Digital Marketing Myths, Avoiding Invoicing Mistakes, The Secret Lives of Small Business Owners and Other Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

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14 Things Small Business Owners Need to Know

 

1—Increase Employee Productivity

Only 57% of employees surveyed say their workplaces enable them to work productively. That’s not good. Truss, a leading online marketplace to help SMBs find and lease office space, shares 10 things to consider when moving to a new office, or updating the one you’re in.
uncategorized-gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== - Digital Marketing Myths, Avoiding Invoicing Mistakes, The Secret Lives of Small Business Owners and Other Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Infographic created by Truss Holdings Inc

 

2—Optimism Rises as Business Owners are Less Concerned About an Upcoming Recession

Small business owners are thinking positively—64% say current business conditions are good or excellent, while 43% say they are concerned a recession will impact the success of their business in the next year, according to Capital One’s latest Small Business Growth Index. The biannual survey of small business owners found that in just six months, small business optimism has increased five percentage points and recession concerns have decreased six points.

“Running a small business requires relentless optimism and motivation, and it is encouraging to see that business owners are not letting speculation of a potential recession dampen their optimism,” says Jenn Flynn, head of small business bank at Capital One. “With the 2020 election looming, business owners’ top concerns continue to focus on  taxes, technology and cash flow, which will potentially play a role in their voting decisions.”

Key themes in the Fall 2019 Small Business Growth Index

While overall concerns about a recession are down, an economic downturn would have a major impact on small business—especially women-owned businesses. 

  • 85% say their businesses would be impacted if the economy entered a recession in the next six months, with impacts ranging from being more conservative when it comes to inventory or supplies (65%), negatively impacting cash flow (61%), causing a decrease in sales (59%), and impacting ability to grow and expand (57%), among others.
  • When reviewing cash flow concerns, 32% say they feel fully prepared for a potential recession, while 42% feel slightly prepared, 24% feel either not very prepared or not prepared at all.
  • 49% of women SBOs are concerned about a recession impacting the success of their business in the next 12 months compared to 40% of men.

Business owners are keeping an eye on the 2020 presidential election as they plan for the future. 

65% of SBOs feel the election will have an impact on their companies, and 55% say policies that impact businesses are top of mind. Heading into 2020, top concerns include taxes (56%), keeping up with competition (41%), keeping up with technology (39%) and cash flow (38%).

  • Despite increased optimism, only 36% of business owners think their businesses will be in a better financial position six months from now, down from 44% in Spring 2019.

Mission-driven initiatives are emerging as a way for businesses to attract and retain customers. 

  • 36% of business owners say they have a mission-driven or community impact initiative, which mostly consist of donating money (62%), volunteering (50%) or focusing on pro bono work (39%). 29% report they have green or recycling programs, and 27% enable customers or clients to donate as part of doing business with them.
  • 92% of SBOs with a mission-driven initiative say it has an impact on the overall success of their businesses, with outcomes including boosting their public perception (73%), attracting new customers (66%), keeping them motivated (65%), helping to retain existing customers (65%), and driving hiring and retention of employees (37%).

Hiring remains steady, with business owners relying on increased salaries to recruit new employees. 

  • 30% plan to hire in the next six months, consistent with 29% who had plans to hire in Spring 2019. Millennial (50%), minority (40%) and women (35%) SBOs are more likely to have plans to hire than other SBOs.
  • 64% of SBOs with plans to hire in the next six months say they are competing for talent by providing industry-leading salaries. As such, 31% are marketing their business as a great place to work, 30% report they provide a flexible work environment, and 28% say they are providing more benefits to compete.
  • Business owners are mixed on the impact of company culture on business success, with 33% noting it has a major impact, 25% reporting it has a moderate impact, and 18% feeling it has a minor impact.

