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TKC Must See!!! Kansas City 'Fight for $15' Performance Art Success

Topix - Fri, 2017-06-23 17:14

In fairness and because salaries for local creative types are even worse than fast food wages. Check this insight into dramatic, local fair wage protest and some clips from last night's groundbreaking performance that earned rave reviews.

Categories: Today's Food News

Will Your Customers Soon Be Shopping in Virtual Reality? – #Gateway17

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2017-06-23 15:30

The way customers shop is changing. And it’s not just about buying products online anymore. New technology like virtual reality also has the potential to change the way people discover and purchase products.

This might not be commonplace in the U.S. just yet. But it’s starting to catch on in other parts of the world. At this week’s Gateway ‘17 event, experts on the Chinese market discussed the way virtual reality is catching on quickly with Chinese shoppers.

Small Business Trends attended the inaugural Gateway’17 event June 20 and 21 at Cobo Center in Detroit.

“It’s not that the technology is more advanced, but the rate of adoption is a little different in China,” said Amee Chande, managing director of global strategy and operations for Alibaba Group in a presentation at Wednesday’s Gateway ‘17 event.

Virtual Reality Shopping

Basically, if your business sells products online, you could use VR to offer an online shopping experience that mimics the actual retail experience. Customers can look around a store and locate specific products without having to actually make the trip to a store. And if you don’t have a retail location, you could theoretically create one to offer a similar experience to customers using VR headsets.

But VR isn’t the only type of technology changing the shopping experience in China. Some businesses have also made use of augmented reality to give customers the ability to do things like try on virtual makeup or see virtual home decor items in their actual rooms.

Even though this technology hasn’t caught on in the U.S. quite as quickly, businesses still have access to the tools needed to make shopping experiences like this possible. So if there’s something that you think could improve the shopping experience for your customers, you could benefit from jumping on this technology early on.

Virtual Reality Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Will Your Customers Soon Be Shopping in Virtual Reality? – #Gateway17" was first published on Small Business Trends

Tesla rolls through Michigan towing an Airstream

AutoNews - Fri, 2017-06-23 15:16
Tesla is touring Michigan with an Airstream trailer towed by the new Model X crossover -- a way to showcase its vehicles where they are unable to be sold.
Categories: Latest News

Video: Mooyah VP chats about brand's cash infusion from new owner

FastCasual.com - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:57
Natalie Anderson Liu, Mooyah's VP of marketing, chats with Cherryh Cansler about how the cash infusion from the chain's new owner, an Affiliate of Balmoral Funds LLC and Gala Capital Partners, will help the brand grow.

Anytime Fitness gets license to franchise in China

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
Anytime Fitness, which wants to have more than 400 locations in Asia by 2020, has received a license to franchise in China.  -More
Categories: Latest News

Jamba Juice franchisee acquires company-owned locations

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
SuSu Hospitality Group has bought 13 company-owned Jamba Juice locations and has formed a development agreement for 10 more.  -More
Categories: Latest News

Be mentally tougher by ignoring these 7 thoughts

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
Mental toughness means thinking of challenges as opportunities to overcome, writes LaRae Quy, who lists seven ways of thinkin -More
Categories: Latest News

What makes for a good story?

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
A good story can inspire and illustrate in just a few words or examples, writes David Grossman, who offers a short table of w -More
Categories: Latest News

Why health care franchises are expanding

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
The growth of health care franchises is a sustainable business trend driven in part by the rising number of senior citizens a -More
Categories: Latest News

Franchisees: Personnel management may be harder than expected

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
Learning to hire employees and manage staff is a key challenge for a new business owner, according to franchisees who partici -More
Categories: Latest News

Nominate your Franchisee of the Year by Aug. 14

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
Your system has outstanding franchisees.
Categories: Latest News

Strengthen your network at GRLC 2017

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
The Global Restaurant Leadership Conference brings together top restaurant industry leaders from around the world.
Categories: Latest News

Senate GOP releases plan to replace ACA

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
Senate Republicans have unveiled their version of a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.  -More
Categories: Latest News

How withdrawal of joint-employer guidance affects franchises

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
The Department of Labor has withdrawn guidance related to joint-employer relationships, but the definition of an "employer" a -More
Categories: Latest News

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

SmartBrief - Fri, 2017-06-23 14:12
Publilius Syrus, writer
Categories: Latest News

Bing Mobile Ad Targeting, Gateway ’17 Make Small Business Headlines

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2017-06-23 13:40

If you want to be relevant in today’s business world, you need to be able to market to mobile customers. And Bing is now making it easier for businesses to target mobile advertising on its platform.

Another way to stay relevant is to keep an eye out for new opportunities — like selling to the growing market for import products in China. You can learn all about those opportunities discussed at this week’s Gateway ’17 event, along with more small business news below. Read on for more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Local Marketing Bing Rolls Out Mobile Ad Targeting – Now on Par With Google

Bing Ads fully rolled out the pilot launch of its mobile ad platform recently, setting the stage for competition with Google AdWords putting Bing Ads on par with the undisputed search leader’s ad network. The update to Bing Ads brings with it expanded device targeting, allowing for greater control of bids specific to device type.

Economy Alibaba Takes Detroit By Storm With Sold Out Small Business Conference – #Gateway17

Gateway ’17, an inaugural small business event aimed at businesses interested in exporting goods or otherwise expanding their customer base in China, took Detroit by storm this week. The sold-out event features big name speakers like Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma, CEO of UPS David Abney, and style-maven Martha Stewart.

Trump’s Rule Changes on Cuba Cause Worry, Will U.S. Businesses Suffer?

President Donald Trump visited Miami Friday, where he announced a tightening of the rules on trade and travel enacted under former President Barack Obama.

Looking for a New Customer? How About the Pentagon?

There’s been plenty of focus on American manufacturing lately. Much of that focus has been placed on benefits like job creation and local economic growth. But there’s another factor that not many have considered — national security. And this is an area where American manufacturing still lags behind.

70 Percent of Small Businesses Support Buy American-Hire American Policies

Small business owners continue to back President Donald Trump. Seventy percent of small businesses are in favor of the President’s Buy American-Hire American executive order. If approved, it will require the government to review its current H-1B visa program. Meanwhile, 52 percent rate Trump’s first 100 days in office as a success.

Ranking Democrat Calls for Relief from Tax Burden on Small Business

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), ranking member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, recently issued a statement calling for removing the burdens the U.S. tax code imposes on small businesses. The statement by Sen. Shaheen was made June 14 at a Senate hearing examining the impact of the current tax structure on American small businesses.

Employment Small Businesses in the Midwest Are in Hiring Mode, Others – Not So Much

No matter where your small business is located, if you’re hiring right now, you’re likely competing against big demand from small businesses in the Midwest. Small businesses in large portions of the nation’s breadbasket are looking for a lot more breadwinners. Midwest Small Business Job Market New data from the job site Indeed.

Marketing Tips 10 Smart Tips for Marketing Your Brand to Chinese Consumers – #Gateway17

So you’re interested in selling in China? Great! There are plenty of opportunities for companies looking to expand into the Chinese market, according to speakers at Alibaba’s Gateway ‘17 event this week. But it’s not as easy as just listing some products and arranging shipments to China. You actually have to learn how to market to Chinese consumers.

UPS and Martha Stewart Talk Growing Global and Exporting Your Brand – #Gateway17

What do CEO and Chairman of UPS David Abney and style-maven Martha Stewart have in common? They both think that growing globally is a great way to expand a business. Global Expansion Tips Both spoke at the Gateway ‘17 event in Detroit today, sharing their thoughts on opportunities for small businesses in China and beyond.

Retail Trends 20 Products Most In Demand with Chinese Customers – #Gateway17

With a middle class of 300 million that’s growing annually, there certainly are plenty of opportunities for selling products to Chinese consumers. But some products are more in demand than others. To help small businesses attempting to enter that market determine which is which, online seller Alibaba held its Gateway ‘17 conference in Detroit this week.

