Top stories for you from Barbara this past month:

10 Ideas for Avoiding Waste

Benjamin Franklin said it best: "Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything." -- What better motto for a small business owner. 

Here are 10 ways to avoid wasting your time and money.

What Do Tax Stats Tell Us about Small Business?

The IRS released statistics on 2014 income tax returns filed by individuals. It includes income and losses reported by sole proprietors on Schedule C, farmers on Schedule F, and items passed through to owners of partnerships, limited liability companies, and S corporations on Schedule E. By comparing 2014 statistics with those for 2013, we can see how small business owners are doing.

10 Best Practices to Grow Your Business 

How do you take your company to the next level? Obviously, you need a vision of where you want to take your business.  To get there, you need to use best practices that support success.  Here are 10 best practices ... 

The Pension Protection Act 10 Years Later

This massive piece of legislation was designed to ensure adequate funding for pension plans in light of the catastrophic failures of Enron and other companies following corporate accounting scandals. It also introduced the concept of qualified charitable distributions from IRAs and a new type of retirement plan called a DB/K.
How did things work out?  Here's what small business owners need to know.

What Your Business Needs to Know about ACA Subsidy Notices 

If you thought an IRS audit on your income tax return was tough going, wait until you hear about Affordable Care Act (ACA) audits. They're multi-level and we're in uncharted waters. They arise from individuals claiming a subsidy (the premium tax credit) for health coverage obtained from a government Marketplace. The government is now questioning some of these individuals to determine whether they had access to affordable minimum essential health coverage through an employer, which makes them ineligible for the subsidy.  ...  It's all very complicated,  so let's try to simplify what we can.

Succession Planning for Your Family-Owned Business

If you are an owner of a business in which other family members -- a spouse, sibling, child, or other relative -- also have an ownership interest, you're not alone.

According to the Conway Center for Family Business, as many as 90% of all U.S. businesses are family owned. 

Yet the Center notes that only 30% of such businesses survive to the next generation, 12% to the third generation, and a mere 3% to the fourth generation. Why? 

HIPAA Rules You Can't Ignore
It's been 20 years since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted to ensure the privacy of a person's medical information (the "privacy rule"). Since then, there have been changes from time to time to straighten this protection. These rules, which are designed to keep third parties from learning about this information without a person's permission, do not apply only to doctors and other medical professionals; employers are also subject to them in some instances. If you violate HIPAA, you can face civil penalties and even criminal sanctions. Which records need to be protected, and which do not?
Financial Wellness Strategies for Your Workplace 

When it comes to financial matters -- handling debt, saving for a home, saving for retirement, etc. -- most employees are clueless. One report found that three quarters of employees are not financially secure, and the majority (60%) is feeling stressed about their financial situation. This situation surely impacts you adversely through employee distraction, illness,and in extreme situations, theft. What can you do to help your employees gain financial wellness?

Chase for Business Miami Conference: Coming Up!

Heads up! On Thursday, Oct. 6, I'm attending the Chase for Business Miami Conference to help small businesses learn about leadership, growth, and other key concerns for entrepreneurs. The master of ceremonies is Nick Cannon, the entertainer, record producer, and entrepreneur extraordinaire!

Seasonal Employees: What to Know for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Retailers, food establishments, and some other types of businesses routinely take on more help to handle customers during the holiday season. These extra workers can go a long way in making your holiday season a success. Of course you need to treat them with the same care and respect as you do your permanent staff, such as avoiding any discriminatory practices and providing sufficient training. Also, be sure you consider the following special tax, financial, and legal concerns.
Keeping Tabs On Your Business Numbers

You can't run a business on good intentions and hard work alone. You need to stay on top of critical financial information to see that your business is fiscally healthy and learn where changes need to be made in order to grow. Here are the numbers you need to watch, as well as why and how to do it.
As the Job Market Heats Up, Consider These Bonuses to Keep Employees Happy

A bonus is additional compensation paid to an employee. As the job market heats up, the competition among employers to attract and retain good workers is growing. Bonuses may be a way for your company to gain a competitive edge in the job market. This is especially true for small businesses that may not offer the same menu of fringe benefits that large corporations do.
Listen to My Radio Conversations:

Wayne Crews, VP of Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), as we talk about the regulatory trends and critical impact on small businesses and our economy; and

Ray Keating, Chief Economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, discussing the latest report concerning the declining state of entrepreneurship in the U.S.

I'm honored that my blog has been named 
Best Small Business Blog 2016
and is
included in this excellent list of 

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