Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Small Business News”

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Small Business Optimism High And Work Environment Fun Despite Trade War

You’d be hard pressed to convince any small business owner like yourself that the U.S. is in a trade war. If the economic numbers are any indication, there’s a good chance you’re reading this and things are going well for you. At the very least, they’re probably better than they were. And feeling good is not something to ignore. In fact, a report this week showed that small business owners are most influenced by consumer confidence. They say that’s the most important economic factor to consider. Right now, consumer confidence is high and small business owner optimism, as we’ve previously reported, is at an all-time high. There’s a good chance your optimism is having a trickle-down effect, too. Another recent survey indicates that employees of small businesses are having a lot more fun at work than their counterparts at big businesses. Good chance is underestimating it, really. The new survey from Aflac found that 87% of small business employees believe they’re having more fun. And this fun and joy — presumably — is all happening during that so-called trade war with China. That war, according to White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow this week, is merely a skirmish for small businesses like yours. He says the impact of tariffs on China for American small businesses is minimal. So there’s some good news for you amid a never-ending stream of bad news elsewhere. For more positive headlines impacting small businesses this week, check out our news roundup below. Finance Intuit Launches QuickBooks Online Advanced to Leverage Data for Growing Businesses Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) announced the launch of QuickBooks Online Advanced with the goal of providing a better way to help growing companies understand their business. The new cloud-based solution will leverage the large amounts of data generated by its 3.4 million online customers with artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver insights businesses can use. Xero Joins FDX to Make Financial Data More Accessible to Small Businesses Using digital technology means generating data — a lot of it. The data comes from your business and the customers you serve,…

In the News, a Survey Says 73% of Your Customers are Influenced by Content Marketing

? Before you create that next piece of content for your site or social media channel or YouTube channel or whatever, think … is this going to entice someone to buy something from me? To start this latest edition of This Week in Small Business, co-founder of SMB Group Laurie McCabe and I discussed that idea. We looked at Mike Guta’s recent article on the impact of content on purchases. A new survey from Clutch shows that 73% of those asked said content was a driving force in making a purchase. In fact, it could have been the clinching thing that induced someone to hit the Buy button. While it seems likely that content would play a role in increasing sales, 73% seems like a lot. Laurie, on this week’s show, seems to think the figure makes sense. “All of us, we’re doing more and more searching and information gathering on our own, before we decide what to buy. We want to self-educate ourselves,” she says. That doesn’t mean all content is great and is going to lead to a sale. “The question is, ‘Is this content valuable,’ Laurie adds.  “There is so much noise out there, so much marketing drivel. When you find something that helps you understand something better, it can be really helpful.” To me, that sounds like authenticity to me. In other words, a piece of content’s ability to answer questions would make it most valuable. Do you agree? Check out the rest of the discussion on this and a few more articles I found interesting this week on Small Business Trends. For the rest of the week in small business headlines, check out the news roundup below. Remember, be sure to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today to get updates on the latest TWiSB videos and more. Economy New California Diversity Law for Corporate Boards Won’t Impact Small Privately Held Businesses California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that will require publicly traded companies with headquarters in the state to have women serving on their boards of directors. Employment 48% of…

Hughes Network, Paya Introduce New Business Tools, Voice Assistance Grows in Popularity

