Monday, November 20, 2017

Join the #MetLifeSmallBiz Twitter Chat – Build Culture, Win Talent:  Driving Small Business Success

Sponsored Post

Join the #MetLifeSmallBiz Twitter Chat – Build Culture, Win Talent:  Driving Small Business Success

Do your employees like working at your company? The answer to this question is probably related to the kind of company culture you’ve created.

If company culture seems like too much of a “touchy feely” concept for you to worry about, it shouldn’t!

After all, the kind of company culture you create is directly related to the quality of talent you can attract — and how long you are able to keep them!

You already know people are the key to success in your business.

So it should be easy to see how company culture capable of attracting great talent and keeping them interested in working for you all relates directly to your bottom line.

Join Anita Campbell, CEO and founder of Small Business Trends, Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of SmallBizDaily and the small business experts behind Susan Solovic for the Twitter chat “Build Culture, Win Talent: Driving Small Business Success” sponsored by MetLife.

The event will take place Nov. 29, 2017, 3 to 4 p.m. ET and you can participate on Twitter at #MetLifeSmallBiz. Additional hashtags to be used during the chat include #SBIndex and #smallbiz.

MetLife will also be on hand to facilitate the discussion.

Among questions to be asked of participants — particularly small business owners — will be “what makes your culture great?”

That’s assuming you feel you have a great business culture. If you don’t, you may want to hear from other entrepreneurs what goes into creating a great small business culture.

You’ll also hear how small businesses can attract and retain qualified employees in a tough labor market.

Finally, you’ll hear what benefits are particularly attractive to talented prospective employees.

Share your insights with other small business owners and hear what they have to say. You may discover ways to improve your company’s business culture and drive small business success as well. Be sure to join us.

More Details:

What: “Build Culture, Win Talent: Driving Small Business Success” Twitter Chat


Where: Twitter

Hashtag: #MetLifeSmallBiz

When:  November 29, 2017 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET

This article, "Join the #MetLifeSmallBiz Twitter Chat – Build Culture, Win Talent:  Driving Small Business Success" was first published on Small Business Trends

Join the #MetLifeSmallBiz Twitter Chat – Build Culture, Win Talent:  Driving Small Business Success

Wendy’s and Other Top Brands on Fast Food Survey Offer Franchise Opportunities

Our Favorite Fast Food Restaurant is Wendy's, Ranker Survey Shows

Americans have ranked the country’s favorite fast food restaurants, and Wendy’s restaurant takes the top spot.

The burger joint just recently began offering franchise opportunities to investors as it looked to expand. And it wasn’t the only franchise restaurant that topped the chart. Subway and KFC come in second and third respectively, according to the latest survey of top fast food brands in the country by digital polling company

Those companies, too, are available to investors looking to enter into restaurant franchises.

Ranker’s Favorite Fast Food Restaurant Survey

Ranker’s community voted online for the best fast food burger places in America but what’s really important to entrepreneurs looking for a potential a good opportunity is how any of these brands offer franchise opportunities. Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A closed Ranker’s top five favorite fast food restaurants in fourth and fifth position respectively.

If you are craving to invest in a popular franchise business, some of the highest rated restaurants on Ranker’s list offer more than just delicious burgers and crazy toppings. The fast food restaurants are companies that use franchise owners rather than own each and every location.

Among the favorite fast food restaurants on Ranker’s list with franchise locations available to investors and entrepreneurs are Wendy’s, Five Guys and Burger King.

Top 10 Best Fast Food Restaurants

The top 10 most loved restaurants in the U.S. from Ranker’s survey are:

  1. Wendy’s
  2. Subway
  3. KFC
  4. Taco Bell
  5. Chick-fil-A
  6. Dairy Queen
  7. Five Guys
  8. Arby’s
  9. Burger King
  10. In-N-Out Burger

A well-known fast food restaurant outside the top 10 is McDonald’s (ranked 29) that continues to churn out new burger offerings, along with classics like the Big Mac. McDonald’s also offers franchise opportunities, with its 68 million daily customers in 119 countries across more than 35,000 outlets.

Evidently, opportunities to invest in a restaurant franchise are almost as plentiful as cheeseburger choices.

Positions on Ranker’s list of favorite fast food restaurants were influenced by both votes and re-ranks. Fast food lovers could re-rank the whole list of 50 leading restaurants, and this had more influence on the final item’s position than a binary up/down vote, the online polling company said.

