Busy Bee is On-Point with Apparel

BusyBeeClothes.jpg

Apparel can be a lucrative profit center for NATSO members that invest in the category. Elizabeth Waring, president of Johnson & Johnson Inc., which operates Busy Bee locations, sat down with NATSO to share her thoughts on how she is making the most of apparel and the value it brings to her customers.

Can you tell us more about the apparel you offer?
Our interstate stores are in the North Central part of Florida which means we are usually on our guests’ way to Disney World, the beach or to state football games. Because of this we try to make sure to meet the needs of any of these groups as well as appeal to the guest that might be looking for something a little fun and different. We also carry a selection of Florida-themed shirts for guests visiting our state.

How do you decide what to carry?
We have a wonderful director of merchandising who focuses on finding the perfect gift items to fill our stores. When looking for items, he concentrates on each type of guest that comes through our locations and then matches the perfect product with the perfect store. Having someone that is in touch with our guests makes a large impact on how our gift section is shaped. He keeps an open channel of communication with our teams and our guests so that he stays on trend while matching guests needs.

What are the most popular items or best sellers in your store?
The apparel items we carry really have a seasonal appeal to our guests, making the sales of these items seasonal as well. During the summer time we make sure to have beach and vacation items like cover ups or large straw hats. During the fall we make sure to stock up on our collegiate items, so everyone can bee game day ready. In addition, we believe our guests like to show their Busy Bee pride by wearing shirts branded with our company logo and punny sayings. 

Do you have items for women or men or both?
We carry apparel items for both men and women as well as items for children and babies. We always attempt to have something to offer every member of the family so that no one is left empty handed.

How do you display the apparel?
Depending on the size of the location, we have custom displays for our merchandise.

How often do you change your merchandise?
We make sure that all merchandise is assessed and rotated at least quarterly. Having an amazing gift section team that really work all year long to keep up with what our guests are looking for and help them locate items makes a huge impact in our overall guest satisfaction. In turn these teammates make sure to work hand in hand with our Director of Retail so that everything stays fresh and is exactly what our guests are looking for. 

Are there any best practices you’d share with other operators?
It’s impossible to stock and merchandise a store without really understanding your guests and why they are in your location. The more you talk with them and your teams the easier it will be to fill your location with the perfect items! Look at your surrounding area and be aware of local schools, groups or teams and be sure to consider them when choosing product.

Learn more about what other NATSO members are doing in the November/December issue of Stop Watch.



via Business Feeds

EPA Releases Final 2019 Renewable Fuel Mandates

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it will require 19.92 billion gallons of biofuel to be blended into the nation’s fuel system under its 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But in issuing the numbers, the agency failed to address NATSO’s concerns about its practice of issuing small refinery waivers that exempt small refineries from their obligations under the RFS — even small refineries that are owned by profitable refining entities such as Andeavor.

[NATSO Files Comments on EPA’s 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations]

“We are happy with the bump in the advanced biofuel volumes but the increase is meaningless if the additional volumetric obligations are just going to be waived,” said NATSO Vice President of Government Affairs David Fialkov. “Small refinery waivers fundamentally undercut the entire intent of the RVO process by lowering demand for biofuels and diminishing the value of the investments that many NATSO members have made.”

The final rule will increase the 2020 requirement for biodiesel to 2.43 billion gallons, up 330 million gallons from the 2.1 billion gallons required this year and in 2019. Biodiesel volumes are set a year in advance of the other biofuels.

Advanced biofuel volumes increased to 4.92 billion gallons for 2019, up from 4.29 billion gallons in 2018. The rule also increased cellulosic biofuel requirements to 418 million gallons, up from 288 million gallons this year and marking an increase over the 381 million gallons over the June proposal. Conventional ethanol volumes were kept at 15 billion gallons.

NATSO is supportive of the approach EPA has historically taken and continues to take in establishing the RVOs. However, NATSO thinks that EPA needs a transparent process to guide its assessment of small refinery waiver requests to ensure that such exemptions don’t continue to undermine the law’s intent and decrease demand for biofuels.

EPA has the authority to grant waivers exempting small refineries from their obligations under the RFS if they can prove that it would cause them a disproportionate economic hardship. In 2018, EPA issued more than 50 retroactive waivers -- an unprecedented number -- including to some of the nation’s biggest refineries.

EPA is only allowed to grant waivers for refineries producing less than 75,000 barrels per day that can demonstrate a disproportionate economic hardship, yet in early April the agency exempted Andeavor, which posted net profits of $1.5 billion last year and is one of the nation’s largest oil refining companies. The exemption released the company of its obligation to provide EPA with the biofuels credits that show it has complied with the RFS.

rfsbiomassvolumes_20192020.jpg



via Business Feeds

Rep. Graves Elected Ranking Member on House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

The House Republican conference on Nov. 30 unanimously voted to elect Rep. Sam Graves to be ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 116th Congress. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) will serve as Chairman.

