Beyond the Numbers

Useful Online Productivity and Security Tools

Here are several popular free or inexpensive online tools that can help manage and protect your online activities. They range from password management tools to security protection services. Password Managers A decade-old study by Microsoft estimates that the average person memorizes about six passwords and reuses them over and over. Today most people use dozens…

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Overlooked Business Metrics

Revenue, gross margin, net profit — these are the basic metrics every small business owner watches closely. But there are also some often-overlooked metrics that can deepen your insight into your business and inform your decision-making. Here are a few: Check Customer acquisition cost. Divide the total amount of money you’ve spent on marketing over…

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New! Small Business Medical Leave Credit

There’s a new business tax credit that partially reimburses employers for providing paid family and medical leave for select employees. But small businesses should be informed before they try to use this new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) tax break. Basics of the new credit Employers who provide at least two weeks of paid…

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Get your small business off the rocks

Every small business eventually hits a rough patch. It’s easy to get discouraged when it happens. But look at the upside: you have infrastructure in place, you have existing customers and most importantly, you have the hard-won experience of knowing what works and what doesn’t. With that in mind, here are some ideas to get…

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The five-star review trap

(Read this before using star ratings for your business) When a five-star consumer rating system for products and services was adopted by major online businesses including Amazon, Yelp and Trip Advisor, the practice soon became widely used. But other businesses such as Netflix ditched star ratings after discovering some downsides. Here are some things to…

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The often-overlooked R&D Tax Credit

Tax credits are one of the best tax-reduction tools for your business because they directly decrease your tax bill dollar for dollar. The business research and experimentation credit, also called the “R&D credit” could be one opportunity worth looking at this year. The R&D credit basics The R&D credit allows business owners to reduce their…

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Stay prepared to sell your business

If you enjoy running your own business, selling it may be the furthest thing from your mind. But the reality is that eventually an opportunity to sell will come, whether due to your own life changes or a perfect buyer walking in the door. Planning, often years in advance of the sale date, is necessary…

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Tax checklist for business startups

Starting your own business can be equal parts thrilling and intimidating. Complying with regulations and tax requirements definitely falls into the later category. But, with some professional help, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get started with this checklist of things you’ll need to consider. Are you a hobby or a business?…

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Keep a cool investing head

These are heady times for investors in the U.S. stock market, who just finished 2017 with an 18 percent return in the S&P 500 broad index of large-cap U.S. stocks. These historically rare returns have prompted investors to park funds in the stock market in their greatest numbers since 2000, according to broker TD Ameritrade’s…

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Taxes and virtual currencies: What you need to know

Virtual currencies are all the rage lately. Here are some tax consequences you must know if you decide to dip your toe in that world. The IRS is paying close attention The first thing to know is that the IRS is scrutinizing virtual currency transactions, so if you live in the U.S. you’ll have to report your…

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