Tips for Small Businesses

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Reads of the Week – Mar 6th

Date: March 06, 2015

Reads of the WeekWe know you’re busy, so we pulled together the most interesting reads of the week for topics affecting small business owners. Feel free to add your own favorites that we may have missed in the comments.

Here are some often overlooked deductions and other tax breaks that experts say may warrant particular attention for the 2014 filing season. Deducting home-office expenses can be a miserable chore, so last tax season, the IRS started allowing a simpler option by calculating the deduction at $5 per square foot (up to 300 square feet), for a maximum deduction of $1,500. While this tax break might be worth revisiting, tax preparers caution against being overzealous.

2015 will (finally!) be the year when mobile payment platforms become commonplace. And by 2017, there are forecast to be 450 million mobile payment users, up from 245 million at the end of 2013. What’s next? Fair splitting, real-time tools and data which let consumers seamlessly share costs. And not just for products, but services and experiences, too. Not sure if you’re ready to explore that option? May want to reconsider. A recent study found that 45% of Millennials in the US & UK would like to use their phones to split bills with friends (JWT, October 2014).

Mobile payments are handy, but what about a palm-sized mobile photo booth? The Podo stick anywhere camera turns any surface into a photo booth. With a battery life of up to 2 hours, it’s a fun way to capture quick images at a work event or just to avoid asking that total stranger to take your photo. Stick the camera to nearly any surface, open a dedicated app on your phone, and frame your shot. It just launched on Kickstarter this week so stay tuned for details on when it’s available.

A mobile photo booth may be handy, but you may need professionally-taken images for your website. Trying to find free stock images for commercial use for your website can be a pain, however. You often land on deceptive websites that ultimately require payments.Well, you can stop searching because someone else did it for you. Check out this handy resource of 20 different sites where you can get free stock images for your website.

Sometimes it’s about updating your website, other days you may be asking, what else should you be doing? Author Rania Habiby Anderson interviewed more than 250 women from around the world in growth economies and found a few things in common that all successful women entrepreneurs are doing. While the obstacles these women face are seemingly insurmountable, there is something commonplace among all of them. Find out what U.S.-based entrepreneurs can learn from these remarkable women to overcome seemingly intractable obstacles.

Does Your Small Business Practice Secure Email?

Date: March 03, 2015

Email mistakes happen, and they happen to all of us. Who can truly say that they have never replied to all instead of to an individual, accidentally selected the wrong auto-fill email address, mistakenly included confidential personal information in…

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As We Let Our Own Light Shine

Date: March 02, 2015

I was recently in a meeting with a group of trusted friends and we were directed by the group moderator to tell one person in the room "when you do x it inspires me, and when you do y it does the exact opposite."…

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Reads of the Week – Feb 27th

Date: February 27, 2015

We know you’re busy, so we pulled together the most interesting reads of the week for topics affecting small business owners including more about saving on your tax bill, secrets of great leaders, and a little breakdown of Shark Tank.

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Highlights of the February 2015 Small Business Administration Report on the Current State of Small Business Activity

Date: February 24, 2015

The Office of Advocacy, an independent division of the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA), recently release the February 2015 edition of their Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories report. The report provides data about the over…

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What Do You Really Want?

Date: February 23, 2015

As I was driving my 6-year-old son to his soccer practice, I asked him if he wanted to play professional soccer one day. I preempted his answer with a well-intended “fatherly statement.”…

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Reads of the Week – February 20th

Date: February 20, 2015

We know you’re busy, so we pulled together the most interesting reads of the week for topics affecting small business owners including cash flow management, the true cost of email, and a quiz on innovative companies.

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7 Ways to Increase Cash Flow for Your Business

Date: February 18, 2015

You have to spend money to make money, right? That might be true, but you also shouldn't spend outside of your means. Finding that balance – that optimal flow of money in and out of your business – is one of the most important aspects of building…

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The Best Virtual Assistant for Your Small Business: Siri vs. Google Now vs. Cortana

Date: February 17, 2015

An October 2014 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll found that 94% of small business owners use smartphones to conduct business, and 55% report that their mobile devices save them 3 or more hours of work a week. Virtual assistants play a large…

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How Your Small Business Can Better Utilize Mobile Video

Date: February 16, 2015

The following is a guest post by JT Ripton, a business consultant and freelance writer who has penned articles for The Guardian, Business Insider and Entrepreneur.com. …

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