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Top Stories: Starbucks Deals with Racial Discrimination, Tech Startups Struggle with Compensation

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2018-04-20 12:00

Whether your business has single or multiple locations, having a great management system in place for everyone to follow is critically important.

Starbucks became aware of this fact with an incident that took place in Philadelphia which made national headlines. The issue should teach businesses of all sizes some valuable lessons. In other news, tech startups struggle to provide adequate pay in expensive Silicon Valley. Do you struggle to keep your compensation ahead of cost of living?

Read more insightful small business news in our roundup below.

Management What Can Your Business Learn from The Starbucks Fiasco About Preventing Discrimination?

Starbucks is shutting down all 8,000 stores for one day to offer racial bias education training to employees, the company announced Tuesday afternoon. Starbucks Racial Bias Training The 8,000 company-owned stores will close down May 29 to educate employees on how not to discriminate against people in their stores.


Economy California Tech Startups Struggle with Hiring, Are You Covering Employee Cost of Living?

Silicon Valley tech startups are establishing satellite locations or moving entirely out of the California’s Bay Area to find affordable workers who don’t have to cope with the state’s high cost of living, The Mercury News reported on Monday.

Marketing Tips Promo Partners With Shutterstock Giving Small Businesses More Video Options

Promo, a video creation solution made by Slidely, has announced it has formed a partnership with Shutterstock (NYSE: SSTK). This arrangement will increase Promo’s 3.5 million video library to more than 12.5 million premium quality videos. Slidely and Shutterstock Partnership As part of the partnership, Shutterstock is making more than 9 million videos available to Promo.

What Can Bud Light’s Dilly Dilly Campaign Teach Your Small Business about Creative Marketing?

“Dilly Dilly” — Bud Light’s new catchphrase — has taken the world by storm. Bud Light’s vice president of marketing Andy Goeler talked to The Washington Post about the slogan in an article published Thursday. Goeler told WaPo that the slogan Dilly Dilly means, “a cheers, a Bud Light cheers.

Landbot Lets Small Businesses Automate Customer Engagement on their Landing Pages

Landing pages have become a space for introducing and promoting new products and services for websites. But when visitors get there, engagement is key. allows you to create chatbots based on a Conversational User Interface for your landing pages to improve engagement levels and conversion rates. As the company describes it, Landbot is a conversation that lives on your website.

Retail Trends 59% of POS Systems in the US — including at Small Businesses — Now Accept EMV Cards

When the deadline for the “liability shift” was almost up on October 1, 2015, the number of small businesses having switched to EMV was at 8.33 percent. According to Visa, 59% of U.S. POS locations now accept the chip, a 578 percent growth since 2015.

Small Biz Spotlight Spotlight: Keyk Founder Filled Need for Baking Supplies in a New Market

Selling baking supplies might not seem like a completely unique business idea to many U.S. consumers. But in parts of the world, those supplies can be more difficult to come by. A U.S. expat learned this lesson the hard way when she moved to Germany years ago. But she took the opportunity to turn the problem into a business, now known as Keyk.

Taxes 64% of Small Businesses Spend At Least $1000 on Tax Administration Work

The new tax reforms passed by the Trump administration were supposed to simplify the tax system. However, The National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) 2018 Small Business Taxation Survey reports administrative burdens still outpaces those of finance as 63 percent said they spend more than $1,000 annually on the administration of federal taxes.

Technology Trends Those who Stand at Work Experience 31% Less Back Pain, Study Explains

While digital technology has introduced new levels of efficiency in our workplace, it comes with the negative consequence causing workers to be more sedentary. This has resulted in more people using standing desks to counteract the effects of sitting all day. A new study conducted by Start Standing reinforces the importance of standing while at work.

Uh Oh! Only 10% of Companies are Fully Implementing New Business Tech

A new report finds only 10% of small businesses have fully implemented digital tools like artificial intelligence and automation. According to the  Workplace 2025: The Post-Digital Frontier study from Randstad US, these same businesses are lacking in the strategies to make their workforces digitally savvy to the degrees workers want.

