Managed by Q and Staples Partner to Offer Office Services to Business </p> <p>Customers in Four Major Cities

Does your small business breakroom need a makeover?

The breakroom serves as an important resting spot in any office. But some spaces tend to get stale and just serve as an extension of the fluorescent-lit cubicle maze where your employees spend the rest of their days plugging away at important business tasks.

So Staples is hosting a contest to encourage businesses to refresh those spaces. The winner can earn a $50,000 ultimate breakroom makeover.

Learn about the Staples Breakroom Makeover Contest and other small business events in the Featured Events section. Then check out even more upcoming opportunities in the list below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Staples Breakroom Makeover Contest Staples Breakroom Makeover Contest
August 31, 2017, Online

Win a $50,000 Ultimate Breakroom Makeover for your office!

The breakroom in any office serves as a place to refuel, boost productivity, attract & retain top talent, and gather away from desks & conference rooms. Is your current breakroom lacking and in a need of an upgrade? If so, enter and you could win a breakroom for your office that will help your employees recharge, refresh, and be more productive.


Slack FrontiersSlack Frontiers
September 12, 2017, San Francisco, Calif.

Finding better ways for teams to work together is one of the biggest challenges facing every company and industry. That’s why Slack is introducing Frontiers on September 12 – 13, Pier 27, San Francisco. Slack Frontiers is a two–day conference that brings together leading thinkers, Slack customers, developers, and partners to explore how the nature of teamwork is changing. Be among the first to hear about Slack’s newest products, learn how Slack improves work and workflow, and hear from customers about the ways their organizations are evolving.


Influencer Marketing DaysInfluencer Marketing Days
September 25, 2017, New York, N.Y.

Influencer Marketing Days is a forum rich in professional development and laser-focused networking opportunities. Whether you are a marketer involved in PR or integrated marketing, community development or social media management, or an influencer looking to leverage the power of influencer marketing, this conference is for you! It is the must-attend event both for marketers responsible for their company’s influencer marketing campaigns, and for influencers looking to optimize monetization of their clout. Whether you already run influencer marketing campaigns or you’re investigating ways to leverage this powerful type of marketing, Influencer Marketing Days will equip, educate, and inspire you to make the most of your efforts.


ONTRApaloozaONTRApalooza
October 04, 2017, Santa Barbara, Calif.

ONTRApalooza is a three-day conference for entrepreneurs, marketers and business leaders packed to the brim with hands-on workshops, in-depth software sessions, and inspiring keynotes from leading experts. Join in on Oct. 4 – 6, 2017 to learn the strategies that are getting results now. Leave prepared to make a bigger impact.


Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony
October 24, 2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.

On October 24, 2017 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Rule Breaker Awards will honor and celebrate those entrepreneurs who have succeeded by doing it their way in a ceremony featuring the Rule Breaker of the Year and Rule Breaker Award winners.


NextConNextCon
October 23, 2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.

At NextCon, you’ll gain:

– Proven techniques to garner higher customer satisfaction.
– Insider strategies from leading experts to help you provide amazing customer service.
– Methods of engaging your employees to better deliver on your customer experience.
– Hands-on training with Nextiva’s technology and products so you can take advantage of tools you already have, or learn about new ones.


Sales World 2017Sales World 2017
November 08, 2017, Online

Sales World 2017 takes place November 8th to 9th, 2017, Online; Live and On Demand. It is the largest Sales Industry Event in the World and will be attended by over 10,000 Sales Professionals. It’s the one sales event you can’t afford to miss!


DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 - Digital Marketing ConferenceDIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 – Digital Marketing Conference
November 14, 2017, Online

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 Digital Marketing Conference takes place November 14th to 16th, 2017. Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools.


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Staples image via Shutterstock

This article, "Staples Hosts Breakroom Makeover Contest for Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends

Though online tools have made communicating with customers easier, sometimes a quick phone call is still necessary. That’s where a new service from GoDaddy aims to help businesses.

