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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®

May 26, 2016

Rethink Red Tape

Rethink Red Tape is a project to bring the regulatory issue facing small business to life for lawmakers in Washington. It aims to bring about regulatory reform. The project is from a coalition of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the International Franchise Association, and Women Impacting Public Policy. Read about it, and join on Facebook.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • A proposed rule under the Dodd-Frank Act would require Wall Street firms with $250 billion or more in assets to defer bonuses to top executives for four years (instead of the current three years). The rule is meant to curb risk-taking. Political rhetoric by some presidential candidates has also taken aim at Wall Street compensation. Why should small business owners on Main Street care what happens to executive compensation for those on Wall Street? Here’s the reason I care: It comes down to government regulation. If the government can tell certain companies how much they can pay, and when, the government can […]

  • If your business is incorporated, when you sell your stock, the gain usually is taxed at 15% or 20%, depending on your tax bracket (which is based in part on the gain from the stock). However, if the stock is “qualified small business stock,” you may pay zero tax, regardless of your tax bracket. What is qualified small business stock? The tax law is very specific about the type of stock that qualifies for this special treatment. Here are the key rules for qualified small business stock (also called Sec. 1202 stock because of the section in the Tax Code that […]

  • May is Mental Health Month, and a time to reflect on the impact that mental disorders has on the workplace. Consider these facts: About 18% of the U.S. population experiences some type of mental illness. The indirect cost of untreated mental illnesses in the U.S. is $100 billion. More days of work are lost to mental illnesses than to physical illnesses. What can employers do? Because of the statistical likelihood that you’ll have workers with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, or other mental illness, it’s advisable to recognize the challenge and rise up to meet it. Eliminate the stigma. Employees suffering […]

  • Health savings accounts or HSAs are tax-advantaged savings accounts that can be used to cover many out-of-pocket medical costs. These consumer-driven health plans were authorized by Congress in 2003. According to information released last year, two thirds of employees in the U.S. are now covered by HSAs or health reimbursement arrangements. There are good reasons for the growing popularity of HSAs, which can offer a number of advantages to employers. As a small business owner, determine whether this type of employee benefit is desirable for your company. Why do it? HSAs offer a triple tax benefit: contributions are tax deductible, […]

  • Oil prices at the pump haven’t been this low since 2003. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that prices will stay low through 2017, although not as low as they are now. This is good news for the many small businesses that pay for gas for their cars and trucks. Hopefully, low gas prices will also translate into lower delivery costs and other savings for small businesses. But the low cost of gas at the pump is not good news for all small businesses. As the saying goes, one person’s bad luck is another person’s good fortune (don’t know who […]

  • How Big a Truck Do You Need?

    If you’re in the market for a new truck for your business this year, tax rules may impact your buying decision. This is because of the convoluted depreciation rules for these vehicles. Size matters! Big There are dollar limits that apply for light trucks and vans placed in service in 2016. A light truck is one that weighs no more than 6,000 pounds (unloaded gross vehicle weight). The maximum depreciation allowance in 2016 is $11,560 if the truck is new, or $3,560 if the truck is preowned (assuming the truck is used 100% for business). Note: You don’t take any […]

  • National Small Business Week started on May 1 and runs through May 7. This celebration began when President Johnson issued a proclamation in 1964 announcing Small Business Week. It has continued every year since then. This year’s theme: Dream Big, Start Small. Why do we need a celebration? What else do we need? Facts and figures about small business in the U.S. More than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business. Small businesses create about two-thirds of all new jobs in the country. They create about half of all the goods and services in the U.S. […]

  • Spring is a time for renewal in nature, and a great time to refurbish your office. There are several compelling reasons for doing an office makeover. You can modernize your space for greater efficiency. You can fix problems, such as a poor floor plan or bad lighting, that you’ve been living with for a while. You can impress clients and customers with the latest look. And you can just feel better and recharged about your work environment. Planning for a makeover How ambitious will your project be? It all depends on the following factors: Your needs. If it’s been a […]

  • 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 […]


Resources For Your Business

Tracking Personal Time Off by OPEN Forum

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum


May 27, 2016


Events in May 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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