A monthly roundup of our top stories:

Cost-Free Discounts and Rewards for Employees

If you can give your employees a benefit that doesn't cost you anything, wouldn't you do it? Owners should check on discounts and rewards that can be offered to employees without any cost to the company. Let me give you some examples.

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New Way to Shop for Health Care Coverage

The status of the Affordable Care Act is up in the air and premiums are rising. The job market is tightening, making an employer offering of health coverage more important than ever to attract new and retain employees. And employers are more concerned than ever in keeping their staff healthy and more productive. The Business Journals SMB Insights found that in 2017 63% of small businesses (you have to sign up to get a free download) were very concerned about the cost of health insurance, which is up from 59% in the previous year.  What's a small business to do?

5 Actions to Take Now for the Holidays

While wreathes, mistletoe, and menorahs may seem a long way off, businesses should be gearing up now for the holiday season. Kiplinger is predicting better sales this year than last year, with e-commerce sales taking a bigger chunk of consumer dollars. If you haven't already begun your holiday activities, get started now.

The Forgotten Estimated Taxes

Estimated taxes aren't a separate liability but rather a way of paying taxes throughout the year in four installments. The third estimated tax payment for 2017 was due no later than September 15, 2017, and the fourth payment for 2017 is due on January 16, 2018 (for hurricane victims, the third and fourth payments are due by January 31, 2018). If your annual federal tax bill isn't covered by withholding and you don't qualify for certain safe harbors, you face tax penalties on underpayments of estimated tax. Here's why you need to address estimated taxes-determining whether and how much to pay-and 3 steps for being estimated tax compliant.

Payment Card Security: How Do You Measure Up?
 
Equifax recently experienced a data breach that impacted an estimated 143 million people. If it can happen to Equifax, it can happen to any business. If you accept credit cards for payment by customers and clients, are you protected from data breaches? According to the Verizon 2017 Payment Security Report (you have to give your name, email, and company in order to download it), businesses that experienced breaches weren't fully compliant with suggested security protocols.

Handling Plan Loans

Shakespeare said in Hamlet " neither a borrower nor a lender be," but he didn't know about 401(k) plans and their ability to offer easy terms for borrowing. If you have a 401(k) plan that permits plan loans, it can be a big help for owners and employees. Understand how much participants can borrow and what plans need to do to stay compliant with the law and remain qualified. Also, understand the negative impact that borrowing can have on retirement savings.

Disaster Brings Loss -- Rebuilding Brings Benefits

September is  National Preparedness Month, so on the heels of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria it seems appropriate to review what disasters mean to small businesses.

Sharing Good Ideas

When I started Big Ideas for Small Business, Inc. more than 17 years ago, it was for the purpose of publishing information for small business owners. My company's mission statement: "Make entrepreneurs smarter." Today, I realize that I've been the beneficiary of good ideas. Working to share ideas has propelled me to continually learn ideas. Here's how.

Tax Results for Giving Up on Company Property

Sometimes you just want or need to walk away from your business assets...they aren't productive anymore, you can't sell them, or you can't continue making payments on loans used to finance their purchase. What does this mean from a tax perspective? It depends on the property and your actions.
10 Perfectly Legitimate Business Expenses You Can't Deduct

There are certain costs you may incur for your company that make good business sense. Unfortunately, the tax law doesn't view them all as write-offs. Here are 10 expenses you may incur in or related to your business but you can't deduct them (in whole or in part).
I'm Honored and Grateful for the Ongoing Recognition of my Blog!
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Some of the most recent awards include:
List of 120 Absolute Must-Read Blogs for Entrepreneurs (by BestWebFirms.com) 
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)


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Hear My Radio Conversations with Featured Guests:

Ami Kassar, CEO and Founder of Multifunding, joins Barbara to discuss current lending trends and smart solutions for small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. 

Tim Berry, Founder of Palo Alto Software and Business Planning Expert shares why he believes all business owners deserve planning -- and he shares just how to make it happen!
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!
150+ Big Ideas for Your Small Business

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"150+ Big Ideas for Your Small Business, 2017 Edition" 
 

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