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Research & Development Tax Credits

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Governments typically incentivize private industry to produce research and development (R&D) as a strategic tool to advance their economies. The United States government also does so. The  Research & Experimentation Tax Credit (R&D Tax Credit) was first introduced in 1981 as a two-year incentive, and has remained part of the tax code ever since.

The rules of the Research & Development Tax Credit can be found under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 41 and the related regulations. The R&D tax credit may apply to any taxpayer that incurs expenses for performing Qualified Research Activities (QRA) on American soil.

It’s not only high-tech or life sciences companies with dedicated research departments that qualify for the R&D tax credit. Some other common industries that qualify include, but are not limited to:

  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Architecture
  • Automobile
  • Chemical & Formula
  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Food Science
  • Foundries
  • Life Sciences & Pharmaceutical
  • Machining
  • Manufacturing & Fabrication
  • Software Development
  • Tool & Die Casting

To qualify, you must be able to prove that the activities rely on are hard science, such as engineering, computer science, biological science, or physical science;  that they relate to the development of a new or improved business component; and that your activities constitute a process of experimentation involving testing and evaluation of alternatives to eliminate technological uncertainty.

The potential R&D credit benefits include a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your federal and state income tax liability; improved cash flow; look back studies that recognize unclaimed credits for open tax years(generally for three or four years); and up to 13.5 cents of R&D tax credit for every qualified dollar spent.

Whether you’ve already filed your return or filed an extension, the R&D credit is a powerful tool to help lower your tax rates. If you are uncertain as to whether you qualify for the R&D tax credit, there are numerous professionals that can guide you through the process.

 

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA.

Small Business Ideas for Veterans – Part 3

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By Debbie Gregory.

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VAMBOA invites you to enjoy Part 3 of this series of Small Business Ideas for Veterans.

 

Security Dogs

If you love canines, breeding and training security dogs can be a very lucrative business.  This is an excellent idea for those who handled dogs in the military.  Law Enforcement Agencies are potential clients as well as private individuals.

 

Security Gadgets Installation

Installation of many security gadgets can be user friendly, a lot of people prefer to have someone else do the installation for them. Outdoor security lights, video door bells and home security system installations are on the rise.

 

Self-Defense Training

In real life, victims do not get to pick the bad guy or the time, place and/or method of attack. You can offer group training or individual training to those who want to take responsibility for their personal security.

 

Senior Care Business

Aging at home is often the first choice for the elderly population. Services you offer can include meal preparation, light cleaning, medication reminder, client escort, companionship, helping with bills etc.  With the aging of America, this is a huge market.

 

Special Event Security

Many venues that host special events, including musical concerts, award shows, film festivals, carnivals, require a security staff.  Many venues need reliable security and will award contracts.

 

Tax Services

People usually prefer having a tax expert handle the filing of their income taxes. If you have a talent for accounting, this may be a good business to pursue.

 

Temporary Staffing Agency

There will always be employers looking for temporary staff, and people looking for employment,  This can be a lucrative business as your agency will make money for every hour that each temporary employee earns and you can obtain contracts.

 

Tire Shop

Every car on the road will eventually need new tires. Make sure that you can secure a good location and be competitive.

 

Tow Truck Business

Your business can be called upon for everything from towing an illegally parked vehicle to helping those with a broken-down vehicle including accident victims. Keep in mind the hours can be long and you will have to work in all types of weather.

 

Tutor

As a professional tutor, you will need to be constantly updated and have relevant knowledge of the subjects you are tutoring.  You may want to specialize in a specific subject or preparing students for specific tests such as SAT, ACT and moe.

 

Vehicle Wrap and Graphics Business

You can produce your own graphics and wraps, or order wraps from a dealer. This is a growing industry.

 

Wilderness Survival School

There has been an increase in wilderness survival schools due to the demand. If you’re resourceful and the outdoors type, consider sharing your knowledge with others.

 

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA.

Small Business Ideas for Veterans – Part 2

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By Debbie Gregory.

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VAMBOA hopes you enjoyed Part 1 of Small Business Ideas for Veterans.  Please find below Part 2 of this 3 part series with more small business ideas for entrepreneurs.

 

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Business (HVAC)

There is a great demand for HVAC experts and requires special training and licensing.  You can count on being extremely busy when temperatures are very high or low.   You might want to focus on maintenance and annual service calls as well as new installs.  You may also want to work exclusively in residential or commercial.   As a service-disabled veteran business owner, you have extra points when you bid on some contracts.

 

Home Inspection Services

The home inspection service business requires you to have knowledge of the construction and real estate. Plan on climbing up on roofs, attics and into crawl spaces. Having ASHI or NAHI certification may be required.  There is a huge market because almost every home sale requires a home inspection.

 

Identity Theft Protection Agency

If you are well versed in cyber security, this is a good business for you to get into as ID theft is a constant threat that costs consumers and businesses billions of dollars.

 

Junk/Trash Removal Business

You make money when people are moving, renovating or cleaning out their homes or businesses. You can also expand into document shredding.

 

Landscaping Business

If you have a green thumb, gardening tools and equipment, and are physically fit, this could be a great business for you. You can also provide artificial turf installation as this is a popular trend.  You may wish to focus on residential or on commercial.  Again, if you are a service-disabled veteran, companies seeking a diverse supplier network want to do business with you.

