14 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know


By Rieva Lesonsky

1) Humble Beginnings

One of my favorite entrepreneurs was the late, great Fred DeLuca who founded Subway with a $1,000 “investment” from a family friend.

Check out the infographic below from National Funding and get inspired.

 small loans to big business


2) 4 Ways to Hack Your Content Marketing

Guest post by Naz K Rasmussen, a freelance journalist who writes about Scandinavia, tech and living a digital nomad life in Bali. Connect with her @thenazmussen.

One of the main challenges for content marketers in 2016 is the explosion in the number of social media channels—digital, viral and experiential. Businesses now risk fragmenting their audiences and face the challenge of staying relevant in these expanding channels. The good news is you no longer have to create original content to grow your audience and become an influencer. Many of the platforms already have rich content you can tap into and repurpose—with the right tools. As a small business, staying relevant with your audience has never been more important. What were once called social media vanity metrics (shares, likes, retweets, comments) now play a vital role in how your website content ranks in search engines.

Social media apps have unleashed the revolutionary ability for every brand to become media publishers. These 4 hacks will show you the easiest ways to curate, recycle and publish others’ content, while sharing quality, niche content that communicates your brand values to your customers.

  1. Twitter: In 2015, content marketing proved to be the most significant digital marketing trend, with a 29.6% consensusamong netizens. How do you share relevant content that creates value for your audience, without having to produce it all yourself? If your business lends itself to publishing topic-based news or insights, and if your audience includes information junkies, then Twitter is your tool.

When you first start building your Twitter follows you should create topic-based lists for all the accounts you are following. This way, every morning when you check off your digital routine, you see content that is specific to different topics related to your brand, making it easy to re-tweet what is relevant to publish that day. Similarly, Hootsuite Pro has a tailored content discovery tool. Once you have pushed out content for a while, use the “suggestions” tool. Hootsuite will go through your previous content, suggest new content for you and publish at peak times.

  1. BuzzSumo: Once you start using BuzzSumo, you will come to see how valuable a tool it is. As the name suggests, BuzzSumo is about analyzing trending buzzwords, revealing the most-shared content that is relevant to your keywords. You can connect your social media accounts to BuzzSumo and share content directly from the interface. The best way to use the app is to search for buzzwords related to the brand, identify the most-shared content on different social channels, and begin commenting on it as you share with your audience. Additionally, you can filter by trending content so you can stay informed of what’s popular with your audience. Like Klout, BuzzSumo lets you discover the most important influencers to keep tabs on and filter by type like blogger and journalists (useful for marketing).
  2. Klout: When setting up your Klout account, you should take a few minutes to enter interests related to your brand’s keywords—the ones you want your brand to be known for. Klout comes up with a list of influencers for each topic. The app will also post a rundown of the most-shared and “hot off the press” content relevant to you, all you have to do is click publish. The app identifies when your followers are most active and shares the content at that time. Klout is the tool that will put you on your path to influence, and allow you to measure it in real-time.
  3. Repurposing your content: The key to pushing out content on social channels is to blend neutral content with commercial. An easy hack to keep the momentum for your small business is to find your most popular content and republish it. On Twitter you can, for example, republish the tweet with the most retweets. Remember, the average lifetime of a tweet is only 18 minutes. On Facebook, you can recycle old, popular posts with new imagery (images account for 87%of the shares on Facebook).


3) 3 Tips for Increasing Workplace Productivity

Guest post by Austin Paley, Director of Corporate Marketing, Blue Fountain Media

Use multiple screens: If you work in an office environment, it’s incredibly helpful and resourceful to have multiple computer screens (at least two, sometimes even three). In general, workplace productivity can increase over 35% with multiple screens according to Computer Weekly. While you may think it’s because you can multitask more easily, that’s actually not the case—it’s more about being able to do multiple things related to one project all at the same time. If you’re researching something and looking at data or different studies, you can have all of your sources up at once, saving you a few seconds with each different piece of your task—and those seconds can add up quickly to minutes or even hours by the end of a week. If you’re working on a project in a spreadsheet, you can have notes open in a different window, and be looking at both documents, as well as other email messages that are relevant as you work. That said, it’s important not to let clutter build up with all of this extra window space you get from each additional monitor. Dedicate each open window to the same ultimate project focus and don’t try to do three separate things at once.