Wendy’s Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Wendy’s and Other Top Brands on Fast Food Survey Offer Franchise Opportunities" was first published on Small Business Trends

Wendy’s and Other Top Brands on Fast Food Survey Offer Franchise Opportunities

PayPal and Synchrony Financial Offer More Small Business Options with Expanded Partnership

PayPal and Synchrony Are Expanding Their Partnership to Offer More Credit Options to Consumers and Merchants

When it comes to growing your small business, getting the right credit offering can make all the difference. PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) and small business online lending company Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) have announced they are expanding their partnership to offer you just that — more options to get credit.

PayPal and Synchrony Are Expanding Their Partnership

As part of the expanded partnership, Synchrony Financial will acquire PayPal’s U.S. consumer credit receivables portfolio that’s valued at $5.8 billion. “This will free up cash currently used to fund consumer credit receivables for other uses,” PayPal Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in a statement.

In freeing up more cash for other uses, the sale of PayPal’s U.S. credit assets will reportedly help to improve its digital consumer credit services, and facilitate building of an “innovative, more personalized payment experiences for consumers and merchants on our unrivaled two-sided network.”

Small business merchants who offer PayPal Credit and consumers who enjoy the convenience and flexibility of shopping with PayPal Credit will continue to receive the benefits and seamless buying experiences they have come to expect from PayPal, the company said.

Other online business financing solutions like PayPal Working Capital will also continue to operate as they do today, PayPal noted. The online payments processor will also continue to integrate Swift Financial into its platform to offer more loans to people who use PayPal as a bank (like freelancers).

PayPal Online Consumer Financing Program

PayPal and Synchrony Financial have partnered to offer PayPal-branded consumer credit cards since 2004. When this new deal closes in the third quarter of 2018 subject to regulatory approval, Synchrony Bank, a unit of Synchrony Financial, will become the exclusive issuer of the U.S PayPal Credit online financing program.

“Credit helps people and businesses grow and achieve their aspirations,” Gary Marino, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at PayPal, said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Since 2008, we’ve been proud to offer our U.S. customers online consumer financing that gives shoppers greater financial flexibility and helps merchants sell more, driving greater engagement on our platform.”

Image: PayPal

This article, "PayPal and Synchrony Financial Offer More Small Business Options with Expanded Partnership" was first published on Small Business Trends

PayPal and Synchrony Financial Offer More Small Business Options with Expanded Partnership

$10M Worth of Apps: Zoho Creator’s #GivingTuesday Gift to Non-profits

Sponsored Post

Zoho Creator is just what your non-profit needs and this #GivingTuesday, your organization can get a subscription for a free year.

Be it a calamity that catches the world unawares, or a chronic issue that’s been going on for decades, there’s no dearth in the help pouring in from all quarters.

#GivingTuesday celebrates this philanthropic spirit by inviting individuals and organizations to take part in the joy of giving. Since its inception in 2012, #GivingTuesday has gone from strength to strength and is now a massive charity movement in its own right.

On this day, the desire to give back to the society peaks, and non-profits, being the vanguard of every army that wishes to change the world, breath life into that desire.

Taking Strides with Technology

In today’s world, every industry counts on technology to work towards the desired end, which in most cases is an increased revenue. But being a non-profit, your primary focus is on people rather than processes. Besides streamlining processes, you need technology to bring like-minded people to fight alongside for your cause.

Zoho Creator is one such software that’s been empowering non-profits with technology to manage their data, automate processes, and connect people. Some of the apps offered are unique to non-profits, such as Donor Management, Volunteer Portal, and Event management, to name a few.

This #GivingTuesday, as a token of appreciation for all the great work that you’ve been doing and will be doing, Zoho Creator is offering $10 million worth of subscriptions free for all non-profits for a year, complete with access to all its apps that are sure to get all your technological needs covered.

Here’s all You Need to do to Avail Yourself of this Offer — Sign Up

Just make sure you’re a registered non-profit in your country.

Zoho Creator is Just what Your Non-profit Needs. Here’s Why.

Across the world, several non-profits have recruited Zoho Creator as the tech partner to fight for their cause, some of the notable ones being Red Cross and the Salvation Army, as well as a few with limited access to technology but raring to pitch in and do their part.

Zoho Creator’s non-profit oriented apps assist in fundraising, bringing in volunteers, organizing campaigns, with a profile for every person and a module for every process involved. With this, non-profits can take their reach far and wide while ensuring that their core system stays chaos-free. All of Zoho Creator’s ready-to-use apps  support ample customization and integration with existing systems without having to go deep into the technicalities.

