business

22 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know

 

1—What Are the Signs of Recession?

While it’s difficult to predict the timing of a recession, many people are concerned one is coming. According to Ian Varley, CEO of Eagle Business Credit, “While small business optimism is still high, the traditional warning signs of recession are beginning to show. Typically, these indicators give a 2-16 month heads up before the start of a downturn.

“Decreases in the Federal Funds Rate encourages borrowing but gives darker implications to the strength of the economy and markets. Manufacturing and consumer confidence, while still high, is decreasing, and a prolonged trade war between China and America only dampens market and investor confidence as evident in the inverted yield curve of long-term and short-term Treasury bonds. It is crucial to monitor recession signs and improve your cash reserves and cash flow now in order to thrive in a recessed economy.”

Check out the infographic below from to learn more.

 

2—Small Business Sales Slow Slightly

A total of 2,454 small businesses were reported sold in the third quarter of 2019, an 8.6% decline compared to the same period last year according to the BizBuySell Insight Report, a nationally recognized economic indicator that aggregates statistics from business-for-sale transactions reported by participating business brokers nationwide. This continues the trend of reduced transactions seen throughout 2019.

While it’s important to note that transactions remain high historically, uncertainty about international tariffs is creating a challenging environment for some deals. More specifically, business valuation becomes increasingly difficult when having to consider increased costs due to tariffs with an unknown duration. According to a BizBuySell survey of business brokers, this has become a real issue for sectors reliant on international partners such as China. Perhaps the most effected being those in the manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing businesses are commonly being hurt by tariffs on Chinese bought parts. This depresses margins and profits which in turn drives down the valuation,” said one business broker. “I have five manufacturing companies for sale. Each is worried about tariffs,” added another.

According to brokers, the onus may lie with the seller to adjust their price in today’s market. More than half of brokers describe 2019 as a buyer’s market versus just 27% who believe it favors sellers and 21% who see a balanced market.

One broker offered a solution that may satisfy both parties in the midst of valuation uncertainty, explaining, “Partial earn-out clauses will mitigate and be put in deals to increase/decrease total price over/under historical norms.” These agreements can protect buyers from known risks that may reduce profits following a purchase.

In comparison to owners, 18% of brokers have experienced buyer hesitation, which might be the more important of the two groups to monitor. Surveyed brokers say a reversal in course from today’s positive buyer confidence levels is the top threat facing the business-for-sale market, slightly higher than uncertainty around the 2020 election.

“If buyers think this is the wrong time to buy, it will be a bigger threat than any other single factor,” said one broker. “But, if buyers want to buy, there will be plenty of sellers who will be willing to sell.”

Over the past two years, the majority of surveyed business brokers sold at least 50% of their listings. By the numbers, there is little evidence that sale ratio will change. Buyer confidence grew over the past year, and despite a seller confidence dip, owners still remain positive. Furthermore, inventory remains strong. And most important, revenues and profits, the best indicators, are at all-time highs meaning businesses are either adapting to economic changes, or the effects are yet to be felt.

Q3 2019 Small Business Financial Health: In the third quarter, the median revenue of a sold business was $554,763, up 4.5% from the same period last year. Cash flow also grew 7.5% to $125,000, which supports the belief that tariffs have yet to make a major impact on business profits. Interestingly, the higher financials are not reflected in sale prices which remain mostly flat year-over-year.

For buyers willing to take a chance on the market, this presents an opportunity to receive a business in better financial footing than a year ago, but without the premium. At the same time, part of today’s high listing volume can be explained by opportunistic owners, hoping to cash out instead of risk holding through a recession.

Q3 2019 Small Business Values: While sold business financials increased nicely in Q3, the median sale price of those businesses grew just 0.1% year-over-year. The stagnate sale price is not for the lack of trying on the seller’s part as the median asking price of a sold business stood at $278,000 in Q3 2019, up 3.3% from 2018.

