13 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

By Rieva Lesonsky

1) Dos & Don’ts of Social Media Market Research

Social Media Examiner found using social media for marketplace insight ranked as the 3rd most valuable benefit of social media, with 72% of those spending 11 hours per week using social media for research reported seeing benefits. That’s a huge number, and with 78% of companies planning to further integrate or begin integrating social media data into marketing campaigns, more companies than ever are recognizing the value of social media for market insights.

Matt Zajechowski from Digital Third Coast worked with Insights In Marketing to develop a guide explaining the dos and don’ts of social media market research.

Check out the infographic below for the most common marketing uses for social media (campaign tracking and brand analysis top the list) as well actionable insights and tools to use to help you get the most value out of your social media market research.

dos and donts

2) The Sacrifices Small Business Owners Make

According to the most recent Small Business Growth Pulse from American Express OPEN the extent of personal time and savings devoted to business growth is revealing of the many challenges they face.

The survey reveals that 79% of small business owners continue to identify growth as their top priority, 89% invest a significant amount of personal time in an effort to grow their businesses and 68% have invested a substantial portion of personal savings as well.

Additional insights include:

  • In terms of personal savings that are sacrificed for business growth male business owners (72%) are more likely than their female counterparts (62%) to invest their own personal funds
  • Small business owners are planning investments in capital and in talent:
    • 59% plan to hire over the next six months
    • 71% plan to make capital investments including computer and systems software/additional software licenses (42%) and manufacturing/production equipment (23%)
  • Despite confidence in the ability to grow, concerns about the economy remain high:
    • Uncertain economic conditions was identified as the single greatest challenge facing small business owners (24%; up from 17% in August)
    • Although 92% of small businesses are confident they can access the funding needed to grow, 64% of small business owners predict cash flow issues to arise over the next six months.

Looking at some of the verticals:

Retail

  • 86% of retailers say growth is the top priority for their businesses, yet they are least likely to plan to make capital investments (67%) or hire staff (58%) over the next six months, even though they are most confident they would be able to access the funding needed for growth (97%).
    • Those retailers planning capital investments will invest in computer and systems software/additional software licenses (43%), office furnishings and equipment (21%), manufacturing/production equipment (18%), and real estate investments (11%).
    • 73% of retailers have invested a substantial amount of personal finances to grow their businesses and 94% have invested a significant amount of personal time to grow their businesses.
      • 71% have sacrificed time spent with family to grow their businesses.
    • 66% have spent a larger percentage of time working ON their businesses to drive growth rather than IN their businesses managing details.
    • 35% plan to grow by introducing new products/services in the next 6 months.

Their biggest challenges are:

  • Uncertain economic conditions (29%)
  • Rising cost of doing business (27%)

63% are concerned about cash flow, including:

  • The ability to accurately track cash flow (18%)
  • Having enough cash on hand to win new business (17%)
  • The ability to pay bills on time (16%)
  • Accounts receivable (9%)
  • The ability to meet payroll (3%).
  • 82% say they will fund & grow their businesses using credit and charge cards and 78% say an increase in their credit limits would be beneficial to their businesses.

Services

  • 71% of services business owners say growth is the top priority for their business and 72% plan to make capital investments.
    • Those planning capital investments will invest in computer and systems software/additional software licenses (52%), office furnishings and equipment (26%) manufacturing/production equipment (16%), and real estate investments (12%).
    • 61% plan to hire over the next 6 months.
  • Services business owners are among the least likely to invest personal time/resources and make personal sacrifices in order to grow their businesses.
    • 60% have invested invest a substantial amount of personal finances to grow
    • 83% have invested a significant amount of personal time to grow their businesses. 67% have sacrificed time spent with family
  • 53% spend a larger percentage of time working ON their businesses to drive growth rather than IN their businesses managing details.
  • 21% plan to grow their businesses over the next 6 months by selling more of the same products/services, but in order to “get to the next level,”
    • 38% need to expand their product/service offerings
    • 37% need to expand the market for their current products and services.