And that’s not all. The apps are supported across all mobile and web platforms, rendering them perfect for work in the field. Added to this are in-app communication features like email and sms triggers, so you can stay connected to your volunteers and donors at all times.

You can claim your offer here, or pass it on to friends. To make your product experience a smooth sail, you can check out the comprehensive tool kit created to guide you through the product.


This article, "$10M Worth of Apps: Zoho Creator’s #GivingTuesday Gift to Non-profits" was first published on Small Business Trends

$10M Worth of Apps: Zoho Creator’s #GivingTuesday Gift to Non-profits

Retailers Continue to See Slow Growth in October

RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse October 2017

The holiday shopping season couldn’t come soon enough for brick-and-mortar retailers in the US. There may be an economic upturn coming, but small retail businesses in the U.S . have yet to sit

RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse October 2017

According to the October RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse, sales at these retailers were down once again by 10.9 percent. The slowdown was the largest in the last six months for retailers. The drop in sales even outmatched poor numbers in August for brick-and-mortars, when they saw a 9.5 percent drop in sales.

And compared to the same month in 2016, October sales were down 7.5 percent.

It’s not just sales that are tumbling for retailers. Foot traffic continues to decline too. According to the Pulse, foot traffic at retail stores dropped 7.5 percent in October too. Both declines  may suggest ecommerce is beginning to eat away at brick-and-mortar sales more consistently.

Conversion Has Risen

Looking for a bright spot or silver lining from this report? The people who do go to retail shops are more likely to purchase something.

Conversion has risen for the fourth month in a row and Shopper Yield spiked with it. Still these numbers weren’t enough to offset the drops in average transaction value. The number of overall transactions dropped from -6.0 percent in September to -7.5 percent in August.

Sales and Traffic

October had it’s best numbers early in the month. Both Shopper Yield and Conversion peaked on October 5. Sales and traffic peaked on the following Saturday, October 7. The average transaction value (ATV) had it’s best day right at the beginning of the month and the numbers dropped after that.

The regional data highlighted some disparities. The Midwest led the entire country in sales with the South coming in a close second. Bad numbers in the East and the West skewed the numbers downward and were responsible for the dismal overall showing.

RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse October 2017

RetailNext, supplies comprehensive in-store analytics for business clients. Their RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse report is an aggregate of millions of retail data points.

Images: RetailNext

This article, "Retailers Continue to See Slow Growth in October" was first published on Small Business Trends

Retailers Continue to See Slow Growth in October

Blockchain Investment Services: What Small Business Owners Should Know

Blockchain Companies Look to Expand Cryptocurrency Investment Services

All economies are built on the basic premise of bartering. Before the creation of currencies, humans exchanged goods by trading one good (or a basket of goods) for another. If someone wanted some of his neighbor’s catch from the day, perhaps he would trade three shucks of corn from his field for one fish–thus initiating a trade.

As society advanced, humans began to use precious metals to assign value to objects. No longer did people trade three shucks of corn for a fish–no, now they had to give the fisherman a small silver coin. Pretty soon, precious metals were the foundations of advancing economies.

Fast forward to today, and the world’s economies look much different. The gold standard is no longer in place, and fiat currencies rule the world. There are complex investment products beyond traditional stocks, bonds, and cash. Now investors can buy swaps, options, and futures to hedge positions or bet on future market conditions. The highly complex investment world is changing everyday, but it also started with a simple barter.

Now, after experiencing almost a decade of success, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are looking to branch out into investment services. The buy and hold strategy has left some people very well off– a simple glance at Bitcoin’s chart reveals how much it’s appreciated this year alone. But as cryptocurrencies grow, many are wondering what’s next for the up and coming investment vehicle.

How is Blockchain Technology Currently Deployed in the Mainstream World?

Several years ago, companies began creating blockchain wallets–think of a digital “bank account” where crypto assets are stored–that automatically converted cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies. This cut out the manual labor side of crypto coin transactions. Users no longer had to convert the currencies using their own calculations.

Then, in early 2015, cryptocurrency debit cards were launched that brought Bitcoin into everyday life. These debit cards allow digital coins to be used like a regular currency. They link the card issuer, the wallet, and the coin exchange together, giving users the ability to “swipe” (scan) their cards  on regular purchases just like a traditional bank debit card. These cryptocurrencies cards give the masses access to the complex blockchain world, as all the computing is done behind the scenes.

