December 20, 2014

Catch Up With Our Latest Small Business News Recap

Mobile woman staying up to day

We understand running your business may take 40, 50 or 60 hours a week — and then some. To save your valuable time, the Small Business Trends editorial team has gathered this recap of key stories not to miss this week.

Acquisitions & Startups That Help Small Business

DocStoc acquires BestVendor. Docstoc’s acquisition of BestVendor this week for an undisclosed sum adds software recommendations to the other online business resources the company already offers. Check out the full range of services now available.

Tawki can change your approach to video. A startup plans to take a one-click approach to production. Tawki will create simple video from a single keyword. You can even customize with added clips, photos, music and voice-overs.

Cyberwars Continue

The New York Times was hacked. Or rather, the domain name was hacked and pointed to a hacker’s servers.  One of the world’s most famous brands was brought down with a crafty phishing ploy.  To safeguard your business website, read these 2 tips to make sure your employees avoid similar mistakes.

Taxes & Revenue

Uncle Sam thinks you’re holding out. The IRS has been sending notices to small businesses. The concern is over those reporting higher than average credit card sales.  But wait!  They’re reporting HIGHER sales — what’s wrong with that?  You’d think the IRS would be ecstatic. Well, the government suspects small businesses of under-reporting cash. But we point out an alternate explanation.

Number of businesses up – but revenue is down. Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University Scott Shane shares numbers suggesting the profitability of American businesses is down. We’ve got the details.

Patch website closures raise questions about online business model. Whether you’re creating a hyperlocal news site or a niche community, the issue is the same. Bringing in revenue is what will keep your business going. The question is whether online advertising or some other means is best.

Tools & Services

iWork is working in beta. At least for some people. Some are panning this as “too little too late” from Apple and a pale imitation of Google Drive and Microsoft’s SkyDrive storage services. But Apple is reported to be limiting the beta use due to overwhelming response.

Gather data for your business – there’s an app for thatWhether it’s information on a competitor or on how stores are displaying your product, there’s a now an app for gathering all this stuff. Field Agent lets you pay ordinary people to gather your business intelligence at a very low price.

Shutterstock and Facebook team up. The new arrangement allows advertisers on Facebook to use professional licensed photos from Shutterstock in their ads at no extra charge. Even better, you can source them from directly in the Facebook ad panel. Best of all for small business owners who want to see other entrepreneurs treated fairly, Shutterstock points out that the individual photographers will get paid a royalty when their images are used.  Yep, even if you get the image for “free,” you are supporting the photographer.

Have you ever considered a TV in your business?  Or maybe you already have television(s) in your workplace.  Television is not just an expense.  In many businesses (restaurants, bars, fitness centers) it can actually drive sales up, by attracting customers, and keeping them longer and buying more.  Oh, and as long as it’s strictly for business purposes, the monthly cable service likely qualifies as a tax deduction, says tax expert Barbara Weltman.  You may be able to expense or depreciate the cost of the hardware, too. We’ve got the low-down.

Management & Strategy

Wanted: workers with skills. A recent survey says one problem still dwarfs all others for small business owners when it comes to hiring and managing employees. And it isn’t how much time they’re spending on Facebook. Rieva Lesonsky explains what may be a surprising statistic.

Indian etailer focuses on a niche. To see success in India’s burgeoning eCommerce market, startup Kobster took a simple approach. Pick one niche market with definite growth potential, in this case office supplies. Sramana Mitra, founder of One Million by One Million, has more.

Mobile & Social Media

Budget friendly iPhone coming. Apple is planning a September 10 announcement. And industry sources indicate it could include news of a new cheaper model of the iconic smartphone. Photos that may show the new device are now online.

Take your hotspot with you. Staying connected with your business when traveling can be a trick. But no more with mobile hotspot Globalgig. TJ McCue has a review of the device for everyone.

Your Facebook post has a 5 hour shelf-life. Wisemetrics research says Facebook posts receive the majority of comments, shares, and likes within that first five hours. But there’s lots more data about timing — and how to post your updates at the optimal time, to get the most engagement.

Mobile woman photo, Shutterstock

3 Comments ▼

3 Reactions

  1. Wow, I can’t believe New York Times’ domain name was hacked. If it can happen to them, then other big companies are just sitting ducks, aren’t they? No one’s domain is truly safe. You can only minimise the risk, I guess, unless you really are couple of steps in front of the hackers or you taught them everything they know.

  2. Another great week! Most notable is the time that the New York Times was hacked. At least, it is the most surprising news for me. It shows that even the biggest brands lack security. I’m glad they are able to fix it though.

  3. Smart move by shutterstock to team up with Facebook! Facebook is king!

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