In addition to GoDaddy’s new SmartLine, Amazon also announced a new series of workshops this week aimed at helping small tech entrepreneurs how to build skills for Amazon Alexa. Read about these updates and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Technology Trends

GoDaddy Launches SmartLine, Gives Your Small Business Its Own Phone Number

The smartphone you carry today is more than a personal communications device. it is also fully integrated with the way you do business. For small business owners, having a second dedicated line just for business can have multiple benefits. The new GoDaddy SmartLine service makes this possible on your device, giving you and your company a more professional appearance.

Amazon Creates Alexa Workshops for Small Tech Entrepreneurs

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Galvanize, a 21st-century school for entrepreneurs, engineers, and data scientists, are going to be holding Alexa Skills development workshops to teach developers, designers, and technology buffs how to build skills for Amazon Alexa, the operating system for the company’s smart speaker Echo. Amazon’s Echo has 70.

Yikes! 97 Percent of Your Employees May Not be Able to Identify a Phishing Email (INFOGRAPHIC)

When you think of cyber attacks, you may imagine complex campaigns against major corporations and governments. The reality, however, is far more common and serious – especially for small businesses.

Slow Sites and Extra Fees Responsible for Majority of Shopping Cart Abandonment (INFOGRAPHIC)

A major concern of many ecommerce business owners is shopping cart abandonment. That’s when a customer puts an item in an online shopping cart and never completes a transaction.

Small Businesses Using iCloud Should Watch Out for New Scam

If you are a small business person using iCloud or any Apple device like an iPhone or Macbook for business purposes, beware an aggressive new scam is out to get you. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning of a new scam targeting iCloud users across the United States and Canada.

Animoto  Renews Commitment to Small Businesses After 10 Years and 20 Million Users

Animoto, the company that makes video creation and editing fairly straightforward, is celebrating 10 years since it first launched its video creation platform.

Economy

Strong  Economic Indicators Boosting Small Business Spirits, NFIB Optimism Index Shows

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently released its small business optimism index for July, which shows hiring and sales indicators have got small business owners thinking positively. The monthly Index of small business optimism hit 105.2 for July, higher than the 103.6 level in June.

Employment

These High Skill Jobs Are Most In Demand by US Small Businesses

In recent data pulled from Indeed.com, the online jobs site says some of the most in-demand positions at small businesses are in the medical field. Here’s more data that points to the increased demand of small businesses for highly skilled medical professionals.

Marketing Tips

UPS  Store Twitter Chat Prepares Small Businesses for the Holiday Season #HolidayBizPrep

For a small business owner, it’s never too early to start planning for the holiday season. But preparing for the busiest time of the year is not easy – even if you start early.

47 Percent of Small Business Retailers Struggle to Keep Up with Mobile Marketing Trends

A new study (PDF) from Texas-based digital savings company RetailMeNot, Inc., finds almost half (47 percent) of small business retailers struggle to keep up with the latest trends in mobile marketing. Small Business Retailers Struggling with Mobile Marketing There is a continued increase in small retailers’ investment in mobile marketing strategies.

Retail Trends

Declines in Traffic to Your Retail Store May be Slowing – Finally!

U.S. brick-and-mortar stores including small businesses are showing signs of life again. In the retail month of July 2017, in-store analytics company RetailNext found stores’ traffic decline was the lowest since January 2016. Sales also experienced a relatively low year-over-year decline, which is a positive sign for the retail industry as a whole.

Brand Fail: Papa John’s Introduces Gluten Free Pizza Gluten Intolerant People Can’t Eat

Gluten free foods are a huge trend right now. So understandably, restaurants and food brands are trying to capitalize in any way possible. The latest major chain to do so, Papa John’s (NASDAQ:PZZA), might want to rethink its strategy though. The popular pizza chain recently introduced a gluten free pizza.

5 Really Bad Reasons to Put Off Becoming EMV Chip Card Compliant (INFOGRAPHIC)

If you’re like most businesses, you already accept chip-based credit and debit cards. If, however, your business is not EMV compliant yet, there might be some serious consequences in your future. Financial services company TSYS (NYSE:TSS) has created an infographic for the National Federation of Independent Business to explain why companies need to become EMV compliant.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: This Small Business Teaches Coding Skills to Young People

Coding is a valuable skill. So those who learn young can find themselves with lots of opportunities throughout life. That’s exactly what The Coder School hopes to accomplish. Read more about the business and the story behind it in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Operations

24 Small Businesses Compete at National Truck Driving Championships

Twenty-four small businesses competed at the American Trucking Association’s 80th annual National Truck Driving Championships over the weekend. The event was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from Aug. 9-12. Roland Bolduc was crowned the Bendix Grand Champion of the 2017 National Truck Driving Championships.