Additionally, many blockchain platforms offer B2B and B2C payment services. As cryptocurrencies have dramatically risen in popularity, companies have seen the increasing need to accommodate blockchain transactions. These companies can now participate in blockchain merchant processing services that help businesses conduct operations using cryptocurrency transactions.

The Next Logical Steps

The next logical step is for blockchain based companies to offer investment services through different product offerings. They’ve already tackled some general financial necessities–wallets, debit cards, and merchant transactions. Next, they are hoping to revolutionize more advanced investment industries.

With rising prices comes rising valuations. This is as true of global stock markets as it is of digital coins. The rapid run up in prices this year has understandably left some investors anxious about the next cryptocurrency sell off.

Aware of this, blockchain-based companies like CryptoPay are looking to create blockchain based brokerage service accounts. On the CryptoPay platform, for example, these accounts will work side by side with traditional asset classes — stocks, bonds, and derivatives –to allows users to have cryptocurrency assets alongside other holdings. The result is that investors can move in and out of asset classes as they choose — allowing them to protect against both fiat and cryptocurrency downturns.

Another issue confronting cryptocurrency users is receiving and sending payments from a crypto-coin related source. These payments are well and good when done between other blockchain based platforms. But once a traditional financial services entity is involved, there will likely ensue a compliance nightmare.

In response to this, CryptoPay and others are creating platforms that allow cryptocurrency accounts to be listed with an IBAN (international bank account number) attached. The account will be in the name of the customer, rather than the blockchain company. This will eliminate confusion and allow digital coin users to conduct regular banking operations without an added compliance headache.

Finally, blockchain based companies are developing peer-to-peer marketplaces, specifically to launch ICOs — initial coin offerings. Lack of investor protection has resulted in some ugly cases of fraud, leaving government agencies across the world skeptical of blockchain technology.

In response to this skepticism and out of a heart to protect investors, some companies are launching ICO platforms that offer themselves as a regulatory body. They will act as a go between for issuers and investors, all the while ensuring that both parties’ demands are met. They will also offer underwriting services while working with reputable regulators to ensure that fraud doesn’t take place.

Fiat currency based economies started small and developed over the years, and the same is true with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. As society begins to see increasing demand for cryptocurrency banking and investment needs, many companies are striving to revolutionize the investment world. Some, like CryptoPay, have upcoming ICOs and are hoping to make a splash by entering this promising field.

Bitcoin Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Blockchain Investment Services: What Small Business Owners Should Know" was first published on Small Business Trends

Blockchain Investment Services: What Small Business Owners Should Know

Shopify Integrates UPS Services into Its Ecommerce Platform

UPS for Shopify Now Available

Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) has partnered with UPS (NYSE:UPS) to offer fast and affordable shipping for merchants. With UPS and Shopify Shipping, merchants that use Shopify can take advantage of guaranteed delivery dates. Businesses can also enjoy competitive rates of up to 52 percent off list rates.

Small businesses struggling with shipping costs will benefit from discounted shipping rates, which are usually exclusive to bigger retailers with greater shipping volume. This will mean smaller retailers are able to compete with larger merchants, such as Amazon, in time for the holiday season.

UPS for Shopify

In a blog about the Shopify and UPS partnership, Louis Kearns, Head of Shipping Services at Shopify, spoke of the benefits the integration of UPS for Shopify Shipping will offer small retailers.

“Your customers expect fast, affordable shipping with guaranteed delivery dates. Now with UPS as an option in Shopify Shipping, U.S.-based Shopify merchants can offer a best-in-class delivery experience, just like enterprise retailers,” said Kearns.

As well as offering Shopify sellers discounted rates on shipping, the UPS/Shopify partnership will see Shopify cover any peak surcharges on UPS Ground shipments during the holidays. This will also be a welcomed perk for small businesses that struggle to pay peak surcharges during busy holiday periods.

Speed of shipping is a challenge for many small businesses. These businesses tend to opt for slower deliveries in order to save money. Though slow deliveries don’t equate to happy, satisfied customers.

On the contrary, customers expect fast shipping and delivery and now even small retailers can guarantee speedy and efficient delivery. As with UPS, retailers can guarantee delivery for next day, two days, or even three-day domestic shipping, depending on the different UPS service options.

For U.S. merchants, the fast and discounted UPS Shipping is provided as part of all Shopify plans.

Image: Spotify

This article, "Shopify Integrates UPS Services into Its Ecommerce Platform" was first published on Small Business Trends

Shopify Integrates UPS Services into Its Ecommerce Platform