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Idea of the Day®

October 24, 2020

Automatic Bill Payments

Expensify has a new free feature called “Bill Pay” to simplify your accounts payable. Instead of vendors sending their invoices directly to you, they funnel them through a single email: [email protected] This enables Expensify to “SmartScan” them, allow you to review and approve them, and then pay them from your business checking account. This streamlines the payment process. #IdeaoftheDay

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • It’s that time again…time to prepare your budget for the coming year. This is an annual chore that should not be overlooked or delayed. As noted in last year’s blog on the same topic, Dave Ramsey said: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” In preparing your budget for 2021, be sure to consider the following actual and projected changes: Payroll Are you planning to give raises? Most companies surveyed in the 2020 General Industry Salary Budget Survey conducted by Willis Towners Data Services said yes. The average salary increase for all employees—management, […]

  • Think back to when you started your business and perhaps worked out a business plan. It’s likely that many things have changed since then. New work arrangements, new technology, new consumer buying habits, and more. To prepare for economic changes, it’s important for you to monitor trends so that you can stay ahead of the curve. Here are some trending areas to monitor and where to look for projections. Consumers Consumer buying habits have changed as a result of the pandemic, with online buying, curbside pickup, and contactless payments coming to the fore. How does this translate into whether consumers […]

  • With the holiday shopping season underway (e.g., October 10 according to BRG, and Amazon Prime Day on October 13), small businesses should be sure to have their holiday sales strategies in place. Due to the pandemic, no one knows how this season will shape up compared to prior years. Deloitte’s annual holiday forecast shows sales increases of 1% to 1.5% this year, but there’s still so much uncertainty. Don’t let uncertainty paralyze your holiday sales planning and activities. Certain actions should be taken to optimize revenues. Review online sales venues Small businesses have learned from the pandemic that they can’t rely […]

  • As the economy begins to pick up steam, your current number of employees may be insufficient for the work needed to be done. Is now the time to be hiring? If you need more people on staff, how is the best way to proceed? How can you avoid problems? Assess your staffing needs Your company may be getting back to normal (or a new normal) and require additional help to meet customer needs. Carefully determine whether and how many to hire now. You may be able to make do with your existing staff until business revenues stabilize. Consider using temporary […]

  • As Election Day approaches, it seems that just about everything is political. There are strong feelings that are being expressed on social media. But what are small businesses supposed to do about such expressions in the workplace? Legal requirements Employers must be mindful of the law. Individuals have a constitutional right to free speech. This right bars government from restricting speech; it doesn’t limit private employers from imposing limitations in the workplace (what employees do after hours is essentially their business). But other laws may prohibit employer-set restrictions. Some states have political activity and free speech protections. Employers that impede […]

  • As a business owner, you may want to use independent contractors for various work you need to get done. It’s less costly than hiring employees. And during this pandemic period when businesses are trying to recover, the promise of permanent employment may be beyond the ability of owners to make. However, federal and state worker classification laws don’t necessarily leave the decision up to an employer. There’s a maze of these laws and some of these issues have been covered in previous blog posts. But some things have changed, so here’s where things stand now. Proposed DOL rule The Fair […]

  • Many small businesses handle payroll in-house, but a growing number outsource this task to a third party. There are different types of payroll companies. And there are very good reasons why you might want to use one of them if you don’t already do so. But caution is advised. Types of payroll companies You can use a third party to help you meet your payroll obligations. Depending on the scope of services you use, this help can include: Calculating employee withholding. Paying employees’ paychecks (by paper or direct deposit). Making federal and state tax deposits. Preparing employer tax returns (e.g., […]

  • The pandemic has impeded the ability of people to meet with lawyers, accountants, and others to sign necessary documents and forms. A good alternative to “wet signatures” is e-signing. Be sure to understand when and how to use this option. Legal forms Twenty years ago, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-Sign) Act was signed into law providing a general rule of validity for electronic records and signatures for transactions in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce. (States have either adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act or have their owns laws for intrastate commerce transactions.) E-Sign took effect […]

  • Small business owners have been through a lot in the past months. Many have seen substantial declines in revenues, some have had to pivot their business models, and unfortunately, some have already gone under. But if history has taught us anything, times change and businesses find ways to come back; entrepreneurs find ways to start up again. Success in these endeavors depends in part on the mindset of the business owner. How business owners are feeling now It’s unfortunate that many business owners aren’t feeling too good right now. According to a recent report from Xero, more than half (57%) […]

  • The government mandates that you provide employees with notice about various things. If you don’t, you can be penalized. Some notices can be handled with workplace posters. Others require personal notice to each employee. Here’s a brief overview of what to consider. Workplace posters You already have posters regarding Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage rules. You may also have to post state minimum wage posters. Be sure to also have other required posters, including: “Employee rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” which entitles eligible employees of small businesses to certain paid sick and paid family leave. “Job […]

Multimedia

Resources For Your Business

Stress-Busting Strategies in the Age of Pandemic

Preparing for Economic Changes: Getting Help for Getting Through

Can Small Businesses Make a Come Back?

