Small Business Headlines: Bill.com, QuickBooks Team Up, Pitney Bowes Has Shipping Solution


Managing a small business requires many different tools. You need to be able to make payments, manage finances, arrange shipping and more. This week, Bill.com announced a new partnership with QuickBooks that could make at least one of those tasks easier. And Pitney Bowes also released a new device to address another.

These news items and more are included below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

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Small Business Operations

Bill.com Introduces Digital Payments to QuickBooks

Bill.com announced plans for a partnership with Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU), QuickBooks’ parent company, at the QuickBooks Connect Conference held this week in San Jose, Calif. The partnership will bring digital payments into QuickBooks Online and offer seamless online bill pay.



SendPro 300 All In One Smart Sending Device Addresses Shipping Woes for Small Business

The SendPro 300 Smart Sending Device from Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) is an all-in-one shipping system designed specifically for small businesses. It brings together the hardware, software and service to simplify this essential business function using the latest technology. Small business owners know there is no one shipping company that delivers on everything.

Wireless Eight Sided Device Tracks Your Time, Designers Say

A new deceptively simple device currently finishing up a successful crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter seeks to tackle one of the greatest challenges all small business owners and entrepreneurs face. That challenge is how to track the time they spend on projects more effectively.

X.ai Professional Edition Offers Premium Virtual Assistant Service

After three years of development, x.ai just launched the Professional Edition of its AI personal assistant. By focusing on scheduling meetings, the x.ai platform might have found itself a great niche. Unlike Alexa, Cortana, Siri and others that help with queries right away, x.ai completes a task from start to finish.

Employment

86 Percent of Businesses Plan to Hire Part-Timers on Full Time After the Holiday

Most small businesses are more likely to retain their temporary workers after the holidays, a new survey has found. According to Snagajob’s Holiday Hiring 2016 Annual Report, 86 percent of employers are likely to hire temporary workers full time after the holidays.

Marketing Tips

Study Reveals Best Day to Post a Blog Entry

What’s the best day to post a blog entry? Sunday, says a new blogging report released Oct. 27, 2016. The “How to Build a Better Blog Than Your Competitors: 2017 Blogging Report” by integrated marketing analytics software company TrackMaven has also found that 3 p.m. EST is the best time to publish blog articles.

Google Held Livestreaming Event to Help 30,000 Businesses Get Online

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) wants to get 30,000 more businesses online in anticipation of the upcoming holiday shopping season. So the online tech giant teamed up with the U.S. Small Business Administration to host a livestreaming event Wednesday, Oct. 26 2016. Other events are being planned throughout the U.S. aimed at providing hands-on assistance to businesses.

Retail Trends

Restaurants and Consumers Benefit from a Mobile Ordering App

Mobile ordering apps have changed the food delivery and pickup game for the better. With more and more retailers and restaurants adopting for these kinds of apps, consumers are placing fewer delivery and pickup orders over the phone and instead are opting to use a mobile app.

Is Dec. 23 the New Black Friday?

Black Friday, traditionally the biggest day for retailers, is losing its sheen. That’s according to the latest forecast by in-store data analytics firm RetailNext. According to the report, Black Friday is neither the biggest nor the busiest day this holiday season.

The Surprising Holiday Marketing Tactic Retailers Should Try

You’re getting your store ready for the holidays by putting out festive décor, developing an email marketing campaign, boosting your local search optimization and planning your social media attack. But one holiday marketing tactic that might not be on your radar could actually be highly effective: direct mail.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Vacasa Takes the Work Out of Vacation Rentals

If you have a second home or rental property, you might think you have to utilize peer-to-peer services like Airbnb in order to gain some extra income from those properties. But some homeowners may not want to go through all the work of renting out their spaces on those platforms. That’s where Vacasa comes in.

Social Media

68 Percent of Millennial Small Business Owners Rely on Social Media for Brand Promotion

Here’s a non-shocker: Millennial business owners depend on social media for brand promotion more than any other medium. Shocked, right? OK, probably not. But just how much Millennial business owners are using this relatively new media — or how much they don’t use traditional media — may come as a surprise.

