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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: Small Business Tax Deductions

Two generous tax breaks that small business owners got during the recession are going to shrink dramatically in 2012. That makes yearend tax planning more important than usual.

The changes affect the deductions for purchases of equipment. One is called the Section 179 deduction, a name taken from a provision of the Internal Revenue Code. The other is called bonus depreciation. Congress approved the breaks as an economic stimulus move β€” they were intended to make it easier for small businesses to expand and hire workers. Although the economy is still slow, the breaks are being scaled back.

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:: Interesting Small Business Statistics

October is Womens Small Business Month.  There are more than 27 million small businesses in the United States, and over 7.7 million of these businesses are owned by women. This is a 20.1% increase from 2002. Women -owned businesses, where women own 51% percent or more of the stock or equity, generated $1.2 trillion in receipts.    Women-owned businesses will account for one-third of the new jobs created by 2018.  

According to the 2007 Survey of Business Owners, almost 800,000 small businesses are owned by Latinas,  more than 900,000 small businesses are owned by Black/African-American women, over 500,000 small businesses are owned by Asian-American/Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women, and close to 15,000 small businesses are owned by American-Indian-Alaskan Native females.

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:: Small Business Accessibility

Researchers have just come up with a way to turn an iPad into a Braille keyboard--but until this kind of technology is on the market, it is up to business owners to make sure that their websites meet the needs of clients with special needs.

According to accessibility guidelines from the U.S. government, 8 percent of Americans have a disability that affects how they can access and use websites. Among the conditions in this group, four percent are vision-related, two percent are movement-related, one percent hearing-related, and less than one percent related to learning disabilities. This means that accessibility may have more of an effect on Web sales than you may have previously thought. But what can you do to improve website accessibility for these customers?

An accessible website will also be friendly to seniors--and small businesses will need increasingly to cater to them. By 2018, almost 24 percent of the population will be over 55.

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:: Small Business Marketing and Social Media

Social media are currently the two words on everyone business owners lips,this new phenomenon is a modern and effective method of communication which brings together businesses, organisations, people, news and hobbies. The latest ground breaking news can be spread across the world in seconds and businesses can go from zero to hero within a matter of weeks. If utilised to its full potential, social media can be the most effective marketing tool for small businesses with minimal effort and expenditure.

Small Business and Social Media Marketing

:: Occupy Wall Street Effects

Occupy Boston has been in the news a lot lately, but one recent story has some Boston residents riled up and crying hypocrisy.

Due to the groups presence in Dewey Square, the Greenway Mobile Food Fest, a free event featuring Bostons food trucks, local bands, and a food drive for the citys homeless, has been cancelled.

Comments on the articles about the cancellation already circulating make it clear that people are angry at Occupy Boston. After all, this is not just any event -- it’s one that represents almost exactly what the Occupy movement supports: small business owners and victims of the 1%.

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:: Software Development and Marketing Mistakes

The following are some of the more common mistakes made by ISVs and software developers...

1. Lack Of A Plan

Many software developers start out simply by writing an application to make their own lives easier, and often do not really have a plan to turn that idea into a business. But they later decide to do just that, and like any other business, a plan is necessary in order for a software company to succeed. Create a development road-map, a marketing plan, and a business plan, all of which lay out goals, feature priorities, and a time frame for accomplishing specific parts of the plan.

Software Development and Marketing Mistakes

:: Fedex Helping Small Businesses

FedEx Office, an operating company of FedEx Corp. , today announced it will host a three-part Tweet Chat series featuring industry leaders addressing small business trends and issues. The series will be held over three weeks and each Tweet Chat will feature a different small business expert who will discuss important topics for entrepreneurs--including Recession Proof Your Small Business, Make Your Advertising Pay Off and Branding on a Shoestring Budget.

The virtual Boost Your Small Business Tweet Chat series will take place on three consecutive Thursdays in October, and the moderator will be Brian Wharton, a former 15-year small business owner and current marketing manager for FedEx Office. To attend these sessions on Twitter, participants should follow the #fedexsmallbiz hashtag at the following times.

:: Small Business Security

The employees who help you run your small business may also be helping to destroy it.

