All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘small business’

New Google Changes: Really A Matter Of Mom And Pop?

In a recent webmaster Q&A session at SXSW, Google’s Matt Cutts briefly discussed some changes Google is making that will “level the playing field” between smaller, mom and pop sites and “overly optimized” sites, as bigger companies have a lot more money to spend on SEO. Former Googler Vanessa Fox, who happens to be the creator of Webmaster Central, wrote …

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Groupon Scheduler Made Widely Available in US, Canada

Groupon announced the beta release of Groupon Scheduler, its new online appointment calendar tool, for free to all appointment-based small businesses in the U.S. and Canada (except for Quebec). Groupon Scheduler was initially launched to two cities in December, and has been made available in a few others since then, but now, obviously, many more businesses will have access to …

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Bill Opponents Warn of a Repeat of Enron

A new bill that would relax the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation on small and upcoming businesses seemed like a shoe-in last week, but it is facing some major opposition from democratic opponents who warn it could lead to another Enron-like scandal. The bill is closely tied with other regulatory functions that some in the House hope to reform …

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PayPal Here: PayPal’s Square Competitor is Here

We previously reported on rumors that PayPal was getting ready to launch a Square competitor. Now, the rumors have become reality, as today, PayPal unveiled PayPal Here. Like Square, it comes with a card reader you plug into your smartphone and a free app. Merchants can still accept payments without the reader, however, as the app will also scan cards. …

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Small Businesses Using Facebook Ads For The Win

Just in time for a new wave of companies to embrace Facebook’s open graph apps does a new study show that, beyond the Nikes and Foursquares of the world, small businesses are enjoying the efficacy of Facebook ads. A survey conducted by Payvment, the self-described “#1 social commerce platform on Facebook,” found that upwards of 40% say they use Facebook …

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Foursquare Gets Business Hours, Becomes An Alternative to Google

Foursquare announced today that it has added business hours to its apps for merchants who provide them. This includes specific times like happy hour, kitchen hours and free admission hours, if applicable. Businesses who wish to add their hours, have a means to do so here.

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Square Register iPad App Promises “Everything” You Need To Run Your Business

Square has a new iPad app called Square Register, which it deems “everything you need to start, run and grow your business all in one free iPad app.” That’s a bold promise. Can it deliver? Well, lots of businesses are already pretty high on Square itself. In December, the company announced that a million merchants are using the service. That …

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Yahoo Small Business Advisor Launches

Yahoo has launched a new site called Yahoo Small Business Advisor with tools and information for entrepreneurs. It includes tips from celebrity entrepreneurs, such as chef Ming Tsai. The site was launched in beta late last year, but it’s apparently ready for prime time now. “We are thrilled to present our users with a destination that provides them with the …

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91% Remain Loyal To Business After Daily Deal [STUDY]

Daily deals are not the best initiative for every small business. Since the rise in popularity of services like Groupon and LivingSocial, we’ve heard various stories from businesses slamming the model. Some small businesses have reported bad experiences running a daily deal – with some complaining about how it fails to turn a profit and others complaining that the daily …

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Google Offers Free Small Business Websites

Small businesses in California are getting a bit of help from Google. On Thursday, Google launched a program called California Get Your Business Online, which offers small businesses a free website, and access to live training regarding inline business development. Google is covering the domain name and web hosting for the first year, and then users would pay $2 a …

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Millions Unprepared For Retirement

Millions of business owners are unprepared for retirement. So what are they waiting for? According to the latest research from The American College, the majority of small business owners are concerned but not planning for retirement yet. The American College is the nation’s largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services reports. The new research reports that a third of …

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The Microsoft Office For iPad Squabble Spills Over To Twitter

Yesterday, we reported on an upcoming version of Microsoft Office for iPad. The famous productivity suite has always been noticeably absent from iOS, and the news that an app might be making its way to the most popular tablet in the world set the interwebs ablaze. The new came courtesy of The Daily, who claimed that an image was in …

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Twitter Self Serve Ads Available To 10,000 Businesses [Updated]

Update: Twitter just posted an official announcement about this, with a link to a sign-up form. The company says: Soon, small businesses based in the United States will have the chance to take their Twitter marketing efforts to a new level. Starting in late March, we will introduce a new advertising offering that makes it simple for companies of any …

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Poll Shows Small Business Use of Mobile Tech On The Rise

AT&T has released the results of a poll concerning the use of mobile technology by small businesses. The Small Business Technology Poll was a nationwide survey of small businesses with between two and 99 employees. The results show that small businesses use mobile technology heavily, and that their use is on the rise. According to the survey, 96% of all …

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Online Advertising is More Than Just Clicks!