"Infrastructure seems to be at the forefront of everyone's to-do-list, and I believe my experience as a professional pilot and legislator coupled with my policy depth and conservative values will serve the conference well as we begin discussions on an infrastructure bill," Rep. Graves said. "Addressing our crumbling infrastructure has long been a bipartisan issue, and I am intent on working with all my colleagues, the Senate, and President Trump to craft an infrastructure proposal that includes finding a long-term funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund."

Retiring T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster said in a statement that "no one has as much knowledge and passion for the issues before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as Sam." Rep. Shuster said that Graves "will work hard to promote sound transportation policy and uphold conservative principles."

Incoming Committee Chairman DeFazo has said that a major infrastructure package funded by real dollars would be his first order of business in the 116th Congress as current surface transportation law is set to expire in 2020.

Rep. DeFazio has said the committee will begin holding hearings in early January.

[Congressman DeFazio Plans to Deliver Major Infrastructure Package] 

 

The Senate Environment and Public  Works (EPW) Committee on Nov. 28 convened a hearing to discuss surface transportation issues. The hearing largely focused on funding the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), with witnesses telling lawmakers that increasing the federal fuel tax would be the most efficient way to shore up the HTF in the short-term.

[Senate EPW Committee Looks at Highways, Talks Fuel Tax and Public-Private Partnerships]

 



via Business Feeds

Top Stories: Etsy Businesses Contribute $4.7B, 31% of Entrepreneurs Concerned about Healthcare

According to a recent report on handmade commerce, Etsy sellers are contributing $4.7 billion to the American economy right now.

The report, on the surface, shows two positive signs. First, consumer spending is presumably strong. Second, there’s a thirst for quality handmade goods, which are most often made by small business entrepreneurs. This is only one of several stories important to small business retailers and others this week.

To see what other stories are making headlines with small business owners and other entrepreneurs, check out our full news roundup below.

Retail Trends

8 Big Predictions for the 2018 Holiday SHIPPING Season

Americans are set to spend big this holiday season. In fact, numbers from Adobe Analytics report the online spend alone will reach $124.1 billion to overshadow brick and mortar sales. What’s more, Deloitte reports that people will spend $525 on gifts representing a bump of 20% from $430 in 2017. 2018 Holiday Shipping Season Small Business Trends talked with Georgianna W.

Sales

Zoho Adds AI and Analytics for Small Business with CRM Plus

Zoho has recently released the latest addition to its customer experience CRM platform offering the one-two punch of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. Zoho CRM Plus lets small businesses without big IT budgets compete with the bigger players by letting different departments like customer support, marketing, sales and operations work together.

Economy

31% of Businesses List Healthcare as Top Issue for New Congress

A new poll sees healthcare as the top issue for small businesses as the new Congress takes shape after the midterm elections. The numbers come from a recent poll conducted by The Small Business Roundtable, a small business and entrepreneur organization dedicated to the advancement of this critical aspect of the American economy.

Employment

Hiring 3.8% Higher than October 2017 but Leveling, LinkedIn Reports

The monthly LinkedIn Workforce Report for October 2018 revealed gross hiring in the US was up 3.8%, higher than for the same period the previous year. With seasonally adjusted national hiring down only 0.3% from September to October 2018, the job market is still very strong.

Management

Switching  to an Open Office May Make 1 in 8 of your Employees Consider Quitting, Survey Says

Believe it or not, the open office concept was being used before the cubicle in the early 20th century. What we’ve learned since that time is there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to office space, which is what a survey commissioned by ROOM reveals.

Social Media

Pew Research Provides Important Data for Small Businesses about Marketing on YouTube

Data from a new Pew Research Center survey reveals YouTube has become a valuable resource for Americans. The research contains some valuable insights for small businesses now using the platform as a marketing channel. Users are turning to YouTube for how to videos, product information, children’s content and even news.

New Looping Video App Planned from the Creator of Vine, Could Your Business Benefit?

For the millions of fans who regularly watched and loved its quirky videos, the sudden shut down of the Vine app in October 2016 came as a bitter blow. If you happen to be one of those fans or one of the creators who made those videos, there is good news because the co-founder of Vine, Dom Hofmann, is bringing the app back with a new name: byte.

Startup

1  in 7 Americans Think They Are Sitting on a Game Changing Business Idea, Survey Says

How confident are American entrepreneurs about their business idea? A Northwestern Mutual survey carried out by OnePoll reveals one in seven think their idea is so strong it could change the world and have a dramatic impact in the chosen industry. This level of confidence is commendable and even necessary in order to persevere and make your dreams come true.

Technology Trends

PayPal Acquires Hyperwallet with Focus on Ecommerce Businesses

PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) recently completed the acquisition of Vancouver-based global payout platform Hyperwallet Systems for approximately $400 million USD.