? Small businesses are always enticed with the latest pieces of technology to help them. They’re designed to help but often times, trying to adapt these technologies to our businesses or our businesses to these technologies does more harm than good. This week, small businesses were tempted with some new technologies that are designed to make it easier to run a business and make more money. For instance, Paya introduced a new payment platform. Hughes Network has launched a cyber security software suite for small businesses and franchises, specifically. And this week, I learned that machine learning technology can even help something like the automotive industry, which includes tens of thousands of small businesses, close to at least one in every town across the country. We’ve wondered, what emerging technology is the biggest help to your small business right now? In this latest episode of This Week in Small Business, I offer some thoughts on that subject and I’d like to know yours. Check out the poll question currently on Small Business Trends. In the video above, I talk about the results of that poll and offer up another question. For the rest of this week’s headlines, check out the Small Business Trends news roundup below. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today to get future updates. Green Business A Guide to LED Office Lighting for Your Small Business LED lighting has replaced many of the traditional bulbs and fixtures over the past several years. These bulbs are more efficient and better for the environment, making them an attractive option in a number of settings — including office buildings. Management Construction and Marketing Businesses Most Susceptible to Phishing Attacks, Report Says According to a new threat report, there’s been a 782x increase in the number of phishing cyberattacks in Q2 2018 alone.  eSentire Threat Intelligence also reports that two industries with a strong small business presence (marketing and construction) were in the top five most affected. Retail Trends Pinterest Opens Shop the Look Feature to Small Businesses Letting Them Sell from their Pins When…

Best Project Management and CRM Software and More Top Small Business News

? We are back with another This Week in Small Business and back with a familiar guest. But to find John “Colderice” Lawson, I had to go to Las Vegas to get him to appear on the show. And I’m glad I did because he’s got some valuable insight into two articles that grabbed my attention this week on Small Business Trends. This week, John and I discuss the best project management tools and also talk about the best CRM software for small businesses. We each have our favorites and everyone usually does, but our discussion focuses on why it’s the best for our own uses. When we were talking about the best project management software, John spoke about why his favorite is his favorite. “It really is to get everyone on the same page,” he says. “That’s the key.” Then we went into my wheelhouse, which is CRM tools. I don’t have a personal favorite but I can tell you why you definitely need a CRM platform. And in the video this week, I get a little passionate about the common reasons I hear why small businesses don’t use them. “The thing most people forget to do is follow up,” John adds. “And the CRM tool is going to allow you to do that kind of follow-up and it’s going to remind you 6 months … 8 months into the sales cycle after they’ve purchased … you need this stuff. For the rest of the discussion on these tools and the value they add to your small business, be sure to check out the video above. And to never miss future This Week in Small Business videos, subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today. You can check out the other headlines important to small business owners by reading the weekly news roundup below … Economy SBA Celebrates National Women’s Small Business Month The Small Business Administration (SBA) is celebrating October as National Women’s Small Business Month by highlighting the accomplishments and challenges women face. In recognition of this month, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon has written a blog…

Technology Unlocks New Potential For Small Business, Telecommuting Increases in Popularity

? How long have you been in business? For a lot of us, just getting through the first year seems like a dream sometimes. And at times, it can feel like you’ve been in business forever. Well, this week I got a notification on my LinkedIn account that this very company, and its founder Anita Campbell, have been in business for 15 years. So, I dedicated the latest This Week in Small Business to discuss the last 15 years in small business. In our discussion, Anita and I specifically discuss the role of technology in small business and how this company and others manage new tech and integrate them into how they operate. You can check out our full discussion in the video above or follow along with a transcript of the discussion here. For the actual week in small business news, be sure to check out the Small Business Trends news roundup below, including a story on one particular insect that’s causing all sorts of problems for businesses in one part of the country and how it could potentially impact your business. And to get future alerts when a new This Week in Small Business Trends is live, be sure to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today! Economy Survey Reveals Top 20 Telecommute Jobs Businesses are Hiring For in 2018 Freelancers are increasingly making up a larger percentage of the workforce and businesses of all sizes are offering more telecommuting gigs to accommodate them. The new survey from Virtual Vocations has ranked the top telecommute jobs of 2018 along with the seasonal telecommute jobs through December. US Coal Businesses Should Consider Foreign Markets as International Demand Increases Foreign markets are lining up to purchase American coal by widening amounts as U.S. coal consumption reaches its lowest level in more than three decades. US Coal Consumption Power plants’ consumption of coal dropped to 298 million short tons in the first half of 2018, a sharp fall from 312 million in the same period last year, according to a Thomson Reuters report. Employment Decisely Introduces Services Allowing Small Businesses to…

