YouTube, Vine Making Headlines for Small Businesses

50 YouTube Ideas for Beginners

Video has become a very powerful marketing avenue for businesses. And YouTube is at the forefront of that. So when the platform adds community features like it announced recently, it could provide a major boon for marketers.

And YouTube isn’t the only video platform out there for marketers. Vine was once a popular outlet for short video clips. And the once-defunct platform could be making a comeback according to a recent announcement.

You can read about these headlines and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Social Media

YouTube  Expands Community Features Allowing Businesses Greater Customer Engagement

YouTube recently announced that its “Community” feature will be available to creators with more than 10,000 subscribers. About a year ago, YouTube launched a “Community” feature that allowed the invited creators to connect with their audience in-between uploads with GIFs, text, pictures, polls and more.

Vine 2 Launch May Give New Opportunities for Marketing Your Business with Video

If you are still mourning the demise of Vine, the recent tweets from co-founder Dom Hofmann might put a smile on your face. His tweets are indicating he may be in the process of resurrecting the six second video platform — or a version of it. On November 30, Hofmann tweeted: i’m going to work on a follow-up to vine.

How Does Following Hashtags on Instragram Change Your Social Media Strategy?

You can now follow hashtags on Instagram. What exactly does that mean for the way you engage with your customers and track your social media marketing? Being able to follow hashtags is going to make it easier to identify and discover brands, images, videos, people and businesses on Instagram.


Small Businesses Add 50,000 Jobs in November

Small businesses are doing their part to contribute to record lows in unemployment and job creation. November 2017 ADP Small Business Report According to the latest ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) Employment Report for November, small businesses added 50,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy.

Only 47% of Small Business Owners Believe Tax Reform Will Help Them

Maybe it’s because lawmakers in Washington DC don’t know what will be in the final tax reform bill but only 47 percent of small business owners believe it’s going to benefit them. Paychex recently surveyed a group of small business owners to see how they feel about federal attempts to pass major tax reform legislation.

Ecommerce Sales to China Will Exceed $100 Billion by Close of 2017

Cross-border ecommerce sales into China are expected to reach more than $100 billion by the end of 2017, according to data from eMarketer. That’s a significant increase from the $78.5 billion in sales from 2016. These latest figures are part of a growing trend of importing to China, which could lead to plenty of potential opportunities for U.S. small businesses.


Tyto Care Brings  Medical Visit to You Without Taking Time Away from Your Business

A flu outbreak can bring your small business productivity to a standstill during a really important time of year. But new technology could provide ways for individuals and businesses to quickly identify illnesses and potentially avoid the spread of serious diseases.

63% of IT Pros Say They’re Underpaid, Are Your Employees Among Them?

Your small business’s IT pros probably think they’re underpaid, according to a recent study. And that could lead to them looking for other opportunities in the coming year. The 2018 IT Career Outlook report from IT network Spiceworks found that 63 percent of IT professionals believe they’re currently underpaid.

The  Pence Rule Will Not Protect Your Small Business, and Could Cause More Trouble

The rash of sexual harassment accusations across the country is raising a lot of questions. Claims are made and in a lot of cases, employers move swiftly with knee-jerk responses. Fire first, ask questions later. These claims are not limited to high-profile cases like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Judge Roy Moore and Sen. Al Franken. Small business may face this issue as well.

This Company Went Low-Tech to Fill a Hi-Tech Job

Technology has had a major impact on the recruiting and hiring process. But one tech company is bucking the trend and going low-tech with its hiring efforts — by using a simple sandwich board. Betabrand is an online crowdfunding platform that focuses on clothing designs. Clearly, it has the resources and tech knowledge to create a job posting.


Butcher Shop Startup Discovers Crowdfunding Magic Via Intuit

What startup entrepreneur hasn’t dreamed of borrowing Cinderella’s fairy godmother or Aladdin’s genie to make their every wish come true? While they weren’t necessarily wishing for it, that’s exactly what happened to Will and Erica Messmer of Jersey City, New Jersey. Before the couple got married earlier this year, they decided to pursue their dream of entrepreneurship.

Small Business Loan Application Approvals Up Across the Board

The Biz2Credit Small Business Index for November 2017 revealed an across-the-board increase in the business loan approval rates for bank and non-bank lenders. According to the study, there were record highs with every category of lenders, showing improvements for the month.

2018 Standard Mileage Rate Goes Up, IRS Announces

The IRS has released the 2018 standard mileage rate, and it reflects a slight increase over 2017’s rate.  The Internal Revenue Service also set the standard mileage rate for medical and moving purposes. Beginning January 1, 2018, the IRS standard mileage rate for cars, vans, pickups or panel trucks will be: 54.5 cents per mile driven for business, up 1 cent from 2017.