Companies Adopt Ride Sharing – But Not Room Sharing – in Business Travel Policies

Services provided by the sharing economy have increased adoption rates for shared transportation during business trips. But according to a new survey from Chrome River, the adoption rate for shared accommodation hasn’t reached the same levels. Instead of using Airbnb, HomeAway, or VRBO, business travelers are still opting to stay in hotels for their accommodations.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Top Stories: Etsy Businesses Contribute $4.7B, 31% of Entrepreneurs Concerned about Healthcare" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Top Stories: Etsy Businesses Contribute $4.7B, 31% of Entrepreneurs Concerned about Healthcare

According to a recent report on handmade commerce, Etsy sellers are contributing $4.7 billion to the American economy right now.

The report, on the surface, shows two positive signs. First, consumer spending is presumably strong. Second, there’s a thirst for quality handmade goods, which are most often made by small business entrepreneurs. This is only one of several stories important to small business retailers and others this week.

To see what other stories are making headlines with small business owners and other entrepreneurs, check out our full news roundup below.

Retail Trends

8 Big Predictions for the 2018 Holiday SHIPPING Season

Americans are set to spend big this holiday season. In fact, numbers from Adobe Analytics report the online spend alone will reach $124.1 billion to overshadow brick and mortar sales. What’s more, Deloitte reports that people will spend $525 on gifts representing a bump of 20% from $430 in 2017. 2018 Holiday Shipping Season Small Business Trends talked with Georgianna W.

Sales

Zoho Adds AI and Analytics for Small Business with CRM Plus

Zoho has recently released the latest addition to its customer experience CRM platform offering the one-two punch of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. Zoho CRM Plus lets small businesses without big IT budgets compete with the bigger players by letting different departments like customer support, marketing, sales and operations work together.

Economy

31% of Businesses List Healthcare as Top Issue for New Congress

A new poll sees healthcare as the top issue for small businesses as the new Congress takes shape after the midterm elections. The numbers come from a recent poll conducted by The Small Business Roundtable, a small business and entrepreneur organization dedicated to the advancement of this critical aspect of the American economy.

Employment

Hiring 3.8% Higher than October 2017 but Leveling, LinkedIn Reports

The monthly LinkedIn Workforce Report for October 2018 revealed gross hiring in the US was up 3.8%, higher than for the same period the previous year. With seasonally adjusted national hiring down only 0.3% from September to October 2018, the job market is still very strong.

Management

Switching  to an Open Office May Make 1 in 8 of your Employees Consider Quitting, Survey Says

Believe it or not, the open office concept was being used before the cubicle in the early 20th century. What we’ve learned since that time is there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to office space, which is what a survey commissioned by ROOM reveals.

Social Media

Pew Research Provides Important Data for Small Businesses about Marketing on YouTube

Data from a new Pew Research Center survey reveals YouTube has become a valuable resource for Americans. The research contains some valuable insights for small businesses now using the platform as a marketing channel. Users are turning to YouTube for how to videos, product information, children’s content and even news.

New Looping Video App Planned from the Creator of Vine, Could Your Business Benefit?

For the millions of fans who regularly watched and loved its quirky videos, the sudden shut down of the Vine app in October 2016 came as a bitter blow. If you happen to be one of those fans or one of the creators who made those videos, there is good news because the co-founder of Vine, Dom Hofmann, is bringing the app back with a new name: byte.

Startup

1  in 7 Americans Think They Are Sitting on a Game Changing Business Idea, Survey Says

How confident are American entrepreneurs about their business idea? A Northwestern Mutual survey carried out by OnePoll reveals one in seven think their idea is so strong it could change the world and have a dramatic impact in the chosen industry. This level of confidence is commendable and even necessary in order to persevere and make your dreams come true.

Technology Trends

PayPal Acquires Hyperwallet with Focus on Ecommerce Businesses

PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) recently completed the acquisition of Vancouver-based global payout platform Hyperwallet Systems for approximately $400 million USD.

Companies Adopt Ride Sharing – But Not Room Sharing – in Business Travel Policies

Services provided by the sharing economy have increased adoption rates for shared transportation during business trips. But according to a new survey from Chrome River, the adoption rate for shared accommodation hasn’t reached the same levels. Instead of using Airbnb, HomeAway, or VRBO, business travelers are still opting to stay in hotels for their accommodations.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Top Stories: Etsy Businesses Contribute $4.7B, 31% of Entrepreneurs Concerned about Healthcare" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

15 of the Best WordPress Newspaper Themes in 2019

Whether you’re a blogger, editorial writer, journalist, or any other type of writer, there are a number of different WordPress themes that allow you to share your content with your visitors on your website.

Newspaper WordPress themes — despite their name — work for all types of writing. No matter your content type, the layout you’re looking for, or the design you envision for your website, there are hundreds of newspaper themes to choose from. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of our 15 favorite newspaper themes for 2019 to help you find one that meets your needs.

15 of the Best WordPress Newspaper Themes for 2019

Each of the following themes contains a description and a few key takeaways to help you efficiently determine which option or options might work for your own website. If you don’t see a theme listed below of interest, you can always check out the WordPress theme library for more options.

