Do your long-term customers know everything about you?

Most business owners would agree that selling to existing customers is easier than finding new ones. Yet many companies squander potential sales to long-term customers because they don’t create awareness of all their products or services. Learn everything you can about your best customers’ missions, plans and operations. Also, instruct your sales staff to regularly…

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6 last-minute tax moves for your business

Tax planning is a year-round activity, but there are still some year-end strategies you can use to lower your 2018 tax bill. Here are six last-minute tax moves business owners should consider: 1) Postpone invoices. 2) Prepay expenses. 3) Buy equipment. 4) Use credit cards. 5) Contribute to retirement plans. 6) Qualify for the new…

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Family businesses need succession plans, too

Those who run family-owned businesses often underestimate the need for a succession plan. But you can’t assume an ownership transition will go smoothly just because everyone involved is family. Some family members may want to continue with the business; others may want to sell it. A thorough succession plan will answer questions about future ownership…

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When holiday gifts and parties are deductible or taxable

It’s a great time of year for businesses to show their appreciation for employees and customers by giving them gifts or hosting holiday parties. Gifts to customers are generally deductible up to $25 per recipient per year. De minimis, noncash gifts to employees aren’t included in their taxable income yet are still deductible by you.…

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Tax reform expands availability of cash accounting

The cash method of accounting offers greater tax-planning flexibility, allowing some businesses to defer taxable income. Under the TCJA, if your business’s average gross receipts for the previous three tax years are $25 million or less, you generally will now be eligible for the cash method for federal tax purposes, regardless of how your business…

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3 ways to get more from your marketing dollars

In a strong economy, some companies cut back on marketing while others overspend on it. A better approach is to get more from your investment so you can cut back or ramp up as prudent. Start with digital marketing: Use search engine optimization, social media and Internet-only deals to improve customer focus. And don’t assume…

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Taking the hybrid approach to cloud computing

Many businesses struggle to decide whether to use a public cloud computing solution or invest in a private cloud. Why not both? Under the hybrid approach, a company sets up an infrastructure that uses a public cloud for accessing apps and storing less sensitive data while relying on one or more private clouds to store…

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Research credit available to some businesses for the first time

The TCJA didn’t change the research credit, but it has an impact on the credit. Previously, corporations subject to alternative minimum tax (AMT) couldn’t offset the research credit against AMT liability, which erased the credit’s current benefits. By eliminating corporate AMT, the TCJA removed this obstacle. Pass-through businesses can still claim the credit against AMT…

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Reduce insurance costs by encouraging employee wellness

The safer your workplace, the less likely you’ll incur high workers’ compensation premiums. But think about the impact of employee wellness on other insurance costs, too. From a physical well-being standpoint, a formal wellness program can encourage healthier life choices and thereby reduce health coverage costs. In terms of mental health, providing the right training…

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Now’s the time to review your business expenses

As we approach the end of the year, it’s a good idea to review your business’s expenses for deductibility. At the same time, consider whether you’d benefit from accelerating certain expenses into this year. There’s no master list of deductible business expenses in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Some deductions are expressly authorized or excluded,…

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Tax-free fringe benefits help small businesses and their employees

In today’s tightening job market, to attract and retain the best employees, small businesses need to offer not only competitive pay, but also appealing fringe benefits. Those that are tax-free are especially attractive to employees. Examples include many types of insurance (health, disability, long-term care, life) and assistance plans (dependent care, adoption and educational), subject…

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A strong BYOD policy combines convenience with security

Many companies now take a “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach to technology to boost efficiency while reducing IT costs. But BYOD comes with risks. Sensitive company data becomes much less secure when networks are accessible via personal devices that could be stolen, lost or hacked. Meanwhile, employees may worry about loss of privacy and…

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2 ways to transfer a family business

If a family-owned business is your main source of wealth, it’s critical to plan for the transition of ownership in your estate plan. One option if estate tax isn’t a concern is an estate defective trust. It’s designed so that your beneficiaries are the owners for income tax purposes, which will result in lower “familywide”…

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Are you ready to expand to a second location?

Are you thinking about expanding your business to a second location? If so, make sure your company is truly ready. First ask whether you can duplicate the success of your current location at another one. Also look into how an expansion might create conflicts between the two locations. Explore the financial aspects, too. How will…

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