8 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

By Rieva Lesonsky

1) A Big “Apportunity”

If you’re a developer Intuit and Nielsen Consumer Insights just released a study showing there’s an “Appicfication of Small Business” going on as more and more small businesses turn to the cloud to get things done. This is, says Intuit, a “huge opportunity” for developers. The study shows the center of the small business cloud is financial management and small business owners want seamless integration between solutions.

Appification of Small Business Infographic

2) What Are You Waiting For? Seriously!

The bad news is a new survey from research company Clutch shows more than 25 percent of small businesses do not have a website! Still, in 2015. What’s worse, 10 percent say they’re not likely to build one anytime soon. And the worst news is of the small businesses that are smart enough to have a website, only 56 percent have a responsive design—a site that’s mobile-friendly.

Starting next week (on April 21) when users search on a mobile device, Google will be imposing a penalty on businesses with non mobile-friendly websites.

The news was slightly better when it comes to using digital marketing strategies—53 percent of small businesses have an active presence on social media. Fewer (45 percent) actively work on SEO and only 25 percent advertise online.

3) Savvy Online Consumers

The CA Security Council (CASC) just released a Consumer Trust Survey, showing that more and more consumers are searching and buying online, adding up to 200 million online shoppers in America spending close to $600 billion. Since consumers are well aware of the occurrence of data breaches (100 percent of those surveyed either have been, or know, a cybercrime victim), the study assumes “consumers have a good understanding of, and trust in, the security of the online e-commerce infrastructure.”

The survey reveals that consumers may be savvier than many think—53 percent say seeing the padlock in an e-commerce site adds confidence and 42 percent associate the green bar and organization name in the URL with greater safety. Only 2 percent proceed past an “untrusted connection” message and only 3 percent would give out credit card information without the padlock icon.

Despite this, however, they’re not really paying attention to security concerns:

  • Most have at least one device they don’t bother password protecting, usually a tablet, which 61 percent leave unprotected.
  • 43 percent use Wi-Fi without regard to security issues, as long as it is free.
  • 33 percent use just one or two passwords to login across all their websites.

4) Are You Overworking Your Support Staff?

April 22 is Administrative Professionals’ Day and Staples just released a study showing administrative assistants across the United States and Canada are dealing with a “growing workload.”

This 4th annual survey shows:

  • More than 50 percent of the admins support more staff now than they did have in the past three years.
  • The top additional job responsibilities the admins have been taking on were: budget and payroll (46.7 percent), human resources (43.9 percent) and helping out on social media (23.1 percent).
  • Admins were rated as better creative problem solvers (57.4 vs. 42.5 percent) and more tech-savvy (43.4 vs. 29 percent) than their bosses
  • 84.3 percent of the admins are proficient in social media
  • 93.9 percent of the non-admins surveyed have never used a virtual assistant

5) Increased Access to Capital

Two financial technology leaders, Prosper, which operates the largest privately-held online marketplace for credit, and OnDeck Capital, a leading platform for small business loans are teaming up to develop new solutions to address small business needs.

The Prosper platform, which offers consumers access to fixed-rate, fixed-term personal loans between $2,000 and $35,000 and OnDeck, which offers small businesses loans between $5,000 and $250,000 as well as business lines of credit, will be close, integrated partners in the peer-to-peer space.

Under the arrangement Prosper’s customers will have more access to small business lending solutions and OnDeck’s customers will get “a seamless experience” to meet their business and personal financing needs.

6) Are You Financially Literate?

April is Financial Literacy Month and to help consumers be more financially savvy Experian just launched the Experian Credit Tracker Mobile App, giving existing Experian Credit Tracker members in the U.S. access to their FICO Scores and enabling them to monitor their credit on-the-go. Users also receive push notifications when key updates to their credit report are detected.

The mobile app is available for iOS and   Android devices.

According to a new survey:

  • 46 percent of consumers use financial apps
  • 60 percent access financial information on their smartphones or tablets
  • More than 50 percent have downloaded a financial app
  • 80 percent feel more confident about their financial situation since they started using financial mobile apps

7) 6 Ways to Close More Deals

What business owner doesn’t want to increase sales? Martin Limbeck, the author of No is Short For Next Opportunity: How Top Sales Professionals Think, tells you how you can do just that.

  1. When you first mention your price, don’t make it sound as if there is room for negotiation. Let the customer bring up the word “discount.” Don’t bring it up yourself. How many times have you heard a salesperson say, “The list price is $x, but if you pay cash I could bring it down a little.” Don’t do that! You’ll appear desperate. If you put the ball in the customer’s court, you’ll be playing catch-up for the rest of the negotiations.
  2. Be ready for objections. When your client comes up with the price objection, draw upon one of your catch phrases: “Thrift is good but quality is better.” “Cutting the price means cutting the quality, and that is not an option for us.” “The grass is always cheaper on the other side.” “Other offers are cheaper—and they deserve to be.” “Go with the cheaper option, and things will get really expensive.”
  3. Combine the price with the notion of value. Don’t try contradicting the “too expensive” objection. Your price is higher than others and that’s a good thing. Instead, say, “You’re right, it is pricey. It’s pricey and high-value. High value because…” and elaborate on the benefits of the product.
  4. Hold firm on the price but ease up on the concessions. Once the customer wants a discount, that’s a good thing because it means they want to buy from you. You’ve sold them. You can get creative and offer a small discount in exchange for more orders or payment in advance, something that also benefits you.
  5. Use diminutives when articulating the price. This may sound like a minor detail, but it can make a huge difference. “The quad bike is going for eight” sounds less than “8,000,” or “The service contract is 12” sounds less than “1200.”  If, on the other hand, you’re pointing out what the customer stands to gain, use full numbers: “At the end of the day you’ve saved yourself $434.”
  6. Know how to present the price in a proposal. The price should be folded into the description of the benefits. “You will receive a new writing desk, with two drawers, as requested, a hanging file folder, and two cable connectors, for $2,942.11. Of course, this will include the adjustable legs, designed for ergonomic sitting positions, and the power strip attachment.”

8) Franchise Opportunity for Vets

On Tuesday, May 5 from 6-8pm at TownePlace Suites Clinton at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland the Small Business Administration (SBA) and VetFran will host a networking event and forum for military service members, veterans and their associates. Representatives from Marriott, SBA and Vet Fran will discuss how veterans and military family members can become hotel and small business owners and how existing veteran-owned small businesses can gain access to corporate supply chains.



Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+   and Twitter.com/Rieva.