New Uber for Business Could Handle Your Company’s Travel Needs

Uber has “turbocharged” its business travel platform with the latest release of Uber for Business. The ride share company has expanded on its core services to allow small businesses the ability to have more control over cost and access to features clearly defining how their employees can use the service.

What Is Amazon AppStream 2.0 and Why Might Your Business Need It?

Remote access to digital resources has become one of the most important features of today’s business ecosystem. And with people spending more time working remotely, businesses and individuals are looking for reliable platforms to access said resources. The Amazon AppStream 2.0 application was created with this very goal in mind.

FedEx Won’t Add Holiday Surcharges on Regular Sized Shipments

Appoaching the Christmas holiday season, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) has announced it will not apply residential holiday season surcharges on regular sized shipments.

Social Media

New Facebook Features Let You Promote Brand Ambassador Content and Posts

Marketing your business on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) just got easier. The social media giant has introduced some new features that will help marketers amplify brand content and control campaigns with creators.

Business  Networking Platform LinkedIn Adds New Multiple Photos and Sharing Enhancements

LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) has released a couple of new and interesting features that will make it easier for individuals and businesses to share their experiences.

Mobile Technology

82  Percent of Users Want to Know Why Your Business App Is Requesting Personal Information

For mobile app users, security is top priority and this is something you need to know when developing an app for your small business. For example, 82 percent of users want clear reasons why your business app is requesting their personal information, a new study has found.

New T-Mobile REVVL Smartphone Should Fit Small Business Budget

A smartphone for only $5 per month can give your small business an affordable solution to bring your workforce together, which is what T-Mobile (NYSE:PCS) has done with the REVVL. At only $125, the T-Mobile REVVL is a smartphone with features good enough to perform all basic communication, image capturing, conferencing, and storage functions.

LG V30 with World’s Largest Smartphone Lens Represents Game Changer for Small Marketers

LG Electronics Inc. (KRX: 066570) is bringing a new level of photographic innovation to the mobile industry. The South Korean multinational electronics company announced recently it is introducing an F1.6 aperture camera and glass lens in the dual camera of its upcoming V30 flagship smartphone.

Image: GoDaddy

This article, "GoDaddy, Amazon Offer New Resources for Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends

Let the Twitter Acquisition Sweepstakes Begin! Who Will Win?

Think it’s too early to start preparing your small business for the holiday season? Think again!

The holidays require a lot of preparation for a lot of small businesses. And fitting all of that work into a month or two isn’t feasible. Instead, you can learn more about preparing your business now as part of an upcoming Twitter chat.

The #HolidayBizPrep Twitter chat, sponsored by the UPS Store, is slated for August 15. During the chat, you can learn from small business experts and other entrepreneurs about the best strategies to get ready for the upcoming holiday season.

Learn more about the #HolidayBizPrep Twitter chat and other upcoming small business events in the Featured Events section and the list below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

ChallengeHER for Women Business OwnersChallengeHER for Women Business Owners
August 15, 2017, St. Paul , Minn.

ChallengeHER works specifically with the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) federal contracting program as a tool to help to assist women business owners leverage federal awards, learn the federal procurement process, and to connect them with the right people. With this knowledge, you are much better positioned to grow your business and increase your revenue. Join us Tuesday, August 15, 2017.


UPS Store #HolidayBizPrep Twitter ChatUPS Store #HolidayBizPrep Twitter Chat
August 15, 2017, Online, Twitter

On Aug. 15, at 2 p.m. EDT, please join Small Business Trends founder and CEO Anita Campbell (@smallbiztrends), small business branding and technology expert Ramon Ray (@ramonray) and bestselling author, and small business columnist and speaker Steve Strauss (@SteveStrauss). These three experts will discuss preparing your small business for the holiday season in a Twitter chat sponsored by The UPS Store (@TheUPSStore) under the hashtag #HolidayBizPrep. Tis’ the season — to prepare!


