Small Business Optimism Index Hits 11-Year Low

Small business confidence reached its lowest point in over 11 years this past March. According to a report from the National Federation of Independent Business, concerns about persistent inflation are weighing heavily on small business owners. Despite some indicators suggesting a decrease in inflation, rising costs, particularly in input and labor, remain a significant issue for small businesses, leading to widespread anticipation of further price hikes and increased compensation.

Tory Burch Foundation in Partnership with Bank of America Launches Virtual Program to Support Women Entrepreneurs

The Tory Burch Foundation, in collaboration with Bank of America, is intensifying its support for female entrepreneurs by launching a new virtual program offering webinars, business resources, and networking tools, while also celebrating a milestone of deploying over $100 million to more than 5,500 female founders through increased loan access, aiming to address the capital hurdle faced by women in business and emphasizing the economic impact of empowering female entrepreneurs. Read more about the initiative in this article in Inc.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property – A Look At Copyrights

In this brief segment on (America’s Small Business Network), intellectual Property Attorney, Ana Juneja shares that small businesses, especially those producing digital content, artworks, and photographs, need to utilize copyright laws to safeguard their creations, particularly in the digital and e-commerce spaces.

Recent legal adjustments, including simplification of the copyright process and removal of the mandatory use of the copyright symbol (©), indicate a shift towards making it easier for small businesses to claim protection, ensuring legal advantage and potential financial compensation in case of infringement, while also discussing the significance of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in protecting online and digital content. See this link to learn more.

Avoiding Common Tax Mistakes

This article from CNET discusses common mistakes that attract IRS scrutiny and offers tips to avoid them, such as completing your return accurately and reporting income correctly, as failing to do so can lead to audits or delays. It also emphasizes the importance of meticulous record-keeping, especially for self-employed individuals claiming deductions, and being cautious with charitable deductions to avoid raising red flags with the IRS.

Importance of Mentoring In Moving Side Hustle to Main Hustle

Photo from Fast Company

Haunted by the stark statistic that women-owned businesses receive less than 2% of venture capital funding, Emma Grede, CEO of Good American, is taking action through her TV show, Side Hustlers. Co-hosted by Ashley Graham, the reality series sheds light on the transformative impact of mentorship, illustrating how the guidance and connections provided by Grede and Graham are essential in empowering female entrepreneurs to navigate challenges and elevate their side hustles into flourishing ventures. Read more about this topic in their interview in Fast Company.

7 Essential Documents You Need For Funding

Funding is one of the biggest hurdles for small business owners. Financial planner Jovan Johnson highlights the importance of being financially prepared. In this piece in Business Insider, he recommends seven essential documents for small business owners, including a business credit report, profit and loss statement, balance sheet, bank statements, income tax returns, insurance documents, and financial forecasts, to enhance their chances of securing funding through avenues like credit cards, grants, or loans. Check out the post for more details!

Alternative Funding Strategies for Small Businesses

This article posted to encourages entrepreneurs to pursue a debt-free approach to building their businesses by exploring alternative funding options. The piece introduces various funding alternatives, including crowdfunding, grants, bootstrapping techniques, strategic partnerships, pre-selling strategies, invoice financing, and angel investors. Case studies highlight successful businesses that thrived without accumulating debt. The article also provides a comparative analysis of funding sources, advising entrepreneurs to choose based on their business stage and needs. It emphasizes the importance of financial forecasting, diversifying income streams, and adapting to emerging trends for building a sustainable and debt-free future.

Advantages of Setting Up a Business Checking Account

If you are a busy entrepreneur, you may think that dumping all your earnings and expenses into an existing account will save you time and hassle. According to this article from CNBC, for smoother tax filing and better money management, it’s smart for small business owners to keep personal and business finances separate by having different checking accounts. This not only makes tax time easier but also comes with perks like a business debit card, loan and grant opportunities, and extra benefits from business checking accounts, making it a good move for businesses of any size. See the link for more details!

As an Entrepreneur, Are You Paying Yourself Correctly?

Many entrepreneurs, especially women, face challenges in paying themselves fair salaries, contributing to a gender pay gap in entrepreneurship. Despite efforts to address this issue, a survey reveals that female entrepreneurs, on average, earn 28% less than their male counterparts, emphasizing the need for business owners to ensure profitability and strategic financial planning to afford fair compensation for their work.

To read more about this, see this post by Abigail Ingram, executive director of the Polsky Exchange,  a 34,000-square-foot incubator space that leads the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center engagement with the South Side community through programs and initiatives that support local business owners and entrepreneurs.

5 Things Business Owners Wish They Knew In the Beginning

New business owners often yearn for the wisdom gleaned from seasoned business owners to steer clear of potential pitfalls. This post from Motley Fool shares five important tips including: welcoming the skill of delegation, embracing adaptable processes, acknowledging the demanding time commitments, mastering cash flow management, and actively cultivating a loyal customer base. See the article to read more.