Looking for a new Good business idea 2022

Do you have an idea in the back of your head that you’re not sure if it’s worth pursuing? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I think I could make a business out of this?”

we will explore a few ways to generate new ideas for your business. We’ll also take a look at the best way to come up with a great idea and how you can use it as an advantage. Whether you’re looking for a side hustle or want to start something on your own, these tips will help you find success!

If your business is struggling to survive in this economy, then you are not alone. Here are some tips on how to get started with a new Good business idea 2022.
1) Where do I start? First, you need to come up with an idea of what type of business you want to start.

If it’s something that has already been done before there may be less of a risk but if it’s something new then the risks will be greater! Have an open mind and try not to limit yourself at all when coming up with ideas for businesses because they can really take off in different directions depending on who is running them! 2) What does my new venture cost?

New Business Idea may be for you

Well today is your lucky day! We are going to share with you our top five reasons why starting a new business may be for you. As well as what steps need to happen before opening up shop. So let’s get started…

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You’ve got some time to think about your next move. Why not use this opportunity to brainstorm and plan out the future of your business? This is the perfect time to get creative, resourceful, and efficient with your ideas.

Efficient with your Ideas

Take advantage of these slow periods by thinking outside the box! Use this opportunity as an excuse to try something new that will help you grow in the long-run. It might be worth it if it means more customers during high seasons or even just a little extra cash flow when things are tight. The possibilities are endless!

Related:- how if your business needs a members-only site

Do you have any plans to promote your business in the next month? If not, now is a great time to get it together!

Valuable Time with Employees or Family Members Today was my first day back at work after three weeks off for vacation.

I learned something new that gave me a better appreciation for everything I need to do on a daily basis…today alone was hectic as it was (we had a lot of important guests in the store) and looking forward into the next few days ahead..it seems like one problem just simply leads into another!

Things should start to slow down and we will be able to pick up where we left off Get a head start on your idea before you get started

Develop the plan of action that will set up success in your business

Be able to guide yourself and your team with the vision for the future

Click here now for our free guide on how to improve your business during slow seasons!

Related:- How To Avoid Burnout As An Entrepreneur?

business? If you have a minute to spare, this is the perfect time to get creative. Why not take this opportunity and use it as an excuse for brainstorming your next move in order to plan out the future of your business?

It’s never too early (or late) to start thinking about how you can optimize your marketing strategy or product offerings with new ideas that are resourceful and efficient. The clock’s ticking- don’t waste any more time! What will you do now?

How To Avoid Burnout As An Entrepreneur 2020?

Your professional and personal lives begin to blur if you’re an entrepreneur. You hit a creative wall. Your passion for the entrepreneurial life starts to falter. Sound familiar? These are all very common symptoms of entrepreneurial burnout. Avoiding burnout is quite essential to your health, wellness, continued growth as well as success.

Number of problems that Entrepreneurs

There are a number of problems that entrepreneurs experience during the course of success and failure: managing client and talent retention, partner disputes, vendor acquisition issues. The list goes on…

entrepreneur

Common Symptoms of Entrepreneurial

Depression and anxiety are common burnout symptoms. Entrepreneurs are speaking out regarding how our Type-A personalities and passion which have led them down the burnout rabbit hole. Running a start-up businesses is like chewing glass and then staring into the abyss. After a good while, you stop staring however the glass-chewing never ends.

Related:- how if your business needs a members-only site

The Reason?

Every entrepreneur plays a number of different roles at the start of their career, particularly if they are building an organisation from the ground up for the very first time. A total of 77% of employees experience burnout. Imagine the exponential growth of that number when it comes to company leaders—especially the entrepreneurs who, at the start of their business, often cover every role.

Entrepreneurs need a strategy in place in order to help to manage the requirements of building a business. In order to achieve balance while pursuing goals, it’s essential for entrepreneurs to define their values as well as create clear workplace boundaries. Managing anxiety before it gets out of hand is crucial to focusing your energy on business success.

How to Avoid Burnout

While you aren’t able to avoid stress, you can avoid burnout. There are a number of commonplace pitfalls which entrepreneurs fall into.

Here’s a straightforward list of do’s and don’ts for how to prevent burnout as an entrepreneur.

Related:- Top 10 Free Tools from Google for Your Business

Do Have A Flexible Mentality. Don’t Have A Fixed Mentality.

Working toward a single goal may be motivating and inspiring. However, you could get into trouble if that goal becomes your only gauge of success.

See your goals as ideals in order to strive towards — not permanent destinations. If you possess a flexible mindset about your entrepreneurial career, then every twist as well as turn has its own rewards and lessons. This means less stress for you.

Do Get A Life. Don’t Build Your Worth On Your Work.

It’s quite important to have a full life outside of work so that you can avoid burnout. Let work be only one of the ways in which you contribute to the world. Your relationships, your hobbies as well as your daily choices are also critical to your identity.

When you can put down work for the day and focus on other aspects of your life — you come back to work the next day recharged and ready to give more.

Do Ask For Help. Don’t Try To Do It All Yourself.

There are lots of reasons we don’t ask for help. Whether it’s because of fear, pride, or lack of resources — entrepreneurs are notorious for doing it all themselves. But this can lead to burnout. It’s impossible to deliver when you’re the only one doing the work. Hire the right people, create a network of other entrepreneurs, and seek professional help when need be.

how if your business needs a members-only site

A membership website can be an excellent way to build user engagement and a recurring revenue stream. A staggering 76% of businesses claim that a subscription-based model helps them build long-lasting customer relationships. However, a members-only site may not be the best fit for every brand.

business

To run a successful membership business, you need to put a lot of effort into producing sustainable content that converts. Your product should be exciting enough for your audience to join the club and stay there. If your company doesn’t already satisfy these requirements, a subscription site is probably not the right solution for you.

