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Hackers Use Simple Tactics To Break Security: Small Biz Can Learn from Biz Biz

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 21:02

Banks and large companies use a global network, SWIFT, to transfer money around the world. Of late, hackers have illegally transferred money. How they did it? By attacking weak links in the network – like individual bank computers that were compromised years ago and left unprotected.

Or as the WSJ reports, “Other attempts to probe payment networks include a 2009 attack in which hackers sent millions of fake emails to small and medium-size businesses that appeared to come from a separate U.S. funds-transfer network managed by a group called Nacha. Recipients who clicked on the link downloaded malware that allowed criminals to capture the user’s credentials as they entered the bank’s website.”

Lesson learned. Hackers LOVE small businesses (or weak links in big businesses). They use these links to to connect to bigger networks.

YOUR small business is important, keep it SECURE.

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Categories: SMB

Mobile Apps Join the Desktop Experience: Confusion, Clutter or Benefits?

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 19:02

We’re used to having apps and software for desktop computers and then millions of options, apps, for our phones. However, there’s a push by Microsoft and Google to bring mobile apps to a desktop environment.

The WSJ reports, “On Thursday, Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., said the Google Play app store will soon be able to install Android apps on Chromebook laptops as well as on the lesser-known Chromebase all-in-one computers, Chromebox desktops and computer-in-a-stick Chromebits.”

This means that your favorite mobile app will soon be available as a desktop version too. There’s lots of development that needs to be done to have a fully working app, work on a desktop, but the evolution has long begun.

The post Mobile Apps Join the Desktop Experience: Confusion, Clutter or Benefits? appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

Danger of Relying On Social Followers: When Social Algorithms Change, You Lose.

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 18:00

Absolutely, social media is on FIRE and “everyone” is using Facebook, Snapchat, Instragram, Twitter or some other social network. For sure, EVERY business must be using social media. However, it’s also important to build your own list of email addresses and other contact information (cell, physical mailing address) so you have direct contact with your customers.

When (not if) social networks or search engines change their algorithms. You could be affected.

The WSJ reports that Cheetah Mobile experienced this very problem.

When Facebook changed it’s advertising algorithm it drastically affected the advertising revenue Cheetah Mobile received.

WSJ writes, “Why the miss? Facebook changed an ad-sales algorithm. Cheetah makes most of its income from selling advertising space on its popular apps. Though based in China, half its revenue comes from outside, and much of that by serving as a third-party advertising platform for Facebook, which channels ads to Cheetah apps. To a lesser extent, Cheetah sells ads for advertising customers on the social network. Credit Suisse estimates ads from Facebook account for 25% to 30% of Cheetah’s advertising revenue.”

Be careful putting your entire revenue in the hands of someone else!

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Categories: SMB

Tips to Help Your Business Build a Winning Ecommerce Store

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 20:47

Whether you’re starting up a new business or own an existing brick-and-mortar location, you’ve likely considered setting up an online store to reach a wide customer base. If you’re considering selling products or services online, there are two things you should know:

  • There has never been a better time for e-commerce.
  • It has never been easier to set up an online storefront.

But as simple as it is to set up an e-commerce presence, it’s important to know how to build and market your store before you get started. With the right tools in place, you can build a winning website and draw customers in. Once you’ve set up your e-commerce shop, you’ll need to know how to leverage it to get the best results.

How to Leverage an Ecommerce Platform

As beneficial as an online store can be to your business’s success, it isn’t the only option. If you aren’t quite ready to set up your own online store, consider leveraging one of the many existing platforms for reaching customers online. Marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, and eBay will let you set up a store and reach their already robust customer bases. Angie’s List and Thumbtack will help you connect with local customers who are looking for services like yours. The best thing about these resources is that you’ll be able to enjoy quick setup without a huge financial commitment.

If you decide to use a site like Etsy or Amazon as your sole selling platform, you should buy the domain name that best relates to your business and point that domain to your online store. This will give you a single address on the web, whether that address is connected to your Amazon seller account, your Etsy shop, or your own dedicated website. This will give you one online address, as well as the benefit of an easily-remembered address that promotes your own brand up front. It will also give you a company-branded email address.

