Blog Images

Get Smarter to Succeed...
One Idea at a Time

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®

September 26, 2017

Will Service Businesses Be Subject to Sales Taxes?

According to a Pew Charitable Trusts blog, 23 states, including California and Virginia, had bills in 2017 that would impose sales tax on services such as home repair and computer maintenance. This move results from the growth of a service economy and the need for states to find new sources of revenue. If you are a service business, monitor what’s happening in your state and determine whether proposals or law changes impact you.

New blog post today — Handling Plan Loans

Idea Signup

Get the Idea of the Day® Delivered to Your Inbox and
Download 150+ Big Ideas for Your Small Business, 2017 Edition, for Free!
No Spam, we promise!

Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Handling Plan Loans

    Shakespeare said in Hamlet “neither a borrower nor a lender be,” but he didn’t know about 401(k) plans and their ability to offer easy terms for borrowing. If you have a 401(k) plan that permits plan loans, it can be a big help for owners and employees. Understand how much participants can borrow and what plans need to do to stay compliant with the law and remain qualified. Also, understand the negative impact that borrowing can have on retirement savings. Parameters of plan loans A plan is not required to offer participants the option of taking loans. If it does […]

  • The status of the Affordable Care Act is up in the air and premiums are rising. The job market is tightening, making an employer offering of health coverage more important than ever to attract new and retain employees. And employers are more concerned than ever in keeping their staff healthy and more productive. The Business Journals SMB Insights found that in 2017 63% of small businesses (you have to sign up to get a free download) were very concerned about the cost of health insurance, which is up from 59% in the previous year.  What’s a small business to do? Start […]

  • Equifax recently experienced a data breach that impacted an estimated 143 million people. If it can happen to Equifax, it can happen to any business. If you accept credit cards for payment by customers and clients, are you protected from data breaches? According to the Verizon 2017 Payment Security Report (you have to give your name, email, and company in order to download it), businesses that experienced breaches weren’t fully compliant with suggested security protocols (explained later). Why payment security matters to you According to the Verizon report, trust is what matters, and 66% of customers say they’d be unlikely to […]

  • The Forgotten Estimated Taxes

    Estimated taxes aren’t a separate liability but rather a way of paying taxes throughout the year in four installments. The third estimated tax payment for 2017 is due no later than September 15, 2017, and the fourth payment for 2017 is due on January 31, 2018. If your annual federal tax bill isn’t covered by withholding and you don’t qualify for certain safe harbors, you face tax penalties on underpayments of estimated tax. Here’s why you need to address estimated taxes—determining whether and how much to pay—and 3 steps for being estimated tax compliant. Background Federal income taxes are a […]

  • If you can give your employees a benefit that doesn’t cost you anything, wouldn’t you do it? Owners should check on discounts and rewards that can be offered to employees without any cost to the company. Let me give you some examples. Discounts on company products and services The price reduction you give to your employees on the goods and services offered to customers and clients can be a valuable fringe benefit. Employees aren’t taxed for: For a discount on services up to 20% of the price you charge nonemployee customers for the service. For a discount on merchandise or […]

  • While wreathes, mistletoe, and menorahs may seem a long way off, businesses should be gearing up now for the holiday season. Kiplinger is predicting better sales this year than last year, with e-commerce sales taking a bigger chunk of consumer dollars. If you haven’t already begun your holiday activities, get started now. 1. Determine your sales activities The National Retail Federation has a 2017 Retail Holiday Planning Playbook that describes the lessons learned from last year’s season. For example, more than half of consumers began their purchasing research before November, but only a third made actual purchases at that time. Most […]

  • September is National Preparedness Month, so on the heels of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria it seems appropriate to review what disasters mean to small businesses. Overview Any time there is a major weather event, such as the hurricanes in August and September 2017, the personal tragedies—loss of life and property—are dramatic and can’t be ignored. Rebuilding lives and homes takes courage, money, and the support of government and neighbors. For small business owners, there are those who lose a great deal and there are those who can benefit. Affected by loss When electricity goes down for extended periods, many small […]

  • Terminology to Know

    We’re living in an age of information overload, with large amounts of new information continually being created and bombarding us.  Alan Toffler said in 1970 that “information overload will lead to ‘future shock syndrome’ as an individual will suffer severe physical and mental disturbances.” Maybe it’s not as bad as all that, but for business owners, it’s essential to stay up on information that could impact our companies and our decision-making.  Information includes new terminology and what it means. Here are some terms that have come to prominence recently and what they can indicate to you. Disruption The dictionary says […]

  • There is considerable attention on major bills in Washington that surely will impact small businesses, such as health care and tax reform. But there are a number of other bills that have been proposed; these will also affect small businesses. Whether they have any chance of being enacted is unclear, but here’s a rundown of some of the proposals in this Congressional session. You decide what their impact will be on your company. Measures impacting business formation and investments There are several bills in the House and Senate designed to incentivize the creation of businesses and investments in them: Regulatory […]


Resources For Your Business

Tracking Personal Time Off by OPEN Forum

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum


September 26, 2017


  • 12:00 pm

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

Events in September 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!
    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

  • " 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 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


Big Ideas for Small Business®
Find it for free on the App Store.