It seems sellers are focused on their bottom line and not considering current economic conditions into their valuation. In fact, according to the majority of business brokers, sellers having unrealistic asking prices compared to current market values is the top reason preventing closed deals. This highlights the negotiation conflict between sellers wanting more money for improved financial performance and buyers asking for lower prices given increased uncertainty.

 

3—3 Tips for Attracting Top Talent

Guest post by Jason Carney, Director of Human Resources, WorkSmart Systems

The United States employment rate remains at near-record lows. In general, low unemployment is great for the economy and society, but it does cause some challenges for companies looking to hire top talent. U.S employers posted 7.6 million open jobs at beginning of year, meaning many job applicants have more offers than ever before. Today’s businesses must work to stand out from their competition. Here are some tips on how to attract top talent with record low employment:

Simplify the application process: Have you ever started filling out a job application and the system requires you to answer the same questions over and over? This process can become redundant for the job seeker and prevent the completion of the application. Another deterrent from an employee submitting their application is a long application process. In fact, up to 60% of job seekers drop out of the job application process because it is too lengthy or complex.

For businesses, it is important to streamline the application process in order to prevent top talent from becoming disinterested. For example, instead of requiring multiple submission forms, have applicants only submit their resume, cover letter, and references. This can help create a more efficient experience for all involved.

Keep candidates engaged: During the hiring process, candidates can lose interest if communication between an applicant and the hiring manager becomes stagnant. If an applicant doesn’t hear from a hiring manager within a few days of a phone or in-person interview, they may assume they didn’t get the job and continue their job search.

To increase the chances of attracting top talent, hiring managers should be communicating with applicants within two days of an interview. If there are not any updates, just let them know where the process stands. Also, email may no longer be the most effective way to update an applicant—77% of professionals say they’d prefer to receive good news during the job search over the phone. By calling applicants instead of strictly utilizing email, you’ll be sure to stay top of mind.

Make culture a priority: A strong company culture is a perk many candidates look for when applying to jobs. In fact, 60% of recruiters rate culture as one of the most important factors when making a hiring decision. But many executives and leaders have failed to implement and market their culture during the hiring process. To attract top talent, companies should focus on what today’s applicants are looking for from an employer and make sure these factors are properly communicated in job postings and interviews.

Many companies are still hesitant to offer their employees flexible work arrangements, despite the fact that candidates search for it. A recent survey reveals 9,700 young applicants view flexibility as a non-negotiable must-have. There are a few ways executives can implement flexibility into their businesses. For example, executives can provide an option for employees to work from home. Another option is allowing employees to space out their weekly hour requirement however they choose (10 hours on Monday, 8 hours on Tuesday, etc.) Including these perks on the company website or on job postings, can help garner more interest from candidates during their search.

With the unemployment rate likely to remain low, it is necessary for companies to come up with creative ways to attract and retain talent. By simplifying the application process, communicating frequently with candidates, and creating a great company culture, businesses will find themselves attracting top talent.

 

4—Password Habits Remain Key Obstacle to Business’s Security

While more businesses are investing in security measures like multifactor authentication (MFA), employees still have poor password habits that weaken companies’ overall security posture, according to the 3rd Annual Global Password Security Report from LastPass by LogMeIn. Given that stolen and reused credentials are linked to 80% of hacking-related breaches, businesses must take more action to improve password and access security to make a big impact on risk reduction.

“Securing employee access has never been more important and unfortunately, we see businesses ignore password security altogether, or only half-heartedly attempt to address it,” says Gerald Beuchelt, Chief Information Security Officer at LogMeIn. “This report further highlights the importance of using the identity and access management tools available to information security managers in addition to maintaining focus on employee training to improve password habits.”

You can read the full report here—and get details in the infographic below.

 

5—Consumer Insights on the Value of Personalization Across the Sales Funnel

The top marketing buzzwords are “personalization,” “artificial intelligence” and “dynamic video.” While most marketers talk a big personalization game, when pressed, the extent to which they’re actually personalizing their creative ad experiences is usually pretty weak. Many marketers only tailor the address of the closest store location or change the color of an ad.

