Achieving Your Breakthrough in the New Year

Happy New Year! 2018 is here, and I hope you’re ready to grow and have a breakthrough this coming year! I’m excited to be working with you, and I wanted to give you some thoughts as we start 2018.

I hope that you’ve looked back at 2017 and determined what worked and what didn’t work to create a better game plan for this new year. It’s a really good idea to look back and see what trends and habits you can approve upon, and use that to create a business plan. That’s what I do every year, and I encourage you to do the same thing.

A business plan is different from New Year’s resolutions. It is not just about those few habits that you’ve been trying to break for the last 20 years. It is more about the outcomes you’re looking for in the new year. And as you think about your breakthrough, there are 3 specific aspects you need to consider.

One is your mindset. What are your limiting beliefs about yourself, Network Marketing, your product or service, and your prospects? Take the time to examine those limiting beliefs and see how much they’re limiting you. Do that and you will be able to come up with a game plan to break through those limiting beliefs, develop self-confidence, and move forward in the future. It is crucial to figure out ways to conquer your fear, take action when you don’t feel like it, and overcome procrastination if you want to have the best year of your life.

The second thing you need to look at are the skills necessary to build a Network Marketing business. There are 7 fundamental skills to building a Network Marketing business: finding prospects, inviting prospects to take a look, presenting, following up, closing, getting started effectively, and promoting events. How do you rank right now on those skills? And what is your game plan to grow those skills in the coming year? When you develop the skills, your confidence will go up.

And the third area for your business game plan is strategy. How are you going to get the most out of the time that you can commit to your business? How are you going to take advantage of what’s going on in the calendar year? What campaigns are you going to put into place to get people excited about your product, opportunity, rank advancing, or going to your company convention? What are you going to do in order to maximize your opportunity this year and step into your full potential?

So, mindset, skills, and strategy are the three big areas that you need to think about as you enter 2018. And on January 6th, I will be holding a special webcast to help you with this mindset category. It’s called Becoming Unstoppable in Network Marketing and during it, I will show you how to overcome limiting beliefs, reprogram your mind for success, and stop the self-sabotage.

I’m here for you for 2018 and beyond. Let’s make it a great year together!

Master Your Emotions with the Becoming Unstoppable in Network Marketing Live Webcast Event!

Sign Up at http://ift.tt/2lBgob7

The post Achieving Your Breakthrough in the New Year appeared first on Network Marketing Pro.



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Libby App Connects eReaders to Business Titles from Most Major Metro Public Libraries

Libby App Connects eReaders to Business Titles from Most Major Metro Public Libraries

When was the last time you thought about going to your local library to check out a book?

The Libby app connects local libraries and the thousands of eBooks and audiobooks on their digital bookshelves 24/7.

The Libby app is developed by OverDrive. To date, more than 39,000 libraries and schools in 70 countries are part of the service. A catalog of over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks and videos are in the collection covering fiction and non-fiction titles across every imaginable subject.

Small business owners looking to learn or brush-up in a particular field can find thousands of business and business-related titles to read. In the US and Canada, Libby connects readers with libraries in major metropolitan areas. This includes the New York Public Library, Boston Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, Toronto Public Library and many others.

Improving Your Knowledge Base

The internet has dramatically improved the way we learn, but public libraries are still important repositories of knowledge. What digital technology has done is make the books in libraries available to a wider audience.

The New York Public Library, for example, has more than 300,000 ebooks, audiobooks and videos available with OverDrive. This includes 7,625 books on business, 1,167 on finance, 367 on economics and many other topics related to business.

As free apps go, Libby has got to be one of the most resourceful tools out there. USA Today and Google Play have said as much by naming it one of the best apps of 2017.

Getting the Libby App

After you download the Libby app on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, (or on your Windows PC) all it takes is your library card to start borrowing books. If you happen to have an Amazon Kindle, the books you borrow on Libby can be sent to the device. The Kindle option is only available in the US.

Once you have the app, it will help you find your local library and even get you a card using your mobile phone number. You can sign into multiple libraries using one or more cards.

When it comes to reading or listening to the books, you can stream or download them. And best of all, the company says it will always be free.

Image: Libby

This article, "Libby App Connects eReaders to Business Titles from Most Major Metro Public Libraries" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Libby App Connects eReaders to Business Titles from Most Major Metro Public Libraries

Libby App Connects eReaders to Business Titles from Most Major Metro Public Libraries

When was the last time you thought about going to your local library to check out a book?