Though they usually do not mean to do any harm, employees are increasingly responsible for network security breaches, according to an article in Mondays Wall Street Journal. This is because hackers have gotten adept at breaking into company networks by exploiting well-intentioned employees.

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:: Small Business Lending a Dud

A Treasury Department program aimed at helping small businesses get their hands on cash ended this week -- with a thud.

The Small Business Lending Fund, set up last year with $30 billion to help banks jumpstart lending, disbursed a mere $4 billion, Treasury said. And it left many rejected bankers frustrated.

The news comes as small business owners complain that they cannot grow or hire because they lack access to credit. The sector has been in the spotlight as the country grapples with a sky high unemployment rate.

Reasons behind the disappointing results are myriad.

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:: Economy and Growth

The U.S. economy is now the same size that it was before the 2007 recession, and yet we have 7 million fewer jobs. The latest data from the Department of Labor suggests that zero job growth is here to stay well into 2012. As conversations across the nation shift from how to create economic growth to how to create more jobs, many are asking: what should be done? To answer this question, we have to consider in which sectors America can achieve competitive advantage relative to emerging powerhouses such as China and India.

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:: Profiting from the Holidays

Take a look at these innovative companies finding ways to profit from Halloween!

Halloween iPad Cases

Halloween Return Address Mailing Labels

Halloween Party Invitations

Halloween Sneakers

Pick and Print Halloween Greeting Cards

Halloween iPhone Cases

More Halloween Greeting Cards

Halloween Web Design Elements - Photos, Logos and Templates

Halloween Logo Designs

Halloween PowerPoint Templates and Layouts

:: Small Business Owners Sacrifice in the Face of a Failing Economy

Small and medium-sized businesses played a key role in helping Canada move forward from the 2008-2009 recession, with many owners making personal sacrifices to help their businesses survive, according to a new report from The Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The report found that 62 per cent of business owners worked longer hours; 43 per cent cut their own salaries including one owner who had not taken a salary since July, 2009); 40 per cent took on more debt; and 37 per cent cancelled personal holidays to weather the economic storm. Just 20 per cent made no changes in their own behaviour at all.

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:: Facebook Marketing Tool

Sheryl Sandberg is new COO of Facebook, the same position she held at Google. Now, she is working to encourage businesses to treat each of the 750 million users as potential customers and advertise with the website.

Among the benefits of a Facebook marketing campaign is that companies can target their advertising materials, narrowing demographics down to just one zip code or gender, if they wish, the news source explains.

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:: Tips to Get Things Accomplished

All of us start the day with every intention of completing a variety of tasks, but unfortunately many of us become distracted as the day moves on. Or even worse, we are tasked with crisis management, and at the end of the day we find that we have made little progress in whittling down the days planned tasks. As well intentioned as you may be, it seems to become a routine, and one that far too many of us fall into.

Tips to Get Things Accomplished

:: Small Business Pessimism

When the country recovered from recessions in the past, small businesses were usually the first companies to start hiring. But smaller companies are so pessimistic now that they are not taking on their historical leadership position.

The National Federation of Independent Business, which issues a monthly report on small business optimism, says confidence in the future of the economy crashed in August. The group's optimism index -- which it wryly called the Small Business Pessimism index -- was down for the sixth straight month.

Complete Article

:: Small Business Pay For Regulations

Small businesses pay the heaviest price to comply with these rules. According to the Small Business Administration, mom-and-pop businesses pay 60 percent more to meet federal standards than larger corporations. In fact, the cost exceeds $10,500 per year, per employee. It's no surprise, then, that small businesses are extremely reluctant to hire new workers β€” even if they can β€” because of the cloud of uncertainty that billows out of Washington these days.

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:: IBM Lending Money to Small Businesses

IBM Corp. will provide $1 billion in financing over the next 18 months to credit-worthy small and medium businesses to help them acquire the companys new suite of advanced technologies.

Announcing the financing initiative Thursday, officials at IBM headquarters in Armonk said it is aimed at helping those businesses spur innovation and drive economic growth by making credit more easily accessible and eliminating many of the cost barriers to business growth.

They pointed to U.S. Small Business Administration reports that more than 50 percent of small businesses fail within their first five years due to lack of capital.

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:: Need Business Cards?

Need inexpensive professional looking business cards? Checkout the Business Card Designs.

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