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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®

August 25, 2016

Intuit Partners with Etsy

Etsy sellers can now use data integration and special discounts from Intuit with respect to QuickBooks Self-Employed and TurboTax Online. This will simplify sellers’ accounting and tax return preparation. Intuit says, “we’re on a mission to change the financial lives of self-employed individuals around the world.”

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Resources For Your Business
  • Every individual is required to have minimum essential health coverage for him/herself and children up to age 18 or pay a penalty (unless exempt from the coverage requirement). Even if the law didn’t require it, having coverage is still advisable for good health and to avoid financial ruin in case of a catastrophic accident or illness. Self-employed individuals seeking coverage from a government Marketplace must look to the individual exchange; they cannot use the Small Business Health Care Options (SHOP), which is the government exchange for small businesses. The good news If you are a self-employed individual who obtains coverage […]

  • In order for the IRS to discuss your tax issues with your CPA, you must sign IRS Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative to give him or her power of attorney (POA). Merely checking the box on your tax return to let the IRS speak to the person who prepared the return is only giving limited authority to discuss that particular return (e.g., answer IRS questions that arise in the processing of the return, and authorization ends automatically on the due date of the return for the following year). Some CPAs are now routinely asking clients to sign […]

  • No one knows how many businesses in the U.S. are co-owned by spouses. A professor from Oklahoma State University estimated in 2000 that there were 3 million such businesses, so the number today likely is much higher. Some giant corporations — Fiji Water, Forever 21, Panda Express, and Houzz — were founded by husband-wife teams. There are many personal issues that couples face when co-owning a business. Here are some of the tax issues that spouses co-owning a business should think about. Tax filing for spousalpreneurs A couple who co-owns and operates a business that is unincorporated and shares in the […]

  • With the Olympics underway in Rio, it’s easy to see how being a winner is a great feeling. It can also translate into economic rewards as medalists cash in on opportunities that now come their way. Small businesses don’t have to be Olympians to be winners; there are contests designed for small businesses.  Here’s what you need to know about contests. Finding contests As the Lotto ad says, “you gotta be in it to win it.” Find a contest that can provide benefits for your business, such as exposure, support, and even monetary awards. For example, in celebration for the […]

  • When you raise money for your business through crowdfunding your goal is to have the funds needed for a specific purpose. The last thing you probably are thinking about is taxes. However, you can’t avoid the subject. Whether the money you get is taxable all depends on the type of crowdfunding you use. The IRS recently gave some informal guidance on the tax consequences of crowdfunding. Types of crowdfunding Crowdfunding is a way to raise a little bit of money from a lot of people. For small businesses, crowdfunding has been used to underwrite special projects as well as starting […]

  • Customize Your Tax Strategies

    Tax experts, including myself, often write in generalities about tax actions that small business owners should take. The general advice may be fine for most small business owners but not necessarily for you. Here are some ways to adapt the general tax advice for your situation so you optimize your tax results. Car expenses One of the most common deductions for small business owners is for business driving of a personal car or truck. The write-off can be substantial, but requires good recordkeeping. General advice: When taking a deduction for business driving of a personal vehicle, figure the write-off using […]

  • What are you doing for others and why does it matter? The question of social responsibility has always been a concern to small businesses that are integral to their communities. With the growing influence of millennials, the concern is even greater.  Two years ago, Brookings released some statistics we can’t ignore: By 2020, one in three adults in the U.S. will be millennials By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be millennials 89% of millennials said they had a strong likelihood that they would buy from companies supporting solutions to specific social issues 63% want their employers to contribute to […]

  • Sylvia Plath wrote: “August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”  For small business owners, it’s a time of opportunity to take actions that will pay off going forward.  Here are some ideas. 1. Update business plan Whether you have a formal plan or notes on what you hope to do, take time now to re-think your plan. Tim Berry’s Lean Business Plan is a simple, efficient method for continually working on your business plan. 2. Meet with accountant By now, most accountants have wrapped up most of their 2015 […]

  • Summertime is a great time to catch up on reading. While some are only interested in perusing beach books, entrepreneurs may relish some helpful business books. I regularly receive books from various publishers and authors, and want to share some recent titles with you. Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business. Paul Downs. Blue Rider Press (a Penguin Random House imprint). Paperback. $16.00 The author started making custom furniture in Pennsylvania in 1986 and has written this memoir about a year in the life of the boss of a small business that has employees (there are an estimated 7 million […]


Resources For Your Business

Tracking Personal Time Off by OPEN Forum

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum


August 25, 2016


  • 1:00 pm

    Each Thursday, 12pm to 1pm CT

    A chat by Harvard Business Review magazine, and moderated by: @hbrexchange

  • 8:00 pm

    Each Thursday, 8pm to 9pm ET

    B2B marketing moderators include: @wittlake @cuferg @b2bento @dannyhanssel @andrewspoeth

Events in August 2016

barbara’s books

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."


  • " I don't want to miss it!
    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

  • " Getting your daily email is like getting an MBA in small business!
    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 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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