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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 15, 2019

National Hispanic Heritage Month

The observance runs from September 15 (the anniversary of independence for 5 Latin American countries) to October 15. Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latinx Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture. The theme this year: Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation. Find a list of some of the great educators, politicians, jurists, public servants, and other Hispanics here.

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Resources For Your Business
  • Julia Child said: “Any disaster is a learning process.” With Hurricane Dorian recently behind us, it’s a good reminder about being sure to understand what employers owe to employees after a disaster. The matter is complicated by various factors: the type of employee involved (exempt or non-exempt), whether or how long you’re closed for business, and federal versus state and local laws. Do you have to pay employees for the time your company was closed? Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), you must continue paying the regular salary to exempt employees (managers and others not subject to federal […]

  • George Bernard Shaw said: “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” Being able to change your mind is a quality of good leadership. It means listening to other points of view and, where appropriate, moving in a direction that differs from your original course. Being openminded is a way to gain the trust and respect of your staff. And it certainly can lead to new ideas to help your business grow. What do you need to do in order to be openminded? Ditch old habits Thinking in a certain way is a product of doing things routinely. Get […]

  • “What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork,” said Pearl Bailey. Of course, she was right. But the government doesn’t see it that way. Different agencies have different record retention requirements. And in addition to this, there are other recordkeeping requirements for your business. Here is a roundup of some of the records you need to keep and for how long. Company records As a business, you need to keep a number of records. These include: Incorporation or limited liability company formation receipt from your state: keep permanently. Bylaws and corporate minutes: keep permanently. Licenses and permits: keep […]

  • What about a job applicant’s salary history? Labor Day is the time to celebrate the American worker. One of the issues that has come to the forefront in recent years is the matter of a job applicant’s salary history. There has been a growing number of states barring employers from inquiring about past salary history. But not all states are on board. Be sure to understand what you can and cannot ask a job applicant about his or her salary history. States barring inquiries Proponents of a ban on questions related to salary history argue that the questions discriminate primarily […]

  • Holiday sales are expected to grow, so be prepared If you’re planning to take a vacation or travel to see family at holiday time, it’s a good idea to book now. But even more important, if the holiday season is an important sales period for your business, now is the time to get started. It’s predicted that holiday sales are expected to grow 3.7% over last year and, for the first time, reach $1 trillion. Watch the calendar The holiday shopping season unofficially starts in October. But even in the summer months, there are Christmas-themed items for sale at retailers. […]

  • Introducing Bitcoin Bitcoin, which began in 2008, has entered the vernacular. It’s not the only virtual currency out there, but it’s the one that most people know about. At present, a number of major companies, including Microsoft, Intuit, and, accept Bitcoin as payment. The question is whether you should too. Understanding Bitcoin Bitcoin is one type of an Internet-based “digital currency.” It is based on a protocol that enables payment to be made between parties without an interim, such as a bank or credit card company. The value of Bitcoin fluctuates, so it can’t be said that one Bitcoin […]

  • Business Etiquette 101

    What does “business etiquette” mean? Business etiquette is an umbrella term that includes not only business manners in the workplace (including business dining), but also business communications, business attire, and more. As someone who’s been around for a while, it’s amazing to think that a blog on the subject of business etiquette could be helpful, but I think it is. How many times have you been in a meeting when an attendee gets a phone call…and takes it right there and then? How many times have business associates shown up late to a meeting with you? These situations demonstrate poor […]

  • 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 […]


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

September 2019
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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.
  • This e-Book was created for Uber and Lyft drivers as their GPS -- to help them get where they want to go in their business, safely and securely. 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 and Lyft Driver's Guide to Running Your Business," is your answer!  
  • 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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