Thursday, February 28, 2013

‘Unretirement’ Fuels Growth of Small Business, Creates Jobs

Baby Boomers — nearly 80 million of them in the U.S. – will redefine traditional retirement. The first boomers turned 65 in 2011, and year after year for the next 18 years, masses of them will choose to work beyond the ages of 62 to 65, the range long thought of as retirement time.

There’s been a lot of conversation lately about boomers and the ‘unretirement’ movement. In fact, AARP predicts that a whopping 80% of boomers will have to work into their retirement years. The vast majority of them will move away from high-pressure corporate positions to reshape their professional lives as small business owners, consultants, part-time workers or “giving back” careers such as teaching or non-profit management.

And what we’re seeing right now is the tip of the iceberg.

More from the ASBDC.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Small Business Advocate – February/ March 2013

The February-March edition of the Small Business Advocate (vol. 32, no. 2, edited by Rebecca Krafft) spotlights three new publications: the annual Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which examines federal agencies’ progress in considering small businesses when making regulations; Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories, with extensive government data showing the status and importance of small business in each state; and the Small Business Economy, providing a broad statistical portrait of small business. The newsletter also reports on rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Food and Drug Administration, plus the makeup of the Small Business Committees in the 113th Congress.

In This Issue
Message from the Chief Counsel
Advocacy Report Shows Small Businesses at the Forefront of Economic Recovery
Research Notes
Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories Published
Regulatory News
Annual Report on Federal Compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act
Small Businesses Voice Concerns with Proposed FSMA Rules
In a Victory for Small Businesses, EPA Vacates Stormwater Runoff Numeric Limit
EPA’s Final Rule on Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines Reduces Small Firm Impacts
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Makes Three Rules Final
News Items
Makeup of Small Business Committees in the 113th Congress
Advocacy Welcomes Two New Staff Members in February

For more information please see the Office of Advocacy webpage.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Avoid These Three Deadly Sins of Sales Messaging

Salespeople's lips moving—that's how deals get done.

Everyone talks about the importance of listening during the sales cycle; but, let's face it, no one buys from a mute salesperson. You eventually have to talk, and when you do, know this: The entire deal is riding on what you have to say, even more than what you have to sell.

This article will discuss the three deadly sins of sales messaging and how you can successfully avoid them in order to create more demand and win more business.

Read more from MarketingProfs.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Leave It All To The Movers

I just love this video of a moving company at work. Fabulous business model.

Just two things:
1. The company is in Japan.
2. The experiences I have had with movies have often been, let us say, less than ideal.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Work From Home? The Home Office Tax Deduction Has Changed for 2013

For many small business owners, the home office deduction can be a mixed blessing--the savings are valuable to a tight margin business, but its complexity can lead to errors and unwanted IRS attention. But for 2013 and beyond, you have more flexibility when claiming this tax break.

Keep Reading for More on This Money-Saving Option

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective

From HERE:

• The United States remained the largest manufacturing country in 2010, although its share of global manufacturing activity has declined in recent years.
• Manufacturing output has grown more rapidly in the United States over the past decade than in most European countries and Japan, although it has lagged China, Korea, and other countries in Asia.
• Employment in manufacturing has fallen in most major manufacturing countries over the past two decades. The United States saw a disproportionately large drop between 2000 and 2010, but its decline in manufacturing employment since 1990
is in line with the changes in several European countries and Japan.
• U.S. manufacturers spend far more on research and development (R&D) than those in any other country, but manufacturers’ R&D spending is rising more rapidly in China, Korea, Mexico, and Taiwan.
• A large share of manufacturing R&D in the United States takes place in high technology sectors, particularly pharmaceutical and electronic instrument manufacturing, whereas in other countries a far greater proportion of
manufacturers’ R&D outlays occur in medium-technology sectors such as motor vehicle and machinery manufacturing

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Karen Mills Announces Her Departure As SBA Administrator

After four years as Administrator of the SBA, Karen Mills announced on February 11th that she will not be staying for a second term. Administrator Mills will however stay at SBA until her successor is confirmed to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

Monday, February 18, 2013

SBA Launches 2013 Emerging Leaders Initiative

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration launched its 2013 Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative, formerly known as e200, in 27 cities and communities across the country. Since 2008 the initiative has trained more than 1,300 promising small business owners in underserved communities, and continues to expand its impact helping small businesses grow and create jobs. The city of Los Angeles is joining the initiative for the first time and Oklahoma City, Portland and Seattle are returning.

“Emerging Leaders has a proven track record of helping small businesses in underserved communities,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Graduates of the program have increased their revenue, created jobs and helped drive local economic growth in their communities. The addition of four major cities this year builds on this success and provides even more entrepreneurs in underserved communities with the support, resources and skills to succeed.”
The Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for both urban small business owners and Native American communities. Sixty-seven percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 75 percent of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities. Surveyed participants also reported having secured more than $26 million in new financing for their businesses, and an increase in confidence when applying for government contracts. As a result, nearly half of the initiative graduates reported securing federal, state and local contracts, worth more than $330 million.

