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Matchmaker, Matchmaker: Take Our Quiz to Find the Best Website Builder for Your Business

Congrats! You’re finally building your business. You’ll need a website, of course. But…how? Where? Choosing the right platform for your business needs is tough. You already have so much on your plate when you’re trying to build a brand. Don’t panic, doer. We’re here to help. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to review the top platforms and website builders out there so that you have one less thing to worry about. And to make it even better, we’ve gamified the whole thing and created a quiz to make picking a platform a little less scary (and a lot more fun). Ready? Let’s do this! You’re only 60 seconds away from your big website breakthrough.  Find your website builder! And for those of you who prefer to weigh your options the old fashioned way, we put together handy chart analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the top blog-building platforms for the visual learners out there. Ready to swipe right on your perfect platform? Time to explore our new and improved website category and get started today. Happy building, doers! Which platform is right for you? Tell us in the comments below—and share the quiz with that friend who’s been talking about building a website for as long as you can remember (we all know this person). The post Matchmaker, Matchmaker: Take Our Quiz to Find the Best Website Builder for Your Business appeared first on . Powered by WPeMatico

Gig Economy News: Let’s Go

Every week we try to bring you the best Gig economy news bites from around the web, and this week is no different. We’re covering a range of entrepreneurial topics today to give you the info you need for where you are, and where you want to be. From ways to keep cash flowing, to finding your place in the unfettered world of freelancing, we’ve got priceless tips to empower your weekend. Stay Innovative In order to change the future of work, you have to invest in your community. So we’re honored to be included in Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies 2018 for our work on affordable healthcare for Gig economy workers with Stride Health and our recent acquisition of AND CO. Learn more and see the full list here. Keep the Cash Flowing In order to get your business growing, you gotta get paid! Believe it or not, a lot of entrepreneurs and small businesses struggle with keeping track of the payments they are owed, ensuring that they are received, and overall managing their business finances. These money-getting and saving tips will help ensure that you know who owes you, that you get paid on time, and that you are in good shape to grow. Set Yourself Up to Succeed Success as an entrepreneur is about passion, but it’s also about having the right tools to aid you along the way. Some of these tools are external: like time tracking apps, money management resources and so on, but some are internal. That’s why we recommend taking the time to read and learn about these 15 skills you’ll need in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. Find Your Place One of the things that draws a lot of people to becoming an entrepreneur is the sense that it can bring freedom from the trappings of a traditional job. Leaving the rat race can definitely be freeing, but what if you could take it to a new level? If you’ve ever dreamt of un-tethering yourself, taking your business on the road and seeing all that the world has to offer, this…

Stress-Free Ways to Simplify Small Business Processes

Running around like a chicken with your head cut off might seem like a good sign. After all, you are bringing on new customers. The phone is ringing off the hook. You’re skimping on sleep trying to do everything at once. You’re even (kinda, sorta) succeeding! There’s only one problem with this common scene: contrary to popular belief, busyness itself is not a virtue. What truly takes skill is one’s ability to manage, delegate and execute tasks efficiently – all while staying sane in the process. If being busy has dominated your life, it’s time to regain control. Use this guide to figure out where you’re losing the most time so you can reduce daily stress and get back to work that matters. Common Time Zappers Streamlining your business processes requires you to pinpoint the biggest time wasters in your daily schedule. However, this can be difficult to determine off the top of your head – especially when it feels like you’re spending lots of time on rudimentary tasks. Let’s examine your day-to-day productivity to see where your business can be more efficient. Track Your Minutes Start by keeping track of your time usage throughout a single day. Productivity consultant Daniel Gold suggests writing down all of your daily activities on a piece of paper. Record what you were doing and how long it took (be honest). Look for the work-related activities that you spent the most amount of time on. Was it answering customer phone calls? Was it meeting with your business partner? Take note of these activities. If writing down your tasks feels like a stressor or a distraction, you can always turn to an automated time tracking tool like Toggl. This time tracker connects to your web browser to show where you’re spending time on the web. Later, you can view an organized chart that breaks your time down into categories. It’s also a good idea to have partners and employees track their time, as this will provide a comprehensive overview of your workforce efficiency. Find Patterns Look for patterns in your daily habits. Did you sit…

Changes Small Business Owners Should Know About (2018 Edition)

Did you survive the curveballs of 2017, telling yourself that as long as you make it through this year, you’ll be okay? Good. Now let’s do it all over again. You may remember the 2017 edition of small business changes—in which we explored changes in taxes, 17 states increasing their minimum wage, and the shifting political landscape. Now that we’re in 2018 and we face a new economic and political climate, guess what? Even more changes loom, especially in the world of taxes. Here’s what you need to know for this year: Tax Bracket Changes for 2018 The life of the small business owner is much like that of any person—every dollar counts. That’s why it’s critical to understand if you can anticipate any changes to your personal taxes. Much of the political hubbub in 2017 focused on Republican efforts to cut taxes—and indeed they did, getting the law passed and signed before the deadline. That means 2018 will be a new year for taxes. This, in turn, means new brackets. Here’s the basic run-down from Forbes:   If that doesn’t look familiar in the slightest, there’s good reason for that. The rates have changed and the brackets themselves have changed. But that’s not all. When you think about taxes for this financial year, remember also that the changes in the standard deduction can cause a dramatic change in your taxable income. Says Forbes: The standard deduction in 2018 as the law currently exists is $13,000 for a couple filing jointly. That number will jump to $24,000. For single filers it jumps from $6,500 to $12,000. Take Advantage of New Deductions Want an immediate boost to your bottom line? Then don’t be afraid to take the deductions now afforded to you by the new tax law. According to ABC News, that includes items as small as a one-cent increase in the deductibility of business car mileage to a massive increase in the deductibility of new equipment purchases. It’s that business equipment deduction that should really catch your eye. The deduction limit has expanded to $1,000,000 under Section 179, which means…

Retirement Investing for Small Businesses: Five Things Everyone Should Know

If you’re running a small business, then you’re likely familiar with uncharted waters. But while navigating the next financial quarter might be familiar territory, there is still one unanswered question that needs a solution: what you’re going to do about retirement. Retirement benefits aren’t only a great way to attract top talent to your business, but vital to your own financial peace of mind. As a small business leader, it’s up to you to think about which plan suits your needs. Here’s what you’ll need to know: 1: You Can Set Up Your Own Company Retirement Plan Most people hear the phrase “401(k)” and assume it’s a perk to the standard employment contract—one of those side-benefits to working the nine-to-five. Maybe you never imagined yourself ever setting up your own 401(k). But there’s no reason you can’t set up a 401(k) for your own small business, no matter how small it might be. Here are a few options worth noting: 401(k) Plans run the gamut from one-participant (or “Solo”) plans to company-wide plans. Because they have high contribution limits, these are great for employees who love to put away money for retirement. SEP: Simplified Employee Pension plans, including SEP-IRAs, are available for businesses of any size, according to the IRS. Whether you run a small business or a sole proprietorship that contracts out its workers, these are worth exploring. ESOPs: Employee Stock Ownership Plans are available to companies that meet certain criteria—so if you’re a startup, there’s a chance you might not qualify. But this can be a tremendous incentive to inspire motivation and teamwork at large companies. 2: Retirement Accounts are Really, Really Nice Why set up a retirement account at all? Why not store some money under your mattress for a rainy day? Why not put it all into a single stock and hope for the best? The answer to all of the above: retirement plans make investing really, really nice. Better than mattress-stuffing, better than owning a general investment account. Here’s why: Saving money. Elected salary deferrals, writes the IRS, are excluded from an employee’s taxable income.…

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