PaySimple Teams with Profit Rhino to Benefit Home Service Businesses

The new payment integration between PaySimple and Profit Rhino will remove many of the obstacles home service businesses face when trying to accept payment in the field. PaySimple and Profit Rhino Partnership Plumbers, electricians, gardeners and handymen are all examples of the home service businesses keeping homes up and running when something goes wrong.

TaskRabbit Cybersecurity Incident Leaves “Taskers” Temporarily without Customers

Customers and 60,000 “taskers” — many of whom work as freelancers —  were in for a rude awakening Monday, April 16 when TaskRabbit announced its site had been taken down following “a cybersecurity incident.” After alarm bells were sounded by several TaskRabbit users, a tweet by the company confirmed the situation.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Top Stories: Starbucks Deals with Racial Discrimination, Tech Startups Struggle with Compensation" was first published on Small Business Trends

Amazon-Best Buy partnership marries online, offline tech and data

Store Front Talk Back - Fri, 2018-04-20 11:15
Amazon and Best Buy have teamed up to sell Fire TV Edition smart TVs, showing a greater partnership in online and offline shopping, combined with boosting technology and data.

Do SEM/SEO Matter For Hotels Anymore?

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2018-04-20 11:12
Diversifying Your Investment Could Help Produce Better Returns

YouTube Addresses Monetization Gripes, Is Your Small Business Affected?

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2018-04-20 10:30

In trying to get rid of materials its advertisers deemed offensive, YouTube instituted policies that hit small creators hard by demonetizing their channels or certain content.

Some of these creators include small business owners who had come to rely on YouTube as a major part of their revenue. Months later, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed the creator community with a letter on the company blog.

The post follows a horrifying incident earlier this month when YouTuber Nasim Najafi Aghdam went on a shooting rampage at the YouTube offices in San Brunno, California injuring several employees and eventually killing herself. Aghdam’s motive is believed to be connected to issues she had over the company’s policies regarding her channel.

YouTube Monetization Concerns

Wojcicki started by stating the obvious, “We know the last year has not been easy for many of you.” Since YouTube started removing materials advertisers found objectionable around March of 2017, small creators have been taking a hit. They lost ad revenue, subscribers, and viewers, fostering the negative relationship that currently exists between the company and many of its small creators.

This all started when more than 250 brands pulled ads from YouTube after they discovered they were running along content they didn’t want their brands associated with. Although creators are aware YouTube is driven by advertising, the sudden implementation of the companies’ policies caught many by surprise.

The letter is supposed to start mending fences, and Wojcicki said her company is, “Committed to listening and using your feedback to help YouTube thrive.” One of the biggest gripes by creators was changing the parameters of YouTube’s Partner Program.

The new changes stipulated a Partner status for creators requiring a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of total watch time in the past 12 months. This, of course, made it much harder for new and small creators to monetize their channels. The previous criteria only required 10,000 total views to join.

Wojcicki said, “For those who have not yet met the new threshold keep creating and building your audience.”

How Does YouTube Plan to Help Creators?

In addressing the frustration of the monetization of their channels, YouTube is going to be launching a program to test a new video upload flow so creators can provide information about their content as it relates to the company’s advertiser-friendly guidelines. The goal is to make the monetization process much smoother. And if advertisers, YouTube, and the algorithm all know what is in the content, it will be much easier to sell ads and generate revenue for creators with fewer false positive demonetizations.

YouTube is also going to roll out different ways to make money from videos.  Wojcicki said the company is expanding the sponsorship/subscription model it has been testing with some creators. These creators have to be selected by YouTube and the model is currently limited to gaming channels. Subscription models are getting more traction as creators look to fund their channel without having to worry about ad revenue.

Wojcicki also promised to do better at responding to its users. She said the company has increased replies by 600 percent and the reply rate has improved by 75 percent when tweets are addressed to its official handles.

The changes Wojcicki plans to implement will help, but small and many established creators who have seen their revenue shrink will have to wait and see if the changes will come as fast as they were taken away.