Staples Breakroom Makeover Contest Staples Breakroom Makeover Contest
August 31, 2017, Online

Win a $50,000 Ultimate Breakroom Makeover for your office!

The breakroom in any office serves as a place to refuel, boost productivity, attract & retain top talent, and gather away from desks & conference rooms. Is your current breakroom lacking and in a need of an upgrade? If so, enter and you could win a breakroom for your office that will help your employees recharge, refresh, and be more productive.


Slack FrontiersSlack Frontiers
September 12, 2017, San Francisco, Calif.

Finding better ways for teams to work together is one of the biggest challenges facing every company and industry. That’s why Slack is introducing Frontiers on September 12 – 13, Pier 27, San Francisco. Slack Frontiers is a two–day conference that brings together leading thinkers, Slack customers, developers, and partners to explore how the nature of teamwork is changing. Be among the first to hear about Slack’s newest products, learn how Slack improves work and workflow, and hear from customers about the ways their organizations are evolving.


Influencer Marketing DaysInfluencer Marketing Days
September 25, 2017, New York, N.Y.

Influencer Marketing Days is a forum rich in professional development and laser-focused networking opportunities. Whether you are a marketer involved in PR or integrated marketing, community development or social media management, or an influencer looking to leverage the power of influencer marketing, this conference is for you! It is the must-attend event both for marketers responsible for their company’s influencer marketing campaigns, and for influencers looking to optimize monetization of their clout. Whether you already run influencer marketing campaigns or you’re investigating ways to leverage this powerful type of marketing, Influencer Marketing Days will equip, educate, and inspire you to make the most of your efforts.


ONTRApaloozaONTRApalooza
October 04, 2017, Santa Barbara, Calif.

ONTRApalooza is a three-day conference for entrepreneurs, marketers and business leaders packed to the brim with hands-on workshops, in-depth software sessions, and inspiring keynotes from leading experts. Join in on Oct. 4 – 6, 2017 to learn the strategies that are getting results now. Leave prepared to make a bigger impact.


Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony Rule Breaker Awards Ceremony
October 24, 2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.

On October 24, 2017 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Rule Breaker Awards will honor and celebrate those entrepreneurs who have succeeded by doing it their way in a ceremony featuring the Rule Breaker of the Year and Rule Breaker Award winners.


NextConNextCon
October 23, 2017, Scottsdale, Ariz.

At NextCon, you’ll gain:

– Proven techniques to garner higher customer satisfaction.
– Insider strategies from leading experts to help you provide amazing customer service.
– Methods of engaging your employees to better deliver on your customer experience.
– Hands-on training with Nextiva’s technology and products so you can take advantage of tools you already have, or learn about new ones.


Sales World 2017Sales World 2017
November 08, 2017, Online

Sales World 2017 takes place November 8th to 9th, 2017, Online; Live and On Demand. It is the largest Sales Industry Event in the World and will be attended by over 10,000 Sales Professionals. It’s the one sales event you can’t afford to miss!


DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 - Digital Marketing ConferenceDIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 – Digital Marketing Conference
November 14, 2017, Online

DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017 Digital Marketing Conference takes place November 14th to 16th, 2017. Whether your goal is to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON WORLD 2017’s agenda will help attendees enhance their marketing efforts. Sessions will focus on building traffic, expanding brand awareness, improving customer service and gaining insight into today’s latest digital tools.


More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Twitter photo Shutterstock

This article, "Upcoming Twitter Chat Can Help You Prepare for the Holidays" was first published on Small Business Trends


If you use Microsoft’s Outlook for business email better hurry and get your comments in so you can have a voice in how the platform evolves. Microsoft is seeking feedback for a beta version of what comes next. Also, if  your small business still relies on printer having a printer, a new HP device specifically designed for this has been introduced.

Check out these headlines and more below in this week’s Small Business Trends News and information roundup.

Technology Trends

Microsoft Unveils Outlook.com Beta Version and Wants Your Feedback

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has unveiled a new beta version of Outlook.com, complete with a fresh new design and intelligent features. Outlook Beta Launched Microsoft says the new Outlook.com, its free personal email service, is a smarter opt-in web experience. But plenty of business users will find the service helpful too.