The Libby app connects local libraries and the thousands of eBooks and audiobooks on their digital bookshelves 24/7.

The Libby app is developed by OverDrive. To date, more than 39,000 libraries and schools in 70 countries are part of the service. A catalog of over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks and videos are in the collection covering fiction and non-fiction titles across every imaginable subject.

Small business owners looking to learn or brush-up in a particular field can find thousands of business and business-related titles to read. In the US and Canada, Libby connects readers with libraries in major metropolitan areas. This includes the New York Public Library, Boston Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, Toronto Public Library and many others.

Improving Your Knowledge Base

The internet has dramatically improved the way we learn, but public libraries are still important repositories of knowledge. What digital technology has done is make the books in libraries available to a wider audience.

The New York Public Library, for example, has more than 300,000 ebooks, audiobooks and videos available with OverDrive. This includes 7,625 books on business, 1,167 on finance, 367 on economics and many other topics related to business.

As free apps go, Libby has got to be one of the most resourceful tools out there. USA Today and Google Play have said as much by naming it one of the best apps of 2017.

Getting the Libby App

After you download the Libby app on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, (or on your Windows PC) all it takes is your library card to start borrowing books. If you happen to have an Amazon Kindle, the books you borrow on Libby can be sent to the device. The Kindle option is only available in the US.

Once you have the app, it will help you find your local library and even get you a card using your mobile phone number. You can sign into multiple libraries using one or more cards.

When it comes to reading or listening to the books, you can stream or download them. And best of all, the company says it will always be free.

Image: Libby

This article, "Libby App Connects eReaders to Business Titles from Most Major Metro Public Libraries" was first published on Small Business Trends



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What Apple’s Battery Mea Culpa Can Teach Your Small Business About Transparency

Apple Apologizes for Slowing Your iPhone

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) officially admitted it was slowing down iPhones as their batteries age. The reasoning for this move by the company makes perfect sense, but it was the execution which will cost Apple in terms of money and a black eye on its reputation and brand.

Apple Apologizes for Slowing Your iPhone

In its apology and explanation of how aging batteries affect iPhone performance, Apple was thorough and didn’t mince any words.

“We apologize” the company said. “We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”

For many small businesses still using the older iPhones, the optimization steps Apple has taken can be seen as a positive. Again, this depends entirely on how you feel about not being told it was taking place.

The steps Apple took were to dynamically manage the maximum performance of the batteries to prevent a shutdown of some system components when needed. It started with iOS 10.2.1 and it now includes iOS 11.2 for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE as well as iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Making Amends

The company said it is taking the following steps to, “Regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions.”

Firstt it is lowering the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50, from $79 to $29. This goes for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later needing battery replacements. The offer will start in late January and end in December 2018 globally.

There will also be an update to the iOS software in early 2018 giving users increased visibility into the health of their battery life. This will allow them to see if the condition of the battery is affecting performance.

Details of the plan will be provided in the near future. You can follow the progress on apple.com.

What Can You Learn From Apple’s Mistake?

First of all, it is almost impossible to hide anything in today’s digital ecosystem. Transparency is the way to go. If you let your customers know what you plan on doing regarding the products and services they purchase from you, it won’t come back to bite you in the future.

You have to be proactive in the way you communicate with your customers. You have social media, websites, email and SMS to make this possible. Had Apple been upfront about what it was doing, the company wouldn’t be where it is now. Omitting a simple explanation will prevent customers from questioning the hard-earned reputation of your brand. Don’t let it happen to you.

Image: Apple

This article, "What Apple’s Battery Mea Culpa Can Teach Your Small Business About Transparency" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

What Apple’s Battery Mea Culpa Can Teach Your Small Business About Transparency

Apple Apologizes for Slowing Your iPhone

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) officially admitted it was slowing down iPhones as their batteries age. The reasoning for this move by the company makes perfect sense, but it was the execution which will cost Apple in terms of money and a black eye on its reputation and brand.

Apple Apologizes for Slowing Your iPhone

In its apology and explanation of how aging batteries affect iPhone performance, Apple was thorough and didn’t mince any words.

“We apologize” the company said. “We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”

For many small businesses still using the older iPhones, the optimization steps Apple has taken can be seen as a positive. Again, this depends entirely on how you feel about not being told it was taking place.

