In just a few weeks the open enrollment period for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare will come to an end. In the months and days leading up to this deadline much has been discussed regarding how small businesses would be affected by the ACA, Much of the discussion gets confusing depending on the size of the small business. Small businesses that have 50 or more employees are mandated to provide insurance for all full time workers while small businesses that have 25 or less employees are being offered tax credits based on the number of full time employees they have and their average annual salary.
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What is the definition of a small business? Although you might think there is a simple answer to this question it actually gets convoluted and confusing depending on who responds with an answer.
In the eyes of many a small business is defined as a “Mom and Pop” owned business or maybe a business located on a city or town’s “Main” street. The number of people employed by these “small” businesses varies but usually run around ten or less. Other types of businesses that would fall under this definition would be those who have no employees at all, such as solopreneurs or freelancers.
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Have you ever handed out a business card at a networking event only to receive unsolicited email newsletters or marketing campaign offers? Maybe the same has occurred through connections you’ve made on Linked-In. If this has happened to you you’re not alone. Many small business owners who received your business card or connected with you on Linked-In believe that is it is an acceptable practice to send these types of solicitations to you because of the manner in which they received your email address. What they don’t realize is that in most cases they are irritating the very people they are trying to get their business messages across to. They could also be breaking the law, thanks to the CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act of 2003. This law dictates how and when a business can send emails to current and prospective customers
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Baby New Year was just crawling into 2014 when Mother Nature decided to deliver the first, of what has turned out to be multiple, snow storms of the New Year. In the course of the next several weeks it seemed like just as one storm finished another was right on its tail, ready to wreak havoc on anyone and anything in its path. Even areas of the United States that normally got limited snowfall weren’t spared. From delaying flights to school and business closings, inconveniences mounted. Some of those who weathered these multiple punches seemed to do so with ease, relying on past experiences to help them out, while others seemed to struggle with what to do next. Many small businesses learned the hard way that regardless of what they had planned Mother Nature’s decisions out trumped them. Read more ›
‘Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
“So much to do, not enough time in the day to do it!” These are words many small business owners float around in their head, whether they are just starting out or have been open a while. They stay stressed working long hours making sure every aspect of what it takes to run their business is done.
Every tick of the clock, every moment that goes by for a business owner is measured by money earned or money lost. Since many business owners tend to want to do everything, especially in the early days of their business, there may be no rhyme or reason to what gets done first. Not having any organization to follow will end up creating wasted time and lost dollars. Read more ›
As if small business owners did not have enough to do, having employees adds even more to their plate. Making sure their payroll is done correctly and all information reported properly is of high priority, regardless of whether payroll is done in house or by a third party. As mentioned in our last blog post it’s the business owner’s responsibility to report information regarding an employee’s previous year income by the end of January. That is not where a business owner’s payroll reporting responsibility ends. Every business owner who has employees is required to at least withhold federal payroll taxes. Businesses in states that have an income tax are also required to withhold state payroll taxes. Read more ›
As we enter the first full work week of 2014 many business owners are probably still trying to shake off the cobwebs and get back into tackling their daily tasks. As they gather their bearings on the tasks that need to be done one that needs to be given high priority is end of year taxes. If the business had employees and/or independent contractors work for them in the past year it is the business owner’s responsibility to report information regarding their previous year’s income.
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In the perfect world everyone is happy with everything and there is no reason to worry about risk to your business. Unfortunately this altered reality only exists in a dream world and there is always a potential for risk to be lurking around the corner which can in turn upend your business as you know it. It doesn’t matter if you own a business that is very careful and crosses every ‘T’ and dots every ‘I’. If a customer has a perception of any wrong doing there’s always a potential for your business to be libel for it.
Although not all businesses carry the same potential for risk there’s always a potential for that something unexpected to happen. The more you understand what issues can possibly cause liability to your business, the better you can minimize it. Read more ›
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
As 2013 comes to a close, it’s not too late to review how your business has done over the past year as well as take a look at what you can do to take it to the next level next year. Regardless of what kind of business you have or the stage of growth it’s in, here is your opportunity to assess, strategize and put a plan in motion to take your small business to the next level. Read more ›