HP Debuts New Wide Format Printer for Small Businesses

Mobile-enabled printing is allowing small businesses to access their printers remotely from their smartphone, tablet or laptop. The new OfficeJet Pro 7720 Wide Format All-in-One printer by HP (NYSE:HPQ) is going to have mobile-enabled printing capability with a price point small businesses can afford.

Popular Business Platform WordPress Gets First Maintenance Release for Update 4.8

Small business favorite publishing platform WordPress has just announced its first maintenance release — 4.8.1 —  since the release of its latest update in June. Named after American jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans, WordPress 4.8 “Evans” was released June 8 and has already been downloaded more than 13 million times.

Economy

Proposed New York Law Could Require Government to Buy American

You’ve already heard about some of the “Buy American” initiatives that are attempting to support American manufacturers. But what if buying American made products was actually required by law? That’s what one lawmaker has proposed for certain government purchases in central New York. Ted Morton is an Erie County Legislator who has proposed this new rule.

Small Business Loan Approvals Hit New Post-Recession High, Biz2Credit Reports

Big banks have brought good news for small businesses. According to the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, a monthly analysis of loan approval rates, big banks approved 24.5 percent of funding requests, a new post-recession high in July.

Franchise

Save Local Business Act Addresses Joint Employer Issue for Franchises

Lawmakers have unveiled a bipartisan bill designed to roll back the controversial joint employer rule franchise owners argue has created “extreme” liability issues across a wide range of industries. The Save Local Business Act According to members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Save Local Business Act (H.R.

Best Franchise Bargains Based in Maine and Montana, Recent Data Suggests

When starting a franchise, the location of the company’s corporate headquarters seems to be a factor in determining cost. For example, franchises headquartered away from the coasts seem to be a better buy. That’s with the exception of those based in the upper mid-west and south. Howmuch.net has crunched the data pulled from a list of the nation’s finest franchise opportunities.

Marketing Tips

Marketing Emails Sent at 4 p.m. have the Highest Open Rate

Planning to send your next marketing email? Consider sending it at 4 p.m. Turns out it’s the best time to get a response from your target audience. This interesting insight comes from a new study by email marketing software provider, GetResponse. The report found emails sent at 4 p.m. receive the highest open rate (25.13 percent).

Expert Suggests Yelp Alternative to Market Your Business

Andrew Zimmern thinks Yelp is useless. The host of “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” on the Travel Channel offered an alternative to looking up restaurants on Yelp in an interview with Business Insider. His issue with the review site is that it crowdsources a lack of expertise.

Sheetz Rewards Unofficial Brand Ambassador with Free T-Shirt

Brand ambassadors can come in many different forms. Sometimes you can carefully craft a strategy to entice customers to promote your business in very specific ways. But sometimes customers come up with their own unique ways to promote your business — and you just have to run with it. Such is the case with Andy Peck, who created the Instagram account Mozzaratings.

Retail Trends

Little Caesars Pizza Portal Provides Inspiration for Business Automation

Pizza chain Little Caesars just unveiled its new Automated Pizza Portal — a system for ordering and picking up pizza that could provide some inspiration for small business automation.

Celebrate and Buy at National Farmers Market Week Aug 6 to 12

It’s National Farmers Market Week this week, from August 6 to 12, 2017. Last Thursday U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue signed the Proclamation designating this week as “National Farmers Market Week.”  This is the 18th year the U.S. Department of Agriculture has supported National Farmers Market Week.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Tigris Events Provides Event Support, Marketing Services

Events offer so many opportunities for small businesses to connect with potential customers and promote their offerings. And that’s just one of the specialties of marketing and promotions agency Tigris Events. Read more about the company and how it differentiates itself in this week’s Small Business Spotlight. What the Business Does Helps businesses hold marketing events.

Mobile Technology

Google Says New Algorithm Could Make It Easier for Others to Find Your App

By 2017 the Google Play store reached an impressive 2.7 million app publications, with more than 82 billion apps being downloaded in 2016. So how can you weed out the best applications from a staggering 2.7 million apps? Well, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is going to make it easier with a recently improved search and discovery algorithms which will highlight quality apps.