Their biggest challenge is uncertain economic conditions (19%)

59% are concerned about cash flow, Including:

  • 16% are concerned about having enough cash on hand to win new business
  • 15% worry about their ability to accurately track cash flow and accounts receivable
  • 7% are concerned about the ability to meet payroll and ability to pay bills on time

You can check out more information here.

3) Small Business & the Economy in an Election Year

You’d have to live in a cave not to know an election year is upon us. According to a new survey from OnDeck, the candidates for president must address small business owners’ concerns about their “Big Three Issues”: economic growth, rising healthcare costs and taxes.

The survey shows 94.1% of the survey respondents voted in the last presidential election, compared to less than 60% of eligible voters.

Check out the infographic below for more details.

OnDeck_Infographic_Election Survey Infographic

4) How Cold Weather Affects Your Small Business

In the last few weeks millions of people’s lives have been disrupted by various winter storms and blizzards. Hiscox, a specialist small business insurer, says it’s important for small business owners to consider how cold-weather hazards could impact their businesses—or lead to lawsuits. Cold weather affects walking, driving and working conditions, and small business owners should be prepared for potential accidents that may arise as a result of snow and ice.

Here are 3 tips from Hiscox about how to protect your businesses from cold weather lawsuits:

Fully understand your lease agreement: Are you or your landlord responsible for typical cold-weather accident claims, such as a “slip-and-fall?” Many business owners who rent business space may believe their landlords are responsible, but that’s not always the case. Even if you’re not responsible, you could be liable for not notifying your landlord of a potential hazard.

Consider all potential hazards: Black ice is often the first winter hazard that comes to mind, but this is not the only possible danger for your clients and customers. Injury could arise from slipping on a wet floor inside, for example, due to trekking in ice from outside. Consider inside and outside hazards during the winter months. Don’t forget about your employees, too—keep your business safe so that you can avoid any potential accidents for anyone who is around your business.

Ensure you have the correct liability protection for your business: Although you may be proactive about keeping your business’s walkways safe, you never know when an accident could happen. Even if the case is dismissed or found to be without merit, you may still incur pricey legal costs. The right liability insurance policy will cover you against these fees, too.

5) 3 Customer Experience Predictions for 2016

Guest post by Merijn te Booij, Executive Vice President, Product and Solution Strategy, Genesys. 

We saw some interesting developments in customer experience in 2015, including the rise of smart watches and mobile payments, but the grass is always greener on the other side of Silicon Valley. And with Moore’s Law resuming its steady march toward our Internet of Things future, it’s hard not to get excited about the potential of the ever-deepening union of tech and CX.

So, without further ado, I’d like to offer my predictions for the top three developments in customer experience for 2016:

  1. Data Will Come Alive: For years we’ve been hearing that big data will define the future of business, as more transactions and interactions leave data trails that can be analyzed to improve business performance. But over the next year, I think we’re going to see the data game enter a whole new stage, as the gap between data collection and data analysis merges into a real-time feedback loop. The result? More immediate, personalized customer experiences driven by more efficiently run businesses and precisely targeted marketing.

Consider this: already, Apple Watch customers can analyze personal data about their heart rate and burnt calories with the push of a button, and their iPhones are tracking their every move through an increasingly precise GPS. That GPS data provides users with localized information for their Siri requests or Yelp searches, but what happens when younger Millennials and Gen-Zers also feel free to share their health and fitness data, like they do with their Venmo payments?  Will special offers from local restaurants be texted to Apple Watch customers, “rewarding” them the moment they hit their daily fitness goals? If those customers have iBeacon enabled, will they be alerted to calorie-conscious savings as they browse the aisles at Whole Foods?

That’s just one possible scenario, but you get the picture. As more data generated by customers’ actions—both online and off—is collected and analyzed by increasingly smart software, the data will be fed back to those customers in new forms, almost immediately, evolving and further refining the customer experience. In 2016, data will start to come alive.

