Self Made: NASE's Blog

Friday, January 11, 2013
Earlier this month, the government came together and Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) which President Obama then signed into law. While the effort failed to extend cuts to the payroll tax (the rate had been reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for 2011 and 2012, but will now go back up to 6.2 percent) it did provide some extensions that should prove to be beneficial to the self-employed. The Small Business Administration released an article that highlighted some of the key extensions in the bill, and we encourage you to read through it. As ...
Friday, January 04, 2013
Posted by Katie Vlietstra-While Congress avoided hitting many self-employed Americans with higher income tax rates, those individuals making less than $400,000 and couples making less than $450,000 will see their income tax rates remain the same, all Americans will see their paychecks a little lighter in 2013 due to expiring tax holidays and two new health reform law-related taxes.  While addressing the individual rate captured most of the attention, Congress did address other expiring tax issues in their last minute deal, two of interest to the self-employed: the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and the Estate Tax.  In a bold move, ...
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Posted by Molly Nelson - Hackers are starting to look at small businesses as easy prey for online attacks. Make sure your business and business website is protected: Small Business Trends has advice on cyber liability insurance, and  OPEN Forum has some advice from the small-business owner victim of hackers.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration released two new economic research studies about small-business owners and retirement. These reports shed some very good insight into our self-employed community and the trends in preparing to retire.  Be sure to check them out below. Click here for the full report on Retirement, Recessions and Older Small Business Owners Click here for the Executive Summary Click here for the full report on Financial Viability and Retirement Assets: A Look at Small Business Owners and Private Sector Workers Click here for the Executive Summary These reports highlighted some key points that ...
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Posted by Katie Vlietstra- With all of the gloom and doom predictions coming out of Washington, many Americans have simply tuned out, rolling their eyes and lamenting once again how Congress is proving how ineffective they can be when dealing with big issues.  But for all the rhetoric, it is important to ask “So, what is this fiscal cliff and how will it impact me?”   Mike Beene, NASE Vice-President and General Counsel had this to say: “The biggest effect going over the fiscal cliff has is the psychological one. While the face that most taxpayers are getting a several thousand ...
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Posted by Gene Fairbrother (NASE Lead Small Business Advisor) - The NASE business consultants have spoken with thousands of members about how to set their pricing, and we've put our heads together to come up with four of the top questions on how to value on all your blood, sweat and tears. 1. How do I overcome income inconsistency? Just about every business experiences ups and downs in cash flow, but it is a simple fact of business life and you have to plan for the lean times. For example, some sole practitioners are not very good at marketing. They wait for ...
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Posted by Molly Nelson - It's easy to take a wrong turn or put your foot in your mouth (digitally, anyway) when using social media. Here are some tips and things to avoid as you post, tweet, and like away! 10 Twitter Blunders Small Businesses Should Avoid via Small Business Trends 4 Common Mistakes To Avoid While Running A Social Media Contest via Small Biz Bee Social Media Tips For Aspiring Entrepreneurs via Small Biz Bee Your Online Reputation: You Are What You Share via FreelanceFolder Also check out an article from our SelfInformed e-newsletter: Social Media Savvy For Freelancers.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Posted by Gene Fairbrother (NASE Lead Small Business Advisor) - Do you know if your marketing is really profitable? Do you know how your customers heard about you? If you don’t know how your customers know about you - and a gut feeling doesn't count - you don’t pass Marketing 101. The first rule of effective marketing is to know what motivates people to walk in your door or pick up the phone to call you or visit your website. And the only way you can get that information is to ask every customer specifically how they heard about you. Was ...
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Posted by Molly Nelson - I hope everyone is looking forward to some fun Thanksgiving plans with family and friends this week. In the meantime, here are a few small-business news stories before the turkey-and-pie food coma kicks in. How can small businesses best handle online reviews? Some tips from Angie (of Angie's List) herself via OPEN Forum. The IRS is extending tax deadlines for businesses and individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy. Learn more here from Small Business Trends. Filing for a patent? Here's what you need to know about the new system (hint: we're moving from first-to-invent to first-to-file). ...


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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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