Amazon Considering New Shipping Service, New Payment Features Announced

What Amazon Can Teach You About Online to Offline SuccessAmazon has already gained popularity with small businesses as a platform for selling goods to online shoppers. But the ecommerce giant is also now reportedly testing its own shipping service that could benefit third party sellers.

In addition, a couple of new payment and billing services from Xero and SoverPay could impact the way small businesses get paid. Read about these updates and more in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Operations

New Amazon Shipping Service Could Benefit Third-Party Sellers

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is considering a shipping service of its own. Why? Last year alone, Amazon spent $21.7 billion shipping products sold on its site to its customers. Many of those customers weren’t charged. According to several reports, Amazon is going to be rolling out Shipping with Amazon in Los Angeles.

Xero Adds Stripe ACH Bank Transfer Payments to Benefit Small Business Customers

An online accounting software firm is providing a new payment gateway to small businesses that can get them paid up to 10 days faster with smaller transaction fees. As part of the next phase of its partnership with Stripe, an online payment software company, Xero (NZE:XRO) customers will be able to accept Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank transfers.

Small Businesses Lose 500 Hours a Year Managing Freight Shipments

Managing freight shipments tends to be an afterthought for a lot of businesses that import and export goods. But the inefficiencies in this sector can lead to a lot of wasted time for small businesses. A recent survey from logistics company Freightos found that small businesses spend about 500 hours annually managing freight shipments.

SoverPay Claims to Simplify Billing Thus Getting Contractors Paid Faster

More than 70 percent of self-employed individuals have difficulty getting paid. Needless to say, invoices being paid late can have crippling effects on small businesses. SoverPay is a new online platform that aims to overcome the issue of delayed payments.

Economy

79% of Service Companies Say Competition Is Heating Up

The second annual Mavenlink State of the Services Economy report for 2018 finds almost 4 in 5 or 79 percent of service companies are facing increased competition. This rivalry is coming from new entrants who are pushing established businesses to work much harder to find new customers and keep existing ones.

Employment

Small Business Demand for Restaurant Food Workers Up 355% Over 2014

The food and hospitality industries are feeling the effects of the economic good times in the U.S. And many of the companies in these areas are small businesses. According to Indeed.com, there’s been a sharp uptick in the number of job listings at small businesses in the food and hospitality industries.

You Can Thank Us Later – 5 Things You MUST Know About Office Romance After #MeToo

More than half of all employees have engaged in a workplace romance at some point, according to a 2017 survey from Vault. So even for small businesses, romance is likely to be an issue that comes up at some point. And when it does, you should have policies in place to make sure that everyone acts appropriately and it doesn’t have a negative impact on your business.

GrubHub Ruling Good News for All Businesses Using Contractors

The judge a lawsuit against online and mobile food delivery service GrubHub has ruled Raef Lawson, who made deliveries for the company, was an independent contractor and not an employee. The Lawson v. Grubhub decision comes as several gig-economy companies grapple with the status of their employees and the associated costs of misclassification.

Retail Trends

What are the Most Purchased Items for Valentine’s Day this Year?

According to Mastercard data, spending on air and train travel has been on the increase while purchases of flowers and jewelry are on the decline in recent years Valentine’s Day. This suggests couples may be more focused on experiences rather than gifts for the holiday and small businesses, particularly those in destination locations,may want to plan accordingly.

Is the New York City Small Business Scene Really Vanishing?

The streets of New York City today look quite different than they did decades ago — or even, in some cases, just a few years ago. This is due, at least in part, to what Jeremiah Moss calls “the plight of Mom and Pop.” Moss is the author of Vanishing New York and one of the main voices behind the crowdsourced #SaveNYC movement.

Sales

Nimble Mobile 3.0 Introduced for Teams on the Go

Nimble has just released its new mobile app, Nimble Mobile 3.0. Nimble Mobile 3.0 works on the same premise as the desktop version of the platform. But instead of being tethered to your desk computer, the app goes with you wherever you or your team goes.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Dibia DREAM Creates Business out of Teaching STEM through Sports

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. And the focus on these disciplines has been making a huge mark on the education world. There are also plenty of after-school programs focused on sports and recreation. But Dibia DREAM is a program — and a business — that aims to mix those two concepts to help underserved kids in a really unique way.

Small Business Loans

5 Quick Ways to Increase Your Credit Score and Secure a Small Business Loan

Anyone seeking to secure small business financing knows — or will quickly find out — how important past credit history is to the decision-making process for bank underwriters. Lenders are primarily interested in whether or not the small business borrower will be able to replay to loan with interest.

Social Media

Survey: 26% of  Small Businesses Lack Financial and Human Resources to Make Social Media Work

New data shows 26 percent of social media managers say human and financial resources are their biggest roadblocks. And by that, of course, they mean there aren’t enough of either. A total of 344 social media managers responded to the survey conducted by researchers from The Manifest, a site launched by Clutch. Human and financial resources were identified as the top challenges.

Startup

Women in Cloud Network Hopes to Empower Female Entrepreneurs in Tech

A new movement is afoot in the tech industry. A group of women in leadership roles in companies like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Meylah have banded together to form the Women in Cloud network, a group dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs and professionals in the tech space through a number of different initiatives.

Fiverr Introduces Business Tools to Track Your Projects and Purchases

The global online tasks and services marketplace Fiverr has launched a new feature, Fiverr Business Tools. The Business Tools feature is designed to help small businesses and teams who work on Fiverr manage their purchases and projects on the platform with greater transparency and efficiency.

Taxes

How Trump Tax Cuts Could Impact Your Small Business – For Real

The recent passage of a new tax bill has a lot of small businesses excited — and rightfully so. But before you go about investing a tax refund you have yet to receive or changing the structure of your business to get a more favorable rate, it can help to get some expert insights.

Technology Trends

78% of Video Content to be Screened Via Mobile Devices, Marketing Study Predicts

In the first-ever report of its kind from eMarketer, a global digital video forecast predicts 78.4 percent of viewers will use their mobile phones to watch digitally streamed content in 2018. The report says close to a quarter of the population of the world will watch video over their mobile phones in 2018.

Zoho Sites Tweak Enables Easy Customization for Small Business Websites

Small businesses looking for a DIY online presence can now have pre-built website sections that don’t skimp on customizable features like video and parallax images creating an illusion of depth. Zoho recently launched some additional features on its DIY website builder, Zoho Sites.

Amazon Polly WordPress Plugin Turns Business’s Printed Content Into Spoken Word

The launch of the Amazon Polly plug-in for WordPress is going to turn blog posts into spoken audio or podcasts. And it will do this in 47 female and male voices and 30 languages. By integrating Amazon Polly with WordPress, the technology will be available to a much wider audience – many of them small business owners.

Image: Shutterstock

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