News affecting your small business happens all the time. The Small Business Trends editorial team keeps track of the stories that are most important, which gives you the time to run your business and still stay informed.
Software & Apps
Intacct accounting software seeks to replace Quickbooks. The new firm may not have many customers yet — only just over 7,300, we’re told. But the company has more capital and a marketing plan that involves penetrating the small to medium sized business market.
Lithium acquires Klout. The site for measuring social influence has been criticized by some for letting too many users game the system. Will Lithium’s acquisition bring new uses for Klout’s technology? Some experts seem to feel that’s possible.
The latest Firefox allows more social plugins. The latest update comes with a new social API. It allows plugins like Facebook Messenger for Firefox, Cliqz and more. There are also new security improvements, so read on.
OpenTable app offers simple mobile payment option. Larger companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s are already either using mobile payment or are experimenting with it. OpenTable’s new mobile payment app makes it easier for small restaurants and eateries to participate too.
Google Fiber is getting faster. If your company has invested heavily in the cloud, the next important question is how fast you can access those new services. Fiber may provide the quickest access with high speed Internet connection and a planned upgrade could be coming soon.
New iBeacon has business applications too. It may be a great alternative to GPS, but iBeacon also has small business applications too. Take the idea of placing them throughout a retail environment so customers get information about products on sale when they come into range.
Google offers face-to-face meeting technology. Google Chromebox for Meetings is a new tool that can allow remote meetings with up to 15 participants. This isn’t an alternative for the average Skype conference call. But it could be a cheaper solution for companies using more complex teleconferencing systems.
Body odor might someday be personal ID. It may not be anytime soon. But researchers believe body odor could someday be a form of personal ID. Like a fingerprint or iris scan, it could be the new wave in security — including for your business.
Social Media & Web
Do people really read what they share? Well, yes and no, according to a recent discussion on Twitter. There may not be much correlation between what people read and what they share. But, we’re pretty sure it depends on your audience.
No more buying pins or followers on Pinterest. It’s a policy shift that shouldn’t surprise users of other big social media platforms. Pinterest doesn’t mind marketers managing your brand presence on the site, but paying for individual pins and followers is another story.
Upstart finds backers to invest in your future. Imagine if there was a way to sell shares in yourself. It may not be such a far fetched notion. Now a new site called Upstart may give you just that option. Here’s what you need to know about the site.
Marketing & Customer Relations
Small beef producer demonstrates the value of diversifying. John Brady once focused on marketing his ranch’s products to larger retailers. But thanks to Internet marketing and a new approach of selling directly to customers, he has reinvented his business for the future.
Here’s why you must be careful about renting mailing lists. It’s the story of a bank that sent out credit card offers with one very embarrassing name in the mix. Too bad no one double checked before this happened.
Sixty percent see economic news as mixed. It may be a mistake to assume that most of your customers have a negative outlook on the economy. It turns out most Americans feel news on the economy is neither all positive nor all negative but a bit of both.
The proposed EXCEL Act may not be dead yet. The bill’s full name is the Expanding Access to Capital for Entrepreneurial Leaders (EXCEL) Act. Supporters say it would increase small business access to capital through a program regulated by the SBA. And even though it didn’t pass last year, it may still have some traction.
Cantwell replaces Landrieu. There’s a leadership change at the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) replaced U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) last week as chair of the committee. Cantwell may have more entrepreneurial experience, but whether this will change things remains to be seen.
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Source: Small Business Trends
Big News: Quickbooks Competitor Intacct Targets the SMB Market