National Small Business Week is in full swing, and we’re looking back at some of the tips and highlights from our own small business experts and customers over the past year. From announcing our big investment in small businesses, to the launch of our small business community center, to celebrating small business success with our “Gimme 5 Small Business Customer Spotlight” program, helping small business owners manage the complexities of running their business has been a focus of our business for many years. In fact, we started as a small business.
In honor of National Small Business Week, here’s a look back at some tips for small business owners from Avalara’s own small business expert, EVP Marshal Kushniruk:
- State governments will get creative with sales tax regulations. “It’s no longer only tangible products that are subject to sales tax; more states will reclassify things like digital services to make them taxable. States will put through local legislation to get out-of-state companies that sell across state lines to register to calculate and collect taxes on their behalf. As a result, the tax landscape will become even more complex, and many small businesses will outsource their tax compliance management to respond to changing nexus and avoid penalties.” Business News Daily, 40 Small Business Trends and Predictions for 2017
- Find a mentor: “Young entrepreneurs are likely to find mentors via new technology. They’ll look for influential, like-minded people on Twitter—or through apps. For example, BtrFly can turn a long-air journey into a great opportunity for a mentorship session by connecting small business owners with other air travelers either on your flight or at the airport.” Manta.com, How to Find a Small Business Mentor
- Embrace New Technologies. “Use new services and technologies to solve old problems. Despite the disruption in nearly every industry, this ultimate business truth remains for 2017: if you have a great product or service that solves a common problem, you can be successful. However, due to the frenetic 24×7 pace of business and the rapid evolution of laws and regulations that apply to small businesses, there’s little room for error. The ability to outsource some business processes in order to ensure compliance, reduce the chance of errors, and increase efficiency is essential to the health and growth of your business.” Smart Hustle Magazine, 4 Keys to Small Business Success in 2017
- Revisit and reset. “As markets evolve, you can’t stand still. As you look to move forward, it’s useful to keep coming back to the same point: understanding the problem you want to solve and the customers who need it. Do your research, have a plan to execute, talk to your customers and prospects and iterate on what you’re finding as you speak to them. Then repeat the process as you go.” SmallBizDaily, 5 Tips for Turning Small Business Into Big Business in 2017
- Learn how to navigate your sales and use tax challenges. “Sales tax compliance can be quite challenging for small business owners. For starters, it can be surprisingly difficult to know where they have nexus—a responsibility to collect, remit, and report sales tax. Once nexus is established, the proper rate for each transaction must be determined. Perhaps most challenging, businesses must keep track of the numerous laws, policies, and rules that govern sales tax and that vary from state to state. Yet sales tax compliance doesn’t have to be hard.” Read on for tips to navigate sales and use tax challenges – Nav.com, Why Taxes Are So Challenging for Small Business Owners
- Avoid common pitfalls. “When entrepreneurs start small businesses, sales tax is rarely the first thing on their minds. As a small business grows, sales tax compliance often remains an afterthought. The truth is, sales tax is one of the most complicated tax obligations for businesses in the U.S., and one of the hardest areas of tax compliance to stay on top of. Why does sales tax create so many headaches, and how can small businesses avoid pitfalls that jeopardize profits?” Read on for some of the commonly-repeated myths about sales tax that small business owners need to know. StartUp Nation, Why Sales Tax is Small Business Kryptonite