Top Stories: Canada Beckons, So Do New Payment Options

reading on the beach

Opportunities for U.S. entrepreneurs now include moving north to Canada. And new options for business transactions continue to multiply. These are just some of the important stories the Small Business Trends editorial team has chased down for you this week. Here is our roundup of the top news of the week.

Entrepreneurship

Move Your Tech Startup to Canada, Get 80 Percent of Salaries Covered. It’s no joke! At least one small tech firm has already done this. Mighty Cast created the NEX Band. It’s a smart charm bracelet that allows you do everything from customize your social media interaction to play video games.

Verizon Brings FiOS High Speed Internet to Philly Incubators. A recent survey says 89 percent of small business owners and business managers surveyed in Philadelphia list high speed Internet as their most important tech tool.

This Guy Built a Business by Outsourcing the Sales Team. This week we shine the Small Business Spotlight on Mansfield Sales Partners. The 33 employee business serves as an outsourced sales team for small businesses and startups.

Young Designer Wows the World of Women’s Business Attire. Creating women’s pants probably doesn’t sound like the most exciting business venture. But professional women might also notice a lack of options when it comes to different styles and types of dress pants. Entrepreneur Eunice Cho noticed this void in the market.

Transactions

Dwolla Touts Digital Payments for 25-Cent Fees – Or Free. Dwolla founder Ben Milne reportedly came up with the idea for his digital payment transaction service to solve a problem he faced in a previous business. Milne tells entrepreneur Jason Calacanis of This Week in Startups that at one point credit cards were costing his eCommerce company $55,000 a year in fees.

Intuit Will Acquire Check App, Deal is Worth $360 Million. Intuit is already known for a variety of consumer and business financial tools. Small businesses probably know Intuit best for its popular accounting software Quickbooks.

Groupon Launches Gnome (“Gee Nome”) for Local Merchants. Groupon, known to 200 million people as a place to get valuable deals, also has a mission to serve the small businesses providing those services and products to consumers. According to Kartik Ramachandran, vice president and general manager of Merchant OS at Groupon, the vision is to “build an operating system for local merchants.”

Finance

Peer-to-Peer Lending Club Fine-Tunes Small Business Loan Program. If you are looking for a loan for your small business, there are other places to consider besides the traditional option of your local bank. One of these is peer-to-peer lender Lending Club. The company steps in when banks are reluctant to make small loans to their customers.

How Personal Credit Affects Small Business Borrowing. Unlike the CEOs of major public companies, whose personal financial situation has little effect on their companies’ borrowing, if you are a small business owner, your personal credit is a major factor influencing your company’s access to capital.

Franchises

Stay At Home Mom Launched $24 Million Franchise in her Living Room. When Shannon Wilburn hosted a consignment sale for friends in her living room in 1997, she didn’t know it was the start of a $24 million dollar business.

What’s The Scoop on Ice Cream Franchises? Ice Cream franchise executives must have to work really hard these days. It’s got to be pretty challenging to try to win the hearts and minds of today’s frozen treat loving consumers…the ones who are getting hammered every day with marketing messages from the over 35 different frozen yogurt franchise concepts that are currently up and running.

Social Media

Make Your Business Look Spiffy, Customers Can Soon Put Video on Yelp. If the lighting in your little bistro or coffee shop strikes your visitors just right, it might inspire a video. And a smartphone might capture a few fleeting seconds if the music on your sound system creates just the right vibe.

Facebook Now Recommends App Developers Turn Off Automatic Posting. Automatically posting your Spotify and iTunes listening history to Facebook used to be cool (maybe?), but by now it’s grown kind of (really) annoying. And apparently Facebook’s caught on.

Receive Custom Social Content for Your Small Business With Emphatic. We just tested out a new service, Emphatic, which creates custom social media content for small businesses.

Tech Trends

Glip Enters Crowded Collaboration Space, Creates Conversation Streams. The creators of Glip know that the team collaboration platform market is filling up fast. But they say that Glip is designed to make small business owners operate more effectively.

Adobe Voice: Use Your iPad to Make Presentations Using Your Own Voice. When people think of Adobe, they probably instantly think of the Acrobat Reader we use to view PDFs, or perhaps the popular Photoshop graphics software. But Adobe has a large suite of products and online platforms, especially for those who create. And now Adobe has released something for the creator in all entrepreneurs — a remarkable new iPad-only app called Voice.

HP Did Better Than The Market on PC Sales, But Mum About Mobile. Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, said in the latest quarterly earnings conference call that the market for personal computers is “in a slow decline.” Yet, she said, HP “outperformed the market pretty dramatically this quarter.” In other words, even though the market for personal computers is declining, HP did not decline like the market.

Dropcam, The Easiest Security Camera for a Small Business. Dropcam is just what the name sounds like, if you think about it a moment. It’s a video surveillance camera that you can “drop” anywhere to get started. When it comes to setting up, operating and preserving footage from a security camera, Dropcam has got to be one of the easiest systems you will ever come across. It is a do-it-yourselfer’s dream. The price is right, too.

Success Stories

Business Fills Same Niche for Over 100 Years. Businesses often start by fulfilling a niche need and then eventually grow beyond that need to offer other products or services as they grow. Think of how Google started as a way to organize the Web with its search engine.

This African Entrepreneur Creates 3-D Printers Out of E-Waste. West African entrepreneur and inventor Kodjo Afate Gnikou didn’t have access to a lot of tools and resources for building new technology. But he wouldn’t let that stop him from creating cutting edge devices. Instead, he frequented local scrap yards and put together what is believed to be the first 3-D printer made from e-waste.

Professional Development

A Quick Guide to Local Search to Ease Any Confusion. There is a lot of information out there about local search and SEO, but the first step is, of course, understanding how it all works. If you wanted a quick and easy guide to give you an overview and send you in the right direction to learn more, this one’s for you.

How Digital Influences Your Retail Store’s Sales. The online and offline worlds are rapidly merging, especially when it comes to shopping. A new study from Deloitte Digital, The New Digital Divide, sheds some light on how consumers’ use of computers and mobile devices is affecting their in-store purchases.

A Good Sense Of Humor is Great For Your Sense Of Life and Business. How do you express your sense of humor without going overboard, off the edge, or over the top? It’s sometimes really hard to do, but it can work wonders for building likeability and memorability at networking events, conferences and meetings.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock

2 Comments ▼

2 Reactions

  1. This was a huge compilation of posts! :) Has Canada become more small business friendly lately?

  2. Lots of really cool posts this week. My favourites were: Kodjo Afate Gnikou creating a 3D printer from e-waste, Shannon Wilburn growing her business to franchise level, and the last link (re: good sense of humour).

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