Small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs in the United States, notes the SBA, proving the American dream is certainly alive and well. You might feel like competing with big business is not worth the hassle, but since 1990, big business has cut 4 million jobs, while small business has accounted for 23 million net new jobs since the 1970s.
But you know success does not come easy. There is always more to do and more to learn. Follow these stress-free measures to make a smashing debut as the most effectively managed small enterprise in America.
Startup Costs and Documentation
You do not need millions of dollars to start up your business. Once you have a concept in mind, create a plan for minimizing startup costs. The IRS recognizes the time and energy spent on creating a business and offers up to $5,000 in deductions for every $55,000 spent on organizing, planning and starting your business.
Be sure to keep accurate records so your deductions can be granted. Many people cringe at the prospect of documenting expenses for a business, in addition to personal expenses. Balancing your own budget is hard enough, and separating yourself from your enterprise can be daunting.
Separate Business Versus Personal Expenses
A simple solution to this common problem is creating a business expense account to track your expenditures. Certain credit card companies make this task easier by offering deals specific to small business owners. Every time you make a purchase for your business, use your business card and save yourself the hassle of juggling several bank accounts. Don’t make the mistake of combining personal expenses with your business endeavors and your purchasing history will speak for itself.
The Ticket Is Record-Keeping
Along with startup costs, there are other ways you can deduct expenses from your taxes. According to the IRS, you can write-off the business use of your home and vehicle. Some expenses, such as rent for an office, employee pay and even interest charged on money borrowed toward your business, are eligible for deductions. This is why it is profitable to keep accurate records of your transactions. Services like Intuit calculate federal and state payroll tax for you, so you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. When tax time comes, you can provide the proof needed to reap the benefits of being a small business owner.
The Public Has Spoken
Our economy depends on small business to survive. Pew Research group found 71 percent of the public held a positive view of small business, while only 25 percent thought of large corporations in the same light. Perhaps the American public is supportive of small business owners because they are like everyone else — working hard to make a living. There has never been a better time to be the owner of your own business. Go ahead, quit your day job and begin the journey of a lifetime— but don’t forget to keep your record books straight, as it will pay off in the end.