linkedin tips

How Do I Improve My LinkedIn Posts?

This is a great question. You’ve been posting updates from your LinkedIn company page or personal profile, but are they being seen? And are they working?

How to see your results

The first indicator of performance is to look at the likes, comments and shares of each of your posts.

Click on “Profile” and then “Your Updates” from the drop-down menu.

This will show you a list of your recent activity including all the posts you’ve shared. At the bottom of each post you’ll see if people are engaging with your content.

If there aren’t a lot of engagements then it means the audience isn’t finding the posts relevant. Everyone’s audience is a little different, so it may take some time to improve your performance, but even a little adjustment can go a long way.

Here are five immediate things you can do to improve your LinkedIn performance.

1. Share your opinion

When sharing someone else’s blog article or post, try adding your own opinions or personal thoughts to the beginning of your post. For example, “This is the best explanation of small business financing I’ve ever seen.” followed by the post. This gives your followers insight into why you’re sharing the post and should encourage them to click and engage.

2. Change or add an image

Make sure your posts contain image that resonates more with your personal audience. Use a vibrant image with colour and interest that will cut through the clutter on people’s newsfeeds. If you’re sharing a webpage or blog article, you can flip through various images from that page by clicking on the directional arrows once you enter the website URL. Or upload your own image by clicking the image icon on the top right of the update box.

3. Post at a different time or day

Switch it up a bit by posting at different times of day. Often, LinkedIn users will be more responsive early in the morning or later in the day, outside of their regular work hours. So try to post at different times when your audience may be more receptive. Don’t forget to post on Saturday and Sunday as well. You’ll have less competition on the news feed, and users are still checking in on weekends.

4. Engage with more LinkedIn users

Usually by increasing how often you like, comment and share posts from others, the more likely they’ll be to reciprocate. Make it a habit to like at least one or two posts every day on your news feed. And commenting on posts from your connections can go a long way. Even to say “Thanks Denise, that was a great post!”

5. Post new types of content

Try to post different types of content than normal. If you always post content from the same source like your company website or favourite news outlet, it will make your page a “one-trick pony.” Instead, find interesting content from industry websites and blogs, news sites and LinkedIn Pulse, then share those on your page along with your own brief commentary. At least 50% of your posts should be fresh content from sources other than your own company sites. This will make your feed valuable to your connections.


what is ABL?

Bullet Points: How Asset-Based Lending Increases Cash Flow

what is ABL?

Time is money, and when you’re in need of cash flow you need to get information fast. Let’s cut to the chase with the bullet points on asset-based lending.

What is Asset-Based Lending (ABL)?

  • An asset-based loan allows you to leverage your accounts receivable, inventory, equipment and real estate in order to get access to working capital
  • It can be a loan from 6 – 24 months, but generally averages around 1 year
  • Often used by established companies with definable and identifiable internal processes and controls.

What assets can be used for ABL?

  • Accounts receivable: Invoices that customers owe you now or in the future
  • Inventory: raw materials, work in progress or finished goods sitting in your warehouse
  • Machinery and equipment: Funding can be up to 75% of the liquidation value.
  • Real estate: Register a collateral mortgage against residential or commercial properties. You may also check into your property values with an up-to-date appraisal from your real estate agent. Liquid Capital can provide more info on the process.

what is ABL financing

Why would your company turn to ABL?

  • It’s a more flexible type of financing
  • Well suited to companies with seasonal sales
  • If you’re in rapid growth stages, it can get you faster access to cash flow
  • Clients outside of covenant with their bank may find this is a better option 

To qualify for ABL, your company should:

  • Have a strong credit rating
  • Have comprehensive financial reporting and internal controls
    • Monthly financial statements
    • Aged A/R and A/P summaries
    • Have proven success and a good track record

Read Related: What is accounts receivable financing and factoring? Leverage unpaid invoices and turn them into liquid cash flow.