How to Build Your Own Online Store

Once you’re ready to build your dedicated online store, getting started is easy. Useful website builders like Shopify, SquareSpace, and Wix let you build an online store using drag-and-drop tools. These sites offer features like shopping carts, site hosting, and search engine optimization, making sure your online store is easy to use, has a professional look, and ranks well when customers are searching for certain products or services.

While these services generally aren’t free, businesses usually find they’re budget friendly. Generally do-it-yourself site builders cost less than $75 a year and may even be free if shop owners are willing to allow third-party ads on their sites. Best of all, these tools come with customer support to provide technical help when needed.

3 Tips to Guide You

  1. Identify your website needs – Your online store can be simple and streamlined or a sophisticated multimedia marketing and sales hub. Determine your requirements before you begin building. If you decide you want a lot of bells and whistles on your site, you may want to consider a professional web developer to help.
    2. Pick a domain name – Your domain name will be your virtual address, as well as your online identity, on the web. Even if some solutions offer to host your site on their domains, you should put your website on your owndomain name to have a consistent, branded web address for your customers to remember. It will also give you an attractive, professional web address to use in your marketing.
    3. Select the right website builder – You can find an array of solutions by doing an Internet search for ‘e-commerce website builder.’ Take time to research and compare two to three options. Make sure they have an e-commerce option and that they will not only meet your needs for today but in the future as well.

With so many great resources, entrepreneurs can easily set up an online store and begin promoting it immediately. Before choosing your site’s platform, make sure you carefully research all of the available options and choose the one that’s best for your own business.

This article was written in partnership with Verisign; however, all opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

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Categories: SMB

Brother Adds 2 Years of Ink “INKvestment” To New Printer Line

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 18:37

Last week I was printing lots of documents. One of the pages came out white with faint lines across it. YEP – my inkjet printer ran out of ink. I ordered more ink but wish I had ink readily available.

Brother released a new line of printers to help solve this problem.

While it’s getting more challenging for printer vendors to create printers that are different, the new battle is making printers that use less ink – at least that’s what the vendor’s say.

HP’s solution is an instant ink solution wherein the printer automatically orders more ink. Epson’s solution is a larger ink tank. Brother’s solution is providing two years worth of high capacity ink.

 

 

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Categories: SMB

Build A Tribe And Sales Will Follow. Learning From “Humans of New York” Photog

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 15:07

Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton is using his viral fundraising prowess to help pediatric cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, reports Crains NY.

Sure, with 17.6 million Facebook users and 5.3 million Instagram followers it’s pretty “easy” to raise millions for a cause.

But there’s a lesson here for ALL of us small businesses.

Instead of trying to “sell” (or raise money” first seek to build a community, build a tribe. You do this by educating your audience and by being a publisher.

Build your email list – it’s one of the most important assets every business owner can build and nurture.

While social networks and search engines can change their discovery algorithms at well – your email – no one can touch.

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Categories: SMB

Smart Hustle Recap: Robert Herjavec Interview, Hiring Tips, & Protecting Your Biz in a Divorce

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 18:32

It was a great week at Smart Hustle, where we tackled a variety of important topics related to small business – growth advice shared in a Robert Herjavec interview, hiring tips for your small business team, and even guidance on the uncomfortable topic of protecting your business in the case of a divorce.

On Wednesday, May 12, Ramon Ray also had the opportunity to testify to Congress, sharing his experiences and the struggles of small business owners to the Small Business House Committee. You can listen to his testimony here, and for other small business articles, check out our lineup below.

Robert Herjavec Interview – Small Biz Advice from a Shark

Robert Herjavec is known around the country and the world as one of the main investors on ABC’s Shark Tank. Recently, Ramon caught up with Robert and conducted a ‘rapid-fire’ style interview, soliciting his advice on five important small business questions. This Robert Herjavec interview has shark advice on topics such as entrepreneurship, scaling, and business expansion.

