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Top 10 Tax Tips I Didn't Know

Tax time for small businesses is typically very stressful. With the April 15 deadline approaching, now is the time (if you haven't already) to get started on preparing your taxes. While researching for this week's tax tips and blog, I came across many tax tips that I didn't know about. Check out my Top 10 Tax Tips! File Your Tax Return for Free - The IRS Free File program provides free federal income tax preparation and electronic filing for eligible taxpayers through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance LLC, a group of private sector tax software companies. Free tax preparation and filing via online software is available to anyone with a 2009 Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000 or less. If that’s you, head to the IRS website and choose from a list of approved tax preparers, and get started. If you aren’t sure which preparer to use, ans... [Read Full Article]

Small Biz Tip: Businesses to Start Now: Arts

Tips from February 26, 2010 The Small Business tips today discuss businesses in the art industry to start NOW! Photography: Weddings, graduations, senior portraits, head shots, and more. Photographers are always in need. If you have a great camera and a good artistic, eye, start your own photography business. Interior Design: Use your artistic talents and skill to start an interior design business. Take a few classes if you want to brush up on the latest trends. Start on your own home, then use those pictures as an example for your portfolio. Home Entertainment Designer: Many homes are starting to install home entertainment systems. Research popular models and designs and start a business of your own. Take your creative hobbies and turn them into art. Pottery, candles, paintings, and portraits are great pieces of art that have value and can be sold. Daily Overview: The art industry is always thriving. People ar... [Read Full Article]

Know Your Industry

Starting a small business is an exciting time for entrepreneurs, especially if it is in an industry that they love. Taking a hobby or interest and turning it into a business is a common trend for many entrepreneurs. Having the love and dedication that small business owners need to start their business is important, but you can't make common mistakes to keep your business from success. An important step in starting your own business is knowing your industry. An industry is defined by Princeton as, "the people or companies engaged in a particular kind of commercial enterprise." It is important to know specifics about your industry for many reasons. Knowing your industry will not only help your business succeed, but also give you an edge on your competition, and provide banks and other lenders information that they need to make an educated decision about loans for your business.... [Read Full Article]

Get a Head Start on Taxes

Government & PoliticsSmall Business Incentives Face a Hard Road in CongressPresident Obama’s incentives for small business to create jobs appear to be foundering at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Those proposals — tax credits for hiring and investment and initiatives to spur lending to small firms — all face strong resistance, and not all of it comes from the Senate. Each chamber has embraced separate elements of the administration’s agenda, and, for the moment, none of those elements overlap.Government & PoliticsU.S. Salary-Increase Budgets Hit 25-Year LowChanges to salary structures... [Read Full Article]

Small Biz Tip: Start Up Questions: Finding Customers

Tips from February 11, 2010 The Small Business tips today discuss how to find customers. Chamber of Commerce: Introducing your business at your Chamber of Commerce will give you a start in connecting with other small businesses in your area. Additionally, ask for a link on your Chamber's website to yours about your new business opening. Use the support and organization in your favor to find customers in your area who are passionate about the small business cause. Networking: Use your friends, family members, and business contacts to your advantage. Talk to them about your new business, and ask if there are any contacts they know that you can network with. Don't forget about social networking online as well! Competition: As silly as it sounds, some of the best places to find your customers is by researching your competition. Find out what they are doing wrong, and what their customers are dissatisfied with. Use that to your advantage when starting out on yo... [Read Full Article]

Novice Blunders

Everyone makes mistakes. For businesses, mistakes can be the deciding factor for staying in business or closing their doors forever. Many novice small business owners make the same mistakes within the first year of opening their business that causes them to have to close down. Find the top five mistakes and what you can do to prevent them below.Mistake #1) Putting Your Heart & Soul Into Your Business, But NOT Your HeadIt takes  great deal of passion to start a small business. In fact, many small businesses are a result of a passionate idea or organization. It is important to have the strong feeling to get the business off the ground. Unfortunately, that is not enough. As much passion and drive you have for your business, it is important to also think about other factors for your business, especially your finances. Passion doesn’t pay the bills. You need to have a plan from the get-go to be able to determine if you business is simply a passion-driven ide... [Read Full Article]

Banks Pull Another $1 Billion From Small Business Lending

Management and Operations 21st Century Career Development and Its Implications for Learning and Development There has been a significant change between what career development means in the 21st century and what it meant when our parents' generation, or even when my fellow Boomers, entered the workforce. Management and OperationsFirst Lady Michelle Obama Promotes Work/Life BalanceDuring her visit with 400 employees, Obama touched on an issue that has been central to her professional life—simultaneously managing the demands of home and the workplace. Workfor... [Read Full Article]

Consumers Do Homework Before Buying This Holiday Season

Government, Politics, and the Economy Is It Too Early to Start Thinking About a Rebound? It may not feel like it yet in your town or in your industry, but there are indications that things are getting better. NYtimes.comManagement and OperationsHow to Not Go Out of BusinessStart by studying how your best customers interact with your brand and its competitors, then brainstorm ways to address any shortcomings. Management and Operations [Read Full Article]

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