small business

Things Small Business Owners Need to Know

1—Reimagining “Open” for Business

Wells Fargo expanded its existing efforts to support diverse- and women-owned small businesses by naming graphic designer and illustrator Sophia Yeshi as the bank’s first-ever artist-in-residence. For her first project as the Wells Fargo Artist in Residence, Yeshi reimagined the “Open” sign as a bold statement to symbolize the perseverance of millions of small business owners through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic—as well as the long road ahead to full recovery. The new “Open” sign is available for download, and later this summer, small business owners can pick up a sign at any Wells Fargo branch while supplies last.

The Artist-in-Residence initiative is part of Wells Fargo’s commitment offering small business owners access and assistance to tools, guidance, and resources—including financial grants and loans available from nonprofits via the Open for Business Fund. The fund is a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort for those hit hardest by the pandemic. If you want to connect with the Business Fund grant recipients, a list is available here.

Yeshi says, “It was very rewarding to shine a light on the stories of individual diverse small businesses as part of my recent collaboration with the bank. With the new ‘Open’ sign I created for my first project as Artist in Residence, I’m excited to celebrate the passion and dedication of all small business owners as they begin a new chapter.”

Yeshi is Wells Fargo’s first artist-in-residence, and her residency runs through December 2021. In addition to creating the new “Open” sign, Yeshi will provide Wells Fargo small business customers with branding consultations as they reimagine their businesses in the months ahead. The Artist-in-Residence program is part of the company’s “We made a way. Together” campaign, focused on helping entrepreneurs connect to resources and learn from peers about new ways to evolve their businesses.

2—Marketing Conference Returns

Keap, a leader in sales and marketing automation software for small businesses, recently announced the return of the IKON conference, its annual customer event designed to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses without chaos. The in-person and online event will take place from November 3 to 5, 2021, at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas in Scottsdale, Arizona.

After converting the 2020 IKON conference to a virtual experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Keap will welcome customers to a three-day hybrid event in 2021. Participants will learn how to get more out of Keap, connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, and uncover strategies to optimize their business with proven sales and marketing strategies.

The conference will feature workshops, networking sessions, and a product showcase led by industry experts, Keap product managers, and other small business owners. Sessions will focus on improving sales efficiency, automating key sales and marketing processes, speeding up payments, and maximizing revenue.

Participants who prefer to join remotely will be able to watch all the same in-person events, live-streamed from their homes or offices.

3—New Checking Account for Small Businesses

Kabbage, an American Express Company, just launched Kabbage Checking1, the first business checking account offered by American Express and built for U.S. small businesses. With an annual percentage yield (APY) of 1.1% on balances up to $100,000, Kabbage Checking is designed to help small businesses grow, with no monthly maintenance fees, no set-up fees, and convenient on-the-go features—all backed by American Express.

American Express also began offering Kabbage FundingTM to millions of existing customers with plans to make it more broadly available later this year. Kabbage Funding provides small businesses the opportunity to apply for flexible lines of credit between $1,000 and $150,000.

Small business owners can apply online for a Kabbage Checking account in minutes, regardless of your business’s age or revenue. Once onboarded, customers can access:

  • Free in-network ATMs: Withdraw funds at over 19,000 ATMs
  • Mobile check deposits: Deposit eligible checks using the Kabbage app
  • Kabbage debit card: Access ATMs, deposit cash and add to digital wallets
  • Reserves: Organize your money for specific savings goals or categories
  • Bill pay: Set up recurring payments to vendors
  • Customized checks: Pay vendors, cover payroll, and more
  • In-person cash deposits: Deposit funds at 90,000 participating retailers nationwide that may have extended operating hours versus many bank branches.2

Kabbage Checking is provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC. For full terms and conditions, visit www.kabbage.com/checking.

Retailer fees and limits apply. For full terms and conditions, visit www.kabbage.com/checking.

Cool Tools

4—Monitor Your Cash Flow

Keynova Group announced Bank of America ranked first in its 2021 Small Business Banker Scorecard, which measures the digital user experience of small businesses at seven leading financial institutions.

Bank of America’s newly redesigned Cash Flow Monitor tool was one of the key factors in the decision. This tool is designed specifically for small businesses, providing business owners with a complete view of business cash flow, the ability to share spending reports, and connected app experiences.

