Monthly Archives: February 2014

Tax Changes for Small Businesses in 2014 |

Tax season is a stressful time for everyone, but for business owners, the pressure can be especially high. From January to April, it’s a whirlwind of sorting receipts and pay stubs, reviewing ledgers and completing IRS forms to ensure that everything is properly prepared and filed. Even though most businesses use an accountant, digging up all the necessary documentation and information needed for tax filing can still be a hassle.

Being unaware of important tax filing changes can add to the stress of this season. Mark Faggiano, CEO of tax automation software company TaxJar, noted several changes from last year that will affect small business owners:

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Wow! The Most Amazing Images in Science This Week | LiveScience

For the first time in five years, intrepid visitors to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore can make the icy trek along the frozen waters of Lake Superior to glimpse the millions of icicles — some several stories tall — that embellish the region’s incredible ice caves.

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5 Customer Service Approaches to Avoid |

Keeping your customers happy is the key to earning their trust and their business. Some companies do this well, and go above and beyond to make sure their customers are satisfied. Others seem to view customer service as an afterthought.

“It’s always befuddling to watch businesses that say they focus on customer service turn around and act like their customers don’t matter,” said Aishwarya Hariharan, product marketer at customer support software company Freshdesk. “They claim that no one matters more [than their customers], but their approach just doesn’t seem to reflect it.”

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Randi Zuckerberg’s Book About Web Addiction — Daily Intelligencer

Randi Zuckerberg, the karaoke-singing, reality-show-producing sister of Facebook CEO Mark, is coming out with a children’s book that amounts to a passive-aggressive swipe at the obsessive social-media culture her brothers company helped create.

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Ask the Nutritionist: Diet vs. Exercise? | Eating Well

If you really want to see that number on the scale drop, what you put in your mouth matters most. People who simply cut calories to slim down lose about 2 pounds a week, says a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. At the same time, people who exercise but don’t restrict calories drop less than half a pound each week.

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5 Favorite Fruits and Veggies That Could Vanish if the FDA Has its Way |

Get ready to say goodbye to those organic veggies and fruits from your favorite farmers market or CSA if a new food law, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), goes into effect as currently written.

FSMA was enacted by Congress in 2010. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the law “aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.” Clearly this is a goal that we can all get behind, and we applaud the notion of FSMA being able to help prevent the outbreaks of food-borne illnesses that are becoming more frequent.

Over the past two decades, the number of farmers markets in America has quadrupled to 8,144. At the same time, supermarkets, restaurants, schools, hospitals and other wholesale buyers are increasingly using food they procured from local farmers, which is great news. This is fresh produce generally grown without pesticides, herbicides or GMO seeds.

However, those new food safety rules may actually put a halt to some of our healthy eating habits. That is, if the regulations take effect as currently written. Citizens still have time to voice their concerns, as the FDA is currently taking comments through Friday, November 15.

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Facebook Hasn’t Even Begun To Exploit Everything It Knows About You

FacebookFacebook may soon understand not only what we do on the social network, but what we mean. In short, what we tell Facebook is no longer enough. The social network now wants to read between the lines. It’s a critical difference that could have Facebook’s members — and advertisers — using the site in entirely new ways.

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How To Win When You Fail |

If you’re an entrepreneur, you will fail. I don’t mean your business is going to fail and you’ll go bankrupt. I mean that sometime, somewhere, to some degree, you will fall short. You will forget to follow through on a commitment to an employee, partner or customer. You’ll be late to a meeting. You’ll make a bad choice. You’ll exercise poor judgment. You will make a mistake.

How you react when you fail will say a lot about who you are as a person, and will be a critical factor in determining how successful you are in business in ways that go beyond financial.

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Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity |

Your mobile phone is ringing, your boss wants to talk to you and your partner wants to know what\’s for dinner. Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they\’re getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try.

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation. Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve heart function. And almost anyone can do it.

Understanding yoga

Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.

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Pros and Cons of Joining a Business Accelerator | allbusiness

Joining a business accelerator program isn’t the right choice for every entrepreneur, and it doesn’t guarantee success. For a selected few, however, it provides a much-needed jumpstart towards a more promising future. My third company, Retention Science, is a graduate of MuckerLab, a mentorship-focused accelerator based in Santa Monica, California. Here are my thoughts on the pros and cons of accelerator programs.


1. Curriculum and Clear Structure

Business accelerator programs typically consist of three to six months of crash courses, speaker series, and professional workshops designed to help you learn a lot in a very short period of time. Certain accelerators conclude their programs with a Demo Day, where entrepreneurs publicly debut their products to a group of peers, tech reporters, and investors. By establishing a clear schedule of classes and milestones, the program helps entrepreneurs stay focused and reinforces the need to be agile and move fast.

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