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If you’re like many small business owners, your thoughts are already turning towards preparing for tax season.
And an important part of that preparation should be looking for ways to potentially save your business a lot of money: namely deductions!
Need a refresher on what’s deductible? Then watching the video above on the top 10 tax deductions for small businesses should help.These Deductions Can Really Help Your Bottom Line
When you deliver your files, receipts and spreadsheets this year, make sure to schedule some time with your accountant to discuss tax deductions that could save your business vitally important revenue. You may be aware of many of them already, but here’s a refresher course just in case.
For example, you probably know that while your salary is a non-deductible draw in many cases, you can deduct the salaries and wages you pay your employees. And speaking of wages, you can also deduct the fees you pay to professional service providers such as accountants, lawyers and perhaps even your tax preparer. Yay!
Many ongoing business fees are actually eligible for deductions. Those include your insurance payments, rent on business facilities, items used in a business (e.g., cleaning supplies for a cleaning service), and the electrical utilities that keep your facilities running.
Some of the available deductions may surprise you. One example is your home office. Did you know if you use your home as a principal place of business you can claim some of your personal expenses as deductions? That includes mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs and depreciation. This is the case whether you use your home as a place to meet or deal with clients or customers or for some other business activity. And, of course, if your company owns property that’s used exclusively for business purposes, you can deduct many of the costs — including mortgage interest.
Finally, don’t forget to deduct your ordinary advertising costs. This is an important one t keep in mind.
So this tax season, don’t forget to ask your accountant about these top 10 tax deductions for small businesses and more. The results could really change your bottom line.
And for more, be sure to check out the full list of top 20 tax deductions for small business.
Tax Deductions Photo via Shutterstock
This article, "Top 10 Tax Deductions for Small Businesses (Video)" was first published on Small Business Trends
If you’re thinking about starting a small business, a company specializing in printing services for businesses of all sizes may have one solution. InstantPrint recently launched Instantprint’s Startup Hub for startup businesses. The hub offers articles for small businesses like Startup Market Research: Everything You Need To Know, Start Up Success Stories and How to Write a Business Plan.Instantprint Startup Hub
Besides the usual business advice, the site provides a wide range of resources for new businesses including free guides and downloadable templates.
“Helping small and micro businesses grow their business is at the heart of everything we do. Marketing materials and promotional print make up the core of our business, however, we wanted to offer support in all areas of running a business,” Instantprint’s co-founder James Kinsella explains in a release about the new feature. “Startups.instantprint.co.uk is a great platform for new businesses looking for advice whatever stage of the business journey they’re at.”
Once a startup itself and now one of UK’s fastest growing businesses, Instantprint has drawn upon its own experiences and is now using its hub to share the lessons that the company has acquired over its growth.
Now a part of Bluetree Group, the company provides round-the-clock printing of flyers, stationary, posters, business cards, posters and leaflets for businesses of all sizes.
The company also collates and dispenses information about business influencers from around the world.
Besides launching the startup hub for small businesses, Instantprint also works extensively with small business owners, and was responsible for sponsorship of the 2015 inaugural Inspirational Business Awards.
This article, "Meet Instantprint’s New Startup Hub for Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends
While nowhere near as glamorous or greasy as its crispy companion, grilled chicken is starting to increase in popularity as it rides the wave of health-conscious dining. But seared chicken isn't masked by a delicious fried coating, so it has to be good to pass muster.
Even the best livestreaming tools won’t help you if you’ve never heard of them. In this installment of Livestreamed Livelihoods, we talk with Rob Hix, co-owner of Enlightened Audiovisual and co-host of the weekly Brand Matters Show. He shares the recent “who’s who” — or rather the “what’s what” — in branded livestreaming choices and more.
Rob Hix is a life-long small business owner with a passion for live video production, commercial audiovisual systems and broadcasting. Considering innovation and out-of-the-box solutions as his “sweet spot”, he is “an employer, employee, executive and janitor all wrapped into one amazing career.” Hix adds that he lives life in his own self-interest, to the benefit of his employees and clients, working best with those who place a premium on their lives and exchange value-for-value to achieve their goals.
* * * * *
Small Business Trends: Now more than ever, there seems to be many more livestreaming third parties and techniques. This could get overwhelming, I feel. Can you give us a sampling of some noteworthy brands seeing growth or gaining buzz?