5—New Payment Device

QuickBooks recently announced QuickBooks Card Reader, a new innovative payments device designed for small business owners. Integrated with QuickBooks Payments, the card reader is the latest fintech offering to help small businesses get paid faster, no matter how or where they work.

They also introduced QuickBooks Power Stand, a complementary device that wirelessly charges this reader to give small businesses a countertop payments hub in-store or on the go. It can also charge a phone or tablet with a built-in USB port.

6—Want to Sell Unused Domain Names?

GoDaddy also just launched List for Sale, a service that enables people to quickly—and easily—list and sell their unused domain names. The tool is available for free to all GoDaddy customers who own a domain name, providing an opportunity to generate a profit on unused domains.

Once a GoDaddy customer clicks the List for Sale button in their Domain Control Center, they will be guided through a simple process where they can list the sales price for the domain, create a “For Sale” landing page for the domain’s website, and then publish a listing for the domain on Afternic, the world’s largest domain marketplace. In addition, GoDaddy provides an estimate pricing tool to help users set an accurate price for their listing.

7—On-Demand Alcohol Delivery

Square recently announced the ability for its sellers to offer alcohol delivery through Square Online’s on-demand delivery feature. Now, restaurants, bars, breweries, bottle shops, convenience stores, or any seller using Square Online can offer their customers the option to purchase alcohol from their website and have the order fulfilled through a delivery partner.

On-demand delivery allows sellers to offer alcohol delivery to their customers simply and affordably. When an order is placed on a Square Online ordering page, a courier from Square’s delivery partner DoorDash is dispatched to the business location, picks up the order, delivers it to the buyer, and ensures age verification. The buyer can track their order every step of the way, and sellers pay a flat fee of $1.50 per order to Square and a delivery fee to the fulfillment partner—with no marketplace commission. Restaurants can take even more control of costs bypassing a portion of their fees to the buyer or offer custom delivery promotions.

8—GoDaddy Makes it Easier to Sell on Google

GoDaddy teamed up with Google and launched One-Click Google Shopping Expansion and easy ad creation.

This expansion introduces GoDaddy customers to several new features, including:

  • Posting free listings on Google to promote products on the Google Shopping tab, Google Search, Google Images, Google maps, and Google lens
  • Utilizing the Smart Shopping Campaign offering to promote products across more channels on Google (including YouTube and Gmail)
  • Managing and tracking Google posts directly from their GoDaddy dashboard

 Get more details.

Survey Says

9—Are You Addicted to Coffee?

Roasty Coffee recently surveyed Americans about their relationship with coffee both before and during the pandemic to discover if coffee consumption habits have shifted.

Takeaways:

  • 71% of respondents drink coffee daily
  • Americans on average drink 3.12 cups of coffee per day
  • 82% believe drinking coffee helps them perform better at work
  • Top 3 things coffee improves: 1. Energy 2. Mood 3. Productivity
  • 37% of respondents admitted to adding alcohol to their coffee at least once during work hours
  • 30% of respondents admitted to using a coffee mug to hide alcohol during a work meeting

 10—Or Maybe You’re Addicted to Sports?

The Lines recently surveyed sports fans across 40 different industries around the country to learn more about their relationship with sports at work.

Findings:

  • 71% of sports fans admit to checking scores or reading about sports at work—25% do it daily!
  • The average employee spends 49 minutes reading sports at work each day
  • 73% of sports fans actually watch sports at work—that number jumps to 86% for hybrid workers
  • Most common places to watch sports at work: 1. Breakroom 2. Car 3. Storage room 4. Under desk 5. Empty office/conference room
  • 47% would take a pay cut if they could always watch their favorite team while working

11— Global Travel Survey

SAP Concur unveiled its 3rd annual global business travel survey, which explores business travelers’ changing attitudes, expectations, and priorities this year.