Click to read A Rapid-Fire Interview with Robert Herjavec: Small Business Advice & Why Businesses Are Like Sharks

Hiring the Right Team for Your Small Business

No small business owner can do it all themselves – even solopreneurs hire out occasionally for one-off tasks and important projects. Since the success of your business is dependent on the success of your team, it’s important that you hire the right people to begin with. This article shares six tips that will help simplify the hiring process so you can locate the best candidate for the position.

Click to read Build Your Team: 6 Small Business Hiring Tips

What Can Happen to Your Biz in a Divorce?

When you’re officially beginning your life together with your partner, the last thing you want to think about is a divorce. Everyone thinks his or her relationship can defy the odds – but taking a more realistic approach could just save your business. As this article points out, a divorce has the power to ruin everything you’ve created, but by taking a few extra steps in your prenup, you can be protected.

Click to read How a Prenup Can Save Your Business in a Divorce

Each week at Smart Hustle, we strive to provide a mix of interviews, business tips, inspiration, and relevant news. What are your favorite things to read on Smart Hustle and other small business websites? Let us know in the comments so we can keep providing you with the best articles on SmartHustle.com.

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Categories: SMB

Why Your Business Gets Hacked? 3 Tips To Help Be More Secure.

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 13:07

Security is so important for businesses – especially small businesses. While you don’t need to be an “expert” on security you do need to ensure your business is PROTECTED from hackers, malware and all other digital threats to your business.

In partnership with Bitdefender, there’s a few things EVERY business owner can and must do to be better secure.

It seems like the only thing important for small business owners is “social media”. Everybody’s talking about Facebook, Twitter or SnapChat. One of the topics few small business owners are really paying attention to, but that is SO, SO important is security.

If you spend time just marketing, but not securing your business -you won’t have a business.

Indeed hackers are attacking LARGE companies, but they’re also going right after very small businesses.

They know that you have few resources, little time and hardly any expertise to be secure. In fact some of the big business attacks have come through their small business vendors. Like a copy repair technician or cash machine vendor (a small business) who plugged into the big company’s network. The small business vendor was not secure.

I encourage you to check out Bitdefender’s web site for security resources and tools you can use to be more secure.

Below is a review of BitDefender and how it can help your business.

The post Why Your Business Gets Hacked? 3 Tips To Help Be More Secure. appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

Accelerate Your Business Recap: It’s Time to Upgrade Your Aging Devices!

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 18:19

Recently, I had the honor of speaking at the Accelerate Your Business symposium, presented by Microsoft, Dell and Intel and taking place in Denver on May 4. Couldn’t attend? I realize that there are SmallBizTechnology readers located all over the country (and the world!), so I wanted to share a recap of the event and some special information about the session I participated in.

 

Accelerate Your Business Recap

Accelerate Your Business was a symposium aimed at sharing information that will help small business owners take their businesses to the next level. It featured sessions that shared best practices in cloud-based technology, and new devices & apps that can make your business more productive and efficient. Attendees also had the opportunity to network with business leaders, industry experts, and digital innovators. It was a high-energy, high-impact event for all who attended.

The event started out with a keynote from Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and an investor in tech startups. He spoke about “Building a Community of Hundreds of Thousands of Communities,” which is exactly what he was able to do with the creation of Reddit in 2005.

The morning continued with three sessions that touched on different aspects of business growth and technology:

  • Staying Safe in the Current Cyber Environment – Moderated by Gene Marks, this session focused on data security for the modern cloud-based workforce, with an emphasis on keeping both customer and business data safe.
  • Managing the Modern Customer – Moderated by Carol Roth, this session focused on using technology to create a holistic approach to customer service.
  • Q&A: What’s Hot, What’s Happening and What’s to Come – This Q&A session with Amy Cosper (Entrepreneur), Jordan Chrysafidis (Microsoft) and Eric Day (Dell) tackled questions about the future of business and what businesses today can do to prepare.

The Accelerate Your Business symposium then ended with a keynote and workshop on “Influencing Influencers” with Jon Levy, who shared his experience working with brands and companies as well as strategies for businesses to improve their product development, customer acquisition, and customer engagement.

Accelerate Your Business with Safer Technology

I participated in the session on staying safe in the current cyber environment. Today’s technology and cloud-based solutions have made it easier to run your business, but there are also data security concerns that every growing business should be aware of.

One way to keep your business safe is to upgrade your devices, because older devices are slower, heavier, bulkier, and pose security risks. This infographic explains the huge differences between old and new devices.

If it’s time to modernize your business technology, consider updating to devices based on the 6th generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor family  and Windows 10 pro.

  • Fast boot and wake up times.
  • Easy multi-tasking between apps, files, and websites.
  • True Key technology to safely reduce the number of passwords you use.
  • Facial recognition technology for simple and safe log in.
  • BitLocker encryption that keeps your data safe even if your computer is lost or stolen.

You can get 6th generation Intel Core processors and Windows 10 pro in a range of devices, such as desktop towers, touch screen All-in-ones, mini PCs, laptops, tablets, and 2-in-1s. Check out the Accelerate Your Business site for more offers, information and the latest devices.

The Accelerate Your Business symposium emphasized the fact that to grow your business you have to be constantly moving forward with the latest technology and strategies for developing products and reaching customers. One way to get started right away is by upgrading your devices today.

This post was written in partnership with Intel; however, all opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

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Categories: SMB

This Mobile CRM Keeps You Connected On-The-Go!

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 20:26

Today, owning a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) means doing lots of things on-the-go while balancing the eight different hats you wear throughout the day and trying to minimize the things that get dropped. So this year, simplify that daily juggling act and take your CRM with you.

 

While you’re out there getting things done, your staff might be anywhere, working from home, traveling, at a conference, or meeting customers across town. Most businesses are far more mobile than ever.

 

One great thing about Insightly is that you can take your CRM wherever you—and your tablet or phone—need to be. Snagging first place in GetApp’s ranking of the top CRM solutions for Q1 2016, the Insightly mobile app lets you to take your info, insights, contacts and calendars with you no matter where you’re headed.

 

Never Miss a Beat with Instant Sync

Keep up to date while out and about with the Insightly app’s ability to instantly sync your changes, updates and more to your home (Web) CRM. Manage your team’s day-to-day agenda by scheduling events, and adding or assigning tasks, in Insightly calendar.

 

You can also add comments to any notes you take while away from “home,” such as voice recordings, pictures from your device or camera, or just plain old text. With information that instantly syncs, you can be sure all users are working off the latest information.

 

Real-time information means your whole staff is apprised, even if the customer forgets something and calls back immediately. The next rep can pick up right where the last call left off, and the customer won’t waste time repeating the story to multiple CSRs.

 

Dynamic Contact, Lead and Customer Management

Stay on the pulse of what’s happening with your customers day-to-day with mobile contact management. The Insightly mobile app lets you scan business cards to create contacts and leads, set direct relationships between records by “linking” them and see opportunity values for each customer or prospect. Make a call from within your app and a note is automatically attached to the contact, creating a call log.

 

No more fumbling around for a contact’s cell number because you forgot to punch his digits in and his business card is back at the office. No more forgetting which customer that new lead is connected to and why it’s even relevant to your business. No more hearing, “You guys just called me about this an hour ago,” from the other end of that now awkward touch base call. You’ve got all the contact management essentials with you, accessible and updateable at a moment’s notice.

 

Sales and customer satisfaction often hang on how fast you respond. Fast, reliable answers are an important element in a competitive market. Instead of stuck-in-traffic excuses, your customers hear, “How can I help you?” Access builds the trust you need to nurture relationships and keep the interest of your customers.

 

Everything You Need at your Fingertips

Available for tablets and phones, the Insightly app supports Android and iOS users alike, so there’s no reason you can’t be a step ahead. App users have access to project management and event scheduling, notification setting and social network integration, as well as the ever-useful power to search your CRM for the right info right when you need it. The Insightly mobile app also comes in five different languages, in case something other than English floats your boat.

