Small Business Brief for 11/06

Politics and Economics

New Administration Comes with Both Hope and WorryWhile many small business owners hope that President-elect Barack Obama's policies will benefit them and improve the country's economy, many worry about how Democratic control of both the House and Senate will play out.

How Should the President Help Small Business?
Expert opinion on the most important thing the incoming President could do for small businesses.

Your Business and the Financial Crisis
Bank failures are causing anxiety among small business owners who wonder what is going to happen to their financial agreements. Here is what you need to know.

Oil Tumbles Below $62 on Recession Fears
HOUSTON (AP) - Oil prices tumbled below $62 a barrel Thursday with more evidence that a long and painful recession may be on the way. The number of Americans continuing to draw unemployment benefits surged to a 25-year high, the Labor Department said.

Longer-term Jobless Benefits Hit 25-year High
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of out-of-work Americans continuing to draw unemployment benefits has surged to a 25-year high, while shoppers turned extra frugal, further proof of the damage from sinking economy, credit problems and financial stresses.

Small Business Owners Lobby for Credit Card Fee Reductions
As the economy continues to slow down, every dollar is more and more important to the bottom line, spurring some merchants to push Congress for credit card fee cuts.

Government Contracts

SBA Says Small Business Got Nearly a Quarter of US Government Contracts
During the last fiscal year, the Small Business Administration said that $83.2 billion of government contracts went to small businesses, which was a record-breaking amount.

Women Business Owners Want Better Access to Federal Contracts
With more and more women running their own businesses, there are efforts underway to help more of them obtain Federal contracts.

Law and Regulation Enforcement

TD 9431: Information Reporting on Employer-Owned Life Insurance Contracts
TD9431 contains final regulations concerning information reporting on employer-owned life insurance contracts under section 6039I of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). This final regulation is necessary to provide taxpayers with guidance as to how the requirements of section 6039I should be applied. These regulations generally apply to taxpayers that are engaged in a trade or business and that are directly or indirectly a beneficiary of a life insurance contract covering the life of an insured who is an employee of the trade or business on the date the contract is issued.

Time for New Tax Breaks is Running Out
There is no telling what may happen next year, but right now, businesses may take an immediate write-off of up to $250,000 for equipment purchased in 2008, double the amount allowed in 2007.

Doing Business

Consolidation and Automation Can Help You Simplify Your Scheduling
Since over 50% of all business processes leverage batch operations, you have to keep your batch production running smoothly in order to keep your business running smoothly. Learning how to simplify and lower batch management costs can raise productivity and lower the risk of failed jobs.

How Hard Could It Be? Sins of Commissions
Employees will always game incentive plans -- because the geniuses who design them don't anticipate how employees will respond.

Business Lessons from Seth MacFarlane’s $2 Billion Family Guy Empire
Family Guy
creator Seth MacFarlane signed a record $100 million deal with Fox and he's teaching Google a few things about exploiting the Web. Could this crude, frat-boy cartoonist really be a model for business in the postmodern age?

Recovering Stolen Equipment the Right Way
Companies lose billions of dollars a year to hardware and data theft. Here's how the good guys work to recover what's lost.

Choose the Best CRM for Your Company
There are many deployment options available with most customer relationship management (CRM) solutions today, but CRM buyers need to find a deployment approach that best matches their needs while delivering superior performance, application integration, and functionality. Here is how.

Sales and Marketing

Learning Through Performance Advertising
In 2009, having a social media advertising plan will be as essential as having an SEM plan this year.

Is Optimizing Your Web Site Worth It?
ClickZ/ZAAZ offers an interactive tool to help you evaluate what initiatives deserve funding now and what you should be put-off until later.

Do the Right Thing in an E-mail Marketing Campaign
Just because an e-mail marketing practice is legal doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

 

Behavioral Targeting With Attitude
After using behavioral data to isolate a problem, consider taking these actions to find out why the problem's occurring.

 

Google AdWords for Local Search
Why local brick-and-mortar businesses cannot afford to overlook Google Universal and Google Maps.