Learn Which Donations You Can Deduct From Your Handmade Business Tax Return

It’s an amazing thing when your small business finally turns a profit. It’s such a great, anxiety-relieving milestone to reach. You know what’s even better? When you make enough money to give back and donate. If you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you fit into this category. I love that you made that investment in your community.

Or maybe… You had a great start last year, but your goal for this year is to be able to donate using money from your business. If that’s the case, stay tuned! If you’re going to make a donation, might as well do it in a way that will benefit you come next year.

So now that it’s tax season, it’s time to be a little selfish again, right? I know that if documenting your donations means you can save some tax money, you want to make sure you do it correctly!

It’s important to consider what type of business you have. Your business structure can determine what you can and cannot do as far as...

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Learn How to Collect Sales Tax for Your Handmade Business

Let’s be honest. Sales tax has gotten pretty confusing for creative business owners, especially with how much digital sales have grown. I’m sure you’ve caught yourself asking, “Do I collect sales tax? Does the sales platform collect tax for me? Why can’t I just focus on creating beautiful things?!” I agree. It sucks. But, it’s much better to handle correctly from the get-go to avoid nightmares and a long headache come next spring (AKA tax season). 

Today, I’m going to cover sales tax for online sales specifically. There are so many platforms on which you can sell your products, and unfortunately, there’s no standard for how each of them handle sales tax. So, here is my rundown of each platform and how they do sales tax!

First, let’s go over how you know whether or not to collect sales tax in the first place. The short answer is that it varies by state. 

For example, I live in Missouri, where sales tax is not...

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Quick and Easy Ways to Organize Your Business Receipts

Imagine this: You’ve lost your phone. Or maybe, it was your keys. Could’ve been your chapstick. Doesn’t matter.

Anyway, you lost something you need, and you’re scrambling frantically for it. You dig in the bottom of your purse, you raid the junk drawer in you kitchen (yes, we know you have a junk drawer), and you check both the glove compartment and the center console in your car. 

NOTHING.

You know what you probably did find? Wads of receipts. Which only makes you more frustrated. They feel like hoarded trash. And in this moment of desperation, you want desperately to to shred them to pieces. 

In the name of all that is holy, don’t toss those receipts! Tax season is approaching. You will definitely need them. If you missed any spots where you usually hide your receipts, go get them. As you move them from one messy pile from another, filter out your non-business receipts. Then make sure you have the following supplies:

  • Folders - 4 for each...
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The COMPLETE List of Expenses to Track for your Handmade Business

Let’s talk about the “B” word. 

Not that “B” word… Get your head out of the gutter. 

The word I’m talking about is BOOKKEEPING. Unless you’re one of those awesome nerds (like me) who just love math and money, it’s the vain of your existence. It’s tedious, it’s complicated, and it’s the thing that helps you lose money to taxes. 

If you don’t keep track of your expenses and books throughout the year, you will be crying come tax season. So much gets factored into taxes for small product-based businesses. If you aren’t adding to your lists every month, if not every week, you will end up spending a big chunk of money hiring someone to help you sort it out. 

Don’t be that person. Keep up with it now, so that you can coast into tax season with a smile on your face instead of etching in a few more frown lines.

Maintaining your books and submitting your taxes is not pleasant, but...

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Stay Organized during the Holiday Sales Rush

Thanksgiving is tomorrow… DON’T PANIC!

While the rest of your family is enjoying time together and preparing to eat loads of good food, I know what you’re thinking about: Alllll of the orders you have starting to pile up. You would love to relax and enjoy your holiday, but you’re starting to get overwhelmed.

If you’re anything like me, getting panicky is a really great way to get absolutely nothing done. When I let the overwhelm take over, my brain can’t figure out what to do first, what to prioritize, or how to pace myself. This even happens with cleaning my house! If I skip a weekend of upkeep, all I can see when I look around is mess instead of actionable steps.

