Best Practices To Optimize Your Self Employment Taxes

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Best Practices To Optimize Your Self Employment Taxes | EntrepreneurshipIt’s great to be your own boss and this is the reason that a large number of people are picking up freelancing. Even those in full-time jobs are embracing it as a side hustle. While you can make good money from a part-time or full-time freelance project, you are expected to pay your taxes as well. To start with, you need to be aware of the fact that freelance income is taxable just like any other income is. Also, it will definitely impact how you file the taxes and pay them up. So it is better to understand the A to Z of taxes on freelance income to ensure that you don’t get into trouble with the IRS. Here are the basics that you must know.

What are the taxes on self-employment income?

Freelancers pay the same income tax rates as employed persons do. Additionally, they are considered independent contractors and are taxed on the net self-employment income. This income is calculated by deducting the tax-deductible business expenses from the gross receipts. This is the tax that takes the extra bite out of the freelancers’ earnings. It includes both Medicare and Social Security taxes. If you were employed, your employer would pay half of these taxes. However, you have to pay both the halves yourself in the form of the self-employment tax as a freelancer.

What are the deductions you can claim?

While you calculate the taxable self-employment income, you will also want to know about the deductions that you can claim. These deductions matter a lot as they can reduce your tax burden to a considerable extent. According to the IRS, you can claim deductions on the entire expenses which are ordinary and necessary for the operation of your business, just like it is allowed for any other business owner. Specifically speaking, you can claim them for a home office, advertising and marketing, computer equipment and software, office supplies, utilities and travel, and business meals. However, you must maintain proper records and documentation for these expenses.

What is the minimum earning that makes you liable for paying taxes?

Obviously, you would want to know whether you actually need to pay taxes on your freelance earning. According to the federal laws, you will be liable to pay them if your earning from freelance work exceeds $ 400 in a given year. The tax attorneys from Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution & Accounting Firm suggest that you should receive these earnings in a separate saving account for simplifying tax calculations. Further, expect a significant portion of your freelance check to cover the taxes because you have to pay income tax as well as self-employment tax.

How should you keep your taxes on schedule?

Since you are your own boss, the responsibility for keeping your taxes on schedule is yours as well. The IRS prefers a pay-as-you-go basis and this is also simplifying things for freelancers. Ideally, you should send in the tax payments throughout the year, which can be done by remitting estimated taxes. The good thing about doing so is that you will not face a cash crunch in April. You will have to pay up all final tax payments by the April 15 deadline. The better way is to pay the estimated taxes on the quarterly dates of April 15, June 15, September 15 and January 15 (of the subsequent year).

What are self-employment tax rates and thresholds?

Another fact that matters is the tax rate and threshold because you would obviously want to know them as well. The self-employment tax is just like a flat tax. It takes a one size fits all approach and everyone has to pay the same percentage to Social Security and Medicare. However, the Social Security tax only is applicable only to earnings up to $132,900 (as of the 2019 tax year). The threshold will increase to $137,700 in the next year. The Social Security tax is calculated at 12.4% of the net income up to the threshold value, while it is 2.9% of total net income for Medicare. The full values are to be paid by freelancers.

Now that you understand that freelance taxes are different from those for the employed professionals, you need to be careful while computing them. Filing the returns and paying your taxes on time is equally important to keep things on track. Having an expert tax professional to guide you and handle your tax returns is a good idea too.

Effective Strategies To Grow Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Effective Strategies To Grow Your Business | EntrepreneurshipThe ultimate goal of most businesses is to develop and increase revenue potential. While scaling your business can be challenging, there are plenty of ways to improve business operations, increase sales, and boost profits within your company. With this in mind, here are some effective strategies to grow your business.

Utilize an inventory management system

In today’s society, businesses must advertise and sell on multiple sales channels to remain competitive in the modern business world. However, multichannel retail and distribution can lead to several difficulties such as wasted stock, overselling, and customer complaints. These issues can have a hugely detrimental effect on your business, both in terms of cash flow budget and brand image. Fortunately, multichannel inventory management software can be utilized to manage inventory and fulfill orders in a multichannel structure. Inventory and warehouse management can be complex and difficult to manage when you are using multiple sales channels. For that reason, an inventory management system is essential if you want to scale your business quickly.

Create a customer loyalty program

Customer loyalty programs can be a fantastic way to boost sales and increase profits. While it’s important to look for opportunities to acquire new customers, it’s equally if not more important, to nurture your existing customer base. According to Linkedin “it costs between 4 and 10 times more to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one.” Offering a customer loyalty program shows your customers that you value their business. This will help you retain customers and gain valuable repeat business. An attractive loyalty program may also help you attract new customers as it gives people an incentive to spend money with your business.

