The number one thing to do when you want to receive a tax refund next tax season is to start planning as soon as possible. The choices you make today impact how much you’ll owe – or, hopefully, how much you’ll get back – next year, so the sooner you start accurately documenting your deductions and using sound financial planning strategies, the better prepared you’ll be whether you owe Uncle Sam or are owed a return. Below are some tips to help you get ready for a big tax refund next year.
Seek Advice from a Tax Accountant or CPA
You’ve decided to get your taxes together and organized this year so you can get a big tax refund next year. That means no more pulling your hair out while trying to look for receipts and paperwork. It’s an excellent idea to start a file in which you keep everything and anything that could be remotely related to your taxes. Read more...
In business, saving money is as good, and sometimes more critical, than making money. That’s always been a prime business axiom, but perhaps never more so than today, when more than ever before, solopreneurs and dreamers are launching their start-ups, thanks to the proliferation of affordable workplace and work-way alternatives out there – with the delicate yet critical mandate of trying to stay the course, while not allowing mounting expenses to outpace income and get the best of them.
Most businesses require a run-up to mature to the point where they are profitable. Most savvy business owners realize that opening up a business is a risk — one that drains financial resources through (sometimes substantial and personal) necessary investment and start-up costs. Very, very few businesses hit the ground running and start fattening up bank accounts from the get-go. Read more...
You may not be struggling to make payroll, but you don’t necessarily have a heap of cash to spend on every new idea business pundits say you should execute either. So where should you spend your money? Here are four smart ways to spend some of that cash on hand.
- Hire a business coach: When I maxed out the potential of my business, I made the investment in a business coach and following the advice he gave me took me to the next level. My coach challenged my ways of thinking, helped me set up new systems, pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and more.
“Business coaches have one goal: to make your ideas into a reality,” Miles Jennings of Recruiter.com, told Inc. “Although you may have many brilliant ideas for your company, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and what to tackle first. Business coaches will evaluate your plans, assess if they are realistic or will be successful and set out a way that you can implement them correctly.” Read more...
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Running a small business can be a lot of work. Many small business owners have not trained specifically to run a business, and for many it is also the first business that they’ve owned. Without past experience running a business, even the smallest details like creating your business cards can become sticking points and threaten to trip you up and disrupt the flow of your business.
That’s where consultants come in: consultants can allow a small and inexperienced business owner to make strategic and prudent decisions. However, hiring the wrong consultant can be an expensive and time consuming mistake. We’ve outlined the steps that you need to consider before you hire that business consultant in order to minimize the chances of losses and mistakes.
Step one: do your research Read more...
Meetings. Most of the time they are necessary, but many times they are challenging. Some people show up late. Some people talk too much. Some meetings run on and on and accomplish nothing.
What’s a meeting organizer to do? Let’s start with reviewing four pesky meeting challenges. Billie Blair, an organizational psychologist and president and CEO of the international management consulting firm change Strategists, says one of the most common frustrations is having an in-person meeting when e-mail or another form of communication would suffice.
“Everyone attending will know that it could have been dealt with quicker and with less effort and time expended,” Blair said. “It’s akin to throwing up wordy PowerPoint slides and then reading every word to the audience.”
Blair also points to holding important meetings without out preparing an adequate agenda or thinking through a likely direction for the discussion as a point of frustration for attendees. By the same token, she says, losing control of the discussion and allowing long-winded folks to take over the meeting annoys everybody. Read more...
Choosing the right Virtual Office is a multi-step process that is similar to what one goes about when choosing a traditional office space, or other alternative serviced workspace. The first step is to choose the right type of Virtual Office. Do you just need an address and mail receipt program? A VO provider that can also answer your phones in a customized fashion? Perhaps you need both an address and a phone answering package… and may also need a place that offers hourly or daily office, meeting or interview rooms space. Or maybe you don’t even need or value an address and phone plan, and really require a conference room & meeting room package that offers a variety of touchdown, open or enclosed office space usage options? For all of these needs, keep in mind that you can call Davinci Virtual to get a solution that works for your business. Read more...
So you are thinking about starting a small business? There are many things to consider. What will you call the business? Will you incorporate as an LLC, a partnership or a corporation? What is your value proposition? Will you need employees? How many?
There’s a lot to consider and although this article can’t possible cover all the issues—there are scores of books written on this topic—we’ve turned to our experts for insight into some of the most important things to consider before starting your business.
- Do you have the resources?
You may have a bright idea, but do you have the resources to launch it out? John Turner, founder and CEO of UsersThink, a tool that delivers feedback on demand for website landing pages, says this is a key issue to consider before you get too far down the road. Read more...
Well, we all know about ‘trickle-down economics’ – the theory that if the system favors the wealthy and higher-ups, that those lower down the ladder in society and the job ranks would benefit from a cascading or ‘trickling down’ effect. As the well-heeled loosen their purse strings thanks to their financial wherewithal to spend and reload, comfortable knowing that their piggy banks would keep refilling at a relatively consistent pace, the process restarts yet again. Unless you’re at the top of that totem pole, you’re probably not a big fan or defender of the wisdom and results of that business and economics model – especially if you’re a Walmart cashier or stockperson, or are a comparable station-mate in life. Read more...
- Throw a Party
Nothing boosts morale like a good celebration. So throw a party for your office, but makes sure to keep it reasonable. Go ahead and tell your employees to invite their loved ones as they’ll be considered tax deductible as well. Fun activities such raffle-style door prizes are another way to add to the fun without going bust.
*One thing to be aware of is independent contractors. You may only be able to deduct 50% of their costs.
- Relax to the Max
Bring in a massage therapist, yoga instructor, or other professional of the like to conduct a therapeutic session. An over-worked and stressed out work force can lead to poor performance and bad health. Boost morale by adding a change of pace with this 100% tax deductible activity. Read more...
- Snack Attack