I noticed a VentureBeat article that makes me shake my head in amazement at the apparent lack of understanding of online advertising. The sensationalistic headline, “Yelp advertising is a rip-off for small advertisers” reveals a simplistic viewpoint on the value of targeted online advertising. Yelp is not ripping off small business advertisers, but in fact is providing a platform that …

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Marketing Your Business With Pinterest

Pinterest was actually founded in 2008. However, since @Pinterest because not discovered / predicted by usual tech crowd, old boys network. 1 hour ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto >>> How do you or people you know use Pinterest? Let us know. In what could be a potential hiccup with Pinterest is the large potential for copyright violations by its users. …

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Google Business Photos: Street View For Small Businesses

If you’re a small business owner looking for a creative way to attract potential customers inside your store, Google wants you to think outside of the box: let them visit your store without even traveling to your store. It sounds a bit far-fetched, but through the use of Google’s Maps technology, you can now create a virtual tour for your …

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Google Gathers With European Commission Officials To Talk Business

Google hosted an event today in Brussels for small businesses, European Commission officials, European parliamentarians and business associations. The focus was on discussing how the Internet can drive growth and jobs, according to the company. I wonder if there was any focus on convincing the Commission that Google is not anticompetitive. Google communications manager Al Verney recaps: “I think of …

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Amazon Third-Party Sellers See Record Holiday Sales Growth

Amazon says 2011’s has been a record-breaking holiday season for businesses that sell on Amazon. Third-party sellers experienced record holiday growth, the company says, with the number of sellers who exceeded $5,000 in sales during the holiday season increasing 44% year-over-year. That’s pretty significant considering the small business-related controversy Amazon has been the subject of in recent months due to …

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1/8 Of U.S. Merchants Who Accept Credit Cards Are Using Square

Square, the other company that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey runs, which offers a device anyone can plug into their smartphones to accept credit cards, has announced that 1 million merchants are now using Square. According to Dorsey, only 8 million merchants in the U.S. even accept credit cards. That’s some pretty good progress on Square’s part. Dorsey tweeted out: @jackJack …

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Cyber Monday: Is Your Business Ready For The Rush?

Cyber Monday is quickly approaching, and that means businesses offering deals online are gearing up for massive amounts of traffic, and hopefully massive amounts of money. Are you running Cyber Monday deals this year? Let us know in the comments. comScore put out a report looking at why Cyber Monday is becoming more important to holiday season e-commerce. “Since its …

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Facebook Reportedly Giving Small Business $10M in Free Ads

As businesses anxiously await the launch of business profiles on Google+, Facebook is reminding small businesses of the power of its social media dominance (it’s up to 800 million users now). The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook has teamed up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business to launch a program that includes …

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Groupon Deals Could Hurt the Reputation of Your Business

The type of headline we ran here probably isn’t exactly the kind of thing Groupon wants to see circulating throughout the Blogosphere these days, considering all the negative press the company has been getting lately, but it is a conclusion drawn from some new academic research. That research, from computer scientists John W. Byers and Georgios Zervas of Boston University …

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What Does Google+ Mean For Small Businesses?

With the recent launch of Google+, there has been considerable focus paid to debating the merits of Google+ vs. Facebook. However, beyond direct comparison of apples and oranges, there’s a bigger story at play here for Google+. Since its start in 1998, Google has been building and amassing an entire universe of web tools. From email and calendars to Google …

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Facebook Shuts Down “Deals,” Keeps More Relevant Check-In Deals

Facebook has had a couple of “deals” products: “Deals” and “Check-in Deals.” Deals are going away, but Check-in Deals are staying. Facebook gave us the following statement: “After testing Deals for four months, we’ve decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks. We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into …

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Facebook Issues That Could Cause Problems For Your Business

While Facebook may provide a great way to interact with fans and market your business, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Several issues have been discussed recently that business should take very seriously. What is the biggest problem you see with Facebook as a business tool? Let us know in the comments. Misperception About the Value of the Like Brian …

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Foursquare Business Pages Now Available to All

Foursquare has made brand pages “self-serve”. This means brands can create their own pages, acquire followers, share updates, check-in at places, etc. You know, like a social network. Foursquare says the announcement is “to the great relief” of its BizDev team. Previously, big brands like MTV, The New York Times, NASA and Tiffany had brand profiles, but now the common …

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Small Business Facebook Pages Lacking Local Fans?

