Ta Da! You failed!

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Not too very long ago in a Life Coach training I discovered the idea of failure as a positive.  It means you tried.  You probably tried something you have not done before, or were not very comfortable doing and the class was taught to go “TA DA!’ It comes from a Calvin and Hobbes comic where Calvin gets his feet tangled falls in a heap then bounces up and yells “TA DA!”

The following business owner gets that concept to a T.  This company rewards employees to take big edgy risks.  Each month they celebrate the winner of the “Heroic Failure” award.   We could all learn from this concept – risk should not be accompanied with fear of consequences of failure but rewarded otherwise we all end up not stretching and doing only precisely what is instructed – wherein innovation dies.

 

Better Ideas Through Failure

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Classifying Workers – Employees or Contractors? IRS program to allow you to fix it…

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Are they employees or sub-contractors?  In a previous life I used to help audit this question.  The advantages to an employer for an employee to be a contractor are significant: no matching FICA, no employment forms, no depositing withheld taxes.  These things can take up a tremendous amount of time and resources that many small businesses simply don’t have.  From the employee perspective there is very little value in being a contractor.  You are responsible for your own FICA both your half and your employer’s half.  You also have a requirements to make estimated tax payments once you get to a certain dollar amount or be penalized.  You have NO withholding so you have NO refund at the end of the year.  Most likely you WILL owe taxes come April 15th.

With all the down side why would an employee agree to be a contractor?  It’s simple – no agreement – no job.

But some times there is legitimate reason to be a contractor.  So how do you know?  The IRS has a list of twenty common law factors and if you are still not sure they will do a free audit to help you figure it out.  It’s not as bad as it sounds. The problem comes in if you have some of the common law factors but not all, what do you do?

It’s been my experience that the more control a company exercises over how, when, where, and by whom work is performed, the more likely the workers are employees, not independent contractors.  Another factor that looms large is whether the person performs this work for other people.  For example, do they have a card?  Can I get them to do that for me too?

Why do I mention all this now?

The IRS is going to allow people to reclassify their workers at a reduced penalty/cost.  This is sort of an amnesty program which usually precedes a big audit of everyone who uses contractor workers.   Best to be sure now and fess up rather than wait for the inquisition.

Price of Reclassifying

Nielsen Report – Social Media accounts for 23% of time online

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According to a 2011 Q3 Nielsen report, social networking accounts for 23% of time online with Facebook accounting for the lion’s share.  53.5 million minutes on Facebook in May 2011.  This report dovetails on the concept of social media as an important tool in business advertising. Social media app usage is up 30% from 2010. Over twice as many people over 55 visited social media sites using apps as last year.  This trend bears watching.

Nielsen Report

Free Facebook Ads for Small Businesses

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According to this Chicago tribune Article, Facebook will begin giving away up to $10 million in advertising credits to small businesses in a partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Independent Businesses.  More details will be forthcoming, but this is something to keep your eye on if you have a small business and want free advertising in a proven medium.

Free Ads

Making Social Media Work

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YouTube and Facebook can’t really impact your business, can it?

Let’s ask Orabrush a company that made wacky Youtube videos to help sell their product online.  The inventor tried for a decade to sell his product using infomercials then a wacky ad on youtube went viral and one thing led to another until they have a deal with Wal-Mart.  Quite a story – and quite a lesson…

Orabrush parlays youtube success into Walmart deal

Not the Apple

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Sony has introduced it’s new tablet that is not designed to be an apple like so many others on the marker.  Instead it has features all it’s own.  This seems like the best way to compete in the market instead of trying to clone an apple and sell it on the basis that is like an apple but not really an apple how about making a tablet that is different.  The new Sony has that.

Sony’s new tablet

Venture Capitalist Perspectives

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This is a really interesting article on how a venture capitalist looks at an entrepreneur and what they really want.  I see some of the common mistakes listed hit close to home.  People who are unwilling to commit to a business idea until they get funding flies in the face of an investor who wants to see a totally committed leader.  That’s an impasse.

Seeing both sides

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