All this is according to Clinch, an AI-platform that leverages data to create personalized customer ad experiences. Cinch also says personalization is the key factor in influencing the path to purchase for consumers. The platforms that make it easy for advertisers to leverage data and customize their campaigns are regarded by consumers as providing better brand experiences. These platforms facilitate the discovery of products and ultimately the purchase of new goods online. According to Clinch’s latest consumer survey, Facebook was overwhelmingly cited by consumers as the strongest platform.

“Purchases are happening on all the channels some more, some less—but relevancy ultimately determines effectiveness,” says Oz Etzioni, CEO of Clinch. “This is why consumers cite again and again that Facebook is the strongest platform for product discovery and purchasing. The platform makes it easy for brands to leverage data to find the right audiences, deliver tailored messages and access insights quickly to optimize campaigns.”

Videos are increasingly becoming a powerful e-commerce tool when data is married to content: 57.5% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video ad if there is an offer or discount. This far surpassed other attention-grabbing factors, such as closeups of the product or celebrity endorsements. Consumers are also more likely to watch a video from start to finish if the video has an immediate call to action or offer.

Creating a relevant experience with a call to action that is in tune with the consumer’s own needs is critical. According to Etzioni, “Consumers remember, like, and engage with the content that is relevant to them. There is a tremendous opportunity for retailers to combine these findings with the power of video to increase conversions online. Expect to see more companies leveraging personalized videos across platforms, as well as playing with new shoppable formats into 2020.”

The study also found even the most innovative uses of data and creative can turn off consumers if other factors are not considered. These include:

  • Excessive retargeting – 41.6%
  • When the product is not immediately easy to find after clicking on the ad – 46.7%
  • When the product shown on the ad is no longer available – 28%

“When the experience is irrelevant, repetitive, and doesn’t ‘learn’ from past user interaction/engagement, consumers take notice,” says Etzioni. “There have never been more ways to leverage data to develop real consumer connections. The brands that truly integrate data into their creative experience will be the winners in 2020.”

 

6—The United States of Stress

Are you stressed? An overwhelming number of Americans are. Millennials seem particularly affected. Check out the infographic below from Lhasa OMS to see what’s stressing them out.

 

7—Flat Spending Expected this Holiday Season

A national study of women ages 18-75 reports female shoppers will continue to push for greater convenience and price value this holiday season, despite a moderate uptick in disposable income.

The study conducted by daVinci Payments reveals that while 45% of women surveyed report increased wealth and buying power, 43% predict they will spend the same this holiday season as last year, 30% indicated spending less and only 27% say they’ll be spending more.

Online shopping continues to grow significantly:

  • 81% shop online for convenience
  • 47% intend to make over 50% of their holiday purchases online
  • 69% are Amazon Prime members
    • 52% make at least half of their online purchases from Amazon
  • 52% buy from reseller sites, with designer clothes and accessories being their top purchases
  • 45% make more than half of all of their online purchases from their phones.

In spite of their price consciousness, 80% have no idea what they intend to buy or what they want to receive this holiday season. Women shoppers’ holiday season buying decisions may be influenced by rebates and loyalty prepaid rewards—70% would choose a $100 rebate over a $50 instant cash discount on a $500 purchase.

Loyalty and rebate prepaid rewards are preferred by twice as many participants as PayPal and check rewards. “We live in a world where Amazon and online resellers provide a level of convenience and savings that retailers find tough to match ” says Rodney Mason, daVinci Payments’ Chief Revenue Officer. “However, rebates and loyalty programs provide a significant opportunity for retailers to entice shoppers during this holiday season. As people look to compare deals in an effort to spend less, brands need to draw them in with compelling discounts and retain their loyalty with ongoing surprise-and-delight offers focused on convenience, relevancy and value.”

 

8—12-Point Checklist for Implementing an Effective Employee ID Card Policy

Guest post by David Finkelstein, president, InstantCard, a leading online provider of photo ID cards and Credential Verification Services. Contact him at dfinkelstein@instantcard.net.

Many employers, from small businesses to large companies, nonprofits and government agencies, neglect a key step when issuing photo ID cards. They do not have an explicit policy describing what is expected of employees regarding the use of their ID cards.

