In the News: WhatsApp, GoDaddy Announce New Business Tools





WhatsApp has already transformed the way individuals communicate with one another. But with a new business version, the company is now looking to change the way people communicate with their favorite brands.

And this isn’t the only major update this week to impact businesses in the world of social media and apps. GoDaddy also announced a new acquisition that will expand the company’s services in the digital marketing space — particularly surrounding social media.

You can read about these updates and more below in the weekly Small Business Trends news and information roundup.



Social Media

WhatsApp Business Lets You Connect with Customers — for Free

WhatsApp Business was just launched with the goal of giving small business owners an easy to use tool for connecting with their customers. WhatsApp Business is a dedicated Android app for small businesses so they can create a business profile to convey a more professional presence and experience.

GoDaddy Acquires Main Street Hub to Boost Small Business Social Media Presence

With the acquisition of Main Street Hub, GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) will expand its professional services for improving the digital presence of small businesses. This purchase addresses the importance of optimizing social media marketing as entrepreneurs and businesses increase the resources they invest online.

PeakFeeds  Dashboards Offer Small Businesses All their Social Media Data in One Place

If you are a small business looking to keep an eye on your social media efforts in one dashboard, PeakFeed will automatically email the information to your inbox every week with Dashboards. The release of Dashboards is going to expand social media analytics for entrepreneurs, execs, individual marketers and others.





Gig  Spending on Instagram Has Quadrupled Since the Beginning of 2017, Fiverr Says

Small businesses are spending more on social media. And Instagram is the platform where businesses are increasing their spending the most in terms of social media services. According to recent research from gig economy marketplace Fiverr, gig spending related to Instagram has more than quadrupled since the start of 2017.

Economy

Small Business Owners Express Optimism Over Trump Tax Cuts, Survey Says

Small businesses are riding a wave of optimism on new tax reform legislation. A new survey from Right Networks finds 70 percent of small to medium businesses are very confident to moderately confident about this year’s business opportunities. At the heart of this optimism is the new Tax Reform and Jobs Act.

81% of Manufacturers – Including Smaller Companies – Are Expecting Growth

The second annual Leading Edge Alliance (LEA Global) National Manufacturing Outlook Survey is reporting 81 percent of manufacturing companies, including smaller companies, expect their revenues to grow in 2018.

Employment

ADP  Acquires WorkMarket to Help Small Businesses with Freelance and Contractor Payroll

The acquisition of WorkMarket by ADP (NASDAQ: ADP) comes at a time when the way people work, where they work, and who does the work is changing dramatically. This purchase is going to give ADP (Automatic Data Processing) a cloud-based workforce management solution to address the many different types of workers businesses have to deal with.

WRKS App Connects Small Contractors with Qualified Workers

The WRKS app was created to help contractors find qualified workers in the construction industry. The app comes at a time when the economy is booming and residential and when commercial construction is expected to grow in 2018. The creators of the app say WRKS connects employers and those looking for work in a way that is more effective.





Finance

UPS Capital Announces More Funding for Small Business Importers

UPS Capital, a subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS), has announced it will expand its finance offering for in-transit cargo for U.S. importers. The new options will increase the amount businesses can borrow from 70 percent to 100 percent of the supplier’s invoice. Repayment terms are also being changed, with importers having 90 days instead of 75 to repay the loan.

Marketing Tips

Smart1 Marketing and Slide.ly Team Up to Help Small Businesses with Video

Smart1 Marketing recently announced it has partnered with global visual content platform Slidely to provide “high-end, cutting edge video ad resources” to small businesses.

Only 56% of Small Businesses Dedicate Someone to Gather Market Intel

When it comes to gathering marketing intel, only 56 percent of small businesses with 11 to 50 employees dedicate someone to the task. And only 32 percent of businesses with 1 to 10 employees do so.