ABL may be right for your company if you are:

  • Short on working capital
  • Fall shy of bank loan criteria
  • Have seasonal capital requirements that don’t fit into the bank loan structure
  • Looking for lower rates than a factoring solution
  • Not looking for a long-term contract for financing
  • Consider optics important and you don’t want your client experience to change. Discretion is key with non-notification ABL, typically available to larger businesses. Check with your Liquid Capital Principal to see if this is available to your business.
    • Payments are deposited into a “sweep account” (typically at your bank) and your client is never aware that Liquid Capital is handling your financial transactions.
    • In a strong growth cycle and need quicker access to working capital.
      • Liquid Capital calculates borrowing amounts on a weekly basis, compared to banks that traditionally do this on a monthly basis. If you’re growing, your ability to borrow will increase.

Profit From The Power Of Interns


Finding and hiring effective employees is an ongoing challenge for growing companies. Running an internship program may help develop your team. However, before you establish one, keep in mind the realities and commitment for both the interns and the employer.

For an intern program to be worthwhile, you need to first decide what legitimate tasks an intern can perform. Be clear from the beginning what you expect. In turn, ask what the intern expects to gain. Experience in a specific industry? Skills in their craft? Interns typically look for tangible assets such as letters of recommendation or introductions to key industry contacts, too.

Right out of the gate an intern can be an asset. Millennials, for example, have grown up with social media and quickly evolving technology. They bring skills and insights your staff might not have. For skills specific to your industry, hiring interns while they’re still in college gives you time to groom them so that they’ll be a good match for permanent employment after they graduate. An advantage to that approach is displacing the cost of hiring as well as a training period. The newly hired previous intern will be ready to go right from the beginning of employment. Internships are an ideal way to ensure that you develop what you ultimately need in a competent employee.

ManpowerGroup has nearly 3,900 offices across 80 countries with 400,000 clients from small organizations to globally-renowned corporations. Its tenth annual Talent Shortage Survey shows that about one in five (19%) employers struggle to find candidates with applicable experience. Its infographic “The Talent Shortage Persists” highlights opportunities for both job seekers and needy employers. The deficit comes down to experience: the lack of technical competencies (hard skills) and workplace competencies (soft skills).

Vault is a resource for 2.5 million subscribers worldwide, matching thousands of employers (70 of the Fortune 100) to 6 million students and constituents. Interviewing 6,000 current and former students for its Top Internship Rankings for 2016, Vault found that approximately three-quarters of interns on average receive a full-time job offer from the employer after interning.

Lastly, understand your responsibility as a company recruiting interns. SkilledUp reports that the average hourly wage rate for a paid intern with a bachelor’s degree ranges from $15.05 to $17.94, depending on the applicant’s major. Unpaid internships are an option but you need to understand the law. SkilledUp’s blog post Recruiting For (And Through) Your Company Internship Program explains the “six prong test” as per the Fair Labor Standards Act. A key requirement is that an internship will not displace a regular employee.
Bottom line: Do your homework. The right intern program can save your company money while grooming an apprentice to be your ideal employee.
Image via NASA Goddard

Rio Welcomes The Launch Party For Inaugural ArtsGames


The Olympics have come to Rio, amidst much fanfare and swarms of media attention. But there’s another hot ticket in town, and you’re going to be hearing a lot more about it in the near future.

The inaugural ArtsGames is a global competition that was created byOlympian Sylvia Sweeney. As the niece of the late and iconic jazz musician Oscar Peterson, Sylvia wanted to create an equally iconic event that would bring cultures together. And other than sport, what better way to do that than the arts?

With a mission “to provide a global platform to demonstrate the excellence that exists in all cultures,” the ArtsGames is ready to take on the world of arts in fine form. Sweeney has hosted several related events over past Olympics, however, this year marks the introduction of the formal ArtsGames, combining her love of sport, music and cultural togetherness.

The inaugural ArtsGames will be hosted in 2018, with the audition process beginning in 2017.

Liquid Capital has been a proud sponsor of the ArtsGames since 2008, and we wanted to showcase this event, bringing attention to its involvement at the Rio Olympic Games and how to get involved.

PLACE des Arts

What are the ArtsGames?