Here is a checklist designed to help employers develop a robust enforceable photo ID card policy that’s adapted to the needs of their organization.

  1. Who is expected to carry an ID card or badge?
  2. What are the procedures for obtaining an ID card?
  3. When are employees expected to carry their ID cards?
  4. Are the cards to be displayed or simply available for inspection?
  5. What should an employee do if they forget to carry an ID card?
  6. What are the procedures for replacing a lost ID card?
  7. Who should be contacted if someone finds a stray ID card?
  8. What are the procedures concerning ID cards upon termination?
  9. What is the expiration or replacement cycle for ID cards?
  10. For ID cards with color codes or different formats, what do they signify?
  11. Are visitors, vendors, contractors, temporary staff and others required to have an ID card? If so, what are the requirements for each group?
  12. Where can employees find the policies/procedures?

If your company policy answers most of the above questions, the implementation of your ID card program should proceed quickly and smoothly.

 

9—Customer Service Statistics Every Small Business Should Know

Businesses have become increasingly customer-centric, meaning your buyers don’t just want to shop from you—they want to build a relationship with you, too. No matter the size of your business or industry, having a competent customer service department is critical to ensuring operational success.

Thanks in part to technology, providing remarkable customer service has become easier. Your loyal customers can now reach you with a few clicks of a button compared to waiting on the phone for hours on end. Social media has also been of great help with customer service efforts, as well.

As a small business, customer service should be one of your main focuses. Even if you don’t intend to scale, the simple act of having good customer support will help you retain clients and keep your sales growing.

Here are some intriguing facts and numbers regarding the customer service landscape you should know, courtesy of SuperStaff.

 

10—Gen Z and the Workplace

Tis’ the season to hire temporary holiday workers. With many members of Gen Z home on winter break, businesses looking for seasonal help (retailers, restaurants, corporate offices) will find the technically native generation to be a prime candidate pool.

But does how you onboard, train, and work with these short-time hires really matter? Yes, say the folks from Nintex. Gen Z’s temporary presence in the workplace could make a lasting impact beyond the holiday season on business’ tech capabilities and company culture, so it’s important for employers to know how frequent manager check-ins, an “improvement culture” and offering growth opportunities can help employers successfully attract, hire, train and work with the newest generation of employees.

Attracting and retaining Gen Z talent demands a new playbook. According to Nintex. recruitment, engagement, and retention policies that evolved for millennials must be rethought for Gen Z, which is acutely aware of debt, living costs, and economic instability.

Check out Nintex’s Gen Z Effect on the U.S. Workplace study to get more insight about the newest generation of temporary workers.

 

11—Disaster Response Program  Launches Encouraging Volunteerism

The private sector can take a larger, more strategic role in disaster preparedness for communities through skilled volunteerism, shares new research and disaster response programming launched by Common Impact, a nationally recognized leader in skills-based volunteerism. The organization recently released a report, Insights & Impact 2019: Disaster Response – From Relief to Resiliency , detailing how the corporate sector can proactively respond to increasing instances of natural and man-made disasters in the U.S. by providing pro bono support.

Based on extensive interviews and research from leaders in disaster response throughout the U.S., the report highlights the critical role skills-based volunteerism can play in helping communities faced with increasingly common natural and man-made catastrophe and presents a number of practical tools and guidance for corporate citizens to best support nonprofit partners and their communities in resiliency and recovery efforts.

A report by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation finds that 70% of giving occurs within the first two months of a disaster’s occurrence. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy reports that only 1% of corporate sector giving goes toward preparedness and .8% towards resilience, risk reduction and mitigation combined.

“The current business environment and our research confirm that the business community must broaden its response to disasters from one of reactive donations to support immediate relief efforts to include a more proactive and sustained approach that allows community nonprofits to build resiliency through pro bono support in business continuity planning, risk mitigation and contingency planning,” says Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact.

The report shares a new approach to disaster response, one rooted in proactive engagement, and provides corporate philanthropy partners with a suite of tools to help engage in disaster resiliency work in their communities.

