Monday, July 30, 2018

Consumers Love Personalized Offers, but Only If They Opt In

Excerpt from an article by Krista Garcia
To read more, visit eMarketer

"According to an April 2018 survey of US internet users by verification services company SheerID and Kelton Global, more than two-thirds of respondents said an offer just for them is more important than a promotion sent to everyone, and 94% would take advantage of an offer that wasn’t made available to the public at large.

What would these consumers do if they were given an exclusive offer? Nearly half said they would make a purchase sooner than normal, while 41% would look for products to buy so they could use the offer, and 38% would treat themselves to something they wanted but didn't really need. This would be the nudge to make a purchase, but fewer would spend more or buy a more expensive product.

As many studies have shown, consumers want personalized offers, but they also want control over how much a brand or retailer knows about them."

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Sharing Economy Boom: What it Means for the Supply Chain

Excerpt from an article by Megan Ray Nichols
To read more, visit Thomasnet

"You probably already know about consumer sharing services such as Uber and Airbnb. These services involve the peer-to-peer acquiring or providing of goods and services, which are selected by users via an online platform or app.

This system is mutually beneficial, since the people who rent out their cars or houses on these marketplaces and platforms can earn money and develop a positive reputation, and the people purchasing have a viable, often much more affordable and personalized alternative to traditional services.

When the greater economy subsides, the sharing economy rises. In these situations, people generally have less individual wealth to devote to temporary goods or services, prompting them to search for shared resources. The sharing economy is also growing as the supply chain shifts. Consumers now expect fast deliveries, from anywhere in the world. As a result, shared fulfillment centers and trucking are gradually becoming the new reality."

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Paypal is a Serious Small Business Lender

Excerpt from an article by Bob Coleman
To read more, visit ColemanReport

"Paypal, Amazon and Alibaba pose more of a threat to traditional lenders than the Fintech industry.

As Fintech ebbs and flows, these high tech giants are starting to put up some serious small business lending numbers. Amazon just passed $3 billion.

Last year Paypal also topped $3 billion in small business lending in the United States.

In the US, PayPal offers two financing programs, including one that is similar to the UK program, which takes a percentage of merchants’ PayPal revenue and is underwritten primarily on PayPal sales without a credit check. The other program available in the US is closer to a conventional business loan, taking into account a variety of credit factors and repaid with weekly payments from a business bank account."

Monday, July 23, 2018

Here’s what happens when startups go wrong

Article by Scott Kirsner

Read more in the Boston Globe

When things start going south at a startup, no one wants to talk about it.

The stream of self-congratulatory press releases and social media messages dries up, and executives suddenly stop replying to interview requests. Laid-off employees have typically been asked to sign nondisparagement agreements, so they clam up, too.

Those reasons combine to make it tough to write about the most challenging stage of a startup’s existence: when it has burned through its bankroll, and will either die, get acquired by another company, or figure out some way to survive.

[Cue Gloria Gaynor]

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Rise of Robots in Industry 4.0

Excerpt of an article by Megan Ray Nichols
To read more, visit Thomasnet

"According to recent studies, approximately 2.6 million industrial robots will be active by 2019 — or one million more units than just a few short years ago. It's a record-setting pace that yields mixed reactions from the public. While some are skeptical of the role of robots in the future workplace, others are more than willing to embrace industrial robots and all the opportunities they provide in Industry 4.0.

Big data is just as critical to Industry 4.0 as industrial robots. Many of these next-gen, AI-powered machines utilize advanced data sets to monitor day-to-day operations, provide recommendations, and even learn from their mistakes.

Robots are especially popular in predictive maintenance. By monitoring the condition of production hardware and comparing it to recent trends, industry benchmarks, and manufacturers’ specifications, automated robots diagnose machines before they fail. This functionality gives operators and technicians the opportunity to intervene before something goes wrong.

Robots aren't necessarily replacing the jobs of qualified professionals."

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Home Health Care License

From Health.ny.gov

As part of the New York State Fiscal Year 2018‐2019 budget, a new law was enacted which places a two‐ year moratorium on the processing and approval of applications seeking the licensure of Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs). This moratorium became effective on April 1, 2018 and will continue until March 31, 2020.  The full language of the moratorium can be found in Section 9‐e of Part B of Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2018.