  1. A.I. Will Play a Larger Role in Customer Engagement: I have to admit, whatever else one might fault Amazon for, their focus on finding ways to improve the customer experience has always impressed me. The past summer’s official launch of their new artificially intelligent (A.I.) tabletop assistant, Amazon Echo, is no exception. As smart as Siri, Google Now, and Cortana are—and they learn more every day—it’s the most intelligent cloud-based “personal assistant” I’ve yet seen in a consumer device. It can play music, answer questions, control smarthome devices, and help customers make Amazon purchases all through simple voice commands, thanks to its remarkably accurate natural-language processing. But even Echo—or “Alexa,” as the Amazon A.I. prefers to be addressed—pales in comparison to the renowned cognitive-computing Jeopardy! champ, IBM Watson.

At Genesys, we’ve been working with the IBM Watson team to find ways to put its A.I. smarts to use in enterprise contact centers, and the results have been incredibly promising. Watson’s ability to quickly process tremendous amounts of unstructured data allow it to search databases for answers to customers’ questions far quickly than human agents ever could. And that makes it an ideal agent for handling many of the inquiries that businesses receive through their websites. As IBM Watson and other systems like it continue to develop, they’ll begin to replace more of the jobs once held by human customer service agents, such as engaging in live chats with customers online. Human agents will still be needed to address more complicated, high-level customer inquiries for the foreseeable future, yet slowly but surely the machines are joining the contact center team.

In 2016, with A.I. becoming increasingly conversational and integrated into our daily lives, I predict more customer engagements will begin with the words “Siri” or “Hello, Alexa” as their novelty value is finally outstripped by their actual usefulness.

  1. Mobile Will Evolve for an Integrated Customer Experience: For my final prediction, I’m going to highlight something that may seem obvious but can’t be taken for granted: the increased importance of mobile in the CX hierarchy. Nearly half the human race carries a smartphone with them now. And in 2016, mobile experiences will evolve for customers in newly integrated ways.

It’s been over a year since Apple Pay made it possible to pay for in-store purchases with an iPhone, following a few steps behind mobile-payments pioneer Starbucks, but now everyone’s getting in on the m-Payments craze. Like the rise of Siri and Google Now, it’s simply a natural consequence of businesses realizing the tremendous value inherent in customers carrying portable computers with them everywhere they go. The smartphone is a digital wallet, an information and entertainment platform, a GPS navigational tool, and all of the main customer engagement channels—voice, text, web, native app, email, social media, video—rolled into one.

What will kick this into high gear next year is a greater number of companies realizing that, because a smartphone includes all engagement channels within it, it’s becoming the primary way to reach and interact with one’s customers. And we’re going to be seeing more businesses designing integrated customer journeys accordingly. If your business isn’t already working on evolving your customers’ mobile experience in this way, why wait? If your retail store intends to accept mobile payments, then follow Starbucks’ lead and build your loyalty program around it. Automatically email customers their receipts along with special offers. Offer them incentives for posting about their experience on social media. Create a fast, optimized mobile app that allows them to browse a graphical menu and make a purchase before they arrive. If you have beacon technology, text them exclusive offers when they walk past your store.

To paraphrase William Gibson, the technology is already here; it just isn’t evenly integrated yet. Over the next 12 months, my hope is that the very best instances of CX will see all of the above predictions come together simultaneously for a data-driven, computer-assisted, and mobile-optimized customer experience that still feels, for all the technology involved, deeply personal to each customer.

At least, that’s my vision for CX in 2016. Are you clear about yours?

6) 5 Priorities to Help E-Retailers Grow Revenue in 2016

Guest post by Matthew Pufall, Director of Product for Assurant Solutions, with a focus on developing and marketing Assurant Product Protection, a technology solution that integrates easily into online retail platforms to help SMBs offer revenue-generating protection plans to their customers. For more information visit www.AssurantCartProtection.com

As you focus your e-retail strategy in 2016, it will be imperative to keep your eyes on five growing trends that will be critical for SMB merchants: doing even more with less; adaptation of technology into all areas of business; enhancing revenue opportunities with existing product inventory; leveraging digital tools to increase sales; and differentiating your brand.