Keeping a handwritten task list: Maintaining a to-do list is no surprise for a good productivity tip but, in a world that is so digitally focused, it’s a good idea to keep a handwritten task list at your desk. While I use Asana regularly for task management with my team, it’s easy for this tab to get lost with other things that are open on the screen. By having a handwritten to-do list, with all tasks prioritized by number, my tasks for the day never get lost amongst all the other things happening on my computer over the course of a day. Setting up the hand-written list in the morning helps to outline what the day will look like and make it clearer at the beginning of the day what needs to get done. This list generally keeps everything much more organized because items can be added to it throughout the day and annotations can quickly be made as things come up on calls or email correspondences. Additionally, crossing off items of your list physically with a permanent marker can be incredibly gratifying and instill a feeling of relief and accomplishment.

Schedule time for breaks: Go for a walk, grab coffee, or take the time to sit down and have lunch. All of these things give you the time to clear your mind and give your brain a break from whatever you’re working on. Breaks lasting no more than an hour won’t cut into your productivity, and are especially beneficial if you work in a position where creativity is important. Sometimes to get new ideas, or to gain a fresh perspective on something you have been looking at for hours, you have to step away from the task for a little bit. Building these breaks into your day by scheduling them at similar times every day enables you to train yourself to be prepared for a “brain reset,” making you far more productive over the course of a day. Additionally, using this time to socialize with co-workers and discuss light subjects—whether job related or not, can prove beneficial for productivity because you will begin to understand one another on a more individual level, and gauge the best ways to work efficiently with one another.


4) Top 5 Digital Business Tools You Should Be Using Right Now

Guest post by Dan Streeter, principal of IMPART Learning Solutions and Tim Brown, founder of Three Creative, authors of the new business development book Old School with New Tools

Look at your phone. No, I am serious…look at it. After you punch in your super secret passcode, count the number of apps you have on your phone. More than likely, you have about 44 apps. Now, count the number of apps you use to promote or create sales. Be sure to include apps that help you to communicate with clients and/or promote your personal brand. Most of us can only count two to three apps that are designed to help promote our livelihood:

  • Email
  • Text (which we almost solely use for personal communication)
  • The company CRM (which you don’t really use, but they force you to have it)

With over 3 million apps to choose from, you know there are more out there that could really help you to communicate with your clients, but you’re just not sure which apps to choose.

So, here’s a two-step rule to determine if an app is worth the time to download and learn:

Step #1) Does it fit your overall plan for personal development?

Step #2) What’s the ROTI?

Let’s take a look at Step #1 more closely: What’s the one area in which you plan to grow?

  • Expand your network more rapidly
  • Be more organized through digital notes
  • Exhibit a sense of urgency with prospects
  • Communicate with clients more effectively
  • Demonstrate your expertise and building your personal brand

Now, pursue apps that specifically help you accomplish your individual plan.

App #1: LinkedIn

Personal Goal: Expand your network

Time to download and learn: 20 minutes

ROTI: 2 hours per week + greater opportunities

Why you should be using it: LinkedIn seems like an obvious choice, and with nearly 400 million users across the world, it represents the largest business network on the planet. Having immediate ability to search, refer, request, and research a potential client, customer, or employee from the palm of your hand is absolutely vital.

App #2: Evernote

Personal Goal: Be more organized through digital notes

Time to download, learn and connect devices: 1 hour

ROTI: 2 hours per week + team sharing + never losing another note again

Why you should be using it: In terms of keeping digital notes, you will likely choose between two primary products. Evernote or Microsoft’s OneNote—both work well for digital note taking, sharing notes with others, and transferring the notes between devices, but Evernote has one primary feature which makes it our primary choice, Scannable (see app #3).

