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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®

January 24, 2019

Mandatory Apprenticeship Programs?

That’s what’s required in New Jersey for contractors doing public works. A new law taking effect later this year requires such contractors to certify their participation in a DOL-approved apprenticeship program.

New blog post today!  Steps to Take for Better Data Security

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • It’s not news that small businesses are targets for cyber attacks that compromise their prized data. This can leave their data on customers and employees at risk and cost on average $86.5 thousand in legal compliance matters when there are breaches (e.g., informing those customers and employees, providing identity protection monitoring, restoring corrupted data). Basic steps Just a few years ago (a decade ago?), cyber security meant simply having a firewall and good password protection. (ComputerWeekly.com referred to this as “perimeter defense.”) No more. Greater security measures are needed to keep out the bad while maintaining access to information and resources. […]

  • If you are an owner in a partnership or limited liability company filing Form 1065, Partnership Income Tax Return, there’s a new chore to do this year on the 2018 return: naming a partnership representative (PR). Here is the who, what, and how of this important business chore. Remember, while you may have a CPA or other tax professional complete the return for your business, it’s up to you to appoint a PR. Who is a PR A partnership representative is the person who is the key player in partnership audits under the centralized audit regime that applies to tax […]

  • Special Tax Breaks for Farmers

    The majority of the more than 2 million farms in the U.S. are small businesses. The USDA says that “in 2016, farms organized as pass-through entities constituted over 98% of family farms and 90% of the total value of U.S. agricultural production.” While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made many changes for business in general, it carved out some exceptions and special breaks for farmers. The USDA estimates that the overall effect of tax changes made by this law on family farm households (factoring in changes for individuals and businesses) is a reduction in their effective tax rate. Depreciation […]

  • It’s an unfortunate fact that the chances of becoming disabled are too high to be ignored. According to Council for Disability Awareness, 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire. Yet less than half (49%) of working adults in the U.S. have disability insurance (other than basic Social Security coverage or workers compensation). What to do? Sick days Your company may offer a set number of paid sick days. Unused days may or may not carry over to the following year. Obviously sick days are only a stopgap measure and won’t cover any employee for […]

  • Figuring Your Estimated Taxes

    Business owners who are self-employed usually pay their taxes in four estimated tax payments for the year. The final installment for 2018 is due on January 15, 2019. The first installment of estimated tax for 2019 is due on April 15, 2019. Figuring estimated taxes correctly is important so you don’t overpay and have to wait for a refund or underpay, which can result in penalties.  In the past several years, some owners have deliberately underpaid estimated taxes because the IRS penalty was so low. But with interest rates rising, this strategy is going to be costly. Here are some […]

  • Developing Leadership Qualities

    The start of a new year is a great time for small business owners to reflect on the kind of leaders they are or should be. Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds, said: “the quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” Because there are many qualities that go into being a great leader, I’m going to focus on them one at a time … one each month. I’ve identified 12 qualities to be examined and how to develop them in yourself and your employees: Delegating Confidence/courage/inspiration Listening/communicating Integrity/honesty Decisiveness Creativity/vision Empathy/patience Openmindedness Grit Vision Taking […]

  • Most tax rules are fixed and you must follow them. But there’s some flexibility which is provided through special tax elections. You can choose in some situations to do or not do certain required things.  Here is a roundup of some elections you may want to consider with respect to your 2018 return or think about them as an option for 2019. Writing off equipment purchases If you bought and placed in service equipment or certain types of property, you have some choices to make. In making these choices, consider the impact they have on other tax breaks. Whether you want […]

  • According to History.com, the concept of New Year’s resolutions dates back about 4,000 years to the Babylonians who recorded their resolutions during a religious festival that started their new year (which happened to fall in March). These resolutions took the form of promises to their gods. Making personal New Year’s resolutions to save money, lose weight, quit smoking, read more, or something else is common practice today. Business owners may want to make their own New Year’s resolutions. Last year I shared New Year’s resolutions for businesses and business owners from various sources. I thought it would be great to […]

  • Media headlines may have been hogged by politics, natural disasters, and the deaths of well-known people, such as President George H.W. Bush. But buried below the headlines is some important news for small businesses this year. Here are some of the news items to note: Small business optimism Just review the monthly NFIB Small Business Optimism Indexes throughout the year to see that optimism among small business owners remains high. For example, the most recent index—November 2018—found that the reading of 104.8 continues the exceptionally strong two-year trend. Tax changes In January, most of the changes from the Tax Cuts […]

  • I’m proud to say it’s the 25th year of the original publication, and it’s all new for 2018 returns and year-round tax planning. The new edition, named the #1 New Release by Amazon, includes changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as well as other developments small business owners need to know. As has been my practice, I’ve written my own book review to explain the purpose of the book, what’s new, and what’s ahead. Why small business owners need a tax book If you are like the vast majority of small business owners (86%), your accountants or […]

Multimedia

Resources For Your Business

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

Challenges and Rewards of Having an Intergenerational Staff

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

January 24, 2019

UPCOMING TWEETCHATS

  • 3:00 pm
    #SmallBizEdgeChat

    Thursday, 1/24/19, at 3 pm ET

    Join @BrianMoran for the first #SmallBizEdgeChat, sponsored by our friends at @PitneyBowes.

    Topic: How to create your own "GPS Plan" for 2019.

  • 8:00 pm
    #BizapaloozaChat Unplugged

    Each Thursday, 8pm to 9pm ET (5pm to 6pm PT)

    Hosted by: Ivana Taylor @DIYMarketers

     

January–February 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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