Helpful tools like Zoho, MailChimp and XERO are already fairly popular with small businesses. And this week, some of those platforms got even better by announcing new integrations and platforms. You can read about those updates and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.
Small Business Operations
New Zoho Integration with MailChimp Lets You Send Campaigns to Your Contact List
Business applications provider Zoho has announced the integration of its contact management software ContactManager with the email sending platform MailChimp. The aim is to make it easier for small businesses to send email campaigns to their contacts.
XERO Introduces New HQ Platform for Accounting and Bookkeeping Businesses
Xero (NZE:XRO), a Software as a Service (SaaS) firm that develops cloud-based accounting software for small businesses, recently unveiled Xero HQ — a new open practice platform for accountants and bookkeepers that allows you and your staff to plan out work more efficiently and unlock your small business data and display it in a way that is as useful to you as it is to your customers.
Businesses Move Forward With Self-Driving Cars, While Lawmakers Remain Parked (Watch)
Companies like Google and Tesla are moving forward with developing autonomous vehicles. But they might be moving a little too fast for state and local governments. Currently, only nine states and Washington D.C. have laws on the books related to self-driving vehicles.
Palo Alto Software Introduces “What If” Feature to Forecast Cash Flow
The issue of cash flow is one that many small business owners fail to address until, in many cases, it is too late. According to CBInsights, the post-mortem it conducted of 101 failed startups revealed 29 percent didn’t make it because of cash flow related problems.
Small Business Optimism Declines as Presidential Election Looms
Small business owners are losing optimism and refusing to expand operations in the run up to November’s high-stakes presidential election. According to researchers at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), America’s Index of Small Business Optimism declined two-tenths of a point in August, settling at 94.4 points.
Businesses Are Literally Luring In New Customers with Pokemon Go (INFOGRAPHIC)
It’s been just over two months since Pokemon Go became a thing. The mobile app has smashed all sorts of download records and there has been rampant speculation whether such a popular app and a budding technology — augmented reality via smartphone — would be good in some way, shape, or form, for businesses.
Video Wars: WeVideo, Apple Innovate While Facebook Lags Behind With Important Tools
When it comes to digital marketing, video is the undisputed king. And although engaging videos are generally more difficult for companies to produce and distribute, social media has totally streamlined the process.
Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: Shopswell Hopes to Make Online Shopping More Social
When it comes to online shopping, consumers aren’t always likely to see the best products and information. Sometimes, it’s more about which companies pay for visibility than it is about creating a great user experience. That’s where Shopswell comes in. The team aims to improve online shopping through a social platform where shoppers can interact and discover new products.
Small Business Loans
Small Business Lending at Big Banks Bounces Back, Says Biz2Credit
Things are beginning to look up for small businesses again. After seeing a sharp decline in loan approvals from big banks in July, approval rates have bounced back in August 2016. That’s according to the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, the monthly analysis of more than 1,000 small business loan applications on Biz2Credit.com.
How To Use Instagram Stories for Small Business: A Guide
About a month ago, Instagram introduced Instagram Stories and now, instead of having to choose a few photos for posting, Stories allows you to post a bunch of photos throughout the day. The photos, however, disappear after 24 hours. Does this sound familiar? That’s probably because Stories features remarkable similarities with Snapchat.
20 Things You Should Know About Tumblr’s New Live Video
These days, it looks like just about every other social networking site under the sun owns a livestreaming platform.
How One Facebook Photo Is Helping This Ice Cream Seller (Watch)
Fidencio Sanchez has been selling ice cream and popsicles on the streets of Chicago for more than 20 years. But at 89, pushing around a 50-pound cart all day is proving to be a bit of a struggle. Sanchez had been lightening his workload as of late. But an unexpected death in the family forced him to go back to selling popsicles on a daily basis.
GoDaddy’s New API Eases Domain Name Redirect to Microsoft, Squarespace, Others
Domain name registrar and hosting company GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) just announced a new program designed to make it easier for people to connect their domain name with web services such as websites and email, regardless of where the domain is registered or who hosts the service.
Vivaldi Browser Offers Alternative to Chrome, Firefox, Others
Let’s face it, the browsers used today can only be described as functional, leaving much to be desired when it comes to aesthetics and customization. So with that in mind, Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner launched Vivaldi community and the Vivaldi web browser. Vivaldi is a Chromium/Blink engine based web browser, which according to von Tetzchner is for ourselves and for our friends.
New HP Line of Printers Targets Small Businesses and Other Users
The printer copier market is a mature segment that for the most part has been operating without true innovation for quite some time. Additionally, it is service intensive and complicated, which makes the return on investment and total cost of ownership of business-class printers a begrudging expense by organizations for a necessary tool.
XERO Refreshes its Advisor Directory, Brings Accountants and Small Business Clients Closer Together
New Zealand-based small business accounting and bookkeeping software company Xero (NZE:XRO) has announced a refresh to its Advisor Directory, a platform deigned to help small business owners access targeted, industry-specific financial guidance.
Is Sony Xperia XZ a Good Fit for Mobile Entrepreneurs, Even With a Lower Resolution Screen?
One of the features mobile entrepreneurs look for is portability without sacrificing functionality, and this generally means smaller smart phones. But currently the market is trending towards large devices, which makes any new small flagship phone stand out from the crowd, and that is what Sony (NYSE:SNE) has done with the Xperia XZ and X Compact.
Don’t Jump in Line to Buy an Apple Car Just Yet (Watch)
If you had your heart set on owning an Apple Car in the future, you may be disappointed. The company is reportedly shutting down “Project Titan,” its initiative to put together self-driving vehicles. Instead, it seems the company might focus its efforts on creating backend software for self driving vehicles.
Huawei Unveils Nova, Premium Phone Fits Small Business Budget
Unlike some smartphone manufacturers that limit themselves to a couple of segments, Huawei has taken a very different approach, making a phone for everyone. The latest case in point is the Huawei Nova and Nova Plus, two phones with premium features, but without the premium price.
HP Pavilion Wave Is More Affordable PC for the Creative Entrepreneur
First impressions say a lot, and if you are a small design, architecture or creative firm, everything from the color of your office to the furniture and equipment you have chosen says something about you.
Productivity Tool: Listen to Phone Calls Through Your Fingertip?
Remember those slick spy movies where the hero simply pressed a button to make a quick call during a covert mission? The secret agent fantasy is all set to become a reality when Sgnl, a smart strap hits the market soon. Sgnl is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. How Does the Sgnl Smart Strap Work? What’s most fascinating about Sgnl is its simplicity.
Blank Screen Photo via Shutterstock, Screenshot via XERO