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2018-04-24T06:22:58.732Z
0
{"feed":"small-business-trends","feedTitle":"Small Business Trends","feedLink":"/feed/small-business-trends","catTitle":"Business","catLink":"/cat/bussiness"}
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Your small business is growing nicely, taking on more and more clients and gradually increasing revenue and profits. In order to sufficiently cater for its growth and additional workload, you’re contemplating taking on remote workers.

By recruiting remote employees, you’ll benefit from having access to a wider pool of talent without geographical restraints, and from a number of cost savings, such as no additional office space to pay for.

However, despite the many benefits taking on remote employees brings, it is not without its potential issues and problems. One primary issue is related to compliance and licensing, an important aspect of remote working that a small business might not anticipate.

If you are deliberating rolling out a remote team that operates from a different state than you do, take a look at some of the biggest compliance/licensing issues and what small businesses need to be aware of.

Be Aware of Payroll Requirements for Remote Workers

If members of your team work in different states than your own, the general rule of thumb is that the employees must pay taxes to the state where they are located and where the work is carried out.

Known as the ‘physical presence’ rule,...

The March ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) Small Business Report revealed the service-providing sector was greatly responsible for the 47,000 jobs small businesses created in March. Although the number for small businesses came in 19,000 lower than February. Still, overall the national employment numbers were higher at 241,000, compared to 235,000 last month.

March 2018 ADP Small Business Report

There are fluctuations in the different segments of the employment report, but the economy has been generating well over 200,000 jobs for the past four months. According to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, this is double the pace of the labor force growth, which is further tightening the labor market.

Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, commented on the job market in a press release. Yildirmaz said, “We saw impressive momentum in the first quarter of 2018 with more jobs added per month on average than in 2017.  Midsized businesses added nearly half of all jobs this month, the best growth this segment has seen since the fall of 2014. The manufacturing industry also performed well, with its strongest increase in more than three years.”

The ADP National Employment Report is a monthly publication produced...

Advertising is a proven way to market your small business and gain customers and revenue.

But there are so many ways to advertise a small business, it can be confusing and overwhelming.  To get the best return on your advertising spend, we compiled the insights and advice from a number of sources — from experts to small business owners, along with our Editors’ guidance.

In this Small Business Advertising Guide, we walk you through how to advertise your business, including what advertising is, what types of advertising are out there to choose from, the relative costs for each and even places where you can advertise for nothing or for very little cost.

We also walk you through a simple step by step process to set up a small business advertising campaign.  And if you need some idea starters, we’ve got those too.

Business Advertising is Thriving

You hear lots of things online about how about this type of advertising or that type of advertising is supposedly dying.  The reality is, the advertising market is growing every year, as the Standard Media Index shows:

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Did you know making your small business greener could not only help save the planet but also save you money around tax time?

A free Small Business Energy Tax Savings eBook sponsored by Constellation shares some secrets for saving money on your small business tax bill while also saving the environment.

Here’s how it breaks down.

Up until the end of 2017, small businesses were permitted to deduct up to $1.80 per square foot of space if they made certain improvements to their new or existing buildings.

Small business owners interested in claiming the deduction were required to change lighting, building envelope or heating and cooling systems.

And these changes needed to result in at least a 50 percent decrease in total power and energy cost compared with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standard established in 2007.

Though the deduction ended at the end of the 2017 tax year with no guarantee it will be reinstated, here’s something to consider.

Google unveiled its Hire by Google recruiting tool last year, offering a streamlined hiring solution specifically for small and medium sized businesses. The app is available for users of Google’s G Suite tools that have fewer than 1,000 employees.

How to Use Google Hire Effectively

If you’re already using Hire or are considering getting started with it, here are some tips for making the most of it to grow your team.

Take Your Hiring Seriously

The first step in getting results from Hire is to recognize the importance of hiring great people and finding the best process for doing so.

Meagan Hency, product marketer for Hire by Google said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “When working with small businesses, one of the things we hear over and over again is that hiring is one of the most important factors that contributes to the growth and success of their business. When you can find the right talent for your business, you can spend more time building relationships and focusing all of the other things that go into building a successful business.”

Don’t Assume You’re Too Small for a Hiring Tool

Even if you take hiring seriously, you might not...

Thanks to self-publishing platforms like Amazon, anyone with a great idea can create, publish and sell their very own book. But aspiring authors be warned: Just because it’s easy to publish a book doesn’t mean writing and marketing it has become any simpler. You still need excellent writing skills and a thorough plan to make sure your book is well-read and well-received. If you’re working on publishing your first book, follow this advice from Young Entrepreneur Council members to make sure it’s a success.

“What advice do you have for small business owners who are working on publishing their first book?”