To comply with the statute, no LHCSA application can be accepted for processing unless it meets one of the statutory exceptions.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Women's Earnings Lower in Most Occupations

Excerpt from an article by Amy Newcomb
To read more, visit Census.gov

"Women continue to earn less than men in nearly all occupations, but this is more pronounced in fields that predominantly employ men and in professions with a comparable mix of men and women. The largest pay gap is within the finance and sales professions.

Overall, women are also more likely to be employed in lower-paying jobs.

“The pay gap has narrowed over the last 50 years,” said Lynda Laughlin, chief of the Industry and Occupation Statistics Branch at the U.S. Census Bureau. `However, the gender pay gap continues across the board in almost all occupations. In 2016, median earnings for women was $40,675, compared with $50,741 for men.'"




Friday, July 13, 2018

What to Do if Your Accountant Makes an Error

Excerpt from an article by Brian Eckert
To read more, visit Bplans

A certified, professional accountant can be a valuable partner to a small business at all stages, from formation, to financials, to the sale of the business. Handling your own accounting might seem like a money-saving strategy, but it may not be the best use of your time. Aside from that, do-it-yourself accounting can sometimes result in expensive mistakes.

Paying a professional can have benefits that far outweigh the added costs. But if an accountant makes an error or gives advice that has financial consequences for your business, it can create the sort of setback you were hoping to avoid by hiring a pro in the first place.

As the business owner, you may incur liabilities or suffer losses that stem from an accountant’s negligence. If this happens, you may be able to hold the accountant legally responsible for financial losses that their actions (or failure to take action) result in.

Suing isn’t always the first, best, or only course of action. But if your accountant made a costly error and is unwilling to set things right, you should understand your legal rights and options.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

What is Dropshipping, and Is It Best for Your Online Retail Business?

From MarketingProfs

As an online retailer, you have many options for fulfilling orders from customers, so it's important to figure out which business model is best for your goals.

In this article, we'll cover the difference between dropshipping and other order-fulfillment options. We'll also detail the pros and cons of each order-fulfillment method so you can decide which option is right for your business and needs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Save Magnolia Park, Burbank, CA

From News from ME:

I do not live near "Beautiful Downtown Burbank" (as the great Gary Owens called it) but I fear for it. What's going on there, as described in the video below, is happening all over this country. It's the squeeze-out of non-chain businesses being replaced by cookie-cutter corporations.

From YouTube:

The retro charm of Burbank's unique shops is what makes Magnolia Boulevard a must-visit destination for all. Beloved by the community and visited by people worldwide, we are now in danger of losing everything that makes this strip unique.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

What Makes Food Shoppers Spend More?

From eMarketer

The US economy is in relatively good shape when looking at measures like unemployment (it's down) and gross domestic product (it's up), but consumers are still feeling financial pressures. According to a Q1 2018 study by market researcher IRI, 47% of US internet users said they are making sacrifices to make ends meet. That's down from 50% in Q1 2017, but it's still a sizeable percentage.

Even so, one-quarter of respondents plan to buy more premium brands in the next six months. This intent was stronger with higher-income brackets, as well as with retirees and seniors.

When asked what they would be willing to pay more for, benefits beyond basic nutrition had the most interest (36%), followed by natural or organic products (29%). Paying extra for home delivery and in-store pickup of online orders were less popular.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Many Facebook Users Are Sharing Less Content

From eMarketer

For the most part, Facebook users haven't stopped using the social platform following the Cambridge Analytica revelations. In fact, in its Q1 2018 earnings report, the social media giant showed no sign of users—or advertisers—abandoning its platform.

And according to a recent survey by Thomson Reuters, nearly half of US Facebook users said they haven't changed how much they use it. Interestingly, over a quarter of respondents said they use it more, while fewer report using it less (18%) and only 1% said they deleted their account.

Still, there are some who are concerned about their personal data and how it will be used. When asked why they're sharing less content with friends and followers on social media, 47% of Facebook users said it was because they have privacy concerns.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Trade War Against China Is Officially Underway

From the New York Times:

A trade war between the world’s two largest economies officially began on Friday morning as the Trump administration followed through with its threat to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products, a significant escalation of a fight that could hurt companies and consumers in both the United States and China.

But the trade measures come at a cost for American firms, which are facing potentially devastating disruptions to their businesses.

Economists say [the] trade war will raise costs for American industry, potentially threatening the manufacturing jobs that [he] has long said he wants to protect. And some of those higher costs will ultimately work their way through the supply chain to American consumers.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Lender Match Connects Small Businesses with SBA-approved lenders.



From SBA.gov

The SBA is making it easier for small businesses to find lenders through Lender Match, a FREE online referral tool that connects small business borrowers with participating SBA lenders. Whether you live in rural America or a metropolitan area, SBA’s Lender Match can help you access capital for your business.

Lender Match is a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Real-World Education for Modern Marketers

From MarketingProfs:

The Federal Trade Commission's Telemarketing Sale Rule (TSR) includes regulations to support both law enforcement and consumers. It provides the FTC and state attorneys general law-enforcement tools to combat telemarketing fraud; it gives consumers added privacy protections and defenses against unscrupulous telemarketers; and it helps consumers differentiate between fraudulent and legitimate telemarketing.

Key provisions of the TSR include, without limitation, the following: required disclosures, prohibited misrepresentations, limited call-time windows, required information on caller ID transmissions, abandoned outbound call prohibitions, billing and payment restrictions, upsell requirements, pre-recorded message restrictions, and recordkeeping obligations.

However, with some exceptions, most telephone calls between a telemarketer and a business are exempt from the TSR, and telemarketers often rely on the B2B exemption from applicable Do Not Call (DNC) registries and other telemarketing rules.

But there is a caveat.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

TMI: Some Consumers Regret Oversharing Online

From eMarketer:

A new survey finds that many consumers worry about how much personal information they've shared online.

Indeed, a January 2018 survey of internet users in Western Europe and the US by digital identity management service provider ForgeRock found that more than half of respondents are concerned. What's more, they regret sharing different types of personal information online, particularly the sensitive kind.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Rage Against the Machine

From News From Me

I have a New Concept for the Target Stores: Having salespeople who can actually sell you stuff…and this goes for Home Depot, as well. In the last month, I've had two instances, one at each chain, where I wanted to buy something, the store's computer system seemed to be doing everything possible to prevent that transaction from transacting and human beings were of little use to override it. I'll start with the Home Depot story…

Monday, July 02, 2018

FTC Action Against Phantom Debt Brokers and Collectors

From Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General’s Office have charged two New York-based operations and their principals with running a scheme to collect money from consumers on fake and unauthorized debts.

This action is part of the FTC’s continuing crackdown on all players in the phantom debt chain, including those who sell fake debt portfolios and those who harass consumers to collect the phony debt.

According to the FTC, debt broker Hylan Asset Management LLC and its owner, Andrew Shaevel, bought, placed for collection, and sold lists of phantom debts, including debts that were fabricated by the defendants or disputed by consumers. Hylan placed these phony debts for collection with several collection agencies, including Worldwide Processing Group LLC and its owner, Frank A. Ungaro, Jr., who collected on the fake debts and used illegal tactics to do so.

The complaint alleges that Hylan was aware the debt was fabricated. Much of it was purchased from Hirsch Mohindra, a defendant in a separate FTC action who was banned from the debt collection business and from selling debt portfolios. Mohindra had bought the debt from Joel Tucker, a defendant in another FTC action who was banned from handling sensitive financial information about consumer debts.

Despite this knowledge, Hylan continued to buy phantom debt lists and place them for collection, even after learning that consumers disputed the debts. Similarly, Worldwide Processing continued its collection efforts after consumers said they had never heard of the lenders and provided records to prove they owed nothing. Worldwide Processing engaged in other illegal collection practices, including failing to provide required notices about the debt and consumers’ rights to dispute the debt, and threatening to contact, or contacting, family members or other third parties.

The defendants are charged with violating the FTC Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and New York state law.