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Big Ideas for Small Business® has been dedicated to helping small businesses succeed for over 20 years. The brainchild of Barbara Weltman, a respected corporate speaker, contributing editor, author of more than a dozen books from major publishers, sought-after expert media source, newsletter publisher and more than ever, a trusted advocate for small business owners. Big Ideas for Small Business® is a haven for entrepreneurs looking to succeed.

Idea of the Day®

June 23, 2017

Prepare for Sales Tax Holiday

Your state may offer consumers a sales tax holiday on back-to-school purchases. Watch for the starting date, the duration, and the items to which the holiday applies. For example, holidays start in Alabama on July 21, in Tennessee on July 28, in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia the first or second week in August, and in Connecticut on August 20. Other states, including Iowa, Maryland, and Mississippi, may have sales tax holidays. Find more details here.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Pets and Your Business Policies

    Americans love their pets.  It’s been reported that there are about 89.7 million pet dogs and 94.2 million pet cats in the U.S., and that more than 6 in 10 (63.2%) consider their pets to be family members. June 23 is Take Your Dog to Work Day.   Should you allow pets on your premises? How should you craft your business policies on pets brought into your company by customers and employees? Customers and employees Many small businesses are already pet-friendly. According to a Manta survey released on May 22, 2017: 36% of small businesses allow customers to bring pets onto the […]

  • According to NFIB’s May 2017 survey, “hiring plans and job openings accelerate but more small firms say it’s hard to find qualified help.” In the old days, if you needed to hire a new employee, you put a help-wanted ad in your local newspaper and were bombarded with calls and resumes. Today, this is the last thing you’d do. Here are 5 ways to find a new employee in a tightening job market. 1. Use online sites There are a number of sites to use for posting job openings, such as, Monster, and ZipRecruiter. It’s up to you to […]

  • Gearing Up to Open Your Doors

    Whether you’re about to start a new business, relocate to new premises, or expand to additional locations, you need to be prepared to let the public know you’re ready for them. This requires some investment to have the materials on hand that will tell customers about your business and where they can find you. Here’s what you need, and how to get it in the easiest possible way. What you need to get started Whether you’re in retail, hospitality, technology, or a service business, the process for starting in a new location is roughly the same. To paraphrase from Field […]

  • To the extent that an employer can enable employees to pay for some personal needs on a pre-tax basis, both the employer and the staff win. The employer will save on employment taxes and may be able to curtail raises. The staff receives benefits they want with lower out-of-pocket costs to them. Here is an explanation of how this works and some examples that employers may want to consider: Pre-tax arrangements Let’s say an employee needs to pay commuting costs on public transit to get to and from work. This cost isn’t deductible by the employee. If a monthly transit […]

  • The market has been amazing for more than 8 years (since March 2009): the Dow gained more than 14,000 points and the S&P tripled.  That upward move is great for investors, but what does it tell small business owners on Main Street? Here’s my take… Improving economy It’s an old belief that the stock market is a predictor or leading indicator of the economy in the near future (say six months hence). Whether this holds true today can be debated. What seems certain, however, is that the economy continues to improve (although somewhat anemically), and the stock market has essentially […]

  • Apparently, the statement that timing is everything can be traced to the Greek poet Hesiod who said “Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor.” Great timing is essential for every business. Here are some areas you need to pay attention to when it comes to timing. Deadlines It’s important to observe performance deadlines for your business. When do you have to deliver goods? When to you have to complete a project? The failure to meet your deadlines can lose the customer for whom you were late. Or it can constitute malpractice (e.g., a […]

  • A number of large corporations, including IBM, Honeywell, and Yahoo, have reversed or restricted their policy that had allowed employees to work remotely. The reason: It’s believed that when workers are in the same physical location, it improves collaboration. Still many large corporations continue to permit telecommuting (Forbes posted a list of the 100 such companies). If you currently allow employees to work remotely, should you continue your policy or make changes? Benefits of telecommuting There are a number of compelling reasons to allow employees to work from their homes: Cost savings to the company. If workers are remote, no […]

  • There were 4.8 million S corporation returns filed during the government’s 2016 fiscal year. There are no recent statistics on the number of shareholders in these S corporations; I’m guessing about 5 to 10 million (many only have 1 to 3 shareholders). Owners of S corporations can deduct corporate losses that are passed through to them, but only to the extent of their basis in stock (funds they contributed to the corporation) and debt (loans they’ve made to the corporation). If losses passed through to owners are greater than their basis, no current deduction any amount in excess of basis can […]

  • That’s the title of a book by Joe Carlen (A Brief History of Entrepreneurship), on the pioneers, profiteers, and racketeers who shaped our world. Published by Columbia Business School Publishing, you might expect it to be a dry read, but I found it to be a page turner. Okay, I was a history major and I love this stuff. But I believe that continually expanding our understanding of the roots of entrepreneurship and what’s changed are key to being a good business owner. Here are 5 things I learned from the book: 1. The meaning of entrepreneurship The term “entrepreneurship” is […]

  • Government regulations are under fire, and for good reason. There were 3,853 regulations in the Federal Register in 2016, of which 629 were specifically impactful on small businesses, said Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A great number were issued after the Presidential election in November. As small business owners, we surely should ask whether all of these regulations are necessary despite the good intentions that drove them. And are all of them helpful to the U.S. economy, and at what cost to small businesses? Following the inauguration, the White House addressed some of the regulatory problems: On January […]


Resources For Your Business

Tracking Personal Time Off by OPEN Forum

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum


June 23, 2017


Events in June 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."


  • " Best information for a small business owner!
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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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    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

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

    -An eBay Radio listener - purplejaime1976

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