3D Super Mario Bros Video Suggests Use of Augmented Reality in Business

Ever wish you could jump inside a video game? That’s becoming a more realistic possibility thanks to new technology like augmented reality. That possibility was demonstrated very clearly in a video that went viral this summer showing an augmented reality version of a Super Mario game. Abhishek Singh is the creator of the app featured in the video.

These Solar Powered Clothes May Be Able to Charge Your Phone

Tech and fashion aren’t two industries that normally have a lot of overlap. But ISHU is a company that’s trying to change this. The company has already gained notoriety due to its “anti-paparazzi scarf” — a scarf reflecting flash from a camera so it’s more difficult to photograph the wearer. And now, the company is working on a line of solar powered clothing.

Small Business Operations

Will Rising Auto Insurance Rates Affect Your Business?

You may have noticed your car insurance rates go up at your last renewal, even if you’ve had no new accidents or tickets. If your rates haven’t gone up yet, brace yourself: Car insurance companies have been losing money recently, and many will have to raise premiums to remain profitable.

2 of 3 Managed Service Providers Not Offering Adequate Cybersecurity Support

Security has become the one issue everyone must deal with in the connected world we live in. For small businesses who are coming under increasing attack, it is even more pressing. A new survey report from Kaspersky Lab only increases this anxiety, as it reports two-in-three managed service providers (MSPs) are suffering from a shortage of qualified cybersecurity staff.

USDA Launches Mentorship Initiative to Help Farms, Ranches and Local Rural Businesses

Acquiring the necessary expertise to successfully run a business in any industry takes time. Without the proper guidance, the trial and error method is costly in terms of time, capital and other resources. The launch of a mentorship initiative between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and SCORE will support new farmers and ranchers so they can avoid these mistakes.

SageWorks Releases CashSage Tool to Measure Your Cash Flow – Free!

Shifting pieces like operating costs and profit margins around to increase cash flow makes for a game of financial chess for small businesses.  Now, an online dashboard allows business owners to use  a series of sliders to see how changing important benchmarks can accomplish this goal.

Social Media

Google Plans Snapchat Rival, How Can Your Business Benefit?

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is reportedly working on creating a Snapchat rival. And it could be something worth watching for small businesses. The company is in talks to transform its Instant News Articles into something similar to Snapchat’s Discover feature.

Facebook Will Put Faster Loading Sites Top of News Feeds

A one second delay in page load time translates to reduction in conversions, page views and customer satisfaction of 7, 11, and 16 percent respectively. And as mobile becomes the primary means of internet access for more users, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has announced a new upcoming update to News Feed which will direct users to faster-loading links on mobile.

10 Ways Your Business Can Use the New Facebook Cover Video Feature

You can now upload a video to the cover image area of your business’s Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) page. That means you have the opportunity to pack even more interest and information into the top of your Facebook business page. Videos can be between 20 and 90 seconds long. So you have a limited amount of time to work with.

Reddit $200 Million Redesign Plan Serves As Reminder for Businesses to Stay Relevant

Reddit reportedly raised $200 million in its latest investment round, bringing its total value to $1.8 billion. The highly popular social news and discussion website is planning on using at least some of those funds to complete a redesign, according to Recode.

Startup

What is Indiegogo for Entrepreneurs?

Crowdfunding platforms have turned traditional funding on its head, so much so it is poised to surpass venture capital or VC funding. With more than $34 billion raised in 2016 through different crowdfunding platforms, the launch of Indiegogo for Entrepreneurs is an attempt to support those seeking funding from concept to market.

78 Percent in Survey Seldom Meet Someone Who Makes A Strong First Impression

Are you making a good first impression? Researchers with the UK’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) think not. The organization has created a special division called RADA in Business to pass on dramatic skills useful to the business community.

Microsoft photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Microsoft Unveils Beta Version of Outlook.com, HP Debuts Small Business Printer" was first published on Small Business Trends


If you use Microsoft’s Outlook for business email better hurry and get your comments in so you can have a voice in how the platform evolves. Microsoft is seeking feedback for a beta version of what comes next. Also, if  your small business still relies on printer having a printer, a new HP device specifically designed for this has been introduced.

Check out these headlines and more below in this week’s Small Business Trends News and information roundup.