Evolving your e-retail strategy to include these five areas will be essential, as shoppers clamor for a user experience that motivates behavior to buy goods from someone other than a large online retailer.

E-Retail Isn’t Low-Hanging Fruit for Revenue

And even though the world of e-retail may feel like endless low-hanging fruit, with eMarketer saying sales are expected to more than double to $3.6 trillion by 2019, you need a plan with the right set of priorities.

Effectively implementing these priorities in 2016 will improve customer loyalty and trust, increase average order value and elevate conversions. This is important since most retailers currently show roughly a 2% conversion rate, and a 68% cart abandonment rate according to Practical Ecommerce.

The following are five areas smaller merchants should be focused on to improve their e-retail experience in 2016:

  1. Doing even more with less: Despite an economy that continues to improve, e-retailers are not necessarily in a position to double their staff. It is therefore important to build an e-commerce strategy that fosters revenue growth without the need for additional staff to make it happen.
  2. Adaptation of technology into all areas of business: An effective e-retail strategy today is more than just a pretty web design. It needs to be effective in order to meet the expectations of today’s user experience. The ecommerce experience must leverage a technology infrastructure that can process order fulfillment and manage customer service, with the ability to scale the shopping cart seamlessly.
  3. Enhancing revenue opportunities with existing product inventory: Unlike large online retailers, smaller merchants aren’t focused on [adding] additional products to their web store shelves outside of specific categories. However, complimentary add-on opportunities are proving to be an effective way to expand product opportunities for customers, as well as increase the average order value within the shopping cart.
  4. Leveraging digital tools to increase sales: It is one thing to build add-ons into your web storefront, but it’s another thing to make it happen without additional IT staff to manage an expansive build-out of the e-retail store. Smaller merchants capable of competing with larger online retailers will identify the right partners to leverage digital tools to increase revenue potential.
  5. Differentiating your brand: At first glance this one might sound cliché, however, it is one area that naturally presents itself when the above four areas have been implemented. Online shoppers today range from finicky bargain hunters to specialized consumers looking for niche products. However, an e-retailer that can leave a customer feeling like they trust you, are loyal to you, and are willing to spend a little extra are the ones that will truly thrive.

At its core, you want to create more than just customers. You want to create raving fans. You can begin to accomplish this when your web storefront and e-retail experience gives them what they want, at a price they’re willing to pay, and with an overall experience that will make them want to tell their friends about.

7) 2015: Strong Year for Millennial Employment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its final national employment data report for 2015. According to a new issue brief by Generation Progress analyzing the BLS monthly economic reports 2015 was the strongest year yet for Millennial employment since the Great Recession began. However, while the numbers show indications of recovery, Millennials still face tough economic realities.

“December was the 63rd consecutive month of job growth, reflecting the nation’s progress toward economic improvement, and 2015 marked a particularly promising year for Millennials in the job market,” said Sunny Frothingham, Policy Advocate for Generation Progress and co-author of the issue brief. “But while the U.S. saw major economic gains, unemployment remains a major challenge for young people, especially for young black and Latino workers. Continued economic recovery and future economic stability depend on providing employment opportunities to all workers.”

Major findings in the issue brief include:

  • Unemployment among youth fell in 2015 to its lowest level since 2007, but remains high
  • Older Millennials fare better in terms of employment, but disparities between Millennials and older workers still persist
  • Black Millennials still face much higher unemployment rates relative to other groups
  • Youth labor force participation rate fell sharply immediately following the recession, and has remained flat for the past five years
  • Older Millennials are participating the labor force at a rate far greater than the national average

The issue brief found the annual average labor force participation rate among youth remained flat at 55% in 2015, despite a continued decline in the national rate for all workers over 16. While youth labor force participation is expected to be somewhat lower than the rate for older workers—reflecting the fact that many Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are in school rather than working—evidence suggests that rather than accessing education in increasing numbers, many young workers who have not returned to the labor market after the recession are in fact waiting on its sidelines, waiting for job opportunities to improve.

In its analysis, Generation Progress also found that black Millennials continue to face depressed employment opportunities, even as black labor force participation steadily increases. The gap between black and overall youth unemployment rates narrowed to the smallest gap in the past 10 years. But when viewed in light of growing labor force participation among black Millennials, it’s clear that young black workers seeking employment face vastly higher barriers. Still, 2015 marked the lowest annual average unemployment rate for black youth since 2007, at 19.2%.

8) Payments: The Last Mile of Online Customer Intimacy

Guest post by Kurt Bilafer, Global Vice President Sales & Success at WePay

When it comes to online commerce, the point at which money changes hands has often been the moment a sale falls apart. What was a carefully crafted brand experience becomes off-putting and complicated. There are confusing redirects, forms that clash with the rest of the design, and a lot of sensitive data that needs to be entered.

But that’s now changing, and fast. Innovative companies have stepped up their game, using technologies that make a much easier payment experience possible. That in turn is changing consumer expectations about what a payment transaction should be like. You now need to bring your payments experience up to this new standard, or risk getting beaten by competitors who do.

Why? Because removing barriers for your customers is a hallmark of customer intimacy, and customer intimacy is one of three value disciplines that every company must master to dominate their market. A customer-intimate company has to get to know its customer at a deeper level with every interaction. It must understand what they want and need, sometimes even before they do. Payments are the last mile of a customer intimate experience.

Come fund me

GoFundMe, the world’s largest crowdfunding site, is a great example of a customer intimate company. GoFundMe’s customers are ordinary people trying to raise money to deal with adversity, support causes they care about, or follow their dreams. They’re accepting donations, but they aren’t traditional nonprofits, or traditional merchants. They just want to raise money, fast.

GoFundMe wants to enable each fundraiser to accept payments only for the duration of their campaign. Asking them to go through the traditional business process of signing up for a merchant account, handing over their personal financial data, and going through an underwriting process so they can accept credit cards for 90 days doesn’t make sense. It just puts a big obstacle in their way.

At the same time, GoFundMe has another set of customers with a different set of needs: the donors. They don’t have the time or the ability to investigate every campaign to assure it’s on the up-and-up before they give. And they don’t want to have a bad checkout experience when they’re trying to do a good deed.

GoFundMe gets it. They’ve built the simplest possible onboarding experience, so fundraisers can start collecting money in minutes. Yet they’ve also built in trust and safety. Behind the scenes, they’re leveraging new, customized risk technology to verify that fundraisers are who they say they are, so that donors can give with confidence.

The way they’ve managed to balance the competing priorities of the two sides of their user base shows they really understand their customers. And that’s the sort of change that’s coming to payments. It’s not acceptable anymore to just move money now. You have to do it in a customer intimate way.

Managing the last mile

Payment is not the main objective of any transaction. It’s just the last mile of a decision that has already been made, but it’s a big part of that whole experience. It needs to be valued and curated and managed in the same fashion as the rest of your customer experience.

In the past, customers accepted payment struggles as part of buying online, because that was the industry standard. That standard is rapidly changing as platform business models adopt new technology to make taking and making online payments easier than ever, bringing customer intimacy to payments.

At minimum, you have to make it so payments aren’t something customers struggle with. But there’s also an opportunity to exceed expectations and use a customer-intimate payment experience as a competitive differentiator. In the platform economy, the companies that understand and execute on that will win.

9) Fitness Trends

Every year, fitness-related resolutions are the most common of the lot, but the sad truth is that most people have given up on those resolutions by now. No one knows this better than fitness equipment sellers who see their sales spike in the New Year and fall back to normal quickly in the next few weeks. eBay looked at recent sales of athletic apparel and gear to find out what’s trending in 2016 across the U.S.

live 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10) Courage, Cowardice and Career

Guest post by Edward G. Brown, the author of The Time Bandit Solution: Recovering Stolen Time You Never Knew You Had and co-founder of the Cohen Brown Management Group, a top firm in culture change management consulting and training for the financial services industry. You can connect with him on Twitter, @EdwardGBrown.

A frustrated CEO expostulated to me recently, “I am so tired of cowardly managers who simply will not confront their people’s performance. That’s their job! I put them there to manage their people to higher levels, not float along with the status quo. They know who and what need confronting. But for some reason they are afraid to do it. Drives me crazy!”

The obvious answer that he had overlooked in his frustration was actually right there in his hands. When managers lack an essential skill, they need to be trained in it. If they are afraid to do their job, they need to be taught, in this case, courage.

Yes, you read that right. Courage is a learnable skill. It’s what is called a “third-space skill,” in a world that considers business and engineering first- and second-space skills.

Did the frustrated CEO just happen to hire a bunch of timid souls? I doubt it. You will find his problem rampant in companies around the world. He was just a bit ahead of most in accurately naming the problem: fear. It is fear in denial—fear that people who experience it rarely admit to. But it’s fear.

Failures in the workplace happen in front of people you’re trying to impress, to say nothing of creating financial hardship. So our fears deepen, but by now we are experts at denying them sturdily.

And my, how creative we get in our denials! Fear of confronting honestly: First I want to get my employees trust before I point out their shortcomings honestly. If I’m too frank, they will not listen to me. Fear of exposing weakness: What if my team thinks, ‘Who are you to tell me how to sell? You’re a manager; you’ve never sold a thing.’ Fear of selling: I don’t want to be seen as pushy. I don’t want my customers to have buyer’s remorse later on. I’ll just send them another email reminding them about our sale, instead of calling and assessing their needs. Fear of bigger challenges: I’m doing okay now. If I get promoted, I might fail.

You can see why I am passionate about teaching courage as a vital third-space skill. But how is it done? There are five key ways:

  1. First, as the 12-steppers know, you can’t fix it until you admit it. Courage comes from the French word for “heart.” People trapped by their fears are discouraged and need to be encouraged, given heart. What gives them heart? Realizing that they are not alone—that the brashest, boldest-appearing colleague they know carries fears, too—that sets them on a path to admitting their own fears.
  2. Next, people need to realize that courage is learnable. Just as there are steps to learning math, or engineering, or French, there are steps to learning courage. It comes in increments, but it comes.
  3. People quail in the face of big risks but can be coaxed to take lesser risks. We call that the Off-Broadway Principle. Stage your show where a failure won’t hurt. Correct mistakes before going big. Have your managers take these small risks within 48 hours of learning the skill so that they immediately build confidence and experience. Lag time creates space for fear to reassert itself.
  4. Understand peoples’ objections as something to be welcomed, not feared. When was the last time you were being sold something, or told to do something, and you immediately responded with “Yessir!” That’s not how people work. We question, we clarify, we offer concerns, we negotiate. That may sound like objections but as we like to say, “Objections are the royal road to closing the deal!”
  5. Fears are often revealed through nervous behaviors. Shaky voice and hands. Rushed words. Monotone. Shrinking posture. Don’t let that happen to your managers. Instead, take them offline and feed them confidence in the form of communications arts and skills. Here’s the tone you want, and the tempo – practice using them. Here are what your hands should be doing, and your eyes, and your arms. Here are words to use for this occasion, and others for that. Where’s the smile? Here’s how to listen. How do you show that you’re sincere? Change the physical and the mental will follow.

Success is not for the faint of heart. Like luck, success favors the brave. If your managers are letting fear hold them back, whether they know it or not, there’s only one solution – teach them courage so that they can let go of their fears and leap forward to reach their full potential.

11) Want to be a Healthcare Entrepreneur? Here’s 3 Things You Should Know

Guest post by Neil Smiley, Founder & CEO of Loopback Analytics

Address HIPAA and HITECH requirements up front. The regulations and protocols for handling sensitive patient and payment data are stringent and complex, creating a major barrier for many startups. It’s easy to overlook this component and try to back into it later, especially for entrepreneurs who have only a consumer’s perspective of healthcare. However, you’ll be dead on arrival if data security isn’t baked in from the beginning. Not only will your product be impossible to sell, but noncompliance puts you in breach of the law, the penalties are draconian—you could be subject to significant fines or even go to jail.

Understand how your customers get paid. Let’s be honest: Healthcare reimbursement is kind of a mess and it’s undergoing a sea change from a volume-based fee-for-service system to an outcomes-based model. However, the status of that transition varies considerably across the industry. What saves money or adds new revenue for one customer may actually be detrimental for another. For example, reducing hospital readmission has become a big issue, and CMS has begun leveling penalties against some hospital and provider networks with high readmission rates. Perhaps your product can help them meet CMS goals in spectacular fashion. However, some hospitals are not subject to those penalties, and reducing readmission for them could mean eliminating a large chunk of their topline revenue. If your technology improves patient outcomes and reduces overall cost of care—Great!  But make sure the customer you are selling to will benefit financially or they won’t be able to keep paying you. 

Be able to quantify the Return on Investment (ROI) for your service. One of the toughest things about selling new healthcare technology is collecting data to quantify the benefit, especially in the outcome-based pricing and shared-savings environment, and asking your customers to provide data to validate your ROI puts you in a very weak position. It’s even more challenging to get paid on soft benefits like improved satisfaction, productivity or improved communications, unless you can show how those benefits translate into the hard-dollar savings for the customer.

12) Brooklyn Small Business Initiative

I was born in Brooklyn and spent the first formative years of my life absorbing small business lessons in the back of my grandfather’s liquor store in Brownsville, so I was excited to learn about the Brooklyn Small Business Initiative.

JPMorgan Chase is providing over $500,000 in support to four nonprofits developing new programming to catalyze local small business growth. Throughout Brooklyn, JPMC is supporting cohort-based management training programs and business networks focused on high growth sectors including advanced manufacturing, food production and the innovation economy. These industries, anchored in Brooklyn, are centerpieces of New York City’s planning for a stronger and more equitable regional economy. Take a look:

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation ($150,000) is focused on creating and preserving quality jobs, bolstering the city’s modern industrial sector and offering a vast array of resources to the businesses within the Yard and surrounding community.

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership ($50,000) is a non-profit local development corporation that champions Downtown Brooklyn as a world-class business, cultural, educational, residential, and retail destination.

Evergreen—Your North Brooklyn Business Exchange ($160,000) is a membership organization that champions manufacturing, creative production, and industrial service businesses in North Brooklyn and beyond

Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation ($150,000) provides advocacy and services to help businesses in the Sunset Park, Red Hook and Gowanus neighborhoods grow and create employment opportunities for local residents.

 

Cool Tool

13) New Accounting Software Combines the Best of Desktop & the Cloud

Sage North America, a leading provider of business management software and services to small and medium businesses, just released Sage 50c accounting software, combining the familiarity (and power) of using a desktop-based product with the anytime, anywhere convenient access to data that a cloud-based solution provides. Sage 50c is the easy, secure way for small business owners and their accountants to work together.

Sage 50c offers the same robust feature set and advanced reporting capabilities of the desktop-only Sage 50 product, and automatically syncs all data to the cloud. All updates and changes are instantly available, which enables business owners to work while away from the office and also grant secure 24/7 online access to their accountants. Sage 50c also includes the new Sage Payment Center, an in-product dashboard for Sage 50 customers who have a Sage Payment merchant account. Accessed from inside the software, it’s a convenient way for Sage 50 customers to view payment information and perform their most common payment activities.

Sage 50c includes access to key Sage payroll and payment services, which offers a number of benefits such as:

  • Offering customers more ways to pay: sell anywhere and accept various types of payment.
  • Minimizing the payroll management burden: quickly and accurately manage payrolls, including direct deposits, or turn those responsibilities over to Sage.
  • Filing taxes with ease: including e-filing for added convenience.

Sage 50c is available now by subscription only, and Sage will help existing Sage 50 customers make the simple migration to Sage 50c. For more information, including how to get started, you can connect with Sage.

sage