small business

17 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know

By Rieva Lesonsky


1—Will AI Replace Managers?

Nearly one in five small businesses think the hassle of selecting and implementing new tech isn’t worth the trouble, yet more than four in five think their business could benefit from new tech if it’s the right fit. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to AI in business, but that’s a good thing; no two small businesses are exactly the same and internal needs vary.

For businesses with heavy client workloads, project managers have a big job. From sticking to deadlines to ensuring everyone on the team is focused on the right tasks, there can be little time for managers to actually manage. Getting caught up in the small details not only wastes time but also uses up valuable creative energies. iCEO, a project management AI program, steps in to pick up the slack. This unique AI platform takes a project and turns it into easily achievable steps that, once complete, brings the whole project together cohesively. This means integrating emails to keep everyone on the same page, finding and hiring gig workers for specialty help, and generating a hefty 124-page report. Office managers, hiring managers, and scheduling also have AI tools that take the menial and time consuming, yet necessary tasks of daily work, a streamline them into a well-oiled machine. The result is happy and creative managers leading efficiently.

Give your managers the tools they need to succeed and help them focus on what’s important – leading their team. Ready to find the right AI fit for your business? Look no further and let this infographic be a guide for the best AI programs for any business.

MBA Central explores the idea in the infographic below via NowSourcing.


2—Benefits of Digital Transformation

There’s a struggle among U.S. companies to seize the benefits of digital transformation across key areas, such as cybersecurity, operations, customer service and financial performance, due to poor integration strategies and a lack of vision, according to the Disruptive Decision-Making Study, commissioned by Telstra (with respondents from 14 global markets).

The research found digital transformation is one of the major challenges for this generation of U.S. business leaders. It also highlights the huge opportunity for businesses—if it’s done right.

The research shows how committed American businesses are to making digital transformation a spending priority in coming years—33% expect their company’s total spend on digital transformation to increase by more than 10% in the next three years, similar to global levels (32%).

However, almost three in 10 American businesses they have barely begun their digital transformation journey. Yet when it comes to strength in digital decision-making, U.S. leaders scored their companies slightly above the global benchmark.


How far along is your organization on its digital transformation journey? How well do you feel your organization makes digital transformation decisions?
Not started Highly mature Not very well Extremely well
USA 29% 23% 27% 26%
Global 30% 21% 30% 23%


Additional U.S. data points

  • 33% of surveyed companies expect their total spend on digital transformation to increase by more than 10% in the next three years
  • Only 36% of surveyed businesses have an integrated, whole-of-company digital transformation strategy
  • Nearly 75% report a need for enhanced integration in their digital initiatives
  • Determining a clear vision and strategy for transformation was the biggest challenge for surveyed businesses


3—The State of Payroll

Last month Intuit QuickBooks released The State of Small Business Cash Flow, a global study focused on the cash flow challenges experienced by small business owners and the self-employed. Further diving into the nuances of cash flow, Intuit is exploring the State of Payroll among small businesses. Payroll is often one of the largest expenses small businesses experience and ensuring payroll is accurate, on-time and compliant is essential to a small business’ success. And yet QuickBooks found many small businesses struggle with payroll, negatively impacting cash flow, employee satisfaction/retention and overall success.

Key findings:

  • More than 2 in 5 small business owners frequently have been at risk of not being able to pay their employees by payday
  • Nearly half estimate 30% or more of their company’s business expenses covers payroll
  • Nearly a third have paid employees late when at risk of not being able to pay their employees by payday, compared to 68% of owners who have moved money around
  • 55% report it takes one week or more to prepare for payroll
  • More than 2 in 5 small business owners run payroll themselves through software such as QuickBooks, 40% use an in-house accountant and 33% use an outsourced company or vendor, such as ADP
  • And according to additional data from QuickBooks Payroll and TSheets, 17% of employees who work for small businesses say a single inaccurate paycheck would be enough to make them quit their jobs and 18% would quit after a single late paycheck


4—Equipment Financing for SMBs 

Pitney Bowes Inc., a global technology company, recently announced Wheeler Financial from Pitney Bowes, a new subsidiary of the Pitney Bowes Bank, Inc., Member FDIC. This new subsidiary is dedicated to helping SMB clients acquire the critical assets they need to grow and expand their business.

 Wheeler Financial from Pitney Bowes will help clients purchase new equipment and services critical to the industries in which they operate with loans, leases, and other financial structures. Focused on non-captive equipment, this investment in the sustainability and growth of SMBs comes at an opportune time. According to the most recent National Center for Middle Market Indicator, 71% of businesses surveyed are planning to invest extra cash into their businesses. In addition, the FDIC reports small business loans have declined for 10 straight quarters, while banks with $100M of assets or less decreased by 79% between the years 1998 to 2018.

“We understand our client’s needs for capital are growing,” says Christopher Johnson, Senior Vice President and President, Pitney Bowes Financial Services. “The market’s ability to meet that need is actually shrinking. With the launch of Wheeler Financial, we are committed to investing in our clients’ growth by helping them acquire the assets essential to their business operations.”

The Pitney Bowes Bank, Inc., Member FDIC, resides in Salt Lake City, Utah and was established in 1997 to facilitate buying of U.S. postage—a form of currency. Clients can access extended lines of credit for postage, supplies, shipping expenses and postal equipment rental. In addition, they can hold deposit accounts and earn interest while they prepay for postage services. Pitney Bowes Financial Services has been providing commercial lending opportunities and solutions to purchase Pitney Bowes equipment for more than 30 years; financing over $10B to date. With the advent of Wheeler Financial, Pitney Bowes has access to bank capital ready to loan out to SMBs.


5—Technology is Key to Reaching New Customers & More

Technology is a primary driver helping the country’s SMBs reach their goals, according to new research from CompTIA, the leading trade association for the global technology industry.

“Whether it’s acquiring new customers, entering new marketing, launching new products, or streamlining operations and processes, technology is at the heart of these activities,” says Carolyn April, senior director for industry analysis at CompTIA. “Many small businesses are on the path toward digitizing their environments, using cloud-based solutions and services, and increasingly diving into data analytics to meet customer demand.”

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of SMBs indicate technology is a primary factor in pursuing their business objectives, according to the CompTIA report Tech Buying Trends Among Small- and Medium-size Businesses.

Medium-sized organizations place the most weight on technology as a strategic tool, with 73% characterizing it as a primary factor in meeting overall objectives. But even among companies with fewer than 20 employees, 56% cite technology as a primary factor in achieving objectives.

But the road to digitization can be an uphill battle for even the tech-savviest of companies.

A 2016 CompTIA survey of the SMB market found 23% of companies reported excelling in technology vision and strategy. That number dropped to 18% in the new latest survey. SMBs also report slight drops in proficiency around execution and ongoing management of technology.

“It’s not that SMBs have gotten less tech-focused or capable, but the sheer number and types of solutions has grown in such size and complexity that many firms are taking two steps forward and one back as they navigate these new learning curves,” April explained.

Tech budgets, purchases and wish lists: Spending on technology products and services generally ranges from less than $5,000 annually for the smallest of SMBs to $249,000 a year for mid-size firms. A sweet spot for the entire SMB ecosystem is somewhere between $10,000 and $49,000 of spend per year. But nearly four in 10 respondents in the CompTIA study characterize their firm’s allocation of budget to tech spending as too low.

When it comes to what they’re buying, 36% of SMBs say their purchases in the last two years have focused on core infrastructure: laptops, desktops, mobile phones, servers and networking equipment and 31% have made industry- or sector-specific purchases, such as billing applications for a law practices or  electronic medical records software for a doctor’s office.

Asked what they would do with an unexpected windfall, 30% say they’d invest in “cutting-edge” technology; 23% would upgrade staff computers and mobile phones; and 20% would upgrade web sites, e-commerce apps and mobile apps.

When it comes to emerging technologies, 53% say this broad category represents a positive opportunity to innovate, profit and improve productivity. A quarter of respondents say it’s too early to tell what the impact will be on their business and 10% give a thumbs down to emerging tech, citing the high cost of entry for many of these solutions and the potential job-security perils inherent in automation.


6—Targeting on LinkedIn Just Got More Powerful

Guest post by Jae Oh, Senior Product Manager, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

One of the hardest parts of advertising is reaching the right people. With so many ways to define your target audience, it can be difficult deciding how to reach the audience that fits your ideal customer profile or folks who are more likely to be interested in your business.

We’re excited to introduce three new ways to help you easily target more of the right audiences from LinkedIn’s network of 610 million professionals: lookalike audiences, audience templates, and the addition of Microsoft Bing search data to our recently released interest targeting product. These offerings are designed to increase the scale of your marketing efforts and improve ROI.

Grow your business with lookalike audiences: As a marketer, you’re constantly looking for ways to reach new audiences who are similar to your ideal customers. After all, if they’re like those who are already engaging with your company, odds are they’ll be more likely to convert and help grow your business.

LinkedIn’s lookalike audiences combine the traits of your ideal customer with our rich member and company data to help you market to new professional audiences similar to your existing customers, website visitors and target accounts. Since these members are already on LinkedIn, they’re in the right professional mindset to engage and respond to your brand.

What can you do with lookalike audiences? Here are three ways they can help your business:

  • Reach high-converting audiences: With lookalike audiences, you can discover audiences similar to those who have already demonstrated an interest in your business—like engaged on your website or given you their contact info.
  • Get results at scale: Lookalike audiences can help you extend the reach of your campaigns to more qualified prospects. Customers in our pilot were able to improve their campaign reach by 5-10x while still reaching the kind of high-quality audiences that matter most to their organizations.
  • Engage new target accounts: For B2B advertisers pursuing an account-based strategy, you can use lookalike audiences to target your ads to additional companies you may not have previously considered. These companies match a similar company profile to your ideal customer—so you can win more deals.

You can get started with lookalike audiences by creating a Matched Audience in Campaign Manager—for example, a list of target accounts or contacts from your CRM, or an audience that’s visited your website.

Own the conversation with interest targeting from LinkedIn and Microsoft: Recently, we announced interest targeting in Campaign Manager, which allows you to reach members with relevant ads that match their professional interests. Now, we’ve expanded interest targeting by allowing you to target based on a combination of your audience’s professional interests on LinkedIn and the professional topics and content your audience engages with through Microsoft’s Bing search engine, in a way that respects member privacy.

Audience templates make it easy to find the right audience: If you’re new to advertising on LinkedIn or are an existing advertiser looking to reach new audiences, audience templates can help. This gives you a selection of more than 20 predefined B2B audiences (and growing) that help you get started faster.

These templates include audience characteristics, like member skills, job titles, groups, etc., that you can activate with a single click. This helps you effectively reach the professional audiences that matter most to your business — without spending hours in setup.

Lookalike audiences, audience templates, and interest targeting with LinkedIn + Microsoft Bing data will be available to all advertisers over the next two weeks. To learn more about targeting on LinkedIn, please download our e-Book Reach Your Audience: Targeting on LinkedIn.


7—How Smart Homes Take Over the World 

The rapid rate of growth in the smart home industry has an effect on all kinds of industries. The easiest way to track this is to follow the money. In 2018 alone, the US has spent $19.827 billion on smart home technology. This may seem like a low amount compared to the total size of the American Gross Domestic Product. But, keep in mind that smart homes are all about connecting different types of technology. It uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to do this. It’s estimated that by 2020 IoT will generate revenue exceeding $300 billion. The influential power of that $19 million odd (spent in 2018) suddenly looks very promising.

Check out the infographic below from Safeatlast.


