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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®

April 30, 2016

IRS’s Designated Private Delivery Services

The IRS has added 8 DHL services to its list of private delivery services that can be used for the so-called mail box rule (timely mailed is timely filed). The new designations are effective April 11.

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Resources For Your Business
  • On April 8, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued the long-awaited final rule for stockbrokers. The rule — referred to as the fiduciary rule — has strict guidelines about investment advice with respect to retirement accounts, including 401(k)s and IRAs. The rule was created to increase consumer protection for account owners but as with most government regulation, there are unintended consequences. Will the fiduciary rule help or hurt your retirement account or influence your decisions about offering retirement plans to your staff? About the rule The new rule essentially makes the U.S. Department of Labor the primary financial regulator of […]

  • Uber recently settled with the California lawsuit (without admitting wrongdoing) for $10 million for misleading the public about the background checks of its drivers. Uber’s background checks didn’t include fingerprints to find past convictions, and weren’t equivalent to checks to which taxi drivers are subjected. After learning of this case you’d think that all companies should be doing background checks, but you’d be wrong.  Employers may be barred for doing certain types of background checks or punished for not doing some. Here are some of the confusing rules that apply to background checks. Overview As a general rule, it’s not […]

  • Shakespeare on Business

      April 23 is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. In his plays and sonnets, surprisingly he had a lot to say about business. In remembrance of his words of wisdom, here are some of his famous quotations about business or relevant to it: “To business that we love we rise betime, And go to’t with delight.”      Antony and Cleopatra    “No profit grows where is no pleasure taken; In brief, sir, study what most affect.”      Taming of the Shrew   “Strong reasons make strong actions.”      King John   “Neither a borrower nor […]

  • It’s no secret that small businesses are targets for lawsuits. According to NFIB, tort liability (e.g., accidents on premises, discrimination claims by employees) cost small businesses more than $105 billion in 2008 (the latest year for statistics). Risk management is a vital part of running your business so you can protect what’s yours. Here are 4 strategies you can easily use for this purpose. 1. Incorporate or form an LLC If you are a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or general partner, your personal assets are at risk. Creditors of the business can seek recovery through your personal assets — your […]

  • As you get ready to engage eager college students to work for you this summer, don’t run afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Many companies view summer interns as free labor to fill in when regular employees are on vacation. Be sure to understand whether you can treat these interns as unpaid or must pay them at least the minimum wage in your location. Unpaid internships These are permissible only if you meet all of the following 6 conditions listed by the U.S. Department of Labor: The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of […]

  • You’ve finished your tax return for the year, but your work isn’t done. It’s time to put those records away and begin to focus on keeping track of tax-related activities for this year. While recordkeeping may not be the most exciting part of being a business owner, it’s a vital one to ensure that you don’t overpay your taxes and are prepared for any IRS questions that may come your way. For small businesses, you can get your tax organization tools at the same place you purchase your office supplies – Staples. From folders to file boxes, their Staples Brand […]

  • Beware: Regulations Are Coming

    It’s not uncommon for an outgoing President to take last licks on regulations he favors. This has been the normal practice for both Democratic and Republican Presidents for the last 25+ years. According to a report from the Mercatus Center at George Manson University, there are more than 4 dozen regulations poised to be finalized by the end of this year. What’s on tap? Which regulations may we see finalized shortly? Here are just some key measures impacting small businesses: DOL’s rule on overtime pay, which would change the definition of a “white collar” worker exempt from the overtime pay […]

  • April may be the month for cherry blossoms in the U.S. capital, Earth Day celebrations, and, according to T.S. Eliot, “the cruelest month,” but it’s also the perennial time for individual income tax returns. As most small businesses are sole proprietorships and pass-through entities, owners report their share of business profits on their personal returns at this time. The 2015 IRS Data Book reveals some interesting facts about tax filings as well as audits during the government’s 2015 fiscal year ending September 30, 2015. Number of entity returns The total number of returns filed with the IRS topped 243 million. Of […]

  • Likely you’ve already amassed the records needed for tax return preparation this year. Perhaps you’ve seen that there have been missed opportunities for greater tax savings because you didn’t have the necessary records to take what are otherwise legitimate write-offs. It’s not too late to take action now that will favorably impact your tax savings for 2016 and for years to come. Recordkeeping requirements for business driving Most small business owners use their personal vehicles for business driving. In fact, car and truck expenses combine to be the largest single deduction category for sole proprietors each year, greater than wages, […]


Resources For Your Business

Tracking Personal Time Off by OPEN Forum

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum


April 30, 2016


Events in April 2016

barbara’s books

  • 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."
  • "The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business will answer questions you probably haven’t even thought the door to opportunity right now by reading and frequently referring to the information in this book" -- Beverly Williams President and Founder of the American Association of Home-Based Businesses
  • eBay has opened up a world of possibilities for just about anyone who wants to make money. You don’t need an advanced business degree from Harvard or Yale. You don’t need millions of dollars in up-front capital to get started. You don’t need any special skill or talent. All you need is a desire to succeed and an understanding of the steps you must take to accomplish your goal.
  • 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
  • Eliminate confusion, maximize deductions, reduce payments, and conquer your small business taxes with ease In J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2016, the most trusted name in tax guidance helps small business owners maximize their bottom line. Fully updated for 2015 tax returns and 2016 tax planning, this detailed guide provides concise, plain-English explanations of tax laws tailored to business owners who are experts in their field—not in taxes.
  • 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.
  • The must-have guide to tax write-offs, with clear advice from a trusted expert J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2016 answers the most common tax question—"what can I deduct?" Updated and expanded for 2015 tax filing and 2016 tax planning, this straightforward guide uses plain English to explain the many available deductions and credits, allowing you to quickly recognize ways to reduce what you owe and maximize your returns.


  • " 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 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. newsletters or blog. ”

    -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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