NASE on Micro-Business

Archive for February 2009

Just spent an unbelievable four hours talking to radio hosts across the country about small-business issues, and in particular taxes.  I know that all small businesses share that one particular headache, but who wants to hear about taxes on the radio?  Well, apparently more people than I would think.  It was really really cool.  There are so many people who  just want to know that someone out there is available to help them from time to time.  Just a place to ask a question and maybe find somebody who cares.

The process may have been more amazing than the fact a lot of people are interested in taxes.  We were on the phone with one radio station in Seattle and then one minute and one drink of coffee later we were on in Lubbock, Texas.  And I didn’t even get jet lag.  Wow!  Okay, sure, my head was spinning but don’t worry about that so much.   It really was impressive.  Thanks to the people who put it together and made it work.  I think I would rather try to understand the Internal Revenue Code than try to figure out how they made this happen.  But they did.  Another Wow!

Not to be too sappy, but I really believe that the NASE has as its sole goal to help small businesses succeed through education, information and mainly letting them know that they are not alone.  I think today we made a difference.  The third and biggest, WOW!  Awesome day!!!

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In his recent address before Congress, Obama highlighted health care and the need for health care reform, especially to help small businesses and their insurance needs. The NASE remains very engaged in this debate, working with your legislators to make sure the issue remains a top priority. We continue to advocate that the self-employed must be able to exclude health insurance premiums from self-employment tax regardless of the entity form under which they choose to operate.

The NASE heads up the coalition supporting Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed, which brings together over 40 small-business organizations, working to remove this unfair tax burden on the self-employed. For more information, please visit our coalition Web site at www.setaxequity.org.

In his address to Congress and the nation last night, President Obama mentioned entrepreneurs and small-business owners numerous times.  Although the speech did not include any specific plans for small-business owners, plans such as health care reform and raising taxes on households making more than $250,000 annually are sure to affect some, if not many small businesses. 

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), ranking member of the House Small Business Committee, expressed concern that raising taxes would hurt entrepreneurs and “take dollars out of the hands of the small-business owners who create jobs for Americans” in a statement responding to the President’s speech. 

Do you think the President’s plans will help or hurt your small business?  Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Hat tip: Independent Street

Read President Obama’s speech here.
Watch President Obama’s speech here.

Molly wrote a few days ago about proofing content for the NASE’s member magazine, Self-Employed. I agree with her that it’s one of my favorite aspects of the job, too. (A lot of associations outsource their magazines to custom publishers, so they don’t really have a say in what articles are printed or ads are run. But the NASE has fiercely maintained control over it’s magazine since we started it 21 years ago.  (And anyone trying to send it to a custom publisher will have to arm wrestle me, first!)

In May’s issue, we have a really cool member profile. NASE Member Chris Lashua owns Wheelworks Arts in Las Vegas. When we asked him to describe his business, he used words like “contraptions” and “widget” and “acrobatics.” Oh, I can’t wait for the pictures!

We’re always looking for members to feature in the magazine – either in our Q&A, back-page profile, or through an interview in our cover story.  Your business doesn’t have to be as creative as Chris’s to be considered, either!

Just answer a few questions about yourself and your business, your concerns and your interests. Visit www.NASE.org, and use the Quick Link box on the homepage. Enter “publicity.” You’ll need to log into your MyNASE account (easy to do if you don’t have an account yet – just enter in your NASE Member number and an e-mail address) to complete the online form.

I’m anxious to hear about your business!

As sweet as that new “I’m a PC” Windows commercial with the 4-year-old girl explaining how she uploads and emails pictures from her digital camera is, I’ve heard enough complaints from friends that I’m planning on investing in another Apple when my current laptop (4 years and going strong!) stops working. 

I’ve seen a bit of blog chatter lately about the (somewhat obvious) power of word of mouth advertising.  

 According to smallbizbee.com, 91% of consumers are “likely” to buy off of a recommendation, and 92% of consumers “prefer” a word of mouth recommendation.

What kind of word of mouth advertising are your customers giving your business?  Can you step up your customer service and personal attention to give your clients something (hopefully great!) to talk about?   

 

I wanted to give him my card [Small Biz Survival]
Getting Word of Mouth to Work for You [Smallbizbee.com]

Here is a compilation of some my favorite small business articles this week. Enjoy!

  • Engineers discovered that truck flaps can be a major source of drag. Simply trimming and tapering the flaps will cut about $400 from a typical truck’s annual gas bill. (Fortune Small Business)
  • Fraud can be so undetectable that small business owners chalk up lost income to falling sales. (Wall Street Journal)
  • This week I almost ran out of a coffee shop to give a frustrated customer my giftcard for the place because they hadn’t been served well. The store’s mistake and I wanted to pay for it? Yep. (Small Biz Survival)
  • Can entrepreneurs revive the Rust Belt? (BusinessWeek)
  • How Tweet It Is: How-to use Twitter to reach out to potential clients and build your brand. (Wash Post Sm Biz)
  • 2009: Keep more cash! (CNN)

The IRS has put together a helpful guide to the tax provisions in the recently enacted stimulus legislation. 

Check it out for answers to general tax-related questions about the stimulus, and more detailed information on the Economic Recovery Payment and the Making Work Pay Tax Credit.


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