1. News Pro Theme

News Pro is a great newspaper theme for content-heavy websites. This theme formats your articles, photos, audio, and videos in a way that works for the story you are telling and for your website visitors. The simple navigation options also keep your content organized to ensure a great user experience. Additionally, if you’re already a WP Engine hosting plan user, you get free access to all other StudioPress themes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ideal for content-heavy websites
  • Simple navigation
  • WP Engine hosting plan users get access to all StudioPress themes

2. Newspaper 

newspaper-wordpress-theme

Source

Newspaper is a WordPress theme created for writing articles and blogs in a newspaper template. The theme has several different layout options in their gallery suited for a wide range of blog types. There are also over 50 unique demos you can install in one-click to help get you started designing your website and adding your written content.

Key Takeaways:

  • Created for articles and blogs
  • Variety of layout options featured in their gallery
  • 50 installable demos

3. Voice

voice-wordpress-theme

Source

Voice is a clean and simple theme ideal for news and magazines. The theme has formatting features created for both news articles and editorial content. Voice has a wide variety of layout, color, and font options to customize your site. There are options to set multiple authors on a single post as well as add a “related posts” sections at the bottom of specific articles or pieces for visitors to continue reading on your site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ideal for news and magazines
  • Can add multiple authors per post
  • Related posts sections

4. Noozbeat

noozbeat-wordpress-theme

Source

Noozebeat is a fully responsive theme, meaning visitors can move seamlessly from desktop to mobile to tablet while on your site. It’s designed for magazines and news articles and gives you the option to add advertising space, pages for your featured posts, and custom widgets to enhance your site’s user experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fully responsive
  • Created for news articles and magazines
  • Custom widgets

5. Hive 

Hive is a WordPress theme built for bloggers. There are a number of customizable typography options to make your written content look unique and fit your style. Adaptive layouts make your website interactive and exciting to look at — with these you can mix and match your written content with different fonts, styles, images, and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Built for bloggers
  • Custom typography options
  • Adaptive layouts 

6. Felt

felt-wordpress-theme

Source

Felt is a WordPress theme ideal for publishing magazine-style content. The theme allows you to implement slideshows and carousels that automatically move visitors through a number of different images on your site. The theme also has built-in SEO features that will help you organically rank and reach more people.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ideal for digital magazines
  • Option to implement slideshows and carousels
  • Automatic SEO features included

7. Wonderwall

wonderwall-wordpress-theme

Source

Wonderwall is a great theme option if you’re a writer for a lifestyle blog and or digital magazine. There are formatting options to display banner ads on your site and add a built-in newsletter subscription widget to quickly grow your number of readers and email list. There are also a total of nine different customizable homepage layouts to choose from for your digital publication.

Key Takeaways:

  • Created for lifestyle blogs and digital magazines
  • Banner ads display options
  • Nine customizable homepage layouts

8. SmartMag 

smartmag-wordpress-theme

Source

SmartMag is a multi-purpose WordPress writing theme suited for online magazines, newspapers, blogs, and review sites. The theme has a drag-and-drop page builder that allows you to easily test your content in different areas of your site, try different formats, and create your website without the need for any coding. There is also the option to add multi-content slideshows to enhance the visual elements of your website and even help you generate more ad views.

Key Takeaways:

  • Multi-purpose writing theme
  • Drag-and-drop page builder
  • Multi-content slideshows 

9. GoodLife

goodlife-wordpress-theme

Source

GoodLife is a newspaper and magazine theme with five different types of article and post layouts to choose from based on your content type. There are also gallery pages for those of you looking to display your photo and video content in a unique way. The theme is SEO-focused so your website will be more likely to organically rank for certain key phrases and terms.

Key Takeaways:

  • Created for newspapers and magazines
  • Five different article and post layouts
  • SEO-focused

10. ColorMag

ColorMag is a magazine and blogging Wordpress theme that comes with a layout for easily organizing and pairing your written content with your photos and videos. There are a number of ways to create specific pages and post types for featured and highlighted articles so they stand out to your readers and visitors. ColorMag also has a dedicated support team ready to help you if you stumble upon any issues while designing your site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Magazine and blogging theme
  • Featured and highlighted post types and pages
  • Dedicated support team 

11. The Voux

the-voux-wordpress-theme

Source

The Voux is ideal for digital magazines with layouts tailored to galleries, articles, and online shopping. You can set your images in a “lightbox” so they take up the entire width of your page and stand out with a black background for your website visitors. You can also set Image Hotspots and Shoppable Images so visitors and customers can click on certain items in your images to learn more about them, see their price, and purchase them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Built for magazines
  • Gallery image layout options with lightboxes
  • Image Hotspots and Shoppable Images

12. NewStar

newstar-wordpress-theme

Source

NewStar is a newspaper and magazine WordPress theme that features a one-click import tool so you can quickly select the features and layouts you want for your site and implement them immediately. The theme offers a customizable Article Teaser so you can get your readers excited about continuing to read your piece as well as neatly list multiple articles on one page. There is also plenty of ad space available in moveable banners throughout several different locations on your site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ideal for newspapers and magazines
  • One-click feature import tool
  • Customizable article teaser 

13. MagPlus

magplus-wordpress-theme

Source

If you’re writing for a blog or magazine, MagPlus could be a great WordPress theme option for you. The theme has a Live Customizer so you can edit your website’s page designs, update their content and appearance, and see what your changes look like in real time. MagPlus is a lightweight theme so it’s speedy and efficient for your visitors. There are also 25 different layout options to help you customize the look of your site.