The steps Apple took were to dynamically manage the maximum performance of the batteries to prevent a shutdown of some system components when needed. It started with iOS 10.2.1 and it now includes iOS 11.2 for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE as well as iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Making Amends

The company said it is taking the following steps to, “Regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions.”

Firstt it is lowering the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50, from $79 to $29. This goes for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later needing battery replacements. The offer will start in late January and end in December 2018 globally.

There will also be an update to the iOS software in early 2018 giving users increased visibility into the health of their battery life. This will allow them to see if the condition of the battery is affecting performance.

Details of the plan will be provided in the near future. You can follow the progress on apple.com.

What Can You Learn From Apple’s Mistake?

First of all, it is almost impossible to hide anything in today’s digital ecosystem. Transparency is the way to go. If you let your customers know what you plan on doing regarding the products and services they purchase from you, it won’t come back to bite you in the future.

You have to be proactive in the way you communicate with your customers. You have social media, websites, email and SMS to make this possible. Had Apple been upfront about what it was doing, the company wouldn’t be where it is now. Omitting a simple explanation will prevent customers from questioning the hard-earned reputation of your brand. Don’t let it happen to you.

Image: Apple

This article, "What Apple’s Battery Mea Culpa Can Teach Your Small Business About Transparency" was first published on Small Business Trends



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The BlueCart Report Keeps Restaurants and Hotels on Top of Consumer Trends

The BlueCart 2017 Hospitality Food Procurement Trends Report Keeps Restaurants and Hotels on Top of Consumer Trends
BlueCart recently introduced a report spotting purchasing trends in the hospitality industry. The 2017 Hospitality Report is designed to help restaurants, hotels and suppliers gain a competitive advantage by revealing the food and drink that’s most in demand.

It’s the first time BlueCart has issued such a report, but small businesses in this market will certainly want to take note.

2017 Hospitality Food Procurement Trends Report

“Our hope is that by providing this data to the public on a regular basis through these reports, it will allow businesses to stay up to date with what is popular in the marketplace and where they may want to focus their attention based on these potential emerging trends,” Konstantin Zvereff, BlueCart CEO, says in a press release.

The company says it compiled data from the report tracking sales among its users over the last three years. BlueCart is a wholesale procurement platform for businesses and buyers in hospitality.

“The goal of this report is to provide operators and distributors a top-down look at the market landscape, motivating operators and distributors to make better decisions and successfully grow their business,” writes Will Harmon, a marketing associate for BlueCart, on the company’s blog.

In it, BlueCart finds that seafood sales over the last three years increased more than four times over. Bakery sales are up 437 percent. Non-alcoholic beverages rose 249 percent but produce sales dropped by 41 percent.

Sales numbers could be skewed because this is the first time the report has been published and more data could have been presented later in the survey’s time window. It does identify trends, however.

Harmon adds, “Possible emerging trends include farmed salmon and shrimp demand rising, decreased sales in alternative cuts of chicken, and products that allow an “on-the-go” lifestyle surging in popularity.”

BlueCart provides a network of suppliers for the businesses using its service, which is available as a mobile app. As many as 37,000 businesses participated by submitting data for the report. To view the full BlueCart report, you can download it by following this link.

Image: BlueCart

This article, "The BlueCart Report Keeps Restaurants and Hotels on Top of Consumer Trends" was first published on Small Business Trends



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The BlueCart Report Keeps Restaurants and Hotels on Top of Consumer Trends

The BlueCart 2017 Hospitality Food Procurement Trends Report Keeps Restaurants and Hotels on Top of Consumer Trends
BlueCart recently introduced a report spotting purchasing trends in the hospitality industry. The 2017 Hospitality Report is designed to help restaurants, hotels and suppliers gain a competitive advantage by revealing the food and drink that’s most in demand.

It’s the first time BlueCart has issued such a report, but small businesses in this market will certainly want to take note.

2017 Hospitality Food Procurement Trends Report

“Our hope is that by providing this data to the public on a regular basis through these reports, it will allow businesses to stay up to date with what is popular in the marketplace and where they may want to focus their attention based on these potential emerging trends,” Konstantin Zvereff, BlueCart CEO, says in a press release.

The company says it compiled data from the report tracking sales among its users over the last three years. BlueCart is a wholesale procurement platform for businesses and buyers in hospitality.

