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®

October 26, 2016

One Month to Small Business Saturday

November 26 is the annual ShopSmall event following Black Friday. If you plan to participate, you can get your Small Business Saturday Event Kit from American Express.

Get the Idea of the Day® and Special Updates Delivered to Your Inbox and Download 100 + Big Ideas for Your Small Business for Free!

No Spam, we promise!

Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • The last quarter of the year is packed with activities for a small business owner, including year-end planning and budgeting for next year. One more task is deciding on health coverage: selecting the insurer to use and setting the budget to cover costs.  As a small business owner, know your responsibilities and your options, some of which may be new. Health coverage for small businesses If you have fewer than 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not mandate that you provide your staff with health coverage. Nonetheless, most small business owners I know want to […]

  • I’m proud to say it’s the 23rd year of the original publication, and it’s all new for 2016 returns and year-round tax planning. As had been my practice, I’ve written my own book review to explain the purpose of the book, what’s new, and what’s ahead. Why small business owners need a tax book If you are like the vast majority of small business owners (86%), you use a CPA or other tax pro to prepare your business returns. You may even work with tax experts on specific matters, such as succession planning, inventory management, and payroll. However, it’s my belief […]

  • Mentoring for Entrepreneurs

    It’s a fact that having a mentor increases your chances for success. According to one survey a few years ago, 70% of small businesses that received mentoring survived for 5 years, which is double the rate for those without mentoring. What is mentoring for entrepreneurs? Mentoring is an ongoing relationship between a mentor and mentee in which the former provides guidance and advice to the latter as a person and as a business owner. Over time the relationship is often a two-way street for sharing insights and support. Mentoring differs from business coaching, which is usually for a limited time and […]

  • According to the dictionary, a chargeback is  “a debit to a depositor’s account that offsets a previous credit that was not collected.” For merchants, the debit may occur when the credit-card provider has been unable to collect payment by a consumer because of a fraudulent or disputed transaction. In practical terms, the sale you thought you made and the funds you thought you earned evaporate. This hurts your profits and impedes your cash flow. But this isn’t the only chargeback you need to be concerned about. Here’s what you need to know. The good As a merchant, you may be […]

  • A generation ago, it was up to you as an employer to decide whether to offer your employee time off when they, or their spouse, child, or parent, became ill or incapacitated. Today about two-thirds of workers have some paid sick leave as a result of federal law, state law, local law, or employers just keeping up with your competitors. The trend is clear: if you aren’t yet forced by law or competition to offer this benefit, likely you will be in the near future. Here’s what you need to know. Federal law The Family and Medical Leave Act, or […]

  • The Rubicon Project reports* that buying continues to shift toward online and mobile venues, and that 22% of consumers won’t be making any in-store purchases. If you’re doing selling this holiday season, check out some key points to keep in mind: Prospects for Cyber Monday Key holiday buying days are Black Friday (November 25), Small Business Saturday (November 26), and Cyber Monday (November 28). According to the above-referenced report, nearly half of consumers (47%) plan to buy on Cyber Monday, compared with 42% on Black Friday. Mobile is meaningful now. The report found that 38% of consumers make a purchase […]

  • According to Council for Disability Awareness, the chances that a working person will experience a disability are high. For example, a female, age 35, non-smoker with an office job has a 38% change of becoming disabled during her working career for 3 months or longer, and there’s a 38% change the disability will last 5 years or longer. The odds increase for someone with poor health habits, such as smoking and being overweight. Yet only about half of working people have even thought about or discussed disability and what its financial impact would be. For business owners, this oversight can […]

  • When it comes to financial matters — handling debt, saving for a home, saving for retirement, etc. — most employees are clueless. One report found that three quarters of employees are not financially secure, and the majority (60%) is feeling stressed about their financial situation. This situation surely impacts you adversely through employee distraction, illness, and in extreme situations, theft. What can you do to help your employees gain financial wellness? Become the teacher Earlier this month CNN had an article entitled: “Sex Ed is Required. Why Isn’t Financial Education?” Others can ponder the answer, but employers should help to fill […]

  • If you thought an IRS audit on your income tax return was tough going, wait until you hear about Affordable Care Act (ACA) audits. They’re multi-level and we’re in uncharted waters. They arise from individuals claiming a subsidy (the premium tax credit) for health coverage obtained from a government Marketplace. The government is now questioning some of these individuals to determine whether they had access to affordable minimum essential health coverage through an employer, which makes them ineligible for the subsidy. The government calls employers with 50 or more employees “Applicable Large Employers (ALEs),” even though a company with say […]

  • 10 Ideas for Avoiding Waste

    Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything.” What better motto for a small business owner.  Here are 10 ways to avoid wasting your time and money. 1.  Advertise through social media You can do free or low-cost promotions through Facebook and other social media sites instead of spending considerable dollars on traditional media (print, radio, and TV). You can use favorable customer reviews to help your promote your business. If you have room in your advertising budget, consider spending […]


Resources For Your Business

Tracking Personal Time Off by OPEN Forum

Small Business Taxes and Spending by OPEN Forum


October 26, 2016


  • 1:00 pm

    Held the last Wednesday of the month; 1pm ET

    Sponsored by Brian Honigman (@BrianHonigman)

  • 8:00 pm

    Each Wednesday, 8pm to 9pm ET

    Focusing on trending business topics.

    Moderators: @samfiorella and @bizforum_debate

  • 8:00 pm

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

Events in October 2016

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."


  • " 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


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