Rob Hix: We haven’t deviated much in the past year and a half with the products and services we use for livestream collaboration and broadcasting. We use Zoom Video Conferencing to bring in remote guests and Telestream Wirecast to live mix the on-screen participants with mixed media such as lower-thirds, graphics, videos, etc. Our focus for the past ten years has been to provide highly reliable and scalable end-user collaboration systems that include conference rooms, training rooms, lecture halls and broadcast studios. Because we work with enterprise organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees, there is a greater need for consistency over what may be the latest trends. Enterprise organizations and brands focus on business outcomes rather than compartmentalized widgets and gimmicks.
As for noteworthy brands, I would say Zoom Video Conferencing is one to watch. They have an established base of over 400,000 companies using their cloud-based conferencing service and they will be introducing Facebook and YouTube integration within the next two months. For social media platforms, I believe YouTube will remain dominant in the video space, especially within the live video space. Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have the current buzz, but YouTube dominates among search and discoverability.
Small Business Trends: What are the best channels to connect with you?
Pictured: Rob Hix, Jennifer Quinn
Images: Rob Hix
What exactly is business coaching? We usually only hear about it in two scenarios, a highly-paid executive who hires a Yoda-like coach to solve their problems or a person being “coached” because their job is in danger. Not surprisingly, the field of coaching isn’t one with which a lot of ordinary people are familiar. Coach!: The Crucial, Deceptively Simple Leadership Skill For Breakaway Performance was written to provide a better introduction to business coaching for those who wonder if coaching could be a good fit for their situation or a future career.What is Coach! About?
Coach! is focused on two audiences, prospective clients and prospective coaches. For the first audience, author Andrew Neitlich breaks down what coaching is (and is not) as well as how coaching can be used to achieve results at a lower cost and time investment than other forms of support (like therapy or consulting). Coaching is a specific, focused and interactive activity that guides a client through discovering a “problem area” or weakness and developing a plan of attack to conquer it. It involves a clear process that is distinct from other ways of passing knowledge in the workplace (like mentoring or teaching). Coaches don’t waltz into a situation and solve it. They help clients develop the internal and external resources to solve it themselves.
Neitlich, in particular, focuses on a specific type of person who needs business coaching, the high-achieving individual. The book shines a light on high-achieving individuals because they have the most to gain from coaching but often are the last to consider it. (Think about a healthy person who waits until the last minute to get a routine check-up). Neitlich does his best to explain why this group needs to consider coaching and how coaching on an individual level connects to the entire business.
For the second audience (prospective business coaches), the book offers a general overview of business coaching, what should happen to clients as a result of coaching and how to deal with some roadblocks along the way. Neitlich discusses coaching from his viewpoint often giving insightful tips in the process. In addition, the book shows prospective coaches how they can make the case for coaching to future clients.
Aside from writing the book, Neitlich is a consultant and founder of The Center for Executive Coaching, an approved training provider for the international Coach Federation. His organization has trained thousands of coaches who have gone on to work at companies like FedEx, Microsoft, Apple and the U.S. military. Besides his professional duties, Neitlich enjoys playing a lot of tennis in the sunny state of Florida.What Was Best About Coach!?
The best part of Coach! is its focus on fundamentals. The book begins by providing a crystal-clear definition of what coaching is and how it differs from similar activities (like mentoring or consulting). It then provides a comprehensive look at the coaching process. Coach! doesn’t provide a full-fledged textbook on coaching but it does provide a broad overview of how the process works from the client’s and coach’s perspective.What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Although the book’s main purpose is to explain what coaching is to prospective clients and coaches, more attention should be directed to developing a viable coaching business. To be specific, the book could devote a little more attention to providing advice on how coaches can get started in the first few months. Some information is given on how to approach and work with clients but there is little advice on how to turn that insight into a viable business.Why Read Coach!?
Coach! is a guide to the process of coaching for those who either aren’t familiar with or only have a limited or vague sense of what it is. For people considering coaching, the book helps readers understand what it is and what it isn’t. It also looks at how coaching can help you move closer to your goals. For prospective coaches, the book provides an overview of the fundamentals of the coaching process written from the perspective of a coach who founded an organization dedicated to certifying and training professionals in the field.
This article, "Coach! Introduces a Process for Better Business Decisions" was first published on Small Business Trends
Express Employment Professionals released today a new white paper explaining why the country is still feeling a hangover from the Great Recession. Despite a low unemployment rate and high stock...
(PRWeb January 11, 2017)
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/01/prweb13970472.htm
High engagement, automated technology and innovative marketing campaigns provide home-based travel agencies...
