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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®

August 20, 2019

Phishing Scams Proliferate

According to information shared by BroadbandSearch, nearly 1.5 million new phishing sites are created each month. And it costs a business on average $1.6 million to deal with the impact of a phishing attack. Here’s a list of the 9 popular phishing scams to be aware of.

New blog today! The Minimum Wage Conundrum: What Can You Do?

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Small businesses consider their options in the face of rising minimum wage rates Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 hour. But many states and some cities have higher minimum wage rates. The highest one is in San Francisco, where the rate is $16.30 per hour. With calls to raise the federal minimum wage rate to $15 per hour, what can small businesses do to cope with this added cost of doing business? The options aren’t easy. Background on minimum wage rate hikes The minimum wage rate is climbing in some localities. For example, in New York City, the rate […]

  • The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule that will expand accessibility of affordable retirement plans to small businesses. The rule, which has an effective date of September 30, 2019, may be changed after comments to it from the public are reviewed (the deadline for comments is October 29, 2019), but here are some facts to explain what association retirement plans (ARPs) are about so you can decide if they are a retirement plan option for your company going forward. Background The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 38 million employees (approximately 53%) working for small and mid-sized companies […]

  • To run your business efficiently, you need good equipment and machinery. You may want to add to or replace what you have now. Newer versions usually run faster and smarter, and may be more energy efficient.  In order to help businesses afford investments in such property, the tax law permits special write-offs up front. There is a Sec. 179 deduction (called “first-year expensing”), which is capped at an annual dollar amount ($1,020,000 in 2019 for most types of property). There is also a special allowance you can take to write off the cost of certain property, which is referred to as […]

  • What is social entrepreneurship? According to Shopify, social entrepreneurship is doing business for a social cause. It could be called altruistic entrepreneurship. In researching this topic, there are different types of social entrepreneurship; all have value…to your business and your community. The benefit to your business: an added way to make your company stand out from your competitors by showing your social responsibility awareness. Many consumers today want to do business only with companies that display a social conscience. The benefit to your community is the financial assistance you provide to charities. “One-on-one” model With this type of social entrepreneurship, […]

  • Is Grit a Vital Leadership Quality? Several months ago I read Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance by Angela Lee Duckworth, Ph.D. and a MacArthur Fellow. She’d previously given a Ted Talk on the subject. Her theory is that grit is a predictor of academic and professional success. And to me, grit is a vital leadership quality. What is grit? According to Merriam-Webster, grit is firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger. Sounds like many small business owners I know, who have the resolve to press ahead despite setbacks and challenges. A Time […]

  • A non-compete agreement is a contract between a company and an employee, barring the employee from “competing” with the company when he or she leaves the job. What sometimes happens is that employees gain vital skills and experience only to leave the employer and go into their own competing businesses. Or they find employment with a competitor who will pay higher compensation. Non-competes have been used to deter workers from leaving the company. But in recent years, the status of non-compete agreements has been in play. Common law issues with non-compete agreements The Treasury Department estimates that about 18% of […]

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Created a New Type of Deduction—the Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction This deduction is designed to lower the effective tax rate for owners of pass-through entities … sole proprietors (including independent contractors), limited liability company members, partners, and S corporation shareholders. The 2018 income tax return was the first time that this deduction could be claimed. This personal deduction doesn’t require any cash outlay or special action; it belongs automatically to eligible business owners. Again, it is merely a mechanism to reduce the effective tax rate on their business income. While some business owners […]


Resources For Your Business

Getting Out of Your Commercial Lease

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


August 20, 2019


  • 12:00 pm

    Tuesday, October 16, at 12p.m. EDT (United States)

    Sponsored by: SocialMedia Today; @sociamedia2day

    Topic: Social Media in a Post-GDPR World

    Note: #SMTLive Twitter chats 2x a month to bring our community of social media and digital marketing professionals together to discuss a trending issue.


August–September 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."


  • " 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. ”


  • " 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

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    -Don Aronowitz


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