“The goal of this report is to provide operators and distributors a top-down look at the market landscape, motivating operators and distributors to make better decisions and successfully grow their business,” writes Will Harmon, a marketing associate for BlueCart, on the company’s blog.

In it, BlueCart finds that seafood sales over the last three years increased more than four times over. Bakery sales are up 437 percent. Non-alcoholic beverages rose 249 percent but produce sales dropped by 41 percent.

Sales numbers could be skewed because this is the first time the report has been published and more data could have been presented later in the survey’s time window. It does identify trends, however.

Harmon adds, “Possible emerging trends include farmed salmon and shrimp demand rising, decreased sales in alternative cuts of chicken, and products that allow an “on-the-go” lifestyle surging in popularity.”

BlueCart provides a network of suppliers for the businesses using its service, which is available as a mobile app. As many as 37,000 businesses participated by submitting data for the report. To view the full BlueCart report, you can download it by following this link.

Image: BlueCart

This article, "The BlueCart Report Keeps Restaurants and Hotels on Top of Consumer Trends" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Small Online Stores Will Spend $2.62 for Every $1 of a Fraudulent Transaction

Online Fraud Trends Report from Strips: Small Online Stores Will Spend $2.62 for Every $1 of a Fraudulent Transaction

One fraudulent online order can cost a small retailer nearly three times as much as the cost of the transaction. That’s what Stripe found in its December 2017 Online Fraud Trends and Behavior report (PDF).

Online Fraud Trends Report

The online payment processor recently released the report and gave Small Business Trends a unique perspective via exclusive email comments.

“One of our goals in publishing the report is to help small businesses better understand how and when fraudulent behavior shows up, so they can create specific strategies that directly address their needs,” says Michael Manapat, engineering manager for payments intelligence and experience at Stripe, in an email with Small Business Trends.

Stripe’s report found that a small online retail business will spend $2.62 battling back against online fraud for every $1 of a fraudulent order. That goes up to $3.34 for a mobile retail store. Therefore, it would make sense that it’s best to put up defense before falling victim to fraudulent transactions.

But how much defense is enough?

It’s true that cyber crimes are on the rise and it’s also true that small businesses are increasingly targeted by fraudsters. And as the security of transactions at brick-and-mortar stores increases, the likelihood that online transactions will be targeted more often goes up, too.

However, it’s also true that small businesses can over-invest in online fraud protection. This report from Stripe tries to help small online retailers identify where they need to protect themselves.

“Given their limited resources, most small businesses need to make trade-offs between policing fraud and maximizing profitability. Smaller companies can use the report to identify consistent patterns of fraudulent behavior,” Manapat says.

A small online retail store may have to ultimately decide whether to install some anti-fraud software on their store. But not every small business will have the money or resources to deploy such a defense. In other cases, Manapat says, online stores need to identify trends among fraudsters to spot suspicious activity while it’s happening.

For starters, smaller stores need to be capturing more information about their customers up front. This greatly reduces the chances of a fraudulent transaction.

“While every business is different, understanding how fraud shows up will not only help smaller retailers more effectively combat fraud, but also help them understand why setting better rules is so important,” Manapat adds.

Other key signs of transaction fraud online are purchases coming in at abnormally high rates. Fraud actors will sometimes purchase at 10 times the normal pace usually seen on a site. They also like to hit during evening hours, according to Stripe. And you can expect this activity during lower traffic times on a site.

“For example, fraud rates do not rise notably on heavy shopping days like Black Friday, but rather on days like Christmas when many people aren’t shopping,” the report explains.

Another key finding from the report shows that most fraudulent transactions aren’t for big-ticket items. Instead, it’s smaller transactions that tend to be fraudulent.

“In the United States, Stripe data shows that fraudulent transaction amounts are only slightly larger than regular transaction amounts,” the report states.

Stripe suggests that small online retailers work with a payment processor that deploys machine learning technology to help spot bogus transactions. But the company also notes that relying just on AI to spot fraud is not enough. Manual vigilance is also necessary.

“Machine learning models address this challenge by incorporating many context-specific nuances in order to reject only the most suspicious transactions, rather than putting in place blanket rules that can easily wind up blocking good transactions. Merchants should work with payment processors with machine learning and other technologies to optimize these complex trade-offs between stopping fraud and maximizing profitability,” the report adds.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Small Online Stores Will Spend $2.62 for Every $1 of a Fraudulent Transaction" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Small Online Stores Will Spend $2.62 for Every $1 of a Fraudulent Transaction

Online Fraud Trends Report from Strips: Small Online Stores Will Spend $2.62 for Every $1 of a Fraudulent Transaction

One fraudulent online order can cost a small retailer nearly three times as much as the cost of the transaction. That’s what Stripe found in its December 2017 Online Fraud Trends and Behavior report (PDF).