(PRWeb January 11, 2017)
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/01/prweb13972793.htm
There's a scene in new movie "The Founder" in which its subject, Ray Kroc, the failed salesman turned visionary of the McDonald's fast-food empire, is recruiting new franchise owners by speaking to church and civic groups, at synagogues and to Boy Scout leaders, among others. Director John Lee Hancock remembered telling actor Michael Keaton , who plays Kroc, he was going to shoot him in six places, saying essentially the same thing, and intercut the scenes, so the actor should just "bang those home."
Shoppers in Cardiff were baffled when a pig's head was left on the pavement outside a branch of Burger King. The head was left outside the fast food chain in St John's Street on Saturday afternoon with - in equally confusing fashion - a dead fish placed on top of it.
A KFC fan says he was amazed to find what looked like a chick's beak inside his spicy wing. Jordan Simpson, 22, treated himself and his girlfriend Shirley Clarke, also 22, to a KFC takeaway after work on Friday evening.
If you want your business to get more attention in 2017, you need to use digital marketing.
And if you want to learn more about using digital marketing to benefit your business, you can do just that at the DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 Digital Marketing Conference. The online event takes place in November and offers a number of different tips and methods for helping attendees enhance their digital marketing efforts.
But that’s just one of the upcoming business events that can help you learn more about marketing and other essential aspects of running a small business. You can read more about DIGIMARCON WORLD and other exciting business conferences and events in the Featured Events section. And then check out even more upcoming business events in the list below.
To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.Featured Events, Contests and Awards
SYMPOSIA Conference for Women Entrepreneurs
January 27, 2017, San Francisco, Calif.
Skyrocket your business with two days of inspiration and lessons learned from 7 powerful women entrepreneurs who have found the courage to follow their dreams and build 7+ figure businesses with perseverance, determination and grit! #symposia2017
SCORE’s 2017 American Small Business Championship (ASBC)
February 13, 2017, Online
SCORE is looking for the best small businesses in America. SCORE and Sam’s Club celebrate these businesses through the American Small Business Championship and the SCORE Awards. Share your unique story to win $25,000 or other amazing prizes. Entering is easy. Answer the question, “What one unique aspect of your business will make you succeed over the next year?” through a video of 30-60 seconds, or with a photo and written response of 1,500 characters or less.
LeadsCon Las Vegas 2017
March 20, 2017, Las Vegas, Nev.
If finding, nurturing and converting quality leads are essential to your business’s growth and success, then LeadsCon is perfect for you. 5000+ people rely each year on LeadsCon (Las Vegas & New York) for unparalleled insights and access to marketing leaders. The opportunities to do business at LeadsCon Las Vegas are going to be greater than ever before – so don’t miss out on the connections and knowledge that will give you an advantage on the competition. Secure your spot at the premier gathering of performance marketers and lead gen professionals from around the world.
April 11, 2017, Los Angeles, Calif.
Grow yourself, your team & your profits! At EntreLeadership 1-Day, you will learn the six essentials of business: leadership, people, money, time, team, and higher calling. Dave Ramsey will be joined by business experts Chris Hogan & Christy Wright.
SMALLBIZ10 ($10 off)
TECHSPO Toronto 2017
May 18, 2017, Toronto, Ontario
TECHSPO Toronto 2017 is a 2-day technology expo which takes place at the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. TECHSPO Toronto brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, designers, innovators and evangelists looking to set the pace in our advanced world of technology. TECHSPO Toronto 2017 promises to be better than ever and we’re excited to see all the amazing tech companies and talent that will be joining.
May 22, 2017, Los Angeles, Calif.
Secret Knock is going to be the single greatest event for the top entrepreneurs and action-takers in the world to connect, share ideas, and help take each other to the next level. Each of the attendees have believed in themselves enough to get to where they are, and they are not stopping now. Secure your application for one of the few spots left at the Secret Knock.
Sales World 2017
November 08, 2017, Online
Sales World 2017 takes place November 8th to 9th, 2017, Online; Live and On Demand. It is the largest Sales Industry Event in the World and will be attended by over 10,000 Sales Professionals. It’s the one sales event you can’t afford to miss!
DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 – Digital Marketing Conference
November 14, 2017, Online
DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 Digital Marketing Conference takes place November 14th to 16th, 2017. Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools.More Events
This article, "Online Event DIGIMARCON Puts Digital Marketing at the Forefront" was first published on Small Business Trends
To grow a successful business, you need to be able to market to customers online and then communicate with them effectively. There are plenty of methods you can use to improve your online customer relationships. Here are some top tips from members of our small business community.Keep These CRM Influencers on Your Radar
If you want to improve your relationships with customers, then you need to have the best information at your disposal. That means you can benefit from following the CRM influencers listed in this Salesflare post. Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell is honored to be included.Use Social Media Emoji to Humanize Your Business
When attempting to really connect with customers online, it helps if you can humanize your business. And using emoji on social media can help, as this post by Aleh Barysevich at the Social Media Examiner explains. You can also see commentary on the post over on BizSugar.Get These Marketing Tools for Local Business Owners
Marketing a local business can require a unique set of skills different from those needed to market other kinds of businesses. But there are plenty of tools out there to help you market your local business to the right customers. In this Mobile Marketing Helper blog post, Kevin Cortez shares some essential tools for local marketers.Go Online to Benefit Your Brick and Mortar Business
Even if you have a store or business that only sells to customers in person, you can still benefit from getting online. You can find some potential benefits for brick and mortar businesses going online in this Revel post by Caitlin Stanley.Learn About the Cost of Google AdWords
Google AdWords can be a really helpful tool for businesses looking to expand their online reach. But you need to learn about the pricing structure if you’re going to take advantage of it. Gary Shouldis of 3Bug Media discusses more here. And BizSugar members chime in with their own thoughts too.Amp Up Your SMB’s Performance and Productivity
If you want to connect with more customers, increase sales or otherwise improve the chances of your small business succeeding, you need to find ways to improve your business’s performance and productivity. Itai Elizur details some tips for doing just that in this post on Smallbiztechnology.com.Build Links Without Creating Content
Content marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses. But it’s not the only way to increase your reach online. This Marketing Land post by Andrew Dennis explains how you can build links without creating your own content.Define and Create Your Brand Voice
You need to have a consistent brand voice in order to effectively communicate with your customers over time. And you can define and create the right voice for your brand using the tips in this post by Jomer Gregorio on the CJG Digital Marketing blog. You can also see input on the post from the BizSugar community here.Take These Steps for SEO Strategy Success
To get your business found online, you need an SEO strategy. But some business owners might not know where to start when creating that strategy. For five steps to a successful SEO strategy, check out this Search Engine Journal post by Sergey Grybniak.Grow a Site to 10,000+ Visitors a Month
If you want to reach more customers for your small business, you need to get them to your site first. In this post from Basic Blog Tips, Anil Agarwal details how you can quickly grow your site in terms of visitors each month.
If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online Customer photo via Shutterstock
This article, "10 Tips for Maintaining Customer Relationships Online" was first published on Small Business Trends
For entrepreneurs who want to start a business close to home and maybe spend some time outside too, a backyard business might be the right choice for you. It might sound like a strange concept, but there are actually plenty of businesses that you could potentially run right from your very own yard.
Of course, you’ll want to check your state and local zoning ordinances to make sure it’s allowed in your area. But if owning a small business sounds like something that would interest you, here are 50 backyard business ideas for you to consider.Backyard Business Ideas Gardener
There are a variety of different plants you can grow in your yard to sell to local consumers. Or you could even offer your services to other homeowners and spend time working in their yards as well.Backyard Nursery
Or you could start a nursery business where you grow potted plants and sell them in a nursery environment.Florist
You could also specialize more in flower products and start a florist business in your backyard.Herb Grower
Or you could grow herbs in your yard and then harvest and package them for sale who want fresh herbs for their food.Vegetable Farmer
If you have a little bit more room to work with, you could also grow and harvest vegetables for sale in your yard.Seed Sales
For those who want to offer smaller products and help other growers start their own gardens, you could harvest seeds and package them for sale.Canner
There are also plenty of different food items that you can grow and then preserve and can to sell to buyers who want some longer-lasting products.Farmer’s Market Vendor
No matter what kind of food or other products you grow, you can work to collect and prepare those items in your yard and then set up a booth at your local farmer’s market to sell them.Firewood Sales
