Category Archives: Small Business

Could Voxer Be the Future of All Mobile Communication?

If you’re young and American, you’re likely already answering texts more often than phone calls. According to Jeffrey Kluger of Time, “Americans ages 18-29 send and receive an average of nearly 88 text messages per day, compared to 17 phone calls.” Silicon Valley startup Voxer is betting that it knows how people will want to communicate in the future…

The app does not currently include a conventional call function, it does utilize a PTT (push to talk/transmit) technology–which is essentially a “walkie talkie” or “talking text” feature. Voxer’s reasoning is that users would rather not receive so many phone calls.

“We believe there’s a time and a place for every form of communication–but every form of communication also has its drawbacks,” said Nicole Strada, the Director of Marketing at Voxer. “Everyone knows how annoying it is to get called when they’re in the middle of an important meeting or conversation. If that happens they have two choices, pick up the phone and be rude to people in the room, or let it go to voice mail which people hate checking.”

Given the obtrusive nature of phone calls, Voxer perhaps addresses this by prompting users to listen to the message live, or just keep it for later. There’s no longer the guilt associated with screening calls, or the immediacy of taking a call either.

In addition to the PTT function, users can also send normal texts, photos, location messages, and even start conversations with groups of friends. But unlike most texting, which access your cellular carrier, Voxer can be accessed with a simple WiFi connection–and there’s no expensive roaming or international charges.

“We’ve heard stories of people from all over the world entering in a group chat through Voxer,” said Strada. “[This] allow[s] them to connect with their friends who are in other countries simply and easily because Voxer works on either 3G, 4G, or WiFi. [For instance], soldiers in Afghanistan are connecting with their family members stateside and college friends are reconnecting with past classmates scattered all over the world.”

Yet as interactive as Voxer appears to be for the average user, the app company is also actively looking to attract small, medium, and larger businesses to make the switch.

“Voxer Pro (the ‘business account’ version of the app) works on iOS and Android phones, providing live and recorded voice, multimedia messaging, location stamps, and administrative control,” said Strada. “[The] unique admin portal [...] makes it easier for businesses to keep control of who is using their system, [and] to communicate with employees or customers. [...] Other PTT solutions only work in limited geographical areas, and as WiFi and data networks become more ubiquitous this will improve Voxer Pro accessibility even more.”

It’s a far easier sell for the average user to integrate Voxer into their daily communication routine, but attracting businesses will certainly present the larger hurdle. Even though Voxer has “considered” adding a VoIP feature into the fold, the app company is content with how they’ve currently presented a new, more creative way to interact with friends, employees, and even prospective clients.

Voxer is a free app that can be downloaded in the iTunes Store or Google Play Store.

 

Free MozyHome Online Backup With Mozy Stash

 

Reeder App Might Become The Google Reader “Spinoff”

Sometimes spinoffs can be extremely successful. For instance, “Cheers” was one of the most popular television shows for twelve seasons before ending in 1993–but its spinoff, “Frasier,” matched its success, staying on-air until 2004.

Reeder, which is an iPhone and iPad app that was once used in conjunction with the soon-to-be-defunct Google Reader, will now attempt to go solo in an attempt to retain the plethora of shocked and saddened Google Reader users. While it isn’t a “spinoff” in the traditional sense of the word, for Reeder’s sake, the RSS feed-based app can only hope it doesn’t go the way of “Joanie Loves Chachi.”

What makes Reeder’s independence so noteworthy is that there doesn’t seem to be any precedent in app history. Even though it is common for an app or company to pivot, Reeder’s new outlook is more of an unorthodox expansion than a pivot. The near-future death of Google Reader (on July 1, officially) should have, in fact, put apps like Reeder out of business. But instead, developer Silvio Rizzi embraced the market-shattering development.

According to Reeder’s site, Rizzi stated:

“Unfortunately, it’s still too early to have answers to all questions I got the last couple weeks. Probably most importantly, one thing that’s clear: development of Reeder will continue after July 1st.”

Rizzi also mentioned that the updated Reeder app will look to integrate Feedbin as well as support for standalone/local RSS feeds. In addition, Reeder will soon “add more services [that users] can choose from in the next weeks and months.”

