“Can I Deduct That?” 8 Must-Know Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Tax Deductions for Small Businesses|"Can I Deduct That?" 8 Must-Know Tax Deductions for Small BusinessesThere are over 32 million small businesses operating in the US.

That’s a lot of people working hard to sell their products/services and, hopefully, turn a profit!

Let’s face it, money is the lifeblood of any business. It’s a competitive world. With insufficient capital to hand, it won’t be operational for long.

For that reason, it’s vital that small businesses squeeze as much money as possible from operations.

Tax deductions constitute one essential method of doing exactly that.

After all, paying a hefty tax bill is rarely pleasant. For small businesses trying to maximize their profits, it can even mean the difference between success and failure. Are you looking for ways to save money on your business’ tax bill this financial year?

Keep reading to find out 8 must-know tax deductions for small businesses.

1. Business Supplies

Let’s start with the basics:
You can deduct from your tax bill all of the expenditure on essential business supplies.
It might not seem like much. However, any owner knows how much these necessary fees can stack up. For boot-strapping start-ups, every little bit counts!

Look around you. It’s possible to claim for almost anything you’ve bought for the purpose of doing business. Stationary (pens, pencils, paper, staples…), printers, cleaning materials, desks, chairs, sofas, whiteboards, projectors…The list goes on.

You can deduct any and all of them.

2. Travel Expenses

Business travel isn’t cheap.

It’s also essential for many companies. Business travel is commonly a vital aspect of creating leads, meeting with investors, attending conferences, generating interest, and so on.

There is all manner of opportunities to travel for business purposes.

Nicely, almost all of it can be claimed for. Often, entertainment costs can be claimed for too.

All of those flight tickets, bus tickets, train fares and so on are all deductible. Likewise, certain related expenses such as meal costs, room service, dry cleaning and so on can be claimed.

Of course, keeping a solid record of each transaction is important. Equally, certain limitations apply too. You can’t claim for absolutely everything! You must understand your tax obligations in full to be successful in any tax preparation.

3. Personal Vehicle Expenses

Many small business owners use their personal car for work purposes.

The money spent on this process is often tax-deductible. Note that only the business side of things can be claimed for! It’s crucial to separate the business from personal usage.

Granted that’s possible, then you can claim for everything from mileage to parking fees. It’s often tricky to ascertain true mileage for a trip. Be sure to record mileage by referring to the odometer, or a GPS system.

Don’t forget to deduct expenses for insurance and maintenance costs too. Owning a vehicle isn’t cheap. Using it for work can only exacerbate that. Be sure to leverage the tax deductions available!

4. Necessary Overheads

Look at what you fork out every month to keep your business operational:

Rental commitments, utility payments, internet costs, and phone usage are all crucial costs. They’re all unavoidable expenses. You couldn’t do business if you didn’t pay for them all.

For that reason, it’s possible to deduct it all from your tax bill! This can make a big difference at the end of the financial year. Again, accurate record-keeping throughout the year is essential.

5. Software & Equipment Costs

Almost every business has specific demands.

Industry-specific equipment and software is often a necessary expense. Likewise, updates and new installs are vital to staying up to speed.

These costs represent another worthwhile deduction on your tax bill. You can claim for each and every one of them, up to a certain amount of money. That means your actual computers, and all computer software can be claimed for.
Other essential equipment (such as equipment for manufacturing) can also be deducted under this bracket.

6. Your Home Office

Most people think of business and conjure images of swanky corporate offices in the city.
And, of course, that’s often accurate.

However, many small businesses are operated straight out of the family home. If that’s your set up, then you have the benefit of claiming for the costs of your home office.

That said, it must be wholly business-related. You can’t work from your kitchen and claim it’s your office! Instead, a designated space from which you operate is required.

Tick that box, and say hello to deductions for internet, insurance, rent, phone bills…and so on. Likewise, furniture and supplies can be claimed for too.

7. Outsourced Professional Services

It’s rare for someone to actually enjoy the tax process!

Consequently, many business owners opt to outsource the process. All bookkeeping and tax returns are completed by a professional.

Nicely, their fee can be deducted from your tax bill at the end of the year. Even better, it’ll be their job to work it out and complete the forms for you!

It doesn’t stop there. You might work with lawyers and consultants as well. It’s possible to claim for the money you’ve paid them too.

8. The Interest Payments on Debt

If you’ve gone into business, then chances are you’ve taken on debt to fund it.

Leverage, in the form of bank loans, is often an essential means of getting it up and running. After all, almost every business needs upfront investment to become a success. This start-up capital is used for all sorts of reasons. It can amount to a significant sum.

The burden of debt is rarely fun. However, it’s possible to claim for some of it.

Unfortunately, the loan itself is off-limits. But the interest payments are entirely tax-deductible.

Final Thoughts on Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

There you have it: 8 essential tax deductions for small businesses to know about.

Millions of small businesses are currently operational in the US. It’s guaranteed that profit maximization is a priority for every single one of them.

Indeed, the ability to cut expenses and turn a profit is vital to remain in business. Cutting costs wherever possible often comes into it. Tax deductions are an easy and essential method of doing exactly that.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted the main sources of tax deduction out there.

