Saturday, December 12, 2009

The 2009 Look Back

With the year coming to an end, I thought this would be a great time to take a look back at some of the major developments that have affected the small business community the past year. This is just a quick review of some of the developments that we have read about and some that we have actually implemented in our firm. One interesting factor that we found was how different regulating bodies define the term small business and how those definitions affect a small business owner’s strategy going into the New Year.

Economy

While the economy has continued to decline for many small business owners, there are quite a few “indicators” that say that the economy is looking up for the small business owner. According to recent posts, the Small Business Administration is attempting to increase the assistance to small business owners and has redefined their definition of what constitutes a small business. The SBA also has a great deal of qualification factors for their financing programs so be sure that your small business will qualify for the programs offered. Since small businesses make up the majority of the economy, until those businesses have access to the necessary capital to expand; the economy for small business owners will continue to lag in 2010.

Taxes

The tax situation for the small business owner can be a strange beast considering there are different strategies that can be applied depending on the size and industry of your small business. Couple the tax code with the state of the economy, and it makes the road to recovery quite rocky for the small business owner. Although there is a great deal of tax incentives out there for small business owners, many are having a hard time implementing them without the help of additional funding. One example is the depreciation deduction. Many small businesses would like to purchase additional equipment and technology, to take the tax break, but without the necessary funding those deductions fall to the wayside.

Technology

Technology can be one of the better developments this past year for the small business owner. With technology changing virtually daily, there is always someone out there introducing a product that can make the small business owner lives run a bit less hectic. This past year there were quite a few introductions in Web 2.0 technologies that can help the small business owner increase their reach and web presence. More and more small businesses are starting to embrace the cloud computing or Software as a Service (SaaS) model as online data storage and software hosting solutions gains in new business. The use of smart phones has continued to see gains as even individuals are starting to use them to organize their personal lives. I personally see the trends in technology to continue to advance at more and more small businesses see the benefits of technology. Right now our firm can update information on social media sites, service accounting clients, and have anytime access to our data from our smart phones and I personally would not have it any other way.

Be sure to post some of your comments about this past year or what you feel will be the driving forces for small businesses in 2010. As for my opinion, I think that if small businesses look for ways to streamline their operations with the use of technology, and think outside the box when it comes to marketing the road to recovery can be a bit smoother in 2010.

B. N. S.
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