Green Business

12 Ways to Save on Electricity During the Holiday Season

With office parties to organize and gifts to send out to employees, clients and customers, things can get hectic for businesses during the holidays, as well as expensive. With a little bit of effort and know-how, one expense businesses can cut down and make savings on is electricity.

Local Marketing

ZipSprout Connects Small Businesses to Local Sponsorship Opportunities

Marketing and SEO matchmaking platform ZipSprout is introducing a new tool in 2018. The Sprout Seeker Tool aims to help local businesses automatically find the sponsorship opportunities in their area and most relevant to their target customers.

The A to Z of Attracting Last Minute Shoppers

Are you one of those people who had your holiday shopping done in September? Good for you, but most Americans are more like me: still scrambling for those final few gifts. In 2016, last-minute holiday shoppers pushed spending to new heights, and there’s no reason to think it won’t happen again this year.

89% Percent of Women, 79% of Men Will Shop In-Store This Year, Study Says

The news about the “Retail Apocalypse” is not encouraging, but Fundera has released a new infographic that should give retailers hope. Titled “Retail’s Not Dead,” the report on which the infographic is based says 89 percent of women and 79 percent of men intend to shop in-store for their holiday gifts.


LinkedIn and Spotify Team Up On a Holiday Office Party Playlist With Plenty of Bublé

You can’t have a great party without an accompanying playlist. Putting one together is an art form in some circles. And it’s likely you’ll be attending or hosting at least one holiday party in the coming weeks. Most employees are actually starting to feel something short of dread when it comes to going to these parties anymore.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Major-Morris Law Helps Businesses Protect Intellectual Property

Businesses that have intellectual property need to prioritize protecting those items. Having an attorney that specializes in trademark and copyright issues can be a major benefit. Kimra Major-Morris, Esq. is the lawyer behind Major-Morris Law, LLC, a law firm that works with businesses on those issues.

Small Business Operations

Department of Labor Wants to Reverse Rule on Tip Sharing for Restaurant Servers

The Department of Labor recently proposed a reversal of part of its current tip regulations from the Fair Labor Standards Act. Currently, employees who make at least the federal minimum wage in regular hourly pay are ineligible to receive tips through a tip pooling system without a special tip credit.

Intuit Will Acquire Employee Time Tracking Software Tsheets for $340 million

Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), parent company of accounting software QuickBooks and TurboTax, has signed an agreement to acquire the time tracking and employee scheduling software company Tsheets for $340 million. The acquisition will reportedly make manual time tracking a thing of the past for small businesses, the self-employed, accountants and gig workers.

New  Dialpad Free Claims to Kill the Desk Phone But May Kill Your Business Phone Bill Too

Do you have a small business with five employees or less? Well, if you do, Dialpad has released a new service called Dialpad Free which will get rid of your phone bill. The company’s slogan says “Kill the Desk Phone,” but with this new service, it is striving to do the same with the phone bill.

1 in 4 Small Businesses Believe Their Payment System Can’t Handle a Holiday Rush

The holiday rush, while full of opportunities, also comes with plenty of challenges for businesses. Processing payments can be one of those challenges if you don’t have a reliable system in place to maximize all of that extra business. This is actually a pretty big problem for small businesses.


81% of  Millennials Say Business Success Means Having a Purpose, Even if it Costs Them Money

Millennials prioritize different things than past generations have when it comes to business success. In fact, 81 percent of them think that a business needs a genuine purpose that resonates with people in order to be successful, according to a recent survey from American Express and Kantar Futures.

Technology Trends

Can Microsoft’s Whiteboard App for Windows 10 Devices Help Your Team Collaborate?

Earlier this week, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) released a preview of the new Whiteboard app that basically allows you, together with your team, to collaborate on a “digital canvas that displays drawings, images as well as hand-written notes.

Wix Code Introduces Dynamic Web Design for Business – No Tech Knowledge Required

Website building platform Ltd. (NASDAQ: WIX) has launched Wix Code, a web development solution that allows you to extend substantially the functionality of your Wix website. With Wix Code, you can enrich your website or web application with hundreds of design and website components without needing technical knowledge or coding — all from the visual elements of the Wix Editor.

Cortana Partners with Insteon on Smart Building Tech for the Home Office

Until recently, Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana has been limited to functions on your computer. The main rivals in the voice assistant arena can do a lot more than that, especially in your home office. Alexa can order supplies. Google can give you travel information. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) may be trying to catch up though.

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