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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®

May 29, 2020

Security System for Your Small Business

How can you protect your premises when your doors are closed or you’re operating at reduced hours? Kangaroo has a small business initiative, partnership with Staples, that gives you 3 months to use security equipment (indoor security camera, motion and entry sensors, siren and keypad units, yard sign and decal) and monitoring for free (there’s an $80 deposit). After that, you can continue to pay for the service or return the equipment in a prepaid envelope (and get the $80 back).

Alert: Follow coronavirus-related federal tax changes for your business through the IRS.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Yes, we’re in a recession. Yes, we’re still under COVID-related restrictions on how businesses must operate. But despite these negative concerns, there are some compelling reasons why now is a great time to begin a new venture. Some of the biggest companies around today got started during the Great Depression (e.g., United Technologies, The Walt Disney Company, which was incorporated in 1929 as Walt Disney Productions, and HP), the Dot Com Bubble Burst (Google, Mailchimp, and Salesforce), or the Great Recession of 2007-2009 (Airbnb, Groupon, Square, and Uber). So if you have an idea for a business, don’t let current […]

  • The pandemic has squeezed the resources of many businesses, forcing them to review their budgets and make cutbacks. Nonetheless, they must continue to be efficient and operate effectively in order to survive. In many instances, this challenge can be met with the help of software solutions. If you find yourself in this dilemma, here are some ideas to help you do more with less. Review your business plan now This activity forces you to look at your objectives as revised in light of COVID-19 as well as your budget. If things have changed since you initially made projections for 2020, […]

  • The worst of the COVID-19 virus may be behind us from a medical perspective, but economically the pain has just begun. Some states are slowly, very slowly, getting back to work. Others are still under stay-at-home orders. During the initial period of recovery, there are some words to watch for that may be helpful to you if you’re experiencing cash flow problems: forbearance, deferral, and forgiveness. Be sure to understand what they mean from a legal and financial perspective, whether they apply to you, and what the ramifications of their application will be. Also consider what they mean to you […]

  • Business as we knew it before COVID-19 will never be the same. Many things are changing in order for companies to operate safely…for their employees and customers. Business models may have to be altered and big changes may be necessary for fiscal survival. But little things may also be required for day-to-day operations.  Here are some practical ideas to consider in the new normal of the business world: Your physical setup Office space may need to be refigured in order to space out workers to avoid future contamination. One news article suggests that open space floor plans may be replaced with […]

  • If you are self-employed and conduct business from home, you may be eligible to take a home office deduction. There are strict tax rules governing eligibility. But stay-at-home orders may allow for a partial year deduction in some cases. This is my educated guess (it’s not tax advice; it’s provided for information purposes only). Basics of the home office deduction To claim the write-off, you must use a portion of your home regularly and exclusively for business. A spare bedroom or an undisturbed corner of a family room used only for business is fine; the kitchen table where you have […]

  • In response to statistics showing that only 53% of workers at companies with fewer than 100 employees were able to participate in a qualified retirement plan, the SECURE Act, which became effective on December 20, 2019, made changes to induce small businesses to offer plans. Toward this end, the new law expanded the existing tax credit for setting up a plan and added another credit for adopting an automatic enrollment plan. It’s unknown whether these tax incentives led any small businesses to adopt new plans for 2020. Nonetheless, new plans, as well as existing 401(k) plans, now find themselves in a […]

  • The second Sunday of May is the annual celebration of Mother’s Day. This year, because of stay-at-home orders, mothers with school-age children deserve extra praise. If they’re working mothers, they have to juggle their work and monitor their children’s remote learning. Fathers who are present may help with childcare and household chores, but according to anecdotal information typically it’s the mothers who are the decision-makers for scheduling and assigning tasks. Celebrating mothers Fortunately, many mothers will be recognized and appreciated on this day despite quarantines, restaurant closures, and the serious problems in the global flower market. According to the National Retail […]

  • With so many people currently working from home, focusing on work can be problematic. It’s important to be able to concentrate on work when it needs to get done. There are strategies and tools to help you with this. Some may work for you; others may not. The point is to think about ways to improve your concentration and decide which options are helpful to you. Strategy: Don’t multitask Pros.  Many experts say to do just one thing at a time. Trying to juggle too many tasks simultaneously merely breaks concentration. Schedule tasks so you can handle them sequentially. Cons:  Working on more […]

  • Additional Supplement to J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax 2020; J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2020; and J.K. Lasser’s 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2020 The coronavirus — COVID-19 — has necessitated many changes in tax rules impacting 2019 returns, estimated taxes for 2020, and refunds related to taxes in pre-2019 years. To keep you informed and help you handle your 2019 return, your 2020 estimated taxes if needed, and refund opportunities, here  are some tax changes of note from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as well as from the […]


Resources For Your Business

4 Steps to a Paycheck Protection Program Loan

Setting Up a Home Office

A Book Interview Featuring J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2020

Employee Stock Ownership Plans Are a Win-Win


May 29, 2020


Events in May–June 2020

barbara’s books

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

    J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2020 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 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.
  • 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!
  • A complete list of individual tax relief opportunities

    J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2020 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 2019 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.
  • 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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  • " 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. ”

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    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! ”

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  • " 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. ”

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  • " Thank You, Barbara!
    "Thank you, Barbara Weltman, for all of your articles and tax advice to small business owners! All the best." ”

    -Shane Madigan

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    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. ”

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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

  • " 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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