Building your own business comes with challenges and perks every step of the way, but along that path, you’re probably going to meet people who can lend a hand or share an important piece of advice.
One of the most important parts of being self-employed and starting your own business is building a network of people around you filled with clients, advisers, influencers, and supporters. While meeting new people may seem difficult at first, it can also be extremely rewarding and beneficial for you and your business.
You never know when you may need to chat again with the business associates standing next to you at the coffee shop! So, whether you’re swiping right on Bumble Bizz or networking the old-fashioned way, check out these ways you can use networking to your advantage in more ways than one!
Networking meetings: Bumble Bizz and other apps are great ways to expand your network and meet potential new clients. As a self-employed business owner, you can also use these tools to look for a mentor, potential colleagues with the skills you need to run your business or other entrepreneurs.
When it comes times to file your taxes, you may be able to write off the costs associated with networking for your business, like the costs of your networking apps and networking group fees.
Conferences: Attending a conference can help you learn new skills and meet people in your respective industry. While the conference fees may be expensive, you can often write off the cost of admission, as long as it directly relates to your business.
The cost of travel to a conference is also generally considered tax deductible as long as it is “ordinary and necessary” and is specifically related to your work.
Professional business networks: We all know how important networking is, and sometimes your city may have local community organizations that you and your business can benefit from.
Joining a professional network or organization in your community can help grow your business and provide new opportunities that you may not have been able to find otherwise. Remember: membership fees are tax deductible as long as there is a professional purpose for joining.
LinkedIn Premium subscription: LinkedIn provides self-employed individuals an opportunity to promote their business and grow their brand, as well as continue to build their online network with like-minded professionals. The subscription-based Premium service can be written off as a business expense if you are using it for your business or professional purposes.
While you’re buzzing around and building your networks, be sure to keep track of your expenses so you can report them when it’s time to file. As always, you can use QuickBooks Self-Employed to easily track your business income, expenses, and mileage year-round. Your information can then transfer to your TurboTax Self-Employed tax return at tax-time.
If you don’t know what you can claim and have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered from the comfort of your couch.