Despite the grandiose plans, Reeder’s potential to monopolize on the Google Reader void isn’t clinched quite yet. Even though the app might arguably be in the best position to cash in, they’re not the only tech company throwing their hat into the “Google Reader replacement” ring. Feedly, a similar news aggregation app, immediately saw their own base climb by three million new users within two weeks of Google’s announcement. In addition, Feedly, unlike Reeder, already has an Android app in place. Also, Digg, a popular social news website that averages hundreds of thousands of unique views per month, announced their legitimate plans to compete for displaced RSS-feeders.

Competition aside, if Silvio Rizzi and Reeder follow through on their promises, and turns its app into a the most user friendly, and viable Google Reader replacement, they will not only become a RSS mammoth, but also, become the gold standard for dependent-apps-turned-independent.

Reeder is now a free app for the iPad, but will cost $2.99 for the iPhone. Download Reeder at the iTunes Store.

 

MozyPro Online Backup

 

Uninterrupted Work Flow in 3 Virtual Offices over 3 Different Continents

Working Around the WorldImagine working on your laptop in a coffee shop where the barista only speaks Mandarin.

Living in Shanghai, China is unlike any other experience. But working in a foreign country doesn’t necessarily have to be so different.

At least, if you can set up a virtual work station, you won’t ever have to worry about adapting to new office dynamics. Work whenever you want, however you want.

The must-haves are a comfortable work space, a reliable internet connection, and your data backed up to the cloud.

China. Argentina. Morocco.

At times, the air and noise pollution in Shanghai got to me. As did the communication barriers.

But whenever I needed to get some important work done, I just had to pay for a nice cup of coffee before I could begin pounding away at my keyboard, tuning out the foreign world around me while increasing my productivity.

When I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, there was WiFi everywhere, and in some cases, it was free. WiFi was available in bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and even public parks and plazas.

Then, after a day’s worth of hard work, I’d gorge on empanadas baked in the shop around the corner, or several slices of “fugazetta” pizza from local gem, El Cuartito.

Around Morocco, you can find a strong connection at McDonald’s. But when the popular fast food chain is out of sight, the big telecom providers offer contract-free Internet connections. Meditel offers a portable USB key that lets you connect your computer to its 3G network all around the country. Best of all, it’s cheap and it’s prepaid.

Keeping Security in Mind

Whenever I was on the road, whether I was traveling between Shanghai and Beijing or crossing the border from Argentina to Uruguay, I always made sure my laptop was wiped clean of any sensitive data and that those critical files were only available in the cloud.

Bag, laptop, passport, and wallet stolen. 

I have been fortunate enough that I have never been robbed or pick-pocketed while traveling. Knock on wood. But a friend I was traveling with once had her bag stolen out from under her seat at a Starbucks in Buenos Aires. The worst part was that she had kept her laptop, passport, and wallet in that very bag.

Throughout my travels, for personal and professional purposes, I’ve made it a point to keep important documents and possessions in secure places (i.e. passport and credit cards in the hotel safe, or sensitive work documents in a reliable cloud server). So, if I was robbed or mugged, it wouldn’t be a total inconvenience. Or if my computing and mobile devices got damaged, at least my work would be safe.

 

Access files on the go with Mozy mobile apps

 

Business, Marketing, and Big Data: 5 Key Tips for Bringing Them Together

Business Marketing DataThe explosion of social media and online/mobile commerce over the last few years has created a treasure trove of information. For many leading business people, deft analysis of this “big data” is the new key to making better business decisions.

Whether you’re a three-person shop or a sales force of dozens, one of the key benefits of big data is that its massive analytical potential can lead to the discovery of results-oriented patterns within massive sets of incoming information — exactly the kind of material that social media and commerce-based sites tend to generate.

But how to leverage it?

It’s not enough to simply amass the raw info.Strategists from small-business owners to large enterprises need to integrate that big data with the “on-the-ground” tactics.

To get a start on that, we turn to several experts who are working on the tools to effect just this kind of integration. They bring us five tips for better marketing, using big data as a primary approach.

Bringing Big Data to the Marketing Table

We turned to Mark Cerullo, senior manager of Campaigner email marketing, to help isolate the five basic principles to help owners achieve those goals in the big-data realm.