Technology Trends

Microsoft Unveils Outlook.com Beta Version and Wants Your Feedback

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has unveiled a new beta version of Outlook.com, complete with a fresh new design and intelligent features. Outlook Beta Launched Microsoft says the new Outlook.com, its free personal email service, is a smarter opt-in web experience. But plenty of business users will find the service helpful too.

HP Debuts New Wide Format Printer for Small Businesses

Mobile-enabled printing is allowing small businesses to access their printers remotely from their smartphone, tablet or laptop. The new OfficeJet Pro 7720 Wide Format All-in-One printer by HP (NYSE:HPQ) is going to have mobile-enabled printing capability with a price point small businesses can afford.

Popular Business Platform WordPress Gets First Maintenance Release for Update 4.8

Small business favorite publishing platform WordPress has just announced its first maintenance release — 4.8.1 —  since the release of its latest update in June. Named after American jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans, WordPress 4.8 “Evans” was released June 8 and has already been downloaded more than 13 million times.

Economy

Proposed New York Law Could Require Government to Buy American

You’ve already heard about some of the “Buy American” initiatives that are attempting to support American manufacturers. But what if buying American made products was actually required by law? That’s what one lawmaker has proposed for certain government purchases in central New York. Ted Morton is an Erie County Legislator who has proposed this new rule.

Small Business Loan Approvals Hit New Post-Recession High, Biz2Credit Reports

Big banks have brought good news for small businesses. According to the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, a monthly analysis of loan approval rates, big banks approved 24.5 percent of funding requests, a new post-recession high in July.

Franchise

Save Local Business Act Addresses Joint Employer Issue for Franchises

Lawmakers have unveiled a bipartisan bill designed to roll back the controversial joint employer rule franchise owners argue has created “extreme” liability issues across a wide range of industries. The Save Local Business Act According to members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Save Local Business Act (H.R.

Best Franchise Bargains Based in Maine and Montana, Recent Data Suggests

When starting a franchise, the location of the company’s corporate headquarters seems to be a factor in determining cost. For example, franchises headquartered away from the coasts seem to be a better buy. That’s with the exception of those based in the upper mid-west and south. Howmuch.net has crunched the data pulled from a list of the nation’s finest franchise opportunities.

Marketing Tips

Marketing Emails Sent at 4 p.m. have the Highest Open Rate

Planning to send your next marketing email? Consider sending it at 4 p.m. Turns out it’s the best time to get a response from your target audience. This interesting insight comes from a new study by email marketing software provider, GetResponse. The report found emails sent at 4 p.m. receive the highest open rate (25.13 percent).

Expert Suggests Yelp Alternative to Market Your Business

Andrew Zimmern thinks Yelp is useless. The host of “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” on the Travel Channel offered an alternative to looking up restaurants on Yelp in an interview with Business Insider. His issue with the review site is that it crowdsources a lack of expertise.

Sheetz Rewards Unofficial Brand Ambassador with Free T-Shirt

Brand ambassadors can come in many different forms. Sometimes you can carefully craft a strategy to entice customers to promote your business in very specific ways. But sometimes customers come up with their own unique ways to promote your business — and you just have to run with it. Such is the case with Andy Peck, who created the Instagram account Mozzaratings.

Retail Trends

Little Caesars Pizza Portal Provides Inspiration for Business Automation

Pizza chain Little Caesars just unveiled its new Automated Pizza Portal — a system for ordering and picking up pizza that could provide some inspiration for small business automation.

Celebrate and Buy at National Farmers Market Week Aug 6 to 12

It’s National Farmers Market Week this week, from August 6 to 12, 2017. Last Thursday U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue signed the Proclamation designating this week as “National Farmers Market Week.”  This is the 18th year the U.S. Department of Agriculture has supported National Farmers Market Week.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Tigris Events Provides Event Support, Marketing Services

Events offer so many opportunities for small businesses to connect with potential customers and promote their offerings. And that’s just one of the specialties of marketing and promotions agency Tigris Events. Read more about the company and how it differentiates itself in this week’s Small Business Spotlight. What the Business Does Helps businesses hold marketing events.