Key Takeaways:

  • Created for blogs and magazines
  • Live Customizer
  • 25 customizable page layout options 

14. Soledad 

soledad-wordpress-theme

Source

Soledad is a multi-purpose writing WordPress theme, meaning you can use it for your blog, newspaper, magazine, and other content. The theme has dozens of layouts that allow you to mix your magazine and blog content or completely separate your images, videos, and blogs. Soledad also has a White Label Tool that allows you to remove all of the Soledad logos throughout your site and replace them with your own so your theme is branded.

Key Takeaways:

  • Multi-purpose writing theme
  • Mix and match your written content with videos and images
  • White Label Tool

15. Gridlove

gridlove-wordpress-theme

Source

Gridlove is a WordPress theme tailored to newspapers and magazines. With no coding knowledge required, anyone can easily get started building their website with one of the hundreds of customizable, pre-made layouts and templates as well as their drag-and-drop page builder. The theme offers a flexible homepage in which you can feature any number of articles and other types of content.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tailored to newspapers and magazines
  • No coding knowledge required
  • Hundreds of customizable layouts and templates

Back To You

These 15 WordPress newspaper themes are built to help you share all types of written content with your website visitors and customers. Whether you’re writing for a blog, magazine, review site, or newspaper, there is a writing theme tailored towards your needs. Get started and pick a theme listed above based on the type of writing you do, install it to your WordPress website, and start adding and sharing your content.



via Business Feeds

Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018 Spending Up 6% Over Last Year, 5% for Small Businesses

Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018 Results Up 6% Over Last Year

Early shopping results from First Data’s Holiday Insights Dashboard have revealed overall spending was up 6.1% for Thanksgiving- Black Friday year over year with a 5.3% growth for small businesses over the same period.

Black Friday 2018 Results

This does not reflect the results for the entire shopping season, but so far things are looking good for retailers. If the early results manage to hold, they might surpass the 2017 numbers after all the shopping days have been calculated. In 2017, First Data’s report for that year’s total holiday shopping season was up by 6.2% from 2016.

The Holiday Insights Dashboard from First Data will track holiday spending trends across the US in real-time until January 3. According to the company, the data will reflect actual transactions from millions of merchants nationwide.

The dashboard provides a daily ranking of the most active sub-sectors including dining, services, hotel/travel/leisure, grocery and food stores, and more.

This type of data is valuable for businesses of all sizes so they can identify trends and get ready for future holiday shopping seasons. Glenn Fodor, Senior Vice President and Head of First Data Insights, explains this very point in a press release.

Fodor says, “Using our data platform, First Data provides a view into spending trends across payment types and industry verticals, allowing us to deliver real-time data that helps our clients and partners drive top and bottom line results.”

The dashboard is part of First Data’s Quarterly SpendTrend Report: 3Q18 (PDF) which looks at the year over year growth of rates in retail spend across segments, channels, cities and regions in the US. The analysis of the data comes from card-based payments derived from same-store-sales activity. The company then compares this with previous data on a year over year basis for season-to-date trends.

In addition to the 6.1% increase in overall spending and 5.3% small business year over year growth, the dashboard also tracked a 6.4% increase in retail spending specifically for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Third Quarter Results

The total spend in the third quarter of 2018 is up by 4.9%. The growth was delivered by brick and mortar outlets which saw a 4.5% increase and eCommerce at 5.7%, slightly down from the second quarter.

Overall, eCommerce delivered 33% of the total spend for the quarter up 3%, but the segment has been growing faster than brick and mortar outlets for several quarters now.

The Consolidation of Data

First Data currently serves around 6 million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in more than 100 countries around the world. The company processes more than 3,000 transactions per second totaling $2.4 trillion per year.

This generates a massive amount of data. By consolidating the data and making these transactions available to the public, Firs Data provides insights into consumer spending.

And as more small businesses market their products online, they can identify trends and shopping behaviors from around the world to look for new opportunities.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018 Spending Up 6% Over Last Year, 5% for Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018 Spending Up 6% Over Last Year, 5% for Small Businesses

Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018 Results Up 6% Over Last Year

Early shopping results from First Data’s Holiday Insights Dashboard have revealed overall spending was up 6.1% for Thanksgiving- Black Friday year over year with a 5.3% growth for small businesses over the same period.

