As the employment landscape changes more and more people are going into business for themselves. Entrepreneurship has long been a symbol of American ingenuity and independence.
However, many people are often overwhelmed when faced with all the challenges of running their own business. It is why the SBA estimates that almost 30% of new businesses fail during the first year and 66% during the first ten years of life.
One of the reasons so many businesses do not make it is because of their leaders not fully utilizing all business opportunities that are available to them.
Sure there is a ton of information available online about what you should or should not do when trying to navigate the business landscape. We will focus on some commonly missed business opportunities that can have a giant effect on your business’s bottom line.
What is a missed business opportunity?
This might seem like the most basic of questions. However, for this article, we are going to define the missed business opportunity in the following manner:
- Failure to enter or utilize a marketplace for the best results as associated with the business goals.
- Failure to take advantage of a tax break that would have been lucrative for the business’s profit margin.
Lets first explore how many small businesses miss marketplace opportunities and how some of these common mistakes can be avoided.
They underestimate the power of being proactive.
There are many ways to earn a great passive income online and sites like these can help you bring in that extra chunk of change with very little investment.
However, if you are running a small business that you want to become your main source of income, you have to actively pursue an opportunity at every turn.
It is not enough just to let social media do all the work for you. It is still important to make personal connections and make sure your business is an appreciated member of the community.
Go to meetups and networking meetings.
Not only can these events be a lot of fun but they can also be a great way to make important contacts that can help you move your business forward.
Allow the networking to organically grow into speaking opportunities.
Did you know that 26.2 percent of the leads generated for professional services firms come from speaking engagements (second only to referrals/recommendations at 26.9 percent)?
Speaking engagements are a great way to showcase your business’s expertise and get your message out into the community. The leads generated from a speaking engagement can be invaluable in terms of marketing and social media strategy. It helps define your audience as well as promote respectability for your brand.
Understanding how to utilize cause marketing.
Is there a cause that you are passionate about and that aligns well with your company goals and world view? It is important for a business in day and age to communicate that they have an altruistic attitude and have intentions that go beyond just making money.
This is not limited to cash donations since many new small businesses do not always have giant budgets. A business can help with a drive that donates backpacks and school supplies for underprivileged children in the community. Think about creative ways in which you can incorporate charity and make your name stand out from other sponsors.
Sign up for the SAM Directory.
Many new businesses miss very lucrative opportunities with the federal government by not registering in the SAM Directory.
SAM stands for System Award Management.
In order to do any business with the federal government, you must register your business in the System for Award Management. The government will not hire any type of business large or small that has not registered in SAM.
A business also has to be registered with SAM before they can begin to apply for valuable federal grants.
A grant is a way the government supports your business by providing funds. Grants support economic initiatives and many other programs listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).
This website can help guide you through the confusion of SAM registration so you can qualify for valuable government contracts and grants as soon as possible.
Do not forget tax deductions and how important they are for your bottom line.
We have talked about making the most of marketplace opportunities but a lot of small businesses lose unneeded money because they do not understand how much they can save on smart tax deductions.
You can deduct your percentage of business use from your cell phone bill on your taxes. For example, if you use 30 percent of your personal cell phone for business, then you can deduct 30 percent of the bill.
You can also just purchase a cell phone that will just be used for business purposes.
Equipment and Furniture
Section 179 is a provision in tax law that enables business owners to deduct the full purchase price of qualified equipment from their gross income. Rather than deducting a certain percentage of the equipment under a multi-year depreciation schedule, as is customarily done, business owners can deduct the full price, as long as they limit expenditures to a spending cap of $2.5 million if it was financed or purchased in 2018.
Qualified assets for Section 179 include:
- Machines or equipment purchased for business use.
- Office furniture.
- SUVs, pickups, and vans weighing more than 6,000 pounds.
- Certain improvements to the interior of commercial property.
Tax Resale Certificates
A tax resale certificate is a signed document that indicates that the purchaser intends to resell the goods. In some states, resale certificates are also used to purchase taxable services that become a part of the property for resale.
Tax resale certificates can provide great savings that are fantastic for a business’s bottom line. However, the rules and regulations can vary greatly by the state which may cause a lot of confusion. Luckily there are websites that take the headache out of the process.
Read our handy article Tax Deductions that Every Small Business Owner Should Know to find out about more money-saving tax deductions.