 

Let’s face it—you are busy. And staying connected and organized is hard if you don’t have the right tools to make it happen. The right CRM for you will be available whenever and wherever you are. It’s just that simple.

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Categories: SMB

Mobile Payments vs Card and Chip Payments – Mobile Is Winning

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 18:00

 

Last October there was a rush by many retailers and vendors to upgrade their technology to be EMV compatible. The upgrade was justifiable as credit card companies would penalize retailers who did not (or have not) upgraded. However, we’re quickly moving into a new phase – this phase is the speedy growth of more and more consumers use their credit cards to hold credit card numbers and transact with credit card readers.

The NY Times writes that this method is quick and secure.

Retailer, if you point of sales systems are not upgraded – you need to. If you’re not using an iPad based POS system (or some other nimble and light system) such as from Shopkeep then you’re missing out.

Retailers, EDUCATE your consumers, who are not using modern technology, to upgrade and consider using modern payment technologies. SHOW THEM the value of using their phone for purchases.

 

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Categories: SMB

Smart Hustle Recap: 3 Informational and Inspirational Smart Hustle Interviews

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 17:24

Smart Hustle Magazine is known for interviews. As a site that is both for small business owners and about small business owners, Ramon Ray uses audio and video interviews to tell inspiring small business stories and keep readers informed about the latest technology and small business advice. In this issue of the Smart Hustle Recap, we’re putting a spotlight on three informational and inspirational Smart Hustle interviews that were recently published.

 
 
 
 

The Quest of an Unlikely Entrepreneur

This first interview tells the inspirational story of Fred Magnanimi, the owner of the jewelry company Luca + Danni. As we learn in the audio, Fred went on a quest to save the family business after his brother died from cancer – even though Fred had previously sworn off the family business and took a career in investment banking. In addition to inspiration, you’ll learn some tips and strategies for how you can transform a business that uses dated methods into one that is capitalizing on the latest trends and technology.

Click to read Reinventing the Family Business to Find Success in a New Era

The Importance of Online Reviews

In our next interview, we take a trip to SXSW 2016 where Ramon learned about a new company that can help small businesses manage their online reviews. ReviewTrackers is a software platform that gathers customer reviews from all the major review websites into one dashboard, where you can monitor what people are saying, respond to comments, track analytics, and encourage more reviews. Founder Chris Campbell also shares two tips for managing customer reviews that every small business owner needs to hear.

Click to read Why ReviewTrackers Says Asking for Customer Review Is Critical

Building the Best Small Business Team

In our final interview, Ramon has a chat with Erin Walter of Nuphoriq, a Chicago-based marketing company that focuses exclusively on catering companies. As Erin explains, Nuphoriq is a company that was first and foremost built around its team, and after years in business, Erin still attributes the success of the company to her team. In the audio interview, Erin explains why having a great team is essential, and from her experience, we extrapolate 3 team-building tips for small business owners.

Click to read 3 Team-Building Tips to Create an Active and Innovative Team

This selection of recently published Smart Hustle interviews demonstrates how we can lean on other small business owners for both inspiration and information. To join forces with other small business owners around the country, make sure to join the Smart Hustle Community and subscribe to the newsletter to stay informed about the latest Smart Hustle interviews and articles.

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Categories: SMB

You Are the Secret to Good Security: Be Educated.

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 15:00

There are so many things you can do to have better security. Hire a security expert to better configure your network, ensure you have the right software installed on your computers (and mobile devices) to scan for viruses and block malware.

But one of the BEST, cheapest, and easiest things you can do is to ensure that YOU are educated in how YOU can secure yourself.

When typing in your password, be sure no one is watching. Be sure you’re not using a “free” WiFi connection when doing banking and other transactions (use a VPN). Use strong passwords.

An email from GoDaddy gives these tips:

  • Make sure your password has 12 characters minimum.
  • Include numbers, symbols, capital letters and lowercase letters.
  • Don’t use dictionary words.
  • Add 2-Step verification — an extra layer of security requiring a code from your mobile device.

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Categories: SMB

LinkedIn Expands Content Options. So Much More Than Jobs and Networking.

Sun, 05/08/2016 - 17:17

LinkedIn made an interesting acquisition recently. It purchased a company Run Hop, which helps companies provide more relevant content to their users.

According to the WSJ, “Run Hop, founded in 2014 and based in San Francisco, developed services designed to show users articles, videos and other content tailored to their interests. Its services weren’t widely released.”

Expect, in the coming weeks (or months) for LinkedIn to continue to serve as a base for not only finding your next job or making one to one connections but always as foundation to publish CONTENT to your network.

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Categories: SMB

Where Will You Get Financing From? Square Hopes You Choose It.

Sat, 05/07/2016 - 17:16

 

There are LOTS of ways to get financing. Your credit card, your bank, your momma and friends and family, your own savings, remortgage your house OR you can get a loan or other financing options from a lending institution like Square, OnDeck, Fundera, CANCapital, FundBox or others.

Although shares in Square slid last week, as reported by the WSJ, Square believes it’s in a better position than its competitors.

Square is one of the leading providers of credit card processing for small business owners, providing the famous “white plastic things” that poke out of mobile devices, enabling anyone to process a credit card on the spot.

Before you get a loan (of any kind) for your business, be sure to get advice from a few people who can guide you on what’s the best type of financing for your business.

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Categories: SMB

Staples & HP Partner on the Latest Innovative Printing Technology for Small Business Owners

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 21:57

Staples and HP are two brands that are well known to the small business community. Each has a history of finding innovative solutions to help small business owners operate more efficiently, so when I heard that they teamed up with the release of their latest printing technology, I knew that you’d want to hear about it. On May 1, new HP OfficeJet Pro Series printers and HP PageWide printers were launched at Staples and Staples.com. With lower costs and faster speeds, these printers are designed to help you be more productive in the office.

 

Printing technology is sometimes overlooked, but choosing the right printer for your business can greatly improve your operations. Since printers are used so frequently, small differences in costs and speeds add up to big differences over time. If you’re looking for reliable printing technology that can save you time and money, I urge you to look at these new lines of HP printers, available at Staples:

The HP OfficeJet Pro Series

This series of printers is for small business owners who want professional color in a compact, affordable package.

  • Professional-quality color documents will cost you up to 50 percent less per page than laser printers.
  • Employees can also boost productivity with the ability to print from their smartphones and tablets.

There are a number of models in this series. Prices start at $199.99, and they are sold both in-store and online at Staples.com.

HP PageWide Printers

This series of printers is for small business owners who need professional-quality color documents from a printer that delivers exceptional efficiency:

  • In a single pass, you can print professional-quality color documents across any width you need.
  • With just 0.5 second prints, you’ll get record-breaking speed.
  • Other benefits include energy efficiency and exceptional security.

Models in this series start at $499.99, which makes them the lowest total cost of ownership in their class. They are sold online only.

Find the Printing Technology that Fits Your Business Needs

Each of the new offerings is a “series” of printers. This means that you can choose the exact model that will work best for your small business, based on what other specific functions you’ll use and your daily printing needs. Like any other business purchase you make, it’s important that the printing technology you select fits with the needs of your business.

Shopping at Staples has perks as well. Staples Rewards members get up to 5% back on their purchases and free shipping on any HP purchase of $14.99. They also have auto restock programs for your ink and paper so you’ll never run out of these essential office supplies.

By partnering on this latest innovative printing technology, Staples and HP are reaffirming their commitment to the small business community. Your office technology can either hold you back or push your business forward. When you purchase your next printer, don’t underestimate the importance of low costs, fast speeds, and professional quality.

This article was written in partnership with Staples; however, all views expressed are my own.

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Categories: SMB

Live Video. It’s Not A Fad. It’s A Serious Business Tool.

