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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®

March 22, 2019

Calculate Your Risk?

Taking risks is part of being a business owner, but you don’t want to be reckless. There are steps you can take to understand your risk, including doing due diligence and anticipating mistakes. Use Valpak’s formula: risk = probability of loss x value of loss (see Infographic via ValPak.com here).

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade,” said Charles Dickens. It’s the start of Spring and a time that’s ideal for cleaning things in your business. It’s a subject I write on just about every year because I’m usually in the thick of my own Spring cleaning. Compelling reasons for Spring cleaning You may think that this activity is just another tedious chore. But if you keep in mind the benefits for your business to be derived, you’ll […]

  • It seems that today, just about everything involving your business needs a special policy. This includes driving on company business. Having a vehicle and drivers’ policy for your staff can enhance employee safety and avoid costly accidents. Here are essential considerations for crafting a good company driving policy.   Basic rules Because the company may be financially liable for accidents, whether the vehicle is owned or leased by the company or belongs to the employee driving on company business (see this TimeSheets article on point), be sure to have a solid vehicle and drivers policy. Your policy should reiterate to employees […]

  • The last time you had to deal with a utility, how much time did you have to spend on resolving an issue? Recently I had to change carriers and the matter should have taken only a few minutes. It wound up taking hours and hours, wasting more than half a work day (not to mention the aggravation involved). This prompted me to think about all of the time wasters we face in business and what we could do about them. Various sources have found that employees waste hours each work day, and it’s not because they’re lazy; there are time […]

  • Most businesses use vehicles—cars, trucks, or vans—to conduct their activities. For example, on Schedule Cs for self-employed individuals in 2015 (the most recent year for statistics), deductions for car and truck expenses was nearly $90 billion! There are numerous tax-related issues for using vehicles in your business. Here are 10 of them: 1. Should you buy or lease the vehicle? The decision involves not only tax considerations, but also financial ones. Leasing usually allows you to use a more expensive vehicle for less cost than buying. But if the vehicle is going to be driven more than 15,000 miles a […]

  • One of the top complaints from employees is that their leaders do not communicate well. They don’t give clear directions or offer constructive criticism. Some refuse to talk to subordinates or even know their names. If you want to be a good leader, you need to learn to listen and communicate more effectively. As Lee Iacocca said: “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” Communication skills Success has identified 6 key communication skills to master in order to be a better leader: Know yourself (i.e., self-awareness) Know your audience […]

  • If your business conducts research and development (R&D), you may be eligible for certain tax breaks. This is so whether you’re creating a new product or merely working on new internal-use software to run things better within your company. These tax breaks are significant and greatly reduce the financial cost of your R&D activities. Expensing of R&D costs From a tax perspective, research and development (R&D) costs can be treated in one of 3 ways: Deduct all costs currently Elect to treat the costs as deferred expenses, amortizing them over a period of at least 60 months Elect to amortize […]

  • The tax law is not static. Since the publication of this book, the IRS has provided guidance on some of the changes for 2018 returns that were made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). And there’s been additional legislation, court cases, and other IRS pronouncements that affect 2018 returns as well as planning for taxes in 2019. Here are the key developments, some of which can apply to your 2018 return while others impact your 2019 withholding and estimated taxes. At the time this Supplement posted, Congress had not yet addressed the tax rules that expired […]

  • The tax law is not static. Since the publication of this book, the IRS has provided guidance on some of the changes for 2018 returns that were made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). And there’s been additional legislation, court cases, and other IRS pronouncements that affect 2018 returns as well as planning for taxes in 2019. For small business owners, it is important to take action based on what is known now, and to watch for any tax changes that may affect your business and personal taxes in the future. Pay attention to what is […]

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Resources For Your Business

Sales Tax Issues for 2019

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

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

March 22, 2019

UPCOMING TWEETCHATS

March–April 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."

testimonials

  • " 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

  • " 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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