Black Friday 2018 Results

This does not reflect the results for the entire shopping season, but so far things are looking good for retailers. If the early results manage to hold, they might surpass the 2017 numbers after all the shopping days have been calculated. In 2017, First Data’s report for that year’s total holiday shopping season was up by 6.2% from 2016.

The Holiday Insights Dashboard from First Data will track holiday spending trends across the US in real-time until January 3. According to the company, the data will reflect actual transactions from millions of merchants nationwide.

The dashboard provides a daily ranking of the most active sub-sectors including dining, services, hotel/travel/leisure, grocery and food stores, and more.

This type of data is valuable for businesses of all sizes so they can identify trends and get ready for future holiday shopping seasons. Glenn Fodor, Senior Vice President and Head of First Data Insights, explains this very point in a press release.

Fodor says, “Using our data platform, First Data provides a view into spending trends across payment types and industry verticals, allowing us to deliver real-time data that helps our clients and partners drive top and bottom line results.”

The dashboard is part of First Data’s Quarterly SpendTrend Report: 3Q18 (PDF) which looks at the year over year growth of rates in retail spend across segments, channels, cities and regions in the US. The analysis of the data comes from card-based payments derived from same-store-sales activity. The company then compares this with previous data on a year over year basis for season-to-date trends.

In addition to the 6.1% increase in overall spending and 5.3% small business year over year growth, the dashboard also tracked a 6.4% increase in retail spending specifically for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Third Quarter Results

The total spend in the third quarter of 2018 is up by 4.9%. The growth was delivered by brick and mortar outlets which saw a 4.5% increase and eCommerce at 5.7%, slightly down from the second quarter.

Overall, eCommerce delivered 33% of the total spend for the quarter up 3%, but the segment has been growing faster than brick and mortar outlets for several quarters now.

The Consolidation of Data

First Data currently serves around 6 million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in more than 100 countries around the world. The company processes more than 3,000 transactions per second totaling $2.4 trillion per year.

This generates a massive amount of data. By consolidating the data and making these transactions available to the public, Firs Data provides insights into consumer spending.

And as more small businesses market their products online, they can identify trends and shopping behaviors from around the world to look for new opportunities.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018 Spending Up 6% Over Last Year, 5% for Small Businesses" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Top Energy Draining Devices in Your Home Office

What Devices Use the Most Electricity in Your Home Office?

Working from the comfort of a home office comes with many cost-cutting benefits to a small business, the biggest being the lack of a costly and time-consuming commute to work. However, there are expenses associated with running a home office, with energy costs being a leading overhead.

What Devices Use the Most Electricity

If you want to make your home office more energy efficient and reduce your energy bills, identify the top energy draining devices to start.

Your Computer

When it comes to energy draining devices in a home office, computers top the list! You might not think that leaving your computer on overnight or over the weekend would eat into your energy consumption, but it does. Since computer monitors use approximately 100 watts per day, simply switching off your computer will help you save on your home office’s energy bill.

Besides turning off PCs, you may want to trade in an energy-draining desktop computer for a laptop computer, which consumes significantly less energy than a desktop.

Lighting

Sufficient lighting is vital in a home office so you don’t strain your eyes and can remain focused, alert and productive. However, lighting your home office might be costing you more in energy than you think.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2017 the residential and commercial sectors used around 273 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity for lighting alone, equating to around 10% of the total energy consumed for both sectors.

To reduce the amount of energy the lighting in your home office consumes, switch to more energy-efficient forms of lighting. Of course, natural daylight is by far the cheapest (it’s free!) and healthiest way to light up a home office.

However when natural daylight is not an option, choose incandescent bulbs, which are energy efficient and typically last between 700 and 1000 hours. Halogen bulbs can also save you energy, being 25% more efficient and lasting up to three times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

It’s also a good idea to place timers around your home office, which can be programmed to come on and switch off at certain times of the day, meaning lights aren’t left on and using electricity when nobody is in the office.

Occupancy sensors work in a similar way, only coming on when movement is detected so lights are not left on unnecessarily.

Printers

Your home office printer could be costing you more than you think too. This essential piece of office equipment is one of those energy draining devices which tend to go overlooked. Make sure your printer isn’t adding unnecessarily to your energy bill by opting for a printer with an ENERGY STAR certification label. Printers with an ENERGY STAR certification meet federal agency standards ensuring such equipment is operating at maximum efficiency.

It is also advisable to choose a printer with sleep and automatic shut-off modes, so it’s not using energy when it’s not being used.

Thermostats

Home offices require heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Consequently, thermostats can be one of the biggest energy draining devices in a home office.

As thermostats control 60% of your energy bill, one of the easiest ways to save on energy in a home-working environment is to control your thermostat. Simply turning the thermostat down by 1 degree could reduce your heating bills by up to 10 percent.

You may want to consider making your home office high tech and advanced by using Google Home which works alongside other smart home devices such as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Hailed as the “brighter way to save energy”, this smart thermostat programs itself and uses WiFi to connect to your phone, adapting to your habits to control the temperature of your home office.

