This week was packed with news signifying trends of importance to small businesses.
Security issues were raised yet again. We have news of one of the biggest data breaches in recent history. Mobile devices continue to converge, as phones get bigger and tablets get smaller.
Meanwhile, we have important developments in small business software, and we report on ongoing issues with online sales tax. (Does this affect your business?)
The Small Business Trends editorial team puts the news into context for you.
Hackers allegedly steal 160 million credit card numbers. Small businesses beware. The largest data breach conspiracy ever prosecuted in the U.S. has caused untold million of dollars in damages. Though the organizations targeted this time were huge, don’t make the mistake of thinking your business is safe.
Smartphones keep getting bigger. The Lumia 625 is aimed at Europe, China, Asia Pacific, India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. But it’s close cousin the Lumia 520 is now available in the U.S. Both could be starter phones for your business.
Google unveils the new Nexus 7. It’s lighter. It’s thinner. It’s more powerful. It’s more expensive. But not by that much, actually. The early reviews are in. If you want to get your business mobile at a low cost, it may be worth the research.
There’s a brand new eBay – same day delivery. Ebay Now, launched last summer, allows shoppers in select cities to buy products from their smartphone or PC. And they can have them delivered in about an hour. The service is now expanding with new cities and new features.
Social commerce flourishes in India. One company leading the pack is enMarkit, according to Sramana Mitra, the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative. Here’s more on how the site works and why it succeeds.
Cloud and mobility touted at Sage Summit. The software company announced major strides in both areas as it moves to offer small businesses better tools. Check out coverage of #SageSummit from Small Business Trends founder Anita Campbell, who attended the event.
Sage One gets enhancements. Here’s a better look at the new tools the company has to offer. Enhancements announced recently include invoicing, project management and accounting solutions in the cloud.
Deluxe acquires VerticalResponse. The small business services giant has bought the email software marketing company for $27 million in cash. Anita Campbell has details.
More states add the affiliate nexus tax. The tax is a problem for small businesses that serve as affiliates in affected states. Many have seen their affiliate agreements cancelled as a result. Small businesses that sell through affiliates have had to discontinue their affiliate programs in various states. But an alternative in the form of a federal law could be difficult for other e-commerce businesses to comply with.
Offer incentives for better leads. Incentivibe shows you how. Launched last year, the company helps business sites split the cost on pricey prizes. They give visitors an incentive to sign up for your email updates or newsletters.
Collaborative tools for your business. Simon Berg, CEO and Founder of Ceros, a cloud based platform for brands, talks with Brent Leary in our one-on-one interview series. Want to know more about how to tell your company’s story?
You can now put your Vine videos on WordPress. The popular looping video service meets the popular blogging platform. The new integration will make it easier to show Vine on your business website. Follow the simple directions here.
Caught in the act. Twitter used fake tweets to promote a new advertising product … but used real Twitter profiles. Worse yet, Twitter hadn’t bothered to obtain the users’ permission and some of them thought the apology was lacking. Brouhaha ensues.
Could Facebook’s Graph Search really change everything? In the world of online business, a few things seem constant. One is the ultimate importance of Google. This article looks at how Facebook’s growing Graph Search might alter that reality. Do you think Facebook’s search will seriously challenge Google?
Business leaders need social media ,too. In fact, a new survey says it may help you improve your brand image and connect better with customers and investors. If all this stuff is important to you, (and we don’t know any businesses it isn’t important to!) keep reading.
This new business model is child’s play. No really. Some parents are hiring consultants to teach their children how better to share crayons, be at ease and play with other children. The goal of these play date consultants is to get children ready for highly competitive school environments. Some readers think the idea is ridiculous, but if customers are willing to pay ….
We’ve all heard small businesses create jobs. But that’s only half the story, it turns out. Scott Shane, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University shares this interesting trend.
Better business through …exercise? That’s right! The American Medical Association is suggesting that concern over your employees’ fitness could be good for business. Here’s a report from journalist Rieva Lesonsky, who covers employment issues for Small Business Trends.
It’s the toughest franchise opportunity around. But it also remains the most popular. Our franchise correspondent, Joel Libava, looks at the franchise food industry’s enduring popularity with entrepreneurs. But he also shares some of the real challenges of this business model.
A handbook for millennials. If you haven’t hired one yet, you probably will soon. That may be one reason The Gen Y Handbook: Applying Relationship Leadership to Engage Millennials by Diane Spiegel is an important book. Associate Book Editor Pierre Debois reviews it for readers.
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Great wrap-up, Shawn.
Ebay keeps on trying. They are certainly getting press on their new offerings…new ways of gaining revenue. It will be interesting to see what happens with them.
On a personal note, I’m trying to wrap my arms-and my Crown around the fact that you have given me an additional title: “Franchise Correspondent.”
The Franchise King®
Joel – that’s a newspaper term. I think of you as our “franchise expert in residence.” 🙂
Via tablet, I’m sure 🙂
The Franchise King®
Loved the post on the dog eat dog world of food franchises though. We felt we needed to include it. 🙂