Top news this week revolved around trends impacting two of the most important tools around these days for business.
A new study found that Facebook’s hold on the younger online generations is loose, at best. This is something to consider for your future marketing efforts.
Speaking of the future … chatbots are more accessible for small businesses than ever before but that doesn’t always mean your customers are going to like using them.
Learn what huge recent surveys say about Facebook and chatbots — and how they could both affect your business in this week’s small business news and information roundup.
Top Tech News
Attention Marketers: Less than Half of Teens Will Use Facebook This Year
If your small business relies on marketing to teenagers, you may want to think of any strategy that avoids Facebook (NASDAQ: FB). According to new eMarketer research, this will be the first year that less than half of internet users between the ages of 12 and 17 will use Facebook. That figure doesn’t mean the social media site is dead by any stretch of the imagination.
Facebook Giving Businesses the Ability to Post to Crisis Response
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has announced businesses and organizations can now post on its Community Help feature, designed to make it easier to ask for and give help during a crisis. Facebook Community Help for Businesses By enabling businesses to post on Community Help will assist firms in providing critical information and services for people when they need it the most.
59 Percent of Online Customers Say Chatbots are Slow in Resolving Their Problems
PointSource has released a survey which looks to find common ground between consumers and artificial intelligence (AI), more specifically chatbots. And in the process, the company has found out some of the pet peeves or frustrations people are experiencing with chatbots. To date, Chatbots have become the most popular AI application.
1 in 5 Businesses Will Abandon Their Mobile App by 2019
Businesses big and small often struggle to find a useful purpose for their mobile apps. This is especially frustrating because developing and updating an app so it remains at least somewhat functional requires more than a nominal investment. Well, it appears that businesses are finally realizing this and many will give up on their apps in the next year or two.
20% of All Searches are Made with Voice (INFOGRAPHIC)
A new and very interactive infographic by Adzooma takes a look at how online advertising will be trending in 2018. And one of the data points is the growth of voice search, which now makes up 20 percent of inquiries on Google’s mobile app and Android devices.
More Tech Trends
Small Businesses in Dallas and Waco, Texas Will See New AT&T Mobile 5G This Year
This is the year 12 lucky cities in the US will experience standards-based mobile 5G from AT&T (NYSE: T), making it the first carrier in the country to do so. AT&T 5G Rollout Cities The announcement comes just two months after AT&T carried out its first fixed wireless trial at Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco.
How to Use Technology to Take Charge of Your Business Meetings
Meetings pose an ongoing challenge for business leaders. The goal is to lead meetings more efficiently. However, that’s easier said then done. Although they’re a necessary part of effective communication and collaboration, meetings can easily become a drudgery for attendees. For years, interoffice meetings meant handing out a paper-based agenda.
2 out of 3 Service Contractors Won’t Get Hired if They’re Not Tech Savvy
Being tech-savvy is fundamental to functioning in today’s highly connected world. A new survey commissioned by Verizon Telematics and carried out by KRC Research highlights the extent of this example as it reveals 2 out of 3 customers said they would not hire a service contractor who is not tech-savvy.
7 Ways A Cloud Based Virtual Assistant Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur
Did you know that more than half of Americans want their own personal AI assistant, and why not? Having a cloud-based virtual assistant to hand your tasks off to is like a dream; your own guy or girl Friday that can handle everything from scheduling to research, project management, and even sales. Happily, with the rise of cloud based virtual assistants, this dream is coming true.
Only 9% of Small Business Owners Expect to Cut Staff Due to Automation
The new National Small Business Association (NSBA) and ZipRecruiter Report reveals only nine percent of small business owners expect to cut staff due to automation. More significantly, 24 percent said they would need more employees, while the majority, or 67 percent, said they would need the same number of workers.
Small Toy Companies Thrive While Toys R Us Announces Store Closings
Toys ‘R’ Us is slated to close 180 stores across the US as the 115th North American International Toy Fair got underway in NYC. But the market is rewarding nimble small businesses creating new toys faster than large established corporations. Fox Business reports Toys ‘R’ Us hopes to restructure and recover after the company filed for bankruptcy.
48% of Business Owners Who Want to Sell Have No Exit Strategy
Having an exit strategy when you start a business makes it that much easier to execute rational and informed decisions when you want to get out. But the UBS (NYSE: UBS) Q1 Investor Watch Report, “Who’s the boss?” reveals 48 percent of business owners don’t have a formal exit strategy.
41% of Entrepreneurs Will Leave Their Small Business Behind in 5 Years
A staggering 41 percent of entrepreneurs will leave their small business behind in five years. This was the finding of a report by the global financial services firm UBS (NYSE: UBS), looking at business ownership and entrepreneurialism in modern America.