  1. Standardize Best Practices. Big data can give you a dynamic, real-time view into the behavior of prospective buyers. Use it to help discern content type, frequency, and sequences that yield the best results. For example, if your data reveals that a video demo followed by a personalized email yields the best results, standardize the practice.
  2. Segment for Success. Use big data to segment your audience into specific subgroups. You can combine a number of data factors — such as job title, location, items and services purchased, or pages viewed — to create an audience segment. You can then create highly targeted communications specific to each group. For example, you can deliver tips specific to CMOs in a specific industry or create a bundled offer to buyers who have purchased a specific product or service in the past.
  3. Up Your Game with Integration. Integrate information from different systems to capture, analyze, report, and then act upon the intelligence you have collected. Multi-channel information can be used to gain visibility into user behavior and help you tailor smarter strategies for reaching and engaging your audience. For example, your website, CRM data and e-mail campaigns all yield streams of information. By pooling these individual streams of information you gain greater insight into your customers’ behaviors, likes, dislikes, and buying patterns. You can use this to not only customize more relevant content but also to tailor the delivery channel and timing.
  4. Use This, and Then Use That. Use big data to create automated triggers based on user behavior. Develop specific follow-up actions prompted by customer behavior. For example, a visitor that reads a blog post on marketing may be prompted with a message that directs them to a marketing-software demo. An opt-in form may trigger an immediate follow-up call from a sales representative. An abandoned online shopping cart might prompt a follow-up e-mail with a special offer for completing the transaction.
  5. Data Strengthens Data. The inflow of big data can help you to become more efficient about what is captured, stored and used. You can identify the data that is most relevant for your business. You can save time in analysis but also store only what is important to your business needs, thus saving on data storage costs.

 

MozyPro Online Backup

 

Prezi Offers Visually Stunning Way to Share Ideas

Prezi Presentation AppSome speakers bore their audiences to tears by using presentations that have nothing but slides with dull lists and bullet points. As the material blends together and their listeners slowly drift off to a faraway place, the presentation fizzles. Whether or not the information was good becomes unimportant–all because the way it was presented was tedious and boring.

Professional speakers and lecturers are turning towards technology to engage their audiences and communicate their ideas. Dr. Daniel Crosby of IncBlot Organizational Psychology understands the power of a good presentation. His TED Talk called “You’re Not That Great: A Motivational Speech” kept audiences rapt and earned him a place as one of Monster.com’s12 thinkers to watch in the world of leadership and organizational development.

What was Crosby’s secret for keeping the presentation interesting? Well, for one he had some very interesting information (he’s currently writing a book based on it). But Crosby also credits Prezi, cloud-based presentation software with a zoomable canvas that allows you to create visually captivating presentations that lead audiences down a path of discovery.

“Since Prezi is dynamic, beautiful and novel, my participants engage at an increased level which makes my job easier,” Crosby said.  ”I can’t count how many times I’ve had someone come up to me after a presentation and have them ask me, ‘What was that software you were using?’ It immediately makes me and my work memorable.”

Prezi’s software allows users to present from any device. Choose between the freedom of the cloud, the security of your desktop, or the mobility of the iPad or iPhone. Prezi is also three dimensional, allowing users to guide their audience through the presentation, rather than just flip from slide to slide. Users can also zoom out to show the overview of the Prezi, zoom in to examine the details of their ideas, or simply move freely through the Prezi and react to the audience’s input.

TED Talks - PreziPrezi is starting to become the technology of choice for many other TED Talks speakers as well, including Peter H. Diamandis, founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, the co-founder and chairman of Singularity University.

“Prezi is helping reinvent the art of presentation,” Diamandis said. “Farewell, one-dimensional thinking. Hello motion, dynamism, flexibility and power of inter-connection. When I gave my TED Talk, I chose Prezi to bring my ideas to life.”

While Prezi has almost immediately caught on among professional speakers, it’s also become popular within other sectors, including business. According to Prezi’s Kelly Hook, currently 80 percent of the Fortune 500 are utilizing Prezi to facilitate presentations and the company just hit 20 million users and 2 million iPad downloads.

So whether your next presentation is to TED or to your sales team, consider using Prezi to step outside of the PowerPoint box.

For more TED Talk videos, including many using Prezi, check out their YouTube channel. WARNING: May be addicting.

 

Mozy Data Shuttle

 

 

How to make money with malware

Computer VirusSecurity researchers from FortiGuard have identified the top four money-making schemes that malware authors employ to separate you from your cash. This isn’t surprising: spreading malware is just like any other software business: you need word of mouth (or a virus to help transmit things), willing customers who will download your code, and people who will pay money for your product.

The difference is that the malware guys aren’t selling you something that you really need, but something else entirely. It used to be that malware was just about gaining control over your computer, so that you could inadvertently be part of a botnet army that could attack someone else. And while there is plenty of that around, the latest schemes are all about making money directly from those who are infected.