8—Mid-Sized Businesses Lead the Move Toward Smart, Digital Workplaces 

Medium-sized businesses now account for over 60% of U.S. jobs and are investing fast in technology. However, with digital now a priority for businesses of all sizes, they must ensure they have the necessary skills and security management in place to handle the change, or risk falling behind competitors according to a new report from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

Developed to explore how medium-sized businesses across the globe are currently adopting workplace technology The Hidden Middle study uncovered a number of key trends:

  • Medium-sized businesses are the most active users of workplace technology: 63% of medium-sized business employees rated the “choice of technology, applications and IT support” at their company as either good or very good, compared to 53% of those employed at the largest companies. Medium-sized businesses are also ahead of the competition in their use of advanced audio-visual technologies (such as voice-activated and wireless communication tools), which are offered by an average of 27% of medium-sized businesses, compared to 16% of smaller and 22% of larger employers.
  • They are placing a heavy emphasis on the cloud: 24% of medium-sized business employees said their company had invested in cloud storage software over the last 12 months, compared to 17% of large firms. Medium-sized businesses are also prioritizing cybersecurity software: 39% reported investments in this area in the last year, compared to 31% of large businesses.
  • And are offering a better working environment as a result: In light of their impressive commitment to new technology medium-sized business employees are significantly more likely (66%) to rate their “environment at work” as either good or very good in comparison to those at the largest companies (57%). Businesses of this size are also more agile when it comes to offering flexibility for employees to use personal devices for work—with 72% of medium-sized business employees allowed to do this, compared to only 53% of those who work for larger employers.
  • But there is demand for better management of technology investments: 77% of medium-sized business employees either agreed or strongly agreed that “if not managed correctly, the introduction of new technology could damage employee morale;” while 78% agreed that “my organization’s management and control of the connected devices that are in use could be improved.”

A risky road ahead

With 66% saying their organization was “at risk of falling behind competitors” by not implementing new technology, the pressure to keep pace is clear—but so too are the associated dangers.

Despite being conscious of their organizations’ cybersecurity policies, 74% of medium-sized business employees admit taking risks with their company’s data in the past year. In addition, only 48% say security was the responsibility of “every employee”—compared to 66% of those who work for the largest employers.

“Though often forgotten in the digital transformation conversation—with the focus instead on how large companies are struggling to adapt or smaller businesses are seizing the ability to scale—it is medium-sized businesses whose employees show the willingness and agility to make better use of technology and understanding of the opportunities it brings,” says Patrick LaPorte, Senior Director, Product Marketing at Aruba. “The key is enabling them to do so. But with that comes a certain degree of security risk. For medium-sized businesses to realize the full value of their investments and eliminate the risks, their leaders must ensure employees are given the training needed to be productive and IT the tools to ensure safe use.”


9—The Future of Work

Upwork recently released the results of its third annual Future Workforce Report, which explores hiring behaviors in the U.S. The report focused on generational impacts on the workforce, delving specifically into how younger generations are shaping the future of work. The study found 48% of younger generation managers (composed of millennials primarily, with early Gen Z managers included as well) are director-level or higher already, showing they have major influence on workforce planning. This influence will only grow with these younger generations making up 58% of the workforce by 2028, an increase of 38% from today.

In today’s always-on workplace, 84% of Millennials have reported experiencing job burnout. Traditional methods of hiring are no longer providing sufficient relief. In fact, 42% as many younger generation hiring managers felt hiring had become more difficult than 18% who felt it had gotten easier in the past year. Now in a position of authority and facing this pain, younger generation managers see the need to rethink how work is done and are taking action.

“As younger generations ascend in the workforce and become the majority of managers in corporate America, they’ll reshape work as we know it,” says Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork. “We know already that the most in-demand professionals place high value on flexibility. For example, the youngest generations are most likely to freelance. And professionals craving flexibility will increasingly have managers who not only understand this priority but will themselves expect it. We see this clear trend towards more flexible, remote work on the hiring side already based on this year’s Future Workforce Report.”

How millennial and Gen Z managers are shaping the future of work

They support remote teams as the new norm

  • 69% of younger generation managers allow members of their teams to work remotely.
  • Of those, 74% report having workers who spend a significant portion of their time conducting their jobs remotely, while only 58% of baby boomers have workers who work a significant portion of their time remotely.
  • Younger generation managers are 28% more likely to utilize remote workers than baby boomers and believe that two out of five full-time employees will work remotely within the next three years.
  • 73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028.