On January 12, 2018, the ArtsGames will be welcomed by host city, Montreal, Canada.

This spectacular 10-day event will feature over 20,000 competing artists from around the world, representing their countries in live nation vs. nation events spanning five categories: Music, Dance, Literature, Media Arts and Visual Arts.

Over the course of the ArtsGames, artists will compete in over 20 venues for one of the 144 medals that will be awarded.


This is no small affair, as the ArtsGames committee anticipates  “1 billion+ online and broadcast viewers from 196 countries will watch as artists set a new standard for global excellence.”

Every two years, the events will be hosted in a new city and countries will have the chance to send their best and brightest artists to compete in what will surely be an awe-inspiring competition.

Competing and the “Audition” process

Just as with the Olympic Games, competition in the ArtsGames will be fierce. And qualifying to participate will require dedication and expertise in one’s field.

“Held every two years starting in 2017, The Auditions will host artists who have risen to the top in global competitions through our sanctioned federations, ArtsGames online competitions, and through ArtsGames Scouts-at-large.”

As the headquarter city for this new global event, Montreal will also play host to the final qualifying stage of The Auditions every two years. Touted for valuing “the arts as much as it values cultural diversity,” the city matches the founding principals of the ArtsGames.

Although the process doesn’t officially begin until August 2017, artists are already encouraged to follow ArtsGames for qualifying competitions.


With Olympians on board and a full team in place, there is no better place to officially launch the ArtsGames than at Rio 2016. On August 11, 2016, the ArtsGames will be presented to the world, complete with star-studded performances.

As a proud sponsor of the ArtsGames, we encourage you to follow the organization and participate in events. Good luck to all competitors! 

Images via


How To Increase Your Business Liquidity Through Prompt Payment Of Current Invoices


Cash flow and liquidity is a challenge for all businesses at one point or another.

Part of the problem might not be your business at all, but rather, it could be that your clients haven’t paid invoices on time.

Or your company is growing much quicker than expected. In this case, you could do so much more if you had access to the cash that will eventually come in when your accounts receivable are paid.

In other cases, it could be that an unexpected event occurred like major equipment damage or an unexpected product delivery schedule change. Any major event could put your company cash flow into crisis, and the possible tailspin can put any business owner into fright.

An Innovative Solution to Invoice Processing

Whatever the issue, there’s a solution to speed up your invoice processing called “accounts receivable financing” that can be a huge relief.

Also called “factoring,” this is an innovative way for your business to access quick and secure financing through the sale of your invoices. We specialize in this financing at Liquid Capital, and can offer up to 85% of the value of your accounts receivable, which you can then use as you need.

And this can be a liberating strategy to free up working capital on an ongoing basis. Your only limit is your ability to sell to credit-worthy customers. We collect the financed debts from your customers, which frees up your admin time and takes the headache out of your A/R process. But you’re not in the dark, as we also provide clear, accessible reporting to keep you up to date on the process. 

Where a bank loan might be denied, A/R factoring could potentially advance you hundreds of thousands of dollars—in a very short timeframe. 

Many SMBs can’t access traditional bank loans all of the time. They could be extended already with bank debt, have an untraditional business model that the banks aren’t yet comfortable with or a host of other points that don’t satisfy the institution at that point in time.

This isn’t to say that a bank loan isn’t possible in the future, but in the meantime using accounts receivable financing can be the exact answer needed.

Get the full details on accounts receivable financing here.


8 Ways to Promote Your SMB Like a Boss


We help businesses grow by accessing much-needed capital they can use for activities like equipment purchases, operational support and fulfilling product orders.

But how do you promote your business to get the word out to your customers and prospects?

That’s just as important, and finding the right tactics that are cost-effective and don’t consume all your time is the key. So let’s take a look at eight actionable ways to promote your SMB like a pro and get connected to new customers that will become long-term clients.

1. Special for First-Time Customers

Nothing entices new customers more than getting a special deal, like a trial version of your product or service at a discounted rate. This kind of offer might lead to a longer-term business relationship.

