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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®

October 20, 2021

National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day

The third Wednesday in October is annually observed as Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day. Check with your local chamber to see if there are any special events today (e.g., an open house, a volunteer activity). #IdeaoftheDay

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Early in the fourth quarter of 2021 is a good time to begin year-end planning. The sooner you get a jump on things, the more options you’ll have and the less stressed you’ll be. Line up your benefits package for 2022 While 2022 may seem a long time from now, it’s not too early to make firm decisions for the coming year. Health coverage. Decide now how you plan to handle health coverage for your staff in 2022. Will you buy group coverage (from a private insurer or through the Small Business Health Options Program [SHOP], assuming you have no […]

  • When you go into business with others, things don’t always work out as anticipated. Co-owners can disagree about the direction of the business and, as a result, one may want to leave the company. One owner may have a change in family situation or a desire to do something else. An owner may have health issues, become incapacitated, or simply want to retire. Or, as the pandemic has demonstrated, an owner may suddenly die (they don’t want out; they’re just out!). When an owner leaves the business, the departure triggers financial, legal, personal, and practical issues that need to be […]

  • Just about anything you do or say, or anything you don’t do or say, is potentially problematic from a legal perspective. There are so many rules and regulations that govern just about every mode of conduct for business. Violating a rule doesn’t mean you’re headed for a penitentiary. But it could result in lawsuits, fines, penalties, and a lot of time to address claims against you. It can also damage a business’s reputation and brand. Small businesses don’t have in-house legal counsel to advise them on every step, so what are owners to do? As the saying goes, the best […]

  • As the challenges of the pandemic continue and the hours of daylight get shorter, it’s understandable that you and your employees may feel fatigued, distracted, and perhaps mentally exhausted. Nonetheless, the company benefits when you and your employees are working at optimal levels and this can’t be done when you’re feeling down. Now’s the time to shake things up and re-energize. Here are some ideas to help to get you back to peak. Many are obvious or known, but it’s helpful to remind yourself to do it! 1. Get physical. Sitting in one place for a long time is enervating. […]

  • Late with filing a tax return with the IRS? Didn’t correctly figure and pay what you owe? Did something you weren’t supposed to do? Don’t worry. While the tax law has multiple penalties in place to discourage and punish mistakes, there are many ways in which you can get them lifted. In tax parlance, this is called penalty abatement. Generally, penalty relief falls into 4 categories: reasonable cause, penalty exceptions created in the Tax Code, administrative waivers from the IRS, and correction of IRS errors. The following is excerpted from my book J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2022, which will […]

  • Dubbed “The Great Resignation,” employees are leaving their employers in record numbers. In April 2021 alone, 4 million people quit their stable jobs in search of something more fulfilling. With vacancies at an all-time high, employee retention is a priority issue now more than ever. If you are a small business owner, you likely wake up and go to sleep with the same question on your mind: what can I do to keep my employees happy so they’ll stick with me? Reward and recognition programs emerged at a time when companies, mostly in tech, were drawing and retaining employees not […]

  • What Is Small Business?

    Last month included National Small Business Week. Politicians are continually claiming to help small businesses. My website is dedicated to educating small business owners. So what exactly is “small business”? There’s no easy answer. Overview of the problem There’s no single definition of “small business.” The answers vary by government departments and agencies as well as banking, insurance, and other private-sector industries. Definitions may be based on: Number of employees Amount of revenue (often gross receipts) Amount of assets Government definitions Different departments and agencies use different definitions. The following is a sampling of some of the most common ones: […]

  • Usually, health insurance premiums are a one-way street; you pay them to the insurance company. But the insurance company may pay you—because of the rule on medical loss ratios (MLRs). It’s estimated that rebates paid to group health plan sponsors in 2021 disbursed in the Fall for the 2020 policy year are about $618 million. Additional amounts totaling $1.5 billion are payable to those enrolled in the individual market. Depending upon what you paid, the rebate may represent a nice infusion of cash for your business. What is the medical loss ratio rule and how do you treat any rebate […]

  • When the pandemic began, remote work arrangements were the only option for some companies to stay in business. Now, remote work arrangements—full-time or hybrid—have become the norm, with many companies deferring return-to-office policy until 2022. Telework, as it used to be called, offers benefits for both employers and employees. The pros and cons of remote work arrangements were explored in a blog that predates the pandemic; they remain the same. But there are risks that should not be overlooked. Here are some ideas for addressing selected risks associated with having employees work remotely. Physical injuries Workers are covered by workers’ […]

