It’s a New Year and with it comes a new hope and brighter perspective when it comes to the success of small businesses in 2018.  One important question to ask yourself as a small business owner is not only are you ready for the New Year but are you ready to make the absolute most out of the rest of the year as well. New times call for business reevaluations and bolder small business strategies in the New Year’s stronger economic setting.  New tax perks, although somewhat meager for small businesses as compared to corporate tax breaks are already in effect for the year, and if understood and properly utilized, can help pave the way to big tax deductions for small business expansions and upgrades. The basic steps that you will need in order to fully utilize 2018’s rosy business projections can be found below in this article.

Utilizing 2018 Small Business Tax Reductions:

Most everyone is likely aware of the big corporate tax reduction being instituted this year that reduces corporate rates from 35%, down to 21% – What is not so publicly promoted is that the nation’s small business community is looking forward to getting a 20% blanket reduction in taxable small business income.

Although pass-through businesses got mostly passed over by the Hill in Washington D.C., the final tax version allows for small business owners who file and pay under personal tax rates as sole proprietorships to make more deductions on their Schedule-C Tax Forms, saving them money on their adjusted gross income.

What was added to 2018’s tax bill for small businesses is a larger deductible for businesses that upgrade and expand by allowing full expensing for five years and increasing the Section 179 deductions by doubling the small business expensing cap.

The only exception for the small business deduction is that it’s not for service industries, such as health, law, and professional services which are unfortunately excluded from the deductions. It should also be noted that although the big corporation tax breaks instilled in 2018 are open-ended, small business tax cuts under the provisions stated above run out in 2025 if they are not extended.

New Marketing Strategies:

Every year needs a new marketing plan that addresses current social trends for evaluation. 2018 and its newly infused marketplace calls for a more aggressive marketing campaign. One which reflects the positive business forecasts that are prevalent among most marketplace analysts that are looking into the projected economics of the next few years.

Update Your IT Systems

Computers control modern business transactions and without them, debit or credit card purchases come to an abrupt halt. That’s why it’s vital to keep up to date your business’s Information Technology systems (IT). Make sure that you have the latest virus protections that are updated to today’s modern threats, and also make sure that your employees are trained and up-to-date with the latest security threats as well.

Update Your Business’ Security Systems and Protocols

Crime is a factor every year; so you must always prepare to diligently protect yourself and your business from it year round. Identity theft is going to be an ongoing concern along with theft. Employee training is the best ongoing deterrent you can count on besides technology. The trouble with technology is that it can only record and inform, it’s your employees who are on the front lines every day and have the ability to spot, stop, and prevent security threats.

Get the Best Bid Available When Expanding

It’s standard to always get at least three different contractor bids.  Gather contractor references and try to find a service provider who is locally known and respected, and who also has a permanent and physical business address in your local area. This way you will have more contact and referencing options available to you than just a phone number and a name.

Have all of the information available about your project so that you can send, show, and fully explain your plans to potential contractors. When you do send plans, spreadsheets, and other important instructions to a potential bidder by a computer, make sure that you send the file in a non-editable format so your work isn’t accidentally erased or altered after being forwarded.

The Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce can help you to inquire about a contractor’s business record. Don’t ever be fooled by strangers who knock on the door or try to sell you services over the telephone with unrequested “Cold-Calls”, they’re never worth the risk involved and are commonly not licensed, bonded or insured.

When you do finally decide on a contractor that fits your needs, before signing any binding agreement or giving the full go-ahead to start any work – Make sure that the contractor that you hire is totally licensed, bonded, and fully insured by seeing their proof first.

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The 2018 Healthy Business Checklist

  1. Equity and income are going to be two important factors in 2018 as banks start to loan businesses money in a brighter looking economic future. Make sure to keep your business and your personal finances in perfect order a-head-of-time in case you decide to take advantage of the new positive lending atmosphere of the New Year.
  2. Business Security is always a concern. Make sure that you upgrade all of your small business security for 2018. This means digitally, physically, and mentally, by using the latest technology to block virus and hacking attacks, install physical crime deterring barriers to prevent thefts of opportunity and also pre-planned burglaries and robberies by servicing or installing security cameras, front and back door security gates, parking gates and garage doors, and also door and window rolling steel shutters for after-hours protection.
    When we say be mentally prepared, we mean read up on the latest scams and security threats that are being used by criminals lately and pass that information along to your employees in the form of regular training sessions. This way everyone is on the same page when it comes to detouring crime, thefts, and security threats.
  3. Marketing Strategies should change yearly with the new times. Reevaluate your target markets and strive to bring in new customer bases over the New Year. Small business is always about community. Make sure you let the community know that you’re part of them and there for them. Never fall out of tune with the community that supports you.
  4. The modern workforce is eager to get back to work after years of a stagnant economy. This means that recruiting in 2018 is a perfect time to shop around for the best employees available who are out there lining up to get back to work. Hire better-trained workers by offering slightly higher wages and benefits than your competition.

2018 is looking like a golden year for business. Small businesses have a chance to take advantage of a healthier economy and grow healthier themselves over the next five years of projected positive economic growth. The old adage of “If it’s not broken don’t fix it” still applies to business in 2018. But, that does not mean that complacency is a good thing either for any business because it’s not. When it comes to running a business, so many outside factors come into play that one must always be aware of. The constant social and economic changes of American life yearly affect a small business’s bottom line. One needs to always keep their eyes open and think outside of the box a little. Carefully planning your businesses strategy for the rest of the New Year will help you to ensure that 2018 is a profitable and successful year for your small business – All Year Round!