Intuit, Shopify Unveil New Features and Innovations

The tools and services you use to run your small business can make a huge impact. Intuit and Shopify are both popular service providers for small businesses. And this week, both announced new features and innovations that could make some small business operations easier. You can read about those updates and more below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Small Business Operations

Intuit Introduces Innovations at QuickBooks Connect

I just returned from the fourth annual QuickBooks Connect (QB Connect), an annual conference hosted by Intuit’s QuickBooks in California’s Silicon Valley. The event was the perfect combination of information and inspiration for small business owners and the accountants who help them.

Shopify Integrates UPS Services into Its Ecommerce Platform

Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) has partnered with UPS (NYSE:UPS) to offer fast and affordable shipping for merchants. With UPS and Shopify Shipping, merchants that use Shopify can take advantage of guaranteed delivery dates. Businesses can also enjoy competitive rates of up to 52 percent off list rates.

Only  4% of U.S. Small Businesses Are Exporting, Missing Out on a $424 Billion Opportunity

Foreign markets such as China and Malaysia hold immense potential for small businesses in the U.S. Yet only a small percentage of businesses are exploring this opportunity. According to data compiled by London-based financial services company WorldFirst, the total value of worldwide B2C cross-border ecommerce is expected to reach $424 billion by 2021.

12 Examples of Invoicing Mistakes – and How Cloud Services Help Avoid Them (INFOGRAPHIC)

You send an invoice to a good customer and it has taken longer than usual to get paid. You go back to review the invoice and you realize you have made a couple of mistakes. Being able to catch these mistakes while you are in the process of filling out the invoice can save you a lot of headaches.

Last Minute Business Flights Could Cost You on Average 44% More

Travel is usually more hectic as you approach Christmas. According to a report by Concur Technologies (Nasdaq: CNQR), a SaaS company providing travel and expense management services to businesses, waiting until the last-minute to book your business flight could be a very costly move.


Confidence in the Local Economy Fuels Small Business Optimism, Survey Reports

For the second consecutive quarter, the MetLife (NYSE:MET) and Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index revealed an increase in optimism among entrepreneurs. The second and third quarter of 2017 showed the index at 60.6 and 62.3 respectively, with the fourth quarter coming in at 63.2. MetLife and U.S.


Retailers Continue to See Slow Growth in October

The holiday shopping season couldn’t come soon enough for brick-and-mortar retailers in the US. There may be an economic upturn coming, but small retail businesses in the U.S. have yet to sit. According to the October RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse, sales at these retailers were down once again by 10.9 percent.


Wendy’s and Other Top Brands on Fast Food Survey Offer Franchise Opportunities

Americans have ranked the country’s favorite fast food restaurants, and Wendy’s restaurant takes the top spot. The burger joint just recently began offering franchise opportunities to investors as it looked to expand. And it wasn’t the only franchise restaurant that topped the chart.


Brother Business Survey Highlights Challenges of Small Business Management

When starting your small business, you hoped you’d be able to create a new culture leaving behind some of the problems of the big corporate world. Well, the results (PDF) of the 2017 Brother (TYO:6448) Business Survey show that small business and big business alike share some of the same problems just on a different scale.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Circle of One Marketing Focuses on Events

Events can be a great way to market a business. But it takes a special type of entrepreneur to really make the most of event marketing. Suzan McDowell discovered her love of marketing and event planning by accident while working for a radio station. Read about her journey and how it led to her company, Circle of One Marketing, in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Loans

39% of Small Businesses Have Never Heard of Alternative Financing (INFOGRAPHIC)

One of the biggest obstacles to growth for small businesses is access to capital. But with so many options, more than two thirds or 39 percent of small businesses have never heard of alternative financing. This is according to the November 2017 Reliant Funding Small Business Report and infographic.

Small Business Loan Approvals Hit Another Post-Recession High, Biz2Credit Says

Small business loan approvals at big banks improved again last month to reach another post-recession high. According to the Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, big banks approved 25 percent of small business loan applications in October 2017, up two-tenths of a percent from the previous month’s high.

Technology Trends

PayPal  and Synchrony Financial Offer More Small Business Options with Expanded Partnership

When it comes to growing your small business, getting the right credit offering can make all the difference. PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) and small business online lending company Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) have announced they are expanding their partnership to offer you just that — more options to get credit.

$10M Worth of Apps: Zoho Creator’s #GivingTuesday Gift to Non-profits

Be it a calamity that catches the world unawares, or a chronic issue that’s been going on for decades, there’s no dearth in the help pouring in from all quarters. #GivingTuesday celebrates this philanthropic spirit by inviting individuals and organizations to take part in the joy of giving.

65% of Your Customers Expect More Automation in Businesses of the Future

The latest Pew Research Center survey revealed 52 percent of Americans believe stores will probably be fully automated in the next 20 years. But 13 percent said it will definitely happen, bringing the total number who see automation having an impact in the segment to almost two-thirds or 65 percent.

Right  Networks Has 3 New Cloud Solutions for Small Businesses and Their Accountants

Right Networks has introduced three new cloud solutions for small businesses and their accountants. The Right Networks Cloud is designed to streamline business operations and accounting by making it easier to use third party web applications in the cloud. Here’s why that matters to small businesses.

OnePlus 5T May Offer Small Businesses High End Phone at Budget Price

The OnePlus 5T has been released just five months after the OnePlus 5. In that short time, the company has made some improvements to put the 5T on par with other high-end phones. And all this is delivered for a list price between $499 and $549, depending on specs.

Image: Wikipedia

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.