The tools include:

  • Measurement Frameworkfor companies to quantify how a focus on community resiliency will produce social and business benefit for nonprofit partners, overall community health, consumers, employees, and shareholders.
  • Pro Bono Project Portfoliofor initiatives that build the resiliency of community partners by leveraging common corporate skills and expertise.
  • Resiliency Assessmentto identify gaps in an organization’s ability to respond to disaster, and provides insight into beneficial pro bono projects.

 

Cool Tools

 

12—Ultralight Laptop

If you’re looking for an ultralight, dual storage business laptop for the office or while on the road, check out the ASUSPRO P5440 from ASUS. With its long-lasting battery life and portability, the ASUSPRO P5440 is ready to get to work, anytime and anywhere. Learn more about newest features of the device.

The ASUSPRO P5440 is available starting at $899 at CDW.com and Newegg Business.

 

13—New Platform for Developers

Zoho Corporation, a global company that offers the most comprehensive suite of business software applications in the industry, just released Catalyst, its visionary full-stack serverless platform for developers. Catalyst is a simple-to-use yet extremely powerful offering that allows developers to create and run microservices and applications. Catalyst gives developers access to the same underlying services and frameworks that power Zoho’s more than 45 applications used by more than 45 million users around the world.

As a technology company, Zoho built and vertically integrated all the layers of its tech stack, from applications to app infrastructure to operating systems to network infrastructure to data centers. It has been a decades-long investment in technology, and now this reliable, scalable, and secure infrastructure—and all that it promises—is being opened up to developers.

“The best craftsmen make their own tools. To create the comprehensive suite of business apps that we offer today, we had to build tools first. Those tools, along with the infrastructure we built over the years, is now available to developers through Catalyst,” says Raju Vegesna, Zoho’s Chief Evangelist. “With a strong belief in developer productivity, we’ve been offering several serverless capabilities to developers before it was even called serverless. Our commitment to end-to-end solutions has enabled us to offer a comprehensive suite of no-code, low-code, and pro-code tools.”

Catalyst has already empowered developers to build services and applications, including a bug-filing bridge application, an app used to import users into a CRM, a microservice for lead distribution, a data-cleansing microservice, and more.

Pricing & Availability

Catalyst is available upon request at catalyst.zoho.com. As with all things Zoho, Catalyst will be priced aggressively.

 

14—What’s New with LinkedIn Pages: Tap into Your Employees’ Superpowers

Guest post by Rishi Jobanputra, Senior Director Product Management, LinkedIn

Businesses have told us that building a sense of community is more important than ever—it impacts how your customers feel about your company, how they interact with it, how you recruit and retain talent, and how you build overall customer loyalty.

According to Edelman’s 2017 Trust Barometer Global report, 60% of people trust others like themselves, but only 52% trust businesses and even fewer (37%) trust CEOs. This underscores the importance of highlighting the people behind your organization to help build your business’s authenticity and the community around it.

In this quarterly release, we’re introducing new features that help you better tap into your  most important asset—your employees. These updates are designed to help your employees share your company’s key updates or highlight their incredible work. We’re also adding tools to help you optimize your LinkedIn Page.

Employee Notification— Let your team do the talking: Your employees can be your most powerful advocates, but many businesses don’t know where to begin. With Employee Notifications, Page Admins can now alert employees of important posts, which employees can then share with their LinkedIn networks. This makes it easy for your employees to share your company’s content and amplify your messages.

We’ve also added safeguards to ensure that this feature adds value to the member experience, by limiting notifications to once every seven days so you don’t accidentally overwhelm your employees with updates.

For more detailed information on this powerful feature, visit our Employee Notifications Help Center article.

Kudos and Team Moments—Celebrate your incredible team: Your Page isn’t just a place for members who want to learn more about your business; it’s also a space to engage your current employees and celebrate your company’s culture. With Kudos and Team Moments, Page Admins can leverage a custom content format built specifically to welcome new team members, spotlight outstanding work, and recognize the people behind an organization’s pivotal moments. By highlighting the people behind your brand, you reveal the human side of your organization to prospective customers and employees.