App #3: Scannable

Personal Plan: Act with a stronger sense of urgency with Scannable

Time to download and learn: 1 hour

ROTI: 2-4 hours per week

Why you should be using it: What makes Evernote first in class is its partner app: Scannable. Scannable, when combined with LinkedIn and Evernote, allows you to scan a business card, saves the contact in your phone, and then sends a beautifully designed email to your newest contact. It’s really incredible. Just think, you never have to go back to the office to scan a card and send a LinkedIn request again. Incredible!

App #4: Skype

Personal Plan: Communicate with clients more effectively.

Time to download and learn: 1 hour

ROTI: Increase opportunity by 10-15%

Why you should be using it: The age of video chat is here, and in the business community, it’s not only acceptable, it’s preferred. In lieu of a face-to-face meeting, Skype is the next best thing. Your client wants to see you, and you definitely need to see your client. There is no substitute for seeing the body language of a potential client.

App #5: LinkedIn Pulse and Slideshare

Personal Plan: Demonstrate your expertise and build your personal brand

Time to download and learn: 3 hours

ROTI: Increased Opportunity by 20-30%

Why you should be using it: 2016 will be the year of the content creator, and you are that creator. In fact, for the first time in history, even front-line employees will be expected to pursue expertise in their given fields. Currently less than .002% of all users on LinkedIn publish their own expert-driven content. There is no better way to demonstrate that expertise than by posting articles through LinkedIn’s Pulse, and PowerPoint-style presentations through LinkedIn’s Slideshare. With every post and Slideshare you share, you become known as not only a content creator but an expert in your given field. That content is almost guaranteed to propel your career forward.

And what’s even more awesome, each and every one of these apps is FREE. In this new era of sales, many of us have missed using the most powerful tool in sales today: our cell phones. Invest the time to download the apps to your phone that will help you achieve your plan. You’ll undoubtedly see a gain in productivity, expediency and your closing rates.

Now, go break through!


5) 5 Shipping Resolutions for 2016

Guest post by Jarrett Streebin, CEO of EasyPost

For many SMBs, shipping goods to customers is a core part of their day-to-day operations. Despite the frequency and importance of shipping, many companies overlook the cost-savings and customer satisfaction that can be achieved by doing it well. Here are a few ways SMBs can improve on their shipping in 2016.

Resolution #1: Pack better. This should be top of the list when it comes to streamlining shipping. Most ecommerce businesses are shipping lots of air with each package. While this can occasionally provide extra padding for delicate items, more often than not it’s the result of laziness or unpreparedness at the fulfillment house.

Shipping air means drastically increased shipping costs. The variables for shipping are weight, dimension, and speed. Dimension affects the cost more than weight, especially on faster shipments since they travel by air and it’s all about fitting as many as possible on the plane. Thus, the simplest way to reduce shipping costs is optimizing packaging.

Resolution #2: Send out tracking information. Customers today expect tracking information on all online orders. If you’re not providing this, you’re already behind the curve. What’s worse, if you’re shipping more than 2-day, your customers have no clue if (or when) their packages are coming.

The easiest way to increase customer satisfaction is by sending out tracking information as soon as the order is ready. Regardless of speed, as long as the customer knows the package is on the way they’ll be content.

This will also decrease customer support loads. Typically half of ecommerce customer support emails are related to package tracking or delivery information. Support calls—and costs—can be easily decreased by providing tracking details.

Resolution #3: Speed up fulfillment. As mentioned above, speed is one of the key variables in shipping. The easiest way to speed up shipping is by packing the box quicker. Even if it takes having more staff on hand, the ROI will be substantial.

If you can get orders out the same day, you can typically ship at a slower service level and have the shipment get to the end customer at the same time. The difference between Ground and Express, or First and Priority, is often 50% or more. At those savings it’s easy to justify increased hiring and speeding up fulfillment.

Resolution #4: Free Shipping. Free shipping has now been around for more than a decade. It’s clearly not a trend, but something that’s now expected by every customer. If you’re not offering it, you’re losing out on sales.