In 2012 the initiative graduated more than 350 small business owners, representing the largest graduating class since it began in 2008. This year SBA will launch an Emerging Leaders alumni network to continue the business-to-business connection and continuous learning.

The seven-month executive leader curriculum includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and financial communities. Local recruitment for the 2013 training cycle started February 1 through SBA district offices, and classes are scheduled to begin in April.
The cities hosting Emerging Leaders initiative classes in 2013 include:

Urban Markets
• Atlanta, Ga.
• Baltimore, Md.
• Boston, Mass.
• Chicago, Ill.
• Dallas, Texas
• Denver, Colo.
• Detroit, Mich.
• Fresno, Calif.
• Jacksonville, Fla.
• Los Angeles, Calif.
• Memphis, Tenn.
• Minneapolis, Minn.
• New Orleans, La.
• Philadelphia, Pa.
• St. Louis, Mo.
• Syracuse, N.Y.
• Youngstown, Ohio

Native American Communities
• Albuquerque, N.M.
• Farmington, N.M.
• Helena, Mont.
• Honolulu, Hawaii
• Milwaukee, Wis.
• Oklahoma City, Okla.
• Phoenix, Ariz.
• Portland, Ore.
• Seattle, Wash.
• Tulsa, Okla.

Friday, February 15, 2013

2012 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories

Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories supply data on small businesses in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The publication also provides national-level data and limited data on the U.S. territories.

What do the profiles say about small business health? Despite continuing challenges, the profiles show that the U.S. economy was relatively strong in 2011. At the national level, the unemployment rate was down 0.7 percent between 2010 and 2011, and 48 states reported a decrease as well. Of these states, 10 had rates equal to the national level.
The usefulness of the profiles is the great detail it provides about small businesses at the state level. Small business borrowing activity, as well as self-employment by various demographics, are presented. Also covered are the number of firms, small business income, banking, business turnover, industry composition, and employment gains and losses by size of business.

Each profile is available in Adobe PDF format, and an Excel spreadsheet containing all of the profile data is also available. For further information contact Victoria Williams, Economist, at (202) 205-6533 or advocacy@sba.gov.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Claiming Hurricane Sandy personal property loss deductions

When filing your federal income tax return, you may deduct personal property losses that aren't covered by insurance or other reimbursements. Claim the losses as an itemized deduction using federal Form 4684, Casualty and Theft...

Claiming the loss on an amended return for the prior year may result in an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on the return for the year the loss occurred could result in greater tax savings, depending on other income factors.

New York State follows the federal rules for casualty losses. As a resident taxpayer, you may claim the loss on your New York personal income tax return as an itemized deduction. You must use the same year you chose to claim the loss on your federal return.

More here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to take back your time

From MoneyWatch: It's 11 p.m. You are staring at the television. You left work at 6 p.m. and have done absolutely nothing since. What happened?

Time coach Elizabeth Saunders, author of "The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment," has identified several potential problems that account for the scenario above -- and solutions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Should Foreign Businesses Incorporate in the US?

Do you run an overseas business? Thinking of expanding and selling into the U.S. market?

Because U.S. residency or citizenship is not required, non-U.S. citizens can readily sell into the U.S. However, many overseas business owners aren’t clear on whether they are required to incorporate in the U.S. and the associated tax implications.

Here’s what you need to know:

Essentially, if your intent is to sell goods into the U.S.—whether online or through U.S. partners such as a wholesaler—you may not have to file for incorporation in the U.S. However, if you plan to have a physical presence in the U.S. (such as an office or employees), then incorporation, whether as a corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC), is worth considering. Likewise, for online businesses in particular, remember that many U.S. consumers feel more confident buying from a registered U.S. business, so that’s another important factor to weigh.

More from SBA HERE.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How to respond to unhappy customers online

From CBS News MoneyWatch:

When you own a small business or manage the social media program for your company, controlling the narrative is a constant concern. And no matter how much time you spend developing goodwill through your Twitter and Facebook presence, there will always be unhappy customers who flame, troll, and otherwise complain online. How do you reply to them? Should you respond at all? It's a tricky balancing act -- knowing how much you should engage without fanning the flames and making things worse.

Recently, PC World's Christopher Null explained how you can clean up your business's online reputation, and he gave a lot of credible advice for dealing with negative feedback in a variety of common scenarios.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Utilizing a New Financial Projection Tool

In the Spring of 2012 Adam Hoeksema, Co-Founder of ProjectionHub, was working on his personal taxes using TurboTax when it hit him, “If TurboTax could take a highly complex process like preparing a tax return, and make it simple enough for someone other than a tax professional to complete, there must be a way to make the process of creating financial projections much easier as well.”

More HERE.