 

3—Devil’s in the Details: Invoicing Blunders Small Businesses Should Avoid for the Holidays

Guest post by Lisa Marco Pritchard, VP Marketing, Invoice2go

Holidays are a hectic time for everyone, but for the micro business owner it can be especially so, as they are juggling all the roles and responsibilities of running a small business on overdrive. So, in order to reap the benefits of (i.e. get paid for the hard work put in during the holidays), below are some red flags to watch out for during the holidays and beyond.

Procrastinating: Everyone has a tendency to procrastinate, but when it comes to billing (and getting paid) invoicing should not be a task to put off.  Popular lifestyle blogger, Leo Babuta has created great, easy-to-use tips to help with procrastination such as: once a day set a timer for 5 minutes and focus on the task you’re avoiding. If you do this once a day, you’ll be surprised at how much you get done!  

Not Signing a Contract: A lot of small business owners shy away from signing contracts, believing contracts only protect the vendors, but this is not true. A valid, signed contact is for SMB protection in case the product or service is defective or deficient. Always have a signed agreement when making a deal with a business partner, vendor, employee, etc., and the word “agreement” here is key too. Make sure both parties agree on the terms before the document is signed, so there are no surprises later!

Not Backing up your Invoice: Only having one copy of an invoice or not backing up the document online is like putting “all your eggs in one basket”. Accidents do happen—computers get stolen or crash and the data disappears as well as basic human error (i.e. losing, misplacing or accidentally destroying the invoice) can occur, so it’s a good practice to always back up your online document and/or keep more than one hardcopy in your files.

Not Offering Multiple Payment Options: If you want to get paid as quickly as possible, then you should make it as easy as possible for your clients to pay you. The best way to do this is having a number of payment options including credit card processing, direct bank deposits and money transfer such as PayPal, Avvo or Zelle.

Not Branding Your Invoices:  Having your company logo on your invoice is good for a number of reasons, but the top three are: Serves as a good branding opportunity, presents your company as a professional establishment and it also differentiates it from the other invoices your client is receiving.

Using a Paper-Based System: While it’s not a bad practice to have a hard-copy of your invoices, relying on solely paper-based systems is not ideal as it opens up more room for error, misplacement and mismanagement of documents and, ultimately, increases the processing and payment time. By switching to a cloud-based system, like Invoice2go, SMBs save money and time as it simplifies the tracking and managing of documents, enables faster processing and offers immediate payment options. Also, online invoicing systems makes it easy to backup documents and set up reminders for recurring payments all in one place in the cloud.

 

4—Parcel Shipping Index Reports Continued Growth

Pitney Bowes, a global technology company that provides commerce solutions in the areas of ecommerce, shipping, mailing, data and financial services, recently unveiled the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index. The annual report discovered global parcel volume reached 87 billion in 2018, up from 74bn parcels in 2017 and is the highest since the Index began. Despite unprecedented global trade uncertainty, the report forecasts this figure will more than double within the next six years and reach 200 billion parcels by 2025 with a 13.7% CAGR for 2019-2023.

The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index measures both volume and spend for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-business and consumer consigned shipments with weight up to 31.5 kg (70 lbs.) in 13 major markets, representing 3.7 billion people—the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, China, Japan, Australia and India. Based on proprietary and published data, the Index has been compiled annually since 2015, and has become a valued industry benchmark.

The latest report reveals growth of 17% in 2018, in line with the 17-28% growth projection range given in previous Parcel Shipping Index reports.

Jason Dies, EVP and Vice President Sending Technology Solutions, Pitney Bowes says, “Global parcel revenues continue to benefit from the explosive impact of e-commerce, but it isn’t just online shoppers boosting the industry. We know from our clients’ own behaviors that office sending is increasing, particularly in industries such as IT, Healthcare and Manufacturing. Carriers are trialing new and exciting strategies to deliver the best customer experience, to keep costs down, boost productivity and generate profitability, such as forming partnerships, designing next-generation sending technologies and developing last mile innovation.”