In this article, we’ll discuss four ways to know whether your business needs a members-only site. Let’s go!

Understanding Members-Only Sites and Why You Might Need One

First, let’s clarify what a members-only site is. In essence, it’s a gated part of your website that only registered (and in many cases, paying) users can access. This enables you to offer exclusive content, premium products and services, or other deals that are otherwise not available to the public.

If you already have a WordPress site, you can easily create such an area using our MemberPress plugin. It enables you to run free membership programs, paid ones, or a mix of both.

Some benefits of running a members-only website include:

  • It will generate recurring revenue if you charge for access
  • Customer loyalty will likely increase due to the investment users make in your site and the sense of community it provides
  • Restricted access can help you establish your brand authority by creating a sense of exclusivity

While running members-only sites can be a lucrative business, it does require a lot of work. For instance, you might need to produce a substantial amount of free content to prove your expertise before leads will sign up. It’s time-consuming, so it could be hard to stay ahead of competitors.

Finally, your premium content needs to provide exceptional value to convince your visitors it’s worth it to subscribe. You’ll also need to market it constantly to new potential members. Therefore, it’s smart to evaluate your business and consider whether a membership model is right for you.

Related:- Top 10 Free Tools from Google for Your Business

How to Know Whether Your Business Needs a Members-Only Site (4 Ways to Tell)

Now that we’ve talked about the benefits and the drawbacks of running a members-only site, you’re probably wondering whether your business could use one. In order to find out, you should look for these four key indicators.

1. You Have a Substantial Existing Audience

Starting a membership site is easier if you already have dedicated followers who are willing to convert to paying customers. Ideally, you should have a substantial number of highly engaged users who often comment on your blog posts, interact with you on social media, and are passionate about your brand.

Estimating how large your audience should be to be considered “substantial” is tricky, as it depends on your business and financial goals. Keep in mind that your brand’s number of followers on social media alone is generally not a strong indication of how many users might convert if you launch a members-only site.

For instance, you might be a YouTuber with 10,000 casual followers, but only five percent of them subscribe to your channel. Depending on your goals, this may or may not be a satisfying outcome.

On the other hand, someone with 1,000 highly invested fans might convert most of them. Therefore, it’s best to target a specific niche and spend some time building a loyal fanbase before launching a members-only site.

2. Your Product Makes a Difference

If you want to convince your visitors to subscribe, your product or service must provide value. How can you tell whether that’s the case? If your audience keeps coming back for your content because it provides a solution to a problem they face, you’re probably on the right track.

For instance, if you’re a fitness instructor, your visitors might find your exercise tips useful because they want to stay in shape. Depending on your niche, you could also provide entertainment, curate evergreen content, or offer business advice.

Whatever your skills are, think of your audience’s needs and how your product, service, or content can enhance their lives in ways that other sites can’t. Then, focus on your unique selling points to become a go-to specialist in your niche.

Related:- What You need in Small Business Time Tracking Software

3. You Publish Content Regularly

Without a doubt, you’ll spend hours creating content each week to satisfy your paying members. Some ideas that might warrant subscriptions include:

  • Dripping new posts every day
  • Developing an online course
  • Creating an e-book
  • Running webinars or podcasts
  • Hosting a private community forum

On top of that, you should also keep up with your free content. It can help you build a solid customer base and convince your visitors that your expertise is worth a subscription. Plus, it can boost your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

If you don’t already publish regularly, you might find it hard to adjust to a members-only site. You’ll have to produce large volumes of content, so consider if this effort will be sustainable.

4. You Have a Long-Term Plan

Finally, you should have a solid plan in mind before launching your members-only site so you know what steps you need to take to help it grow and succeed. It’s crucial to consider the following:

  • Customer journey. Who is your audience, and what do they need? How do you plan to develop casual visitors into dedicated members? Can you retain them?
  • Community engagement. Are you willing to spend time cultivating your audience, responding to comments, and maintaining an active presence on your site?
  • On-going expertise. Do you see yourself writing about the same subject for years to come? Can you think of sufficient topic ideas for regular content? What can you offer to your paying members that they couldn’t get out of your free articles?
  • Marketing strategy. How are you going to promote your work? Are you willing to invest in influencer marketing to increase your followers, stay active in relevant online communities, promote your brand on social media, or use other methods to generate leads?

Finally, think of your financial goals and how you intend to price your membership tiers. According to a recent report, membership sites charge between $25 and $49 per month on average. Use this statistic to plan how much work you need to invest to meet your goals.

Top 10 Free Tools from Google for Your Business

Google is the gift that keeps on giving to Business. Google provides dozens of tools and applications designed to help your business grow and increase your productivity. Best of all, they are totally free.

