October 27, 2016

Office 365 Planner Revealed, Google Updates Indexing System and More

planner roundup

If you’re already a fan of Microsoft Office programs, then you’ll be happy to hear that the company has a preview of a new project management software called Office 365 Planner.

That’s just one item on this week’s list of small business headlines. You can also read about Google’s new indexing system and more below in our weekly Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Technology Trends

Sneak Peek: Microsoft Office 365 Planner Revealed

If you work in large groups across multiple projects, then you may already be using project management software like Trello or Basecamp. Microsoft has now started rolling out a preview of its own project management solution known as Office 365 Planner to those participating in the Office 365 First Release program, the Planner team said in a post.

Google Just Gave Another Reason to Switch to HTTPS

Google’s latest change in the way it looks for URLs on the Web may give small business owners one more reason to switch to HTTPS. In an effort to secure users from man-in-the-middle attacks or data modification while browsing the Web, Google has recently announced its adjusting its indexing system to look for more HTTPs pages.


Crowdsourcing Bombshell: Jolla Won’t Have Enough Tablets for Investors

“New Year’s Greetings: thanks for your money, but no Jolla tablet for you!” That is essentially the message in a New Year’s blog post by Jolla, the Helsinki, Finland-based company that raised $2.5 million in an Indiegogo campaign to fund development of a new computer tablet, the Jolla tablet.

Access to Capital Among Top Focuses of New SBA Report

The Small Business Administration (SBA) of the United States regulates several policies and programs to support and nurture the growth and development for the small businesses in the country.


Congress Opts Not to Delay “Joint Employer” Ruling

Congress has opted not to delay a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board expanding the “joint employer” standard. The International Franchise Association and other business groups say the new standard will hurt some small businesses including franchise owners. President and CEO of the IFA Robert C. Cresanti expressed disappointment at the final decision.

Marketing Tips

86 Percent of Companies with B2B Referral Program See Growth, Study Says

What’s the best way to boost sales and acquire new customers? Marketing-led referral programs that are supported by relevant technology, says a new study (PDF). In fact, 84 percent of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral.

Did A Single Tweet Get Trump Quote Removed from Bottle Cap?

Honest Tea’s practice of including thought-provoking quotes and sayings at the bottom of the company’s bottle caps started in 1999. And it has, since then, received overwhelming positive response from customers. However, one particular quote from billionaire and current Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has gathered substantial controversy on social media.

Retail Trends

You’ll Never Guess the Hottest Sellers on Amazon Business This Season

You would think that in 2015 – a year in which personal drones, so-called hover boards, autonomous cars and virtual reality were major hits – all the hottest sellers on Amazon would be making a killing selling the latest high-tech gadgets. But that wasn’t entirely the case.

9 Retail Trends Tips for 2016 You Need To Know Now

What is the future of retail and what does 2016 have in store for retailers? The past year has been full of change, but even more transformation is ahead. The biggest change, of course is the transformation of retailing from a solely brick-and-mortar or eCommerce experience to a multi-channel marketplace.

Healthy Snacks Become Latest Trend for Small Business

When you think of bakeries or other companies that create snack foods, you probably conjure images of sugary sweets and similar not-so-healthy options. But there’s a growing trend that has some small businesses creating healthier options when it comes to snack foods. The Protein Bakery is one example of this growing trend.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Bornevia Offers Customer Support for an Underserved Market

There’s no shortage of SaaS or CRM offerings for businesses in the U.S. But there are other markets around the world that don’t necessarily have the same offerings to cater to their businesses. As an engineer in the Bay Area, Benny Tija realized that there may be a market for a product that he could build in his home country of Indonesia.

Small Business Operations

Millennials Do Not Actually Hate Meetings, Survey Says

Despite their reputation for a short attention span and a predilection for social media, millennials may not be dreading that next staff meeting as much as you think. In fact, a survey by Igloo Software actually found many of  the generation born between the early-1980s and early-2000s consider meetings productive rather than a waste of time.

FTC Slaps Down Alleged Office Supply Scam

The Federal Trade Commission filed legal action in December 2015 against a company it claims bilked millions from small businesses and non-profits in what it termed an “office supply scam.” The company is Liberty Supply Co., doing business as Omni Services, based out of Gainesville, Texas.

FedEx Freight Tries to Simplify Shipping Through Zip Code Based Rates

FedEx, headquartered in Memphis TN, has announced a change in shipping rate calculations of freight shipments. Starting January 4, 2016, rates will be based on a zone chart using zip codes as its basis.

Social Media

Here’s Data Pinterest Will Be Sharing with Advertisers

Pinterest updated its privacy policy recently. On its official blog, the company announced the changes and explained how it will be working with its partners in the years ahead. The updated privacy policy states what information is collected, how it is used, and what choices users have. It also specifies what kind of data will be shared with advertisers.

Twitter Moments Review – Should Small Businesses Care?

Launched on October 6, 2015, Twitter Moments is the embodiment of Twitter’s latest objective as put forth by CEO Jack Dorsey during the company’s Q2 earnings call in July of 2015: “You should expect Twitter to be as easy as looking out your window to see what’s happening.

Image: Microsoft

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