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  • 2 valuable year-end tax-saving tools for your business

    At this time of year, many business owners ask if there’s anything they can do to save tax for the year. Under current tax law, there are two valuable depreciation-related tax breaks that may help your business reduce its 2019 tax liability. To benefit from these deductions, you must buy eligible machinery, equipment, furniture or other assets and place them…

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  • Small businesses: Get ready for your 1099-MISC reporting requirements

    A month after the new year begins, your business may be required to comply with rules to report amounts paid to independent contractors, vendors and others. You may have to send 1099-MISC forms to those whom you pay nonemployee compensation, as well as file copies with the IRS. This task can be time consuming and there are penalties for not…

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  • Is multicloud computing right for your business?

    Cloud computing — storing data and accessing apps via the Internet — has been widely adopted by businesses across industry and size. Like many technological advances, though, new derivatives continue to emerge — including so-called multicloud computing. Under this approach, companies don’t rely on a single cloud service; rather, they distribute their data and computing needs among several providers. Popular…

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  • A shadow board could shed light on your company’s best future

    In many industries, market conditions move fast. Businesses that don’t have their ears to the ground can quickly get left behind. That’s just one reason why some of today’s savviest companies are establishing so-called “shadow” (or “mirror”) boards composed of younger, nonexecutive employees who are on the front lines of changing tastes and lifestyles. Generational change Millennials — people who…

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  • At the very least, update the financials in your business plan

    Every new company should launch with a business plan and keep it updated. Generally, such a plan will comprise six sections: executive summary, business description, industry and marketing analysis, management team description, implementation plan, and financials. Now, ideally, you would comprehensively update each section every year. But if the size, shape and objectives of your company haven’t changed all that…

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  • Setting up a Health Savings Account for your small business

    Given the escalating cost of employee health care benefits, your business may be interested in providing some of these benefits through an employer-sponsored Health Savings Account (HSA). For eligible individuals, HSAs offer a tax-advantaged way to set aside funds (or have their employers do so) to meet future medical needs. Here are the key tax benefits: Contributions that participants make…

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  • 6 ways to ensure your marketing plan drives sales

    “Love and marriage,” goes the old song: “…You can’t have one without the other.” This also holds true for sales and marketing. Even the best of sales staffs will struggle if not supported by a well-researched and carefully executed marketing plan. Here are six ways to ensure your marketing plan is likely to drive strong sales: 1. Keep customers aware…

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  • How to research a business customer’s creditworthiness

    Extending credit to business customers can be an effective way to build goodwill and nurture long-term buyers. But if you extend customer credit, it also brings sizable financial risk to your business, as cash flow could grind to a halt if these customers don’t make their payments. Even worse, they could declare bankruptcy and bow out of their obligations entirely.…

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  • Is it time to hire a CFO or controller?

    Many business owners reach a point where managing the financial side of the enterprise becomes overwhelming. Usually, this is a good thing — the company has grown to a point where simple bookkeeping and basic financial reporting just don’t cut it anymore. If you can relate to the feeling, it may be time to add a CFO or controller. But…

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  • Run your strategic-planning meetings like they really matter

    Many businesses struggle to turn abstract strategic-planning ideas into concrete, actionable plans. One reason why is simple: ineffective meetings. The ideas are there, lurking in the minds of management and key employees, but the process for hashing them out just doesn’t work. Here are a few ways to run your strategic-planning meetings like they really matter — which, of course,…

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