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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®

November 21, 2017

National Entrepreneurship Day

By proclamation, today has been designated as National Entrepreneurship Day. What can you do to celebrate? Consider supporting a measure to make this official (not merely a presidential proclamation).

New today: Office Politics versus Politics in the Office

 

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Resources For Your Business
  • Office politics means exercising power and networking within a company to gain an advantage, such as a promotion. The term has a bad connotation, implying backstabbing and other negative actions that hurt co-workers. But as bad as office politics may be, or is perceived to be, politics in the office is even worse. Risks of politics in the office Expressing political views at work can be detrimental to the person who’s expressing these views as well as to the atmosphere in the office. The Harvard Business Review says “politics often doesn’t make for good workplace conversation.” This is especially so in […]

  • In the depths of the recession not too long ago, expenditures on a holiday party were nixed. Today, the holiday party is back. Last year, about 80% of businesses had holiday parties, and I’d guess it won’t be less this year. Why it’s a good idea Small business owners may be wondering whether to hold any type of festivities. There are some solid business reasons favoring a holiday party: Employee recognition. The party is a time for an owner to show appreciation to the staff. It can be used to recognize the entire staff or call out specific employees for their […]

  • Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) allow small employers that don’t offer health coverage to reimburse employees for their individually-obtained health coverage or their medical expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. QSEHRAs were created by the 21th Century Cures Act at the end of 2016 and became effective at the start of 2017. Now the IRS has issued extensive guidance explaining the rules for QSEHRAs. Here’s an overview of the rules for QSEHRAs to help you decide whether you qualify and if it’s a better option than obtaining a company health plan. Overview of QSEHRAs QSEHRAs are not a group health […]

  • Wellness programs can enable employees to lose weight, stop smoking, learn about health risks, and more. So it’s a great idea for employers to encourage their staff to improve their health? And why not offer incentives for this purpose? And maybe even save employment taxes? All of this all sounds good, but be cautious before you take any action. Here are some things that wellness programs can do, as well as the problems that wellness programs present, and what you must do if you want to move forward with them. Value of wellness programs While wellness programs are more common […]

  • On November 2, the House released its much-anticipated tax bill (H.R. 1 ) called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The measure has many moving parts and it’s too early to describe what a final bill will contain. But it’s a good idea to know what the proposal has in store for small business owners. Tax on C corporations If your business is set up as a regular C corporation, the rate would be a flat 20%. If the C corporation is a personal service corporation (defined on page 7 of the instructions to Form 1120), the rate would be 25%. Tax […]

  • Veterans Day, which originally was fixed to commemorate the Armistice for World War I but later became a day to honor veterans of all wars, is November 11 (although the federal holiday is November 10). In recognition of this date, it’s worth noting that businesses that hire certain disabled veterans can receive a federal income tax credit called the work opportunity tax credit (WOTC). Here are 10 things to know about this credit: 1. Your employee must be a veteran. For purposes of the tax credit, this is a person who served on active duty (not including training) in the Armed […]

  • A recent survey from OfficeTeam found some astounding statistics regarding boredom in the workplace: Professionals said they were bored on average 10.5 hours each week (which works out to about 25% of their work week) 40% of workers said they’d quit a job if they felt bored 28% of senior managers think the reason for boredom is unchallenging work assignments And what do bored employees do? Surf the web for personal matters (e.g., shopping, dating), pay personal bills, or watch programs online that have nothing to do with business or personal development. Small business owners … this survey should be […]

  • Whether you already have a qualified retirement plan in place or are thinking of starting one for 2018, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with changes effective next year. Cost-of-living adjustments Each year, the IRS adjusts various amounts related to qualified retirements. Key updates to note for 2018 include: Maximum contributions to defined benefit plans, such as profit-sharing plans: $55,000 (up from $54,000 in 2017) Maximum benefits taken into account in figuring contributions to defined benefit (pension) plans: $220,000 (up from $215,000 in 2017) Maximum amount of compensation taken into account in figuring contributions: $275,000 (up from $270,000 […]

  • It seems no family, no community, and no business is untouched by the opioid crisis. HHS reports that in 2015 there were more than 70,000 deaths and this crisis cost the U.S. economy $78.5 billion. How does this crisis impact your business and what can you do about it? How the opioid crisis impacts small business The tightening job market has made it challenging for many small businesses to find the workers they need, according to an NFIB survey. One of the reasons why this is so is that there’s a growing segment of workers who can’t participate in the […]

  • Cybersecurity describes measures you take to protect your computer and information from unauthorized access. Concerns about cybersecurity are relatively new. According to the dictionary, the term “cybersecurity” wasn’t even in use before 1989, the first viruses started a decade later, but large-scale computer attacks didn’t make headlines until about 10 years ago.  The IRS and courts have yet to tackle specific costs related to cybersecurity measures. However, given commonly known tax rules, I think there’s some guidance to be found. Anti-virus software The cost of off-the-shelf software can be expensed as a Section 179 deduction. Alternatively the cost can be […]

Multimedia

Resources For Your Business

Tracking Personal Time Off by OPEN Forum

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

November 21, 2017

UPCOMING TWEETCHATS

  • 12:00 pm
    #CMWorld

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

  • 9:00 pm
    #GetRealChat

    Each Tuesday from 9-10pmET
    Sponsored by: Pam Moore - @PamMktgNut

Events in November 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."

testimonials

  • " 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

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    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

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