They see the need for better access to rapidly-changing skills and constant reskilling

  • Younger generation managers are more likely to believe in a more independent workforce approach and they’re nearly 3x more likely than baby boomers to believe individuals should be responsible for their own reskilling
  • Younger generation managers are also 50% more likely than boomers to leverage freelancers to fill skills gaps within their organization

They’re prioritizing workforce planning and embracing an agile future

  • 52% of younger managers ranked future workforce planning as a top priority for their department—nearly 3x more than boomers
  • They are nearly 2x more likely than boomers to have made significant progress in developing a flexible talent strategy as well as in investing in technology to support a remote workforce.

They’re utilizing freelancers at a higher rate

  • Younger generation managers are more than twice as likely than boomers to have increased their usage of freelancers in the past few years, and they are projected to continue increasing their usage this year
  • The primary reasons they’re using more freelancers are to increase productivity, access specialized skills, and drive cost efficiencies.
  • They are more than twice as likely as boomers to engage freelancers for ongoing, strategic partnerships across multiple projects vs. one-time, one-off projects.

“There are many misconceptions about younger generations in the workforce today,” says Matthew Mottola, Future of Work and On-Demand Talent Program Manager at Microsoft. In my experience, millennials are equally, if not more committed to their work. But we expect more from our companies. We expect to architect our careers according to our lifestyle and our passions. The good news for companies is that if they embrace this agility and flexibility they can drive innovation and change with their organization.”

Take a look at the infographic for more information.


10—Your Chance to Pitch the Brands

Licensing Expo, the world’s largest and most influential licensing industry event, just announced Pitch the Brands, where inventors can present their products to an executive panel of consumer product experts and get a chance to win a prize package valued over $18,000. The event is made possible through an exclusive collaboration between Licensing Expo and InventHelp, which will provide innovative entrepreneurs with a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To learn more and apply for Pitch the Brands, click here.  

Pitch the Brands is an official part of Licensing Week 2019. Ten finalists will receive feedback and direction from influential licensing and consumer product executives. One finalist will be chosen to receive InventHelp’s services, valued at $18,000.

Brand licensing can help successfully launch new products into market by providing credibility, appealing to an established audience, securing distribution, and utilizing a brand’s promotional resources. In 2017, global retail sales of licensed products and services reached $271.6B, according to the 2018 LIMA Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey.

Licensing Expo will accept submissions on their website through April 15, 2019. By April 29, InventHelp will choose 10 finalists to present a demonstrable product in front of a live panel and audience at Licensing Expo 2019.

Pitch the Brands will take place June 5, from 2-3 Pacific time in the Global Licensing Group Theater. For a free registration to Licensing Expo, click here.


11—Millennials Are More Likely to Advertise on Traditional Mediums Than Older Generations

Millennials place more value in advertising for their businesses than older generations, according to a new survey from The Manifest, a business news and how-to website. About 95% of millennial entrepreneurs advertise for their businesses, compared to 92% of Generation X and 70% of baby boomer business owners.

Millennials understand the importance of advertising. “Millennials are used to instant gratification, and advertising helps satisfy that need,” says Les Kollegian, CEO of Jacob Tyler, a brand experience agency in California. “We live in a world with constant engagement, and millennials are the forefront of that expectation. Advertising helps people find a product they’re looking for quickly.”

The survey found millennials also advertise on more types of media—including traditional. For example, 41% of millennials advertise on TV, compared to 17% of Generation Xers and 10% of baby boomers. “Older generations have tried traditional media and either had great returns and stuck with them or didn’t and abandoned them,” says Josh Ryther, senior partner at Deksia, a marketing strategy and brand development agency in Michigan. “Maybe the younger generation is still testing out these more traditional mediums and hasn’t experienced as much negative return, so they’re more willing to take more of a risk.”

Nearly all small businesses advertise, regardless of owner’s generation: 87% of small businesses overall advertise, which suggests that advertising helps businesses across generations succeed.

“It’s essential for small businesses to advertise in order to not only maintain the level of business they have today but to grow,” says Harry Chapin, CEO and founder of Forge Worldwide, a brand-building company in Boston. “Very few businesses have the ability to attract new customers and grow revenues without using advertising.”

Businesses prefer digital advertising but still value traditional mediums

Online and social media advertising are the most popular among small businesses. About 65% of small businesses advertise on social media, and 49% advertise on other digital platforms, such as Google. This exceeds the number of small businesses that advertise on traditional mediums such as print (36%), TV (22%), and radio (22%).

