A monthly roundup of our top stories:

It's Great to be a Small Business
5 Reasons Why It's Great to Be a Small Business

Just ask the owners of the more than 30 million small businesses in the U.S. While celebrating small businesses during National Small Business Week, it's helpful for would-be entrepreneurs to know the benefits of being a small business and for existing small businesses to remember why they chose this life's work.

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Regulations Rollback: What You Need to Know

Government regulations are under fire, and for good reason. There were 3,853 regulations in the Federal Register in 2016, of which 629 were specifically impactful on small businesses, said Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A great number were issued after the Presidential election in November.

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Getting Your Message Out with the Printed Word

Small business owners may think that all they need to market their businesses is an online presence and a social media campaign. Though these are important, print is still essential. For example, 90% of consumers use coupons and according to a 2017 report, about 30% of these consumers have increased their use of paper coupons. Don't overlook what the printed word can do for you.

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Work-Life Balance: How Small Businesess Can Make it Work 

Mother's Day (this year it was May 14, 2017) is a day once a year to honor mothers. It's also a reminder that many of these mothers have double duty - child care and careers - so hence the idea of the need for a work-life balance. 

This concern isn't limited to mothers; all workers have lifestyle interests (leisure, family, personal pursuits) that need to be balanced against the demands of working. For small business owners, helping employees achieve, to the extent possible, some balance is something that can and should be done.

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Gig Economy
The Gig Economy and Its Impact on Your Company
 
There is an estimated 54 to 68 million Americans -- 20% to 30% of the working population -- now working "on-demand" as contractors and freelancers, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. Small business owners should be asking themselves whether and how to tap into this resource. 

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Secrets of Your Business Credit Cards

Business owners know that they need to have credit cards exclusively for business use and that they should not charge business expenses to their personal credit cards. What they don't know in many cases are the benefits and incentives that their business cards offer. Without this understanding, businesses may be wasting money by paying for costs that are included with their cards or missing out on opportunities to reap rewards.

A Brief History of Entrepreneurship

That's the title of a book by Joe Carlen on the pioneers, profiteers, and racketeers who shaped our world. Published by Columbia Business School Publishing, you might expect it to be a dry read, but I found it to be a page turner. Okay, I was a history major and I love this stuff. But I believe that continually expanding our understanding of the roots of entrepreneurship and what's changed are key to being a good business owner. Here are 5 things I learned from the book:

Gender Wage Gap: Your Company Policies and the Law

Until recently it has been common practice for employers to ask job applicants what they earned at their prior job. Often, companies set pay for a position based on an employee's compensation in a prior position. However, a growing number of states and municipalities are barring employers from inquiring about prior compensation. Also, there's been a practice at some companies to bar employees from discussing their wages with co-workers.  Here's where these practices stand now from a legal perspective, and what may happen in the future.

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What to Do About Buddy Punching

Buddy punching isn't physical assault among friends. Rather, it's a practice of having one employee clock in or out on a job to falsify hours. The practice is used to cover for a late arrival, an absence, or other reason.  TSheets estimates that the practice costs employer $373 million a year. A TSheets' survey in February 2017 found that 16% of hourly employees admitted to buddy punching. Do you think, or know, that this practice is going on in your company? What can you do about it?

S Corporations and Basis Essentials to Know

There were 4.8 million S corporation returns filed during the government's 2016 fiscal year. There are no recent statistics on the number of shareholders in these S corporations; I'm guessing about 5 to 10 million (many only have 1 to 3 shareholders). Owners of S corporations can deduct corporate losses that are passed through to them, but only to the extent of their basis in stock (funds they contributed to the corporation) and debt (loans they've made to the corporation).

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)


Keeping Up with State Workplace Laws

If you have even one employee, you may be impacted by law changes occurring at your state or local level. Small business owners want to do the best they can for their workers, but often cost limits how generous they can be when it comes to pay and benefits. Nonetheless the law may require certain pay and benefits, and it's up to employers to stay alert to these changes and budget accordingly.
5 Tax Credits Only for Small Businesses

Tax credits are an important type of tax break because every dollar of tax credit saves one dollar in taxes. During National Small Business Week it's helpful to take note of certain federal tax credits that can only be used by small businesses. Here are five credits - what they are and how you determine "small" (there's a different definition for each credit).
  
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Hear My Recent Radio Conversations with Featured Guests:

Ray Keating, Chief Economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, joins Barbara to discuss his research on the current economic landscape affecting small businesses and entrepreneurship

Nely Galan, best-selling author of SELF-MADE, shares her award-winning advice for becoming a successful, self-made entrepreneur.
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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! 
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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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June, 2017 | Copyright Ā© Big Ideas for Small Business, Inc.