Full details are in this blog post, but here are some highlights:

  • Global business travelers are enthusiastic about returning to travel: 96% are willing to travel for business over the next 12 months.
  • Although they are ready to hit the road again, global business travelers want to do so on their own terms. As a result, flexibility is now the most pressing need for business travelers, ahead of their vaccination-related demands (72% vs. 62%).
  • If their company doesn’t meet these expectations, business travelers—especially those from younger generations—intend to act—31% would ask to limit travel if their company does not implement policies or measures to help protect their health and safety.
    • The issue is even more important for younger generations—56% of Gen Z and millennial respondents would ask to limit travel or search for new positions.
  • This climate puts additional pressure on travel managers, who must be extra vigilant to ensure policies match employee expectations. However, although 100% of surveyed travel managers expect their company to implement some travel guidelines or policies in the next 12 months, increased flexibility is near the bottom of the list.

12—On the Road Again

We know Americans are traveling again, filling up airports all over the country. After conducting a survey on travel sentiment this past January, IPX 1031 recently surveyed Americans to re-visit the topic to see how their feelings towards travel have changed.

Findings:

  • 85% of respondents are optimistic about traveling in 2021 (up from 48% in January 2021)
  • 75% plan to travel in 2021 (up from 58% in January 2021). 55% have already booked their trips
  • Among the 75% who plan to vacation this year, 71% plan to travel within the U.S.
  • 71% of respondents feel safe flying right now (up from 28% in January 2021)
  • 59% of respondents have budgeted $2,000 or more for a trip this year

13—Shopping Under the Influence

CouponChief was interested in how many people made purchases while intoxicated. Their survey highlights:

  • 7 in 10 people admit to making at least one online purchase under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Men (76%) were more likely than women (64%) to make purchases under the influence.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 Millennials make online purchases under the influence
  • 40% of all surveyed and 45% of those in their 20s say they’ll continue to make online purchases while under the influence

Over half of the people kept all the purchases they while made under the influence.

14—PTO Usage and Vacations

VacationRenter surveyed employees to analyze how they’ve used their personal time off (PTO) and found:

  • 41% of employees say they took less time off in 2020 compared to previous years
  • Over 1 in 3 plan to take off more this year than they did in 2020
  • 46% plan to take more days off this year specifically for their mental health
  • Employees say the most helpful actions companies can take to encourage PTO use are:

o   Offering companywide days off (40%)

o   Offering additional time-off as a reward for performance (39%)

o   Tracking days off and encouraging PTO if employees haven’t used it (37%)

On another note, vacations come in many different forms, including a workcation, a term to describe working remotely while on vacation. It may seem like working while on vacation defeats the point of taking a break, but studies show a workcation can increase work productivity and decrease stress. VacationRenter also surveyed people who have taken a remote vacation and learned:

  • 1 in 5 chose not to stay entirely off the grid on their remote vacay due to work obligations
  • Of those working on their vacations, nearly 2 in 3 say their work productivity increased
  • 4 out of 5 respondents felt that a remote vacay improved their mental health

15—Delivery Tracking

How important is delivery tracking to you? 4over surveyed consumers about how their delivery tracking habits and found:

  • 96% of consumers track deliveries after ordering online, and 43% say they track deliveries daily after ordering
  • 87% of consumers have had a package delivered late. 73% feel a sense of anxiety when a package is delayed
  • 45% think that 2-3 days is an acceptable amount of time to wait for shipping, while 24% prefer next-day shipping when available
  • 29% say they would not order an item online if they couldn’t track the delivery

Quick Clicks

16—Check it Out!

Here are some tools, websites, and articles you may want to check out.

17—Apps for Small Business

There are so many apps that make a small business owner’s life a little easier. Here are a few to check out:

  • VizyPOS—compatible with A80 and A920 PAX terminals, the VizyPOS app is an all-encompassing solution designed to manage inventory, provide in-depth analytics, seamlessly integrate VizyPay’s Cash Discount Program, and more.
  • Clover Cash Discount App—compatible with all Clover POS systems, the app helps customers implement the unique Cash Discount Program with just a few simple taps to instantly start saving money.
  • Canva—user-friendly graphic design website that offers both a free and paid version. Thousands of templates allow SMBs to create visually appealing assets for marketing. Canva has both a desktop version and mobile app so that you can create from anywhere quickly
  • Promo—a video creation platform made for businesses and agencies. The platform helps users easily create visual content and unlimited videos to promote anything they want effectively. Promo has a tiered, monthly pricing model to suit the needs of various sizes of businesses.

Small business owner stock photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock