A monthly roundup of our top stories:

Good News! I'm Offering an Online Workshop for Small Business Owners -- Setting Your Small Business Up for Success!

This three-day live, online workshop will take place September 5, 6, and 7 at 8 p.m. ET.  The course is designed to equip you with the knowledge you need to run your business safely, legally, and successfully.  

You'll find more details of what we will cover, how to register, and the workshop schedule on my website - click here.
What's Your Moon Landing?

On July 20, 1969, the U.S. space program put men on the moon. This was just a little over eight years after Alan Shepard became the first American to go into space and President Kennedy's challenge to Congress (three weeks after Shepard's flight) to put a man on the moon. This idea of setting a seemingly impossible goal and then working toward it is exactly what small business owners do to varying degrees every day. It prompted me to think about refocusing on goal setting for business.

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Who Is an Employer? It's More Difficult to Determine Today

The unemployment rate is down and many companies are looking for new employees. The government, on the other hand, is looking to impose employer responsibilities. 
The reason for this higher level of scrutiny may be a result of companies treating a worker as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Or it may be due to confusion created when treating more than one company as an employer of the same worker.

Technology or Talent: Where to Put Your Dollars

The media is flooded with stories on Artificial Intelligence (AI), some with dire predictions that it will soon eliminate a staggering number of jobs. For small business owners with limited budgets it may be necessary now, or in the near future, to decide whether to invest in AI or hire workers to get the job done.

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Should You Buy Cyber Liability Coverage?

According to a report earlier this year, over three-quarters of data breaches occur at companies with fewer than 100 employees. The average cost of a compromised customer record is $141 to cover notification, settlements, legal fees, and more. To ballpark your exposure, figure that if your data is breached and you have 200 customers, it could cost you about $28,200. And data breaches aren't the only concern. 

Worker Eligibility Identification Update
 
Employers are required to verify the eligibility of an employee to work in the U.S. Hiring someone who is not eligible to work in the U.S. can result in penalties for the company. Verification is done on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Form I-9. On July 17, 2017, USCIS issued a new version of the form.

Entrepreneurs Who Made the Revolution

Long before there were politicians (of any ilk), there were merchants, lawyers, farmers, and other entrepreneurs who got together in Philadelphia 241 years ago to sign the Declaration of Independence and start the revolution. These men, most of who could be viewed as small business owners, risked it all. Here's a list from the National Archives of the signers and their occupations to remind us that our businesses, our jobs, and our lives can be on the line when freedom is at stake.

Quiz on Tax Rules for Small Businesses

When it comes to tax rules, there are many misconceptions among small business owners. While their CPAs likely will get things right when they complete tax returns, it's up to business owners to know the rules so understand the tax consequences of their actions throughout the year. Take this quiz to see how you score.

Exit Strategy for Boomers

We can't live forever, and planning an exit to our businesses is essential ... for us, our families, our employees, our co-owners (if any), and our companies. There are an estimated 4.5 million businesses that could be exited within the next 10 to 15 years. According to the Exit Planning Institute, most of the owners' assets (80% to 90%) are in their businesses, yet most are not ready to reap full value.

I'm Honored and Grateful for the Ongoing Recognition of my Blog!
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Some of the most recent awards include:
Top 25 Small Business Influencers and Experts You Need to Follow (by Emerge)
Best Small Business Blog 2017 (by FitSmallBusiness.com)
Top Small Business Blogs of All Time (by Loyverse)
Top 100 Small Business Blogs on the Web (by Feedspot)
Best Small Business Blogs 2017 (by MarketInspector.com)


Rethinking Insurance Coverage

Like most small businesses, you probably can't self-insure (pay for losses out of pocket) because you can't afford the risk for substantial financial exposure. You need insurance. But you may not have the type or amount of coverage that is necessary for your protection at this time. Most small business owners routinely renew policies year after year without thinking about how changes in their business affect their risk exposure and coverage needs. Here are some areas to reexamine before you automatically renew as well as other areas for which new coverage may be needed.
10 Tax Penalties and How to Avoid Them

As if taxes weren't enough, the IRS can add interest and penalties for certain action you may take or fail to take. There are over 150 civil penalties in the Internal Revenue Code. Tax penalties can be costly and they're not tax deductible. Here is a roundup of some tax penalties that can impact small businesses owners and what can be done to avoid them
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Hear My Recent Radio Conversations with Featured Guests:

  Thomas Sullivan, VP, Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joins Barbara to discuss current concerns of small business owners and what can be done to help. 

James Rosseau, Chief Commercial Officer, LegalShield, shares his insight gleaned from a recent economic index and what it means for small businesses and families.
150+ Big Ideas for Your Small Business

You don't want to miss out on this newly-revised and updated version of 
"150+ Big Ideas for Your Small Business, 2017 Edition" 
 

... it's 
FREE! 
Do You Host Tweetchats?  
If so, let us know! You may want to be included in our calendar of high-quality Tweetchats for small business and entrepreneurs. Send us the details: name of sponsor(s), host(s), topic, date and time, and hashtag!
J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2017

Yes, technically the official tax season has ended. 
As a small business, however, critical tax issues face you all year long, and many questions continue to surface. Tax planning is essential, as you know, to achieve "a better bottom line." That's why this book is here for you today ... to help you, as a small business owner, stay informed and to offer solutions for your year-round tax-planning needs. 

 

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August, 2017 | Copyright Ā© Big Ideas for Small Business, Inc.