February 28th, 2014 Posted by dmcclain
Important Changes to Tip Reporting
Anyone who works as a server in a restaurant is aware that tips are considered income and are required to be reported as such when income taxes are filed at the beginning of each year. This is not just limited to restaurant employees, however, as anyone who receives tips, including taxi drivers, hairdressers or other service personnel, must report tip income to the Internal Revenue Service.
According to IRS Publication 3148, any employee who receives $20 or more in tips in a month must report the amount to their employer. The employer must then deduct federal, Social Security, Medicare, state and local taxes from the amount reported in the employee’s paycheck.…
February 21st, 2014 Posted by dmcclain
Soon, All Merchants Will Accept Chip and PIN Credit Cards, or Else
Effective October 2015, all merchants who accept payment by credit card will face a change in how cards are processed. Europay International (EMV) is currently the standard in other countries, with the United States being the last major country to adopt the standard. Those who don’t adopt the technology could face liability for fraudulent charges when accepting payment from non EMV cards.
What is EMV?
When the new regulations go into effect, consumers will use chip-based smartcards, commonly known as “Chip and PIN” in the United Kingdom, rather than the magnetic strip cards used in the United States.…
February 7th, 2014 Posted by dmcclain
Protect Your Business By Implementing the Right Security Measures
Mobile payments are becoming more common and convenient for small-business owners, but some security steps are needed before adding this technology as a payment option. According to current research, taking too few prevention measures is a common problem among small-scale entrepreneurs adopting mobile payment systems. The cost to your finances and your customers’ personal information can be catastrophic, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the recommended security measures for this type of payment processing.
Fraud Prevention Tools for Mobile Payment Systems
If you process mobile business transactions, several security technologies are available to safeguard funds, including:
- Malware tracking
- Scanned check verification
- Customer signature authentication
- Real-time fund transfer tracking
Before selecting a mobile payment acceptance software tool, do your research to ensure the programs have these security features.…
January 31st, 2014 Posted by dmcclain
Target Struggles despite Commendable Efforts
You’ve probably all heard about the incident during the holiday shopping season in which Target and millions of their customers became victims of a huge cyber security breach. If you are a Target shopper, it’s likely that you felt some concern upon hearing this information. Many of folks across the country had similar fears. To their credit, the company rushed to make a public statement holding themselves accountable and ensuring customers they planned to rectify the situation. That’s the most important step a business, large or small, can take during a crisis. However, since the initial disclosure of the breach, Target has made two more admissions to its shoppers regarding the magnitude of just how much information the thieves were able to access.…
January 24th, 2014 Posted by dmcclain
Get attention by impressing your customers with your service.
As in all of life, only the best and the worst get attention. The 2013 holiday season certainly had its best and worst and they garnered the lion’s share of attention from the media. Not every business will make headlines, but the local chatter is just as important. Make sure the type of attention you’re company gets is the good kind.
Target Is More than its Name
The retail giant Target was the focus of a supposed Russian teenager (or not), when millions of their holiday shoppers had their credit card and other private data stolen.…
January 10th, 2014 Posted by dmcclain
Goals and resolutions for business owners.
Millions of people across the United States make New Year’s resolutions at the end of every year. Whether their goal is to lose weight, save more money or get a better job, improving themselves is number one on their to-do list.
Similar to individuals, small businesses are resolving to improve their financial positions in 2014. If you’re a small-business owner looking to improve upon 2013, these small business goals will help get you on the path to success:
Increase Efficiency and Productivity
Whether you’re self-employed or have a staff of 50 individuals, increasing efficiency and productivity will be essential to success in 2014.…
January 3rd, 2014 Posted by dmcclain
Cleaning House Should Include Underperforming Employees
One of your greatest assets is your employees. They are the ones who work diligently to ensure your business is successful day after day, and often perform job duties that may not be suitable for you as the owner.
While you may love your employees almost as much as you love your own family, parting ways with those that underperform should be a normal part of your routine. As harsh as it may sound, you should analyze your employees like you do your inventory; cut those that aren’t contributing to the company and put more effort into those that are.…
December 27th, 2013 Posted by dmcclain
AT&T has an interesting new strategy. They’ve decided to buy T-Mobile customers if they can’t convince them to switch any other way.
Although there has always been a soap opera behind every dollar a consumer spends, the recent move by AT&T to actually buy the business of T-Mobile customers seems a bit well… dramatic. Will consumers see this is a good deal or a bribe? Is it a good thing, or has AT&T taking things just one step too far?
To consumers, reading about the failed mergers and Federal Communications Commission rulings that go on behind the scenes of the mobile phone world is like reading weird ingredients on the package of favorite chips.…
December 20th, 2013 Posted by dmcclain
When business is slow, smart restaurant owners find other ways to increase sales.
Owning a restaurant is one of the hardest jobs in existence. When restaurants are new or still small, owners and their families usually have to keep labor costs down by working for many hours a week, often at no or little pay.
It seems counterintuitive to ask the owner to take on even more effort, but by expanding your line of products and services, you might find other profit centers that can expand your brand beyond the food on your menu.
Take, for instance, the story of Butter Lane Cupcakes, as reported by The New York Times.…
December 13th, 2013 Posted by dmcclain
Perceived value is the key to getting the most for your products.
As a small business owner in today’s challenging economy, raising your rates is something that you’ll most likely need to consider at some point in the near future. On the one hand, you need to increase prices to keep up with inflation and other rising expenses. On the other hand, you don’t want to lose new business to your competitors or make loyal customers angry by asking them to pay more for the same products and services.
Fortunately, the question of raising rates doesn’t have to turn into an ultimatum.…