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.
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.
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 […]
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
-Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach
-J. S. Budnik
-Meredith Wood, Fundera Ledger