2. Reward Loyalty

Loyalty breeds more loyalty, so reward your committed customers. Give them a discount or upgrade their service for staying with you or for bringing you new customers through a referral.

3. Do Something for Charity

It’s good to be good, and donating your product or service to a charity will allow you to raise your profile, network and meet potential new customers. Promote your good deeds and achievements via social media and your website. Your customers will love hearing about your involvement.

4. Survey your Customers

People love competitions and the chance to give their opinion. Create a simple survey using SurveyMonkey (free options available) and promote it via your company newsletter, a special mailing list, email directly to the client, social media promotions, blog posts, websites and anywhere your customers will look. You can then create a newsworthy press release with your results, and use the data to improve your business strategy.

Related: 7 Old-School SMB Marketing Tricks to Put Up Your Sleeve

Related: 7 New-School Digital Marketing Tricks For Your SMB

5. Sponsor Something Magnificent

Look around for incredible and unique sponsorship opportunities. There are some hidden gems out there that deliver a big bang for surprisingly small price tags. Depending on your business, you can consider everything from industry events to local teams.

6. Customer Service

Good customer service is critical for customer retention and positive word of mouth. And you can use your great customer service scores to promote your company, especially if you’ve received industry or internal ratings. Add your high-quality scores to the homepage of your website, in email signatures, and create a blog post about your service. Your customers may already be providing free advertising – touting the amazing service they’ve received from you. So check sites like Yelp for your reviews, and capture positive quotes from those sites to potentially leverage in future advertising.

7. Go Green

Showing people that you care about the world is a great way to get them to care about your business. So why not go green and trumpet your environmental credentials? You’ll target a market that cares about the environment, and show a more personal and caring side that customers can relate to, rather than a corporate brand that sometimes gets lost in the noise.

8. Meetups

Networking is the lifeblood of business. Make sure you find the right events – avoid the stuffy, boring and irrelevant ones. Go online, ask around and book yourself into a couple new meetups. These can be invaluable places to learn about other people’s businesses and to promote your own in a genuine way. There’s no easy way about this though, as meetups are all about building high-quality relationships with real people. Arm yourself with business cards, a warm smile and no expectations – you’ll be happy you went.

Do you have a tip to share about how your business has effectively done promotions? Tell us in the comments section.


Watch: How This Tampa Bay Finance Pro Is Funding Startups & Enterprises


Liquid Capital Bay Area Principal, Mark Coyle, recently took to the airwaves on The Consumer Quarterback Show based out of Tampa Bay to talk about the state of the Florida economic market and how his business can help small and medium-sized businesses in the area.

Live from iHeartRadio, show host, Brandon Rimes, talked to Mark about different types of loans and funding he has available to work with businesses and get them moving in the right direction.

“I’m a local lender that is part of a global network of alternative lenders. Essentially what we do is help small to medium-sized enterprises with working capital solutions,” Mark explained.

“In the business to consumer world, when we go into a small business owner and purchase a good or service, we will pay the same day. ”

“Whereas when you’re in the business to business world and you deliver a good or service…you don’t get paid for anywhere from 30, 60 or 90 days.”

Mark explains that he generally works with two types of clients in this situation. The first is people who have what he calls “good problems.” These clients can be earlier in their business lifecycle, and have received a loan for startup capital but have outgrown that loan very quickly.

“..maybe they were projected to get growth of 20% and they received a growth of 100 or 200% – and they simply don’t have the working capital to facilitate the growth opportunities that are in front of them,” Mark goes on to explain.

“I’m able to help them to shorten the lifecycle of those receivables by factoring and advancing the majority of capital against that receivable so that they can make payroll, replenish their inventory, continue to deliver the goods or services to their clients, and grow with demand.”

The second group of clients Mark works with are people who have successfully received bank loans over a longer period of time and found success, but now they have a “trigger event” that requires more assistance.

“Maybe they had a piece of capital equipment that was $500,000 that went out. They weren’t budgeted to replace it, so they replace it and are overleveraged. And the bank doesn’t feel warm and fuzzy about extending them a line of credit. So where I come into place is to assist them with, again, working capital solutions to better their financial picture and get them back to a bankable situation.”

Mark explains that his products and services are not in conflict with banks, as he works with the banks to help get clients back into a traditional bankable situation. Once they get the assistance from Liquid Capital Bay Area, his clients’ books look a lot better from a bank point of view, so they can go ahead and get traditional funding.

Watch segment: State of the Tampa Bay Area economy

When it comes to the local Florida and Bay Area economy, Mark sees a positive future.

“I think the local economy is doing very well. From a larger perspective, I think there’s a lot of capital. I think the market is plush with money. …

And that speaks well to the opportunities Mark can afford business owners in the area.

“We are seeing businesses that kind of fall under the two buckets I spoke of – having growth trajectories or maybe having a bump in the road, and we’re able to come in and help them realize that growth or keep them sustainable and get them through the hard times.”

Watch segment: Advice for Tampa Bay Area business owners

Brandon asked what businesses owners should avoid when looking for funding and assistance, and Mark offered sensible advice

“What I would say to a small business owner who has a growth opportunity in front of them or is in danger of insolvency and isn’t able to get bank financing is — think outside the box and don’t stop there, because there are other options.

“There are opportunities that don’t fall within the traditional financing realm. …

“Partner with somebody who has your best interests in mind. Me, as a local business owner that partners with local business owners to better their situation, I’ll walk away from a deal 10 times out of 10 if it’s not the best for them. And there are many times where I’ve looked my customers in the eye and said – look, I can put you in a product that will make my company money but it won’t better my situation – you’re either in the same spot or worse. Let’s come back and talk in six months.”

Mark closes by advising business owners to make sure they’re working with a company that has your best interest in mind.

“And I think it’s definitely a good opportunity to deal local, where you can sit down over a cup of coffee…and know who you’re dealing with. Not a website, not a phone number and not dealing with somebody five states away.”



Will Brexit Impact Your Business Operations?


There’s no doubt one of the world’s largest economies has made a splash in the business news lately. How could Great Britain’s exit from the European Union impact our business community in North America?

We look at the highlights from across the media to see what analysts and outlets are saying, and what to watch out for.

1. “How bad will Brexit get? Here’s what top economists are saying.”

From: Vox World

“On June 23, British voters decided to vote “Leave” anyway. And now they’re left to grapple with the consequences — including any economic turmoil that may follow.

“So how bad would severing ties with the EU be? On the day after the vote, markets plunged sharply around the world, suggesting serious economic risks were on the horizon. But economists have differing views on just what Brexit would mean — and exactly how dire it could get. Here’s a running roundup from around the web.”

Key takeaway: Brexit is a crisis in Britain, but there is no sure sign this is a crisis for North American business…yet. The key thing to remember is that if you’re dealing with British businesses, EU businesses that rely heavily on Britain, or if your clients are doing just that, then you should keep a close eye on what’s happening. For most businesses dealing primarily with other North American companies, Brexit may not have an immediate impact other than stirring the already-mirky waters of the psychology of business economics.

2. “‘Brexit’ in America: A Warning Shot Against Globalization”

From: The New York Times

“For all the shock and awe on Wall Street and financial markets around the globe on Friday, the imminent danger to the underlying American economy is relatively small. What’s far more worrisome is whether Britain’s decision represents an end to the economic integration and opening markets that have helped propel sales at companies like Eastman over the last few decades. …

““In the near term, you’re seeing markets being roiled, and feedback effects for the Federal Reserve,” Mr. Hubbard said. But for now, at least in the United States, “I don’t think it’s going to raise recession probabilities.” …

“When it comes to commerce, Britain is not even among the United States’ top five trading partners — it’s currently the seventh largest…”

Key takeaway: This lackadaisical stance seems to make us feel like Brexit will have little-to-no impact on American business, unless you’re like the Eastman company mentioned and have operations in both the U.S. and Britain. Instead, they cite opportunities for trade and partnerships elsewhere, potentially exposed because of the changes in the world markets. Perhaps your business can take a look across other borders for new opportunity knocking.