 

Locksmith Business

Locksmiths can be heroes to anyone who has ever found themselves on the wrong side of a locked door.  Additionally, tenants move, employees leave and there is a demand to change locks and update to locks and security that is better and offers more technology.

 

Off Road Tours Business

The ability to drive in rugged terrain and a love of the outdoors can lead you to start an off-road tour business.

 

Painter

Some jobs are best left to the experts, especially when they involve ladders, scaffolding and expertise.   You may want to focus on residential or commercial.

 

Personal Security/Bodyguards Business

More and more, people who are targets for kidnappers due to their wealth or fame are utilizing personal protection services. Prior security experience is highly recommended.  It addition many corporations provide their top management bodyguards.

 

Pest Control Services

Insects and wild animals are often a nuisance for residential homes and businesses. Your business will identify and eradicate these pests.  You can obtain monthly contracts too.

 

Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words, so if you have the talent to take beautiful photographs or capture precious moments at special events, consider a photography business.

 

Private Investigation Firm

Move over Magnum PI.  This business is a good one for those who are inquisitive and like to investigate, who are resourceful and are detail oriented.   resourceful.

 

Remodeling Business

If you can use remodeling design software, have a flair for design and are up on the latest design trends, this could be a great creative outlet as well as a lucrative business.  Perhaps you might want to focus on one area such as additions, fireplaces, bathrooms, kitchens.

 

Residential Security Consultant

You will provide expert advice and tips on various security issues to homeowners.  More and more homeowners are securing their homes with technology that they can access with their smart phones. Security stores and companies might want to partner with you for a mutually beneficial relationship.

 

Restaurant Business

You need to have passion for cooking and love to try out new recipes as well as be service oriented and understand all the aspects of running a business that is usually open seven days a week.

 

 

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA.

Ways Delegating Can Grow Your Business

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DelegatingBy Debbie Gregory.

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Delegation doesn’t come naturally for many small business owners. It’s often difficult to shift gears when you’ve been used to wearing multiple hats to get your business off the ground. But don’t underestimate the benefits of delegating. It is nice to share the workload and it enables you to move forward and be more creative.

First, you need to learn to recognize the difference between giving orders and delegating. A key to the delegation process involves documenting what you want to accomplish and then transferring the knowledge needed to your team members to get it done.

Effective delegation provides you the opportunity to focus on fueling those areas of your business that will drive longer term profits and growth. It also provides you more breathing room to brainstorm ideas enabling and providing you valuable time to think of new ways to take your business to the next level.

You also need to be able to create and implement repeatable systems. Systems should be created to provide repeatable results; rinse and repeat is the key. Also implement step-by-step workflows for time-consuming tasks that can be handed off to your employees, removing you from the process.

It is paramount that you have an understanding of each position within your company and listen to your employees with their ideas and concerns. Even though you may have an overview of the position, your employees know the minutia of it, and they may have ideas of how to increase efficiency.

No one is good at everything so be cognizant of the fact that there will be aspects of running your company that you’re not particularly good at nor enjoy doing. You need to either hire employees to do those tasks or outsource them.

It is important to know what you should be doing when it comes to delegation and it’s equally important to know what you should avoid doing.

Micromanagers aren’t very good at delegating and interacting with their team. They take on all the business responsibilities, watching over what the team does, redoing work, and stopping the flow. Letting go of perfection and trusting that your team members will take the ball and run with it will result in company growth. It is challenging to let go but it is important.

It is natural to feel anxious about trusting a capable employee, partner or outsourced service to take over the tasks you’ve done to make your company thrive. Trusting your team with specific tasks can free up your time to focus on what’s important- growing your company.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA.

Do You Have A Good Business Idea?

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Starting any business takes a huge leap of faith. You’re jumping off of a cliff and hoping your parachute will open and lead you and your business to success. So how do you decide what’s really a great idea? Sure, you can rely on your gut instinct, but that isn’t the only good measure. Identifying the difference between a good business idea and a good business opportunity will serve you well on your entrepreneurial journey.

Recognizing that passion for your concept is important but will only get you so far. It is important to be both realistic and well informed as you approach the process. Successful business opportunities should fill an ongoing need. They provide a new or different product or service that also allows you to make a profit and grow your business. But just how will you translate your idea into a viable business?

 

Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

 

Why are you doing this? What’s your mission?

Your business needs a sense of purpose that sets it apart from the competition. If your business improves people’s lives in some way, that should drive your mission.

 

What problem are you solving?

You need to be solving some sort of real problem that exists for your customers. If not, how will you motivate people to buy your product or service?

 

Who is your customer?

Knowing who your ideal customer is and how you can find them is critical to starting a successful business.

 

How are your potential customers solving their problem today?

Identify the choices your potential customers currently have and how your solution is better.

 

What will potential customers be willing to pay for your solution?   Do you think you can make money?

You want to make sure your idea can be profitable, and that your planning and hard work will result in success.

 

While there’s no definitive way to tell if a company will be successful, if you put forth a quality offering that solves a problem and reflects your passions, you’ve greatly increased your odds.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA.

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