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 18:00

You know that live video is exploding – from teens doing silly videos to local consultants sharing their expertise. Dear business owner, live video is what’s hot and will be “the thing” for years to come. Get used to it and learn to do live video right.

  1. Hold your camera the right way – vertical in most cases
  2. Be cognizant of those around you – don’t capture innocent people in your live shot
  3. Have good audio – don’t do a live shot with lots of noise (if you can help it)
  4. Be prepared, Daymond John does a weekly Facebook Live chat and is well prepared for what he’ll share
  5. Have fun and learn.

The WSJ”s Jaonna Stern writes, “Rule No. 1 of live streaming: Have a purpose. Show us a concert, a breathtaking view, a ride on your electric scooter, your new Wi-Fi connected juicer—it’s all about sharing something cool or unique. I maintained 50 live viewers on a horse and buggy ride through Central Park. But making kale salad? My viewership fell to low single digits.”

You can read more about Facebook’s Live video updates here.

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Categories: SMB

GoDaddy Makes A Big Upgrade To Domain and Marketing Services

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 16:51

Godaddy is one of the biggest and most well known web hosts around. Of course more than just web hosting, GoDaddy also offers an array of marketing services for businesses.

What caught my eye about GoDaddy’s announcement was it’s marketing services. GoDaddy enables it’s customer to not only turn to GoDaddy for hosting but for a comprehensive array of digital marketing services from domain name, to web site hosting, to web site building to, ecommerce and more.

This is a bid opportunity for GoDaddy customers who might have been seeking more from GoDadaddy.

Some of their new and updates services include:

GoDaddy Email Marketing:

  • Addition of “Second Send” functionality (available to select users), allowing them to automatically resend a message to recipients who have yet to open it, using alternate subject lines
  • Online Store users can now drag and drop products they want to promote directly into their email campaigns via GoDaddy Email Marketing
  • Free trials of GoDaddy Email Marketing for both new and existing Online Store customers

Online Store:

  • A new shipping integration with UPS, which will get products into the hands of customers more quickly
  • Over 10 new features to help merchants manage their products, search inventory and manage their sales, including the ability to access order data more quickly and easily

SEO Services:

  • GoDaddy provides a team for SEO experts for both on-site and off-site SEO optimizations on the user’s behalf, including dedicated account managers to develop SEO strategy
  • A comprehensive customer dashboard for tracking all SEO activity, including ROI and ranking improvements

The post GoDaddy Makes A Big Upgrade To Domain and Marketing Services appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

Smart Hustle Recap: Small Business Week Events + 3 Amazing Interviews

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:13

Small Business Week has officially begun! Maria Contreras-Sweet, the administrator of the Small Business Association (SBA), declared May 1-7 as the dates for Small Business Week 2016, so it is officially time to boost your small business knowledge and celebrate your favorite small businesses. In this Smart Hustle Recap we have a huge list of Small Business Week events to share with you. Our other stories feature three amazing interviews that can teach you about new technology, business growth, and the importance of follow-ups. Let’s dive in!

Small Business Week Events

Small Business Week is an initiative of the SBA so they are running a special series of Small Business Week events which includes live events (with live streaming online) and webinars to educate small business owners. However, many other companies are joining in on the fun with their own events, including contests, promotions, training, and dedicated content. This article covers all the main events so you can participate.

Click to read Small Business Week 2016 Events.

The Importance of Follow-Up

In this interview with SCOTTeVEST founder Scott Jordan, he tells us about what he says is the “one reason for my success” – following up on every opportunity that comes his way. He explains how follow-up is important in nearly every aspect of your business, whether it is customer and advertising inquiries or daily business operations. The informative audio interview is bolstered with a list of Scott’s top 6 tips for successful follow-up.

Click to read Follow-Up: The Most Powerful Tool for Your Small Business Success.

New Tool to Generate PR Buzz

As it stands right now, the PR process is pretty messy. Businesses want media coverage, but reporters often feel ‘spammed’ by PR teams who fill up their inboxes with pitches. At SXSW 2016, Ramon learned about a new tool called Babbler that is aimed at improving the process. Babbler works like a social media site and helps to connect business marketers with right reporters who are looking to cover stories on that topic. The result – reporters get content they need to make great stories, and businesses get the media coverage they are looking for.