Retail Trends

Alibaba’s New Source Now Tool Gives Small Retailers a New Edge When Finding Merchandise

Alibaba.com (NYSE: BABA), the largest B2B trading platform in the world, has just introduced Source Now, an innovative sourcing tool that can help level the playing field for small retailers — and ecommerce businesses.



What Dunkin’ Donuts Can Teach Small Businesses About Creating Incentives for Mobile App

Dunkin’ Donuts has come up with a unique way to get more customers using its mobile app. A new concept store the company unveiled in Quincy, Massachusetts features a drive thru with a dedicated lane for those who order on the Dunkin’ mobile app, allowing them to essentially cut in line and get their coffee or donuts quicker.

Sales

Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments for State Internet Sales Tax

The Supreme Court will decide whether to expand the power of the states to collect sales tax from online sales, which could precipitate a vast increase in internet sales tax.



New Contactually Tool Aims to Improve Email Open Rates

What is the best time to reach out and connect with your individual contacts if you are a real estate agent? Contactually’s Best Time To Email is able to analyze the communications of your contacts and make a recommendation. The Contactually Best Time To Email tool uses data intelligence to find out the best time to send emails to your contacts.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Cali Finance Group Offers Loans and More to Individuals – and Businesses

Securing financing for a small business can be incredibly complicated. Traditional banks and financial institutions have a lot of requirements that are more difficult for independent businesses to meet. Cali Finance Group aims to make it easier for businesses in California by offering a variety of different financial products and services to meet everyone’s individual needs.



Startup

Study: California, New York Top Centers for SaaS Firms Powering Small Business

Driven by the increasing demand for their products, Software as a Service or SaaS companies today are booming. According to a new report by London-based web service company Crozdesk, the United States is the biggest hub for these SaaS solution providers.



How Uli Nasibova’s Experience in High Finance Made Her Gelato Business a Success

Going from investment banking to scooping gelato isn’t a very common career trajectory. But it’s exactly what Uli Nasibova did. The founder of Gelateria Uli recently spoke with me as part of our exclusive Smart Hustle Report.

One-third of Business Owners Say Entrepreneurship “Much Harder” Than Expected

Nobody thinks starting a business will be easy. But sometimes it’s a lot harder than expected. According to a study conducted by Netherlands-based printing company Vistaprint (NASDAQ: CMPR), one-third of business owners admitted running a company is harder than they initially thought.

Technology Trends

GetSiteControl Lets You Build Widgets for Ecommerce Sites and More

Are you optimizing the pages of your website, social media, blogs and other digital channels for engagement? If you are not, GetSiteControl has created a solution designed to simplify the process so you can insert the right call-to-action widget at the right time. GetSiteControl is a cloud app which lets you easily add 7 call-to-action widgets so they can appear at the right time.





Demand for Live Chat on Company Websites Grew by 8.3% in 2017, Report Says

Customers are becoming increasingly reliant on live chat to communicate with businesses, according to a recent study from chat software company LiveChat. More specifically, LiveChat’s report found that demand for live chat features on company websites grew by 8.3 percent in 2017.

Tablet Use Down, Report Says, Forcing Small Businesses to Adapt

Mobile devices have become an essential part of everyday life for most small business owners, with new mobile services and phone capabilities continuing to make doing business on the go easier. However, the latest mobile market trends indicate that while tablet usage is “strong,” it is nonetheless declining compared to smartphone usage. You should probably adjust accordingly.

Small Business Owners, Google Will Start Favoring Faster Mobile Search in July

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) just announced it is going to be taking page speed into consideration when it ranks websites for mobile searches. Called the “Speed Update,” it will not take effect until July 2018, and was driven in part by user complaints about mobile webpage speed. The goal, according to Google, is to give mobile users a better experience.

New ASUS Laptops Could have Small Business Application — Depending on the Price

The ZenBook 13 and X507 notebooks were just announced by ASUS, further expanding the company’s growing line of laptops addressing virtually every use case. These all-in-one notebooks are configured with a long battery life and high-performance specs, which ASUS says is ideal for daily computing and entertainment.



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