Completion Meter—Take your Page to the next level: Complete LinkedIn Pages generate 30% more pageviews per week compared to incomplete LinkedIn Pages. However, less than 5% of Page Admins with an incomplete Page choose to update it, oftentimes because they don’t know what details they’re missing.

We’re making it easy for Page Admins to make the most of their Page with a new personalized completion meter that identifies missing fields and calls out new features. Similar to the profile completion meter we offer members, it will help guide Page Admins through the process of completing and taking full advantage of their Page.

Plus, completing a Page unlocks access to additional features, like Content Suggestions, which surfaces content trending within your exact target audience.

To learn more about the updates in today’s announcement, visit our Pages Best Practices site here.

 

15—Small Office Security To Protect Businesses From Cyber Threats 

Award winning cybersecurity company BullGuard just released BullGuard Small Office Security, a new, powerful, cloud-managed endpoint security service for small businesses. BullGuard Small Office Security enables businesses to operate with the knowledge they are protected against identity and data theft, account takeover, malware such as ransomware, and other cyber threats.

BullGuard Small Office Security provides robust endpoint protection for desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, making it perfect for mobile workforces to work safely on their devices in the office, at home, or while hot desking or travelling. Small Office Security safeguards Windows®, Android® and MacOS® devices and is backed by BullGuard’s highly acclaimed live 24/7 technical support, while endpoint security management is simple via an easy-to-use cloud-based portal.

“Cybersecurity solutions for small offices are typically complex and challenging for businesses to deploy and use because they are re-engineered from legacy enterprise solutions designed for organizations with thousands of users,” says Paul Lipman, CEO of BullGuard. “Small businesses are more vulnerable to cyberattacks as cyber criminals increasingly focus their attention on the small office space and these companies are typically not as well protected as their enterprise counterparts. BullGuard Small Office Security is designed explicitly to meet the needs of today’s small offices.”

BullGuard Small Office Security is ideal for any small business, including those that currently use third-party companies to install and manage their endpoint cybersecurity, as well as small offices that prefer to manage their own security in-house. Set-up and deployment take just minutes, security issues can be resolved in an instant, and the service uses minimal device resources. The BullGuard Cloud Admin Portal is designed exclusively to meet small office endpoint management requirements, providing easy and comprehensive real-time management of all devices.

“We have made cybersecurity a less daunting challenge for small business owners,” says Lipman, “making it simple for them to stop professional cybercriminals from gaining access to their company’s data, intellectual property and funds. Now, small companies can enjoy complete endpoint protection from a trusted brand and get on with the more important task of running their business.”

 

16—Opening Facebook Offices to Small Businesses Around the World

Guest post from Facebook

We know the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses, so having the right resources and skills to manage your business during this time is critical. That’s why Facebook is opening our doors to small businesses to help them prepare for the holiday season and introducing new tools to help them manage their business across our apps more efficiently.

We estimate more than 140 million businesses use our apps every month to find new customers, hire employees or engage with their communities.

Introducing Customizable Templates to Boost Your Holiday Creative: We know businesses have limited resources and time, and it may not always be possible to create new assets for advertising campaigns. So we’re making it easier for businesses of all sizes to create vertical, full-screen assets by introducing customizable templates for Stories, available across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.

New Features to Manage Customer Communications: Earlier this year, we enabled businesses to manage their messages from Messenger and Instagram Direct in a single location from their Facebook Page Inbox. And during the holiday season, we’ll be introducing new features to Instagram Direct messages to help manage customer communications more seamlessly and efficiently across our apps.

From fulfilling orders to keeping up with customer requests, we know staying on top of customer communications is important, so we also created new messaging tools like labels, search and folders to help businesses stay organized.

Since businesses may not always be available to respond to customers right away, in the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out tools like instant replies to let businesses automatically respond to initial messages and give people more information about their business or let them know their typical response time. Businesses can also set up an away message for when their business is closed or on vacation and create saved replies to answer commonly asked questions.