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Here are the top 10 free tools from Google for your business:

1. Adwords
Adwords is a tool that allows you to choose keywords related to your business in order to drive more traffic to your website. One of the best features of Adwords is its ability to target specific types of users. You can target customers located in certain areas or within a specified distance of your location. You can also target mobile users or desktop users. Adwords provides excellent tools to help you track your results, including Adwords’ keyword tool and performance placement reports.
2. Analytics
Another great tool for monitoring results is Google Analytics. This tool is essential for marketing your business because it not only measures how much traffic your website receives, but also delivers detailed statistics on the origins of that traffic and how often it results in conversions and sales. This tool will help you pinpoint which marketing methods are working best for your business—and which efforts are not.
3. Adsense
Adsense is an excellent way to monetize your content. Many marketers create websites for the purpose of linking or content development. You can generate revenue on your website by having your webmaster generate ad code from the header, sidebar and content of your site. Adsense will provide your site with ads that are relevant to the content. The amount of revenue generated will depend on the amount of traffic your site receives.
4. Drive
Google Drive is a file storage system that allows users to store and share files. Most importantly, Google Drive allows multiple users to work on the same document. This is an exciting free tool that allows employees to work remotely, which could save businesses overhead costs. Google Drive now houses Google Docs, a free office productivity suite which can produce word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
5. Gmail
This ubiquitous email service is now the most widely used in the world. In addition to its easy-to-use interface and generous storage capacity, one the top reasons to use Gmail is integration. Gmail has integrated features that enhance the use of Google+, Google Drive, Google Calendar, and many more Google apps.
6. Voice
Google Voice is a telecommunications service that can be a big money saver for your business. For U.S. users, the service provides free PC-to-phone calling to North American numbers and free PC-to-PC voice and video calling worldwide. For business marketers, users can set up Google Voice phone numbers related to a specific advertisement and use it as tool to track the efficacy of their ads.
7. Google+
This social networking site allows businesses to share their profile, photos and reviews. Joining Google+ will increase your business’s visibility on the Web because when a user searches for your business on Google, the Google+ page for your business will appear in a large box on the right-hand side. This box includes your business’s address, contact info, hours of operation, photos and reviews.
8. Calendar
From scheduling meetings to setting a reminder to attend that meeting, Google Calendar will help you keep it all straight. This application allows you to collaborate with other users and share your calendar with the public. It also integrates seamlessly with Gmail.
9. Wallet
If your business is mobile, then check out Google Wallet. This payment system allows users to store credit and debit cards, gift cards and loyalty cards. It also provides users the ability to redeem coupons and sales promotions using their cell phones. Google recently announced integration with Gmail, which will allow users to send money via a Gmail attachment.
10. Finance
Google Finance will help you track the stock performance of your favorite companies and stay up to date with breaking news from the financial world. You can customize your Google Finance page to display charts tracking stock or fund performance. You can also set up a variety of interactive charts that will help you monitor your business’s portfolio or your personal portfolio.

What You need in Small Business Time Tracking Software

There’s one thing we know for sure, though: Anyone can benefit from having timekeeping software. In general, it allows you to spend less time on spreadsheets and more time on the more important tasks in your day.

software

In fact, using timekeeping software can cut your payroll processing down by 3 hours each month. On top of that is the ability to save money by reducing time theft and preventing costly payroll mistakes.

What small businesses need in a basic timekeeping tool

On a very basic level, your time tracking software of choice should check some key boxes. These are the ways software elevates and streamlines your process compared to those, um, tedious manual spreadsheets.

Ability to handle time cards and timesheets

No matter the way your business structures its time requirements, your timekeeping tool should be able to handle it. Understanding the differences between time cards and timesheets is the first step in making sure that happens.

Time cards refer to the traditional way of tracking time, where employees punch in and out using some kind of clocking device. This can be with physical punch cards (talk about old-school), clocking stations with fingerprints or PIN entry, or even through an online app if you’re more tech savvy. Work hours are recorded down to the minute based on the punch time. Time cards are popular with shift-work industries, like restaurants and retail.

Timesheets, on the other hand, leave recording hours up to the employee. Total hours for the day are written down on the timesheet by the employee, without much detail of when they started or stopped. Since there isn’t a by-the-minute breakdown like time cards, timesheets are usually popular with hourly office workers who have a consistent work schedule.

Related:- The complete guide to small business tax season

Time approval by administrators

No matter your recording style, the ability for administrators to review, adjust, and approve employee work hours is crucial. Administrators and managers need to be able to see hours at a top level to review how much employees are working, when, and how accurately their time is recorded.

When an adjustment does need to be made, timekeeping software should keep it simple—once a change occurs in the system, it should automatically re-calculate things like regular and overtime hour totals and the resulting pay rates. Adjusting manual spreadsheets means you’re left to do this math yourself.

Clocking restrictions to prevent time theft

We’ve mentioned it before, and we’ll mention it again: Time theft is no joke. 49% of US employees and 63% of Canadian employees openly admit to time theft, clocking in early or leaving late to get a few extra minutes of pay each day. Though it seems harmless in small doses, this adds up to about 11 billion in lost revenue for businesses each year.

That being said, timekeeping software should include prevention features to make sure your employees are clocking hours accurately. This can be anything from time rounding to prevent late punches to location restrictions to prevent clocking off-site. The features your business will use will depend on your preferred clocking processes for your employees.

Built-in rules to assist in compliance

When it comes to employee hours, overtime law compliance can be a big concern for some businesses. Automating timekeeping should also factor in compliance regulations as well. Your timekeeping system of choice should at the very least alert you when an employee is edging into the overtime zone, and help you calculate what that means for your payroll.

Mobile-friendly

As the workplace becomes more mobile-friendly, it helps to have tools that can follow you wherever your office may be. Especially with timekeeping, it’s helpful to able to get into your software and make any adjustments from anywhere with an internet connection.