So how do you manage it? By doing what Amazon and others do, wrapping the shipping cost into the price of the item. On items that are unique to your store, customers have no way of price checking. The items cost whatever you quote them.

This is much simpler than trying to provide shipping rates for your orders in the shopping cart. Also, since it’s free, the customer expectations on shipping speed are much lower. Most customers will wait a week or more to get free shipping.

Resolution #5: Returns. Offer returns, but don’t make them easy. The customer needs to see that you offer returns in order to trust your company enough to make a purchase. But that doesn’t mean you have to include a label in the box.

Instead, require the customer to contact you to make a return. This will give you a chance to gather more product information and make sure you’re meeting customers’ expectations. Then, you can email them a return label.


6) 5 Workplace Resolutions to Increase Productivity

To help offices work smarter in 2016, the experts at Boise Paper, a division of Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), have come up with some “attainable resolutions” to improve skills and boost workplace productivity. 

Email Strategically: Communicating inefficiently can lead to a significant waste of time. Stop forwarding email chains to help streamline correspondence. Instead, summarize the key details for recipients to help the entire office save time. Consider when picking up the phone or stopping by someone’s office for a face-to-face conversation could be more effective and time efficient than sending an email.

Upkeep Office Equipment: To keep business running smoothly, regularly clean machines, such as printers and copiers, to remove dust and debris that can lead to performance problems. Also, avoid paper jams by using 99.99% jam-free performance guaranteed paper, such as Boise® X-9® Multi-Use Copy paper, and properly train staff how to load paper into the machines. More than slowing down print jobs, jammed paper can cause paper fibers to build up and cause equipment failure.

Organize Your Time: It seems that there is never enough time in the day! By planning your activities you’ll accomplish so much more in one workday. Most important, prioritize your to-do list and schedule time to work on specific tasks. During that time, avoid multi-tasking, hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign and turn off all email notifications to avoid being interrupted. For larger projects, break them down into smaller steps and assign deadlines for each step.

Conduct Effective Meetings: Meetings are a powerful tool for getting things done—but only when run efficiently. To make it worthwhile for all attendees, set and send the agenda at least one day in advance. Start the meeting on time and end it with clear goals and next steps for each team member. For client meetings, print copies of the agenda on impressive, high-quality paper like Boise POLARIS® Premium Multipurpose paper to ensure all your bright ideas look brilliant in print.

Get Physical: Sitting at a desk all day has a negative impact on mental alertness, cognitive abilities and mood—all of which greatly affect productivity. Take short 10-15 minute breaks every two hours to help you refresh and reenergize. To add more activity into your workday, grab coffee or lunch away from the office or ditch the conference room for a walk-and-talk meeting instead.


7) 3 Ways to Boost Your HR in 2016

Guest post by Mark Sinatra, CEO of Staff One, a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

We’re well into January and the time for New Year’s reflection is over. It’s time to implement big plans. However, there’s one major component to progress that most business owners and managers tend to overlook, and it could ultimately make or break the success of your company.

Most business leaders think of human resources as a series of headaches and difficult decisions. If that describes you, then your first 2016 goal should be to get your HR in order—ideally, by working with some proven professionals who will handle the heavy lifting so you can get back to the business matters you’re most passionate about.

Working through these three steps will transform your HR into a well-oiled machine that protects your company, keeps workers happy and prevents future headaches and compliance fines.