Although digital advertising is preferred, advertising on a variety of mediums is still important for businesses that want to reach consumers throughout their day—not just when they’re online.

Overall, the survey shows advertising is important to small businesses in helping them reach and appeal to as many customers as possible.


12—Outdoor Factors Affecting Your Commercial Property

Great list for business owners who own commercial property from Raider Painting. Make sure your property is not costing you unnecessarily.


13—Mobile Consumers are Making 108% More Purchases In-App Than on Mobile Web

Button, a leading mobile partnership platform, recently released the Button 2019 Mobile Commerce Report: Holiday Analysis that highlights key learnings, based on millions of transactions that took place in the Button Marketplace over the 2018 holiday season, for marketers looking to drive mobile acquisition and engagement in 2019.

With the growth of the mobile economy, m-commerce transactions are projected overtake e-commerce transactions globally this year—showing how important it is for marketers to get ahead of their mobile strategies. This report equips marketers with new insight into mobile consumer shopping behavior, user activity in apps and on mobile web, as well as purchase patterns across shopping categories and peak periods that marketers can leverage in their mobile strategies.

“When consumers find what they want, brands and retailers can connect with new customers, and publishers can benefit from providing the traffic,” says Michael Jaconi, cofounder and CEO of Button.

Key findings:

Capturing mobile intent through app users: Consumers are shopping more in apps than on mobile web and are willing to download new apps to make those purchases. Over the 2018 holiday period, shoppers made 108% more purchases in-app than on mobile web and were making more repeat purchases and spending more in-app than on mobile web. Compared to the rest of 2018, app installs rose by 108% over the holiday shopping season—demonstrating the heightened willingness amongst shoppers to download new apps. It is important for marketers to hone in on their app users since those are the customers that are more likely to convert.

Engaging power shoppers: Marketers who focus their mobile efforts on acquiring new shoppers and turning them into power shoppers are going to win in 2019. Seven out of 10 shoppers in the Button Marketplace during Cyber Week were new users, and one-third of those new users came back to shop again, even after Cyber Monday ended, throughout the rest of the holiday season. Power shoppers who last shopped within 30 days of Cyber Week accounted for 22% of sales generated over the holiday period, made more than six shopping trips, and completed purchases two times more than average shoppers. These power users that emerged during the holiday season are likely to continue shopping in the months to come—showing that a strong focus on mobile experiences will bring about user loyalty.

Driving mobile offers on the right products to the right customers at the right times: By understanding the right times to provide offers and incentives to consumers, marketers will be better equipped to unlock incremental mobile app revenue. For example, shoppers started their holiday shopping early by browsing and buying on Thanksgiving morning; mobile sales of electronics spiked at midnight on both Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday while mobile sales of toys spiked on Cyber Monday. Marketers who are accurate at timing their messaging and promotion of deals to users will be empowered to maximize their mobile returns.

For more information, download the Button 2019 Mobile Commerce Report: Holiday Analysis here.


14—Are Your Employees Working to Their Full Potential?

A new study reveals that more than half of hourly employees say their current role prevents them from maximizing their full potential at work. Newly released research from WorkJam,  a leading digital workplace platform, found 61% of frustrated employees cite scheduling and communication pain points as reasons for leaving.

Embracing a Bring Your Own Device Policy in the Workplace polled hourly employees and employers across the retail, hospitality, logistics, healthcare, and banking industries to determine sentiment around BYOD policies. Among other findings, the study reveals, across industries, there is little pushback from employees about using their personal devices for work purposes. In fact, 57% of millennials would prefer to use their personal mobile devices to access information such as schedules and training materials. WorkJam also found 69% of employees believe that with the right application, they’d have an easier time picking up shifts that accommodate their schedules.

“Our smartphones are an extension of who we are and being able to integrate aspects of our work lives into our personal devices creates ease and comfort for employees,” says Steven Kramer, cofounder, president, and CEO of WorkJam. “Today, every U.S. workplace relies on smartphones, and the service industry is no exception. If used in conjunction with a BYOD policy, employers can foster a more productive, engaged, and loyal workforce.”

