:: Get Your Small Business in Shape
Small businesses are running lean these days, but
that does not necessarily mean they are in good shape. No
doubt this year will be challenging. Crossing the finish
line will require being in tip top shape.
Here are some tips to get your small business in fighting
:: Traps for Small Businesses
Both changes involve so-called 1099 forms, which
are reports submitted to the Internal Revenue Service so
it can cross-check information from different taxpayers.
The first change is momentous: It requires third parties—credit-
or debit-card firms, PayPal and the like—to tell the IRS
about their payments to businesses. For 2011 and after,
these firms must issue 1099-K forms to the IRS and the taxpayer
giving the amount of such payments.
Why does that matter? This information can help the IRS
flush out unreported income by small businesses. Cheating
and mistakes cost Uncle Sam $122 billion a year, the IRS
estimates, making it the largest single element of the $385
billion in annual unpaid taxes, known as the tax gap.
for Small Businesses
:: Facebook Timeline
One of the things Facebook wants to do is make
it easier for companies to push offers and specials to its
customers. Offers are one way that small businesses can
source deals and specials through the Timeline, rather than
through targeted ads. According to Facebook, offers are
like coupons and don't cost anything to create. When someone
claims an offer, they will receive an email that they can
show at the Pages physical location to get the discount.
Granted, this will only work for businesses with physical
locations but it's still a good way to monetize a fan base.
Facebook will no doubt build on its platform and continue
to try and reach small businesses to advertise on the network.
:: Required Sick Days -
Hurt Small Businesses
Area lawmakers oppose a bill requiring businesses
to offer paid sick days to their workers, saying the measure
will slow the states economic recovery by discouraging companies
from hiring new workers.
The bill, which has generated intense debate but little
action in recent years, would require businesses to offer
certain amounts of sick time based on how many people they
:: Website Spidering
Website Spidering refers to the automated process
of indexing a web site by a search engine. An automated
program, known as a web crawler or spider, will go through
a website following the links on each page, and will gather
pertinent information from each page until it has properly
indexed the entire website.
:: Economic Status
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research
- NBER the Great Recession as it was styled in the media
lasted 18 months, from December 2007 until June 2009. Of
course, it still does not feel like the recession is over,
mostly because we have not recovered enough to get back
to the point from which we fell off the cliff.
:: Small Businesses Using Pinterest
Pinterest allows members to comment on each others
picks and follow their friends pinboards. Users might assemble
ideas for home renovation on one board, and showcase their
favorite books or charities on others. They can re-pin
pictures they like from other peoples boards. The result
is an electronic word-of-mouth network that can lead to
snowballing attention for a workout regimen, barbecue techniques,
or a manufacturers product.
:: Golden Decade
We might remember 2012 as the beginning of a golden
decade – the era that small business value creation became
easier and more abundant in driving Global GDP. There
has been no better time to own, start and run a small business
than right now. Particularly online businesses. The
economics of the internet has profoundly closed the resources
gap between the haves and have nots. With cheaper
and more accessible technology combining with an emerging
global middle-class of several billions – it
should be unsurprising that small businesses will play a
more active and vocal role in the global Financial Services
policy agenda in the decade ahead.
:: Shift Away From Manufacturing
A seismic shift to service-based small businesses
away from manufacturing, transportation and construction
is stifling economic growth and eroding the negotiating
power of companies such as truck makers, according to a
:: Tax Break or Tax Increase?
Last week, President Barack Obama released a proposal
to lower the federal corporate tax rate — a move that
on its face would seem to be good news for small businesses.
But the presidents pitch is not getting rave reviews.
The proposal, released Feb. 22, calls for the top corporate
tax rate to fall from its current 35 percent to 28 percent.
Manufacturers would pay no more than 25 percent.
:: Small Business Retirement Problems
No pension, no retirement savings — and no solid
plan for how they will fund the latter part of their life.
That's the dire situation for many small-business owners.
About a third of small-business owners do not have a personal
or business-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401k, a
SEP IRA or deferred annuity, according to a new survey from
non-profit the American College. Nearly the same number
have not estimated how much money they need for retirement.
Many workers feel unprepared for their golden years.
:: Good Credit Drives Small
Now may be the best time in years for small-business
owners with good credit to shop for a loan.
Assuming you qualify. A litany of
factors play into whether a small business is considered
a highly qualified loan candidate, and each bank
weighs those factors differently. But if you meet a lenders
test, you may hold the upper hand at the negotiating table
given the current scarcity of such borrowers.
:: Small Businesses To Credit
The recent rebound of American employment, economic
expansion and even a quickened pulse of gross domestic product
growth is a direct result of the exceptionalism of
Americas tens of thousands of independent businesses.
Although Big Government, Big Businesses and Big politicians
are quick to lay claim to this unexpected, if still fragile,
turn of events, my contacts with several hundred of these
astute small business magnates, have convinced me
this backbone of Americas long-term economic durability
is primarily the result of privately-owned manufacturers,
distributors, contractors, retailers and service organizations
that have taken the bull by the horns in an iffy economic