Microsoft and QuickBooks both offer tools that are absolutely essential to many small businesses. And this week, both of those big names announced changes to some of their most popular offerings.
You can read about those updates and more small business headlines below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.
Microsoft Introduces Tools and Services for Small Developers at Build 2017 Event
As expected, Microsoft Build 2017 did not disappoint when it came to announcements and a few surprises. The event, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) annual developer conference, the tech company invited software developers to join them to learn about the latest new technologies and plans on the horizon.
QuickBooks Online Introduces Changes in Site Navigation
QuickBooks Online accounting software for small businesses recently announced it is rolling out some new navigation changes to improve productivity and online experience.
Lessons Small Businesses Can Learn from the Global WannaCrypt Ransomware Hack
What can small businesses — especially those operating on the web — learn from the latest ransomware attacks. Recently, hackers dispatched ransomware called WannaCrypt. When it was opened on computers, it locked users from accessing necessary data. The only way to unlock the hack was to pay a ransom via Bitcoin. More than 200,000 computers in 150 countries were affected by WannaCrypt.
Prefer App Aims to Reinvent the Gig Economy with Client Relationships
The gig economy has given so many more options to professionals looking to provide services, and to businesses and individuals looking to hire skilled professionals. But the process hasn’t always been very personal. Typically, when someone is looking to hire a professional, they might look for reviews online or even use an app to find the closest service provider.
91 Percent of Remote Workers Feel More Productive Out of the Office (Infographic)
Workers feel more productive when they are working remotely out of the office, a new study indicates. More Productive Out of the Office According to data compiled by Ireland-based business coaching company Davitt Corporate Partners, 91 percent of remote workers believe they “get more work done when working remotely.
Ebay Motors Provides More Opportunities for Sellers — and Local Service Businesses
eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is making some changes to its motors marketplace and platform that small businesses, especially local service providers, might want to take note of. The giant eCommerce company announced recently it is expanding the eBay Motors marketplace and adding new features and services to deliver a more personalized and innovative experience to automotive buyers.
Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: Dreamlines Creates Custom Illustrations for Weddings, Anniversaries
Finding unique wedding and anniversary gifts can be a challenge, especially if you’re looking for something that’s completely personal to the bride. But that’s why Nikki Gentry founded Dreamlines LLC. The company makes customized illustrations of wedding dresses that can make for great wedding or anniversary gifts.
Case Study: How to Use Facebook Ads to Generate Leads
Using Facebook lead ads can help you to generate leads and get more business. Small Business Trends followed the path of Amazing Lash Studio Eastvale and how they used this social media tool. We spoke with Justin Perry, the owner of the company that used Facebook lead ads to build out their guest list and get a 4.8X return on their ad spend.
Have You Been to Twitter Flight School?
Just in case you haven’t heard of Twitter Flight School, the social media platform is not diversifying into teaching would be pilots to get their license. But the metaphor is meant to signify what the school will help you accomplish in terms of marketing your small business. When Twitter Flight School was first launched in 2014, it was exclusively available to ad agencies.
Is Snapchat Really Right For Your Small Business?
Is Snapchat really the way to go for your small business? Low growth numbers in Q1 2017 and stiff competition from the likes of Facebook and Instagram Stories have business owners wondering if this video app might self destruct just like the videos and pictures sent on the network eventually do.
Are You Taking Advantage of Facebook’s Small Business Council?
There’s a good chance that your small business already uses Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to promote your offerings and communicate with your audience. But did you know that the social media giant also provides assistance to small business users through the Facebook Small Business Council.
Livestreaming Entrepreneurs, Here’s How Virtual Assistants and Chatbots Boost Success
In 2016, Facebook opened up its Facebook Messenger app to third-party chatbots. Businesses are being encouraged to make chatbots work well with Messenger to serve 1.79 billion monthly active users on Facebook, one billion of whom are active on Messenger. The mass-market potential of chatbots is that its “technology will simply understand and do as the human asks,” reports Gartner.
VC and Angel Capital
Are Accelerator Funds a Better Way for Angels to Invest?
I have been thinking a lot lately about the best way for angels interested in making pre-seed stage investments to put money into start-up companies. I’ve come to the conclusion that investing in accelerator funds is better than joining an angel group. Angel groups are investor collectives that pool funds and management.
5 Reasons Angels May Have Small Portfolios
The typical angel investor has a portfolio of just seven companies, the American Angel Survey, an effort to gather information from nearly 1700 accredited investor angels, reveals. The 75th percentile is just 15 investments, and the maximum portfolio is only 106 investments.
Microsoft Photo via Shutterstock