Top Small Business Stories for the Beginning of June

small business news stories

Smaller smartphones, cheaper tablets, and Vine for Android — they’re all top stories for small businesses this week.

You’ll also learn about a new acquisition by sales and CRM software giant Salesforce.com that adds email marketing and marketing communications to the company’s offerings.

As always, the Small Business Trends editorial team gives you the news important to small businesses — and puts it into context for what it means to you.

Tech

iPhone grows ever more popular. The iPhone is the most popular make of smartphone, with 39% using an iPhone. But Google’s Android platform dominates, with over half of the market using Android on various makes. That snapshot of the U.S. smartphone market is courtesy the latest report from comScore. Smartphones are increasingly important to small business owners and entrepreneurs who must stay mobile. Which is your favorite and why?

Asus introduces Android tablet for under $150. It’s an economical 7-inch tablet. Called the Memo HD7, it will include a 16 GB device for just $149. The new tablet features two cameras and comes in the colors black, white, shocking pink and lime green. It’s an economical solution for small business users who need a mobile device when out of the office — although it’s not suitable to be your full-time computing device.

Internet Explorer stays on top in the world of browsers. If you have a small business website, you may be interested in what browser your visitors are viewing it with. Internet Explorer continues to dominate the online browser world with 56 percent of the market — at least by one measure. Firefox is the next most popular choice of Web surfers. See the full rundown to discover what browser your visitors might be using.

Samsung takes it down a notch with the Galaxy S4 Mini. It’s not only a smaller smartphone, it’s also a cheaper one. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini is a smaller version of the Galaxy S4. The device is 4.91 by 2.41 inches and has a 4.3-inch display screen. It is expected to cost less than the bigger phone, too.

Small businesses learn to use the anchor tag on websites. Do you use the anchor tag on your website? The tag is a clickable link. It takes you directly to a specific area of a page. Here is how you can use it for your business from Amanda DiSilvestro, writer for Viral Content Buzz.

What is a database? Entrepreneurs must often know tech basics these days as tech tools have become so important for building a company. You may think you know what a database is and is not. But we suspect we may offer some useful new information about a variety of tool called the “desktop database.”  Annie Pilon has details.

Google Local Plus offers neat benefits for local marketing.  SEO pro Vedran Tomic at SEO Rabbit chats with Mike Blumenthal, one of the world’s foremost experts in Google Maps, local search and the Google Plus Local service. Blumenthal offers a Google Plus Local 101 guide to making this tool work for your business. A must read for businesses that get most of their customers from their local area and want to do a better job attracting them online.

Social Media

Vine is out on Android. For all the Android users out there who have been waiting to use the Vine short-video application, the time has come. Since Twitter introduced the app on iOS in October 2012, 13 million users have downloaded it. And, an estimated 12 million Vine videos are posted to Twitter daily. How can the service help your business communicate?

Foursquare expands paid promotions to select small businesses. Right now Foursquare is working with small businesses in New York City. The location-based social network will help these businesses target new customers or perhaps customers that have been away from your business for a while, based on a cost-per-action fee structure.

Sponsored posts get a bigger footprint on Tumblr, appearing in the dashboard. And some Tumblr fans are none too happy. But before you go blaming Yahoo, which announced it would acquire the social blogging site a few weeks ago, read this.

Social media monitoring comes of age. From Facebook to Twitter, from LinkedIn to Google Plus and more, social media sites today abound. Each could offer a different value for your business, says Pratik Dholakiya, lead Strategist at E2M Solutions. The key is to learn how to monitor the many places your business has a social media presence. Here is the latest on how to go about it.

Entrepreneurship

Tip: Being too nice in business can be a bad thing. No one says you have to be a meanie all the time. But Rieva Lesonsky, President and Founder of GrowBiz Media, says there is such a thing as being too nice for your own good or for the good of your business. Here Lesonsky offers some ways to evaluate and to change course if necessary.

Subscription-based business models flourish. Today, business success is less about individual sales than maintaining customer relationships. Take Amazon’s Prime Membership, a $79 per year subscription giving you free two-day shipping on pretty much anything Amazon sells. Analyst Brent Leary interviews R.J. Hottovy of Morningstar about the value of building subscription-based membership programs in business.

Finance

Getting home equity for micro businesses becomes harder. In fact, Scott Shane, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University, reports the number of home equity loans lines of credit dropped from 23.9 to 18.7 million between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2012.

Services

Salesforce.com fits ExactTarget into its marketing puzzle. Salesforce.com has announced acquisition of ExactTarget, an email marketing and marketing communications software provider. The deal fills a gap in Salesforce.com’s offerings by providing the company with something much closer to a full-range marketing suite.

Prepaid cell phone plans offer options for small businesses. There’s no question cell phones, particularly smartphones, are important for the entrepreneur or small business owner. Prepaid wireless phone plans offer options small businesses might want to consider — and they differ from traditional multi-year mobile phone contracts. TJ McCue offers a review of one such plan.

Freelancer.com expands contests for services. The site already offers a way to hire freelancers for small businesses. It allows small businesses to create contests for design projects, for example, and lets business owners pick from submissions. The site is expanding its contest offerings — you can now structure contests for writing projects, software projects, and more. However, structuring such projects requires extra thought.

Yahoo retires its classic email. If you had some Yahoo Classic email accounts hanging around for business, they’re likely gone now. This week, Yahoo announced it would require any remaining account holders to either change over to update to the new Yahoo email or close their accounts. The update comes with a new Communications Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Planning

42 tips to consider for a successful business event. There are so many kinds of events and so many ways a business can benefit from them. But planing them can be a chore and overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. Here is some advice from the pros that can help you do it better.

Shutterstock: News on tablet

5 Comments ▼

Shawn Hessinger - Editor


Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Editor for Small Business Trends. He is a journalist and social media networker with more than a decade of experience in the traditional newspaper business before moving to the digital world. He was the former community manager of BizSugar and the former community editor at AllAnalytics, a site dedicated to professionals in the business intelligence and analytics community.

5 Reactions

  1. Thanks for this wrap-up, Shawn.

    Really? Internet Explorer remains on top in the browser wars?

    Why?

    Who uses it?

    The Franchise King®

    • Shawn Hessinger

      Ha! Ha! Yes, a commonly asked question, Joel. Generally, Firefox and Chrome users seem to take an anecdotal survey of people they know (who are also Firefox and Chrome users) and conclude that no one could possibly be using anything else. :)

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