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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 17, 2018

National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day

The third Wednesday in October is annually observed as Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day. It is suggested that observance can be done by volunteering for a Chamber of Commerce event. Use #SupportYourLocalChamberOfCommerceDay or #NationalSupportYourLocalChamberOfCommerceDay to post on social media.

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Some colors have become synonymous with certain big companies: red is part of CocaCola’s brand, IBM is “Big Blue,” and McDonalds is identified by the golden arches. Make colors work for you when you’re redecorating your office, designing a logo, or creating advertising material. More than 15 years ago I looked into this subject and learned then that color can account for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of a product or service (while this stat is quoted often, my original source/link for it no longer works). So I thought I’d go back and paint a picture of how colors […]

  • Deducting Business Meals

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated any deduction for entertainment costs, so taking a customer to a ballgame or an associate to the theater is not deductible after 2017. Clearly the cost of meals consumed during business travel was under prior law and is under current law deductible. However, the repeal of the entertainment deduction raised doubt about the deduction for wining and dining customers, clients, vendors, employees, and other business associates. Fortunately, the IRS has clarified the rule and it’s favorable to businesses. Basic rule The cost of food and beverages is deductible when certain conditions are met: […]

  • In today’s workplace, you’re likely to have employees of all ages. They fall into different generations. They have different experiences and skills. They may or may not have different work habits. Understanding your staff and maximizing what each employee has to offer is the key to creating a great company culture that benefits your business. What are the generations? Labels say a lot. The following is a list of generations from the Pew Research Center, based on the year of birth (there’s considerable dispute about the breakpoints): Silent generation (1928-1945) Baby boomers (1946-1964) Generation X (1965-1980) Millennials (1981-1996) Generation Z […]

  • Payment Card Security Revisited

    Nearly half of all data breaches are aimed at small businesses and occur through the acceptance of credit cards. Last year we posted a blog on this topic and want to update it in light of the Verizon 2018 Payment Security Report (you have to give your name, email, and company in order to download it); here’s an executive summary of the report. Some of what follows is a repeat of the prior blog which, from the Verizon report, was not taken too seriously by many businesses. Trends in payment security The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) helps […]

  • One of the biggest financial challenges facing many employees these days is student loan debt. It may be millennials with their own loans, or it may be older employees with loans they’ve taken to put their children through school. According to the Federal Reserve and Make Lemonade, there are currently more than 44 million borrowers who owe $1.52 trillion in student loan debt. As an employer, what does this mean to you? Impact on employee retention Student loan debt may influence whether a person accepts a job offer or stays on a job with you. According to research, 90% of […]

  • One hundred and ten years ago, a girl was born in Queens, New York, and grew up there, like me. She would go on to found, with her husband Joseph Lauter (later changed to Lauder), a cosmetic empire. According to TIME Magazine, she is one of the 20 most influential builders and titans of the 20th century (the only woman to make the list). Her personal story and professional success are inspirational. And her famous quotations are motivational. Here are my top 20 favorite quotes: “All great things begin with a vision…a dream.” “Risk taking is the cornerstone of empires.” […]

  • Pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, sloth … the 7 deadly sins that the Catholic Church warned against in the middle ages. It’s easy to see how each of these sins can be applied in a business context. For example, Harvard Business Review posted an article on The Seven Deadly Sins of Management, explaining lust is all about vanity projects, pride about overestimating abilities (you get the picture). But I think there are other sins that business owners can commit to the detriment of their businesses. Here are my top 7: 1. Rashness. This is all about not having a […]

  • With unemployment at historic lows, the job market now is tight. It’s so tight that the NFIB August 2018 report found that a quarter of all small business owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their single most important business problem. So how do you ensure that the employees you have will stay and the openings you have will be filled? One key way is to learn what employees think and address their concerns. Make employees feel valued It’s a sad fact that about 70% of U.S. workers feel disengaged at work. This leads to workers changing jobs […]

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Resources For Your Business

Book Interview - J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2018

10 Summertime Actions for Your Business

#TWEETCHAT CALENDAR
TODAY'S TWEETCHATS

October 17, 2018

UPCOMING TWEETCHATS

  • 8:00 pm
    #SmallbizChat

    Each Wednesday from 8-9pm ET
    Sponsored by: @SmallBizLady, @Tai_Goodwin

October–November 2018

barbara’s books

  • The ultimate money-saving tax guide for the small business owner.   J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes is designed to help business owners make sense of their taxes and file correctly, on time, without over- or under-paying.  Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this reliable resource offers a complete overview of small business tax planning and provides you with the information needed to make tax-smart decisions throughout the year. Focusing on strategies that help you use deductions and tax credits effectively, shield business income, and maximize other aspects of small business taxes, this practical guide will show you how your actions in business today can affect your bottom line from a tax perspective tomorrow.
  • 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. Fully updated to reflect the latest rulings and laws — including an e-supplement with the latest tax developments from the IRS and Congress — this book answers all of your "Can I claim…" questions with guidance from the nation's most trusted tax advisors.
  • 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.3
  • Smooth Failing - Living Edition

    This is the Living Edition of Smooth Failing. New stories from business leaders on their business failures and the lessons learned will be added regularly at no additional cost. Alerts will be sent out automatically when each new version is available. Specific requests and challenges can be submitted by the reader for future consideration and these will dictate how often and how many additional stories will be made available.
  • 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

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    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

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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! ”

    -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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