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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.

  • 40 years of legal and small business experience
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Idea of the Day®

January 17, 2018

International Mentoring Day

January is National Mentoring Month, and today is International Mentoring Day. Whether you mentor employees in your business or volunteer to mentor those in your community, take the time to consider how impactful you can be. And on January 25, take the time to thank those who’ve mentored you. #ThankYouMentorDay.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was signed into law on December 22, 2017, radically changes the rules that now apply for taxing the profits of owners of pass-through entities from 2018 through 2025. If you are a sole proprietor (including an independent contractor) or own an interest in a partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or S corporation, these new rules apply to you. Overview Under the new law, there’s no special tax rate for pass-through income. During the legislative process, you may have heard talk about a 25% rate, but this didn’t come to pass. Owners […]

  • Music in the Workplace

    The holiday season is marked by the ubiquitous Christmas music … in stores, restaurants, fitness centers, and in many offices. The question for employers is what effect music in general has on worker productivity throughout the year. There’s been considerable debate on this, with pros and cons weighing in. Benefits of Music in the Workplace Studies going back more than 50 years have found some important benefits to music in the workplace. Common health benefits cited for having music in the workplace includes: Reduction in stress and anxiety Increase in immune function, motivation, and memory Decrease in pain But does it […]

  • Let’s face it: the days of keeping books and records, as well as filing tax returns and other documents, on paper are long gone. The image of Dicken’s Bob Cratchit from A Christmas Carol sitting at a desk mired in his ledgers is something now relegated solely to fiction. But many small businesses have continued to file Forms W-2 (for employees) and 1099-MISC (for independent contractors) on paper. For those who want to make the switch to electronic preparation and filing of these forms this year, the change can be painless. Here’s what you need to know. Eliminate staff hours […]

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made a variety of favorable changes in the rules for deducting the cost of buying certain items and making certain expenditures for business. These changes may impact your decisions for capital acquisitions and improvements this year.   Take these changes into account in your budget for 2018: Section 179 deduction You can opt to expense (immediately deduct) the cost of equipment and certain other property rather than depreciating it over the recovery period (e.g., 5 years, 7 years) set by law for the type of property. For property placed in service starting […]

  • New! New Year’s Resolutions

    I’m sure that most business owners make resolutions each year with the best of intentions. At the start of last year I listed 10 New Year’s Resolutions for the Tax Season. This year, it’s a great time to take a fresh view of your business and create new resolutions to help you grow. To help you do this, I’ve gathered lists of resolutions from various sources. You can pick and choose the resolutions you want to adopt. The Balance lists: Learning to manage cash flow Improving digital presence Getting into social media Becoming more productive Charging appropriately for goods and […]

  • The final broadcast of my radio show was this month, closing out 10 years of hosting a podcast on wsRadio called Build Your Business and then the Wealth Building Hour. Over this time, I’ve had the joy and honor to speak with many wonderful and prominent guests. Permit me to reminisce about some of the highlights, and then share with you what I’ve learned. Stroll down memory lane For more than five years my show ran weekly; the remainder of the time on air I had a monthly show. I’ve had guests from all industries offering information and advice on […]

  • Your business needs help. You engage a worker to meet this need. Be sure that you properly classify this worker — as an employee or independent contractor — so you can meet your tax-filing requirements and other legal responsibilities. The IRS is continually reminding small businesses to get this right. Here’s what’s at stake and how you can correctly classify your worker. Employer tax-filing responsibilities What are your tax-filing requirements for an employee versus an independent contractor? For an employee. You have various tax-filing requirements, including: Quarterly reporting of withholding from the employee’s wages for income taxes and the employee’s […]

  • On December 20, 2017, Congress passed the largest piece of tax legislation in many years. It makes dramatic changes for individuals and businesses. But it does not change many of the tax rules that have long been in place. A number of the changes are a great departure from what the House bill had originally proposed. Here is a checklist of what has changed, and what hasn’t. Many of them are positive changes, while some may be disadvantageous to small business owners. Almost all are complicated (no simplification). In future blogs I’ll cover many of these changes in greater detail, […]

  • As the year winds down, you may want to connect with certain people vital to your business. You can do this in person — have coffee, a lunch, or a meeting — by telephone, or in some other way (e.g., Skype, GotoMeeting). Here are some people you may want to talk to now . . . and why. Customers and clients There are many reasons why you may want or need to talk to customers and clients now: Thanking them for their business this year. Offering year-end advice. Informing them about raising prices in the coming year. The personal touch […]

  • Each year the IRS releases statistics on various types of business entities, and looking at the numbers tells an interesting story. Recently released IRS statistics for 2015 show that there are a growing number of sole proprietorships in the U.S. Sole proprietorships are taxpayers who file Schedule C or C-EZ. They may be independent contractors, freelancers, or other self-employed individuals who are not required to file any other type of income tax return to report their business income expenses. They also include limited liability companies (LLCs) owned by one individual who does not choose to file a corporate return. And […]

Multimedia

Resources For Your Business

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

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

January 18, 2018

UPCOMING TWEETCHATS

  • 3:00 pm
    #NWBCchat
  • 8:00 pm
    #SmallbizChat

    Each Wednesday from 8-9pm ET
    Sponsored by: @SmallBizLady, @Tai_Goodwin

Events in January 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."

testimonials

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    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

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    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

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    -Shane Madigan

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    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

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    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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