November 25, 2014

U.S. House Passes Fiscal Cliff Deal

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It’s a done deal! The U.S. House passed a bill Tuesday that avoids the looming “fiscal cliff” averting some problems for business owners and potentially creating others. Meanwhile, we’ll look at some of the additional issues business leaders and entrepreneurs must consider heading into 2013.

Challenges and Compromises

It’s a real cliff hanger. Initially, critics of a proposed tax increase on those making $200,000 and over worried some small business owners who claim business revenue as personal income would be adversely affected, but the new stopgap compromise raises taxes only on those making $400,000 and over, though it does eliminate some tax breaks for those making $200,000 or higher. On the other hand, avoiding a steep middle class tax increase could mean more disposable income for your customers. Washington Post

Good news, bad news. An initial analysis suggests the stopgap measure is just a so-so deal for U.S. businesses. For example, those digging in will find about $46 billion in business tax breaks, reports say. On the other hand, one of the big concerns for businesses of all sizes, overall deficit and debt reduction, is not a part of the compromise package. It will probably take a while longer for business analysts to wade through the bill, but here are some of the highlights of interest to business owners. Yahoo! News

What we really need. If you’re still scratching your head over what last night’s vote really means, Scott Shane, professor of entrepreneurial studies at Case Western Reserve University, has got you covered. Here Shane looks at some of the issues that will affect small businesses in the coming year, including a challenging credit market, increasing taxes, and more healthcare legislation on the way. This post is indispensable for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want the real scoop. Entrepreneur

Other New Year Trends

Your big execution item. Spend the first part of the New Year identifying the big execution item, the change you really want to make in your company in 2013, writes Ian Smith, an adviser who helps entrepreneurs scale their businesses to create big value. This major execution item could be a tweaked version of your product created to dominate a specific sector, identifying or hiring the key member of your staff that will transform your team, or any other project that you will deliver without excuses by year’s end to transform your business. The Smith Report

Setting some better goals. Don’t sell the goal setting process short when entering 2013. You may dismiss goal setting because it ends up as the same old set of specific, measurable, achievable results year after year. Instead, give self-employment guru Jenny Bhatt’s technique a try. Here’s a hardcore plan for self and business improvement that takes some chances and may force you to try some things you haven’t considered before. Free Agent Economics

Big changes in online marketing. Online marketing strategist Rachel Parker changed the focus on her business last year, and with good reason. Parker says the online world is evolving, and in this brief video and transcript she reviews some of what she boldly predicts as trends this coming year. Some of those may include a emphasis on content development over SEO on Websites and (gulp!) the decline of Facebook as the unrivaled leader in social media marketing. Resonance

Look forward, look back. Planning for the future of your business is fine, but it turns out it’s important to look at past accomplishments too. Celebrating your accomplishments in 2012 is tied to looking ahead to what you hope to accomplish in 2013, writes business coach Elli St. George Godfrey. “Incremental steps do add up, even when they don’t feel like it,” she explains. “And while it is easy to note the challenges and difficulties you may have faced over the year, it is essential that you acknowledge any successes.” Ability Success Growth

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