Practical Ideas for Changing Business Operations in a Post-COVID-19 World

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

October 25, 2020

UPCOMING TWEETCHATS

Events in October–November 2020

barbara’s books

  • Small Business Taxes 2021 helps small business owners maximize their bottom line with straightforward, yet comprehensive guidance from the most trusted name in tax.
    Featuring a complete listing of all available business expense deductions, including dollar limits and record-keeping requirements, this book helps you quickly determine what kind of tax relief is available to you, and how to take it--all the way down to where to claim deductions on the forms themselves. Tax facts, strategies, and the latest up-to-date information -- including coverage of the SECURE Act and the CARES Act -- help ensure that you don't miss out on money-saving opportunities, and sample forms and checklists help you get organized and submit a complete and proper filing.
  • 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. With a complete list of every possible deduction and credit available to American taxpayers, and clear, easy-to-follow instructions for claiming what is rightfully yours, it is fully-updated to reflect the latest rulings and laws--including the SECURE Act and the CARES Act. Also, an e-supplement with the latest tax developments from the IRS and Congress is provided so that this book answers all of your "Can I claim..." questions with guidance from the nation's most trusted tax advisors.
  • A Step-By-Step Road Map--with Checklists--to Get You Started Up, Profitable, and Successful 
    Whether you want to start up a part-time home-based business or jump in full throttle and work on it full time, you need a start-up guide. A road map! Home-Based Business Start-Up Guide will help you chart your course to work-from-home success. Written by industry expert Barbara Weltman, our Start-Up Guide is broken up into easily digestible chapters that cover the key areas of a new business launch. We outline 10 fundamental steps to succeed in running a home business. These include selecting a business; determining business fit; establishing your business organization; business protections; marketing and selling; setting up a productive home office; managing your business; achieving success; business growth and more. Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show, and author of the award-winning books, “The 3rd Ingredient,” and “The Age of the Customer” says:  "At a time when working from home is becoming the norm, why wouldn’t right now be a perfect time to start a home-based business? If you’re still with me, here’s the next logical question: Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to do that from someone who was home-based before it was cool? Someone who was making being home-based look good before technology made it easy. Well, that person is my friend, Barbara Weltman, and she’s put all of her experience, wisdom and perspective in a new book, “Home-Based Business Start-up Guide.” It’s a by-the-numbers tutorial on how to launch a successful home-based business. Let Barbara help you get your home-based business going with her book, and all of the other awesome resources she produces in support of small businesses. She’s the best."
  • Your GPS to Get You Where You Want to Go in Your Business

    Do you enjoy driving and being your own boss with flexible work options? Are you looking for a part-time (or full-time) activity that earns good money? Maybe you’ve already discovered that there are great opportunities for making money with your car. Or, you’d like to become a delivery driver driver but uncertain how to begin. This guide, "The Delivery Driver Tax and Business Guide" is your answer!
  • What every self-employed person needs to know about their taxes!

    If you’re self-employed, chances are the majority of your time is spent finding new customers or clients, servicing existing ones, and handling each and every aspect of your business. Freelancers, independent contractors, gig economy participants, and other individuals working for themselves need to be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to paying their taxes. Even if you have an accountant or use tax preparation software, you may not be aware of all the deductions and credits you are entitled to. That’s where the experts at J.K. Lasser come in. The second edition of J.K. Lasser's Guide to Self-Employment helps you file your taxes correctly, accurately, and on time. Using clear, jargon-free language, this bestselling guide explains the legal and financial implications of self-employment and shows you how to keep as much of your hard-earned money as legally possible. A reader says: "This book, Guide to Self Employment, is an excellent tax resource for all freelancers & self employed people, including small business owners. Barbara Weltman is a knowledgeable tax attorney & small business specialist."
  • The Uber/Lyft Driver Tax & Business Guide, Kindle Edition

    Created for Uber and Lyft drivers as their GPS -- to help them get where they want to go in their business, safely and securely.
    Note: This e-Book has been updated with a new title and revised content (shown). Do you enjoy driving and being your own boss with flexible work options? Are you looking for a part-time (or full-time) activity that earns good money? Maybe you’ve already discovered that there are great opportunities for making money with your car, and you’re a business owner driving for Uber, Lyft, or other platform. Or, you’d like to become an Uber or Lyft driver but uncertain how to begin. This guide, "The Uber/Lyft Driver Tax & Business Guide," is your answer!  
  • 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.
  • 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."

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  • " Home-Based Business Start-Up Guide
    Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show, and author of the award-winning books, “The 3rd Ingredient,” and “The Age of the Customer” says:  "At a time when working from home is becoming the norm, why wouldn’t right now be a perfect time to start a home-based business? If you’re still with me, here’s the next logical question: Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to do that from someone who was home-based before it was cool? Someone who was making being home-based look good before technology made it easy. Well, that person is my friend, Barbara Weltman, and she’s put all of her experience, wisdom and perspective in a new book, “Home-Based Business Start-up Guide.” It’s a by-the-numbers tutorial on how to launch a successful home-based business. Let Barbara help you get your home-based business going with her book, and all of the other awesome resources she produces in support of small businesses. She’s the best." ”

    -Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show

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