You can read Wojcicki’s letter here.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "YouTube Addresses Monetization Gripes, Is Your Small Business Affected?" was first published on Small Business Trends

Retail Roundup—Prime membership hits 100M; Staffing tops grocers' concerns

Store Front Talk Back - Fri, 2018-04-20 10:04
Amazon Prime's membership hits 100 million, staffing is the top concern for grocers, plus more need-to-know news from the world of retail.

Fazoli's, NPD Group, La Madeleine execs discuss how 3 digital tools have changed operations - Fri, 2018-04-20 09:54
Digital signage, online ordering and loyalty apps have each helped to transform the restaurant vertical in different ways. During a panel entitled, "I'll take digital to go," at the Restaurant Franchising and Innovation Summit, four restaurant execs addressed the changes they've seen in their operations

Marketing Ideas for Dentists

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2018-04-20 09:30

Marketing is not usually the first thing on dental professionals’ minds. However, it’s an important part of building a successful dental practice. So for those who are relatively new to the marketing game and simply want to get their message in front of as many local dental patients as possible, here are 20 tips you can use to shape your marketing plan.

Marketing for Dentists Find the Local Market That Is Most Likely to Choose Your Practice

Pinpointing a target audience is an essential component of marketing any business. But for dental practices, it’s not just about choosing a few demographics or interest groups. You have to find the people in your area who are actually the most likely to appreciate the specific services and branding messages that your business has to offer.

Holly Hutchison Patrick, managing editor of Patient News, said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “In today’s fiercely competitive market, defining your marketing audience solely by age, gender, and income isn’t enough. It’s absolutely critical to identify your target audience — those who are in your local market (live in your practice neighborhood) who have the highest propensity to call your practice. When you target these people, not only will your in-bound call volume increase, but so will your call-conversion rates because the people who are calling are seeking the experience you offer. These are also the prospects who are most like your best patients-of-record and who will accept treatment plans at a higher rate, bring their family, refer friends and colleagues … and who will stay with you and positively impact your bottom line year over year.”

Call Attention to Your Unique Value Proposition

Another must for every marketing tactic, your UVP should be the thing that makes your practice stand out from all the other options that patients might have to choose from.

Patrick says, “It needs to solve a patient problem, appeal to your strongest decision makers, communicate specific value unlike your primary competitors, and be the top reasons your practice is distinctly the better choice over other practices. Your UVP will drive everything else you do when making decisions about marketing your dental practice.”

Focus on the Results

Beyond simply pinpointing your niche, it’s important to always frame the conversation, whether it’s talking with patients in person or creating a page for your website, in a way that calls attention to what the patient gets, rather than what you do for them. “You can enjoy a completely painless experience” sounds more appealing than “we use techniques that lessen the pain during dental procedures.”

Build a Responsive Website

Building a website is another must. But since so many people today use mobile devices to research local businesses, it’s just as important for that website to be responsive and have a professional design that looks great on everything from desktop computers to smartphones.

Include Calls to Action

Each page of your website or content you create online should also be very clear about what a prospective patient’s next step should be. Do you want them to call? Fill out an online form? Be very deliberate and make it super easy for them to reach out to you.

Focus on SEO

For today’s customers to find you online, it’s also incredibly important to optimize that site for search engines. Find keywords that correspond with your unique value proposition so that it goes beyond “dentist/location.” For example, a cosmetic dentistry practice might create pages dedicated to teeth whitening and straightening, while still optimizing tags for your particular location.

Manage Business Listings

Lots of dental patients also find practices by perusing sites like Yelp and Google My Business. So you need to sign up for all of those platforms and make sure your business information is fully updated.

Monitor Your Online Reputation

From there, you also need to monitor those sites, reviews, and other mentions of your business online. Even a couple of negative reviews can drive patients away and make your site more difficult to find. So be sure to respond to reviews and encourage friendly interactions among your loyal patients as well.

Engage With Customers on Social Media

Signing up for a Facebook page or Twitter account isn’t enough to move the needle for a dental practice. If you want these platforms to make an impact, regularly share funny content, ask questions, offer helpful resources, and respond to followers in a really genuine way. The more you can interact with patients and get people to share your content, the greater your reach becomes.

