Here's an infographic that compares self-employment between the United States and the United Kingdom. Whether it's due to greater entrepreneurial spirit or more forgiving tax policies, self-employment is clearly more desirable to Americans than to the British.View Original Article
The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council has released its annual state rankings of their public policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship. The rankings measure the costs and burdens of government on small business, and policy areas that enable competitiveness and growth.
You can view an interactive map
with highlights for each state. You can also download the full report
.Some factors included in the Index:
- regulatory costs
- government spending
- property rights
- health care policies
- energy costs
(38 major government imposed or related costs affecting small businesses and entrepreneurs)Top 10 States:
Bottom 10 States:
- South Dakota
- South Carolina
View Original Article
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia
Thirty percent of small businesses fail within two years. Fifty percent fail within five years. Understanding failure can be one of the most important lessons an entrepreneur can learn. From Outright.com, a presentation that looks at the top ways small businesses doom themselves.
Start without the right motivation
Running a business is hard.
You need to be able to overcome adversity.Start without support
Whether it's a spouse, friend or mentor, you need someone to help you overcome self-doubt.Spend money before you have a business
Don't buy a business license, business planning software or incorporate until you have a paying customer.Provide a product or service that people don't want or need
Find the right need and do a great job of satisfying that need.Let "busy work" get in the way of real work
Don't get bogged down in record keeping, filing, research and analysis at the expense of customer interactions.Cheat on your customers
The best way to attract new customers is to shower existing customers with attention. Let happy customers be your sales force.Spend money on marketing you can't measure
Marketing should increase sales, so if you can't measure the impact, don't do it.Be bad at math
A negative cash flow means doom for every business. Be certain that you have more money at the end of the day.Be bad at planning
You need direction and a roadmap for your business.View Original Article
If you use your home for business, you may be eligible for a home office deduction. This is true whether you are self-employed or an employee. From IRS.gov, here is additional information about the Home Office deduction.
View Original Article and Forms
- To claim a business deduction for your home, you must use part of your home exclusively and regularly, as your principle place of business OR as a place to meet or deal with patients, clients or customers in the normal course of your business OR in any connection with your trade or business where the business portion of your home is a separate structure not attached to your home.
- For storage use, rental use, or daycare-facility use, you are required to use the property regularly but not exclusively.
- The deduction amount depends on the percentage of your home used for business. Your deduction for certain expenses will be limited if your gross income from your business is less than your total business expenses.
- Special rules exist for qualified daycare providers and for persons storing business inventory or product samples.
- Self-employed use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home to figure the home office deduction and report those deductions on line 30 of Form 1040 Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business.
- For employees, additional rules apply for claiming the home office deduction. The regular and exclusive business use must be for the convenience of your employer.
- For more information see IRS Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home.
Lending options have improved slowly since the beginning of the economic crisis. The outlook for 2011 appears to be one of continuing improvement. Some of those lending options from recent news:
- Selling a business - 76% of brokers surveyed nationwide believe 2011 will be a good year to sell
- Investing in business equipment - the end of 2010 saw an increase in small business loans for new equipment
- Increasing business inventories - The SBA Jobs Act changed inventory financing options, increasing the maximum from $2 to $5 million for certain 7(a) loans. Qualified small businesses have access to the program through the Dealer Floor Plan Pilot Loan Program
Granted, these improvements are small, somewhat regional and sometimes industry specific. But they still qualify as a step in the right direction. Other stories point to competition between lenders to win business. In particular, a better climate for selling small businesses is a sign of overall lending improvement. The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, a pool that could be leveraged into $300 billion in loans, targets small banks and is intended to be passed along to their small business clients.
A Kauffman Foundation report on the perception of the economy indicates that business owners are more upbeat than economists.
The chart shows an overall pessimistic view. The slow improvement in lending conditions seems responsible for the more optimistic view of business owners. The survey showed that 28% of respondents plan to increase spending on business development.View Original Article
From Outright.com, here are some thoughts on good business plans. You don't need a business plan per se, but it the process of creating one may help you solidify your business idea. If you do create a business plan, keep it simple. Also, make sure you answer the following questions:
View Original Article
- What need are you solving?
- Who are the people that have this need?
- What makes you different?
- Can you make money doing this?
Many entrepreneurs get to a point of needing to hire help or turning away new business. It's a good problem to have.
First, you must be willing to give up control. One way to do that is to clearly define the tasks you are outsourcing. You then need to decide whether you are hiring an employee or a contractor. This distinction is important to the IRS. If you control what work is being done, but not how the work gets done, then your worker can be considered a contractor. If you are controlling both the "what" and the "how", your worker will likely be considered an employee.
Obviously, reporting is easier with a contractor. No payroll taxes are involved. Contractors also afford more flexibility, as their involvement can start small.View Original Article
If you have your own business set up as a sole proprietorship or as an LLC, you'll need to file a Schedule C. The attached article will help you determine if you meet the criteria for filing the much simpler Schedule C-EZ instead:
View Original Articles
- Less than $5000 in business related expenses.
- No employees.
- This is the only business that you own.
- Not reporting a loss.
- No inventory.
- No depreciation expenses.
- No home use expenses.
- Cash basis accounting.
TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) is a set of conferences for "ideas worth spreading." The talks at these conferences are offered for free online and cover a wide range of topics. The author of the linked post has found several that she recommends for aspiring entrepreneurs:
View Original ArticleTED
- Let’s Raise Kids to Be Entrepreneurs
- Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders
- Let’s Simplify Legal Jargon
- The Power of Time Off
- Richard St. John’s 8 Secrets of Success
Success as an entrepreneur is predicated on more than just good ideas. You need to be able to manage and execute on your ideas. A business degree can arm you with the tools you need to manage a small business. A solid understanding in marketing, economics and accounting can contribute a great deal to your success.View Original Article