Small Business News: Week in Review for July 7



Business news stories

In case you missed key stories, we review some of the most important small business news for the past week. We start with a controversial announcement delaying a critical part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Then we’ll look at some interesting statistics about how small businesses start and operate their businesses — and other fascinating developments this week.

The Small Business Trends editorial team keeps track of important news for the small business community and most of all, we put it in perspective.

Policy

Small businesses may not be affected by Obamacare employer mandate delay. Will this affect your business? If you have fewer than 50 full-time employees, probably not.  But no matter what, the individual mandate provision is unchanged and employees still have to get coverage.

More concerns about immigration reform. Again it depends what kind of business you operate. But if your company uses a significant amount of foreign labor, there’s a provision in the proposed immigration reform bill you should learn more about.

New York state is still bad for business, say some. It doesn’t matter how many ads the state runs about how great it is to do business there. Check out some reasons that small businesses continue to have trouble with the Empire State.  Small businesses should be asking for real change, and not settle for costly PR campaigns.

U.S. once again falls short of Federal small business contracting goal.  The goal of awarding 23% of federal contracts to small businesses came up short once again – although it was close, according to SBA figures.

Entrepreneurship

Sixty-nine percent of entrepreneurs launch businesses from home. And that’s not all. A study says 59% of businesses stay home-based even years after they are established. Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell reports on the data and its meaning.

Declining profits are behind entrepreneurship drop. Is the U.S. losing its entrepreneurial edge? Scott Shane, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University, points out some disturbing numbers — and reasons behind the trend.

Fewer small business owners are planning vacations this year. Let’s face it. At some point everyone needs a break. And that can be especially true for small business owners who wear so many hats and often feel they can’t get away. But don’t be one of these statistics – take time off and come back refreshed!

Microsoft

Microsoft Ventures targets promising technology startups. The software giant is looking to help these startups with free tools, mentoring and money. Learn more t determine whether your startup could benefit.

Microsoft will shut down TechNet subscriptions. The end of an era has come. There was a time when TechNet subscriptions offering tons of Microsoft software for review was considered the best value in the industry. But it seems that times have changed.

Tech

Pebble Smartwatch – check messages in meetings without pulling out your phone. You can now stay in touch with your business even without your smartphone in your hand. That’s because a new smartwatch can let you know what’s happening even without a look at your phone.

Android and Samsung become important combo in the smartphone market. Move over iPhone and iOS. A new smartphone and a new operating system are both gaining ground in the market. No, they aren’t by the same company. But their growth shows they could be a formidable duo.

What is Siri, and what can it do for you? The voice on your iPhone can make your life and business easier. And while it sounds futuristic, it has limitations and competitors.

A Google employee explains how to use Google Hangouts to collaborate. Iska Hain is a member of Google’s Unified Communications Team. In this interview with Brent Leary as part of our weekly Small Business Trends interview series, she discusses the communications options available to your business through Google Hangouts.

BOYD and remote work trends are here to stay. A more mobile workforce is bringing changes to many businesses, reports Rieva Lesonsky.  Here are some things you should know.

Is anyone paying attention to really small advertisers using AdWords?  Small Business Trends community member, Robert Brady, surfaces this important question.  He includes a concrete suggestion for Google to get in touch with this group.

Startups

Will this approach benefit local car dealerships? An ambitious new startup aims at improving customer experience when car shopping. However, in the process, the company also hopes to convert more shoppers into customers for local dealerships.

Mark Cuban calls people who take out small business loans, morons. Spoken like a true billionaire  who’s lost touch with what it is like not to have money….  Read why Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-founder of Biz2Credit, objects to Cuban’s assessment.

Social Media

Google Plus has new badges. Well, it’s about time. Users of other social networks already know the value of these tools to build community for your website and personal brand for you. Here’s a look at the new badges and how they work.

No more automatic follow backs on Twitter. The microblogging platform is changing things around again. Twitter now officially says apps that allow users to automatically follow back other accounts that followed them first, are no longer permitted.  Some applaud the move; other complain that Twitter is out of touch with how businesses use the platform.

Book Reviews

Starting businesses on a shoestring. Pierre Debois reviews the book The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Starting Your Business On a Shoestring by Carol Tice. Debois says it’s for any business owner who’s ever had to struggle with a limited budget. That’s everybody from time to time!

Finerman’s rules for women business owners. Karen Finerman, CEO of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, and a mother of twins, gives advice to women in business. Her book is called Finerman’s Rules: Secrets I’d Only Tell My Daughters About Business and Life. Ivana Taylor tells us more.

Design

21 Business Designs on Dribbble. The invitation-only design community is a show-and-tell for designers to display small screenshots of their work. They include some innovative designs for business. Here Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell shares a slide show of some of the intriguing designs. If you are a freelancer or small design firm looking to show the world what you’re capable of, and object to entering design contests, give Dribbble a look.  (And don’t forget to spell the URL with 3 Bs!)

Shutterstock: News

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Shawn Hessinger


Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends. A professional journalist with more than a decade of experience in the traditional newspaper business, he has another 10 years of experience in digital media for trade publications and news sites. Shawn has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and eventually managing editor with responsibility for nine weekly newspapers, the Berks Mont Newspapers. He is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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