Try Video Marketing

Video is becoming more and more popular on social media and elsewhere online. So creating a series of educational videos that frame your team as experts and show off your expertise can potentially be very valuable.

Brand Your Business Consistently

Throughout all of these marketing materials, make sure you use the same name, logo, tagline and design elements to describe your business. Customers who see those elements more and more are likely to remember them when they are in the market for a new dentist.

Be Active in the Community

As a local business, it can also be beneficial for you to be an active part of the community. Attend events, network, sponsor local sports teams, etc. This can really appeal to those who want a friendly, neighborhood dental practice that shares their values.

Frame Yourself as an Expert

Being active in the community or contributing your expertise to events of local publications can also help you become known as an expert. When people in the area see your name over and over again, you become known as the go-to within your particular niche.

Don’t Ignore Email

Email has become the marketing tool du jour in a lot of industries. For dental practices, it can help to remind current patients to schedule appointments or share helpful resources. Patrick does say that it’s a worthwhile tactic in some situations, but it shouldn’t be your main point of focus either.

Focus on Direct Mail Too

That’s because she believes direct mail can be a much more impactful way to actually get people’s attention.

She explains, “Because email has become the preferred transactional communication style, personally addressed direct mail stands out and gets noticed. Direct mail is key to ushering a new-patient’s journey directly to your practice. It ensures brand awareness … which, for potential patients who search online, leads to a direct “name-based” search for your practice. Contrary to the belief that the journey starts with a random online search, name-based searches ensure you jump the queue and are first in line, ahead of your competitors.”

Educate Patients

In all of your marketing materials, from direct mail to social media, your goal should be to create content that offers genuinely helpful points and tips that patients can use to improve their oral health.

Patrick says, “The educational component is really important. Content-driven marketing campaigns really support a practice. Rather than a promotional drop, patient education contributes to the trust, love, and respect they get from your patients, team, and community. It’s really one of the most effective, proactive, and positive marketing methods to represent their practice and philosophy of patient education.”

Be Ready to Convert

Once your marketing tactics start to work, you’re likely to have more and more people calling into your practice to inquire or schedule appointments. So you need to be sure that you’re ready with enough staff and friendly help to answer those calls and dedicated the time that can be necessary to convert those inquiries into actual patients.

Monitor and Analyze Results

No matter what your initial marketing plan consists of, it’s likely that you’ll make some tweaks along the way.

Patrick says, “Set your perceptions aside. You must know — definitively — what campaigns are driving results. Impartial dental marketing results data give incredibly valuable insights that enable you to make immediate changes and build effective long-term strategies to grow your practice.”

Exercise Patience

However, you do have to wait for a large enough sample size before completely changing your marketing plan.

An effectively designed, targeted, educational dental marketing campaign that is sent regularly and consistently into a dentist’s local market will deliver results. And because marketing lives and breathes, each campaign should be tweaked continually to respond to real-time metrics to capture ever-increasing results and maximize return on investment. When a direct mail campaign is abandoned after one or two mailings, effective frequency – the number of times a person must be exposed to an advertising message before a response is made — is never reached … which means your campaign, your ROI, and your patient acquisition goals are immobilized.

Consider Outsourcing the Work

Lots of local dental practices are very lean. So if you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to creating thorough marketing campaigns for your business, it could be beneficial to find a dental marketing firm like Patient News or a consultant who can guide you through the process.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Marketing Ideas for Dentists" was first published on Small Business Trends

Nissan to launch 8 electrified vehicles in Japan by 2022

AutoNews - Fri, 2018-04-20 08:30
Nissan aims to stoke sales in Japan by launching eight electrified vehicles and overhauling its dealer network over the next five years.
Categories: Latest News

Those who Stand at Work Experience 31% Less Back Pain, Study Explains

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2018-04-20 08:30

While digital technology has introduced new levels of efficiency in our workplace, it comes with the negative consequence causing workers to be more sedentary. This has resulted in more people using standing desks to counteract the effects of sitting all day. A new study conducted by Start Standing reinforces the importance of standing while at work.

For one thing, the study reveals 31 percent of standers experience less back pain than sitters.