Friday, February 08, 2013

7 Marketing Lessons (and an Infographic) for Next Year's Super Bowl Advertisers (and You)

I can hope against hope that the advertisers that underwrite the 48th Super Bowl will learn some pretty big lessons from this year's. I know I sure did. And the lessons learned aren't just applicable to brands with big advertising budgets; they are applicable to any marketer looking to get more ROI from marketing investments.

But before I get to those lessons, let me share how I discovered them.

Instead of watching the Super Bowl in real-time like a normal human being, I fired up the DVR and logged each and every commercial—national and local to my market—that ran from 6 PM EST through the commercial break after the final whistle. I then went back and logged each and every call to action involving the Web, mobile channels, social media, and telephone.

The findings were a true head-shaker, and most are compiled in the infographic at the end of this article. The rest you can find in my recent blog rant, Punt, Pass & Kick: Email, Mobile & Social Misses at Super Bowl XLVII.

Now that I've had some time to ponder what the brands near total failure to engage viewers beyond the TV screen means, I'm able to distill my thoughts into these seven lessons for Super Bowl XVLIII's advertisers—and everybody else.

Read more HERE.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Will post office box rentals increase?

Starting in August, the U.S. Postal Service will no longer deliver regular mail to street addresses on Saturdays. Mail will be delivered Monday through Friday.

The following services will NOT change:
• Packages will still be delivered on Saturdays.
• Mail will still be delivered to PO Boxes on Saturdays.
• Post Office locations currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

Discontinuing Saturday delivery is expected to save the Postal Service $2 billion annually.

The Postal Service is an independent government agency and does not receive tax money to support its operations. It relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations.

If you would like more information about the new mail delivery schedule, you can send questions and comments to the U.S. Postal Service.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Map of New NYC Restaurants

To date, the New Business Acceleration Team has assisted over 650 restaurants to reach kitchen ready status. What you will find in the map below is an interactive map that illustrates the locations of each of those establishments. Once you click the map, you will be redirected to a screen where you can scroll over each location with your mouse and a pop-up will appear providing the location's address and website.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Keep your current job, start a business!

Let’s be honest. Walking away from a job with benefits and regular pay doesn’t seem like the greatest idea right now with the economy the way it is. But think about this ideal situation: keep your current job while you start a business on the side. This is commonly called “absentee” or “semi-absentee” business. Many people look would love this scenario, but don’t realize understand exactly what it means. Before you get started, here are four helpful tips as you search for that perfect absentee opportunity:

More from the ASBDC.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Dear America: Your Higher Payroll Taxes Are Not The Result Of A Tax Increase

While the fiscal cliff deal extended the income tax rates for 99% of Americans, one expiring provision that was not given new life by the 11th hour negotiations was the 2% reduction to an employee’s share of Social Security payroll taxes. For 2011 and 2012, employees paid only 4.2% of their wages towards Social Security. Beginning January 1, 2013, that burden has reverted back to 6.2%. As a result, if you earn a salary, you may have noticed that your first paycheck in 2013 was 2% lighter than your last check in 2012, assuming equal pay.

And that has some people awfully mad.

*More from FORBES HERE.

Friday, February 01, 2013

SBA Hurricane Sandy Loan Approvals Surpass $1 Billion As Congress Makes Additional Funds Available for Recovery

WASHINGTON – Less than 90 days after Hurricane Sandy struck, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $1.1 billion in disaster loans to 16,800 residents and businesses in the federally declared states affected by the storm. This milestone comes as Congress passed emergency legislation that will add $799 million to SBA’s disaster assistance program budget to help meet the demand for loans from Hurricane Sandy and future disasters.

"Getting money into the hands of individuals and businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy continues to be one of our top priorities," said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. "My pledge to those affected by the hurricane is that SBA, working together with our local and federal partners, will help you rebuild. I am pleased Congress took the important step of appropriating much-needed funds to help us keep our promise."

Here’s how the supplemental appropriations will be used:

* $520 million for disaster loan subsidy costs, which would support $5 billion in SBA low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations;

* $249 million to cover the administrative costs of SBA disaster loan making and servicing;

* $20 million to support SBA’s resource partners—the Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Women’s and Veterans Business Development Centers—as they provide assistance to businesses rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy;

* $10 million for additional administrative expenses, which include IT security and financial management costs related to SBA’s Hurricane Sandy response.

In terms of SBA disaster lending, Hurricane Sandy is the third largest disaster in U.S. history, followed by Hurricanes Katrina/Rita/Wilma (Aug./Sept. 2005, $10.8 billion) and the Northridge (CA) earthquake (Jan. 1994, $4 billion). The SBA currently has a disaster staff of 2,400 supporting the Hurricane Sandy response in seven states (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina) and Puerto Rico, as well as assisting in recovery efforts for other disasters nationwide.

For more information about SBA’s disaster loan program, visit www.sba.gov/sandy, or call the Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.