There are a lot more details in the infographic below.

uncategorized-PB ParcelShippingInfographic 2019 FINAL 1 - Digital Marketing Myths, Avoiding Invoicing Mistakes, The Secret Lives of Small Business Owners and Other Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know

 

5—6 Digital Marketing Myths

Guest post by John Marcinuk,  Group Director for Blue Fountain Media, a leading digital marketing agency 

MYTH #1: Content marketing is the only thing you need to worry about

Content marketing is a cornerstone of any digital marketing strategy, but its importance has taken on a mythical quality in the past few years. Our understanding of what content marketing is and how it can operate within a strategy is often grossly over-simplified, reduced to the basic recommendation: “Just write more content!”

A better way to think about content marketing is through the metaphor of a wheel, where content is the hub and the digital marketing techniques that support and amplify the content are the spokes. Every effective strategy relies on having quality content at its core, but it needs support from other marketing channels to achieve its purpose.

MYTH #2: SEO is dead

SEO has undergone some massive changes since the early part of this decade, and that level of change has prompted many predictions of SEO’s ultimate demise.

It’s true that SEO as we once understood it (keyword repetition, quantity over quality of backlinks, etc.) is no longer with us. However, the true spirit of SEO—creating unique, valuable content and optimizing it so search engines can crawl and interpret it properly—is still alive and well.

MYTH #3: Facebook is dead

No one can deny it’s been a rough few years for Facebook. The tech giant has been plagued by bad press, leaks of embarrassing information, and privacy scandals. This, in addition to competition from younger social media platforms, has led to a lot of bold statements that Facebook is dead or, at the very least, dying.

The truth for many businesses is that Facebook still generates the most solid returns of all the social networks on which they maintain an active presence. Facebook remains the largest social network, and while it’s important to be aware of changing market forces and not invest all your resources in a single channel, we’re certainly not ready to declare it obsolete yet.

MYTH #4: More content is always better

Another myth that springs from content marketing’s meteoric rise as digital marketing darling of the moment. Because we tend to hear about the importance of content marketing over and over again, we are sometimes led to believe that we have to generate heaps of content at any cost. With new channels for content cropping up all the time (live streaming, social media stories, and more), it’s all too easy to stretch yourself too thin trying to be present everywhere all the time.

The truth is that very few businesses have the resources to create such a tremendous volume of content while simultaneously maintaining a high level of quality. It’s usually a far better strategy to focus on creating quality content for a select number of channels, rather than spray more low-quality content across the web just to say your brand is everywhere.

MYTH #5: Digital marketing can’t generate quick, near-term results

A lot of digital marketing tactics (content marketing, organic social media marketing) take time to generate results. These tactics do not deliver overnight results because the benefits tend to accumulate the longer you invest in them. This has created a myth that digital marketing is not capable of generating results in the near-term.

In fact there are many tactics at your disposal that can generate traffic and awareness very quickly. Paid channels are particularly useful for this purpose. Paid ads in search and social, influencer marketing, and even email marketing can very quickly deliver impressions, traffic, and conversions. It’s still important to optimize these channels, however, as you will be able to  make campaigns more efficient with time.

MYTH #6: The best investment is more martech

The right tools can be a boon for your digital marketing efforts. Effective tools that are strategically implemented as part of a digital marketing plan will help employees work smarter and make better decisions.

However, layering in new technologies on top of your existing marketing stack can quickly become prohibitively costly. Too much tech can overwhelm marketing managers, and tech that hasn’t been appropriately vetted and thoughtfully incorporated into operations won’t be used to its full potential. Don’t be distracted by shiny objects. It’s always better to be strategic about which new technologies you choose to take on.

 

uncategorized-Expensify 1 300x169 - Digital Marketing Myths, Avoiding Invoicing Mistakes, The Secret Lives of Small Business Owners and Other Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know6Reinventing Corporate Cards

Expensify recently launched the Expensify Card, a free corporate card for companies of all sizes. The corporate card is a natural extension of the Expensify platform.

