If you didn’t get time this week to keep up with the latest, we’ve got you covered. The Small Business Trends editorial team has the latest and shares the news stories you as a business owner or entrepreneur need to stay on top of. Here’s the weekly recap.
An Acquisition, a Rebrand and a Shutdown
This is what the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia means. Despite detractors, this could be a good thing for big Windows users (read lots and lots of small businesses.) If you’ve longed for a Windows smartphone to match the operating systems on the other devices in your office, Anita Campbell explains why this is good news.
GoDaddy Puts Out Van Damme ad, changes focus. You may ask, what does Belgian martial arts expert and film star Jean-Claude Van Damme have to do with small business? Read how the Web hosting giant is promoting outreach to “courageous” small business owners.
MyOpenID service will close down for good. The company that pioneered use of Open ID standards has decided to end its MyOpenID single-sign-in service. Larry Drebes, CEO of Janrain, Inc., says his company is focusing on new projects. By now most people use single sign-ons, even if you’re not familiar with the term. When you sign in with your Google, Facebook or LinkedIn login to another site, you’re using single sign-on, and they use the OPEN ID standards. So there’s no longer any need for a separate service called MyOpenID.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is here. After plenty of leaked photos on the Internet, now we know a bit more about the latest Samsung device. It should be coming to the U.S. in October and could be great for small business productivity, but the price remains uncertain.
The Nexus 4 is now $100 cheaper. Here’s an overview of what your business will be getting for its investment in Google’s budget smartphone. The phone compares well with many of its ilk including some that are a bit more expensive. But remember it lacks 4G LTE.
Services & Resources
MYQROsites are a new approach to mobile. The service lets you create and customize mobile websites for a fee. You can also use the service to generate QR codes. They are square 2-D barcodes that can be scanned with your camera phone directing customers to your website.
Marketing overseas is an option for small businesses too. The U.S. government provides resources to help your business accomplish this. But you must know where to look. In this update from the U.S. Small Business Administration, we learn what’s available and how to get started marketing your business abroad.
Lenovo’s CEO will share his $3+ million bonus with employees. Split among 10,000 factory workers, that’s $325 per person at the Chinese computer manufacturer and equal to almost a month’s pay. That’s a rare move for a large-company CEO, says Anita Campbell. More could take a page from small business owners, who have a tendency to share profits.
Where we stand with small business recovery. It’s been four years since the economic recovery began. So where do small businesses stand? Better off than they were when recovery began, says Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University Scott Shane. But there’s room for improvement, because we haven’t equalled pre-recession levels.
Customer Service & Marketing
Sage went on a tour to visit customers – here’s what you can learn. Sage North America’s 50-day Sage Listens Tour has come to a close. Using the Tour as a backdrop, we came up with 7 lessons small businesses can learn about customer relationships. And you don’t need to trick out a pricey RV or spend 2 months on a tour.
Keep your online marketing strategy up to date. Online marketing plans especially are not things you can set and then never update. Instead, they must be adjusted periodically with changes in your product, audience, or the marketing. Amie Marse shows you how.
Operations & Infrastructure
It’s officially hurricane season. Is your small business prepared? More severe storms in recent years mean businesses all over the Eastern seaboard must prepare for the worst. But, of course, the increased use of outsourced workers or virtual employees means your business doesn’t have to be in the path of the storm to be affected. Ted Devine, CEO of Insureon, has more.
BYOD can contribute to your network congestion. The days when your office had only one device per user are gone. Part of the reason is the tendency for workers to bring and use their own devices (BYOD). Security is one issue with BYOD. But congestion on your network is another, says Craig Sutton of Sutton Brand Management.
Rules & Regs
Stay up on the rules for criminal background checks. You want to be responsible, and hire the best people. That means you will be doing background checks, and that may include criminal background checks. But recent changes at the EEOC could put your company at risk of a discrimination complaint. Employment attorney Robert Ottinger shares what you need to know to protect your company from legal trouble.
Notify the state of changes in your business. If your business is an LLC, be sure you are following the rules. You are required to inform the state of certain changes you make to your business. Changes in company name, even in registered office information or business address, must be reported. Nellie Akalp, CEO of Corpnet.com, has more.