Tips for Publishing Your First Book 1. Get Very Clear On Why You’re Doing It

“Books are generally not a money-making endeavor. You want to write a book because either it’s a credibility-building tool you want to use as a calling card to get you in the door or to upsell if you’re a speaker, coach or consultant. You may have an idea which you want to share to help the world and not for the sake of monetary gain.” ~ Darrah Brusteindarrah.co

2. Write the Marketing Plan First

“Write a book’s marketing plan before the book. Why? A plan provides clarity on who will buy the...

On the popular cloud-based team collaboration service Slack, bots are available in many guises. Acting like hardworking virtual assistants, Slack bots can answer your questions and help you and your team get things done faster.

Once you are up and running with Slack you can install Slack bots onto your PC or mobile device and start reaping the benefits of these ultra-reliable virtual assistants.

Best Slack Bots

If you run a small business and are unsure which Slack bots would work best for you, check out the following 15 best Slack bots for small business users.

WorkBot

WorkBot for Slack allows you to generate workflow connecting various apps and chat inputs together. No coding is required for this intelligent workflow bot, which can be connected to more than 200 apps.

PaperBot

Your busy team shares large amounts of links to Slack week-in-week-out. The incredible PaperBot organizes the links shared on your Slack channels so you and your team can view them at anytime and from anywhere via iOS, Android or a web interface.

AstroBot

By becoming your new intelligent email and calendar assistant, which connects email and Slack, AstroBot can help your small business run more smoothly and efficiently. Let...

Having choices in life is always great. What about too many choices? That’s what comes with self employment. The freedom to choose is both the best and worst thing about being self employed. While it’s great not to report to anyone, it’s also a lot of responsibility to take on.

That said, here are four things about self employment you should know before making the leap. It’s not always easy being your own boss.

One of the biggest perks people associate with self employment is the fact that you get to be your own boss. Nobody telling you what to do sounds awesome right? For those who’ve never tried it, yes it sounds pretty great. For those that have, they know it’s less glamorous than it seems.

You get to make the big decisions now. You get to decide which hours you work and which hours you don’t. You’re also going face the full consequences of those decisions. You’re the CEO now. While you probably won’t have to give a statement to the press, you still have to face the music when things go south. Worst part is, there’s nobody else to back you up. No colleagues to blame and no boss or manager to...

If you’re like a lot of other small business owners, you likely rely on several different apps and pieces of software to get through the day.

However, if your employees rely on all this software, too, it may also be causing your small business to hemorrhage money.

How could this be? These are the apps and software developed to make us work smarter and faster.

Well, according to new research from RingCentral, the plethora of apps is causing a lot of confusion in the workplace. In fact, of the 2,000 “knowledge workers” surveyed, the research has revealed 69% waste as many has 32 days a year because of app confusion.

App Overload

Ring Central’s study, “From Workplace Chaos to Zen: How App Overload Is Reshaping the Digital Workplace” looks at how this confusion occurs.

For example, the report notes the biggest problem is with communication apps. Specifically, it’s the multitude of these apps ooftwn used in business.

“Today’s workforce is under siege by a flood of communications apps. More than ever, our attention is scattered across a wide array of different apps and communications channels,” says Riadh Dridi, CMO at RingCentral, in a release accompanying the survey results.

Think about how many communications apps you use....

McAfee’s third annual cloud adoption and security report says 97 percent of organizations, including small businesses, now use cloud services from public, private, or a combination of both platforms. The bad news is 1-in-4 of organizations using the public cloud have experienced data theft.

2018 Cloud Adoption and Security Report

The McAfee report, “Navigating a Cloudy Sky: Practical Guidance and the State of Cloud Security,” looks at the state of cloud adoption and the challenges organizations face in protecting their digital assets. This year’s report also addresses concerns with private and public cloud services and the impact of Shadow IT. The term refers to IT resources built and used within an organization but without its explicit approval.

With cloud adoption nearing 100 percent, the technology is being used by organizations of all sizes. This includes small businesses who are beginning to appreciate the full benefit of cloud computing despite the risks.

In a press release, Rajiv Gupta, senior vice president of the cloud security business unit for McAfee, explains how businesses counteract the risk by having the right security protocols in place. Gypta says, “By implementing security measures that allow organizations to regain visibility and control of their data...

Kabbage and Ingo Money have teamed up to expedite the payout of loans into the accounts of small and medium-sized businesses in real time. The move is important news for small businesses in need of a fast loan payout to capitalize on new opportunities or continue operations.

Kabbage and Ingo Money Partnership

Thanks to the new partnership, when businesses get a loan from Kabbage, the Ingo  Money technology will be used to deliver the funds to the applicant’s account right away. The loans are going to be paid out using Ingo Money’s push platform with push-payments-in-a-box technology.