“The Expensify Card offers the most reliable, consistent view of your company’s spend, all in one place,” says David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify. “Expensify started as a corporate card way back in 2008, before we decided to focus on expense, so it’s fun to see the product come full circle with a card that naturally extends our existing platform. The card will make life even easier for our customers, who no longer have to worry about lost receipts, late fees, or accidental overspending.”

Here’s how it works: When an employee swipes the Expensify Card, each card transaction automatically inputs expense details and generates an audit-protected receipt, automatically completing the expense report and sharing transactions with admins in real time.

On the admin side, daily settlement allows for unmatched cardholder limits and a lower risk of employee overspending, so there are no surprises at the end of the month. Admins also benefit from real-time compliance notifications that keep their cardholders within expense policy guidelines, which expedites the submission and approval process.

Additional advantages of the Expensify Card

  • Continuous reconciliation of approved expenses between Expensify and integrated accounting systems so admins maintain a real-time picture of company financials.
  • Spend controls and card limits on unapproved expenses so companies can proactively manage cash flow and ensure policy compliance.
  • No fees, interest, commitments, or personal guarantees.
  • Exclusive perks from Amazon Web Services, Stripe, PagerDuty, Bill.com, Intercom, Highfive, Carta, Guideline, Stack Overflow, Gusto, SendGrid and more to help businesses run smoothly.
  • More time-saving benefits for the Expensify Card will be released in the coming months

You can sign up for the Expensify card here: card.expensify.com

 

7— Sunny Outlook for SMB Suppliers

There’s a bright future ahead for SMB businesses, according to the first Survey of Small and Midsize Business Suppliers from American Express. The survey includes responses from SMBs with revenues between $250,000 to $1 billion annually.

According to the survey, 81% of respondents predict an increase in their sales to corporations with over $1 billion in revenue over the next five year. Of those companies, 50% of respondents anticipate a revenue increase of 50% or more.

“Contracting with corporations offers tremendous growth opportunities for businesses across every industry and can help drive supply chain competitiveness, unlock innovation, provide access to new markets, and deliver positive socioeconomic impact in local markets,” says Donna Donato, vice president of Strategic Sourcing and Business Enablement for American Express. “As our survey results found, business owners who already contract with companies that generate over $1 billion in revenue are diversifying their revenue streams and expanding their internal teams which ultimately benefits our economy.”

The opportunity: Large corporations make substantial external purchases each year—as much as 30-50% of total revenue depending on the industry, creating vast opportunities for SMBs. The benefits of selling to corporate clients are clear, with survey results showing that many small and midsize businesses experience significant business growth when partnering with such corporate clients:

  • 64%)of respondents have increased their revenues
  • 40% have diversified their revenue streams
  • 40% have grown organically through corporate contracts

Contracting with large corporations has proven to be a successful growth strategy for SMBs, enabling them to add employees—54% hired new employees as a result of winning new business with large corporations, and 74% say working with large companies has helped them hire and retain talent.

Finding, winning and funding corporate contracts: Networking and introducing their brand to procurement officials in target industries were instrumental growth. The survey identified certain key personal and digital networking channels as a means to obtain knowledge about potential new business targets:

  • 54% of respondents rely on both online/offline networking
  • 47% rely on personal relationships
  • 41% rely on company websites and marketing materials

Online networking was more effective than offline networking in securing new business leads—51% of respondents say online social networking via specific groups was most effective in securing new business leads with corporate clients, followed by social media platforms (47%). Offline, respondents saw the most value in networking one-on-one (44%), at trade shows and events (42%) and networking in small groups (37%).

