Use These 5 Tips To Help You And Your Employees Avoid Eye Strain

How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain

About 80 percent of U.S. adults say they use screens at least two hours per day. And 59 percent have reported experiencing some form of digital eye strain.

Digital eye strain can include a number of symptoms, including dry eyes, irritation, sensitivity to light, trouble focusing, and blurry vision. If not addressed, these symptoms can turn into chronic problems.

This issue can be especially problematic for entrepreneurs, since screens are such a huge part of running a business in 2019. If you strain your eyes and have trouble seeing or focusing, it could end up impacting your productivity and effectiveness.

How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain

Luckily, there are a few fairly simple things you can do to lessen your chances of experiencing digital eye strain or dealing with the symptoms. Small Business Trends recently spoke with Dr. Hanish Patel, optometrist and founding partner of Eye Associates of New York and The Center for Ophthalmic and Vision Research, who offered some expert tips.

Have an Eye Exam

Even if screens are at the root of your eye issues, there may be other factors that play a role as well. If you can correct those issues, it could help you lessen your symptoms dramatically.

Patel said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “A lot of patients have untreated vision issues. And correcting those problems could help you, even if you’re still staring at screens all day.”

Follow the 20/20/20 Rule

Of course, taking a break from staring at your computer or smartphone could greatly benefit your eyes. However, long breaks aren’t always possible. Since Patel treats plenty of professionals in Manhattan, he acknowledges this reality. But he says that even short breaks every so often can make a big difference. To help you remember, he broke it down into a rule that he and other eye care professionals call 20/20/20.

He explains, “You just need to take a break for 20 seconds every 20 minutes where you look at something that’s at least 20 feet away.”

Change Up Your Computer Screen

Blue light from computer monitors and mobile devices is one of the factors that contributes to eye strain. However, there are now monitors that emit less of that blue light, so they’re essentially easier on your eyes.

BenQ is one company that’s taking a step in this direction. The company has a line of monitors that filters some of those harmful blue light rays so they don’t harm your eyes as much as traditional screens, without impacting picture quality. They also offer entertainment and gaming solutions. So you could replace some of the items in your home as well if you tend to look at screens a lot during your off time.

Use Blue Light Glasses

There are also filtering products that help you reflect some of that blue light before it makes it to your eyes. The most popular option currently available is probably blue light glasses. These are non-prescription lenses that simply reflect some of those harmful rays. In addition to strain, blue light can also promote alertness and impact your ability to sleep at night, especially if you tend to use your phone or computer in the evenings.

This likely won’t solve the problem completely, as blue light isn’t the full reason for digital eye strain. The focus that your eyes place on screens for long periods of time can still contribute to symptoms. So this shouldn’t be used in place of taking periodic breaks or setting up an eye exam. But it could be a decent complementary option.

Adjust the Light in Your Office

The light around your screens can also impact the strain that you put on your eyes. Of course, you need to make sure that there’s enough quality lighting so that you and your employees aren’t constantly squinting to see. But Patel acknowledges that offices usually do a good job of providing enough light.

More often, the problem lies in having too much light in some spots or uneven lighting. If there’s a glare on your screen from an overhead light or lamp, it could contribute to your digital eye strain symptoms. So it might be worth evaluating your lighting plan and changing up some of the fixtures if you or your employees have to deal with glare.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Use These 5 Tips To Help You And Your Employees Avoid Eye Strain" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Use These 5 Tips To Help You And Your Employees Avoid Eye Strain

How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain

About 80 percent of U.S. adults say they use screens at least two hours per day. And 59 percent have reported experiencing some form of digital eye strain.

Digital eye strain can include a number of symptoms, including dry eyes, irritation, sensitivity to light, trouble focusing, and blurry vision. If not addressed, these symptoms can turn into chronic problems.

This issue can be especially problematic for entrepreneurs, since screens are such a huge part of running a business in 2019. If you strain your eyes and have trouble seeing or focusing, it could end up impacting your productivity and effectiveness.

How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain

Luckily, there are a few fairly simple things you can do to lessen your chances of experiencing digital eye strain or dealing with the symptoms. Small Business Trends recently spoke with Dr. Hanish Patel, optometrist and founding partner of Eye Associates of New York and The Center for Ophthalmic and Vision Research, who offered some expert tips.

Have an Eye Exam

Even if screens are at the root of your eye issues, there may be other factors that play a role as well. If you can correct those issues, it could help you lessen your symptoms dramatically.