What is Tmall and How Can You Use it to Reach Customers in China? – #Gateway17

At the Gateway ‘17 business conference this week, entrepreneurs learned about the different methods you can use to get products in front of Chinese consumers. One of those is Tmall. Tmall is an online marketplace where Chinese consumers can purchase anything from health food to athletic shoes. But there’s more to it than that.

Vistaprint Gets New Brick and Mortar Store in Toronto

Almost 20 years after Vistaprint (NASDAQ:CMPR) began providing small business owners with professional marketing services and products, the customized marketing materials specialist has opened its first ever bricks and mortar store. Vistaprint’s retail space is located in downtown Toronto. The Vistaprint Studio enables customers to physically feel and touch Vistaprint’s products.

China Needs Your Small Business Products – #Gateway17

China is the next big frontier for small businesses, according to a Keynote from Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba, at Gateway ‘17 at Detroit’s Cobo Center today. When the internet was booming in the mid ‘90’s, Ma did a search for “beer and China” and found no results.

Moving to the Mall: How the Death of Department Stores Could Benefit Small Retailers

Once a staple of suburban life, America’s malls are going through a sea change. A recent rash of department store closures, including many Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Sears locations, is making news. However, although more than 300 department stores are slated to close this year, this is just the latest wave in a trend that’s been going on for years.

Small Biz Spotlight Spotlight: Bryson City Bicycles Offers a Friendly Atmosphere

If you’ve ever been to a bicycle shop, you may have been struck by how exclusive or unwelcoming the environment was. But that’s where one shop, Bryson City Bicycles, aims to set itself apart. Read about how this destination bike shop has built its business around a simple philosophy in this week’s Small Business Spotlight. What the Business Does Sells bicycles and more.

Small Business Operations 10 Things Small Businesses Should Know About the New 833 Toll Free Phone Exchange

The FCC just released a new toll-free prefix on June 3, meaning there are now a whole new series of toll-free numbers for businesses to claim. The 833 prefix opens up more vanity numbers and combinations that are easy for customers to remember. And those numbers may provide some unique benefits to certain businesses.

Microsoft Dictate Types While You Talk

If there is one word synonymous with digital technology, it is efficiency. And the folks at Microsoft Garage have released a new tool which will make you more efficient over typing on a keyboard, Dictate. As the name implies, Dictate is an add-in designed to convert speech to text by letting you speak what you need to type.

Is FourKites Tracking Technology a Game Changer for Small Trucking Companies?

The bigger trucking companies like UPS and FedEx employ expensive and sophisticated tracking technology to pinpoint where a package is at any point in its journey. Retailers like Amazon have added two-day shipping and real-time tracking to heighten consumer expectations. The result? More pressure on smaller trucking companies and businesses to compete.

Social Media Twitter Introduces a New Look, But Will It Revive Anemic Traffic?

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) just unveiled its latest redesign with a new interface, which is mostly cosmetic. The company is refreshing the brand as it looks to increase its user base by, “making it feel lighter, faster, and easier to use.

Startup Shocking! Fake News Now a Booming Business for Hire Online, Report Says

Twisting the truth and spreading it online is no longer just a fad. It’s a growing industry with a range of services on offer, a new study finds. The whole business of making money by spinning lies of course presents a moral dilemma. But its rapid growth creates a business opportunity that many people are apparently finding hard to resist.

Technology Trends YouTube Introduces Heatmaps for Virtual Reality Videos

YouTube recently introduced heatmaps for virtual reality (VR) videos with over 1,000 views. The Google-owned video site said the heatmaps will give you specific insight into how your viewers are engaging with videos created in VR.

White House Tech Summit Good News for Small Businesses? Hope So!

The White House wants to improve technology across government agencies. And that could lead to some opportunities for small businesses.

BBB Says Fake RFP Emails are Targeting Small Businesses

You’ve got mail! And it could be a scam. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says fake malicious emails are circulating right now that target small businesses. The emails purport to contain an RFP (Request for Proposal). That’s usually an easy hook to get a small business to open the email. After all, it could mean more business.

One in Five Americans Can’t Get Enough GIFs

Looking to promote your small business on social media, your website and in emails? You might want to consider using GIFs for quick how-tos, product demos or even lighthearted ads. According to a recent study by Gfycat, a popular user-generated GIF platform, 63 percent of Americans are GIF users — and one in five Americans can’t get enough of them.

Restaurant Owners, App Use Among Foodies is Up 70 Percent

If you have a restaurant, this is one data point you can’t afford to ignore. Since 2014, food app usage among foodies has increased by around 70 percent. A Revealing Restaurant App Trend A 70 percent positive increase on any other segment of your restaurant business would be cause or excitement.

New Google Backup and Sync Tool Gives Small Businesses More Cloud Power

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) just released a new app that could help businesses backup and sync files more efficiently. Backup and Sync is the aptly named application that will essentially replace parts of the existing Google Drive desktop apps for Mac and PC.

Bing Mobile Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Bing Mobile Ad Targeting, Gateway ’17 Make Small Business Headlines" was first published on Small Business Trends

Alfa Romeo won't use incentives as brand puts panache over sales

AutoNews - Fri, 2017-06-23 13:24
Alfa Romeo's global brand chief says he won't cut prices to meet lofty U.S. sales goals, because he insists FCA isn't setting such targets.
Categories: Latest News

KFC is back in Thornton Heath and has something special planned for the opening

Topix - Fri, 2017-06-23 12:49

The fast food restaurant opens in London Road on Monday and is giving away something special to commemorate the occasion. The first 100 customers to arrive at the restaurant for its midday opening will receive a free, limited edition t-shirt and will get a free meal .

Categories: Today's Food News

Art Papas of Bullhorn: 65 Percent of Millennials Would Rather Talk to Chatbots than Humans — So Why Not Let Them?

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2017-06-23 12:02

Anyone who’s been checking this series over the years knows I attend a lot of CRM industry events. And, as we’re in the midst of wrapping up the spring conference season, there have been a flurry of events this month, including Bullhorn’s Engage — the user conference for the leading CRM platform for the staffing/recruiting industry servicing more than 7,000 companies.

AI For CRM

I had the pleasure of speaking with Bullhorn founder and CEO Art Papas during the conference, where he shared his thoughts on why he feels all the AI talk is just that — talk, for now. He also shares why AI and voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa will play a major role in CRM in the not-too-distant future.

Below is an edited transcript of our conversation. To hear the full interview check out the embedded video and/or audio clips below.

* * * * *

Small Business Trends: I’m back (in Boston) for Bullhorn Engage. I’m sitting here with the CEO and founder of Bullhorn, Art Papas. Art, thank you for joining me.

Art Papas: Thanks Brent. Thanks for coming to Boston.

Small Business Trends: You know, it’s almost starting to be like my second home all of a sudden. I’ve been here a couple times already. Like I said, we’re here for Bullhorn Engage, this is my first time checking it out. I’ve been really impressed, but just for folks who don’t necessarily know about Bullhorn, give me a little bit of your background, a little personal background and tell me a little bit about Bullhorn.

Art Papas: Okay. I’m the founder of the company. I started Bullhorn in 1999, back right before the dot-com bubble crashed. I was originally the Chief Technology Officer and became the CTO about 2002. We are based in Boston, with offices all over the world, have about 600 employees, growing very fast. We are a CRM platform that really specializes and focuses deep on the staffing and recruitment industry.

Small Business Trends: What’s important in staffing when it comes to CRM?

Art Papas: Staffing firms, recruitment firms are an interesting business in that there’s no product. They build relationships with customers, then they go build relationships with talent, and they try to make a match. It sounds relatively simple, but it’s a two-sided sales process that culminates with a lot of logistics and a lot of back and forth; A lot of documents trading hands like, “Here’s a resume, here’s a job description, this resume is a fit for this job description.”

They manage complex projects for their customers. It’s a really big challenge and you end up with things like deep search and match requirements, in terms of being able to take a document and reflect it against your database to say, “Who might be a fit for this job,” or vice versa, “I have a great candidate, which customers would be a fit for this candidate?”

Then there’s just a whole bunch of deep work flow that happens after a sale is made, around things like time and attendance tracking and document management and on-boarding, contract management …

Small Business Trends: Where do you see AI fitting in when it comes to staffing and engagement? How does AI impact in what you guys do for your customers?

Art Papas: I’m a realist and what I’ll say is nobody is really doing any Artificial Intelligence, yet. Everybody says they’ve got machine learning, but the reality is, as a true computer scientist, the best stuff that’s going on at Google is, you can take a bunch of images and turn it into a binary, multi-dimensional array and map it back and call that learning. But it’s all just predictive algorithms. At the end of the day, that’s what the state of the industry is, but I do believe that it’s advancing.

I think that natural language processing has reached a point where computers can generally understand what human beings are trying to say. Especially in a case where you know what they’re most likely to say, you can “fake it ’till you make it” and do exception management.

Art Papas: I think for recruitment, where it’s powerful is that it’s … for a stat, 65 percent of millennials would prefer to talk to a chat bot.

Small Business Trends: That’s pretty amazing.

Art Papas: It is amazing and you think of how much in the recruitment process people apply to jobs and nobody ever gets back to them. Low hanging fruit is, to have a chat bot, if they prefer it anyway. The chatbot can actually do what humans don’t like to do.

Small Business Trends: Break bad news, explain why …

Art Papas: Yeah, yeah. Human beings avoid that stuff. I think there’s actually huge opportunity to improve the customer experience in this industry using technology. I get excited about it and my customers yesterday were pretty fired up about it.

Small Business Trends: That’s an interesting thing you just mentioned because most people look at how AI can free up people … AI lacks empathy and it frees up people’s time [from doing mundane activities] to actually use their empathy. But, what you just said, AI actually adds empathy because a lot of folks don’t get the response after they spent a lot of time looking for jobs. They’ve spent a lot of time filling in applications and then they hear nothing back. You’re saying that actually, using a chatbot in this case is almost like being more empathetic because you’re giving them a response where they wouldn’t get one.

Art Papas: Especially if you care about your brand. You really have to invest something and technology could be the answer. I going to invest something in making sure that everybody who interacts with my brand has a great experience, regardless of whether or not there’s a transaction today.

Small Business Trends: Let’s ask the one last question. The voice. You talk about that’s coming and how you are starting to look at that as well.

Art Papas: I have an Alexa, a Google Home, and I have Siri. My daughter says, “Siri’s dumb.” But, I’m sure the HomePod, it will upgrade looks. Alexa is super useful and so is Google Home and I think that we’re now at a point where that the voice user interface will become strong. It’s not going to replace text. You’re not going to be in a meeting and say, “Hey, Siri, send John a text.” No, you’re not gonna do that; you’re still going to text that with your fingers. Until we have a telepathic user interface, I think that’s pretty far away.

Small Business Trends: Facebook is working on that, by the way …

Art Papas: They are, and someday we’ll have it. We’ll know what neurons are firing and what the heck they mean. But, right now, I think voice will become … especially when people are driving and they want to say for example … “I just met with a customer, please add a note to the system, and set a follow-up task, and move the stage of the opportunity, and tell my colleague, and do this, and do that.”

It’s a virtual assistant in the home, it’s going to be in the office, too. It’s funny because we used to hire salespeople in the early 2000’s salespeople … and I was always astounded salespeople come in and say, “Do I have an admin to do my CRM notes?” “No, no, of course not, nobody’s going to enter data into the CRM for you.” Now, maybe we should find those guys …

Small Business Trends: Come on back, we’ve got something for you.

Art Papas: Yeah, talk to Alexa, she’s your admin.

This article, "Art Papas of Bullhorn: 65 Percent of Millennials Would Rather Talk to Chatbots than Humans — So Why Not Let Them?" was first published on Small Business Trends

Summer LTOs focus on providing healthful options

FastCasual.com - Fri, 2017-06-23 11:51
Shrimp, fish and smoothie enhancements are popular summer LTOs.