  1. Accept that human resources is no longer a DIY field. Imagine human resources management is like a home renovation. A few decades ago, handling HR yourself might have been the equivalent of painting a few rooms. Sure, you needed some basic skills and materials, but anyone who put in the effort probably could do an acceptable job. Fast forward to the present, a time when HR laws and regulations have become excessively complex. What used to be as simple as a few coats of paint now requires a designer, structural engineer, architect, and a whole team of painters. HR used to be a lot more manageable, and that made it easier for business owners, finance controllers, or admins to tackle as a side job. But today, the rules are so complicated that even HR professionals have had to hit the books and learn a whole new level of expertise. The greater demands on HR personnel have led more and more businesses to entrust their HR needs to outside professionals.
  2. The human resources landscape is transitioning to an outsourced model. Because HR has become so much more complex, there is a higher bar of expertise required to navigate systems and achieve compliance. More specialization is demanded of HR professionals, so there is a growing movement to work with outside firms. Outsourcing gives businesses of every size access to a team of experienced human resources pros who can understand their needs and recommend ideal solutions. More outsourcing options and more companies moving toward an outsourced human resources model have lowered costs, which means working with experts is more financially approachable and efficient than ever before.
  3. Do you know your risk? As conditions change, so does risk. Even if you had a thorough HR system set up a few years ago, if nothing has changed in that system, you’re no longer insulated from potential damage. New regulations including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have shaken up the way HR operates, and every company has to approach their systems almost as if it’s for the first time. An HR professional [can] accurately identify and explain your company’s risk, which is another reason it’s wise to invest in an expert partner. Let a trustworthy professional assess your risk, from evaluating the employee handbook to examining disciplinary processes, and how quickly you can respond to government requests for information. Ignoring risk won’t make it go away, but seeing it in full and making necessary adjustments will protect you from lawsuits and non-compliance fines.

Now that 2016 is underway, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and focus only on sales and product development. However, instead of putting HR on the back burner, think of building a solid human resources system as an insurance policy that simultaneously makes your business run more smoothly. Investing in solid HR expertise and systems now could save you lots of money and stress later on, which lets you retain funding and energy to make your company grow.


8) Will 2016 Be a “Banner Year” for Small Business Owners?

This could be a landmark year in American politics, and entrepreneurs are looking to the future with a watchful eye. Though focused mainly on run-of-the mill business issues in 2015, small business owners are watching what recent political rumblings will mean for business this year. To gauge the small business landscape, Manta’s Semi-Annual Wellness Index asked small business owners to evaluate their businesses and share what issues they expect to cause concern in 2016.

The top concerns hindering small business owners at the end of 2015 were longstanding business issues such as lack of capital (29%), competition (17%), lack of good employees (16%), and taxes (13%). It seemed that to small business owners, public debate around minimum wage increases and healthcare reform was overblown. In fact, small business owners ranked the cost of healthcare (6%), lack of government support (6%), and rise in minimum wage (2%) at the bottom of their list of concerns in 2015.

But when asked which current issues could hinder their growth in 2016, an unstable global economy topped the list at 29%, followed by quality of partnerships and vendors (25%), healthcare costs (22%), presidential election results (12%), and rising minimum wage (11%).

Calling All Government Leaders

According to Manta’s Wellness Index, small business owners will look to their local governments for support about:

  1. Tax law changes
  2. Understanding of small business challenges and development
  3. Leaders who promote the importance of small businesses
  4. Programs that connect small businesses with quality partners
  5. Improved funding/financing programs

Entrepreneur are looking forward to a strong 2016—83% are optimistic about business prospects and 39% plan to hire in the first half of the year.

Tips for Achieving the Best 2016

Hire Smart: For job applicants, looking good on paper is the easy part; small business owners should meet face-to-face with potential candidates and evaluate them as much on their personality as their skill and experience to ensure they fit with company culture. Business owners should focus efforts on finding the right fit for long-term business plans—not just the applicant that fits in the moment.

Strive to Grow: Only half of entrepreneurs surveyed had any type of marketing plan, business plan, or growth plans for their businesses. By devoting time and energy to strategic initiatives upfront, small business owners will reap the benefits of having a well-structured, well-researched business plan.

Lean on Your Community: The Wellness Index found only 10% of small business owners blame government regulations as the reasons businesses fail, and just 4% think lack of government support leads to the demise of small businesses. In 2016, government leaders must make an effort to establish themselves as active advocates for small business.

wellness index


9) 5 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs in 2016

Guest post by Brian Greenberg, a serial entrepreneur, who currently co-owns www.WholesaleJanitorialSupply.com, www.TouchFreeConcepts.com and www.TrueBlueLifeInsurance.com.