Patel said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “A lot of patients have untreated vision issues. And correcting those problems could help you, even if you’re still staring at screens all day.”

Follow the 20/20/20 Rule

Of course, taking a break from staring at your computer or smartphone could greatly benefit your eyes. However, long breaks aren’t always possible. Since Patel treats plenty of professionals in Manhattan, he acknowledges this reality. But he says that even short breaks every so often can make a big difference. To help you remember, he broke it down into a rule that he and other eye care professionals call 20/20/20.

He explains, “You just need to take a break for 20 seconds every 20 minutes where you look at something that’s at least 20 feet away.”

Change Up Your Computer Screen

Blue light from computer monitors and mobile devices is one of the factors that contributes to eye strain. However, there are now monitors that emit less of that blue light, so they’re essentially easier on your eyes.

BenQ is one company that’s taking a step in this direction. The company has a line of monitors that filters some of those harmful blue light rays so they don’t harm your eyes as much as traditional screens, without impacting picture quality. They also offer entertainment and gaming solutions. So you could replace some of the items in your home as well if you tend to look at screens a lot during your off time.

Use Blue Light Glasses

There are also filtering products that help you reflect some of that blue light before it makes it to your eyes. The most popular option currently available is probably blue light glasses. These are non-prescription lenses that simply reflect some of those harmful rays. In addition to strain, blue light can also promote alertness and impact your ability to sleep at night, especially if you tend to use your phone or computer in the evenings.

This likely won’t solve the problem completely, as blue light isn’t the full reason for digital eye strain. The focus that your eyes place on screens for long periods of time can still contribute to symptoms. So this shouldn’t be used in place of taking periodic breaks or setting up an eye exam. But it could be a decent complementary option.

Adjust the Light in Your Office

The light around your screens can also impact the strain that you put on your eyes. Of course, you need to make sure that there’s enough quality lighting so that you and your employees aren’t constantly squinting to see. But Patel acknowledges that offices usually do a good job of providing enough light.

More often, the problem lies in having too much light in some spots or uneven lighting. If there’s a glare on your screen from an overhead light or lamp, it could contribute to your digital eye strain symptoms. So it might be worth evaluating your lighting plan and changing up some of the fixtures if you or your employees have to deal with glare.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Use These 5 Tips To Help You And Your Employees Avoid Eye Strain" was first published on Small Business Trends



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How to Find Out What Taxes Your Small Business Owes Each Year

How to Find Out What Your Small Business Tax Payment Will Be Each Year

What kinds of taxes does a small business have to pay every year? When you start a small business, you might hear a lot about all the tax breaks you’ll get. While there are tax breaks for businesses, it’s also important to know about all the taxes you’ll be responsible for each year. Here’s an overview of different business taxes you may need to pay and where to find out more information on each of them.

Federal Income Taxes

Everyone has to pay federal income taxes. The way you’re taxed and the forms you fill out will vary depending on the structure of your business.

Sole Proprietor

You’ll pay income taxes using a Schedule C (Form 1040).

If you make more than $400 annually from self-employment, you also have to pay self-employment taxes. These are your contributions to Medicare and Social Security, which would be withheld from your paycheck if you had an employer. File your self-employment taxes using Schedule SE (Form 1040).

If you expect to owe $1,000 or more in federal taxes in a tax year, you need to pay your income taxes and self-employment taxes quarterly by making estimated tax payments.

See the IRS’ guidance for sole proprietors for more information and tax forms.

Partnership

Partnerships file what’s called an “annual information return” listing the business’s income, deductions, gains and losses from the year. However, since income from a partnership flows through to the partners and is taxed at their individual income tax rate, your share of the business’s income or losses will be declared on your personal taxes.

Like sole proprietors, partners also have to pay self-employment taxes and make estimated tax payments.

Corporation

A C corporation files its own federal income taxes using Form 1120. Income distributed to shareholders as dividends is also reported on their personal tax returns. In effect, C corporations pay taxes twice. S corporations avoid this “double taxation” by flowing income through to the shareholders, who report it on their personal tax returns.

Owners of S and C corporations don’t pay self-employment tax because they are employed by the corporation. However, they may have to pay estimated taxes.

See the IRS’ guidance for C corporations and S corporations for more information and tax forms.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The IRS may treat an LLC as a corporation, a partnership, or part of the LLC’s owner’s tax return depending on elections made by the LLC’s members. Learn more about federal taxes and LLCs.

Federal Employment Taxes

If you have employees, you must pay employment taxes (also called payroll taxes).

Federal employment taxes include withholding federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare tax (called FICA taxes), from employees’ gross wages and remitting it to the IRS. In addition to withholding the appropriate amounts, you also have to match your employees’ FICA taxes and pay that amount when you remit your employees’ taxes withheld.

Finally, you have to pay federal unemployment tax (called FUTA tax) for each employee. Employees do not pay this tax, or have it withheld from their wages.

See the IRS’ guidance on employment taxes.

State and Local Taxes

Depending on your state, you may also need to pay state income taxes. In addition, your city, county or municipality may charge taxes. For instance, some cities charge an “occupational privilege tax,” also called a “head tax,” requiring employers to pay a per-employee amount based on how many employees they have.

You can find out about state and local taxes by contacting your state tax board. The IRS website has links to state tax information.

State Employment Taxes

Each state has specific requirements for whether you need to withhold and pay employment taxes. Some states also require you to withhold and/or pay state unemployment taxes, state workers’ compensation taxes or state disability taxes.

If you have an employee who works remotely but lives out of state, you typically need to withhold state taxes for the state in which the work was done.

If an employee lives in one state but works in another (in other words, crosses the state border every day to get to work), you generally have to withhold state taxes for the state where the work was done.

Check with your state’s tax authority or the tax authority where your remote employees live and work for more details. The IRS website has links to state tax information.

Excise Tax

Excise taxes are federal taxes charged if you make or sell certain products; operate certain kinds of businesses; use specific types of equipment, facilities or products or get paid for certain services. Generally, excise taxes relate to communications, transportation, emissions or wagering-related businesses.

Visit the IRS website for information on excise taxes.

Sales Tax

If you sell products, most states require you to collect sales tax and remit it to the state department of revenue. Each state has its own laws about what specific products are subject to sales tax.

Some cities, counties or municipalities also charge their own sales taxes on top of state sales taxes.

Visit your state’s department of revenue to find out about sales taxes and apply for a sales tax permit.

If you buy products for resale, you can avoid paying sales tax when you purchase the goods, by getting a reseller number. Contact your state’s tax agency to get a resale permit, certificate or license (it varies by state) which will give you a reseller number.

The Tax Foundation maintains a list of state and local sales tax rates. Or try the sales tax calculator from QuickBooks.

Online Sales Tax

If you sell products online, sales tax gets even more complicated. It used to be you only had to collect sales tax if you had a physical presence (“nexus”) in the state where the customer lives. A June 2018 Supreme Court ruling changed that, allowing individual states to require ecommerce businesses to collect sales tax from products they sell to customers in that state. Using shopping cart software that calculates sales tax automatically will help make it easier to track and remit your sales tax.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to States with Laws Requiring Collection of Internet Sales Tax and this map indicating the Remote Seller Nexus laws that apply in each state.

Property Tax

Do you own the building where your startup will be located? If so, your state may require you to pay property tax. States may also collect property tax on other business assets such as your equipment or company vehicles.

Gross Receipts Tax

In states that don’t charge businesses state income tax, you may have to pay a tax on your company’s gross receipts (that is, gross revenues) instead.

Franchise Tax

Some states charge partnerships, corporations and LLCs a franchise tax for doing business in the state. You might have to pay franchise tax even if your business isn’t physically located in a state — for instance, if you ship products to the state, or if you incorporated in a state outside your home state for tax benefits. Franchise taxes are typically based on your company’s net worth.

Additional Small Business Tax Resources

Links to state tax information

IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "How to Find Out What Taxes Your Small Business Owes Each Year" was first published on Small Business Trends



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How to Find Out What Taxes Your Small Business Owes Each Year

How to Find Out What Your Small Business Tax Payment Will Be Each Year

What kinds of taxes does a small business have to pay every year? When you start a small business, you might hear a lot about all the tax breaks you’ll get. While there are tax breaks for businesses, it’s also important to know about all the taxes you’ll be responsible for each year. Here’s an overview of different business taxes you may need to pay and where to find out more information on each of them.

Federal Income Taxes

Everyone has to pay federal income taxes. The way you’re taxed and the forms you fill out will vary depending on the structure of your business.

Sole Proprietor

You’ll pay income taxes using a Schedule C (Form 1040).

If you make more than $400 annually from self-employment, you also have to pay self-employment taxes. These are your contributions to Medicare and Social Security, which would be withheld from your paycheck if you had an employer. File your self-employment taxes using Schedule SE (Form 1040).

If you expect to owe $1,000 or more in federal taxes in a tax year, you need to pay your income taxes and self-employment taxes quarterly by making estimated tax payments.

See the IRS’ guidance for sole proprietors for more information and tax forms.

Partnership

Partnerships file what’s called an “annual information return” listing the business’s income, deductions, gains and losses from the year. However, since income from a partnership flows through to the partners and is taxed at their individual income tax rate, your share of the business’s income or losses will be declared on your personal taxes.

Like sole proprietors, partners also have to pay self-employment taxes and make estimated tax payments.

Corporation

A C corporation files its own federal income taxes using Form 1120. Income distributed to shareholders as dividends is also reported on their personal tax returns. In effect, C corporations pay taxes twice. S corporations avoid this “double taxation” by flowing income through to the shareholders, who report it on their personal tax returns.

Owners of S and C corporations don’t pay self-employment tax because they are employed by the corporation. However, they may have to pay estimated taxes.

See the IRS’ guidance for C corporations and S corporations for more information and tax forms.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The IRS may treat an LLC as a corporation, a partnership, or part of the LLC’s owner’s tax return depending on elections made by the LLC’s members. Learn more about federal taxes and LLCs.

Federal Employment Taxes

If you have employees, you must pay employment taxes (also called payroll taxes).

Federal employment taxes include withholding federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare tax (called FICA taxes), from employees’ gross wages and remitting it to the IRS. In addition to withholding the appropriate amounts, you also have to match your employees’ FICA taxes and pay that amount when you remit your employees’ taxes withheld.

Finally, you have to pay federal unemployment tax (called FUTA tax) for each employee. Employees do not pay this tax, or have it withheld from their wages.

See the IRS’ guidance on employment taxes.

State and Local Taxes

Depending on your state, you may also need to pay state income taxes. In addition, your city, county or municipality may charge taxes. For instance, some cities charge an “occupational privilege tax,” also called a “head tax,” requiring employers to pay a per-employee amount based on how many employees they have.

You can find out about state and local taxes by contacting your state tax board. The IRS website has links to state tax information.

State Employment Taxes

Each state has specific requirements for whether you need to withhold and pay employment taxes. Some states also require you to withhold and/or pay state unemployment taxes, state workers’ compensation taxes or state disability taxes.

If you have an employee who works remotely but lives out of state, you typically need to withhold state taxes for the state in which the work was done.

If an employee lives in one state but works in another (in other words, crosses the state border every day to get to work), you generally have to withhold state taxes for the state where the work was done.

Check with your state’s tax authority or the tax authority where your remote employees live and work for more details. The IRS website has links to state tax information.

Excise Tax

Excise taxes are federal taxes charged if you make or sell certain products; operate certain kinds of businesses; use specific types of equipment, facilities or products or get paid for certain services. Generally, excise taxes relate to communications, transportation, emissions or wagering-related businesses.

Visit the IRS website for information on excise taxes.

Sales Tax

If you sell products, most states require you to collect sales tax and remit it to the state department of revenue. Each state has its own laws about what specific products are subject to sales tax.

Some cities, counties or municipalities also charge their own sales taxes on top of state sales taxes.

Visit your state’s department of revenue to find out about sales taxes and apply for a sales tax permit.

If you buy products for resale, you can avoid paying sales tax when you purchase the goods, by getting a reseller number. Contact your state’s tax agency to get a resale permit, certificate or license (it varies by state) which will give you a reseller number.

The Tax Foundation maintains a list of state and local sales tax rates. Or try the sales tax calculator from QuickBooks.

Online Sales Tax

If you sell products online, sales tax gets even more complicated. It used to be you only had to collect sales tax if you had a physical presence (“nexus”) in the state where the customer lives. A June 2018 Supreme Court ruling changed that, allowing individual states to require ecommerce businesses to collect sales tax from products they sell to customers in that state. Using shopping cart software that calculates sales tax automatically will help make it easier to track and remit your sales tax.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to States with Laws Requiring Collection of Internet Sales Tax and this map indicating the Remote Seller Nexus laws that apply in each state.

Property Tax

Do you own the building where your startup will be located? If so, your state may require you to pay property tax. States may also collect property tax on other business assets such as your equipment or company vehicles.