Online Fraud Trends Report

The online payment processor recently released the report and gave Small Business Trends a unique perspective via exclusive email comments.

“One of our goals in publishing the report is to help small businesses better understand how and when fraudulent behavior shows up, so they can create specific strategies that directly address their needs,” says Michael Manapat, engineering manager for payments intelligence and experience at Stripe, in an email with Small Business Trends.

Stripe’s report found that a small online retail business will spend $2.62 battling back against online fraud for every $1 of a fraudulent order. That goes up to $3.34 for a mobile retail store. Therefore, it would make sense that it’s best to put up defense before falling victim to fraudulent transactions.

But how much defense is enough?

It’s true that cyber crimes are on the rise and it’s also true that small businesses are increasingly targeted by fraudsters. And as the security of transactions at brick-and-mortar stores increases, the likelihood that online transactions will be targeted more often goes up, too.

However, it’s also true that small businesses can over-invest in online fraud protection. This report from Stripe tries to help small online retailers identify where they need to protect themselves.

“Given their limited resources, most small businesses need to make trade-offs between policing fraud and maximizing profitability. Smaller companies can use the report to identify consistent patterns of fraudulent behavior,” Manapat says.

A small online retail store may have to ultimately decide whether to install some anti-fraud software on their store. But not every small business will have the money or resources to deploy such a defense. In other cases, Manapat says, online stores need to identify trends among fraudsters to spot suspicious activity while it’s happening.

For starters, smaller stores need to be capturing more information about their customers up front. This greatly reduces the chances of a fraudulent transaction.

“While every business is different, understanding how fraud shows up will not only help smaller retailers more effectively combat fraud, but also help them understand why setting better rules is so important,” Manapat adds.

Other key signs of transaction fraud online are purchases coming in at abnormally high rates. Fraud actors will sometimes purchase at 10 times the normal pace usually seen on a site. They also like to hit during evening hours, according to Stripe. And you can expect this activity during lower traffic times on a site.

“For example, fraud rates do not rise notably on heavy shopping days like Black Friday, but rather on days like Christmas when many people aren’t shopping,” the report explains.

Another key finding from the report shows that most fraudulent transactions aren’t for big-ticket items. Instead, it’s smaller transactions that tend to be fraudulent.

“In the United States, Stripe data shows that fraudulent transaction amounts are only slightly larger than regular transaction amounts,” the report states.

Stripe suggests that small online retailers work with a payment processor that deploys machine learning technology to help spot bogus transactions. But the company also notes that relying just on AI to spot fraud is not enough. Manual vigilance is also necessary.

“Machine learning models address this challenge by incorporating many context-specific nuances in order to reject only the most suspicious transactions, rather than putting in place blanket rules that can easily wind up blocking good transactions. Merchants should work with payment processors with machine learning and other technologies to optimize these complex trade-offs between stopping fraud and maximizing profitability,” the report adds.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Small Online Stores Will Spend $2.62 for Every $1 of a Fraudulent Transaction" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Looking Ahead in 2018

The President and some of his allies in Congress have indicated that they intend to pursue infrastructure legislation in the opening weeks of 2018.

Other GOP leaders, fresh off a big win on comprehensive tax reform, have said that they would prefer to pursue “welfare reform” initiatives to limit federal spending growth on programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as “food stamps”).

Both of these initiatives would require Democratic support to pass, and although this may be difficult to come by in an election year, infrastructure legislation is far more likely to attract bipartisan support than welfare reform.

While infrastructure funding ranks among the top issues for truckstops and travel plaza operators, it’s just one of many issues in which NATSO will engage in 2018.

Here’s an overview of the top NATSO issues that will be in play this year.

Infrastructure Funding

The federal excise tax on a gallon of gas was last increased to 18.4 cents almost 25 years ago. As a result, the federal investment in transportation is less than half of what it was when the tax was increased in 1994. As states shoulder more of their infrastructure construction costs, they are more likely to raise their state motor fuels taxes, creating greater tax disparities between states, or add new toll roads. For years, NATSO has supported an increase in the federal fuels tax along with the American Trucking Associations (ATA), U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.