Tea Kettles and Coffee Machines

No office, homebased or otherwise, would be complete without a kettle or coffee machine to make the endless cups of coffee and tea fueling your productivity throughout the day. With the average kettle holding 1.5 pints and using approximately one unit to boil 12 pints of water, the savviest of small businesses are looking for ways to make these energy draining devices more energy-efficient.

One way to ensure your home office doesn’t spend surplus dollars making tea and coffee, is to opt for more eco-friendly appliances. For example, coffee makers with reusable filters or without the need for paper filters provide a more energy efficient cup of coffee.

When boiling water with a kettle, only boil the water you need rather than the full kettle. And opt for a kettle allowing you to select the temperature so can adjust it for maximum cost efficiency

Refrigerators

If your home office set up includes a refrigerator, it is important to ensure your model of fridge is an energy efficient one. Opt for ENERGY STAR-qualified models to save money on this energy-zapping office appliance. ENERGY STAR-qualified models can save as much as 45% of the energy consumed by conventional refrigerators.

In addition to selecting an energy-efficient model, you should avoid wasting energy by leaving the refrigerator door open, since this causes the appliance to work overtime.

It is also important to maintain appliances like refrigerators regularly to ensure they are operating as they should and are not using surplus energy.

Follow these energy-saving strategies and you’ll soon start reaping the monetary benefits. Ensure the top energy draining devices in your home office are as efficient as they can be.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Top Energy Draining Devices in Your Home Office" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Top Energy Draining Devices in Your Home Office

What Devices Use the Most Electricity in Your Home Office?

Working from the comfort of a home office comes with many cost-cutting benefits to a small business, the biggest being the lack of a costly and time-consuming commute to work. However, there are expenses associated with running a home office, with energy costs being a leading overhead.

What Devices Use the Most Electricity

If you want to make your home office more energy efficient and reduce your energy bills, identify the top energy draining devices to start.

Your Computer

When it comes to energy draining devices in a home office, computers top the list! You might not think that leaving your computer on overnight or over the weekend would eat into your energy consumption, but it does. Since computer monitors use approximately 100 watts per day, simply switching off your computer will help you save on your home office’s energy bill.

Besides turning off PCs, you may want to trade in an energy-draining desktop computer for a laptop computer, which consumes significantly less energy than a desktop.

Lighting

Sufficient lighting is vital in a home office so you don’t strain your eyes and can remain focused, alert and productive. However, lighting your home office might be costing you more in energy than you think.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2017 the residential and commercial sectors used around 273 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity for lighting alone, equating to around 10% of the total energy consumed for both sectors.

To reduce the amount of energy the lighting in your home office consumes, switch to more energy-efficient forms of lighting. Of course, natural daylight is by far the cheapest (it’s free!) and healthiest way to light up a home office.

However when natural daylight is not an option, choose incandescent bulbs, which are energy efficient and typically last between 700 and 1000 hours. Halogen bulbs can also save you energy, being 25% more efficient and lasting up to three times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

It’s also a good idea to place timers around your home office, which can be programmed to come on and switch off at certain times of the day, meaning lights aren’t left on and using electricity when nobody is in the office.

Occupancy sensors work in a similar way, only coming on when movement is detected so lights are not left on unnecessarily.

Printers

Your home office printer could be costing you more than you think too. This essential piece of office equipment is one of those energy draining devices which tend to go overlooked. Make sure your printer isn’t adding unnecessarily to your energy bill by opting for a printer with an ENERGY STAR certification label. Printers with an ENERGY STAR certification meet federal agency standards ensuring such equipment is operating at maximum efficiency.

It is also advisable to choose a printer with sleep and automatic shut-off modes, so it’s not using energy when it’s not being used.

Thermostats

Home offices require heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Consequently, thermostats can be one of the biggest energy draining devices in a home office.

As thermostats control 60% of your energy bill, one of the easiest ways to save on energy in a home-working environment is to control your thermostat. Simply turning the thermostat down by 1 degree could reduce your heating bills by up to 10 percent.

You may want to consider making your home office high tech and advanced by using Google Home which works alongside other smart home devices such as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Hailed as the “brighter way to save energy”, this smart thermostat programs itself and uses WiFi to connect to your phone, adapting to your habits to control the temperature of your home office.

Tea Kettles and Coffee Machines

No office, homebased or otherwise, would be complete without a kettle or coffee machine to make the endless cups of coffee and tea fueling your productivity throughout the day. With the average kettle holding 1.5 pints and using approximately one unit to boil 12 pints of water, the savviest of small businesses are looking for ways to make these energy draining devices more energy-efficient.

One way to ensure your home office doesn’t spend surplus dollars making tea and coffee, is to opt for more eco-friendly appliances. For example, coffee makers with reusable filters or without the need for paper filters provide a more energy efficient cup of coffee.