Gross Receipts Tax

In states that don’t charge businesses state income tax, you may have to pay a tax on your company’s gross receipts (that is, gross revenues) instead.

Franchise Tax

Some states charge partnerships, corporations and LLCs a franchise tax for doing business in the state. You might have to pay franchise tax even if your business isn’t physically located in a state — for instance, if you ship products to the state, or if you incorporated in a state outside your home state for tax benefits. Franchise taxes are typically based on your company’s net worth.

Additional Small Business Tax Resources

Links to state tax information

IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "How to Find Out What Taxes Your Small Business Owes Each Year" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

When to Send Article Pitches (and Other Important Emails)

It feels good when you’ve done your research before pitching an article idea to an editor: You know the publication’s...

The post When to Send Article Pitches (and Other Important Emails) appeared first on Copyblogger.



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Secrets of Succeeding as a Woman in Silicon Valley – and in Business in General – Revealed

How Women Succeed in Silicon Valley

Want to succeed as a woman in Silicon Valley? You’ll fins it the toughest business environment in world.

On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Julian Guthrie dives into stories of women in Silicon Valley. These stories show women successfully navigating interactions with their predominately male colleagues. Guthrie spent twenty years at the San Francisco Chronicle. There she won numerous awards. And she received multiple nominations for the Pulitzer Prize in recognition of her writing.

In her new book, Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley’s Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime, she discusses how female leaders are missing from so many industries. She believes this a result of the pervasive cases of bias between entrepreneurs and mostly male venture capitalists.  According to Julian, men tend to invest in people that are like them.

How Women Succeed in Silicon Valley

Despite long odds, Julian discusses how some women in Silicon Valley have succeeded in this male dominated culture. For example, Magdalena Yesil arrived in America from Turkey with $43 and nine gold bracelets. After she earned her electrical engineering degree from Stanford University, she starts work at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). At a sales conference, the night’s entertainment is a striptease performance. Magdalena has the courage to address this with the CEO of the company. She later goes on to help start Salesforce with Marc Benioff.

Julian states that one of the keys to successful women in Silicon Valley is to know when to take issue with a specific male dominated action and when to let it go. She says women need to have a “thick skin” and not approach it in an adversarial way, but be solutions oriented.

In another example, Julian reveals how one woman in an all-male partners’ meeting would read up on sports to have something to talk about. She notes that now men are doing the same thing; becoming current about what women traditionally find interesting.

Finally, Julian discusses why visionary leaders like Steve Jobs are not “very nice” people and why women succeed with a different model!

Listen to the entire episode here.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Secrets of Succeeding as a Woman in Silicon Valley – and in Business in General – Revealed" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Secrets of Succeeding as a Woman in Silicon Valley – and in Business in General – Revealed

How Women Succeed in Silicon Valley

Want to succeed as a woman in Silicon Valley? You’ll fins it the toughest business environment in world.

On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Julian Guthrie dives into stories of women in Silicon Valley. These stories show women successfully navigating interactions with their predominately male colleagues. Guthrie spent twenty years at the San Francisco Chronicle. There she won numerous awards. And she received multiple nominations for the Pulitzer Prize in recognition of her writing.

In her new book, Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley’s Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime, she discusses how female leaders are missing from so many industries. She believes this a result of the pervasive cases of bias between entrepreneurs and mostly male venture capitalists.  According to Julian, men tend to invest in people that are like them.

How Women Succeed in Silicon Valley

Despite long odds, Julian discusses how some women in Silicon Valley have succeeded in this male dominated culture. For example, Magdalena Yesil arrived in America from Turkey with $43 and nine gold bracelets. After she earned her electrical engineering degree from Stanford University, she starts work at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). At a sales conference, the night’s entertainment is a striptease performance. Magdalena has the courage to address this with the CEO of the company. She later goes on to help start Salesforce with Marc Benioff.

Julian states that one of the keys to successful women in Silicon Valley is to know when to take issue with a specific male dominated action and when to let it go. She says women need to have a “thick skin” and not approach it in an adversarial way, but be solutions oriented.

In another example, Julian reveals how one woman in an all-male partners’ meeting would read up on sports to have something to talk about. She notes that now men are doing the same thing; becoming current about what women traditionally find interesting.

Finally, Julian discusses why visionary leaders like Steve Jobs are not “very nice” people and why women succeed with a different model!

Listen to the entire episode here.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Secrets of Succeeding as a Woman in Silicon Valley – and in Business in General – Revealed" was first published on Small Business Trends



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