It is as ingenious as it is dastardly. Guillaume Lovet, senior manager of FortiGuard Labs’ Threat Response Team, wrote in his blog post: “Now it’s not just about silently swiping passwords, it’s also about bullying infected users into paying.”

Here are the four top money-makers that Fortinet has observed:

1. The Flash update that tricks users into granting full installation rights. Once it is installed, the malware steals passwords to banking and other online payment sites. Given all the problems with Adobe exploits over the years, this may be disappointing, but isn’t all that surprising.

2. The fake anti-virus popup warning. This looks benign but is actually quite nasty. The popup looks like some legit AV software, but woe on anyone who actually purchases and then installs this stuff: you have just bought and installed malware.

3. Ransomware. This is a piece of software that blocks your PC, and the only way you can unblock it is if you pony up some cash. The blockage takes the form of stopping the boot process or encrypting part of your hard drive. It installs automatically on a user’s PC and then demands its ransom.

4. Nasty Trojan Horses. The latest in Trojan Horse attacks is to trick someone into installing a piece of code on their smartphone, and then working the two-factor authentication in such a way that your banking information is recorded both on your phone and in the PC session which has already been infected. These trojans then siphon off your funds to a third party account.

It’s a scary digital world out there. Let’s just hope we can stay a couple of steps ahead of the bad guys.

 

MozyHome Online Backup

 

Small-Business and Q1: An Uncertainty ‘Report Card’

Small Business Report CardSmall-business owners say the early part of 2013 was all about the financial crisis in Congress, with 37% indicating in a recent survey that they delayed hiring due to uncertainties stemming from what would come of the impasse.

With sequestration now the new reality, it remains to be seen what will develop in terms of small-business human resources as the result. Let’s look at some of the deeper issues and effects of recent changes in the economic scenario. We turn to the numbers, and the people generating them, to examine where SMBs stand at the end of Quarter 1, as they start the rest of 2013.

Q4–Q1: The Horizon for SMBs

Tough times have apparently taken a toll on small-business owners.

Among those polled by Manta, a company that connects SMBs with new clientele and resources, 82% did not make any new hires from October–December of 2012. More than half (65%) didn’t plan to add staff in Q1 of 2013. Meanwhile, nearly 40% of those businesses said that these decisions correlated directly with the recent fiscal turmoil in Washington.

More stats and figures:

  • 14% said they would not increase salaries or issue bonuses until the effects of the fiscal wrangling became clear.
  • 13% indicated that they had already eliminated discretionary spending.

Respondents also said they were leaving behind some healthy habits in favor of working harder at their shops.

  • 29% of small-business owners said they ate healthier and worked out more, in recent months, but that’s down compared to nearly 51% who said they were doing so during 2011.
  • Nearly half of those polled said they worked more than 50 hours/week, up more than 20% from 2011.
  • 37% of the owners said they averaged less than 6 hours of sleep every night.

But all hope hasn’t been lost. Among the small businesses polled by Manta, 78% of the owners said they’re still hopeful about growth in 2013.

“I’m always hopeful about the year ahead, but I also know it’s on me to make it happen,” said Stuart Rubenstein, co-owner of Florida-based Kaleidoscope Limited, who participated in the survey. And that attitude is no surprise to Pamela Springer, Manta’s chief executive officer. The will to survive, and to thrive, she said, is a hallmark of the SMB demographic.

“The New Year has a new level of uncertainty for all businesses,” said Springer, but, she added: “It is inherent for small-business owners to have a can-do attitude, even in the toughest of times.”

 

MozyPro Online Backup

 

Mobile Security and the SMB: Emerging Strategies and Tools

Mobile Security and the SMBAccording to global research firm Forrester, 350 million employees will use smartphones by 2016, with 200 million choosing to bring their own device to work. That’s a lot of points of pressure when it comes to mobile security in the realm of corporate data.

Professional users are demanding the same kind of end-user experiences in business as they enjoy in their personal lives. To respond to these requests, many businesses have adopted bring-your-own-device policies. For chief information officers, the imperative is to isolate simple, safe and secure multipurpose mobile solutions. How to keep all this information flowing, but protected from being hacked?

Let’s turn to to some of the experts in making BYOD work, security-wise, and to one company that’s deploying mobile with a mind to make it free of compromises.

Logging: The Employee/Employer Equation

According to a report recently published by CIO, while a whopping 88 percent of employees believe their device is very or somewhat secure, 77 percent of IT managers see the risk of malware spreading to the corporate network from mobile devices. Level of risk: moderate to very high.

One responses is what’s come to be known as logging. Companies simply record what employees are doing on the internal network. But there’s a potential complication for staff members: they may not realize that they’re being watched.

Study-conductor Blue Coat found that even though only 19% of corporate employees would knowingly allow their company to monitor their personal devices as they interact with the in-house network, some 41% of the corporations examined were already doing so.

“And the regulations have come down pretty clear on this,” Timothy Chiu, Blue Coat’s director of product marketing, told the publication. “The corporate network is a corporate-owned resource and companies are allowed to log what they want.”

The Third Party App: Minimizing Risks with Employee Buy-In

Another idea in the arena of locking down personal mobile security on the corporate network is to implement third-party data sharing apps.

Eric Hart is the network/infrastructure manager at PING, the golf equipment brand.

“Mobile devices are important for how we share information,” Hart said. PING uses a third-party data-sharing company to manage their employees BYOD on the IT side.

“Teams at PING use . . .  smartphones, tablets and traditional computers to collaborate with our partners, clients and vendors for a more consistent and secure experience,” Hart said.

The bottom line in Hart’s environment is that the company wants to open up the employee-end options by having the whole team get onboard with a common-thread application. The goal is to reduce the obstacles and effort it takes to share information, but to also keep the walls from crumbling when it comes to protecting what’s proprietary at PING.

And so, the BYOD moment is upon us. Making companies productive without compromise: the realities are still coming into focus for both workers and their employers, but the tools and strategies are emerging that may afford collaboration and security a better future fit.

 

MozyPro Online Backup

 

Internet and Hiring: How Tech Professionals (and SMBs) Can Win in 2013

SMB Hiring Cloud JobsIt is the era of the online-market independent.

If the Freelancer Fast 50 report for the end of 2012 tells us anything, it’s that employable skills in the cloud-based world of business are at the center of what hiring managers want.

“The Freelancer Fast 50 report is a fairly unique leading indicator of the online economy,” said Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com, which recently released its report after surveying some 261,000 job posted online — companies in search of new blood.

Let’s look at the main points from the survey’s results.

Top Trends from Q4

Things are changing in the cloud. Internet traffic is up, but social networks are in flux. The online marketplace was anything but consistent, at year’s end.

But the good news about that is that independent workers are scooping up business opportunities, and the numbers and the percentage-shifts are, for the most part, not small.

Here’s what Freelancer’s report tells us about what’s happened.

— Website Hosting: Jobs skyrocketed over 3,300% to 4,059 jobs as businesses moved into the cloud. Many of these jobs involving the transfer of established websites to  cloud servers, or they were related to companies throwing the switch and making cloud-hosted sites live for the first time.

— Software and Website Jobs: Quality assurance positions soared as eCommerce sites rushed to fortify themselves for holiday season traffic. Q4 saw a spike in software- and website-testing jobs, and software-testing jumped 2,500% to 5,200 jobs. Meanwhile, website-testing saw a 2,055% increase to 3,923 jobs.

— eBay Jobs: After 17 years in the online auction business, eBay rolled out a number of changes to its website and mobile application, including new branding. These changes, in combination with a pivot to a mobile-centric and small-business friendly focus, correlated with eBay jobs gaining 22% (to 1,790 jobs) for the quarter as it diversified its auction house into an e-commerce marketplace.

— Social Media and Internet Marketing: Jobs in this space may be experiencing a moment of contraction, in the wake of platform and search-index changes. According to the New York Times, only 14% of digital advertising budgets are currently allocated to social networking, and social-networking projects declined 5.1% (to 5,820 jobs). Both Facebook — down 8.4% to 7,186 jobs — and Twitter, down 6.4% to 2,240 jobs, seemed to feel a pinch. Internet marketing in general was flat — down 1.4% to 15,244 jobs — while SEO may still be reeling from the after-effects of Google’s Panda changes (down 3.3% to 10,159 jobs). Some marketers fell back to e-mail marketing, which ticked up 186% to 1,003 jobs.

Those are the numbers, and, of course, what might seem clear from Q4 is always subject to changes in the market place.

What’s currently certain is that most freelance workers with a tech-savvy portfolio are deep in this mix. Whatever the result for individual companies — those seeking to impose or reinforce their presence in the marketplace — 2013 should still be a time when those seeking work will find it.

 

MozyEnterprise Online Backup

 

A Small-Business Guide to the Fiscal Cliff: 2013 Edition

Fiscal Cliff 2013Seems like we’ve been hearing about the fiscal cliff forever, now, and with March 1 comes the latest iteration: sequestration. What does this mean for small businesses, and what can owners do to help mitigate the impact of what’s already been done?

Let’s look at a rundown of what’s next on the line, but also some fresh strategies for grappling with what U.S. lawmaking has so far left it in its fiscal wake.

Fiscal Cliff 2013: Sequestration

So, yes, the fiscal cliff — at least a version of it — looms anew, with this March representing another crucial turning point. The newest round of wrangling has to do with sequestration — the ways that the federal government may (indiscriminately) cut into $85 billion worth of spending, programs, and services.

Experts say that if the sequester locks in, small business may very well feel the impact.

Here’s what Stephen Fuller, professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy told a House committee about his predictions on the matter, last fall.

“The size and specialized nature of small businesses make them more vulnerable to sequestration than large businesses,” Fuller said. “As a result, small businesses will  bear a disproportional impact of the federal spending reductions under  sequestration. While these impacts can be measured in the loss of jobs by small businesses that are prime federal contractors (34.1% of all prime federal contractor job losses), small businesses that are subcontractors, suppliers and vendors and  whose existence depend on consumer spending that would be negatively impacted by the losses of labor income resulting from sequestration, would account for 57  percent of the associated job losses across the country.”

This is why small-business owners watch for the outcome of the March 1 sequester deadline with weariness.

The Story So Far: What SMBs Can Do (Right Now)

In an effort to show a path through what may be some already difficult territory — into the next 9–10 months and beyond — accounting-software experts at Xero put their heads together with Jody Padar, CEO and principle of New Vision CPA Group, and Jason Lawhorn, of Lawhorn CPA Group, Inc.

Together, they’ve broken out helpful tips and notes about the state of affairs for SMBs, right now. Here are some fundamentals, and what owners can do to protect themselves. They’ve categorized their main points as good, bad, and ugly, regarding what’s happened in the fiscal-cliff scenario, so far.

The Good:

– The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) relief, and extended Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 deductions. The AMT was created to tax high-wage earners, corporations, estates and trusts. At its advent, middle class and solo workers were exempt up to earnings of $45,000. But the bill did not account for inflation and wages have definitely increased since 1969 when the bill was first introduced. Had the relief law not been passed, a significant number of middle income taxpayers would have been subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax which is substantially higher than the exemption from regular income tax.

– Congress also extended the Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 deductions, which allow SMBs to recover the cost of investing in new infrastructure and property. The deductions will continue to stimulate spending, support SMBs, and encourage economic growth. At present, Congress says the approved AMT relief and tax deductions are permanent fixes. Word of caution though, say Padar and Lawhorn, no fix is ever permanent with the tax code.

The Bad:

If your small business is defined as an LLC you will see a 3.8 percent tax on your earned income as part of the Healthcare bill beginning this year. One way to mitigate this is to change your status from an LLC to an S-Corp. Here’s the key to the timeframe: if you change you status before March 15 this will apply for 2013, whereas if you change after the cut-off date you will not be eligible until 2014.

The Ugly:

A misnomer is that the the $450,000 tax increase is on the “rich” and independently wealthy, but this is not the case. S-Corps and LLCs are in the same tax pool as individuals. Additionally, most of the $450,000 earners are small business owners. Your average person is not making this type of salary, suggest Padar and Lawhorn, and the small business owners that are may be using this as “flow-through” money — that is, reinvesting this capital back into their businesses. However, because of their tax designation (S-Corp, LLC) they still fall into this bracket and their taxes will be increased.

What to Do: 2013 and the Next Steps

The main thing to be aware of is the complexity of the law changes.

For small-business owners, finances are already complicated. Padar and Lawhorn said that dealing with undecided government regulations can feel like driving in a blizzard. They recommend (of course), that owners secure the services of a qualified accountant. And the idea is to work with that accountant to navigate the new landscape all year long, not just at tax time.

“If you read or see something that does not make sense, contact your accountant,” they said. “Sticking your head in the sand when it comes to your finances is as good as leaving the cash drawer open while you’re out.”

 

MozyPro Online Backup