Self Made: NASE's Blog

Thursday, March 07, 2013
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and VISA have partnered up in a contest that is giving away $30,000 in cash prizes.  If your small business exports goods or services around the world, tell your story to the SBA and have a chance at winning up to a $10,000 first-place prize. The rules are simple, you have to be defined as a small business per SBA standards, sell goods or services internationally and have used a federal government program to aide your business.  If you qualify, get your video camera ready and shoot a video on why you deserve to win. ...
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Posted by Keith Hall (NASE Tax Expert) - Well, I don’t know for sure about birds or which bird gets which worm, but I do know that it’s never too early to start thinking about your tax return. Most likely you have already received your own little mountain of tax related paperwork including W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, K-1s, brokerage statements, bank statements, HSA statements…and on and on and on.  If you are expecting a refund, the quicker you can get all of those forms filed, the quicker you will get your check back from the IRS. Even if you expect to owe ...
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Posted by Katie Vlietstra-- Last night, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address, outlining an ambitious second term agenda including: immigration reform, climate change, changes to current gun laws, and hope in tackling comprehensive tax reform. However in a startling move, President Obama only mentioned the small business community twice.  In his first comment directed at small businesses, the President openly supported efforts for bi-partisan, comprehensive tax reform, saying, “The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures ...
Thursday, February 07, 2013
As we know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was no small piece of legislation and it is going to impact our lives in a large way.  As with many new and large changes to the law, we here at the NASE know it can be confusing and tricky as you try and figure out what is best for your family and your business.  Luckily, the Small Business Administration knows that also and has created a new online tool to help with the process of finding the best health care options for you. Additionally, the site provides a good overview of the ...
Monday, February 04, 2013
Posted by Molly Nelson - Here's some exciting news this week about some help for small businesses by way of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Small Business Administration. In an attempt to help the federal government reach its small-business procurement goals, the DVA plans to award a five year, $5 billion services contract to three small-business prime contractors. These small businesses will have a maximum of 150 employees, and at least one will be owned by a disabled veteran.  Additionally, the SBA recently announced the launch of the Early Stage Innovation Funds Initiative. The SBA plans to commit up ...
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Posted by Molly Nelson - The beginning of the year is as good a time as any to take stock of your customer service efforts and consider what you're doing right and what you could improve upon.  Check out these articles for some ideas: 5 Phrases Guaranteed to Boost Your Customer Service (OPEN Forum) 20 Tricks of the Trade to Develop Superior Customer Service (Small Business Trends) Want to Win the Competition for Customers? (SelfInformed) Have questions about customer service? Ask the Experts at!
Friday, January 18, 2013
Posted by Gene Fairbrother (NASE Lead Small Business Advisor) - In today’s age of "Internet mania" it is hard to envision any business that doesn't need a presence on the Internet as a marketing tool. The problem for many small-business owners is the thinking that just because they have a website, Facebook page, or LinkedIn presence that customers will be knocking down their doors. An all too common scenario that the NASE consultants get is a member calling telling us that they have been on the Internet for several months but they are not getting any response or sales. A few questions ...
Friday, January 18, 2013
With the 2012 presidential election on the books and President Obama’s second inauguration just days away, the federal government is in full swing to continue the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of the controversies surrounding it, the ACA is here to stay, so we may as well fully understand what’s to come. The links below provide an in-depth look into the execution of the implementation schedule of the ACA through 2018. Affordable Care Act Implementation: 2013 Timeline Kaiser Family Foundation’s Healthcare Implementation Timeline This year is shaping up to be one of the busiest for the Obama administration ...
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Posted by Keith Hall (NASE National Tax Advisor) - My wife and I ventured out in the snow to watch Lincoln this weekend and really enjoyed the movie.  If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, don’t wait another week.  It is awesome.  I left the movie saying, “That is what makes our country great.  Leadership!  And getting things done!”   With the fiscal cliff debate, the debt ceiling, Congressional bickering and indecision, it is easy to long for a better time.  But today, my optimism has been restored.  Well, restored at least as far as my Home Office.  ...
Monday, January 14, 2013
Posted by Molly Nelson - "I don't know. What do you think?" Are these the seven most important words in business? Bill Marriott, founder of Marriott hotels, believed that they were. While leadership is often about what you do, it is sometimes also about what you say.  Read more from Inc. about things that extraordinary people say.


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Self Made

A blog on the self-employed and micro-business

Meet the NASE Staff Bloggers

Katie Vlietstra - As Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, I work to explain how actions on Capitol Hill can impact the self-employed. I love D.C. and have made my home in Capitol Hill, where I live with my husband and black Labrador, Coltrane. We love playing volleyball and softball on the National Mall. 

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