The partnership was announced on pymnts.com at which time Kabbage President Kathryn Petralia explained the importance of accelerating the delivery of funds.

Petralia said, “We’ve known for a long time, ever since our first customer came onto our platform and took money via PayPal that business owners want access to funds as soon as they can get them.” In addition to making funds available instantly, she said the new partnership will provide transparency to the lending process.

The company says the new feature is slated for a summertime launch. Kabbage believes the new feature will close the gap...

Will augmented reality change the way your small business operates? Very likely, according to some recently collected data. A new infographic by Lumus, an Israeli-based Augmented Reality company, highlights some of the industries which will use AR to introduce new ways of operating and interacting with their customers.

The Impact of Augmented Reality

For some, the mention of AR brings to mind the Pokémon GO mania of a couple of years ago, but the technology encompasses quite a bit more. And according to Lumus, AR is poised to dramatically change everything from healthcare to real estate, travel and more.

The good news, according to Lumus, is the number of industries in the small business segment in which AR is likely to play a role. By adopting the AR technology the company recommends, small business owners can better compete and attract new customers. With $17.8 billion slated for business investment in AR and VR in 2018, there is huge potential.

This potential was also addressed by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who told the UK-based Independent, “I’m excited about augmented reality because unlike virtual reality which closes the world out, AR allows individuals to be present in the world but...

National Small Business Week runs from April 29 to May 5, 2018.

As a co-sponsor of the event, Small Business Trends (SBT) is putting together a Big List of events and offers of interest to the small business community in commemoration of this week set aside to celebrate U.S small businesses.

If you are taking part in the week-long celebration by hosting an event to go along with National Small Business Week 2018, please let us know and we’ll share your event with our community.

The event can be anything from special promotions and sales to commemorate the week, to live or online events. The goal is to support fellow small business owners with valuable information so they can continue to grow.

You can also take a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration site for more information and additional events here.

The Big List will be updated until the National Small Business Week 2018 takes place, so make sure you get in touch with us as soon as possible by emailing your information at sbtips@gmail.com.

 



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Big List of National Small Business Week 2018 Events
April 26 2018, Online

National Small Business Week is fast approaching. The annual event is being held from April 29 through May 5, 2018. And we...

Content marketing has become an incredibly popular strategy for small businesses — and for good reason. But creating great content isn’t enough. You need to take some extra steps in order to make a real impact. In order to accomplish that goal, check out these tips from members of the online small business community.

Use These Growth Hacks for Your Next Content Marketing Campaign

As your business grows, your content marketing plan needs to grow with it. In order to make your content more effective so that it can continue making a major impact, check out the crazy effective content marketing growth hacks included in this Search Marketing Team post by Hasel Smith.

Brainstorm and Prioritize Your Best Content Ideas

Not all content ideas are created equal. Some are likely to yield major results while others might be less exciting. So it’s a good idea to prioritize your top pieces of content in order to optimize results. Learn more in this Content Marketing Institute post by Garrett Moon.

Boost Your Social Media Engagement Creatively

Social media can be a very important part of a content strategy. But you need to actually engage with followers in order to make an impact. Here are some ideas for boosting social media engagement from Elechi Emekobum...

Grocery delivery is a competitive business. However, Walmart, Amazon and Instacart aren’t the only players battling for a stake of this thriving market. Now there’s an alternative designed to help the smaller grocery store competing with the bigger names in the space. Small Business Trends spoke with Marc Gorlin, Founder and CEO of Roadie to find out more.

Roadie Delivery Service

He told us this self described “app-based community” was founded on two of the principles that make America great—innovation and hospitality.

“Roadie was founded on the southern notion of neighbors helping neighbors,” Gorlin said. “It’s a new crowdsourced delivery model that leverages existing resources.”

Great Business Ideas

Like a lot of other great business ideas, Gorlin saw a need and a way to fill it. When he needed some warehouse custom tile to complete a bathroom renovation, a notion for a great practical way to get them same day occurred to him.

Going Somewhere

“I started to think, there’s always someone going somewhere, surely someone who was already headed in that direction would be willing to transport a couple boxes of tile,” he said. “Roadie was created to unlock this massive, untapped resource to create convenient, inexpensive delivery solutions for...

It’s one thing to launch a business, but a different issue to change how a business operates to fit a major shift in the marketplace.  That “but” is at the heart of success or failure of a business.  Businesses recognize that they are in a customer-centric environment. But what should an operation that is customer-centric look like to be effective?

One book that strives to answer that question is Transform A Rebel’s Guide for Digital Transformation by Gerry McGovern.  The book covers a digital agency and the building of a business culture around it.  McGovern knows the challenges well — having written 6 books on the subject.  McGovern has been a web consultant since 1994, working in over 30 countries for organizations such as Microsoft Cisco and the European Union. McGovern is the founder and CEO of Customer Care Words, a research company focused on understanding customer behavior.

