Tax season is here, and what that means for many small business owners is that they are now meeting with their CPA in order to get their filings done. For one thing, small business owners usually don’t have the time to go through their tax filings themselves, and for another, since they are (usually) not trained in tax law, they might miss some key ways to maximize their tax returns and exemptions. In the end, putting a CPA on your roster is usually worth it if you take the time to make sure the one you choose is the correct fit for your business. Ensure that your CPA works with businesses like yours. If possible, finding a tax professional who specializes in small business is the strongest move you can make. These pros will be able to get you the best return since their specialty allows them the tie and the incentive to keep up to date on changing small business law and regulations. There will

Many will point out that altruism is it’s own reward, and that is certainly true. The value one gets out of helping another person is truly the unique and special feeling that it brings. That being said, there are plenty of other good reasons why a small business should consider ways of giving back to their communities, not all of them solely based on the positive moral quality of those who help others. These benefits include positive PR, networking and . There are as many ways of making a positive community impact as there are businesses, so finding a way to participate that you are comfortable with can be done with just a little thought and a few helpful suggestions. Do you run an artisanal business? If this is the case, consider holding a weekend craft demonstration. Inviting a group to check out your creative processes is a wonderful way to give back, especially to younger generations in order to inspire the next skilled craftsmen who will

Small business owners who are in the market for business to business services and products generally have social media presences put together on the biggest and most accepted networks. These include Facebook, Twitter, and G+ to name some of the first that leap to mind. However, the wider the dragnet cast for business, generally the better off you will be, and small business owners should consider the fact that maintaining a presence on just the three or four most obvious social networks is missing a much larger and more vibrant social media picture. If you are already pretty comfortable using the “big three”, then chances are you stand a lot to gain by taking the social game you’ve already honed and applying it to some other social media networks. Here are a few that you have probably already heard about, but may not yet have tried. LinkedIn. Ok, so you most likely have a profile here already, and chances are also good that you have even

We have often said that relationships are the key to successful business. Creating strong alliances with people who you can trust to be there for you makes doing the tough job of managing an enterprise that much easier. Keeping things easy is only one aspect of what makes relationships important, however. Small business owners should also consider the fact that they can actually save money by promoting stable long term  relationships with their vendors. The vendors who supply your business with the essential products that it needs to function should be considered to be more than just people who sell you things you need. Look at your vendors as an extension of your business. Just like the equipment you use to be productive and the employees you coach to perform their best, the vendor relationships you have should be actively maintained. Stronger vendor relationships save time. For one thing, it takes time to shop around. Comparing and contrasting pricing, product quality and customer support all take time and

A startling revelation reported on by MarketWatch reveals that according to data from last year, 1 in 10 small businesses had employees working under the influence of drugs or other judgement impairing substances. The report emphasized the dangers posed by prescription drugs in particular, which, while legally available to those who need them due to medical conditions, nonetheless have a potential for abuse that can lead to addiction and serious health consequences, and even death by overdose. The dangers posed by an impaired employee will vary depending on their job, proximity to heavy machinery or weapons, and their level of intoxication, but in reality any case of inebriation on the job represents more than just a danger to the employee and their coworkers, and should be viewed as a serious lapse in discipline and professionalism. Social stigma aside, any substance that impairs an employees ability to do their job effectively should not be consumed before or during work hours. There are social and personal issues that

Small business owners may or may not be aware of the phenomenon of cryptocurrency, which in plain English is the use of digital currency that is unregulated and exists purely in a digital form, usually encrypted in some manner to protect against hacking and other forms of fraud.  Bitcoin is the first, and most prominent of these currencies, and has received much media attention as it’s prices have fluctuated wildly, with peak values of the cyber money reaching an impressive $1,200 a piece. The increasing prominence of Bitcoin enters the small business picture as some bold small business owners have begun to accept the cryptocurrency as payment. As reported in the Oneida Daily Dispatch, multiple NY businesses are making sales with the digital dollars, with one business reporting that a full 8% of its sales were made in Bitcoins. The payments are made using an app, and customers can buy more bitcoins through ATM like kiosks, which appear in some business locations. Aside from being another

Small business owners with bad credit must pay close attention the the cash flows of their businesses, as not only are they vital for making payroll, obtaining supplies and financing any number of operational necessities, they also are a major factor in applying for bad credit business loan alternatives which can be important growth boosters in lieu of traditional loans. In the hustle and bustle of a typical office day, small business owners can have their attention fought over by many conflicting commitments, all equally vital to the overall health of the enterprise. However, a real danger that can potentially set a business back is pursuing sales, but slacking when it comes to the often tough work of making collections on outstanding payments. Business owners can fall behind on their collections for any number of reasons, from allowing extensions on payments, forgetting about them, to being distracted by other areas of their business that specifically demand their personal attention and expertise. Whatever the case may

In the business world, conditions rarely remain the same for long. Especially in our time, the rapid advance of technology coupled with the aftermath of a recession has created a pitching field that small business owners must be able to fluidly adapt to. For the resourceful, these turbulent times can even be a blessing in disguise, creating the openings they need to break into and disrupt markets. Coincidentally, small business owners are encouraged to stay on the cutting edge, always listening to the newest advice from leaders in their industries and scrambling to adapt their wisdom to their own way of doing things. However, before our time, in fact, thousands of years ago, strategy and fluid tactics also existed and were cataloged into a famous manual, “The Art of War” by the legendary tactician Sun Tzu. To this day, small business owners can gain insight on how to remain flexible and ready to take advantage of each situation. “All men can see these tactics whereby

BYOD, or “bring your own device” refers to the business practice of allowing your employees to use their own technology in the office, usually in an attempt to conserve capital and reduce the expenses related to purchasing computers and other devices for strictly company use. In principle, a bring your own device plan sounds like it can bring a lot of upside to small businesses. They conserve funds that they would otherwise have to allocate to purchasing and maintaining their own technology, and allow their employees to use technology that they are already comfortable with and proficient in troubleshooting (at least on a basic level). That being said, like many good ideas that don’t turn out to work as well in practice, a BYOD policy has the potential to put small business owners into uncomfortable situations that they may not have even thought of as a possibility when creating their policy. Forbes has put out an article on the dangers of BYOD. One of the primary issues

As the minor improvements in the approval rates of small business loans have been reported on, one less happy trend has also gained some media scrutiny: the dip in loan volumes approved for african american owned businesses. While this may partly be due to a tightening of credit and collateral requirements on the part of banks issuing small business loans, the fact remains that both female and minority entrepreneurs face greater challenges when it comes to obtaining financing for their businesses. Female and minority owned small businesses are a vital source of economic renewal, especially considering a growing population of business owners would contribute to the creation of more jobs in the small business sector, which is widely regarded as one of the most powerful engines of the recovering US economy. These business owners should consider searching for guidance from sources such as local business development centers, SCORE programs, and finding the right mentors that can help them achieve and push forward more business development.

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