According to Kramer, these findings should call attention to the impact implementing a BYOD workplace policy can have when it comes to building a more engaged and productive workforce.

“It’s never been more imperative that employers put the power of communication and scheduling into employees’ hands,” Kramer says. “Having access to a central repository of training information that can be updated instantaneously will enable employers to retrieve information on their own time, from anywhere. Additionally, there is no longer confusion when policies change. Entire departments are alerted immediately when there’s a change in operations.”

This is where a digital workplace platform can help employers boost employee productivity, increase transparency throughout the company, and improve the employee “experience by harnessing the power of employees’ personal devices.

With WorkJam, getting in touch with a manager is only a few taps away, and important training materials can be accessed whether the employee is at home or work. This gives employees greater control over their work-life balance, boosting morale, and lowering instances of turnover. Organizations that make this investment now can get ahead of the competition while enhancing culture and creating opportunities for increased efficiency.

“It’s no longer a question of whether organizations should adopt a digital workplace policy,” Kramer said. “It’s about when they should make the change.”



Quick Takes


15—The Perfect Instagram Hashtag Strategy

Every marketer needs a social media strategy—and you certainly need one for social media. Since Instagram is the “hot” social platform at the moment, you should check out this blog from Hello Social.


Cool Tools


16—New Google Analytics Tool

Analytics Bar, a California-based technology start-up, just launched its simple menu bar app for tracking your visitors using Google Analytics in real time of all your apps or websites. Analytics Bar enables website owners to quickly view their total high-level key metrics for the day, such as real-time traffic count, total traffic count, top viewed pages, session count, referral source path, country, and more.

“It is especially useful for those who run multiple websites or apps, having a single point to check them all at once and saving hours of time without having to rummage through the browser for each website or app,” says Greg W., Founder of Analytics Bar. “It cuts out the middle man – the browser, to present your data as quickly as possible.”

Always on, always tracking: Analytics Bar offers the simplest way to stay on top of your Google Analytics traffic with minimal effort all day long in your taskbar. It also provides on-the-go statistics—just open your desktop, view your stats, and go! It is also useful for running a campaign and keeping a close eye to track the performance in real-time.

Key features:

  • Realtime Reporting: Displays real-time and today’s total Google Analytics stats in your taskbar/menu bar.
  • Unlimited Site Views: Supports multiple site views at once in your taskbar/menu bar
  • Secure Authentication: Provides secure Google Analytics service credential authentication. No username or password required for sign-in.
  • Ultra-Fast Refresh Rate: Constant 30-second Google Analytics refresh rate.
  • Display Preferences are available for users.

Analytics Bar app is available to download on Windows and macOS.


17—Payment Solution

ACI Worldwide, a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, recently announced new cloud-based, omni-channel in-store payments capabilities within its UP Merchant Payments solution. ACI’s award-winning UP Merchant Payments now delivers greater control, flexibility and security for merchants as they move more services to the cloud.

The broadened UP Merchant Payments solution is the result of ACI’s acquisition of technology assets from providers RevChip and TranSend, a team of expert developers focused on next-generation terminal payment applications and management platforms. These new capabilities accelerate ACI’s vision of delivering merchants a next-generation, mobile-first digital payment experience in-store.

True omni-channel payments require strong integration between point-of-sale (POS) applications, payments software and payment terminals. ACI’s UP Merchant Payments solution now makes it even easier to integrate these critical systems, enabling a secure, frictionless consumer experience while reducing IT footprint and complexity in the store.

“The move to the cloud provides merchants with challenges as well as opportunities. In order to reap those opportunities, merchants require a technology platform that delivers agnostic control, scalability and security as well as integrated payments and fraud capabilities,” says Sanjay Gupta, executive vice president, ACI Worldwide. “These powerful technology assets allow ACI to deliver merchants an unmatched next-generation in-store digital payment experience.”

The financial details of the RevChip and TranSend asset acquisition were not disclosed; the acquisition is not expected to be financially material to ACI in 2019.

Small business stock photo by William Perugini/Shutterstock