More Tips and Training to Make Your Holiday Marketing Stand Out: We’re also sharing new tips for helping businesses get ready for the holiday season. This year, we’re hosting over 200 free training events for small businesses and nonprofits  around the world.

 

17—Rewind Offers Free Holiday Data Backups for E-Commerce Platforms

Rewind, a leading cloud data backup provider for e-commerce and cloud platforms, just launched Rewind: One-Time, a limited-time, complimentary version of its top-rated data protection software. Helping merchants on Shopify and BigCommerce, Rewind: One-Time can protect and quickly restore a retailer’s online store during the holiday shopping season.

“The holiday season can be an exciting time for merchants, but it can also be quite overwhelming with increased traffic to their stores. We’re excited to welcome the complimentary Rewind: One-Time app to our app store so that merchants can restore their data during the most critical time of the year,” says Fatima Yusuf, Strategic Partnerships Lead, Shopify.

Store uptime is essential for SMB retailers relying on cloud applications. Rewind has found that online stores have a one in five chance of losing their data at some point and time. Data disasters can happen from malicious acts, third-party integrations, or human error. Available now through December 31, 2019, Rewind: One-Time allows retailers to conduct a free, one-time backup of up to 10,000 products and related data tied to their e-commerce storefront so they can limit any downtime due to data issues.

“We want to ensure every BigCommerce and Shopify merchant knows their store data is fully protected this season so they can focus on generating sales, especially on peak days,” says Mike Potter, CEO of Rewind. “With account-level data protection from Rewind: One-Time, retailers can ring in holiday sales rather than spend hours trying to recover deleted products or repair broken links and pages.”

Rewind: One-Time users can upgrade to one of the paid plan options at any time during the holiday season or beyond. Paid Rewind subscriptions add the ability for merchants to take advantage of ongoing, comprehensive backups so they can painlessly restore their full store experience (or select products, images, etc.) to any chosen date/time.

Download Rewind: One-Time to start protecting store data.

 

Quick Clicks

 

18—Most Affordable Cities for Startup

Are some cities better than others for startups?  Affordability counts say the folks at Clever Real Estate. The top 5 areas are:

  1. Austin
  2. Atlanta
  3. Dallas
  4. Jacksonville
  5. Orlando

Get the details—and the rest of the list here on their blog.

 

19—Digital Transformation

It’s essential small businesses embrace the cloud. Ring Central explains why here.

 

20—Virtual Offices

Do you need a virtual office? Do they add value for today’s small business owners? Check out this guide from Alliance Virtual Offices .

 

21—Taking Time Off

Celebrity Cruises surveyed employees to find out how much personal time off (PTO) they received and how much they actually took. The Perceptions of PTO reveals:

  • Ironically, the hospitality industry offers the least amount of PTO for its employees
  • Nearly 50% of employees say they left paid vacation days unused while 1 in 5 have been denied a PTO request
  • PTO isn’t really PTO: 1 in 3 employees work at least 20 minutes while on vacation and 77% say they feel stressed when working on their days off
  • Nearly 1 in 5 employees admit they’d rather have an extra 5 PTO days than a 10% raise on their yearly paycheck.

 

22—Coaster Cycles Partners with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Coaster Cycles has teamed up with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). The partnership is the latest example of Coaster’s mission-driven business model— “to inspire communities and brands to move, connect and deliver with the world around them.”

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of 4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who was fighting cancer and wanted to raise money to find cures for all children with cancer. Her spirit and determination inspired others to support her cause, and when she passed away at the age of 8, she had raised $1 million. Since then, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement.

The partnership kicked off last week with the debut of a new limited issue ALSF Coaster Lemonade Bike. Coaster will support ALSF through a variety of charitable integrated programs. The company will make a donation that will help fund impactful research and family resources ($20) for every Coaster sold, offer clients the opportunity to add a donation to ALSF at checkout, organize Coaster service days in support of ALSF, and raise awareness of ALSF activities and fundraising initiatives.

 

Small business stock photo by Odua Images/Shutterstock