Apple and Google are two of the biggest names in tech. And as such, they provide a lot of tools and platforms that are useful to businesses. However, some of those tools haven’t always been accessible to all small businesses. Apple’s App Store has recently added some rules that excluded many small businesses. And the Google Assistant hasn’t been available to those who couldn’t afford brand new devices.
However, both companies are trying to right those wrongs with new announcements this week. You can read more about those items and other news that could impact your business in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.
Good News! Apple Updates App Store Rules That Excluded Many Small Businesses
When Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) changed its App Store Guidelines earlier this year, the move had some unintended consequences, which negatively impacted many small businesses. Fortunately, Apple just announced a new set of guidelines revising the changes  with clear wording that seems to reverse some of those negatives.
Google Assistant Becomes Available to Small Businesses with Older Phones and Tablets
Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is breathing a little new life into older Android mobile devices. The company announced recently its helpful AI tool, Google Assistant, is coming to even more phones  and (finally) tablets.
Xero Projects on Android and iOS Give Small Businesses Access on the Road
If you have been using the capturing, tracking and reporting capabilities of Xero Projects on your desktop, you can now perform the same functions on your mobile device. Xero (NZE: XRO) now has Xero Projects on iOS and Android. With the new apps, you will be able to proactively track time on jobs in and outside of the office .
Watch for These 3 Small Business Tech Trends to Boost Productivity (INFOGRAPHIC)
Key to raising productivity and improving operational efficiency in today’s digital ecosystem is adopting the right technology. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has just released an infographic with three tech trends small businesses should look out for in 2018 .
LG Has Massive New Monitors Even Small Businesses May Consider
For creative pros such as video editors, photographers, developers and others who spend countless hours in front of a computer screen, the new line of LG (KRX: 066570) monitors  are something to consider. In addition to their impressive size, the 32 and 34-inch monitors will have state-of-the-art features for delivering high-quality images.
Super Slim LG Gram Could Let You Work On Your Business From Anywhere – for Longer
LG (KRX: 066570) has announced a new line of its light and thin Gram laptops. A Peek at the LG 2018 Gram Laptops LG claims that these state-of-the-art laptops  (available in 13.3-, 14-, and 15-inch models) feature highly-efficient 72Wh battery life that allows you to work, on a single charge, for almost a full day.
(POLL) Did Your Small Business Have a Good 2017?
The end of the calendar year is upon us once again. It’s time to assess how your small business is doing  and in this week’s poll question, we want to check the pulse of our community. This surely has been an interesting year for small businesses in the U.S. A new President was inaugurated who promises big changes for the business environment in the country.
Just 10% of Small Business Employees in Biggest Hispanic Metro Areas Get Retirement Benefits
A new study from Finhabits finds that less than 10 percent of employees in small businesses located in the top five Hispanic metro areas of the U.S. have access to employer-sponsored retirement savings accounts. The ‘2017 Latino Small Business Workers Lack Retirement Savings study found there is a significant ethnic gap in retirement savings .
Using Wonderlic Scores to Assess Job Candidates for Your Small Business
The Wonderlic Score is well known as the tool many NFL teams turn to when they’re making their yearly college draft decisions. Small Businesses Trends spoke with Wonderlic CEO, Charles Wonderlic about how their SaaS pre-employment testing program, Wonscore, works and why Wonderlic scores are useful  when looking for eligible candidates.
Research Identifies 5 New Marketing Trends Your Small Business Should Consider (INFOGRAPHIC)
Marketing a small business has gotten much more complicated with the introduction of the internet, social media, websites, ecommerce and other digital tools. The new infographic by MDG Advertising has five marketing trends you should be watching out for in 2018 .
Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: Bare Metal Standard Finds Niche Cleaning Commercial Kitchens
Commercial kitchens can accumulate a lot of grease and contaminants. And while removing that buildup is important, it’s not always something that business owners or managers want to handle on their own. That’s where Bare Metal Standard comes in. The company works with commercial kitchens  around the country through a franchise program.
Small Business Operations
8 Big Workplace Trends to Follow in 2018
As this year draws to a close, many small businesses are already looking ahead to emerging trends for 2018 . 2018 Workplace Trends Jonathan Webb, VP of workplace strategy at global furniture manufacturer KI, spoke with Small Business Trends about what smaller enterprises can expect.
Topicbox Says It’s the Slack of Group Email
Small business teams that struggle with keeping up with all the internal email communication involved in running daily operations may be happy to learn about a new tool that aims to curtail those emails . Topicbox Group Email Discussion Tool Topicbox is meant for teams that utilize a lot of group email chains but who want a better way to organize those chains.
Business Productivity Only Drops 5% Between Christmas and New Year’s Day
There is a perception out there businesses slack during the last week of December , but how true is it? Egnyte wanted to find out, so it analyzed more than 3 billion activities from last year’s holiday week. The infographic the company created reveals the number is minimal, only five percent to be exact.
Chargeback App Handles Online Retail Credit Card Disputes for Small Businesses
Chargeback’s new SaaS product will get rid of the manual process of managing credit card disputes internally . For small businesses dealing with chargebacks from credit card companies, it means automating a labor-intensive process and saving valuable time.
Only 50% of Businesses Use WhatsApp Even Though They Probably Should, Study Says
A staggering half of businesses aren’t using WhatsApp ! Furthermore, 72 percent of business users on WhatsApp don’t use the messaging app for group chats with business colleagues, using it predominantly for one-to-one communication. These were the findings of a study carried out by online marketing specialists Digimax.
Facebook AR Studio Puts Augmented Reality within Small Businesses’ Reach
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is opening its ARStudio platform to developers. This comes on the heels of Snapchat announcing its Lens Studio so creators and developers can easily create more content for AR . Facebook AR Studio Open Beta Camera Effects Platform (CEP) was released at F8, but it has been in closed beta this whole time.
This Small Restaurateur Will Deliver 400 Meals to First Responders on Christmas
Jim Sherman doesn’t spend his Christmas at home like many Americans. Instead, the owner of Firehouse Subs in Mobile, Alabama, delivers hundreds of meals to first responders  who have to spend their holidays protecting their communities. Feeding Firemen on Christmas The “Feeding First Responders” initiative started 11 years ago.
The Modern Christmas Tree Went from Family Tradition to Shark Tank
Christmas is a time for traditions and family for so many people. Maybe none more than Matthew Bliss. In 2011, he showed his Modern Christmas Tree  for the first time at a mid-century modern style trade show. And earlier this year, he appeared on the TV show “Shark Tank” looking for an investor to help expand his product line and brand.
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