Take your business global

Advancements in technology mean that all businesses now have the opportunity to expand globally. Scaling your business globally offers several incredible benefits; it allows you to increase sales and revenue potential, build brand awareness, and access a more diverse marketplace. Global selling platforms like Amazon and eBay make it easy for businesses to advertise and sell their products to overseas customers. Setting up an account on an international marketplace is quick and simple. Once registered, you will have the opportunity to advertise your products and services to potential customers in countries all around the world. Joining an international selling platform and expanding your business globally can be an extremely effective way to grow your business and increase revenue potential.

Hire a social media manager

Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can be utilized to build brand awareness, connect with customers, advertise products to a global audience, and increase sales. All modern businesses should be taking advantage of the power of social media in their marketing strategies. If you don’t have the skills or time to maintain an active presence on social media, then consider hiring a social media manager to run your campaigns for you. Social media is constantly growing and evolving. A social media professional will help you stay on top of this growth and remain competitive in the online business world.

How to Limit Personal Risk When Starting a Business

You’ve got to be pretty brave to start a company. The failure rate is pretty high, it’s a lot of hard work, and, if it goes wrong, you might find that you’re in a difficult position. However, it’s probably not fair that people are punished for trying something and failing — the hit to their pride will be hard enough, must they really suffer in other ways too? We think not. There are ways that you can limit your risk when it comes to running a business. We take a look at a few ways how below. Incorporate them into your business strategies, and you’ll find there’s a reduced chance of your business having a negative impact on your life.

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | How to Limit Personal Risk When Starting a Business | EntrepreneurshipDo Your Research

It all begins with your initial research. You could save yourself a lot of potential heartache and trouble by simply ensuring that what you’re trying to establish is, indeed, a good idea. Too many companies begin trading before figuring out whether there’s a demand for their products or services, who the competition is, and so on. If all the evidence suggests that it’s not a great idea, you should pull the plug.

The Right Set Up

It’s recommended that you limit the legal risk that you could face if your company isn’t as successful as hoped. You can do this by having the right set up for your company. As a business owner, an LLC offers the highest level of protection. Your business debts will stay tied to the business, rather than to your name. Similarly, if there’s an issue of negligence, then your assets could be at risk, even if you were only indirectly involved. It’s much better to set up as an LLC, rather than a sole proprietorship, with which your company’s debts would also be yours.

Stringent Quality Checks

Of course, while you can protect yourself financially and legally, there’s no hiding when it comes to your reputation. If your company is involved in an accident that was verifiably your fault, then it won’t just be your business that it affects – your name will be affected, too. As such, it’s imperative that you’re conducting stringent quality checks to ensure that everything is safe and high-quality. It’s when corners are cut and checks are not carried out when troubles can arise.

Legal Matters

You might think that everything is going smoothly for your business, only to discover that you’re in trouble with the authorities. Why? Because you were lax when it came to your company’s legal matters. Because of the threat that unlawful practices can bring, it’s recommended that you outsource the jobs to a law firm. They’ll make sure that everything is watertight.

Keep Things Separate

Finally, for your own sake, ensure that you’re keeping your business and personal finances separate. There are plenty of advantages to this, but one of the most important is that it makes it much easier to manage your money, and to ensure that you’re not screwed should your business flop.

Tips for Strengthening Your Wi-Fi Signal

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Tips for Strengthening Your Wi-Fi SignalWhether you need it for streaming TV shows or getting work done, your Wi-Fi is a necessity in your home. However, you may not be getting the most out of your wireless internet router. Slow speeds and poor performance may cause you to wonder what you can do differently to improve your Wi-Fi. To increase the speed and signal range of your home Wi-Fi, follow these guidelines.

Adjust the Antennas

This simple step can make a big difference in the strength of your Wi-Fi signal. While not all internet routers have antennas, the ones that do can be adjusted to improve the overall signal range and strength of your Wi-Fi. To do this, simply angle one antenna so that it is completely vertical while angling the other antenna until it’s completely horizontal. This strategy allows your Wi-Fi signal to travel efficiently through the walls and ceilings of your home, resulting in a faster and stronger internet connection.

Move the Router

In some cases, the problem is simply that your wireless router isn’t placed in the optimal spot in your home. The placement of your router has a direct impact on the effectiveness of your Wi-Fi signal, so be sure to carefully consider where you’re placing the router in your home. The best spot for your router is often in an elevated area that is free of any obstructions. Routers that are located in lower, crowded areas may have trouble sending a strong signal throughout your entire living space.

Update Your Router

If you seem to be experiencing persistent problems with your router, it may be due to having an older device. In this situation, it’s best to look into new wireless network services that can do their job more efficiently. Many routers even come with special security features and improved compatibility to allow for a more convenient internet experience. No matter what kinds of issues you’re experiencing with your current router, purchasing a new one can help to solve many of them.

