useful information. ”

    -Lee Drozak

  • " Barbara Weltman is an Advocate for Small Business
    She has been an advocate, public speaker, and resource for small business news since the release of her first book, J.K. Lasser’s Tax Deductions for Small Business, in 1995. Since then she has run her website, her Big Ideas for Small Business® newsletter, and her blog, not to mention written over a dozen books. Ms. Weltman is on this list twice because for many business owners, it is easier to scroll through her Twitter feed for trending topics and news events than search her website. However, if you don’t take a minute to read her newsletters or blog — you’re missing out. ”

    -Meredith Wood, Fundera Ledger

  • " Great segment!!!
    Barbara Weltman is one smart cookie - I follow her on Twitter, and her content is always interesting and informative. ”

    -An eBay Radio listener - purplejaime1976

  • " Absolutely love your Idea of the Day®
    it’s BRIEF, concise and timely. Funny, I do a quick scan of my bloated mail box, quickly deleting what I feel is a time waster. But I NEVER delete Idea of the Day® until I've first opened it. Both you and Napoleon Hill's Thought for the day ALWAYS get read. You’re in terrific company. Thanks. ”

    -Don Aronowitz

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