Key Financial Tips For Entrepreneurs

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Finances|Key Financial Tips For EntrepreneursStarting a new business venture can be an incredibly exciting time, but you must also be careful and well-organized during this period, especially when it comes to your finances. Money will be incredibly precious when first starting out so you must have a clear budget in place and know where every single cent is being used. This can be tricky with so many areas that need attention and particularly if this is your first business venture. With this in mind, here are a few financial tips for entrepreneurs which should help you to manage money effectively from the start.

Secure Enough Funding

Possibly the biggest mistake that entrepreneurs will make is not getting enough funding to get the business up and running to a high standard. It can be hard to change how your brand is perceived, which means that you need to get off to a good start. Work out exactly how much money you need factoring in every expense and then use a variety of funding sources to reach this amount. This might include:

  • Personal savings
  • Loans from friends/family
  • Angel investors
  • Venture capitalists
  • Bank loans
  • Crowdfunding

Keep Costs Low

Every cent counts when first starting out, so you need to find ways to keep costs as low as possible without it impacting the quality of the product/service. There are a few different ways to do this, including:

  • Outsourcing instead of hiring staff
  • Working remotely
  • Going paperless
  • Using alternative energy
  • Negotiating with suppliers

Car Finance

Most modern-day businesses will require at least one vehicle if not a fleet as part of the operation. This can be a huge cost, which is why car finance deals are a smart option. There are poor credit car finance deals from specialists like CVS, which can make it possible to lease a car even if you have poor or no credit at all.

Invest In Insurance

It’s always better to have a safety net when it comes to insurance, and this is true in the business world too. The types of insurance that you use will depend on your industry but make sure that you have adequate coverage before getting started. You can usually make savings on insurance by shopping around and consolidating insurance policies.

Reinvest Into The Business

Once the business starts to find success, it can be tempting to splash the cash and increase the amount that you pay yourself, but this is a classic mistake. Instead, this money should be reinvested back into the company to drive further success. Putting more money in marketing is always a great idea as increasing brand awareness, and reputation is vital for growth and competing against the bigger brands in your industry.

Every entrepreneur will have concerns over finances when launching a new business, and this is for good reason. The above are a few key tips to keep in mind which should help you to use your money smartly to help get the business up and running to a high standard. You should then continue to be stringent with every cent as the business starts to grow.

Here’s a Budget to Use if You Hate Tracking Expenses

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Budget Strategy|Here's a Budget to Use if You Hate Tracking ExpensesIf you’re looking for a budget strategy that suits your own personal approach to finance management, then you’ve probably considered plenty of options. After all, there are a handful of different methods out there, from the envelope budget, to the strategy that involves placing everything you can onto an automated payment process.

Probably the easiest option of all for people who hate tracking expenses is the 50/30/20 budget. This is a budgeting plan that recommends that you should be spending 50% of your income on the things you need (mortgage and food for instance), and 30% on the discretionary items that you want. The remaining 20% goes into your savings and helps you to tackle your debt.

So, how does this budget work, and is there a better option?

The Rules of the 50/30/20 Budget

The 50/30/20 budget is designed to help you manage and understand your money a little better. It requires you to look at your incoming and outgoing expenses and decide where you need to assign your cash to wants and needs. To use the 50/30/30 budget effectively, you need to understand the difference between necessary items like paying off your loans, and unnecessary or “discretionary” items like Netflix subscriptions.

Some people have a lot of trouble figuring out the difference between what they want and what they need. For instance, you know you need food, but you only want a specific brand and extra treats from the bakery aisle. Additionally, it’s worth noting that not everyone can handle the process of constantly classifying their needs and wants or tracking their spending.

If you’re not the kind of person who likes to watch every penny, then you’re going to struggle adhere to the 50/30/20 budget – that presents a bit of a problem.

The 80/20 Budget Alternative Approach

If you hate tracking your spending, you’re still going to need to make some changes to your expense strategy. For instance, you can’t just choose the first personal loan option you see because you can’t be bothered to compare your options for a better deal. Ultimately, good money management requires an active approach to spending. However, you don’t necessarily need to spend every day watching the pennies either.

The 80/20 budget asks you to place 20% of your money towards your savings, while the other 80% goes on everything else – that includes both your wants and your needs. The beauty if this strategy is that you don’t need to track your spending as often. You can simply take 20% of your income away from your monthly money and place it into a separate savings account. Then, you know the rest of your cash is left to spend on your must-have and discretionary items.

Of course, it’s still a good idea to track your spending from time to time if you want to look for ways that you can cut down on your regular monthly costs. However, the 80/20 budget will give you more room to spend money freely.

How to Use the 80/20 Budget

With the 80/20 budget, the best thing you can do is set up an automatic deposit that moves money from your standard current account into your savings account as soon as it comes to you each month. That way, you won’t accidentally spend it. Once your cash has been distributed into the savings account, your checking account money is yours to spend; however you need to use it.

Ideally, you’ll want to check on your spending strategy once every couple of months to see whether there are any trigger areas where you might need to cut back on your spending. This is particularly useful if you find that you don’t have enough cash left over after bills to spend on the things that you want, or if you want to put 25% of your income in savings instead of 20%.