Add a Wireless Range Extender

If all other strategies fail, your home may be too large for your router to transmit a signal throughout the entire area. Luckily, you can solve this problem by incorporating a wireless range extender into your home. This device simply detects the signal from your router and retransmits it across your living space, which allows the signal to become stronger and faster.

Slow Wi-Fi is frustrating. However, these tips can help you boost the signal in your home easily and effectively.

10 Key Points to Remember About Die Cutting Processes and Tools

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article | 10 Key Points to Remember About Die Cutting Processes and ToolsBroadly speaking, die cutting is a machine process that allows you the opportunity to create something that has exactly the same shape and dimension every time, although that description doesn’t really do justice to how versatile the process can be.

When it comes to the die cutting tools needed for the job in hand you might want to see products from SBL, for instance, in order to get an idea of what is available and what is possible from a production point of view.

Here are some salient points to note about the die cutting process and the tools you are likely to be using.

Die cutting machines explained

Die cutting machines come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and that is appropriate when you consider that they are being tasked with creating all sorts of bespoke specifications themselves.

The digital age has seen the die cutting machine evolve and a distinct advantage offered by this sort of machinery is that it offers the ability to use a software program in order to browse previous templates and switch easily between them depending on what you want to create.

The die cutting process involves a multitude of cutting options –

Through Cutting

You might see through cutting also referred to as metal-to-metal die or through cutting and what it does is provide the ability to cut through every part of the product in one go.

The need for perforation

Another popular feature you will find on a modern die cutting machine is the option to perforate.

Perforating involves creating a number of punched-in holes that allow you to secure the die cut design in the right place on the chosen stock material.

A key feature is that although the design does not become completely separated from the relevant stock material it can still be detached with ease using the perforated lines.

Working with adhesive lined materials

Another specialist option that is possible with a die cutting machine is to use an option known as kiss cutting.

Kiss cutting allows the operator to cut a custom design through the face and adhesive layer but stopping short of cutting through the backing material layer. The end result is that the die cut design can then be easily removed from the backing layer, which remains intact.

When you need a fold line

It can often be the case that a design you are working on calls for a crease or fold to be applied and the creasing option on your machine should enable you to achieve this aim.

This is different from scoring in that you end up with material that has been reshaped to produce a bending bulge that faces inward between the two parallel stress points you have created.

The creasing process is helpful because it minimizes stress levels on the material when it is subsequently folded.

Leaving a good impression

When you need more than a fold line the answer will be to use a scoring feature.

You may not wish to make a cut that runs all the way through the material you are working on and scoring offers a solution to that requirement. It works by leaving a die impression, or alternatively, an indent or partial cut that is applied at one single chosen stress point.

Different types of die cutting options-

Flatbed for thicker materials

As you would expect from machinery that is designed to be as versatile as possible and offer a solution to many different manufacturing challenges there are several types of die cutting services that you can call upon.

Although commonly referred to as flatbed die cutting you might also see this service referred to as steel rule die cutting, and it is a process that involves using a flatbed die cutting press combined with a customized steel rule so that you can convert a material into the custom shape and design that you want.

You will find that a flatbed die cutting process will often be suggested when you are working with thicker materials.

Converting materials without dies

A digital die cutter offers the distinct advantage of faster production times and low manufacturing costs without compromising on precision or quality.

Using lasers that are guided and controlled by software on your computer the process can deploy blades and various tool bits so that all the necessary creases, cuts, and scores are applied as quickly and efficiently as possible.

When accuracy and precision is a key requisite

There will probably be tasks that you want to complete where a high degree of accuracy and precision is vital to the success of the production process.

Rotary die cutting provides that solution and the fabrication process involves using a cylindrical die that is mounted onto a rotary press to convert a material that could be flexible and delicate.

If you are looking for a die cutting service that delivers a high degree of accuracy that is combined with fine precision, a rotary die will help you achieve that aim and still perform well when tasked with high-volume production runs.

Working with many different materials

The world of manufacturing involves many unique and diverse production challenges and it also requires an ability to be able to work with a great variety of different materials.

The good news is that the die cutting process is perfectly capable of letting you work with all sorts of different materials such as plastic, paper, foam, various fabrics, wood and others besides.

As you would expect, the type of material that you need to work with will be key to the type of die cutting process that you follow in order to achieve the right outcome.

Versatility and customized capabilities aptly describe the die cutting machinery and tools that are at your disposal and it is highly likely that you will be able to find a manufacturing solution to the challenge you have been presented with once your design takes shape.

Many manufacturers would struggle to produce their products with being able to call upon their die cutter.