You might also find that you have a fair amount of trees or sources of wood in your yard. If that’s the case, you can potentially parcel out that wood and sell sections of it to local consumers to use as firewood.Compost Sales
If you don’t mind getting a little messy, you could also collect waste and other materials to make your own compost and then sell it to local farmers or gardeners.Fertilizer Sales
Likewise, you could make and sell more specialized fertilizer products for homeowners in your area.Landscape Designer
Your backyard might also provide you with some inspiration that you can use to work with other clients as a landscape designer.Party Rentals
If you want to work with clients in your area to provide rental items like tables, chairs and electronics for parties, you could use your backyard, garage or shed as a storage facility for those items.Small Poultry Farm
If you’re looking to work with animals, you could potentially start your own small poultry farm and have it fit into your backyard.Rabbit Rearing
Rabbits also don’t take up too much room. So you could start your own rabbit rearing business in your yard.Fish Farmer
If you have waterfront land or room enough for some large tanks, you could get into the aquaculture game and start your own fish farm.Shrimp Farmer
You could also opt to raise shrimp instead using many of the same methods and equipment as fish farmers.Snail Farmer
Snail farming is another farming business opportunity that doesn’t take a lot of room.Beekeeper
Or you could start your own bee colony to raise bees for honey production or other purposes.Goat Rentals
If you want to rent out your animals, you could raise goats on your property and then lend them to local property owners for lawn mowing purposes.Fiber Spinning
If you have sheep, alpacas or similar animals, you could sheer them and spin fiber out of wool or other materials.Dog Trainer
You might also want to start a business where you work with other people’s pets as a dog trainer.Laundry Service
You could also start your own laundry service where you wash, dry, iron and provide other services.Candle Maker
If you want to create your own handmade products, candles are something you can easily make in your yard.Soap Maker
You could also gather all the necessary supplies to make your own soap and package it right in your backyard.Christmas Tree Farm
If you have a fair amount of space to work with, you could plant some evergreen trees and start your own Christmas tree farm.Petting Farm
Or you could raise animals on your land and invite people to visit with them in exchange for a small fee.Corn Maze
You could also set up corn fields and then create mazes that people can pay to visit.Hay Rides
If you have a tractor or similar vehicle, you could also offer hay rides to visitors on your property.U-Pick Service
For those who grow items like apples on your property, you can start your own U-Pick service where people can pick their own items off trees or other plants and then pay you for them.Car Detailing
If you want to work on vehicles, you could start your own car detailing business and have people bring their cars to your yard so you can clean and detail them.Electronic Repairs
You could also start your own electronic repairs business where people can bring their computers, smartphones and other tech devices to your yard for service.Photographer
For those who want to pursue a creative business opportunity, you can take photos outside and even set up a photo studio and editing station in your yard.Videographer
Likewise, you can shoot videos for clients or various other purposes right in your yard.T-Shirt Printer
Screenprinting is another creative activity you can do in your backyard. You can set up a screenprinting space to make a variety of items including t-shirts, tote bags and more.Web Designer
You could also set up a small office space in your yard to work on a sort of virtual business. For example, you might set up a space where you can design websites for clients.Graphic Designer
Or you could start a business as a graphic designer and use your yard space to inspire your designs.Blogger
Bloggers can also potentially work from anywhere – including your backyard.Ebook Author
You could also commit to writing your own e-books and publishing them online from your backyard office.How-to Classes
If you have a skill or hobby you could teach to others in your backyard, you can set up a business offering how-to classes.Tutor
Or you could work with students in a more one-on-one setting as a backyard tutor.Online Course Creator
You could also create your own courses that you can set up in your office and sell online.Yoga Instructor
Yoga is a fun activity that you can potentially practice outdoors. You can even offer your own yoga classes to students in your yard space.Personal Trainer
Or you could work with individual clients who want to improve their fitness habits as a personal trainer.Massage Therapist
If you want to create an outdoor oasis for massage clients, you could also start your own backyard massage therapy business.Airbnb Rentals
For those who have backyard getaways like treehouses or garage apartments, you could even start your own business by renting out those spaces on home rental sites like Airbnb.Carpenter
If you’re a skilled woodworker, you could also start your own carpentry business and work on projects from your backyard.Furniture Upcycler
Or you could purchase antique or secondhand furniture and then use new materials to update and sell those pieces.Etsy Shop Owner
There are plenty of other potential craft items you could make right in your backyard and sell on sites like Etsy.Recycling Service
You could also start a recycling service where you pick up items from homes or businesses and then sort those items for proper recycling in your yard.
Gardener Photo via Shutterstock
Canning Photo via Shutterstock
Party Rental Photo via Shutterstock
Backyard Photo via Shutterstock