It was a week of big wins in small business. Though it wasn’t planned this way, the debut of a Small Business Trends column on handmade business this week corresponded with more news that the industry is on the rise.
And for those who worry about the overall health of small business, there are some soothing words and some original research out this week from entrepreneurial expert and columnist Scott Shane. It’s all part of the Small Business Trends News and Information Roundup below.
Artsy Central Shows Trend Toward Etsy Alternatives
Katie De Valle’s passion is cookies. The owner of Yummy-Yummy Sugar Shop, De Valle has been selling cookies on Etsy for a few years now. But a negative experience with the site recently inspired her to start a new venture. In short, De Valle had a customer, who also happened to be a seller on Etsy, complain about an order.
Etsy Dives Into Video with New Video App Feature for Merchants
The eCommerce website Etsy has announced a new feature for its sellers. Called Etsy Shop Videos, the feature is an addition to Etsy’s mobile app where sellers can add videos to their shop pages. Through the “Sell on Etsy” app, shop owners can now take videos of their products using their smartphones and share them directly to their Etsy page and social media accounts.
Portrait of the Handmade Business Owner
Imagine a community of entrepreneurs that has no geographical boundaries. They come from the nation’s most populated cities and its tiniest towns, and they actually make the products they sell — themselves. Such a handmade business owner community exists — and it is not composed of crafters and hobbyists as you might first conclude.
Business Failure Rates Are Declining
Many observers have become alarmed by the spike in business failure rates that occurred during the Great Recession. Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup, saw the rise in business closures as a signal of a decline in American small business. But there is some good news.
Are Your Employees Two-Timing You?
Do you suspect that one of your employees is moonlighting or working another job on the side — and that it’s starting to affect the quality of their work at your business? If you haven’t already run into this employee moonlighting conundrum, you’re more likely to in the coming years.
Minneapolis Sick Leave Plan Will Hurt City’s Smallest Businesses
The City of Minneapolis is moving forward with a controversial Minneapolis sick leave plan that was proposed last year, mandating city business owners must provide earned sick and safe time for all Minneapolis workers.
Star Wars Spoof Raises Question: Do You Know Your Employees?
Since February 2010, CBS television series “Undercover Boss” has been a window into what employees experience in the workplace, and their reactions. But a recent Saturday Night Live spoof takes a very extreme approach to how bosses may react to some of the inevitable … criticism.
Have You Heard of the Flat Lay or Boho Design Trends?
You’ve probably seen Flat Lay design, even if you haven’t heard the term. Flat Lay design refers to a shot of items lying flat on a table, floor or other surface, shot from above. You see these kinds of images on eCommerce sites and other websites frequently. The Flat Lay design trend is up 160 percent according to the just-released Creative Trends 2016 report by Shutterstock.
Controversial Ad Blockers: Ask Customers to Just Say No to Them?
Ad blockers are every online publisher’s worst nightmare. While Web and mobile users may dislike seeing ads on their favorite sites, they should also remember the value they are receiving as a result. After all, advertising is what pays for much of the free content online.
Google News Doesn’t Help Rank Your Site (But It Drives Traffic)
Have you ever thought about applying to have your site show up in Google News (the news search engine of Google)? If you think being in Google News is a backdoor way to help your site rank better in the regular Google search engine, think again. A Google official recently stated that being on Google News doesn’t help with rankings in Google.
What Can You Learn From Chipotle About Rescuing Your Brand?
Business success relies on an innovative product or service that effectively catches the attention of your market. But it also relies upon maintaining your reputation and a bond of trust with your customers. As long as customers have trust in your brand, they will continue to flock to your product or service. That means continued prosperity and longevity for your business.
Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: Sniff Design Studio Caters Specifically to Pet Businesses
With so many different pet-related businesses out there, it was just a matter of time until marketing and design minded entrepreneurs began focusing their efforts on that niche. Sniff Design Studio does just that. The design business creates a variety of different products and services just for pet-related businesses.
Small Business Operations
One-Third of Airbnb Users Run ‘Full-time’ Rental Businesses, Study Says
The viability of the so-called “sharing economy” including businesses like Airbnb, Lyft and Uber has been hotly debated. One central areas of contention relates to whether the sharing economy is bringing more wage-earning opportunities to more people, or simply displacing traditionally secure jobs and creating a large populace of part-time, low-paid workers.
Intraboom Challenges Slack as All-In-One Team Communication Platform
The collaborative environment in today’s workplace is changing how, when and with whom we work. Key to this evolution is the development of technologies such as smart mobile devices, wireless broadband and applications and services designed to simplify the process of bringing everyone together seamlessly.
No More Working Alone: Weleet Matches Co-work Partners
People opting to work as freelancers are on the rise. As a freelancer, a person is working at his or her own pace and on his or her own terms, often from the comfort of home. Most people who chose freelancing prefer a work life far from the hassle, noise and stress of a traditional office. But not all freelancers want to work totally alone.
Small Publishers Use Face-to-Face, Online Methods to Market Books
You’re a creative and hardworking person and you’ve just written a book or created a terrific piece of art. Where do you take it? How do you make a living doing what you love? Small publishers, Stephen Pytak of Mazz Press, and husband and wife team, Michael and Michelle “Presto” DiBaggio of Ascension Epoch have found a way to do just that.
Microsoft Recalls Surface Pro Power Cord
Microsoft has announced a voluntary product component recall to replace Surface Pro AC power cords following overheating concerns. If you bought a Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, or Surface Pro 3 in the U.S. or Canada before March 15, 2015, then you are eligible for free cord replacement.
Thermostats, Other Office Devices Could Leak Data
In January 2014, Proofpoint, a digital security firm, announced 750,000 malicious email communications from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets. Those devices included televisions and at least one refrigerator. They were compromised and used as a platform to launch attacks.
Intel Compute Sticks Transform a TV into a Computer
Last year, Intel introduced its first Compute Stick. Initial reviews called the Intel Compute Stick a great idea but underwhelming. Now it seems that Intel has improved its Intel compute stick with new entrants that solve some of the initial shortcomings. The Compute Stick is about the size of a pack of gum.
Why Cortana May be Helping Run Your Business This Year
Personal digital assistants like Cortana and others have been around for a few years now. But you may be surprised to learn that they’ll soon be taking a much bigger role when it comes to your business.
Entrepreneur Invents Virtual Mirror: See How Makeup Looks Before You Buy
If you own a small business in the beauty industry, you may want to take a look at getting in on this as soon as you can. Called ModiFace Mirror, it’s a photo-realistic skin/makeup simulator that gives customers a look at how cosmetics they are thinking of buying will look when applied. ModiFace Mirror isn’t an actual mirror.
Pottery Image via Shutterstock