Mobile Technology

Google Says New Algorithm Could Make It Easier for Others to Find Your App

By 2017 the Google Play store reached an impressive 2.7 million app publications, with more than 82 billion apps being downloaded in 2016. So how can you weed out the best applications from a staggering 2.7 million apps? Well, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is going to make it easier with a recently improved search and discovery algorithms which will highlight quality apps.

3D Super Mario Bros Video Suggests Use of Augmented Reality in Business

Ever wish you could jump inside a video game? That’s becoming a more realistic possibility thanks to new technology like augmented reality. That possibility was demonstrated very clearly in a video that went viral this summer showing an augmented reality version of a Super Mario game. Abhishek Singh is the creator of the app featured in the video.

These Solar Powered Clothes May Be Able to Charge Your Phone

Tech and fashion aren’t two industries that normally have a lot of overlap. But ISHU is a company that’s trying to change this. The company has already gained notoriety due to its “anti-paparazzi scarf” — a scarf reflecting flash from a camera so it’s more difficult to photograph the wearer. And now, the company is working on a line of solar powered clothing.

Small Business Operations

Will Rising Auto Insurance Rates Affect Your Business?

You may have noticed your car insurance rates go up at your last renewal, even if you’ve had no new accidents or tickets. If your rates haven’t gone up yet, brace yourself: Car insurance companies have been losing money recently, and many will have to raise premiums to remain profitable.

2 of 3 Managed Service Providers Not Offering Adequate Cybersecurity Support

Security has become the one issue everyone must deal with in the connected world we live in. For small businesses who are coming under increasing attack, it is even more pressing. A new survey report from Kaspersky Lab only increases this anxiety, as it reports two-in-three managed service providers (MSPs) are suffering from a shortage of qualified cybersecurity staff.

USDA Launches Mentorship Initiative to Help Farms, Ranches and Local Rural Businesses

Acquiring the necessary expertise to successfully run a business in any industry takes time. Without the proper guidance, the trial and error method is costly in terms of time, capital and other resources. The launch of a mentorship initiative between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and SCORE will support new farmers and ranchers so they can avoid these mistakes.

SageWorks Releases CashSage Tool to Measure Your Cash Flow – Free!

Shifting pieces like operating costs and profit margins around to increase cash flow makes for a game of financial chess for small businesses.  Now, an online dashboard allows business owners to use  a series of sliders to see how changing important benchmarks can accomplish this goal.

Social Media

Google Plans Snapchat Rival, How Can Your Business Benefit?

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is reportedly working on creating a Snapchat rival. And it could be something worth watching for small businesses. The company is in talks to transform its Instant News Articles into something similar to Snapchat’s Discover feature.

Facebook Will Put Faster Loading Sites Top of News Feeds

A one second delay in page load time translates to reduction in conversions, page views and customer satisfaction of 7, 11, and 16 percent respectively. And as mobile becomes the primary means of internet access for more users, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has announced a new upcoming update to News Feed which will direct users to faster-loading links on mobile.

10 Ways Your Business Can Use the New Facebook Cover Video Feature

You can now upload a video to the cover image area of your business’s Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) page. That means you have the opportunity to pack even more interest and information into the top of your Facebook business page. Videos can be between 20 and 90 seconds long. So you have a limited amount of time to work with.

Reddit $200 Million Redesign Plan Serves As Reminder for Businesses to Stay Relevant

Reddit reportedly raised $200 million in its latest investment round, bringing its total value to $1.8 billion. The highly popular social news and discussion website is planning on using at least some of those funds to complete a redesign, according to Recode.

Startup

What is Indiegogo for Entrepreneurs?

Crowdfunding platforms have turned traditional funding on its head, so much so it is poised to surpass venture capital or VC funding. With more than $34 billion raised in 2016 through different crowdfunding platforms, the launch of Indiegogo for Entrepreneurs is an attempt to support those seeking funding from concept to market.

78 Percent in Survey Seldom Meet Someone Who Makes A Strong First Impression

Are you making a good first impression? Researchers with the UK’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) think not. The organization has created a special division called RADA in Business to pass on dramatic skills useful to the business community.

Microsoft photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Microsoft Unveils Beta Version of Outlook.com, HP Debuts Small Business Printer" was first published on Small Business Trends