Integration with payroll

This one is an added bonus. Integrations with other business platforms—especially something directly related like payroll—can save you time by reducing the need to manually enter data from one system into the other. Once your timekeeping software tracks your employee work hours, your payroll system should be able to pick up that information with ease.

When deciphering what system works best for your small business. keep these basic features in mind. Each of them can be found in Wagepoint’s own timekeeping app, Track, which is an available add-on for all of our customers.

Related:- A Hybrid Innovation Strategy for Business Growth

How Track can streamline timekeeping and payroll

Let’s say you’re currently using a manual spreadsheet to track employee hours. That means every pay period, you have to manually gather your employee’s work hours (either from a timesheet or a clocking system), write them down, do the math on how much each employee should be paid, and then enter those hours manually again into your payroll system.

And if you’re not using some kind of payroll software, the laundry list gets even longer when you have to figure in doing payroll tax calculations. For some of you, that adds up to you spending 10 hours a month on payroll alone.

As we mentioned before, adding a time tracking system will cut that time down significantly. Adding a time tracking system that also integrates with payroll is even better.

A Hybrid Innovation Strategy for Business Growth

Innovation is a quintessential element of business growth for all enterprises. Usually, the C suite focuses either on incremental innovation or disruptive innovation. While increment innovation can promise small wins, disruptive innovation anchors on game-changing results and long-term wins. The problem lies in the fact that both these binary methods have certain drawbacks.

Increment innovations only produce small features and functions that cater to a customer’s current needs instead of future possibilities. Hindering an innovator’s capabilities, the method only gives a makeover to an existing product to maintain a sustaining innovation flow. It may cause innovators to miss out on new opportunities that could provide the enterprise with cheaper, better, and faster alternatives to the market.

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Meanwhile, disruptive innovation, however novel, is a long shot as only a few enterprises have the time, money, and resources to successfully create it. While organizations like NASA and DARPA might succeed, business enterprises might push themselves under high risk with merely an attempt.

Nevertheless, innovation is key to business growth and experts recommend an achievable middle ground. A bridge between the two traditional approaches, enterprises can build a customer-driven innovation strategy that will easily be accepted by the market. The innovation banks on an easy and quick learning curve for the end-users. Innovation leaders suggest some methods to leverage the hybrid approach successfully.

Related:- The complete guide to small business tax season

When the initial ideation session is underway, the C suite leaders can encourage a consequential-first approach. Rather than focussing on the linear train of disruptive and incremental thought process, it is important to dig deeper and look for incremental ideas with a disruptive impact.

After locking on a consequential hybrid innovation strategy, companies can focus on signature techniques, including growth hacking and strategic pivots for scaling. Soon after, it is necessary to refresh the company’s innovation portfolio. Tracking the innovation pipeline movement from concept to value can keep the process streamlined and possess goal clarity. CMOs need to handle the task of scouring through the portfolio and assessing the ideas with evaluation metrics and tools. One can add non-financial benefits such as environmental sustainability and security apart from the common criteria, such as financial value and strategic business fit. But how often are ideas accepted?

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Studies reflect that disruptive innovation is usually frowned upon by internal corporate teams. An MIT study reported that R&D teams reflect productivity in the first year of working together but five years down the line, the graph declines. This mostly happens because the team believes that they have all the required knowledge and have brushed up on all possible ideas. Experts recommend an easy solution to these ideation blocks. A team should cross-pollinate their brainstorming sessions with participants from different departments for fresh perspectives. Better planning might allow stakeholders to be more acceptable to invention strategies.

With a hybrid innovation model, enterprises can capitalize on better growth opportunities. Experts reckon that innovating with a specific purpose can allow industry leaders to visualize success better and gain a winning edge. Within ten years, the company can scale and resurface into the market and increase its revenue growth in the modern digitization era

The complete guide to small business tax season

So many small business owners dread tax season. Not only does it mean extra work on your plate, the fear of getting audited if you make a mistake is really stressful.

But there’s a different way to think about tax season. All the extra work you’re doing at this time of year can actually teach you a lot about your business, and help you plan better for the year to come.

tax season

We built this guide to help you with three key things that will reduce your stress and give you insight into your business:

  • To help you prepare your books properly for your accountant so that they can help you save as much money as possible.
  • To demystify audits so you can prevent them, handle them when they happen, and stop fearing them.
  • To teach you how to stay on top of your books year-round, so you won’t procrastinate and panic at tax time anymore.

Tips for keeping your books organized

Understanding common tax deductions that save you money

Tax season can be stressful—especially for small businesses. But it’s also a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to dig deep into their business’ finances and performance and set yourself up for success in the coming year.

Business tax deductions are a big part of that because they can save valuable funds you can reinvest to grow your business. According to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), business tax deductions for 2015 totaled over $1.1 trillion. That’s one big opportunity.

How do tax deductions work?

In a nutshell, tax deductions (also called write-offs) are one way taxpayers can lower their tax liability or the amount of tax they pay. When you prepare and file your taxes, you claim the deductions your business qualifies for on your annual tax return.

Deductions come in all varieties, but they have one thing in common—they count against and reduce your total taxable income. That’s different from a tax credit, which counts dollar-for-dollar against your tax liability for the year.

For example, if your business income for last year was $100,000 and you claim $20,000 in write-offs, your taxable income is $80,000. Your savings from those deductions are the total deduction amount ($20,000) multiplied by the tax rate for your income bracket. If your rate is 25%, for example, those deductions would save you $5,000 on your taxes for that year.

Related:- Why customer feedback is a big deal for businesses

 

 

Deductions for self-employed workers

Independent contractors, freelancers, and sole proprietors are all considered self-employed workers in the eyes of the IRS.

What does that mean? At the most basic level, being self-employed means you don’t report to someone above you. From a tax perspective, self-employed workers typically pay quarterly estimated taxes that cover income tax and the additional self-employment tax.

For an individual, those taxes can add up in a hurry. That’s why it’s important to understand the six deductions we’ll cover next—so you can be ready to claim them and lessen the burden once tax seasons rolls around.

1. Home office deduction

The home office tax deduction is probably one of the most well-known and least understood deductions available to self-employed people. In a nutshell, this deduction is aimed at giving you credit for expenses associated with maintaining an office in your home.

It can be a substantial annual deduction, so it’s a wonder why more self-employed workers don’t claim it.

Previously, home office deductions were less common, making them somewhat of a lightning rod for IRS audits. But as remote work and the gig economy has grown, home office deductions have become more routine for the IRS—meaning the threat of an audit has dropped off substantially.

The costs of maintaining a workspace in your home can really add up, so if you’re eligible, the home office deduction is well-worth the time spent calculating it. You can deduct a percentage of home office expenses relating to:

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Renters’ or homeowners’ insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Internet and utilities
  • Leasehold Improvements

Not to mention, beginning in the 2013 tax year, the IRS instituted a standard rate for home office deductions, creating a much faster and simpler method for calculating your deduction amount. The rate for 2017 was $5 per square foot of office space.

Your home office space only needs to meet two main requirements to qualify for the deduction:

  1. The space has to be used to conduct business regularly and exclusively, meaning you can’t claim an entire room if it actually doubles as the guest room.
  2. Your home office needs to be your primary place of business. If you head to the coffee shop from time to time, that’s okay. But if you rent a desk in a coworking space for 25 days out of the month, your case for the deduction is a little weaker.

If you rent an office space outside your home, see the Rent and utilities section under small business deductions.

2. Legal and professional fees

There are some aspects of running a business that are better handled by experts. When you work with a professional to handle something (like an accountant to file your taxes or a lawyer to incorporate your business), you can deduct the cost of their help.

The deduction includes professionals of every stripe, including:

  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Bookkeepers
  • Consultants
  • Independent contractors
  • Appraisers
  • Systems analysts

It’s important to note: you can only deduct professional fees that are directly related to your business. For example, if you hire an accountant to file both your personal and business taxes, you can deduct only the cost of your business tax filing.

3. Your own benefits

For some self-employed workers, health insurance, retirement savings, and other benefits you’d otherwise receive from an employer can easily become your biggest expenses. That’s why are also typically eligible as deductions from your taxes. The most significant (and frequently evolving) deduction is for health insurance premiums.

You can deduct all premiums for health, dental, and long-term care insurance for you, your spouse, and any dependent children under 26 years old. Most self-employed workers are eligible, but you may not qualify if:

  • You or your spouse were eligible for an employer-provided health insurance plan
  • Your business income for the year was less than your health insurance premiums (if you reported a net loss).

In addition to health insurance and retirement contributions, you can also deduct other common types of insurance you may need as a solopreneur—including professional liability insurance, disability insurance, and home-based business insurance.

4. Business-related education

If you pursue additional education to either maintain or improve skills that relate directly to your business or your legal ability to continue in the field, you may be able to deduct the cost of that education.

For example, an SEO consultant can deduct the cost of a course on what’s new for SEO in 2018. The IRS Publication 970 offers more guidance on expenses that do and do not qualify. However, this deduction is one that gets pretty specific, so we recommend working with a tax professional to see if you’re eligible.

For self-employed workers, the education deduction actually lowers your taxable income (instead of being credited against your tax liability), so it’s well-worth taking if your expenses qualify.

Note: All taxpayers are also eligible to deduct any interest paid against your student loans. You should receive a 1098-T form from the lender, which includes the total interest you can deduct.

5. Travel

A family vacation to Maui unfortunately does not qualify for a business tax deduction. But any travel you do to meet with or acquire clients, perform services or deliver products, and attend conferences, seminars, and other education or networking events is a deductible travel expense.

Business travel has to be reasonably and demonstrably related to your business, of course, and you can write off all expenses including:

  • Transportation (airfare, train fare, bus fare, Uber/Lyft/taxi fare, rental car, and auto mileage)Travel by airplane, train, bus or car between your home and your business destination.
  • Fares for taxis or other types of transportation between the airport or train station and your hotel, the hotel and the work location, and from one customer to another, or from one place of business to another.
  • Using your car while at your business destination. You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as business-related tolls and parking fees. If you rent a car, you can deduct only the business-use portion for the expenses.
  • Meals and lodging.
  • Accommodations (hotel or Airbnb)
  • Meals and entertainment for clients or customers

The key to appropriately deducting business travel expenses is to be reasonable. The IRS is vigilant about ensuring your deductions are legitimate business necessities. That means indulging in first class airfare or trying to deduct a 10-day family vacation where you met with 1 client won’t fly.

Keep accurate and plentiful records and use a degree of reasonableness, and your deductions won’t raise any red flags.

6. Merchant processing and service fees

Self-employment means you’re accepting payments from clients or customers. Depending on the payment methods you accept—and the tools you use to process them—you’re responsible for merchant processing and service fees on those payments.

For example, typical credit card processors charge between 2.5% – 4% of the transaction amount. Those fees can definitely add up throughout the year, so it’s important to keep a record of every transaction. Those records enable you to deduct merchant processing fees from your business income.

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Deductions for small businesses

Small businesses represent the vast majority of firms in the United States. They drive job creation and economic growth—they also contribute a lot to annual tax revenue.

Because small business and entrepreneurship is such a vital part of our economy, there are several tax deductions that can help lessen the burden on small businesses. In fact, many different business expenses can be deducted from your business taxes, including rent and utilities for your office and even invoices and bills that go unpaid.

1. Rent and utilities

Whether you rent a physical office space for 50 or one desk in the coworking space downtown, both your rent and any utilities for the office are deductible business expenses. Utilities include: electricity, gas, water, telephone, and internet bills.

If you work out of your home you can still deduct some of these expenses as they relate to your business use of the space. See the Home office deduction section above for more.

2. Equipment

Running a business involves a lot of equipment—even if it’s just you and your partner. Luckily, you can deduct almost any equipment your business requires, including:

  • Computers and laptops
  • Printers, copiers, and fax machines
  • Desks, filing cabinets, and other office supplies like paper, pens, and Post-It notes
  • Software
  • Vehicles
  • Any specialized equipment unique to your industry (like a heat press machine for a company that sells novelty t-shirts)

For the bigger ticket equipment, you can choose to deduct the full value in the same year you buy it or spread the cost out over a number of years (depending on the type of item).

3. Employee salaries, wages, and benefits

Self-employed workers can deduct their own benefit and insurance premiums, and the same applies to small business owners. If you have employees, you can also deduct their salaries (including wages and bonuses) and any benefits you provide to them and their families.

In addition to full-time employees, you can also deduct costs and fees that arise from working with other business professionals and contractors, including:

  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Bookkeepers
  • Consultants
  • Independent contractors
  • Appraisers
  • Systems analysts

It’s important to note: you can only deduct professional fees that are directly related to your business. For example, if you hire an accountant to file both your personal and business taxes, you can deduct only the cost of your business tax filing.

4. Advertising expenses

Marketing and advertising for a small business can include a whole, wide swatch of tactics—all of which can be deducted as advertising expenses for your business. If you’re drawing a blank, here are some of the most common advertising expenses for today’s small businesses:

  • Business cards
  • Branded swag (from pens to popsockets)
  • Website costs (including domain registration, site hosting, and design)
  • Digital advertising (like social media ads, paid content, and PPC ads)

Everything from business cards to Facebook ads to billboards counts toward this deduction, so be sure to keep records on all your advertising expenses throughout the year.

5. Business insurance

As your small business grows, there are several different types of insurance you’ll need—from professional liability insurance to workers’ compensation and product liability insurance. The premiums for any insurance policies your business needs are deductible, similar to your health insurance deductible.

6. Bad debts

In any business, you have to account for some customers or clients who simply won’t make good on promises to pay. While you can’t magically make everyone pay their bills, the good news is you can deduct bad debts from your annual business taxes. Here’s what the IRS considers eligible for the bad debts deduction:

  • Money you’ve loaned to other businesses, employees, or vendors
  • Unpaid purchases of goods and services

Common mistakes to avoid when you deduct business expenses

Understanding the tax deductions that are available to you and your business is the first step in winning the year-end season. When you make the most of the deductions you qualify for, you’re lowering your tax burden and saving money—money you can put right back into your business (or money you can use to fund a little break from your business).

But there are a few common mistakes both self-employed workers and small businesses fall into, and they can end up costing you. Here are some of the mistakes we see with tax deductions—keep them in mind so you can avoid falling into these traps.

Failing to document and record

No matter which business tax deductions you claim on your taxes, they all have one thing in common: you need proof.

Deductions can be lucrative, so there are always people who erroneously claim tax credits and deductions they don’t qualify for. If your business is audited by the IRS, you’ll need documentation to back up every deduction you claim. That’s why it’s absolutely vital that you always document and record all of your business’ expenses, especially those you claim on your tax return.

You file taxes once a year—which means you have to remember and keep track of documentation for a good while before it comes in handy. You have a lot on your plate, and we know it’s easy for invoices to disappear and receipts to fall through the cracks.

That’s why we always recommend having a system in place to organize and manage your expenses and receipts. If you’re already using Wave, you can upload and categorize receipts. You can also sync your business bank account to automatically import expenses.

Essential WordPress Plugins every Small Business 2021

For small business owners operating in today’s digital age, having a website is a must. A few of the most compelling reasons why include the fact that a website gives you the opportunity to sell your products online, makes your business more reputable, and it can help you to attract more customers.

Benefits that Small Business

Despite the many benefits that small business owners can enjoy from having a website, a shocking number of small businesses don’t have one. In fact, Pixolab discovered through its most recent study that less than two-thirds of small businesses reported having a website thus far in 2021.

small business

5 essential WordPress plugins

One possible explanation for this is that small business owners feel that they don’t have either the time, the knowledge, or a combination of the two, to get a website off the ground, get it noticed, and put in the maintenance to keep it running. While running a website does involve some work, it’s not as daunting of an undertaking as most people think.

How so, you may be wondering? Well, when you create a website through WordPress, you have the opportunity to choose from nearly 50,000 plugin options that can help make your website more functional, easy to maintain, and even easier to market.

Whether you’re a small business owner who has a website that could use a makeover, or who currently doesn’t have a website at all, keep reading to learn about 5 essential WordPress plugins you can leverage to give your platform a boost.