  1. Transparency. Operating with transparency used to be a luxury versus a necessity but, now, it’s mandatory. Millennials in particular, who wield a tremendous amount of influence and purchasing power, make buying decisions based largely on the provenance, manufacturing processes and overall business practices of a particular company. Because Millennials are now the largest population in the U.S., to say that transparency will drive how businesses are perceived is an understatement at best. Establishing and maintaining transparency doesn’t have to be difficult. Simply communicating regularly with honesty and unequivocally holding yourself, your staff and your company accountable will go a long way toward fostering good will, not only with consumers and prospects, but also with vendors, strategic partners and your industry at large.
  2. Loyalty. It used to be that only airlines had “loyalty” programs. Now, everybody from giant corporations to mom and pop corner coffee shops have some sort of loyalty program—rightfully so. Every industry faces new competition and customers are understandably price sensitive, often buying from the business offering the best sales or perks. However, loyalty programs really come down to creating coveted repeat customers. For instance, when airlines offer free first class upgrades or hotels upgrade the size of the room for elite travelers, it often creates an allegiance that trumps price point. This principle can be applied in every business. If you’re a service company and a client is at the end of their agreement, offer a specific service at a discount or another deliverable with a high-perceived value. Those who do business online can easily build an awards program that fosters a faithful following.
  3. Crowdfunding. The ugly truth is if you need a loan, chances are extremely high you won’t be able to get one. In fact, a recent small business study revealed that 61% of those who tried to get a favorable loan were unable to do so. Venture capital and private equity funding is equally (or more) difficult to come by. While some types of capital are actually easier to procure, the interest rates are usually more aggressive, often prohibitively so. Instead, focus on crowdfunding and non-traditional lenders. According to Massolution’s 2015CF–Crowdfunding Industry Report, global crowdfunding was anticipated to be over $34 billion. A revenue source of that size is simply too big to ignore.
  4. Pay-for-Play Social Media. Facebook was among the first to implement the “pay-for-play” model by removing organic reach and focusing on paid ads. Since being acquired by Facebook, Instagram is destined to follow. Pinterest and Twitter are also both currently growing into their pay-for-play systems and will likely make it difficult for pure organic reach as well. Unfortunately, this means entrepreneurs will need to increase their social media budgets. However, Facebook’s paid ads have been shown to reach a significantly greater percetage of users than organic posts, making paid ads well worth the investment. However, social media shouldn’t only be leveraged as a form of advertising. Rather, social media is an ideal way to handle customer service in a way that not only improves marketplace loyalty but also your company’s transparency endeavor.
  5. Instant Gratification. Simply put, if you don’t offer some form of instant gratification your prospective customers will likely go somewhere that does. This truth is particularly problematic for businesses that require information from customers, such as insurance or financial services. Having prospects fill out contact request forms to be contacted later on for products or services is becoming less and less effective in the “Age of Impatience.” To be competitive, you need to deliver to the customer instantaneously in some way. Just offering quicker and more efficient processes in dealing or transacting with your company is certainly a form of instant gratification. At every available touchpoint, strive to impress the customer—an incredibly effective way of evoking that gratified feeling.

No matter what industry you’re in or the type of business you run, you can still make a profit no matter what the current economic outlook. That begins with giving customers what they want, how they want it and in a way that’s more sensitive to marketplace vs. company needs. The above tools will put your business well on its way to doing exactly that, possibly making 2016 your most successful year yet.


10) Help Your Town Win $500,000

Deluxe Corporation created the Small Business Revolution last year to shine a spotlight on small business—and now its giving one small town a very big opportunity.

Deluxe and the Small Business Revolution will infuse $500,000 into one town’s main street, helping revitalize its business community. Joined by one of Shark Tank’s star entrepreneurs, Robert Herjavec, Deluxe will capture and showcase the town’s transformation in a new web series debuting on SmallBusinessRevolution.org in the fall.