Standing While Working Helps Back Pain

The Office Lifestyle Study carried out by Start Standing was designed to figure out if standing more and sitting less has a beneficial impact on back pain, neck pain, and body mass index (BMI). According to the organization, most of the studies about standing desks were related to weight loss and productivity.

The study highlights the importance of keeping your workforce fit and healthy, no matter how big your company is. And it all starts by limiting the amount of time your employees stay seated at any given time.

This particular study surveyed 800 office workers who sit or stand at a desk when they are working. The participants provided information about how much they sit or stand at their desks throughout their workday and the level of back or neck pain they experience. The survey also reported details on the gender, weight, and height of each participant.

Key Findings From the Study

In addition to the 31 percent of standers who experienced less back pain, 28 percent also had less neck pain compared to sitters. As far as their BMI, standers saw lower numbers at 24.9, while sitters had an average BMI of 27.1.

The average back pain level for standers was 2.39 and for sitters it came in at 3.47. For neck pain, standers reported average levels of 2.61 and sitters 3.61. The pain level was measured on a scale of 1-10.

The report quotes Dr. Simmons of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, explaining, “A healthy lifestyle, including minimizing musculoskeletal pain and maintaining a healthy BMI, is the cumulative effect of dozens of dietary and physical behaviors. Standing at work is a relatively easily modified behavior that can have a profound impact on quality of life, especially when we consider the close relationship between BMI and musculoskeletal pain.”

What Dr. Simmons is saying is, it takes a comprehensive approach to benefit from all of the positive actions you take to improve your overall health. No one thing will resolve all of your health problems.


Start Standing recommends you get up at least once every hour of every day from your seated position. Set goals you can achieve when you first start out so you don’t get discouraged and stop, and stay informed. The Start Standing site has a 30-day challenge so you can get on your way to standing at work, and it provides valuable resources with research, reviews of standing desks and chairs.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Those who Stand at Work Experience 31% Less Back Pain, Study Explains" was first published on Small Business Trends

Impossible Foods Quest to Save Planet Draws Environmentalist Ire an hour ago

Topix - Fri, 2018-04-20 08:13

The ingredient, made from soybean roots and genetically engineered yeast, goes into vegetarian Impossible Burgers, which are available in a growing number of restaurants -- even fast-food stalwart It contains heme , a key part of red meat and a source of iron, which humans can't live without. Think of Brown's discovery as plant-based blood.

Categories: Today's Food News

Data is Better if You Know What it Means

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2018-04-20 07:30

This cartoon came from a scrap of paper on which I’d drawn a graph and then scribbled something underneath in the middle of the night.

In the dark.

Without my glasses.

So, needless to say, I couldn’t read what it said or remember what the joke was the next morning.

The funny part is, after a good deal of racking my brain, that very situation actually inspired the caption for this cartoon.

Maybe I should write more captions in the middle of the night.

This article, "Data is Better if You Know What it Means" was first published on Small Business Trends

Marriott Hotels To Debut In Belize With A 303-Key Oceanfront Property

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2018-04-20 07:27
AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE—ECI Development today announced plans to introduce the Marriott Hotels’ namesake brand to Belize with a project designed for ...

Trademark Collection By Wyndham Welcomes Louisville's Legendary Galt House Hotel

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2018-04-20 07:23
PARSIPPANY, NJ—Introducing Louisville’s hallmark charm and hospitality to Trademark Collection by Wyndham’s growing portfolio of nearly 70 global hotels, hospitality leader ...

Faurecia positive for 2018 after Q1 sales rise 9%

AutoNews - Fri, 2018-04-20 06:22
Faurecia sees a positive outlook for 2018 after its sales in the first three months rose 9.3 percent and the company predicts robust double-digit growth in the second quarter.
Categories: Latest News

4/20 'munchies,' celebrations in San Diego

Topix - Fri, 2018-04-20 03:30

JANUARY 07: In this photo-illustration a man holds a burger purchased from a fast food outlet on January 7, 2013 in Bristol, England. A government-backed TV advert - made by Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Gromit - to promote healthy eating in England, is to be shown for the first time later today.

Categories: Today's Food News