USA Today, Womply Lend Help to Main Street Businesses

There’s often a focus on online businesses. This week, there seemed to be a concerted effort to help local small businesses get online and even one instance where an online behemoth plans to enter into a very traditionally local, seasonal business. Earlier this week, USA Today announced a new tool to help local small businesses, often called the Main Street businesses, enhance their online presence and launch effective targeted marketing campaigns. Be on the lookout for the newspaper company’s new LOCALiQ service. On the back end of many local small businesses are usually some antiquated systems for dealing with customers and clients. That’s where something new from Womply is designed to fit. The new Womply CRM is designed specifically for mom-and-pop shops that are more likely to be complicated by traditional CRM systems. And finally, Amazon is reportedly planning to insert itself into another local business, just in time for the holidays. The latest suggests Amazon is planning to sell and deliver Christmas trees, just like it does with clothing, tools, and just about everything else. Of course, this could be an opportunity for Amazon to partner with one or several local Christmas tree sellers where this move might actually benefit some sellers. That’s just a small portion of what was making news this week for small businesses. Literally just the business on one street. Check out the rest of the week in small business news in our news roundup below. For those accustomed to This Week in Small Business appearing at this time, check back next week when host Brent Leary brings you his take on the news. Don’t miss that next show by subscribing to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today. Economy 73% of Gen Z Freelancers Do So By Choice, Report Says Upwork’s Freelancing in America: 2017 survey reports there will be more Gen Z people than Millennials in the workforce within a year. They are the generation that is most likely to freelance. In fact, the data shows that 73% of this generation freelances by choice. Employment The Cost of Hiring a New Employee Could…

Some Small Businesses Should Know Why Someone Just Bought 20,000 Mercedes-Benz Vans

? Who would buy 20,000 Mercedes-Benz vans? Amazon would, actually. And they already did, according to one headline this week on Small Business Trends. My guest this week on This Week in Small Business, John “Colderice” Lawson, says he believes the move to purchase all these fresh off the line Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans is a sign that Amazon is ready to take control of the whole process, from its warehouses to your front door. (To be precise: This week’s show was recorded in his media studio, so I was his guest, in a way.) We think two things are happening here. Amazon is moving forward with its plan to partner with local delivery and transportation companies to fulfill orders. And Amazon is taking over the “last mile” part of the order fulfillment process. Right now, a lot of that business goes to the U.S. Postal Service. And it’s been reported — by some — that Amazon gets a good deal on postal rates but that may not always be true in the not-so-distant future. Check out our takes on this move, especially, as it has the biggest impact on small business in the entrepreneurial sense. John, the world traveler, schooled us all on why they’re going with the Mercedes-Benz vans, in particular. “It sounds great on the surface, but if you go to Europe, all the vans are Mercedes-Benz vans. What people don’t know is that Mercedes-Benz makes vehicles and engines that are great for repeated use,” he says rather expertly. On the rest of the show this week, John and I also discuss some of the latest SEO advice from Larry Kim and some tips on creating some top-shelf retail experiences for your customers. Be sure to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel to never miss another This Week in Small Business show and more. For the rest of the week in small business headlines, check out this Small Business Trends news roundup: Finance New Discover it Business Credit Card Tracks Expenses and Has Cash Back Match The new Discover it Business Card is going to give…

Is Your Small Business Using AI Yet? It Should Be

? It’s been another busy week for small businesses here with plenty of good and exciting news on the economy. But I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about some of the other top stories I found this week on Small Business Trends for the latest This Week in Small Business. In this week’s show, you’ll see that I’m alone for half of it. That’s because I was at the latest Inbound conference . You can check out my in-depth conversation with Jon Dick of HubSpot here and he’s also featured later in this show. This week, a recent article by Michael Guta got my attention and I wanted to focus in on that quickly. In it, he’s covering the top AI solutions for small businesses that cloud service providers can offer today. I picked this article because one of those services I know fairly well, that’s CRM or customer relationship management. In this show, I say, “There are so many service offerings now that are levering AI in their CRM applications.” And that’s true. One, for example, is predictive lead scoring. This is where machine learning helps you analyze your sales leads and assigns scores to help you decide whether a prospective client is worth pursuing before you divert resources to do so. “It gives you an idea of how close-able that lead is. Instead of burning cycles trying to figure out if a lead is good, now you have CRM applications help with that. CRM and AI go hand-in-glove at this point,” I say in the show. Check out that whole article for more AI services that can be offered to small businesses. And even if you’re not a cloud service provider, look at this list as a resource of AI services that you could implement at your own small business. You’ll also want to check out, as I did in this week’s show, Larry Kim’s latest on the 25 skills businesses need right now. To put it bluntly, if you’ve got some of these skills, the time is now to start cashing in on them. At…

