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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, Big Ideas for Small Business® is your source for the right ideas for growing your business.

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Idea of the Day®

July 19, 2019

Social Media Definitions

You need to know the symbols and terminology unique to social media if you’re on Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Hootsuite offers the Ultimate List of Social Media Definitions. For example, “reach” is a data metric that determines the maximum potential audience for any given message.

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Resources For Your Business
  • ICHRAs versus QSEHRAs Small employers, which are those not subject to the employer mandate because they have fewer than 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees, are always looking for ways to provide health coverage for their staff on an affordable basis. Looking ahead to 2020, small employers have two ways in which they can reimburse employees for their individually-obtained health coverage. In other words, small employers don’t have to provide a traditional group health plan to offer meaningful health coverage and not break the bank. Healthcare boggle You know that game where you make words from cubes with letters on […]

  • So, you’re in an office that no longer suits your needs: the space is too large, too small, inaccessible to public transportation, or for any other reason. Or perhaps you want or need to relocate to another city or state. If your lease has more than just a few months left to run, you probably want to find a way to end your monthly lease payments in a legal and stress-free way. Otherwise, your business (and likely you personally if you co-signed the lease) face considerable financial exposure. What can you do to get out of your commercial lease? Don’t […]

  • Empathy is defined as the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. That’s a mouthful. For some, it connotes a purely emotional response. But in truth, empathy is an important skill for being a successful leader. Why empathy is important Fast Company had an article last year entitled “5 Reasons Empathy Is the Most Important Leadership Skill.” To paraphrase: It begets loyalty in your employees Your staff is more engaged Employees […]

  • Not all monetary increases in your business are treated as income for tax purposes.  Separating what you feel as more wealth from what is actually taxable income can help you make tax savvy decisions for your business. Here’s a rundown of some items to note. Gross receipts. The sales proceeds you receive for your merchandise is not entirely income. The proceeds (gross receipts) must be reduced by the cost of goods sold (what it cost you for inventory) to arrive at the amount of income that’s taxed. Consignments. Consignments of merchandise to others to sell for you are not sales. This […]

  • It’s been 243 years since a group of men in Philadelphia signed the Declaration of Independence and started a revolution. Most of these 56 men were small business owners, lawyers, doctors and farmers; 14 were plantation owners.  These men risked it all: “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”  (This is an update of a blog I ran 5 years ago.) Here’s a list from the National Archives of the signers and their occupations to remind us that our businesses, our jobs, and our lives can be on the line when freedom is at stake. […]

  • “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter.”  Nora Ephron Did you know that reading correlates with success? Tom Corley (Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals) says that 85% of successful people read two or more self-improvement or educational books each month.  Whether summertime gives you some extra time for reading or you’re busy but don’t want to miss good reads for your business, here are some ideas. My favorites this summer One book to consider is Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance […]

  • Three years ago, I blogged on this topic. Since that time, things have changed. The opioid crisis is still raging (every day more than 130 people die in the U.S. from overdosing on opioids). More states have legalized marijuana for recreation and/or medical use. The job market continues to be tight (the U.S. unemployment rate in May 2019 was 3.6%). All of these factors may impact your company’s drug policy. What you must do If your business is subject to federal regulations, such as a transportation business subject to DOT drug-testing rules, you must implement a drug testing policy to […]


Resources For Your Business

Your Travel Expenses While Away from Home

Successful Tax Planning Strategies for Your Small Business - Interview by Jim Fitzpatrick

Book Interview -- Smooth Failing

Book Interview -- J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2019


July 19, 2019


July–August 2019

barbara’s books

  • Maximize your bottom line with the nation's most trusted small business tax guide

    J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2019 is the small business owner's ultimate guide to a money-saving, stress-free tax season. Providing straightforward advice from the nation's most trusted tax expert on small business taxes, this book gives you the answers you need quickly, with clear, concise guidance. Updated to cover changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other legislation, this edition also includes an e-supplement covering additional developments from Congress and the IRS to keep you fully up-to-date.
  • A complete list of individual tax relief opportunities

    J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2019 is the complete and thorough guide to reducing your tax burden. By listing every possible deduction and credit available to individual taxpayers, this book can help you achieve substantial savings on your 2018 tax return. Updated and expanded to cover new and changing tax law, this edition also includes an e-supplement covering the latest developments from Congress and the IRS to keep you fully up-to-date. Stop overpaying and gain peace of mind as you find the answers you need for your specific tax situation. Mine your paperwork for write-off opportunities, and claim your tax breaks correctly; easy-to-follow instructions give you clear guidance through the maze of worksheets to help you reclaim what is legally yours.
  • Presenting a recently-launched, updated, paperback edition!  Barbara Weltman takes an inspired look in Smooth Failing at the hard lessons learned when things go wrong. Through extensive interviews with entrepreneurs whose ventures failed for a variety of reasons — some stunningly unexpected, some painfully inevitable — Barbara gleans valuable insights about the small mistakes that can lead to large scale catastrophe.  Smooth Failing seeks to save readers from similar disaster — while empowering those who are learning from failures and adversity to bounce back stronger and wiser on the often rocky road to success.
  • 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.
  • 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."


  • " You should sign up for the Idea of the Day®
    You should sign up for the "Idea of the Day®" by Barbara Weltman. This will give you great tips and help you with your daily business needs. She writes every article with consummate skill. ”


  • " Your blogs contain information that everyone can use!
    As a tax attorney and small business specialist, Barbara has a lot of great information to share. Barbara, your blogs contain information that everyone can use!  Your newly-expanded ebook, "175+ Big Ideas for Small Business" ebook has lots of great recommendations for small business owners. ”

    -Lisa Rubenfeld

  • " 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

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