Last year, in honor of its 100th anniversary helping businesses, Deluxe created the Small Business Revolution, showcasing 100 small businesses from across the country in mini-documentaries and photo essays.

Deluxe will provide marketing and business services to small businesses in the winning small town while Herjavec will offer guidance and support to those small businesses. Deluxe will also invest in upgrades to the winning town’s public spaces.

From now until January 28, Deluxe is calling for nominations of towns that can benefit from an investment in their main street. Finalists will be announced during National Small Business Week, May 1-7, when the public can then vote for their favorite town.


11) Most Small Businesses Bootstrap Their Way to Success

According to a survey released late last year from BlueVine reveals that while venture-backed startups dominate the news, most small businesses are bootstrapped.

The study showed 83% of the business owners surveyed bootstrapped their companies, building using their own personal finances to build them.

Key survey findings include:

  • 75% used their own personal finances to fund their companies
  • Nearly 4 in 5 business owners have experienced a cash flow gap
  • Almost half of business owners say government regulation impacts their business more than anything else

You can download the report here.


Cool Tools

12) CRM Made Easy

ProsperWorks is a simple, easy-to-use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform recommended by Google to use with Google Apps for Work. ProsperWorks is cloud-based and works across multiple devices and platforms. There’s a web app, Chrome extension, and mobile app (iPhone and Android), so you and your team can use it on the go.


  • Integrates seamlessly ​with your Gmail and Google Apps ecosystem
  • Automates your customer data entry
  • Delivers business insights​ that are instantly actionable


13) How to Automatically Create an App-Like Website

Impress.ly sources existing web content to automatically create a personalized, app-like site optimized for mobile with no coding required.

Endurance International Group, a leading provider of cloud- based platform solutions, in collaboration with Netherlands-based technology developer AppMachine, recently launched Impress.ly, a full-featured web presence builder that creates a professional, dynamic, and personalized website that behaves like a native mobile app, with no coding or downloads required.

Impress.ly’s digital intelligence scans and organizes existing web assets from social media, websites, and other online resources to automatically populate customizable templates that can be modified to suit the user’s needs. The builder automatically selects a design aesthetic based on inputs from the small business, resulting in a simple and fluid HTML5 site that looks and performs like a mobile app and automatically optimizes for any screen size. Impress.ly sites can be built both on a phone or a desktop.

Impress.ly’s features include:

  • Option to build on a phone
  • Finding and incorporating relevant content
  • A growing library of content and functionality modules
  • Native app-like rendering: Impress.ly is optimized for rendering at nearly 60 frames a second, giving website visitors smooth animations and physics reminiscent of a native app.
  • Adaptive design: You can create an easy-to-use website in minutes that adapts to any screen.
  • Built-in analytics


14) Security Tools

Trustwave recently released over a dozen new integrated security tools designed to protect small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from cybercrime, data loss and security risk.

According to studies, 71% of cyber-attacks occur at businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The new Trustwave SMB Security Toolkit includes 13 integrated tools, designed specifically for SMBs ranging from basic protections such as anti-virus to advanced malware detection and monitoring. The Trustwave SMB Security Toolkit includes anti-virus, vulnerability scanning, security health checks, endpoint security monitoring, credit card data scanning for data loss prevention, file integrity monitoring and more. Additional new services available in the Trustwave SMB Security Toolkit include:

  • Remote Access Security: Monitors and tracks remote access software installed and enabled on endpoints and provides guidance on best practices for configuring remote access securely.
  • Web Malware Monitoring: It also tracks other issues that may affect consumer confidence in the website, such as being listed on a search engine blacklist, domain hijacking, and expired SSL certificates.
  • Mobile Security: Audits and reports on security and compliance of mobile devices to enable proactive defense.
  • Point-of-Sale (POS) Tracker: Helps track and monitor POS equipment for tampering and substitution. According to the 2015 Trustwave Global Security Report, 40% of data breaches were POS-related.