The Trump Administration is pressing Congress to enact an infrastructure bill, and we expect to see a policy proposal from the Administration in the first quarter of 2018 now that Congress has passed comprehensive tax reform legislation.

Although we don’t know the details of how it will be funded, the President’s infrastructure proposal is likely to rely on states to shoulder a greater share of the infrastructure burden.  This is likely to include liberalizing restrictions on states’ ability to raise money from non-fuel tax sources, such as tolling existing Interstates and commercializing Interstate rest areas. NATSO strongly opposes these policies; they would crush many small businesses and the towns and communities they serve. 

NATSO will continue to advocate for Congress to increase the gas and diesel taxes to ensure that transportation revenue in the United States is self-sustaining and raised efficiently.

Tolling

The Federal Highway Administration in October issued a notice soliciting State Departments of Transportation participation in the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP), which would permit three states to collect tolls on existing Interstate highways. States have until Feb. 20 to submit applications for the three available slots.

Tolling federal interstates remains prohibited under federal law, subject to certain limited exceptions, such as the ISRRPP. But with a number of states eyeing this pilot program, NATSO along with the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates, will continue to oppose tolling existing Interstates. Rather than expanding options for tolling Interstates, Congress should move in the other direction and repeal the ISRRPP –during the program’s 20-year history not a single state has successfully implemented tolls due to strong public opposition

Rest Area Commercialization

With state and federal transportation revenues continuing to decline, states will continue to ask for more flexibility in funding projects such as rest areas.

Interest in commercial rest areas resurfaced in mid-2017, when the Trump Administration released its 2018 budget proposal indicating that the Administration would like to "liberalize tolling policy and allow private investment in rest areas." The President also has advocated for asset recycling, which funds new infrastructure and revitalizes existing infrastructure through the sale or lease of public assets, which could lead to commercial rest areas.  NATSO strongly opposes asset recycling as a means of paying for surface transportation improvements.

Relatedly, some state and federal agencies seeking to expand commercial truck parking capacity incorrectly view commercial rest areas as a means of doing so. In fact, commercial rest areas would stunt any further private investment in truck parking, which is exactly the wrong approach when private companies provide more than 90 percent of truck parking capacity in the United States.

The last time Congress considered overturning the ban on commercial rest areas in 2012 it was defeated resoundingly by a vote of 12-86.

While this overwhelming margin makes the topic somewhat toxic, NATSO along with its coalition of like-minded business groups representing fuel retailers, convenience stores, restaurants, hotels, blind entrepreneurs and local governments is fighting these renewed efforts to commercialize rest areas.

We continue to meet with elected officials and regulators to educate them about the harmful effects that commercial rest areas would have on interstate-exit based businesses, as well as on the towns and local communities that they support.

Fuels Policy

Fuel marketers dodged a number of bullets in 2017, and the industry will continue to draw fire next year. Many forward-thinking marketers have invested substantial resources over the past decade in renewable fuels blending infrastructure, and these investments have generally paid off.  The RFS, in conjunction with the biodiesel tax credit, has been doing what it was designed to do: incentivize marketers to incorporate more renewable fuel into their fuel supply in a manner that lowers prices for consumers and increases margins and overall volume for retailers.  In 2017, NATSO and our allies successfully pushed back against attempts to undercut the RFS (for example, NATSO opposed shifting downstream the compliance responsibility under the RFS, known as the “point of obligation”); I These types of battle are likely to continue in 2018.

NATSO also has worked hard to educate members of Congress on the benefits of the biodiesel tax credit to fuel marketers and, more importantly, their consumers.  NATSO is hopeful that by the end of January 2018 Congress will extend that important credit for 2017 and 2018. NATSO will continue to advocate for fuel marketers as energy taxes and policies are debated on Capitol Hill.

Policy Issues of the Future

Although autonomous vehicles that run solely on electricity are not expected to take over our highways anytime soon, 2018 is a critical year for policymakers to begin laying the foundation for the regulatory environment that will be in place as technology improves and society grows more accustomed to such innovations. Congress will continue debating legislation that will establish the initial "rules of the road" for autonomous vehicle testing, performance, and safety standards. 

Although these developments won't take hold until long after 2018, it is critical that fuel marketers keep their eyes on the horizon and have a seat at the table as the developments unfold.  

