Augmented and Virtual Reality could be the big news for your small business this year.  The industry has a huge potential, and companies small and large are trying to capitalize on the opportunities.

In addition to AR/VR, this week more technology trends grabbed small business headlines. Examples include Apple’s launch of its Business Chat on iMessage, Adobe’s planned shutdown of Business Catalyst and more.

This is just one of the many topics covered in this week’s information roundup. You can look at the rest of the small business news below.



Technology Trends

$17.8 Billion in Business Investment Expected in AR and VR This Year, Is Your Business Ready?

Augmented reality has been around for a few years. But small businesses have only recently started to realize its potential as a marketing tool. Technology startup company Lampix has created an infographic to summarize all the ways in which augmented reality can be a game-changer for small businesses.

Apple Launches Business Chat on iMessage with New OS Release

Last year Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced its plans to make Business Chat available at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), and the company has now launched the service in beta for users in the US and Canada. Business Chat on iMessage Just like Facebook users are able to chat directly with businesses on Messenger, iMessage users will now be able to do something similar.

Planned Adobe Shutdown of Business Catalyst Impacts Small Firms

Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) has announced it is discontinuing Business Catalyst, with deletion scheduled for March 26, 2020. The end of life of this popular Content Management System (CMS) has surprised the thousands of businesses that use the platform. Business Catalyst is an all-in-one CMS designed to help businesses and digital agencies manage their websites and ecommerce.

20% of US Sites Now Block Traffic from Russia and Your Business Should Too

The fifth annual Distil Networks Bad Bot Report has the Russian Federation as the most blocked country by companies that have implemented country-specific IP block requests. The report, titled, “Bad Bot Report 2018: The Year Bad Bots Went Mainstream” looks at how bots are used by bad actors to perpetrate a wide range of nefarious activities.

Slack Seeks Solution for Outage Problem and your Business Should Look for Workarounds

Small team collaboration favorite Slack is seeking a solution to its excessive outages, but in the meantime, your small business needs a contingency plan. Slack is one of the leading collaboration platforms among small businesses. Thousands are using Slack to connect teams in the same building or around the world on projects big and small. But there’s a problem.

Economy

58% of Main Street Small Businesses Not Seeing Sales Bump Under Trump Administration

Koble’s 2018 SMB Sales and Growth Confidence Survey has revealed 58 percent of small businesses are less confident in sales prospects under the Trump administration. And 43 percent said the tax reform will have no impact on their business.

3.9 Million Americans – including Freelancers – Now Work from Home at Least Half the Week

The number of people who want to work remotely and the companies making this possible are both growing. Remote workers may include both employees of  small businesses and freelancers who operate as small businesses themselves. The State of the Remote Job Marketplace report from FlexJobs says there are now 3.9 million Americans or 2.

Employment

Business Lesson: Hard Work and Talent Have More In Common Than You Think (Infographic)

If you are in the process of hiring someone, which is more important to you, natural talent or hard work? A new infographic from Davitt Corporate Partners looks at the science and justification for hiring one over the other. It also defines what talent is and recommends encouraging both traits. The infographic is titled, “Natural Talent Vs.

Green Business

20 Green Activities to Change the Way Your Small Business Approaches Earth Day

Earth Day is slated for April 22, giving businesses an opportunity to take part in some eco-friendly activities. Some of these actions can potentially even make your office more energy efficient throughout the rest of the year and provide some inspiration to your team and even your customers. Green Activities for Earth Day Here are 20 ideas for you to make the most of Earth Day 2018.

Local Marketing

Waze Local Can Share Your Business with Commuters Starting at $2 a Day

After testing Waze Local in beta for more than a year, the new tool has been launched to specifically give small businesses a marketing platform to reach consumers on the road. And with campaigns starting for as little as $2 per day, this can be a way to drive foot traffic into stores. Waze is a carpooling app owned by Google which has taken a different approach to ridesharing.

Management

These 7 Tips will Change the Way You Approach Hiring

Hiring staff can be a resource-draining process for any business, but it can be especially difficult for small businesses with limited means. For a small business, each new staff member can impact the company much more than a new staff member at a larger company with 200 or more employees can.

Marketing Tips

Where Can I Advertise My Business?

There are more methods of advertising than ever before.  So when you ask the question “where do I advertise my business” check the information below for an answer. Prior to trying to figure out where to advertise, it pays to educate yourself about all the options and ways to advertise your business.

What is the Difference Between Advertising and Marketing?

The difference between small business advertising and marketing is that advertising is a paid media placement to promote your business, i.e. buying an ad. Advertising is a specific technique and one part of marketing.  Marketing in small business is a much broader set of activities to promote your product or service.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Spray-Net Franchise Changes the House Painting Business with Tech

Carmelo Marsala started his business to fill a special niche — providing a solution for painting vinyl and aluminum doors, windows and other challenging surfaces.  Spray-Net offers franchisees — and their customers — a unique solution. The company has developed its own line of exclusive coatings for buildings made of all different materials.

Small Business Loans

Kabbage Says 17% of Its Small Business Loans are Accessed on Mobile Devices

With the growth of mobile lending, online lender Kabbage now says 17 percent of all its small business loans are being accessed through mobile. The company recently analyzed the lending behavior of almost 150,000 borrowers to draw out some interesting data.

Social Media

Zoho Social Now Allows Posting Directly to Your Instagram Business Profile

Zoho Social now lets you post directly on Instagram. This is Zoho’s lat step to try to save small business owners all the time of toggling back and forth between all their various social media channels. Zoho Social has already added this capability for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Photo via Shutterstock



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