Archive for January, 2009

Tax Time

January 23, 2009

taxes_crossword

Business tax deadlines are quickly approaching – 1099’s and W-2’s must be in by the end of January and corporate taxes must be filed by March 15th.  It’s tempting to wait until the last minute to prepare your filings, but it’s best to get started right now.   There are so many details to take care of and you don’t want to be swamped with last minute questions or surprises.  Delays can increase the likelihood of errors and may even result in overpayment!  Do you know how you are going to file this year?  Get started by gathering and organizing all your receipts from 2008.  Then choose from among the various options for tax filing and support offered to small business owners.

If you plan to file on your own behalf, you’ll need to select the correct IRS forms for your business situation.  You may also want to conduct some preliminary research.  Attend a low cost informational session at SCORE, the nationwide small business counseling organization.  The Chicago area SCORE has upcoming workshops on Accounting & Taxes, held Feb 12 and Mar 12 from 8:45 – 12:30pm, at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 1250.  This workshop covers the basics of federal, state and local taxes.  Cost is $40 prepaid and $50 at the door.  Call 312-353-4540 or email workshops@scorechicago.org for more information. 

If you think you want to rely on a professional to file your taxes this year, consider hiring an accountant or tax preparer.  Get a recommendation for a reputable consultant through a trusted business associate or use a free accountant search engine.  Once you’ve vetted and selected your consultant, go through your receipts and carefully consider your deductions.  If you deduct vehicle usage, keep your total and business miles as well as actual expenses for repairs and gas.  You’ll want to give the information to your accountant as early as possible and provide them with a comprehensive explanation of your purchases and charitable donations.  Send all your business tax information to your accountant in the same package (corporate receipts, income statements and totals, employee salary and benefit information, sales tax, dividend and interest statements, etc.).   This will enable them to prepare your return as quickly and accurately as possible – which will mean more savings for you!  

money-tree

It’s not easy to take time off from making money each year to give it away.  Unfortunately taxes are an inescapable part of being in business.  There can always be improvements to the system, however, so if this season inspires you to strive for change, check out The National Federation of Independent Business.  The NFIP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1943 which lobbies in Washington and all 50 state capitals for members’ rights to own, operate and grow independent businesses in the United States of America.

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You could all use a good deal right now!

January 16, 2009

marathon

You can’t stop running your business just because the economy is sluggish.  Maintaining productivity with fewer resources requires ingenuity and tenacity.  Be sure to keep an eye out for any areas where you can save.  Here at The Suites Collection we are always searching for good deals that will benefit our bottom line while preserving the quality of services our tenants enjoy.

Here are some of the good small businesses deals we’ve recently discovered. 

January is a great time to make sure you are getting competitive rates for your business, health and auto insurance.  Search for free rate quotes and details about insurance packages at Insweb.   Unicare of Illinois and ehealthinsurance.com also offer options for your comparative health insurance shopping.  All of these sites work with several leading insurance providers to tailor plans for you.

A little free advice is always good.  Staff members from the IL Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration now offer a live TV talk show on local channel 21.  “Small Business Update” showcases a variety of local professionals providing training on various topics important to small businesses such as SBA loans programs, government contracting opportunities, start up concerns and taxes.  Viewers are invited to call (312) 738-1060 to get specific answers to matters affecting them.  Upcoming shows will air on Thursdays at 4pm through the end of March.

Technology always takes a big bite from a small business budget.  Claiming to be the “Best Source of Tech Deals”, XPBargains lists current rebates and sales for computer equipment from Dell, HP, CompUSA and more.  A valuable way to acquire skilled technical support is bartering.  The New York Times recently ran an article detailing small business success in the rising bartering trade.  Websites like The ITex Corporation and U-Exchange set up national networks to put you in touch with other business owners.  If you are unfamiliar with how bartering works, you can learn more about it before diving in. 

swimming

Always look for ways to strengthen your marketing and minimize your overheadCraigslist has become an undisputed advertising powerhouse, serving more than fifty million people each month.  Advertising is free on Craigslist and you can drive international traffic to your website or to an anonymous email address, whichever you prefer.   If your overhead costs include dedicated office space, consider moving your headquarters to an office business center like The Suites Collection.  We will provide you with a private office space and shared services that will significantly reduce your administrative and operating costs.

We look forward to meeting you and sharing more mutually successful business ideas.

Give us a call at 312-994-2700 or contact us online.

Shared Office Spotlight: The comfort and convenience of Court House Executive Offices

January 9, 2009
Court House Executive Offices Building

Court House Executive Offices Building

Situated in Chicago’s lively River North neighborhood, Court House Executive Offices will provide you with essentials for success in today’s market – flexibility, efficiency and affordability.  With a wide range of private offices to choose from, you will find one that perfectly suits your needs.   All offices come furnished and delivered with telephone and high speed internet in place.

Court House Executive Offices is a “shared office” environment which means you will share certain common areas with other business owners and entrepreneurs.  The copy center, mail room and kitchen are all common areas designed for convenience and productivity.    You will have access to your own private office 24/7 and you can host your meetings in one of our professional conference rooms, which comfortably seat anywhere from 2 to 12 people.

Art Deco Entrance

Art Deco Entrance

Conference Room

Conference Room

Reception Area

Reception Area

With plenty of nearby parking, the convenient location at the corner of Grand and Clark Street is right above the original Maggiano’s Little Italy.  It’s easy to grab lunch at the Potbelly’s next door, entertain guests at Rick Bayless’ award winning Topolabampo on Clark or have pizza at La Madia on Grand.

Whether you are looking for a full time private office or a convenient place to conduct an upcoming meeting, we will accommodate your individual tastes and preferences.  Find out more about our celebrated office environment call us at 312-994-2700 or schedule a tour today!