  • There’s no denying that, year after year, cybersecurity risks tend to increase in number and complexity. New York joined the growing list of states enacting legislation to try and regulate the use of private, personal data. The New York Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act, known as the SHIELD Act, is something businesses and individuals need to be aware of. What is the SHIELD Act? The New York SHIELD Act requires businesses to implement specific safeguards for New York state’s residents regarding their personal information. The act broadens New York’s security breach notification requirements to protect residents from […]

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Resources For Your Business

Lending Money to Your Business: What to Consider

10 Easy No- and Low-Cost Ways to Spiff Up Your Home Office

Hurricane Season Preparedness: Why It Matters

Recovery Strategies: Revising Your Business Plan

FINSYNC: Get fast, flexible and affordable financing for your business. Learn more.
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barbara’s books

  • Small Business Taxes 2021 helps small business owners maximize their bottom line with straightforward, yet comprehensive guidance from the most trusted name in tax.
    Featuring a complete listing of all available business expense deductions, including dollar limits and record-keeping requirements, this book helps you quickly determine what kind of tax relief is available to you, and how to take it--all the way down to where to claim deductions on the forms themselves. Tax facts, strategies, and the latest up-to-date information -- including coverage of the SECURE Act and the CARES Act -- help ensure that you don't miss out on money-saving opportunities, and sample forms and checklists help you get organized and submit a complete and proper filing.
  • The complete guide to all deductions and credits for individual taxpayers J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks shows you just how much money you can save on your taxes--legally--simply by taking advantage of what's out there.
    Millions of Americans overpay their taxes by billions of dollars every year, because constantly evolving laws and regulations make keeping track of deductions and breaks next to impossible for the everyday taxpayer. This book helps you put a stop to overpayment so you can keep more of your hard-earned money. With a complete list of every possible deduction and credit available to American taxpayers, and clear, easy-to-follow instructions for claiming what is rightfully yours, it is fully-updated to reflect the latest rulings and laws--including the SECURE Act and the CARES Act. Also, an e-supplement with the latest tax developments from the IRS and Congress is provided so that this book answers all of your "Can I claim..." questions with guidance from the nation's most trusted tax advisors.
  • Ideas you'll use everyday!

    With only so many hours in the day, it’s impossible to stay on top of key developments and opportunities to help you run your business better and smarter. 500+ Big Ideas for Your Small Business gives you quick access to resources and tips you can use every day. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, you’ll find actionable ideas to help you with your finances, your operations, your staff, your marketing, your taxes, your technology, your environment, and your personal growth.
  • 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. Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show, and author of the award-winning books, “The 3rd Ingredient,” and “The Age of the Customer” says:  "At a time when working from home is becoming the norm, why wouldn’t right now be a perfect time to start a home-based business? If you’re still with me, here’s the next logical question: Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to do that from someone who was home-based before it was cool? Someone who was making being home-based look good before technology made it easy. Well, that person is my friend, Barbara Weltman, and she’s put all of her experience, wisdom and perspective in a new book, “Home-Based Business Start-up Guide.” It’s a by-the-numbers tutorial on how to launch a successful home-based business. Let Barbara help you get your home-based business going with her book, and all of the other awesome resources she produces in support of small businesses. She’s the best."
  • 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!
  • 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."

testimonials

  • " Love your articles!
    I love the simplicity of your articles. ”

    -Marie Porolniczak, CB

  • " Home-Based Business Start-Up Guide
    Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show, and author of the award-winning books, “The 3rd Ingredient,” and “The Age of the Customer” says:  "At a time when working from home is becoming the norm, why wouldn’t right now be a perfect time to start a home-based business? If you’re still with me, here’s the next logical question: Why wouldn’t you want to learn how to do that from someone who was home-based before it was cool? Someone who was making being home-based look good before technology made it easy. Well, that person is my friend, Barbara Weltman, and she’s put all of her experience, wisdom and perspective in a new book, “Home-Based Business Start-up Guide.” It’s a by-the-numbers tutorial on how to launch a successful home-based business. Let Barbara help you get your home-based business going with her book, and all of the other awesome resources she produces in support of small businesses. She’s the best." ”

    -Jim Blasingame, Host of The Small Business Advocate Show

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    I love your ideas of the day! They have become an instrumental part of my learning! ”

    - Gina Bertoletti

  • " You should sign up for the Idea of the Day®
    You should sign up for the "Idea of the Day®" by Barbara Weltman. This will give you great tips and help you with your daily business needs. She writes every article with consummate skill. ”

    -Lesley

  • " 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

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