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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.

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Idea of the Day®

February 23, 2018

Building or Rebuilding for Disaster Mitigation

FEMA has a resource for reducing the risk to natural hazards. The ideas presented are for mitigation actions for natural hazards: drought, earthquake, erosion, extreme temperatures, flood, hail, landslide, lightning, sea level rise, severe wind, severe winter weather, storm surge, subsidence, tornado, tsunami, and wildfire. An example of a flood-smart idea: Elevate and secure water heaters, furnaces, and appliances on pressure-treated wood or masonry so that they sit at least 12” above the floor level.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Celebrations in the Workplace

    Birthdays, promotions, retirements … there’s always an occasion to celebrate. There are some compelling reasons for companies to encourage these celebrations in the workplace, but there are some issues to keep in mind. Why celebrate? There are a number of reasons for celebrations that are favorable to the company. These include morale, team-building, and recognition of certain employees. By encouraging celebrations, employers are showing that they value employees as individuals. Some might ask whether these celebrations are time wasters. I think they break up the day and employees often feel recharged afterwards to become more productive. Do you agree? Concerns […]

  • What Should You Pay Yourself?

    As a small business owner, you run a business to create something, but you also need to support yourself. So deciding what to pay yourself is a difficult question; it’s mired in personal, tax, and financial considerations. Let me lay out these considerations for you. Personal considerations For many small business owners there’s a delicate balancing act when it comes to compensation. You need to take enough to cover your personal living expenses, but you want to leave as much as possible in the business for reinvestment (e.g., hiring more staff, buying more equipment, and doing more marketing) to help […]

  • Since the publication of the book, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (referred to here as the TCJA) as well as other legislation have occurred, impacting 2017 returns. In addition, there have been court cases and IRS pronouncements that also affect 2017 returns as well as planning for taxes in 2018. Here are the key developments, some of which can apply to your 2017 return while others impact your 2018 withholding and estimated taxes. The changes presented in this Supplement are tied to the chapters in the book. It should be noted that a more complete explanation of […]

  • According to Upwork’s Freelancing in America: 2017, 57.3 million Americans (36% of the U.S. workforce) are freelancing. Freelancers contribute an estimated $1.4 trillion to the economy each year, and the numbers are growing. It’s predicted that the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027.  Freelancers experience challenges that employees do not. But there are solutions to these challenges. As someone who’s essentially been a freelancer for 35 years, here are some of my ideas about these solutions. Stability It’s long been assumed that having a job means security. That assumption was assuaged in the Great Recession, when no […]

  • A business can’t get the flu — only people can. And this flu season has been a doozy so far and isn’t expected to subside anytime soon. There have been misery and even deaths for those who’ve caught the illness. And one report predicts that when it’s over, the flu will have cost U.S. businesses more than $9.4 billion in lost productivity. What can you do in your business to minimize the impact of the flu on your staff and your bottom line? The CDC recommends that people experiencing symptoms should stay home and not go to work. They should […]

  • Unemployment is at record lows, the job participation rate is the best it’s been in years, and companies large and small are competing for workers to fill their job openings. Large firms that will reap the benefits of a dramatic tax cut beginning on 2018 returns are taking certain actions. Can you or should you do the same? How large firms are using their tax savings At the time I was preparing this blog, more than 270 large corporations had announced they were giving bonuses to their staff, with most ranging from $1,000 to $2,500, or taking other action. In […]

  • The tax law is not static. Since the publication of this book, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) as well as other legislation have been enacted, impacting 2017 returns. While most of the legislative changes apply beginning in 2018, some affect 2017 returns. In addition, there have been court cases and IRS pronouncements that also affect 2017 returns as well as planning for taxes in 2018. For small business owners, it is important to take action based on what is known now, and to watch for any tax changes that may affect your business and personal taxes […]

  • According to survey results from Staples, more than half of small business owners view tax preparation as complicated and, surprisingly, nearly 50% handle their business taxes on their own. Part of the challenge as I see it stems from two things: (1) confusion about tax rules and (2) disorganization. Confusion about tax rules Albert Einstein said “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” If a genius like him was perplexed, what’s the average small business owner to do? And adding to the confusion is a slew of new rules introduced by the Tax Cuts and […]

  • Sarah Breedlove, who would later take the name of Madam C. J. Walker, was born in Louisiana on December 23, 1867; her parents were former slaves. Though orphaned at age 7 and lacking education, she created a hair and scalp formula for Black women, which led to a cosmetics empire. She also instituted many unique business practices still in use today, including having her own factory, training a national staff to sell products door-to-door, advertising heavily, and organizing her sales agents into local and national clubs. It’s been said that her Madam C. J. Walker Hair Culturists Union of America […]

  • A partnership agreement is a legal document that spells out the rights and obligations of the owners, such as their percentages of ownership, their shares of distributions, and what happens when a partner retires, dies, or just wants out. If you are in a partnership, you may want to make some changes in your partnership agreement at this time. Similarly, if you’re a limited liability company (LLC) that files a federal partnership return, you, too, may want to make some changes in your operating agreement. Why? Changes in circumstances and new tax rules may warrant some revisions. 1. Changing partners […]


Resources For Your Business

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

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum


February 23, 2018


Events in February 2018

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."


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  • " 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. ”

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