The Internet Sales Tax, also known as The Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) would require online retailers to collect sales tax from customers in states where the retailer has no substantial physical presence and remit them to each customer’s state. There is an exemption for Small Business’ making less than $1 million/year, and also would only apply to purchases made in states where sales tax is currently being collected.
The MFA has passed the Senate and will soon be debated in the House. There is much concern about this bill and many are worried that internet sales will be significantly reduced and small businesses disproportionately impacted.
Alex Fitzpatrick of Mashable, recently wrote 44% of Shoppers Will Buy Less Online if Internet Sales Tax Passes. He discusses a survey sponsored by Endicia, an electronic postage software company.
To read the entire article go to http://mashable.com/2013/05/14/internet-sales-tax-shopping/
April 15th has passed but it’s not too soon to start planning for next years taxes. Jeff Haden of Inc, recently outlined in How to Make Next Tax Season Less Painful strategies to take now and avoid the stress of tax season. He noted that Jim Secord, CEO of Kashoo, a Vancouver-based online accounting software firm, suggests starting immediately and following a few good accounting habits.
Among them, he offers these tips:
- Stay Current With Your Record Keeping - Accounting Rule #1 “Do not procrastinate.” Keeping up to date on your record keeping will help next year’s tax season be much easier. Setting up weekly or monthly reminders in your calendar can help you accomplish this.
- Analyze Variations in Your Current and Previous Returns - Look at tax refunds, deductions, etc. over several years. By comparing your returns something may stand out that you can do differently to improve your tax situation for next year.
- Know Where Your Cash Comes From - Run a cash flow report. This can help you understand where your cash comes from, where it goes, and ways to make improvements.
To read the entire article, go to http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-to-make-next-tax-season-less-painful.html
Amid the horror and devastation of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing, American patriots and heroes once again exhibited the true American spirit of courage and compassion. After two bombs detonated seconds apart, hundreds of heroes rushed in to help the wounded without regard for their own safety, unknowing of potential additional bombs. The marathon is run annually on “Patriots Day,” a civic holiday in remembrance of the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.
Among these countless hero’s were first responders, police, firefighters, doctors, nurses, former NFL players, fathers of fallen soldiers, runners who crossed the finish line and went straight to give blood at the Red Cross center, and many small are large businesses who contributed food, drinks, and other services to all in need.
At the scene, some of the heroes include:
- Carlos Arredondo “My first instinct was to just run across the street and start helping the people,” Mr. Arredondo was watching a runner who were there to honor a fallen soldier, his own son, who was killed in Iraq, 2004.
- Joe Andruzzi former New England Patriots player was also in the midst of the carnage. He was seen carrying the injured from the scene to where they could receive medical attention. Continue reading
Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, a small market town in eastern England. She was the daughter of a grocer. She attended Oxford University, and later she married Denis Thatcher and had two children.
Her political career has been one of the most remarkable of modern times. Mrs. Thatcher became the first woman to become Prime Minister of Britain and served over eleven years. She won three successive elections. She was known as hardheaded and hard-driving and had earned the nickname the ”Iron Lady” of British politics.
She is remembered by many of her famous quotes. Among them:
- “Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the high road to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.”
- “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.”
- “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” Continue reading
All businesses want a market strategy that generates sales. Unfortunately, too often marketing strategies fall short and do not accomplish this. Geoffrey James of Inc. recently wrote How to Evaluate a Market Strategy. He described how effective strategies will always include the following characteristics:
- They are strategic rather than tactical. Strategies define goals while tactics define the actions you’ll need to take to achieve those goals.
- They are measurable rather than vague. Goals need to be specific. If you can measure it, then you can manage it. Continue reading
Do you procrastinate? A lot of us do. But putting things off can cause stress, damage your career, harm your credibility and overall be unhealthy. Christina DesMarais of Inc. writes in 8 Ways to Nip Procrastination in the Bud some reasons why we procrastinate and eight ways to avoid it. She outlines some of the reasons for procrastination. They include fear of failure, believing that the best work is done under pressure, perfectionism, disorganization, and depression.
No matter what the reason, try these 8 tricks to stay on track:
- Change your scenery – Most people’s’ offices are full of distractions. Try taking your laptop somewhere else. Maybe try an empty office, conference room or even a library. Continue reading
Small business’ and startups typically don’t have a lot of cash to spend on marketing efforts. However, there are a number of creative and inexpensive ways to market your business digitally. Lewis Howes of Entrepreneur writes 5 Online Marketing Strategies for a Tight Budget. He recommends:
- Get endorsed by a local celebrity – Although many business’ would love to get a national or global celebrity to endorse them, try instead to find a local celebrity. You can find them in your local paper maybe a teacher or a resident who’s doing something positive and good for the community. They should be easy to contact by phone or email. Let them know you’d like to send them a sample of your product or service. Also let them know that you’d like to follow-up for feedback. This input can be important content for your blog or other marketing strategy.
- Create a LinkedIn group - LinkedIn groups are free to create. They can be very helpful in offering your professional network an important information source as well as driving traffic to your website. Continue reading
When large companies suffer a data breach, the costs related to the event can end up in the millions of dollars. There are costs associated with the investigation, responses to the loss, lawsuits, and regulatory fines.
Small companies can also be subject to such costs but not be as equipped financially to absorb the impact. This is why a personalized cyber liability insurance policy should be considered.
Ethan Miller, an insurance attorney at Hogan Lovells, recently wrote for USA Today Cyberinsurance is latest small business safety net. He describes cyber liability policies that are available to small businesses.
Not only do cyber policies cover damages it must pay its customers, it also can include any or all of the following:
- Investigative Expenses – This can often require IT forensic examiners
- Notification Expenses – Customers who may be potentially affected by the event must be notified
- Negative Publicity Expenses – Public Relations firms may be needed to restore public opinion Continue reading
How does your small business get referrals? Many entrepreneurs say their new customers come through word of mouth. It is important to understand how that happens and where they come from. Positive word of mouth referrals come from having a strategy that focuses on your client and encourages them to speak highly of you.
Andy Sernovitz recently wrote The 5 Fastest Ways to Get More Referrals for Your Small Business at Duck Tape Marketing. Sernovitz teaches word of mouth marketing. His strategy includes the following:
1. Just ask - Have you asked your customers to tell their friends about you and your business? This can be done as they are checking out, a personal note on their receipt, and folllow-up emails. Satisfied customers are usually glad to talk about you.
2. Focus on the first-timers - Go out of your way to talk with your new customer. Welcome them warmly. Let them know they are important to you. You only get one chance to meet each new customer. Make sure it’s memorable.