I discovered the book a while back at a conference and was impressed with the emphasis on culture McGovern brings to explain the value of digital transformation.

What Is Transform About?

Transform is meant to outline the steps involved in creating operations and processes that align organizations to customer activity. Throughout the book, McGovern advocates monitoring how balanced resources are among management, employee and customer.  He believes that “a new management model” will lead to customer-centric organizations.

McGovern outlines how...

The interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is growing rapidly. And Amazon’s announcement earlier this week of a new patent that may allow them to sell the identities of cryptocurrency users added even more fuel to the fire of interest.  This high level of interest was obvious at last week’s CRM Evolution conference, as Never Stop Marketing founder and blockchain expert Jeremy Epstein’s session — ‘Blockchain and the CMO: The Next Era of Marketing’ — was a real crowd pleaser.

For those who weren’t able to attend Jeremy’s session, you really missed out. Fortunately, conference co-chair Paul Greenberg and I were able to record a conversation with Jeremy to get a taste for a few things he talked about during his session.  Below is an edited transcript of our conversation. And while it’s worth reading the transcript, watching the video definitely adds important perspective because of Jeremy’s passion for the subject. I mean the guy paces and lifts weights during our conversation because he’s so jacked about the subject.  So do yourself a favor and check out the video if you can to not only be educated and informed, but also get a glimpse as to why we dubbed him The Blockchain Gangsta. And you might also want to check out his free new ebook,  The Decentralized Marketing Organization: How Crypto-Marketers Can Increase Token Value by Empowering Community Members.

* * * * *

Whether your business has single or multiple locations, having a great management system in place for everyone to follow is critically important.

Starbucks became aware of this fact with an incident that took place in Philadelphia which made national headlines. The issue should teach businesses of all sizes some valuable lessons. In other news, tech startups struggle to provide adequate pay in expensive Silicon Valley. Do you struggle to keep your compensation ahead of cost of living?

Read more insightful small business news in our roundup below.

Management What Can Your Business Learn from The Starbucks Fiasco About Preventing Discrimination?

Starbucks is shutting down all 8,000 stores for one day to offer racial bias education training to employees, the company announced Tuesday afternoon. Starbucks Racial Bias Training The 8,000 company-owned stores will close down May 29 to educate employees on how not to discriminate against people in their stores.

 

Economy California Tech Startups Struggle with Hiring, Are You Covering Employee Cost of Living?

Silicon Valley tech startups are establishing satellite locations or moving entirely out of the California’s Bay Area to find affordable workers who don’t have to cope with the state’s high cost of living, The Mercury News reported on Monday.

Marketing Tips Promo Partners With Shutterstock Giving Small Businesses More Video Options

Promo, a video creation solution made by Slidely, has announced it...

In trying to get rid of materials its advertisers deemed offensive, YouTube instituted policies that hit small creators hard by demonetizing their channels or certain content.

Some of these creators include small business owners who had come to rely on YouTube as a major part of their revenue. Months later, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed the creator community with a letter on the company blog.

The post follows a horrifying incident earlier this month when YouTuber Nasim Najafi Aghdam went on a shooting rampage at the YouTube offices in San Brunno, California injuring several employees and eventually killing herself. Aghdam’s motive is believed to be connected to issues she had over the company’s policies regarding her channel.

YouTube Monetization Concerns

Wojcicki started by stating the obvious, “We know the last year has not been easy for many of you.” Since YouTube started removing materials advertisers found objectionable around March of 2017, small creators have been taking a hit. They lost ad revenue, subscribers, and viewers, fostering the negative relationship that currently exists between the company and many of its small creators.

This all started when more than 250 brands pulled ads from YouTube after they discovered they were running along content they didn’t want their brands...

Marketing is not usually the first thing on dental professionals’ minds. However, it’s an important part of building a successful dental practice. So for those who are relatively new to the marketing game and simply want to get their message in front of as many local dental patients as possible, here are 20 tips you can use to shape your marketing plan.

Marketing for Dentists Find the Local Market That Is Most Likely to Choose Your Practice

Pinpointing a target audience is an essential component of marketing any business. But for dental practices, it’s not just about choosing a few demographics or interest groups. You have to find the people in your area who are actually the most likely to appreciate the specific services and branding messages that your business has to offer.

Holly Hutchison Patrick, managing editor of Patient News, said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “In today’s fiercely competitive market, defining your marketing audience solely by age, gender, and income isn’t enough. It’s absolutely critical to identify your target audience — those who are in your local market (live in your practice neighborhood) who have the highest propensity to call your practice. When you target these people, not only will your in-bound call volume...