You’ll also need to make sure that the money you’re going to spend on your bills goes out of your account before you start using money for discretionary spending. The last thing you want is to assume that you’ve got around $500 when you actually have $200 waiting to be taken out for your insurance bills.

Once you see how much money you have left after you’ve subtracted your savings, subtract the cost of your bills too, and whatever is left should be yours to spend. This budget requires some care and attention, but it requires a lot less work than the average 50/30/20 budget.

How to Use Outsourcing to Boost Your Profits

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | How to Use Outsourcing to Boost Your Profits | Entrepreneurship | OutsourcingOutsourcing is a word that’s used a lot in business articles and guides for business owners, but is it really worth considering if you only have a small business or are a sole trader? If you think of outsourcing as something that only medium to large companies need to do, you’re missing out on a powerful way to boost your profits, because the benefits of outsourcing have no relation to the size of your business.

Because of its association with more sizeable businesses, outsourcing tends to be viewed as a situation where a whole section of a large corporation or organization is subcontracted to another company. For example, a hospital that pays a specialist cleaning company to undertake all the housekeeping duties.

There could be fifty or a hundred employees taking care of the hospital with not one of them being employed directly; the hospital pays the cleaning company, and the cleaning company deals with staff management. The hospital director gets a clean hospital without having to worry about looking after staff, equipment, recruitment, rotas, and all the other responsibilities of doing the cleaning in-house.

The test of whether outsourcing can work for you is to examine the numbers, which will tell you if outsourcing is viable in your circumstance or not. You may be a small business with a handful of employees or someone who works alone out of their back bedroom, but the same financial calculations are as applicable to you as they are to the hospital director. The bottom line is, can you earn more in the time it takes you to perform a task than it would cost you to pay someone else to do it? That’s the essence of how outsourcing boosts your profits in a nutshell.

In practice, what it means is that if your profit is $35 per hour as a freelance researcher, and it costs $20 an hour to employ an assistant to do all your admin, every hour you spend doing admin is costing you $15. If you spent those hours doing more paid work, you could have all your admin done for you and still be making money. In some cases doing tasks yourself could well be costing even more if you don’t have the skills to complete the task effectively and efficiently.

For instance, if you do all your own SEO, that could be taking you five hours each week, so straight away you’ve got the difference between how much you’re losing by not earning, and the cost of outsourcing the task. However you’ve also got the loss you’re incurring by spending more time than an expert would, and not being as effective as an expert at optimizing your business presence. By outsourcing to a specialist like Orlando SEO, you can devote more time to earning, and have a better return on the investment than you’d get if you carried on trying to do your SEO yourself.

Have a look at what you’re doing that could be done by someone else, and see how much it would cost to outsource those tasks. Even if you just take on a remote assistant to do two hours a week, if you make $35 an hour and pay them $15 an hour, over a year you’ll boost your profits by over $2,000 a year!

Unusual Ways to Save Money In Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Cost Savings|Unusual Ways to Save Money In Your Business If you are in a competitive marketplace and you rely on natural resources or raw materials, chances are that you will need to look for innovative ways to reduce your costs and maintain your profitability. There are several ways you can do that, and looking at your expenditure should always be the first stop. Below you will find a few areas to focus on if you would like to save money and improve your cash flow.


When it comes to internet marketing, it is important that you look at the return on investment. There are no cookie-cutter options when it comes to getting the word out about your business. The methods you choose will depend on your company size, your target market, and your industry. Digital marketing and social media sales funnels allow you to measure every stage of customer interaction and promotion, so you know exactly what you need to adjust. Paper and radio advertising offers fewer tracking options.

Resource Allocation

If you want your business to function better, it is important that you allocate the resources accordingly. You should have a just-in-time supply chain system, and a system that allows you to get the right people in the right jobs. You don’t want to pay more in overtime than necessary, and this means that you will have to either offer flexible contracts or have temporary workers in addition to your permanent staff.


When it comes to sourcing your materials, you will need to have a system that looks at the different offers, compares them based on price, benefits, and flexibility. No matter if you are looking for a better quality machine for your manufacturing plant, or a way to measure thin film stress and strain, you will have to consider all the options before you tie yourself into a long term contract.

Unusual Ways to Save Money In Your Business | cost savingsPackaging

Today, most companies are under pressure to reduce the packaging and their environmental footprint. If you pay attention to the packaging you use, and switch to organic or biodegradable materials, you can be one step ahead of the competition and improve your profits as well as your reputation. Of course, if you are working with hazardous materials, you might have limited choices when it comes to packaging, but it is possible to find the right way to reduce the amount of packaging, such as using larger quantities.


Your delivery costs are never fixed. You should have a look at the cost of running your fleet, and compare it with outsourcing the process. You might also look at the geographic area you serve, and find out whether or not you are losing money on deliveries. Find a way to measure cost and output, as well as your delivery staff’s productivity, so you can make the right decision.
There are several ways you can cut your regular expenses and operational costs. You have to find a permanent solution that will improve your cash flow and guarantee a certain level of profits.