Related:- Why customer feedback is a big deal for businesses

Yoast SEO

One of the places where many small businesses go wrong is that they put in the effort to create a website, but then fail to put the time in on the back-end to make their website as findable on search engines as possible. Yoast is a free plugin with optional premium features that makes it easier for you to identify relevant keywords and optimize blog posts and specific website pages accordingly.

The plugin walks you through every step of the process, and provides you with specific steps and suggestions on what you should do or change to each page/post to make it more SEO-friendly.

Take this blog post of mine as an example. After I wrote the post, I was able to consult with Yoast to narrow down a relevant focus keyphrase (easy no-essay scholarships) and then edit my post accordingly to make it as “green” as possible.

Every time you go through and make changes, Yoast updates according to those changes to tell you if you’re looking good, and where you can use some improvement. The plugin walks you through every step of the process, and provides you with specific steps and suggestions on what you should do or change to each page/post to make it more SEO-friendly.

The best part is that you don’t need to have any previous knowledge or experience with SEO to be able to use it and take advantage of its features.

Smash Balloon Instagram Feed

Social media can be a great way for small businesses to get their name out there, interact with customers, and of course, get more business! For business owners who are already active on socials (or for those who plan to be), the Smash Balloon Instagram Feed plugin easily allows you to integrate your various feeds into your website for greater visibility and reach.

Despite its name, this plugin gives you the option to sync up with a few other social media platforms in addition to Instagram, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The setup process is straightforward, and the plugin gives you a variety of different options for the actual appearance of the feed. The outcome is a piece of shortcode which you can seamlessly embed into any page on your website, that, on the front-end.

Related:- 5 ways to improve your business during slow seasons

Gravity Forms (With Stripe Add On)

For small business owners who sell any type of product (physical or digital), the Gravity Forms plugin with the Stripe Add On is an essential and easy platform to help you sell your products and get paid for those sales. It allows you to collect one-time payments as well as recurring payments from your customers, say, for a subscription-based product.

In terms of getting it set up, I would be lying if I said that it was one of the easiest to work with. Because the process involves collecting secure and private credit card information, there are a few precursory steps that you will likely need to take before you can get this plugin up and running. Luckily, this page on the Gravity Forms website walks you through all of the pre-steps that you need to take in order to get things up and running.

Beaver Builder

Last, but certainly not least, we have Beaver Builder. Beaver Builder is a drag and drop tool that allows you to construct professional, clean, and compelling pages of all kinds for your website. This is super great for small business owners because it eliminates the need to learn or use HTML code to build a great looking website.

This plugin comes with a seemingly endless string of features (literally, dozens and dozens of them!) that you can play around with and test out with your content. In the event that you are not the most creative small business owner out there, Beaver Builder also has plenty of pre-built templates for you to “plug and chug” to come out with a great looking site.

This WordPress plugin has over 300,000 active installations, proving that it is not only a game changer for little old me, but for many other business owners as well.

Why customer feedback is a big deal for businesses

A man walks into his favorite coffee shop. Something’s changed: the barista serves him his regular order, but with new beans.

She sits down for a second to ask what he thinks: he isn’t thrilled, something about the bitterness. Next time, she’ll serve him a less bitter one, she tells him. And she knows he’ll be back.

feedback

As a freelancer or small business owner, you have the luxury of establishing direct relations and conversations with your customer base. And it pays off: 77% of consumers see brands more favorably if they seek out and apply customer feedback.

If your services are digital, or if you’re in e-commerce, you can’t just walk up to your customer’s table and sit down for a conversation. But what you can do is actively pursue customer feedback. Here’s how and why.

Feedback is a positive thing, even when it’s negative

Yes, you’re short on time, and you can’t expect your clients to take time to help you improve your business either. But you’re both constantly looking at ways to improve your business. When they receive your product or service, inevitably they’ll have ideas of how it all could have been better.

How will you find out though, if only one out of every 26 customers is likely to bring up complaints? The other 25 will likely switch to another brand or business. Instead of waiting for incidents to escalate and come to you in the shape of complaints and bad reviews, it’s time to get ahead.

Feedback forms help you do just that. The right place, time, and questions will help you drastically improve your goods and services. We’re here to give you the rundown on why and how to implement surveys in your customer service strategy.

Related:- 15 Web Tools to Help Small Business eCommerce

Why you’ll want to start collecting feedback from clients

It’s highly likely you’re already collecting all kinds of data: web analytics or social stats are pointing out some deviations in how your website is being used, or who’s interacting with you. But, what does that really mean? Actual customer feedback helps you take out the guesswork.

Make data come to life

Analytics can be abstract without the right context. To really get to know what your customers are trying to tell you through their behaviour, all you need to do is ask. If you match actual feedback with data, you will get the full picture of what your customers are experiencing, and how you can improve that.

As a freelancer or small business you are often versatile and flexible enough to quickly adapt. If you can identify gaps between what you deliver and what customers want, you can proactively make the necessary changes.

Testimonials from clients

There’s no better marketing campaign than one of your customers sharing positive feedback about you with others. When collecting customer feedback through surveys, you get a chance to collect testimonials you can use on your website or social media.

Customer feedback is a part of customer experience

Listening to your customers leads to customer loyalty. The number one reason customers switch brands is because they feel unappreciated. By giving them a chance to weigh in on what you are offering them, you create a better relationship.

Rather than telling them what you’ve been up to, ask them what they’d like to see and receive. This switch in approach pays: customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.