This weekend, take some time to journal. How does the holiday season make you feel? Are you overwhelmed by all the orders, or does the work excite you? How has the holiday season gone for you in the past? If this is your first season in business, what are you most looking forward to?...

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7 Goal-Setting Strategies for Small Businesses

We’re halfway through 2019’s fourth quarter! Can you believe it? It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks we will be heading into 2020. 

I personally have had a blast this year. In addition to running my husband’s business, I have started my own! I launched two courses and have helped dozens of creative small business owners figure out their marketing strategies and finances. As much as I have accomplished, it’s time to think about what the next year holds. 

When we talk about new goals that coincide with January 1st, people often call them “New Year’s Resolutions.” New Year’s Resolutions also have a reputation for falling through. So as you create your list, make sure to call them something else, so you don’t trick your brain into failing. I like to call them my Level-Up Goals!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what goal to set, I want to share some tips on how to create good goals. First, I...

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How to Navigate Etsy's Changes to SEO

It's that time of the year!

No, not the most wonderful time. The every-social-media-site-decides-to-change-their-algorithm time. I get it; it's frustrating. It feels like every time I get the hang of navigating the last change, the algorithm changes AGAIN.

If you have noticed a drop in your Etsy sales, don't worry! Etsy recently changed its search algorithm to prioritize orders that feature free shipping. Not every seller can afford to cover shipping for their customers, so this hardly seems fair. But I do have several tips for riding out this wave and getting it to work in your favor. 

  1. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Start offering free shipping in ways that work for you. For example, you can build the cost of shipping into your original price or offer free shipping on orders over $100. Don’t fight the new system.
  2. Make sure to update your product tags. By having more accurate tags on your work, you ensure that more of the right people are seeing your...
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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Audited

It finally happened, the ever-dreaded IRS audit. We knew that after 15 years in business it would happen sooner or later, but it just so happened to occur at the worst possible time. 

We had just sold our house and everything was in storage. We changed out address but didn't have a mail box yet. Everything happened at once, and although I felt very unprepared and overwhelmed, I took it head on. 

So, in case you have never been audited, this is how it goes:

You get a letter in the mail saying that you have 30 days to provide them with the information requested. In our case, they scheduled a phone call. Sometimes they request that you appear at their office or schedule a video chat. I thought this would be a breeze, but this is where what I learned what comes in to play.

1. When they ask you to explain your business, such as what do you make and sell or what services do you provide, list every single thing.

Why, you ask? Because when they go through the receipts and...

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Budget-Friendly Travel Tips

Travel. Adventure. Vacation.

There is something about it that awakens my soul. It makes me feel in control again, like I am not on someone else's time clock. I know what you're thinking, "But Katie, you're self-employed... You set your own schedule." Well, technically, but not really. When the phone rings, I have to either answer it or return the call later. When a customer or employee needs something again, I either handle it immediately or I will have to deal with it later.  

There is something about being away that makes life stand still just for a moment.

Over the years, we have learned that getting away has its positives and negatives, but every couple of years, we try to take a couple's only trip. However, every year we try to take a vacation with our kids. 

Years ago, we were lucky if we even had the funds to go to the lake an hour away. I have learned to plan budget-friendly getaways that my family always enjoys.

Here are a few of my...

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Money Guilt

Uncategorized Jun 03, 2019

As someone who works in the finance field, you would think that I would be comfortable talking about money. Well, truth is, I am comfortable talking about your money, but I don't want to talk about my own.  

I married young, like 23-years-old young. Neither of us were raised in wealthy families, nor were taught how to manage money. However, we had been taught to work hard for a living. My husband has started our small business while he was still in high school. Yes, you heard me right: high school. He would go bid for concrete jobs after school and then complete the work in the evenings or on the weekends. He grew it to full-time after graduation. Let's be honest: For a single kid who still lived with his parents, he made GOOD money. But when you add two kiddos and a house into the mix within 2 years, and not a lot of growth in income, money got tight.  Surprisingly, during this time, it was easy for me to talk about money and the struggle...

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