3. “Brexit jitters claim a Canadian IPO”

From: Globe and Mail

“The market turmoil that erupted in the aftermath of the Brexit vote has claimed a prominent Canadian casualty: MCAP Corp.’s initial public offering.

“The mortgage lender filed for a $275-million IPO in May, and institutional and retail orders soon started flowing, according to people familiar with the offering. A few days before Britain’s referendum, things came to a halt. On Wednesday, the deal was pulled altogether.”

Key takeaway: Although Brexit wasn’t the direct cause of failure, the market’s insecurity with what would amount from Brexit turmoil was enough to massively impact this business. But keep in mind, this was a huge enterprise with a muli-million dollar IPO at stake, so it’s not as relatable to most SMBs. Keep an eye on the papers for these types of stories, as enterprise analysts can give you early warning signals of what’s to come in the market.

4. “Impacts on Small Businesses And Startups In The U.S.”

From: Fast Company

“Small business owners, along with multinational companies, must understand that hundreds of laws, rules, and agreements governing everything from trade and immigration to agricultural subsidies will be rewritten, and that will impact contractual agreements,” Wojcik says. …

“Now that Brexit has happened, Todd believes slow growth here in the U.S. is likely to continue. “Paradoxically, even with all the economic and political uncertainty, if a tech entrepreneur has a good idea, it could continue to be a great time to go out and try to raise capital,” Todd contends. …

“”The strongest of small businesses know how to withstand turbulence, adapting quickly to changing environments,” Holoubek says. “When your service or product helps larger corporations do the same, times of great uncertainty become a win-win.””

Key takeaway: Although there are certain risks starting a cross-border business, this may be a great time to find valuable investment at lower rates. And if you’re a small business supporting a larger enterprise, you could have just stumbled into the sweet spot as SMBs can generally weather these storms very well, and that means more money in your pockets.

5. “After the Brexit Vote: The impact on US & Soviet relations”

From: Richmond Times

“As the U.S. heads into an election campaign, Washington’s influence on events in Europe and elsewhere is ebbing. President Obama went to Ottawa two weeks ago to confer with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts about coping with Brexit’s impact on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These leaders foresee growing opposition to free trade during the U.S. election campaign and beyond. Continued close relations on trade and commerce are important U.S. interests, but the overriding U.S. priority is the strength and cohesiveness of NATO. It was responsible for forging peace and prosperity in Europe for nearly 70 years and eventually bringing former Soviet satellites under its defense umbrella. If the EU begins to unravel under the stress of nationalist pressures, NATO’s defense shield will remain a vital U.S. interest in Europe.”

Key takeaway: Economics, politics and Russian relationships. We’ve seen over and over in reality and the movies. You better believe these discussions will be all over every news outlet, late night comedy talk show and blog, so keep watching for impacts on your business.


Success By Example: Q&A’s


Story originally from In Business Magazine Greater Phoenix Area.

Small business is thriving in Arizona, and in Metro Phoenix specifically. Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University have programs focused on fostering entrepreneurialism; many of the Maricopa County community colleges are also active in this space with specialized programs, notably GateWay Community College‘s incubator, Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation; and numerous business incubators and accelerators throughout the Valley are helping startups launch successfully into the business community.

Success begets success, and In Business Magazine asked Joel Gottesman, Prinicpal at Liquid Capital of Arizona, to share insights on best practices and the changing business environment, based on his experience in these core concerns of all business enterprises: finance, human resources, leadership and management, marketing and communication, sales, and technology.

Question: Are there traditional “truths” (attitudes, ways of doing things) that need to be discarded in today’s business world?

Answer: Traditional “truths” would hold that you fund growth by obtaining capital (from yourself, friends and family, or established investor infrastructure), and then obtain working capital debt through alternative financing such as factoring or asset-based lending, or through a bank loan if the more stringent credit standards can be met. If additional capital is still needed, there are some new ways of raising capital through crowd funding, which is becoming more of a reality and utilizes social media to reach investors more readily. Other options include contract manufacturing or joint venturing for an initial period to reduce the time it takes to move forward on your growth plan.

