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Amazon’s Foray into Healthcare


Translating the New Tax Bill for Small Businesses

Business owners have many questions since the passage of the massive new tax bill. This article outlines what’s in the new provision, who it affects, and why you likely don’t need to change a thing to benefit. The most important outcome of the new tax law (officially the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA) was to give a large, permanent tax cut to corporations. But most businesses in the US are small businesses, not large corporations. So rightfully, Congress introduced a provision into the TCJA to create a little more parity, called the deduction for Qualified Business Income (QBI) (also known as Section 199A). This provision, unlike the corporate tax cuts, is strictly for businesses known as “pass-through entities.” In terms of taxation, there is only one corporate entity that actually pays taxes, the C-Corporation.

A C-Corporation is usually very large and is primarily structured in order to take on shareholders, as a public company or one that is traded on the stock market. Every other type of business, from a tax standpoint, is known as a pass-through entity. The new deduction for Qualified Business Income (QBI), allows you to deduct 20% of your “qualified business income” from your total business income. For example, if I made $100,000 in profit from selling paintings as an artist, I get to deduct 20% of that — ie, $20,000. This benefit is phased out for individuals making between $157,500 ($315,000 if married) and $207,500 ($415,000 if married) in a number of service-based fields. There are a ton of details and restrictions in this particular new provision, especially if your income falls within the phase-out window, so know that you need to do research or talk to your accountant before you apply it. -  


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Amazon’s vision for the future of health care is becoming clear

Amazon made a few bold early steps into the $3.5 trillion healthcare sector, not the least of which was partnering with Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan for an employer health initiative. Amazon VfFsy8u_1-150x150also entered into the pharmacy field with the acquisition of start-up PillPack this summer, filed a patent for its Alexa voice assistant to pick up on a cough or cold and announced a product to mine patient health records. CNBC talked to some experts in the field to put the pieces together and figure out where Amazon might be going next. Imagine you have a sore throat. You tell Alexa and it responds by asking if you want to book an appointment at the doctor’s office or get a virtual consult. You pick the virtual option, and the doctor through Alexa asks you about your symptoms. It decides to send a courier to your home with a tiny portable device to do some basic tests for things like strep throat. The strep test is positive, so the virtual doc sends over a prescription for an antibiotic. All this happens within a few hours, and you never need to leave your house to sit in a medical office or stand in line at the pharmacy. That vision of the future might seem like science fiction, but it’s plausible to some health industry insiders.

Tom Robinson, a San Francisco-based partner at Oliver Wyman, who consults with health and life sciences companies believes it’s possible for Amazon’s Alexa to become a “front door” of sorts for health care. It wouldn’t be able to deal with all problems, but it could do a lot for basic ailments, preventative care and potentially even to help people with chronic medical conditions. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon starts out in health by providing things like over-the-counter medicines, and then moves into making the experience easier for managing your health,” said Robinson. -




How and Why Entrepreneurs Should Focus on Seniors in 2019

We see a lot of headlines about how our population is aging, but we don’t see what businesses are doing about it. By 2035, for the first time in American history, people aged 65 and older will outnumber those 18 and younger, and it’s time for entrepreneurs to take note. We’ve reached a stage where personalization is important no matter what the age of the consumer. For seniors, age is sometimes only a number. You have to understand their health state and their goals. Some in their 80s are looking to break world records in pole vaulting, and others are trying to make it to their next family vacation. This is an exciting time to develop products and services that truly satisfy and delight today’s seniors -- in all their complexity. Key points to remember: Understanding your target audience is important.

Seniors are just as diverse as the rest of the population. As health improves, adults 55 and up are working longer and have considerably more buying power than millennials. Don’t assume all seniors are low tech. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, 67 percent of boomers own smartphones, 52 percent own tablets and 57 percent use social media. These numbers are far from negligible. Remember that seniors use technology too. According to a survey conducted by AARP, the vast majority of seniors (91 percent in that particular study) use technology to stay connected to friends and family. We need products and services that draw people in and use the power of digital to open up lines of communication. Focus on health. There’s so much that could be explored to help seniors with their weight and their well-being, but don't assume everyone is facing the same challenges; you have to know who you’re building for. - Entrepreneur





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