This Week in Small Business, Customers Want Instant Response So How Do You Comply?

Welcome back to another edition of This Week in Small Business.

To the uninitiated, this is where I find the top 3 stories appearing in the last week on Small Business Trends and provide a little more insight. This week, I’m rejoined by my friend and small business expert Jeff Brathwaite.

Leading off the discussion, we took a deeper look at Annie Pilon’s roundup of the small business community and their thoughts on content marketing. What gets your content seen by as many people as possible? Jeff and I pay particular attention to the rise of social media sites like LinkedIn and Instagram for getting content found. Check out our whole discussion on this.

Next up, we talk about small business technology and what every small business should be using, based on a post this week by Rob Starr. While I focus on CRM and its benefits to small businesses, Jeff looks at cloud computing.

He says, “When you’re first starting out, you’ve got to go with cloud computing.”

And in the video, Jeff explains why cloud computing is so valuable to a small business like yours.

Finally, we wrap up our discussion by going over a post from Michael Guta on new data suggesting how fast your customers want a response to their questions. We learn 82% of your customers are expecting some kind of immediate response these days on their sales and marketing questions.

Jeff — who thinks that total might be higher — says, “I know I do. When I go to sites now, I want someone there who is going to interact with me now.” We also discuss the trends in technology that make faster response possible.

Check out our full discussion on this in the video above and be sure to check out the rest of the headlines in our Small Business Trends news roundup below.

And be sure to get notified the moment that a new This Week in Small Business video is ready by heading to YouTube and subscribing to the Small Business Trends channel.

Small Business Operations

Verifly Disrupts Insurance Industry with One-Day Cut-Rate Policies for Freelancers

A new app is offering to cover freelancers, independent contractors and others like sole proprietors in seconds at a cut rate of as little as $5 for one hour of general liability insurance. Small Business Trends contacted representatives from Verifly to learn more about this short term, inexpensive, mobile product that’s disrupting the century-old insurance industry model.

Association Health Plans: 10 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know

Association health plans for small business are being expanded due to a new Federal rule. The biggest beneficiaries will be self-employed owners with no employees, as well as very small businesses with as few as one employee. These small business owners will soon be able to shop for and join association health plans.

SpotOn Offers Payment Collection and Customer Engagement in a Single Tool

Collecting payments and communicating with customers are both important functions for a small business. But they’re rarely spoken of together, much less included in the same tools. Now there’s a payment processing tool to help businesses both process payments and improve customer engagement.


New Amazon Program Could Put You in the Package Delivery Business

As the number of shipments by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) continues to grow, the company is looking to outsource the delivery of those packages. Amazon just announced a new program called Amazon Delivery Service Partners so it can address this demand.

Best States to Launch a Startup Revealed

After comparing 50 states across 25 key indicators of startup success, Wallethub was able to determine the best and worst states to start a business in 2018. Best State to Start a Small Business Is… This year, Texas is tops by providing some of the ideal conditions for business creation.

Exclusive  Interview: SBA Administrator Linda McMahon Says Small Business Options Improving

One person who is decidedly optimistic about the American small business economy is Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Linda McMahon, who built several businesses before becoming the head of the SBA.


Tax Rules for the Care and Feeding of Your Employees

Employers increasingly are acting in loco parentis, essentially assuming parental responsibilities for the well-being of their employees. Toward this end, employers provide a number of fringe benefits to support the physical, mental and emotional health of their staff. Doing so contributes to a happy and productive staff, which is critical in this tight labor market.

Technology Trends

Visme  Emerges from Beta Ready to Help Small Businesses Crush It with Visual Content

Visme just came out of beta after years of testing in real-world scenarios with 1.3 million users. These include users in over 100 countries, Fortune 500 companies, many different organizations and individual users.

The Perfected Keyboard May Be … Er, Perfect for Your Small Business

Truly Ergonomic has launched an Indiegogo campaign for The Perfected Keyboard. And the company claims it is the most comfortable you will ever use. So if you spend much time on your computer for your small business, it might be worth a look. The campaign on Indiegogo just started, and so far has met 4% of its $20,000 goal with a month to go.

Rebooted  Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse Brings New Features to Your Business Computer

The original Microsoft IntelliMouse was launched in 1996, with the last model being released in 2003. It has taken 15 years, but Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has decided to revive this iconic mouse with the new Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse.

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Brent Leary Brent Leary is the host of the Small Business Trends One-on-One interview series and co-founder of CRM Essentials LLC, an Atlanta-based CRM advisory firm covering tools and strategies for improving business relationships. Brent is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author, speaker and award-winning blogger.

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