A study from Roost finds that only 15% of fans on the average small business Facebook Page are actually local to the town where that business is located. If that’s accurate, that’s not great for brick and mortars. It does say a lot about the potential of e-commerce, however. If a person likes your brand enough to “like” it on …

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Facebook Ads Gaining Popularity Among Local Businesses

22% of local merchants have used Facebook Ads, and two-thirds of them would use them again, according to a survey from MerchantCircle. The firm’s quarterly Merchant Confidence Index, a survey of about 5,000 local business owners across the US, finds that Facebook ads are gaining popularity due to ease of use, and the ability to start and stop campaigns (the …

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5 Reasons Why Effective Marketing Makes Your Business More Valuable

Most of us suckers, I mean business owners, dream of one day handing the keys of the business over to another dreamer that decides that buying our business is the best investment they can make. Or perhaps your version of the dream is to be acquired by a much larger organization that needs your particular innovation to round out their …

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Office 365 From Microsoft Heads to Public Beta

Last year, Microsoft introduced Office 365 in limited beta. Now the company has announced the public beta, expanding it into nearly twice as many countries and languages (38 markets and 17 lanugages). Office 365 brings together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online in a cloud-based service. “More than 100,000 organizations, from independent professionals to large enterprises, have …

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Can Groupon Own The Deals Space?

Can Groupon own the deals space the way Google owns search? It’s hard to imagine the space being dominated by any one company. Forget for a second that it has Google and Facebook to contend with, and even LivingSocial (previously cited as its closest competitor). 

What deals sites have you tried? How successful were your campaigns? Tell us about it

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Eric Schmidt Speaks at Humboldt University: Full Video

Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke at Humboldt University in Berlin last week. Google has now made video of the entire speech available.

He talks about Google increasing its presence in Europe and Germany, and the funding of a center for discussing/debating the evolution of the web. He also announces a small business initiative.

He then talks about OnePass, the new subscription service the company announced recently.  

There are some microphone issues at the beginning that are somewhat comical. 

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The State of the Yellow Pages Print Industry

I have been pretty harsh on the Yellow Pages in the past. Most of my trouble comes from the fact that the medium just isn’t as effective across all verticals as it once was. That’s not to say that it’s not effective at all, because that is untrue. In some areas, it can work well–like plumbing, HVAC and other emergency situations. Of course, by the time you locate the book you probably could have done the search on your computer or smart phone just as quickly, but who’s counting?

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5 Tips for Making Your Site More Local-Friendly

Search engines have become one of the primary ways that people find products and services right in their hometown. This growing reality significantly increases the need for small local business owners to master this thing called local search.

There are many ways to make your website pages much more localized. This is one of the underlying elements that tell the search engines that yours is indeed a local business.

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Google Offers on the Way, Should Groupon Have Sold?

Google has a new project in the works that appears to be a direct competitor to Groupon. It’s called Google Offers. According to an official fact sheet about the product, obtained by Mashable, Google Offers is "a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email."

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Getting More From Your Google Place Page

I write a fair amount about local search because it’s an important topic that’s only going to become more important as millions upon millions of folks move over to smart phones to do their browsing and shopping.

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Will Local B2B Be the Next Web Trend?

Most of you would probably agree that local is one of the biggest trends on the web these days, fueled by a variety of factors: increased mobile and smartphone usage, localized deals services (like Groupon), and of course search. Local is a major focus of Google right now, as evidenced by an increasing number of local results being returned for queries, as well as products like Google Places, Hotpot and Google Offers. 

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Google Gives Small Businesses A Bunch of Free Resources, $100K in Ad Spend

This year, Google says it is going to "help businesses, great and small, get the most out of the Internet." The company has selected five small businesses from different areas and given them $100,000 in AdWords spend for the year, along with free consultations with AdWords reps, and free wireless service for the year.

But that’s not all. They gave the businesses brand new laptops and smartphones,  free "green" environmental consulting, a year of free accounting and financial services, and a free webmaster.

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Groupon Talks Managing Capacity, Following Japan Apology

As previously reported, Groupon has apologized for a recent deal gone bad in Tokyo. In the apology, CEO Andrew Mason mentioned that Groupon has "capacity planning formulas" to help merchants figure out the number of customers they can handle from a Groupon deal. As you may know, a common complaint about Groupon is that it can send too many people to a business, which does not have the means to meet customer demand.

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Facebook Groups As A Small Business Intranet Option

When Facebook Groups was unveiled last year, I was skeptical. Facebook tinkers with its platform so much (to its credit) that I sometimes just tune out. Professionally, I need to know about these changes. And, more importantly, I need to know how they impact my clients. But, this one just didn’t do much for me.

Until I started revisiting the tool recently.

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6 Steps For A Better Small Business Facebook Page

The rise and rise of Facebook continues unabated, and it has moved well beyond just being a social network, it’s also a vital marketing channel for businesses of all sizes.

While most businesses have taken the first step of setting up a standard Facebook page which includes a feed of comments, photos and helps them gather fans; few have taken their Facebook pages to the next level.

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Super Bowl Pre-Game Will Reportedly Feature Groupon Ads

If Groupon’s not already a household name, it may be soon. According to AdAge, the company is getting ready for some big time TV advertising, starting with spots during the Super Bowl pre-game show (the Super Bowl itself was already sold out). 

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Tasks That Should Be On Your Local Search Shortlist

Recently, I have been talking about local Internet marketing and the rapid developments in the area. Well, as we start 2011, there is a strange sound in the local Internet marketing space—silence. There is a temporary lull in the frantic pace of change and innovation in the Google local search results.

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Can You Have An Effective Online Presence Without Your Own Site?

Do you need a website to run a successful business these days? In years past, the answer would have seemed to be: almost certainly. Granted, not all businesses operate the same way, and businesses thrived for centuries before websites even existed, but if you don’t have on online presence, you are missing heaps of opportunity. That much is clear.

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Yelp Launches App for iPad

Yelp has launched a long-awaited (by iPad users) iPad app. It’s now available in the iTunes Store. 

The app lets users do the following:

– Search for businesses using a new landscape map/list mode, or flip your iPad into portrait for a full screen view

– Browse business information and reviews

– Write Yelp reviews and share to Twitter and/or Facebook

– Bookmark businesses you want to try or have been meaning to review

– Sign up for a Yelp Account

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Why 2011 Will Be a Huge Year for SMBs

I am declaring 2011 the Year of the Online SMB.

For the uninitiated, SMBs are small and medium businesses. They are the Holy Grail for business service providers because there are so darn many of them. They account for around 95% of the businesses in the US. (Either that or they supply 95% of the jobs but either way, it’s pretty impressive.) I like the definition of an SMB being under 100 employees, but up to 500 employees can be deemed an SMB also. There are no hard and fast criteria for determining SMB status but we all know one when we see one.

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Groupon: We’re the Savior for Small Businesses

Legend has it that Groupon turned down a $6 billion offer from Google, which if accepted would have been Google’s biggest acquisition to date. Time will tell if this was a smart move or not, but Andrew Mason, Groupon’s CEO seems fairly confident in the company’s future.

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7 Tips For Improving Your Business in 2011

Holy cow! 2011 is right around the corner. This is the time when entrepreneur’s thoughts (aside from those focused on preparing for the holidays, of course) turn towards growing or changing their businesses in the New Year.

Smart. Because unless you want to be exactly where you are now, doing exactly what you’re doing today, you need to do something different. Otherwise, you’re guilty of insanity. And, to paraphrase the great ski film maker, Warren Miller, “…you’ll be one year older when you do.”

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The Daily Deals Industry in 2011

The daily deals industry is an exciting space to watch right now, as evidenced by Google’s recent $6 Billion offer to buy Groupon, Amazon’s $175 million investment in LivingSoical, Facebook’s recent launch of Facebook Deals, and all of the other competitors looking for a pie

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