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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®

September 23, 2021

2021 SMB Trends Report

According to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce  with small and midsize business owners, government programs and communities were vital to struggling businesses as a result of pandemic shutdowns: 69% said government support was important to their company’s survival while 67% said community support was important too. Looking ahead, 71% say customers expect online transactions and 95% are taking action to secure company data. #IdeaoftheDay

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Big Ideas For Your Business

Resources For Your Business
  • Why Are You in Business?

    Today’s challenges to small business owners are immense. COVID-19 aside (which, of course, is hard to put aside), there are challenges from the marketplace as well as from government. There’s competition, pressure to increase wages, problems in finding and retaining qualified employees, an endless array of employment-related government rules, tax complexity, supply chain problems, adapting to new technology, and more and more and more. So why are you in business? This may be a question that many small business owners are asking themselves now. Here are some answers to which you might relate: Having independence Having your own business means […]

  • September 2021 saw unprecedented destruction due to wildfires in California as well as Hurricane Ida—which cut a path of tornados and flooding up through more than a dozen states. But disasters can happen at any time in any location. If a business has been impacted by a disaster, hopefully there is insurance to cover the loss. But in reality, insurance may not cover everything…especially if you have a high deductible on the policy. What can you do from a tax and financial perspective to “weather the storm?” Submitting insurance claims Hopefully, you have your insurance company or agent’s telephone number […]

  • As employees return to the office after more than a year of working from home, it’s inevitable that office rules will change. Things won’t return entirely to pre-pandemic routines. Here are some rule changes to consider: Work arrangements Many employees have become accustomed to working from home and aren’t keen on returning to the office (leaving COVID-19 concerns aside). Some companies have delayed returns (e.g., Google postponed returns until January 2022). But those seeing employees return now are adopting more flexible arrangements. For example, some are allowing employees to work from home other than requiring attendance at the office a […]

  • While 2022 is still months away, it’s not too early to be thinking about health coverage for next year. While not every small business may have offered this employee benefit in the past (only 30.8% of firms with fewer than 50 employees did so in 2019) (the most recent year for statistics), the tight labor market virtually makes it a must now. However, the options for providing this benefit are numerous and can be tailored to your company’s needs. But you need to act now. Determine if you must offer coverage If you are an “applicable large employer” (ALE), under […]

  • Joni Mitchell only looked at clouds, love, and life in her 1966 song “Both Sides Now.” In today’s post-pandemic culture, there are so many issues to look at from different views. The following are some of the hotly debated matters which small businesses need to resolve in the pandemic recovery period. There are both sides to each of these matters, so ultimately, it’s up to the owner to decide, within the limits allowed by law. Work arrangements Should businesses require employees to return to the office? (Obviously, restaurants, retail stores, construction businesses, and other businesses need employees onsite.) Should businesses […]

  • The time clock, which has enabled employers to verify the time employees start and leave the job, was invented in 1888 by Willard Bundy, a jeweler who used the mechanical timepiece to track employee hours in order to figure their pay. There’s a famous picture of 74-year old Thomas Edison clocking in at his lab in Menlo Park, NJ (he used it to track the hours spent on projects and not to monitor workers’ hours for purposes of wages). Today, time clocks are still in use in many enterprises and are readily available for purchase at Staples and other office […]

  • September is National Preparedness Month, an observance created by the Department of Homeland Security. This year’s theme: “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” The theme for week one is “Make a Plan.” With the hurricane season underway as demonstrated by Hurricane Ida and disasters in Tennessee and North Carolina in recent memory, now’s the time to take action. While the information on Ready.gov is geared to preparedness by individuals and families, it’s a good reminder for businesses to make plans too. The following information is drawn from several prior blogs on this subject. Why you […]

  • A month from now, on September 30, 2021, a number of business tax credits end. Others are scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Of course, any of these credits may be extended by Congress. But in case they aren’t, here’s a list of business-related tax credits (and a few income tax rules) set to run out soon. In some instances, you are stuck with the end of the break and there’s not much to be done. However, in other cases, you may be able to act now and capitalize on an opportunity that is soon to end. […]

  • During the government’s 2020 fiscal year (ending September 30, 2020), there were 1.8 million C corporations and more than 5 million S corporations. While we don’t know how many of them were small corporations, we can estimate that most fit this category because the SBA says that 99.9% of all businesses are “small.” Win or lose, using a corporation for business start-ups may produce tax breaks for owners. Because of the specific conditions for each break, one or both may apply in a particular situation (i.e., you may use a break if you win or lose). But again, depending on the situation […]

  • Cybersecurity isn’t just for big companies. While small businesses may not be as tempting targets for cybercriminals, they have comparatively more to lose from a data breach. In light of this risk, small business security is essential. In 2019, 43% of online attacks targeted smaller companies. More worryingly, these incidents cost $200,000 on average, causing 60% of victims to go out of business within six months of the attack. Small business cybersecurity must improve, but many companies may not pursue it over concerns about its costs. While advanced security solutions can be expensive, many low-cost options can bring significant improvements. […]

Multimedia

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

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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! ”

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  • " 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

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    Thank you for finding this important information. Getting your daily email is like getting an MBA in small business. ”

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  • " 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. ”

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