NARI NewsWatch
Dec. 24, 2014

Seasons greetings


A large new tax on small business
The Wall Street Journal
From Jan. 8: Obamacare includes so many taxes that it's hard to keep track, but one of the worst takes effect on Jan. 1. This beaut is a levy on health insurance premiums that targets the small business and individual markets. At $8 billion in 2014 and $101 billion over the next decade, the insurance tax is larger than Obamacare's taxes on medical devices and prescription drugs combined. The Internal Revenue Service classifies the tax as a "fee" but it functions like an excise tax on premiums. The IRS collects an annual flat amount specified by the Affordable Care Act to be allocated among the insurers according to market share. More

10 ways to spy on competition
Small Business Trends
From Nov. 19: Knowing about your competition has always been important in the world of business. With the Internet, this marketing intelligence has never been easier to find out, but it does take discipline and planning. By doing this type of research, you can find where your competitors are strong or weak. More

5 home remodel projects that add value
The Huffington Post
From July 9: You've probably heard it before, the kitchen and the bathroom are the best places to invest your remodel dollars. And while this is certainly true, they aren't the only improvements that recoup a significant amount of costs when you sell. Here are five remodel projects that stand a good chance at increasing your home's value. More

How to close sales like a machine
From Sept. 10: Great businesses know how to sell. Driving revenue through customers helps your business grow, and is the best way to bring money into your company. Because of this, it's essential that you know how to close clients when you have the chance. To gain a deeper insight into this topic Aj Agrawal recently spoke with sales expert Alex Pirouz. More

The irony of successful sales growth
From July 23: The following scenario plays out every day on Main Street: "My business is really growing these days," a small business owner confides to his friend, "but we're still experiencing too much negative cash." And then, with that deer-in-the-headlights look on his face, he completes his concern, "I thought by now, with sales and profits up, cash flow would be the least of my worries. I used to be afraid I couldn’t grow my business; now I’m worried that’ll collapse." More

2 little words that will help you sell more
From Sept. 3: "Yes, and ..." That two-word phrase can deepen your relationships and make you better at sales. That's the word from Isaac Rodriguez, CEO of Provident Loan, and an amateur improv performer. He learned "yes, and … " as an improv technique for continuing or escalating a scene, but then discovered it was very effective in the business world as well. More

Microsoft ends support for Windows XP: What small businesses need to know
FOX Business
From April 9: On April 8, Microsoft ended technical support and security updates to the Windows XP operating system. The company also stopped supporting Office 2003 software. Dave Aitel, the CEO of security firm Immunity, says Microsoft’s decision has major security implications for small businesses using the past-its-prime operating system. More

5 critical mistakes that kill the value of your small business
From July 2: Are you your own worst enemy when it comes to selling your business for a high price? Many entrepreneurs expect to reap a nice profit when they make their exit but discover mistakes that crush the value when it's too late. "Poor seller preparation" consistently appears in the top five reasons deals fail in the Market Pulse survey published each quarter by the Pepperdine Private Capital Market Project, International Business Broker Association and M&A Source. Avoid these five critical errors and you'll achieve a much greater profit from the deal. More

10 ways to maximize your home office for productivity
U.S. Small Business Administration
From March 19: If you run one of the 14+ million home-based small businesses in the U.S., congratulations. You’ve got lower overhead, a shorter commute and the opportunity to be more productive than your office-based competitors. Still, working from home isn’t all eating peanut butter out of the jar and wearing your fuzzy slippers. There are plenty of pitfalls that can distract you from getting your work done. Here we look at 10 ways to ensure you’re set up for success in your home office. More

Business website mistakes
Gaebler Ventures
From Feb. 5: Your website is the anchor of your company's online presence. In today's digital marketplace, customers rely on business websites to connect with the products, services and brands that are important to them. But according to a recent infographic created by MyCase, a provider of Web-based practice management software for lawyers, nearly one-third of small business owners manage their own websites and ultimately neglect features that are essential to their customers. More