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.



PaySimple is the leading payments management solution for service-based businesses, powering the cashflow of over 20,000 companies nationwide. PaySimple builds long-term partnerships with companies to drive growth providing flexible payment and billing solutions and personalized customer service to suit their distinct business needs.

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