When boiling water with a kettle, only boil the water you need rather than the full kettle. And opt for a kettle allowing you to select the temperature so can adjust it for maximum cost efficiency

Refrigerators

If your home office set up includes a refrigerator, it is important to ensure your model of fridge is an energy efficient one. Opt for ENERGY STAR-qualified models to save money on this energy-zapping office appliance. ENERGY STAR-qualified models can save as much as 45% of the energy consumed by conventional refrigerators.

In addition to selecting an energy-efficient model, you should avoid wasting energy by leaving the refrigerator door open, since this causes the appliance to work overtime.

It is also important to maintain appliances like refrigerators regularly to ensure they are operating as they should and are not using surplus energy.

Follow these energy-saving strategies and you’ll soon start reaping the monetary benefits. Ensure the top energy draining devices in your home office are as efficient as they can be.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Top Energy Draining Devices in Your Home Office" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Million Dollar Interview with Toni VanSchoyck & James Treloar

In this episode, Eric Worre sits down with million-dollar power couple Toni Vanschoyck and Jay Treloar to discuss how they got started in Network Marketing, detail the daily method of operation they use in their business and with their team, and share some of the social media strategies they use for success.

Want more interviews like this? Subscribe to the Go Pro Podcast: www.gopropodcast.com

The post Million Dollar Interview with Toni VanSchoyck & James Treloar appeared first on Network Marketing Pro.



via Business Feeds

Million Dollar Interview with Johnnie Green

In this episode, Eric Worre sits down with million-dollar earner Johnnie Green to discuss how he started in Network Marketing as a college student, his first Go Pro Recruiting Mastery experience, and he shares some of the strategies he’s used to reach to top.

Want more interviews like this? Subscribe to the Go Pro Podcast: www.gopropodcast.com

The post Million Dollar Interview with Johnnie Green appeared first on Network Marketing Pro.



via Business Feeds

Million Dollar Interview with Calvin Becerra

Earning more than $2 million in Network Marketing commissions a year, and more than $15 million in total over the past 13 years, Calvin Becerra started his Network Marketing career at the age of 24. Since then, he has built a massive organization of hundreds of thousands of people that is represented in more than 90 countries worldwide and includes 10 people earning more than $1 million in commissions a year.

Want more interviews like this? Subscribe to the Go Pro Podcast: https://gopropodcast.com

The post Million Dollar Interview with Calvin Becerra appeared first on Network Marketing Pro.



via Business Feeds

Could Your Small Business Use an Autonomous, Wireless Underwater Drone?

Check This Out! The First Autonomous and Wireless iBubble Underwater Drone

Over the past few years, there has been a rise in the use of drones for deliveries and other uses. Now, the first autonomous underwater drone has launched, opening a whole new world of possibilities.

Yep, that’s right! French start-up Notilo Plus recently announced the commercial launch of what it says is the world’s first fully wireless, autonomous and intelligent underwater drone named, iBubble.

“This novel remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was designed using Notilo Plus’ patented underwater localization technology, enabling subaquatic adventures without tethers,” said the French company in a statement. “It comes with an advanced AI system, offering total autonomy and self-learning capabilities.”

First Autonomous Underwater Drone, iBubble, Lunches

It might not be immediately obvious how underwater drones can be useful for small businesses, but some possibilities for small business uses include:

  • Underwater photography and filming,
  • Diving instruction,
  • Wildlife protection,
  • Search and rescue operations,
  • Naval or underwater infrastructure maintenance, and
  • Subsea patrolling.

Apparently, iBubble comes equipped with a state-of-the-art obstacle avoidance system, which allows it to smoothly follow a diver, while obtaining high quality images for personal or commercial use.

“It features real-time image recognition, a unique stabilization system as well as direct surface control, bringing outstanding performance to underwater imaging,” says Notilo Plus, an expert in intelligent underwater exploration.

Ready to Shoot Exceptional Underwater Images?

If you are an independent photographer or your business requires use of exceptional and unique photos, the autonomous underwater drone could be something to explore. It enables anyone to obtain underwater images of unparalleled quality, according to Notilo Plus.

Resorts, shipping markets and educational institutions might also find use for the submarine drone.

“iBubble can accompany divers for up to an hour and up to 197 feet depth, acting as their personal cameraman, enabling superior underwater imaging,” the Marseille-based company that specializes in developing intelligent, autonomous underwater systems notes.

Autonomous iBubble Underwater Drone Safe for the Environment

iBubble is reportedly also environmentally-conscious. It does not disturb the marine ecosystem thanks to its minimal noise emission levels and special obstacle avoidance capability, according to Notilo Plus.

“With the countless cutting edge technologies brought by the iBubble, coupled with its ability to bring exceptional pictures and video footage, this is a remarkable and versatile device for any diving activity,” Notilo Plus CEO, Nicolas Gambini, adds.

The first batches of iBubble drones will be delivered to the first customers from mid-November 2018. The autonomous underwater drone will retail at $4,099 on the company’s website.

Image: iBubble

This article, "Could Your Small Business Use an Autonomous, Wireless Underwater Drone?" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds