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Chicago's suburbs have famously already seen the launch of one fast-food giant thanks to Ray Kroc and McDonald's in Des Plaines. The very first Nic's Organic Fast Food opens sometime this month in Rolling Meadows and their ownership team hopes the debut of Chicagoland's first organic fast-food chain will also lead to success at 2101 S. Plum Grove Road.
Especially when said knowledge has the ability to enhance your fast food dining experience , elevating it from the mundane to the extraordinary. Now, thanks to some caring and sharing McDonald's employees, there is a way you can ensure you get the best of everything.
The web development company that spent nearly $5 million on a commercial during the Super Bowl just surpassed the 100 million registered users’ milestone.
The Israel-based company Wix.com (NASDAQ:WIX) boasts how easy it has made things for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, artists and businesses around the world to create a website using its drag and drop capabilities.Number of Wix Users Doubled
While announcing its achievement, the company said that its user base has more than doubled in the last two and a half years and though based in Israel, the U.S. is one of its fastest growing markets.
“Consumers and businesses want stunning websites that are simple to create and navigate,” Wix President and COO Nir Zohar said in a statement. “Every day we ask ourselves, how can we help our users do more? By keeping that question central to everything we do, we have exceeded even our wildest growth expectations.”
Significantly, over the past few years, the company has been able to use artificial intelligence to simplify website design, and has also made its eCommerce solutions more attractive to online businesses by bridging offline and online commerce capabilities with a Square partnership. The company has also introduced new tools such as image protection and portfolio management, reeling in both artists and photographers.
Additionally, Wix offers what it describes as intuitive and powerful website interfaces and video backgrounds, title animation, and online storage for website assets. Wix also offers both free and paid options.
With so many online businesses already using the platform, entrepreneurs seeking a simple alternative to developing a web presence may wish to give Wix tools a closer look.
This article, "Wix Passes 100 Million Users with Focus on Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends
The restaurants also serve a host of other exclusive dishes, such as fried okra and collard greens, that aren't available at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide. This is the first Chick-fil-A in the country.
Online accounting software Xero (NZE:XRO), popular with small business users, has updated the Fixed Asset depreciation feature on the platform.Xero Fixed Asset Depreciation
The Fixed Assets depreciation feature gives small businesses the ability to track fixed asset and value depreciation for tax and book keeping purposes.
In the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service sets acceptable thresholds for business costs that qualify as fixed assets able to be depreciated versus those that must be expensed.
Recently the agency has raised this threshold allowing things like computers and certain other kinds of machinery to be expensed. However, major assets like company vehicles and bigger machinery must still be depreciated.
In a post on the company’s blog, Xero’s product marketing manager Christian Newman also wrote that the feature updates will give users a single place to store all their tools and information, so they no longer have to switch between multiple pieces of software.
And because the new Fixed Assets update is built into the platform, there is no need to transfer data from other spreadsheets or software to do the necessary calculations.
“Because Fixed Assets is built right into Xero, it makes year end even more efficient,” Newman added.
According to Newman, the Fixed Assets feature has been much-desired in the Australian Xero community. The company is based in nearby New Zealand.
And with the new update, users can now easily manage their client’s bookkeeping, depreciation and other related needs all in one place.
Prior to the introduction of the new feature, Xero customers would have to use additional accounting software to calculate depreciation of fixed assets, but that’s no longer an issue it seems.
The updated Fixed Assets feature is now fully integrated with and provided as part of the Xero platform at no extra cost.
The company also says that small businesses with 20 or less registered assets will receive the new feature in the next few weeks while those that are not already using fixed assets feature will also be able to access it immediately.
It may come as a surprise that one of the most competitive industries in the world has a technology problem. But the truth is that not all law firms have corporate clients with deep pockets. Many work in smaller leagues where money is tight. Without piles of cash lying around to invest in the business, mid-sized firms can struggle to pay for good technology.
Money is tight for a lot of reasons. One of them is that while technology is still incredibly expensive in legal circles, consumers have an array of legal technologies they can use instead of paying actual lawyers. Judicata, Rocket Lawyer, and Clio are a few of the services that consumers are opting for.
Compound that problem with a spike in state-sponsored hacking groups that target law firms and you have a near perfect storm of problems for smaller firms that are unable to spend money on expensive solutions. However, where there is a problem there is also an opportunity, and entrepreneurs have taken notice. The problem is, solving the technology crisis in the legal industry takes a special breed of entrepreneur.Challenges of Developing Legal Technology
“We spent 10, maybe 15, years trying to move the legal profession from WordPerfect. Bankers moved to Excel faster,” explains Steven Sinofsky, formerly a Microsoft executive. “Part of the reason is that the legal profession is a very people-based process. It’s also one where the tools you use are also encoded in law. You can’t just show up in a courtroom and change how everything works.”
In other words, the necessary technology must be developed by people who thoroughly understand the demands of the legal industry. Law firms require specialized document management systems, e-Discovery that meets regulatory standards, robust cyber security, and more.
John Sweeney, President of LogicForce and one of the entrepreneurs stepping up to solve this problem, says the issue is an enormous one. “Many law firms do not know how much money they are spending on their technology,” says Sweeney. “It can be tens of thousands of dollars more than they think and much of it is unnecessary. The problem is that firms are forced to buy software one piece at a time, creating a tangle of different products that do not work well together and that quickly age out of relevance.”
Because developing the technology requires a legal pedigree and because of the enormity of the problem, solutions have been slow to develop. But midsize law firms are increasingly reaching out to find modern solutions.
Some of the technology that needs to be replaced is remarkably archaic. In a blog post by a Houston-based IT company called Citoc, fax machines made a short list of technologies that law firms needed to replace. This is a definite example of how badly the legal industry needs to upgrade its technology. After all, when was the last time you used a fax machine?The Rise of Cloud-Based Legal Technology
Entrepreneurs are beginning to release legal technology solutions that are comparable to what has been available in other industries and even to consumers for years.
“Cloud-based services are a crucial leap forward for midsize firms that cannot afford the capital expenditures of constantly buying new software when their old software becomes obsolete,” explains Sweeney. “By offering all of the same technology as a service, we help midsize firms scale and remain current with the most modern technology.”
However desirable the new solutions may be, the legal industry is slow to innovate. It is bound by rigid standards created by the American Bar Association and it does not have a culture of rapid technology adoption. If law firms want to grow their practice, these issues need to be resolved.
Gavel Photo via Shutterstock
This article, "The Legal Industry Is Finally Fixing Its Technology Problem" was first published on Small Business Trends
One of the biggest differentiator’s between a home or small business and a larger enterprise is capacity. And in a world where speed is tantamount to efficiency, enterprises enjoy a commanding lead. However, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has introduced new 802.11ax WiFi chips that will reduce congestion on next-gen networks to deliver vastly enhanced connection, perhaps evening out the playing field.
According to Qualcomm, the new 802.11ax WiFi chips will be able to deliver speeds of up to 4.8Gbps. The company also says it is the first to announce end-to-end commercial solutions to support 802.11ax.So What is 802.11ax?
Without getting too technical, 802.11ax mainly focuses on expanding network capacity instead of speed to get the best possible connection, and make better use of the WiFi spectrum. This is an important development because there is more variety in today’s networks. This variety overloads the WiFi spectrum and negatively affects the connection, and thus the spinning wheel of doom when you are trying to watch that cat video.
In the prepared statement released by Qualcomm, David Henry, senior vice president, home networking, NETGEAR, one of the leading manufacturers of routers in the world said:
“We are excited about the potential impact that 802.11ax will have in the home and small businesses, 802.11ax is not an incremental upgrade to keep pace with today’s demands. The technology will reset the bar for what matters most in networking, and will lay the foundation of network capacity for years to come.”What Does it Mean for Your Small or Home Business?
Whether in your home office or retail store, your WiFi connectivity is going to be affected by the tens of thousands of things that will be part of the Internet of Things (IoT) in your vicinity all clamoring for bandwidth at once. With 802.11ax, Qualcomm says connections will be seamless, dead spots will be reduced and harmful interference where there are many WiFi access points that overlap will be reduced. You will be able to stream 4K Ultra HD, video conference, collaborate, share and transfer files easily.
Qualcomm expects to toll out the chips in the first half of 2017, so it remains to be seen which manufacturer will incorporate this technology into its devices first.
WiFi Symbol Photo via Shutterstock
This article, "Qualcomm’s New WiFi Technology Should Boost Capacity for Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends
If you’re an entrepreneur, the odds that your company will be acquired at a low price, just to prevent bankruptcy, are far higher than the chances that it will sell at a high price, and make you rich. That’s just the story of entrepreneurship.
Unfortunately, it’s easier to learn how to handle a high value acquisition situation. It’s a lot more interesting for observers to write about how to sell a company to Google for $100 million than to sell to a small company for $700,000 in a fire sale. Moreover, few investors and founders want the world to know of their efforts to recoup ten cents on the dollar.
While much about selling a company is the same whether the acquisition would be seen as a success or a failure, there are five important differences:
Maximizing Value is Harder with a Low Value Acquisition. Getting a high price for selling a company is easier the more alternatives you have. When you are doing a low value exit, you will have fewer options. If you are running out of money, you will not be able to turn down low ball offers and continue to run your company, as you would if you were considering a high value acquisition. You also can’t easily turn to the alternative of raising more money because your company probably is not fundable. Finally, there are far fewer people interested in turnaround situations than in just riding an upward wave. All of this means that you have to work much harder to get competing offers so that you can create an auction for your business.
Comparing Offers is More Difficult with a Low Value Acquisition. When you are selling at a high price, you tend to get well funded buyers offering cash or public company stock. Potential buyers are unlikely to be underfunded start-ups or businesses looking for a sweet deal. Those types of acquirers know they will not be chosen when there are better alternatives. For a low value exit, however, you might be comparing an acquisition by start-up offering a stock swap to a business seeking to pay a fire-sale price with a two-year earn out. Such deals are tougher to compare than cash deals.
It’s More Difficult to Tell the Story of Why. To sell a company, you need to explain why the company is worth more to the acquirer than that company would pay for it. When a company is selling for a high price, that story is usually about strategic fit with the acquirer or how the buyer’s resources can be leveraged for growth. But for a low value acquisition, the logical story is that someone else would do a better job building the business than you. That’s tough to say.
You will be Dealing with Unhappy Investors. Getting agreement from your investors to sell a company for 10 times what they invested in it is far easier than for one-tenth of what they put in. Rational investors know that maximizing the value of a company is the same whether the marginal dollar is increasing a profit or cutting a loss, but investors rarely think rationally about money. Instead of focusing on getting the best possible outcome, many investors would rather criticize founders for their past mistakes. For low value acquisitions founders need to manage disgruntled investors.
It’s Probably Not Worth Your Time to Negotiate for More. Think about it this way. If you raise money for a business at a $1 million valuation and you have an offer to sell it for 10 times your money, negotiating for a 10 percent higher price makes sense. That gets you an additional $1 million for your time. But if you have an offer to sell the business for $100,000, a 10 percent higher price only yields an extra $10,000.
Investing Photo via Shutterstock
This article, "What’s Different About Pursuing a Low Value Acquisition?" was first published on Small Business Trends