Question 2: What is an innovative best practice you would advise to a fellow small-businessperson?

Answer: Find your sweet spot on how to engage prospective or existing customers or referral sources for growing your business. Social media provides a great opportunity to be out there to establish your business brand in a way that is not a “hard sell.” You have the opportunity to associate yourself and your business with creative trends and new ideas. Depending on your business model, LinkedIn and Twitter offer opportunities to build your network and business brand.

tax deductions

8 Tax Deductions You Need To Know Right Now

tax deductions

Come tax season, everyone should try and get a little something back, and businesses are no exception. Tax deductions won’t save a floundering business from closing up shop – but to the shrewd business owner, they can make the difference between a good year and a great year.

Note: The deductions listed below may not be recognized in your area. Be sure to consult a tax specialist for more information on how you can save your business money through prudent financial planning.

1.    Get Networking and Get a Deduction

Remember that expenses like membership fees to professional organizations are completely deductible, so you’ll never have to make the hard choice between getting the inside edge on a potential client or paying annual membership in order to attend networking events. Professional fees and licenses are also deductible.

2.    Real Estate Interest

If your business owns a physical location or any real estate, be sure to claim the entire amount of interest you paid during the year.

3.    Maintenance and Repair Fees

You spend money keeping your machinery and equipment in proper working order, and these amounts are often deductible. Just be mindful that you might run into exceptions if the repairs add additional value to the property. Your accountant should flag those circumstances.

4.    Meals and Entertainment

Meeting a client? Attending a business lunch? You don’t necessarily have to pay completely out of pocket. Claim a meals and entertainment deduction equal to 50% of the amount you paid for attending these activities. A $40 lunch may not sound like a big deal, but over the course of the year it adds up to more than you might think.

Tip: Before you leave the table, turn the receipt over and write who you were there with and what you discussed. This little note will help justify your claims in the event of a future audit.

5.    Your Car

Let’s face it – if you’re using your personal vehicle to get the job done and keep your clients happy, then you should be compensated for mileage, gas, wear and tear. Keep a logbook in your glove compartment to write down when you’ve used your personal vehicle for business use. Or go digital and use an app like MileIQ or TaxMileage that keeps it all logged on your smartphone. If you want to avoid the headache altogether, ask your accountant about your tax rules – you may be able to simplify your car expenses by using a percentage of total costs as your business deduction.

6.    Bad Debt

If you have a customer that hasn’t paid their due for your products or services, or maybe they’re simply taking too long to pay, then your accounts receivable is at risk of becoming bad debt. In spite of the name, bad debts aren’t “all bad” – as these amounts can be deducted.

But in the end, nobody likes bad debts. So if you’re keen on avoiding them altogether, consider factoring your accounts receivable. Full disclosure – this is a service we offer at Liquid Capital, and we’ve seen this strategy work very well for clients over and over again.

Factoring means that you sell your accounts receivables to a third party company and they will do all the work to collect from your client. While you may not be collecting the full face value of your A/R, the trade-off is quite beneficial. You’ll get certainty that you’ll be paid, your cash flow is instantly increased with money at hand, and the cost of factoring is fully tax deductible.

7.    Travel Deductions

Depending on your business, you may spend a considerable amount of time and money on the road meeting clients, stakeholders, suppliers and attending conferences. Any costs for transportation and lodging while out of town on a business trip are deductible. Sadly, regular local commuting is not, so that could be a benefit to attending an out-of-town event.

8.    Advertising

Advertising and promotion could also fall under your tax deductions as the “cost of doing business.” Some business owners shy away from advertising because the costs lower your profits, but keep in mind that this also lowers your taxable income. And the rewards of additional advertising could bring significantly higher future revenues. You’ll have to determine the right balance of cash in hand vs. advertising for future growth.

In the end, it’s always important to talk with your accountant about all expenses and tax deductions. What may be an acceptable deduction this year may not be the same next year.