Click to read How Babbler Can Help You Generate Buzz about Your Business.

It’s Time to Grow Your Business

In this video interview, Ramon gets the opportunity to chat with Amanda Holmes, CEO of the business growth company Chet Holmes International. The video full of tips on how to take your business to the next level. In the article, we’ve also pulled out some of Amanda’s tips as the must-follow rules for business growth. This article is sure to put you on the path to success.

Click to read 5 Rules of Business Growth from CEO of Chet Holmes International.

What Small Business Week events will you be participating in? Which interview are you going to check out first?  Let us know in the comments and check out SmartHustle.com for help on your other small business questions.

The post Smart Hustle Recap: Small Business Week Events + 3 Amazing Interviews appeared first on SmallBizTechnology.

Categories: SMB

Greg Waldorf of Invoice2Go on Why You Need to Switch to Invoicing Technology Today

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:00

Invoicing is an important aspect of running a business, especially small businesses that are all about cash flow. So why, in an era where technological solutions are abundant, are so many small business owners still using Excel or Word templates for invoicing, or running to Staples to get invoice books? This was the main question addressed in one of my most recent interviews, a discussion with Greg Waldorf, CEO of the app Invoice2Go. During the interview, Greg explained what is holding small businesses back from using invoicing technology and why they need to make the switch today.

Why Is Invoicing a Challenge?

As Greg mentions in the interview, many small business owners are still using traditional methods of invoicing, like invoice books and computer files. Sure, these methods will get the job done, but small business owners often feel overwhelmed and disorganized.

It’s not just about the method of preparing an invoice either. The problem goes deeper, into how you accept payment on your invoices. “People forget, small businesses in the U.S. are driving in their cars to pick up checks,” says Greg. “Something is wrong with that in 2016. You shouldn’t need to be driving to pick up a check.”

So why are so many small business owners using dated invoicing methods when invoicing technology is readily available? Greg says that it’s because small business owners are simply very busy people. They feel pressure to make improvements in so many areas of their business that it’s hard to choose what to start with, and even harder to get started TODAY.

Why You Should Switch to Invoicing Technology Today

“I wish I had done that sooner.”

That’s the feedback Greg gets from new small business owners who have made the switch to Invoice2Go. He says that it’s not hard to convince people that there are better invoicing solutions. Small business owners know there must be a better way of invoicing because they feel disorganized all the time and particularly stressed at tax time. Invoice2Go has made it their mission to make it easy to switch to invoicing technology TODAY.

Invoice2Go is an app that includes a free trial. Simply visit the app store on your phone to download the app and claim your free trial. During the free trial, you can explore how Invoice2Go works. As Greg mentions, the system is so simple that you will be ready to send invoices in minutes. Small business owners also use their free trial to send test invoices to themselves and to set up invoices that will look similar to their current invoices.

Beyond the simplicity of Invoice2Go, there are several benefits of switching to invoicing technology:

  • The ability to quickly send invoices, no matter where you are, right from your mobile device.
  • The peace of mind knowing that the work is done, the invoice has been sent, and you are closer to getting paid.
  • Not being held back because you don’t have access to physical or computer invoice files.
  • The ability to accept credit card payments and electronic transfers.
  • Better organization of invoices, which is particularly helpful at tax time.
  • The ability to present a more professional appearance of your business.

There are many invoicing technology options on the market, but what makes Invoice2Go special is their dedication to small business owners. The company has found its “sweet spot” working with small businesses and they have no plans to move out of the small business space. Invoice2Go’s niche is solving the invoicing problems of small business owners, so they have developed solutions specifically for you.

In the end, Greg’s main piece of advice is to make the switch TODAY. “Just do it today. Don’t do it tomorrow or the next day. You’ll be really happy with how much more organized you feel. You will feel so much better about your business.”

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Categories: SMB