Use benchmarking to swim with the big fish

Benchmarking can help your company swim with the big fish without getting gobbled up. It’s the practice of comparing your performance to that of similar businesses to identify strengths and weaknesses. Quantitative benchmarking uses key performance indicators (formulas or ratios) to calculate comparisons. Meanwhile, qualitative benchmarking compares operating practices (such as production techniques, quality indicators…

Your 2017 tax return may be your last chance to take the “manufacturers’ deduction”

While many provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will save businesses tax, one break it eliminates is the Section 199 deduction. Often referred to as the “manufacturers’ deduction,” this potentially valuable break, when available, can also be claimed by eligible construction, engineering, architecture, computer software production and agricultural processing businesses. Under the…

Big data strategies for every business

“Big data” generally refers to any large set of electronic information that can be analyzed to identify trends, patterns and relationships. It can help businesses better define and predict customer behavior when it comes to buying trends and sought-after products or services. For example, by overlaying large proprietary consumer-behavior data sets over your customer database,…

Not necessarily a luxury: Outsourcing

In today’s increasingly specialized economy, outsourcing has become common. Engaging outside help could cut in-house management expenses by reducing overhead, staffing and training costs. Outsourcing also frees up employees’ time for core tasks and avails you of the provider’s expertise. But there are risks. Surrendering control of a business function to the wrong vendor could…

The TCJA temporarily expands bonus depreciation

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly enhances bonus depreciation. You might even be able to benefit when you file your 2017 tax return. Generally, for qualified property placed in service between Sept. 28, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2022, the first-year bonus depreciation percentage increases to 100%. In addition, the 100% deduction is allowed…