Facebook Advertising Best Practices Top Small Business Stories This Week

? In this week’s roundup, I am joined by Laurie McCabe, co-founder of SMB Group at HubSpot’s Inbound Conference in Boston. We started our conversation going over the article by Annie Pilon titled, “10 Facebook Ad Best Practices for Small Businesses” Top Small Business Stories This Week With Facebook now an essential marketing tool for businesses that are online, Laurie said, “Facebook is the number one social channel for a lot of small businesses” when her organization does its surveys. She goes on to say for B2C businesses, “Facebook is a great way to get your brand out there and interact.” One of the tips I liked from the article is to use humor — which always gets your attention whether it is funny or not. And Laurie replied, “You want to use things that get someone’s attention in an authentic way and a genuine way.” We then moved to the other articles I chose for this week dealing with POS systems and how 30% of small businesses feel they are overpaying on taxes. If you want to get updates for any future episodes of This Week in Small Business, make sure to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today. For the rest of the articles in this week’s small business news roundup, you can take a look below. Economy Small Business Leaders Praise Potential Mexico Trade Deal In a phone conversation with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, U.S. President Donald Trump announced an agreement to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Employment InfoMart Introduces New Employee Background Screening for Small Businesses The tight labor market is making it much harder to find the right talent, but this doesn’t mean you can relax your due diligence in vetting potential candidates. A new screening platform launched by InfoMart will give startups, growing small businesses, and mid-sized organizations a solution for simplifying the background check process. Management Master the Art of Creating a More Productive Workspace with these 5 Tips Good employees are productive employees — but it’s not all just about motivation and work ethic. It can sometimes also be…

Experts Debate whether Instagram or Facebook is More Effective for Small Business

? I say Instagram Stories and John “Colderice” Lawson is ready to jump into it on the latest edition of This Week in Small Business. We kicked off this week’s show by talking about one of my favorite recent articles from Small Business Trends. This one from Alex Yong in which he interviews rising entrepreneur Nicholas Kirchner, who at 21 already owns his own marketing agency, got John going right away. “I’m just starting to love it,” he says. “What it’s great for marketing is that you can actually tell a story. Or I could give you all the designs of a specific SKU. You can save that Story on your Instagram profile and people can get to it. It’s got a lot of functionality to it.” Instagram vs Facebook for Business I temper John’s enthusiasm a little when I put him on the spot — which should small businesses focus on more: Instagram or Facebook? Or both? “I’m starting to skew Instagram a little more over Facebook,” he says. To find out why John thinks you may want to spend more time on your Instagram marketing efforts, check out the full show above. We also discuss the even earlier Christmas shopping season — and how your business should respond — as well as how you can keep your expenses to a minimum while you’re on the road for business. To get notifications and updates when another This Week in Small Business goes live, be sure to subscribe to the Small Business Trends YouTube channel today. Economy Truck Tonnage Index Increases by 1.9% with Much Work Going to Small Operators The American Trucking Association just announced its advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 1.9% in July. And a portion of this includes work going to the nation’s small independent truck operators. July 2018 Trucking Industry Statistics According to the association, the index showed a noticeable increase compared to the 0.5% decline in June revised from 0.4%. Finance Give Employees the Power to Save for Retirement with Spave App The way people save for retirement is shifting, particularly when it…

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. More Info | Close