Use benchmarking to swim with the big fish

Benchmarking can help your company swim with the big fish without getting gobbled up. It’s the practice of comparing your performance to that of similar businesses to identify strengths and weaknesses. Quantitative benchmarking uses key performance indicators (formulas or ratios) to calculate comparisons. Meanwhile, qualitative benchmarking compares operating practices (such as production techniques, quality indicators…

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Only certain trusts can own S corporation stock

S corporations must comply with strict requirements or risk losing their tax-advantaged status. In an estate planning context, it’s critical that any trusts that will receive S corporation stock through the operation of your estate plan be eligible shareholders. Potentially eligible trusts include grantor trusts, testamentary trusts, QSSTs and ESBTs. If you have S corporation…

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Not necessarily a luxury: Outsourcing

In today’s increasingly specialized economy, outsourcing has become common. Engaging outside help could cut in-house management expenses by reducing overhead, staffing and training costs. Outsourcing also frees up employees’ time for core tasks and avails you of the provider’s expertise. But there are risks. Surrendering control of a business function to the wrong vendor could…

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The TCJA temporarily expands bonus depreciation

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly enhances bonus depreciation. You might even be able to benefit when you file your 2017 tax return. Generally, for qualified property placed in service between Sept. 28, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2022, the first-year bonus depreciation percentage increases to 100%. In addition, the 100% deduction is allowed…

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Find time for strategic planning

Every business owner must find time for strategic planning. Failing to do so can leave you working blindly, in danger of crisis or even ruin because of unforeseen developments. Some experts say a CEO should spend only 50% of his or her time on daily operations, with the other half going to strategizing. But the…

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Get smart: How AI can help your business

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help just about any business “get smart.” AI generally refers to technology capable of performing tasks that previously required human intelligence, such as image perception, voice recognition and problem solving. Integrating it into a CRM system helps you better understand buyers and generate sales leads. Using AI to assist customer service…

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Cutting costs when you’ve gone over budget

If your company is over budget at year end, it’s a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. But don’t lose hope. You can still cut costs to either improve this year’s numbers or perhaps next year’s. Reassess your staffing levels to see if you can reorganize and eliminate underperforming positions. Also, review your…

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