Communication is an integral part of running a business. So the tools you choose to handle your business email and other communication methods can make a big difference. New tools from Amazon aimed to fill this need topped the news this week, as did new integration letting Microsoft Office 365 subscribers design better websites. For more headlines from the Small Business Trends news roundup, read on.
Amazon Takes on Google and Microsoft with Amazon WorkMail
Amazon Web Services is hoping to have more of a presence around your office in the near future. In fact, the latest business-aimed product from Amazon could help run most of your office and keep your communications and data encrypted and secure. The company just introduced Amazon WorkMail.
Wix Announces Web Design Tools for Microsoft Office 365
Subscribers to Microsoft’s premium Office 365 business package will now also have access to another service. Wix.com announced Feb. 4, 2015 that its drag and drop Web design tools have been integrated into the Office 365 package. Office 365 offers a full suite of Microsoft tools, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for multiple users on multiple devices.
Amazon Launches PPC Ads for Authors: First Look
Amazon is offering a new PPC (price per click) program for authors whose books are in the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program. KDP Select is a program offering perks to authors in exchange for them publishing their digital books exclusively through Kindle. It seems this new advertising program is currently being split tested and the reception has been split as well.
Tweets Will Soon Appear Almost Real Time in Google Results
Twitter has struck a deal with Google for tweets to start appearing in Google search results almost real time, according to sources. Bloomberg reports that engineers for both companies are working out the details.
Twitter Mobile Video Upload and Group Messaging Introduced
Twitter has added a pair of new features: direct mobile video uploads and group private messaging. On the surface, they’re worlds apart. But small businesses may be able to make creative use of each of them in upcoming promotions or for staying in contact with customers or co-workers.
Purchase by Commenting on Instagram with Spreesy
Lots of businesses use Instagram as part of their social media promotions. But now you can actually use Instagram as an e-commerce platform. Spreesy is a social commerce solution that allows people to buy and sell items directly on Instagram. Co-founders Spencer Costanzo and Braydon Batungbacal developed the service while working on another project.
Small Business Job Growth Dips in January
Small businesses added 78,000 jobs from December to January, at a rate faster than the country’s largest companies. That figure comes from the monthly ADP National Employment Report issued Feb. 4, 2015. But it marks a slowdown in growth for small businesses, as it pertains to employment totals.
Small Businesses: Bullish on the Economy
With the current state of the economy, small businesses everywhere are having much more confidence then they have in recent years. The team at Wasp Barcode Technologies was curious as to how SMB leaders plan to grow their business in 2015 and where they are planning to spend their earnings.
Cyber Liability Insurance 101: Make Sure Your Business Is Protected
In recent weeks, we have learned that the electronics and entertainment giant, Sony, is not impervious to e-mail hacks. Just this week, the Twitter and YouTube accounts for the U.S. Central Command were hacked, with many wondering whether ISIS supporters or ISIS sympathizers were to blame.
Protecting Small Business Intellectual Property
Despite the argument made (PDF) by some small business advocates that intellectual property (IP) “is the backbone of America’s innovative small businesses,” small companies are less likely than large ones to believe that legal forms of intellectual property (IP) protection are important to their operations, a National Science Foundation (NSF) survey of U.S. companies reveals.
Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: Margaritas Restaurant Brings Mexican Culture to New England
The food industry has no shortage of Mexican restaurants. But in that saturated market, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant has been able to stand out. The restaurant chain prides itself on using quality ingredients and providing a unique experience to ever diner who visits. Read more about this restaurant and how it’s been able to thrive in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
A Beer Keurig Machine? SYNEK Draft System is on its Way
The popularity of craft beer continues to be a trend. And the growth of the craft beer industry presents another opportunity for small businesses. The goal is to deliver a high quality, fresh product that customers will love. However getting that high quality beer to the customer’s home can be a challenge for a small brewer.
Exceed Your Indiegogo Goals by 1,000 Percent with These Lessons
Bill Jelen didn’t exactly need to crowdfund his latest book, “MrExcel XL Book – The 40 Greatest Excel Tips of All Time.” But he did see it as a great opportunity to reconnect with his online network.
Entrepreneur’s Evil Glitter Plan Backfires
If you’ve ever used glitter or owned anything glittery, you know how messy it can be. Even months later, you can find little flecks hidden in every corner of your home. So just imagine how much of a mess you’d have on your hands if someone just sent you an envelope full of the sparkly substance. That was the idea behind Mathew Carpenter’s evil plan.
Vintage Toy Collector Turned Passion into “The Underground Lair”
The Underground Lair in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is proving that you can turn just about any passion into a successful business with enough planning and hard work. Collector and business owner Dan Wirth has spent more than forty years gathering and trading memorabilia in everything from Star Wars to Care Bears.
Ohio Weighing Major Tax Break For Small Businesses
As a lot of small business owners prepare their 2015 tax returns, it’s always good to hear some positive tax news. This week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich introduced his budget plan for the state for the next two years. In that budget was a call to eliminate income taxes for nearly all small businesses in the state. According to a report from Cleveland.
Print Photos From Your Phone with the Prynt Smartphone Case
You might take hundreds of photos with your smartphone but do you ever print them? In truth many of the photos taken with a smartphone are never looked at again. The team behind Prynt wanted to make a phone case that could instantly print photos from your phone, anywhere. They are calling it memories you can hold in your hand and give away.
FCC Decision on Net Neutrality Coming Soon
A vote on the way Americans use the Internet — and how much they’ll pay in the future — is less than a month away. The issue is known as net neutrality. And late last year, President Barack Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to draft rules that would regulate broadband Internet access.
Leaked Images/Specs Suggest New HTC M9 Phone Coming in Two Sizes
HTC’s newest flagship smartphone will be coming soon — and it may be coming in two distinctive sizes. The company is reportedly close to introducing the new devices and some information about them seems to have already been leaked. The company has scheduled an event for March 1 in Barcelona, Spain. And it’s believed the event will be used to introduce the new HTC One (M9).
HP in Business Mode With Industry-Specific Tablets, New Convertible
HP was all business when it introduced a truckload of new devices recently. The company added new tablets and 2-in-1s to its line that it says are focused on making businesses more mobile. Some of the devices are running Windows and others are using Android’s operating system. And nearly a handful of them are industry-specific tablets.
VC & Angel Capital
Ringly Raises $5.1 Million to Create More Gadget Jewelry
With ideas like the Smarty Ring winning support in crowdfunding campaigns, the market for smart jewelry has already been established. But a company called Ringly, also known for a ring that lights up to signal incoming notifications, plans to push that market to the next level.
Amazon App Button Photo via Shutterstock