8 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from the Flu Pandemic
This year, the flu is more than just a nuisance: it’s killing unusually high numbers of people, many of whom had only mild symptoms at first. As of last week, more than 48 states were still reporting widespread cases of the flu, according to CBS News. Overall, this flu season may cost U.S. businesses as much as $21 billion, predicts consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Small Business Summit Lists Attracting and Retaining Employees Among Greatest Challenges
With a whopping 70 percent of small businesses struggling to find and retain skilled employees, attracting and retaining talent is the leading challenge small business owners face. This was the key takeaway at Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Summit: The Big Power of Small Business.
5 Ways Tax Reform is Helping Franchise Businesses
The recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could have a major impact on franchise businesses. The tax reform will likely lead to changes ranging from increased deductions to a more financially stable customer base. Ways Tax Reform Is Helping Franchises Here are a few of the specific ways this new legislation could help franchises.
Want to Step Up to Your Biggest Small Business Challenge? Read This First
As a philanthropist and award winning television host of shows like Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ty Pennington has a proven track record of motivating people. That’s why Small Business Trends was happy to interview him and learn what he thought was the biggest challenge facing a small business.
Does the Small Construction Firm Waste Half The Day on Unproductive Activities?
More than half or 57 percent of the time on construction sites is spent on unproductive activities. This according to new infographics from Volvo titled, “Top Tech Trends to Boost Construction Productivity.” Construction Industry Ready for Technology Disruption As the data provided by Volvo points out, construction is one industry ripe for disruption with technology.
5 Tips for Differentiating Your Home Improvement Contracting Business
Getting a leg up on the competition in the home improvement business can be tough. Small Business Trends spoke with Dave Yoho, the Founder and President of Dave Yoho Associates, a consulting company that’s been representing small businesses since 1962.
Want People to Remember Your Ads? Be Funny, Clutch Says
The most memorable commercials are probably the ones that made you laugh. And a new survey from Clutch says 53 percent of consumers are just as likely to remember an ad if it is funny. Funny Ads Are More Memorable The Clutch report looks at what kind of ads consumers prefer across TV, online, social media and print.
Style.me Gives Ecommerce Fashion Sellers Plugin to Offer 3D Fittings
Style.me just announced the availability of its 3D virtual fitting and styling technology for retailers and consumers for the North American market. You can now let your customers see how the clothes you sell online look on their personal avatars. 3D Virtual Styling in Action The patented technology by Style.me brings together 3D rendering and 4K video to accurately capture the garments.
The Hidden Mystery Behind Building Trust with Potential Customers
We don’t buy products, services or companies. Well, we do, but we buy them from people we trust. We all operate in competitive industries. Our prospects can find what we sell just about anywhere. So, how do they decide who they buy it from? They buy from the person they trust. Therefore, people buy from people – first.
Small Biz Spotlight
Spotlight: Franchise Takes a Unique Approach to Dog Training
The pet industry is booming. But it’s not all about boutique grooming products or homemade treats. Service businesses like Zoom Room are also appealing to pet owners. The company takes a unique approach to dog training, focusing on training with dog owners and also giving the animals a place to exercise and socialize.
Small Business Operations
30+ Free SMB Resources for Growth and Innovation
Your business may be small now, but with the right technology, tools, and resources you can grow faster than ever. Here’s a collection of 30+ awesome, free resources to help and inspire your growing business. Growth Growth Kit (worksheet).
10 Tech-Centric Methods for Growing Your Business
You already know that technology can have a major impact on your business. But it’s finding the right technology to use that’s the real trick. For that, it can help to get some expertise from other successful business owners. Here’s what some members of the online small business community are saying about the tech tools they’ve used to grow their businesses.
2 New Tools from Vimeo Help Businesses Share Content with More Viewers
Two new distribution tools for social media from Vimeo will help creators streamline their workflow so they can be more efficient and reach a wider audience. New Vimeo Social Distribution Features Simulcast and Publish to Social bring other online channels into the Vimeo platform so creators can deliver their content without additional tools and compatibility issues.
Measure Your Business Networking with this Mobile App from BNI.com
The Networking Scorecard app from BNI.com encourages you to build your business networking skills by scoring the different actions you take to grow business relationships. BNI.com, the world’s largest networking organization, created the Networking Scorecard app with some gamification features.
Make Deals for Your Business in Plain English with Outlaw
The newly launched Outlaw platform seeks to help small businesses close deals faster by simplifying contracts. Outlaw helps small businesses and contractors who frequently make and sign deals with clients for products or services, do business faster with more transparency.
What I Learned from My Immigrant Parents About Succeeding in Business
In the past year, there’s been a lot of conversation about immigrants. All this talk made me think about my parents, who emigrated from the Basque region of France and Spain and started small businesses here in the U.S. Growing up in Northern California, I was often embarrassed.