Instagram, FedEx, Twitter Among Most Trusted by Small Businesses, Alignable Says

What brands do you trust the most to provide you with key services and products to grow your business? Helping you in this quest, Alignable, an online networking site for small and local business owners, regularly offers a list of the best websites for small business growth. Small Businesses’ Most Trusted Brands of 2016 In its latest SMB Trust Index released Oct.

You Can Now Maintain Instagram from Windows 10 PCs and Tablets

Back in spring, Instagram brought its filter driven social network to Windows 10 Mobile. Now, it’s doing the same for tablets and PCs running on Windows 10. As a small business owner, you no longer need to rely on Android and iOS apps to manage your Instagram account. You can do all that right from your Windows 10 tablet or PC.

Startup

Dirty Secrets of Small Business Revealed in New Radio Show

First time business owners often struggle to find their footing when setting up a new enterprise. Each hurdle presents new questions, and sometimes aspiring entrepreneurs haven’t got anywhere to turn to find answers. Business partners Jack Mencini and Adam Sonnhalter have set out to change that through their weekly radio show.

Supplier Negotiations in a Non-Vertically Integrated and Emerging Cannabis Market

With just 44 operational medical cannabis dispensaries (retailers) and 19 cultivation centers (suppliers), the Illinois medical cannabis industry is indeed small. All legal medical cannabis in Illinois must be grown, harvested and sold within the state. In other words, no cannabis can be bought or sold over state lines.

Technology Trends

NowDiscover Uses Machine Learning to Curate Video for Your Ecommerce Site

Videos can bring your product to life. They are powerful tools that can help you engage shoppers and drive conversions. The problem: they are still one of the most under-utilized ecommerce strategies. Producing quality videos for your ecommerce site can be expensive and time consuming. Many ecommerce businesses have therefore settled for graphics and photos as an alternative.

Microsoft Targets Apple Customers With New Computer (Watch)

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is going after Apple’s customers with its new desktop computer. The Surface Studio is the first desktop computer from Microsoft. And it has a lot of new and interesting features. For one, the computer screen actually folds down into something like a drafting table.

BlackBerry Releases Latest Android Phone Again Stressing Security

Android and security are not synonymous, but BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has changed all that with the new DTEK60 phone. In fact, the company claims it has delivered one of the best, if not the best, mobile security system on the market. Just when you thought BlackBerry was dead and gone, the company comes up with a flagship phone that has the specs of the top two brands, but at only $499.

Travelmate Represents Latest Attempt to Automate, Robotify Your Suitcase

From a suitcase you can ride known as Modobag to one that follows you loyally called Cowarobot, there is an evolution taking place in the luggage industry. The latest suitcase to incorporate connectivity, motorization and robotics is Travelmate, and it has features that can be very useful for the demanding business traveler.

Colu Creating Local, Digital Currencies

Colu is the digital equivalent of physical cash that lets you exchange with your peers and merchants directly. It gives you real-time economic data, scales to address any size and evolves to adapt to future digital ecosystems without having to worry about transaction fees. Colu does this by using blockchain technology. This is the same technology used by Bitcoin.

Big Banks Fall Behind, Try to Compete With Venmo (Watch)

U.S. banks are trying to take a chunk out of Venmo’s business. The money-transfer app has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. And banks are worried that it could cut into their business. So big names like JPMorgan Chase & Co., S.S. Bancorp and Citibank have teamed up to create an app called Zelle.

HEXA: Your New Six-Legged Robot Friend

Artificial intelligence. We’ve all heard of it, right? But we don’t know much about it. We think it’s something that only exists in science fiction movies. Sure, we know that one day we might have intelligent robots. But that’s way off in the future, isn’t it? Not quite. The future is now. Robots already have some involvement in several industries.

Image: Intuit CEO brad Smith/YouTube

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