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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®

June 18, 2019

Discrimination claims require exhaustion of EEOC action

When an employee alleges any discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, he or she is required by that law to file a claim with the EEOC before suing an employer. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, said that if an employee fails to file such claim and the employer doesn’t object when a suit is filed, the employer is deemed to have waived the objection. This means the employee’s case against the employer can proceed. Lesson for employers: Be sure your legal representation is on top of any claims against you.

New blog today! What Your Employees Really Want

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • What Your Employees Really Want

    Being in a tight labor market as now exists requires employers to find ways to keep employees satisfied and loyal.  Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy thing for small businesses.  Typically, their budgets don’t permit generous fringe benefits offered by large companies, such as on-site gyms and eating facilities. But is this what employees really want? The answer may depend on who you ask. Here is a sampling from some recent surveys to give you some ideas about your policies and offerings: Basic things employees want ServiceNow’s survey found that what employees want most is meaningful work. In fact, 61% would […]

  • An IBM survey some years ago found that the most important leadership quality in today’s world was creativity. It was even more important than integrity and fairness. So how can you work on expressing your creativity and developing your vision? Continue to grow personally As a leader, you can’t remain stagnant. The world is changing too fast, and you have to keep up. These clichés say it all: stay ahead of the curve, think outside the box, and don’t drop the ball. Some ideas to help you continue to grow: Read and listen. There is a never-ending stream of business […]

  • According to Intuit’s The State of Small Business Cash Flow, “69% of small business owners say they have been kept up at night by ongoing concerns about their cash flow status.” Nearly one-third (32%) can’t pay vendors, pending loans, employees, or themselves because of cash flow issues. Even worse, “[o]n average, U.S. small business owners are losing $43,394 annually by foregoing a project or sales due to issues created by insufficient cash flow.” Know your numbers Cash flow essentially means money in and money out. Having enough coming in to pay what’s going out is key. And the only way […]

  • Allowing employees to work from home is a win-win. From the company perspective, employees who telecommute are more productive (perhaps because they don’t have to commute to and from work, attend meetings, and hassle with office politics) and are more loyal to their employers. Fundera reports that employers offering at least part-time telecommuting collectively save $44 billion annually because of reduced turnover, savings in rent (less space needed), and even inexpensive ADA compliance for workers with disabilities. For employees, working from home offers the chance of a better work-life balance and the opportunity to work for companies not located near […]

  • If you put your own child on the payroll full time for the summer or even part time throughout the school year, there are a number of valuable benefits for the business and your child. Getting the help your business needs In today’s tight labor market, it is challenging for small businesses to hire needed employees. According to a survey from CNBC and Survey Money, 52% of small businesses said it’s harder to find workers today than a year ago. Hiring your own child to work in the company may be just the answer to your employment needs. And there’s […]

  • Each year the IRS releases statistics on various types of business entities, and looking at the numbers tells an interesting story. The last time the IRS released statistics on sole proprietorships was at the end of 2017 and they addressed Schedule C and Schedule C-EZ filing for 2015.  Now we have statistics for 2016 and they 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, other gig economy workers, or other self-employed individuals who are not required to file any other […]

  • One of the big questions that companies need to answer is whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. The answer is complicated when the worker works remotely rather than on company premises. This issue is important because of the growth in the sharing or on-demand economy, with such companies as Uber and Lyft, Task Rabbit, Fivrr, and many others. Fortunately, there is some guidance on this from the DOL. Background The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has authority to enforce the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This law imposes minimum wage and overtime rules, but it […]

  • Decision-making is an action that a leader takes every day in running a business, but there are harder decisions to be made in the face of a problem or challenge. According to an article in the Graziadio Business Review at Pepperdine University, “Great leaders understand how to balance emotion with reason and make decisions that positively impact themselves, their employees, their customers and stakeholders, and their organizations.” Decision-making process If you want to develop your leadership qualities, think about your decision-making skills. The way in which you make decisions depends on many factors…your style, the complexity of the situation, and […]

  • According to SiteLock, website attacks on small businesses rose by 59% in 2018, averaging 62 attacks per day. Now is a statistic. Let me tell you what happened so if the same or similar attack happens to you, you’ll be able to recognize and remedy it easily (hopefully) and quickly (assuredly). What the hack looked like An email was sent to some of my contacts asking that they read a file from me in Dropbox. It appears that the hacker created a bogus Dropbox account (using an alternate email of mine and then switching that email to one used […]

  • You may need a loan to expand your business, undertake a marketing campaign, purchase equipment or a building, or for some other very good purpose. Borrowing money for business is a common practice, but how to do it isn’t commonly understood. How do you go about deciding which type of loan is best? What documents do you need? How much debt can you afford to carry? How do you go about the application process? Loan options There are many types of loans and it’s important to apply for the right one. The right one depends on what you need the […]


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


June 18, 2019


  • 12:00 pm

    Tuesday, October 16, at 12p.m. EDT (United States)

    Sponsored by: SocialMedia Today; @sociamedia2day

    Topic: Social Media in a Post-GDPR World

    Note: #SMTLive Twitter chats 2x a month to bring our community of social media and digital marketing professionals together to discuss a trending issue.


June–July 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."


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    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. ”

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  • " 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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