 

 

 



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When do You Need to Hire a Virtual Receptionist?

Call handling is an important factor in the success of pretty much every business out there. When calls get missed, or a busy employee rushes a client off the phone, your reputation and revenues always suffer. Handling menial calls when you should be focusing on other aspects of the business also inhibits growth, making the need for a receptionist to handle calls essential to success.

Virtual receptionist

Virtual receptionists are fast becoming a popular option, particularly for virtual-based businesses, but also brick-and-mortars who don’t have the office space or budget to allocate space and resources for a non-virtual employee.

The business is getting call volumes you and your staff can’t handle

It should be obvious that when call volumes are spiraling out of control and you and your staff can’t effectively handle each call coming in, you need to hire someone to help take care of things.…



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Why Virtual Phone Number is a Must-Have for an Online Business

The idea of a business phone number without any physical lines attached to it is a relative new one. In days gone by, a business would have to pay their local landline provider a premium for access to unlimited long distance, and shell out thousands in initial costs for multi-line phones, IVR equipment and software, and other physical infrastructure needed to answer incoming calls.

Using a virtual phone number

Now, everything can be done on the Internet, using a virtual phone number that routes calls to whatever device you want to use when calls come in, to any member of your team that’s available to take the call.…



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This Webinar Can Help You Make Your Business More Profitable in 2018

Actionable Tips for Marketing Webinars

No matter what your specific business goals for 2018 are, your more general goal is probably to increase profitability.

A lot goes into making your business more profitable. And there are some trends for 2018 that can help you get there. If you’re looking to learn more about these trends and increase profits for your business in the new year, an upcoming webinar may be able to help.

The webinar, 5 Trends That Will Drive Your Profitability and Growth in 2018, is scheduled for January 24 so you can learn this valuable information just as the year is getting underway. Learn more about the event and how to sign up in the Featured Events section.

There are also plenty of other upcoming events that could help your business grow in 2018. Check out a full list of opportunities below.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Make it Rain Money: How to Close Deals Faster and Speed Up CollectionsMake it Rain Money: How to Close Deals Faster and Speed Up Collections
January 17, 2018, Online

Would you like to bring revenue in the door faster? Do you want every edge possible to get paid fast? In this webinar, learn how other small businesses are eliminating their pain points in the contract and invoicing process, through use of electronic signature and invoicing apps. You’ll hear the results of exclusive DocuSign research about where other small businesses encounter the biggest challenges, and how to solve them. Today’s tools minimize manual steps and mistakes. Digital automation streamlines activities, tracks status and follows up for you — freeing up staff for other activities. Register today!

And most importantly, these tools get you paid faster, improving your cash flow.

At the end of this webinar, you’ll walk away with concrete tips for how to get contracts signed and invoices paid — much faster. Plus, you get access to DocuSign research and two concise whitepapers with insights and actionable ideas for how to improve YOUR company’s systems. So you get paid faster.

Sponsored by DocuSign.


WEBINAR: 5 Trends that Will Drive Your Profitability and Growth in 2018WEBINAR: 5 Trends that Will Drive Your Profitability and Growth in 2018
January 24, 2018, Online

Customer habits and perceptions are rapidly evolving as new technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things go mainstream. New opportunities are opening up – but at the same time businesses of all sizes are under intense pressure to meet changing customer expectations. In this webinar on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 2:00 pm ET, you will learn five key trends that will drive profitability and growth in 2018, if businesses quickly leverage them and adapt to them, including: The Automation Revolution, Rise of Amazon, Expectations, The Instant Customer Service Trend, The DIY Dichotomy, Always-On Operations. Get ahead of the curve and lead in your marketplace, by understanding how to use these trends for growth and profit. Register today!


LEAP HR: Retail Conference, Nashville 2018LEAP HR: Retail Conference, Nashville 2018
February 27, 2018, Nashville, Tenn.

LEAP HR: Retail 2018 will once again dig deeper into the innovative people leaps helping digital-native and established retailers succeed in a rapidly transforming industry. With new speakers, fresh case studies, and a pre-conference ‘Boot Camp’ day dedicated to what the next-generation retail workforce really looks like, LEAP HR Retail 2018 remains the unique opportunity for senior people leaders in this industry to really challenge and get creative around how we do HR in retail.


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This article, "This Webinar Can Help You Make Your Business More Profitable in 2018" was first published on Small Business Trends



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