API Journal Authors: Ruxit Blog, William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Derek Weeks

News Feed Item

Rocket Lawyer Releases the 2013 Small Business Index

Small Business Optimism Is up While Economic Recovery Remains the Most Important Issue for Small Businesses

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/30/13 -- Optimism rang in the New Year according to a recent Rocket Lawyer survey of more than 700 small businesses across the country. To maintain the positive momentum, SMBs expect the Obama administration to focus on keeping the economic recovery on track, as government's top priority.

An impressive 81 percent of small business owners surveyed by Rocket Lawyer expect 2013 to be a better year than 2012. Over half (56 percent) of businesses are doing well as 8 percent said that business is booming and 48 percent said they were growing and meeting expectations. However, less than half of the potential employers will be hiring new workers, 65 percent report that they are not planning to hire in the next six months.

The New Boomers:
The survey found that one specific demographic is thriving economically: millennials (ages 18-30). The majority of millennial small business owners (68 percent) saw growth in 2012, and an additional four percent said business was booming. Additionally, 42 percent of millennials are planning to hire in the next six months -- more than any other age group.

Over half of SMBs (53 percent) said the President's top priority should be the economy. When we asked small business owners about their hopes and concerns, the economy also topped both lists -- 27 percent said an economic recovery was their top hope for the second term and 21 percent said it was their top concern. Additionally, when asked what the President could do for them in his second term, 39 percent said tax breaks and 37 percent said incentives for entrepreneurship. Not surprisingly, an increase in taxes is the top fear of respondents, and almost half of business owners (47 percent) would not be willing to pay higher taxes to reduce the federal budget deficit.

When it came to legal issues, over half (55 percent) of small businesses faced a problem in 2012, slightly up (3 percent) from 2011. The most frequent legal issue faced was contract negotiations (23 percent), followed by the failure to collect payments (15 percent) and real estate transactions (13 percent). The biggest legal concern remains compliance with government regulations (27 percent), slightly down from last year at 33 percent but it still remains a hot button issue.

"It's astonishing that almost half of small businesses (47 percent) have never consulted with a lawyer. Good legal counsel is essential and can certainly be a competitive advantage for business owners who have to manage both opportunities and potential risks," said Charley Moore, founder and executive chairman of Rocket Lawyer. "However many SMBs are still under the misconception that legal advice has to be complex and expensive. The next quarter, not to mention the next couple of years, could bring significant changes to small businesses, and some will be out of the owner's control. With the right legal representation, fortifying the legality of your business is something every owner has the power to do."

Tips for Starting the New Year

1. Keep Good Counsel

More and more people are beginning to understand the value of regularly consulting with an attorney rather than waiting until they need one. A good business attorney can be the difference between success and failure. Consult a lawyer for big legal decisions your company makes. It's better to pay a little up front than a lot down the road.

2. Get it in Writing

Whether it's a new employee or a repeat client, never assume anything. Contracts provide both parties with their obligations, rights, and responsibilities and while they don't guarantee the other party will make good on the agreement it does guarantee that a court will look kindly on you if they don't.

3. Take Advantage of Tax Tips

Washington D.C. Tax attorney Mark L. Rosenberg explains that the most important thing every small business needs to understand is the fiscal cliff legislation and the differences it made to tax law:

"Small business owners need to listen up as the following changes will certainly affect 2013 tax planning: Most importantly, Bush era tax cuts were preserved for all those with income under $450,000 ($400,000 for individuals) which is really most small business owners. For taxpayers who earn over $300,000 for joint filers ($250,000 for individual filers and $275,000 for heads of household), deductions begin to phase out at income levels above that amount. This means that the effective rate of tax will increase, since deductions will be worth less to those taxpayers."

In addition, the payroll tax holiday is over, which means that all employers will pay the full 7.65 percent Social Security/Medicare tax on each employee's earnings. Also the maximum wage cap for payment of Social Security taxes has been raised from $100,100 in 2012 to $113,700 in 2013. These changes will present some new planning opportunities for small business owners and they should check with a tax adviser (an attorney or accountant) on ways of structuring their business to plan properly."

About Rocket Lawyer™
At Rocket Lawyer, we believe everyone deserves easy and affordable legal services. Since 2008 we've helped over 20 million families and small businesses take care of their legal matters -- so they can focus on what really matters. From free legal documents to discounted rates from outstanding attorneys, we're here to help every step of the way. For more information on Rocket Lawyer, please visit http://www.rocketlawyer.com and follow Rocket Lawyer on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

About the Survey:
This survey was conducted by Rocket Lawyer November 29 - Dec 4, 2012, among 700+ nationwide small business owners who are Rocket Lawyer members or have used Rocket Lawyer's services. The margin of error is 3.58 percent.

Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2214913

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.