Related:- 5 ways to improve your business during slow seasons

How to create a highly effective survey for your freelance business

Anyone can create a survey, but it takes some extra work to create a good one. One that doesn’t waste your customers’ time, nor yours when reviewing the answers. Here’s what to keep in mind.

Know who you’re asking

It can be awkward for both parties to sit down and start asking where you went wrong. But, collecting feedback still works better when it’s in a personal format. That’s why it’s unadvisable to send out one huge survey to everyone in your mailing list.

The issue with that is that first of all, it makes respondents feel insignificant. ‘’Hey, we’re collecting feedback from all of our clients’’. Their first thought? ‘’Okay, you could probably do without mine, what’s one less, right?’’ Whereas: ‘’Hey, you’ve recently bought product A, we’d like to know how you’re using it now?’’ makes you feel like a person, not a client number.

Second of all, as you can sense from the second question, not every customer is the same. They probably have used your service differently and chose you for different reasons. Long-term customers will have something different to say than first time buyers.

Create surveys for specific people and send them out at specific moments, or display them in a place on your webpage where the right people will inevitably find it. It’s not about getting as many responses as you can, but about quality ones.

Get real specific

You can’t work on a product or service as a whole. You’ll improve bits and pieces. So, match your questions to that. Your customers won’t be able to take your entire business to the next level, and you shouldn’t expect that from them. The point of feedback is to get insights on small, tangible things that you can actually improve.

Instead of generic questions, pick a few small factors. For instance, when you are analyzing your deliveries, ask: ‘’To what level did the delivery time match your expectations?’’ and: How satisfied are you with the number of updates on your delivery?’’. Instead of: ‘’How fast and reliable do you think we are?’’. You can be slow, but still very reliable.

Think backwards

There are some standard questions people are expecting to find in surveys. However, they can often be eliminated for everyone’s sake. When formulating questions, start with the end in mind: what can you really do with an answer to this question? This will help you keep your survey short and sweet.

Also ask yourself what type of responses will help you improve your business. Surveys full of scales and multiple choice questions restrict your customers to replying within your own assumptions. It might even leave you with even more hard-to-interpret data. Open-ended questions help you find the thoughts and feelings behind the numbers.

5 ways to improve your business during slow seasons

Whether your business is bustling year-round or experiences high- and low-sales seasons, there will be times during the year when you have a predictable drop in both your number of customers and revenue.

These slow periods can be discouraging, but on the other side, they can also be the perfect time for resourceful, creative, and efficient brainstorming, as well as planning for the future of your business.

business

These seasons of lull are hidden opportunities for growth if you maximize the time to assess and improve on your current business model or processes. Use the strategies below to head into the off-season with purpose and move into your busy sales season with a better and more profitable business.

Partner with established organizations in the community

If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, and want to increase the volume of foot traffic to your business, this is the perfect time to head outside and connect with the community. An estimated 82% of Americans take a brand’s social responsibility into account when choosing whether to make a purchase, according to the Forbes Human Resources Council.

During slow seasons, use this time to partner with a local organization that’s doing good in your local community. Not only does this give you marketing and social media fodder, but it helps you show potential customers that you’re here to do more than sell products. You care about the community you live in and you’re willing to give a helping hand where you can.

According to a 2017 survey from Cone Communications, 87% of consumers will purchase a product because a company advocated for a cause they cared about.

Use this opportunity to attract new clients and customers. Some options to look for include sponsoring an event, seminar, workshop or fundraiser or hosting your own community clean-up day. Better yet, create your own events or workshops that allow you to show your expertise while getting involved with the community.

Bowler Hat, a digital marketing agency, offers digital marketing workshops to local small businesses. Marcus Miller, SEO and digital marketing strategist for Bowler Hat tells Business News Daily:

“Sometimes this turns into business for us when there is someone we can help. Our entire focus is helping small businesses with their marketing, so we find if we do what we can to help, then the work we need comes to us.”

Related:- If Your Business Doesn’t Have a Mobile App, Read This

Revamp your marketing and experiment

Now’s the time to experiment with bold, innovative marketing tactics that spark renewed interest, attention, and excitement around your brand. First, start with your current marketing plan. Ask yourself: what is working and what isn’t? Use this as a jumping off point to decide what you’ll test out during your slow season.

For example, if your testimonial videos typically get plenty of likes on Facebook, it may be time to test Facebook Live or Instagram Live—put yourself and your brand front and center.

You could also use this time to test new print marketing strategies. Whether your business focuses on a local market or nationwide, direct mail marketing, for example, is ta great way to reach your audience directly without fighting through the clutter that comes with online marketing.

If you’ve never sent direct mail before, check out this guide from MyCreativeShop to get started. You’ll find design and strategy ideas that ensure your direct mail test is as effective as it can be.

Related:- 15 Web Tools to Help Small Business eCommerce

Optimize your website for SEO

Nearly 80% of consumers use search engines to find the products or services they need, according to the Local Search Association. If your digital footprint is non-existent, meaning your website can’t be found, you’re losing opportunities for revenue.

The best way to get your website in front of customers online is to use search engine optimization (SEO), which ensures that Google both sees and ranks your website for the terms that your customers are searching for.

Use your slow-season downtime to make some of the following updates:

  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see what changes you need to make.
  • Update your title tags and meta description for all the pages on your website and use the right keywords.
  • Update your business’ blog regularly with fresh content, images, and links to new blog posts.
  • Check that your business information (name, address, phone) are all consistent and correct on your own site, your Google My Business listing, and any other listing sites.