The survey also found that certain business certifications and credentials can further differentiate SMBs from the competition. The most useful certifications in helping to winning corporate contracts:

  • Quality of service or products (48%)
  • Past performance (15%)
  • Socio-economic credentials (10%)

Coming up with the capital to finance contracts with corporations can be challenging, with many SMBs seeking additional financing to do so—57% sought financing to fund their growth to service corporate contracts, among which 66% found the process for securing financing to be manageable. Working with large corporations can open new doors, especially when it comes to financing—74% say working on corporate contracts led to more flexible financing options for their companies.

Challenges of corporate procurement: Of course there are also challenges that come along with fulfilling these agreements.

  • Complex processes (43%)
  • Negotiating payment terms (38%) with 22% of respondents reporting payment terms of 60 days or more
  • Complying with data and security requirements (37%)

In order to meet the expectations of large companies, 56% of respondents have upgraded their company’s data security and privacy policies, and more than 52% have invested in additional IT hardware or software. As a result of winning corporate contracts, 52% of respondents have implemented data security and privacy training and 42% hired new employees on their data and security teams to meet the needs of the large corporations.

A bright future ahead: 72% of respondents expect their company’s total revenue to increase over the next 12 months and 73% say their companies have increased its financial commitment to selling its products or services to companies with over $1 billion in revenue.

How to get started winning corporate contracts: For SMBs interested in winning corporate contracts but don’t know where to start, American Express has published the Insight Guide Series: Corporate Procurement. The guide details how to find opportunities and move forward once companies begin their journey to partnering with large corporations.

American Express will also host a “Digital Meet the Mentors” online session titled, “The Inside Scoop on Working with Large Corporations,” on October 18, 2019 at 1:30 PM ET to provide SMBs an inside look at what some of the world’s largest enterprises look for in suppliers—how they procure and common pitfalls to avoid when bidding for their business. There are additional Corporate Procurement resources from American Express available here.

 

8—Using Tech To Earn Extra Income

Want to earn extra income? According to Online Course Report, the digital era has brought entrepreneurship to be our fingertips—literally. They say with a bit of natural creativity, the resources you already own, and understanding that technology is your best friend—you can become freelance entrepreneurs in a short period of time.

Online Course Report says the global e-learning market is expected to hit $400 billion by 2026. If you want to you earn a piece of that pie, it is important to utilize as many free resources along the way to entrepreneurship. For example, downloading free applications can take you a long way in foundational groundwork. While deciding what type of side business you want to start, think about selling your knowledge—with the help of your tech.

How? This can take many forms—only you know what you know best. Begin by deciding on a topic you hold a considerable amount of re-teachable knowledge in.

To find out more, check out their infographic below.

 

9—Office Location Matters to Employees

Businesses should consider where most of their employees live when considering where to locate their office. American employees would rather have a short commute than an office located near restaurants, coffee shops, retailers, and other amenities combined, according to a new Clutch survey. And while most offices are close to restaurants (70%) and coffee shops (62%), just 22% of employees actually go out to buy lunch at work more than half the time.

People want to work near where they live—49% of employees say an office near their homes is the most important factor when considering office location and could factor into their employment decision.

“Commuting costs employees time and money,” says Ralph Benzakein, senior vice president of Cresa. “In times of low unemployment, employers are competing for employees on many levels. A 10-minute commute is going to look a lot more attractive to a prospective employee than an hour.”

Offices Near Public Transportation Help Businesses With Recruitment: The survey also shows businesses located near public transportation may have an easier time finding and hiring workers, especially in urban areas. About 47% of offices are near a metro, train, or bus stop, and these companies can recruit a wider range of employees.

Offices With Parking Options Save Employees Time, Stress: The majority (about 70%) of Americans drive to work, yet many have to worry about finding a parking spot every day. Businesses that offer parking options near their offices can keep these employees happy.

“The last thing you want to do is to spend time and be late [to work] all because you were trying to find parking,” says John Rampton, founder and CEO of scheduling software Calendar. “That is an unnecessary waste of time that can be avoided by offering parking.” Businesses that provide parking can reduce employee stress, save time, and increase productivity.

The survey says, if a business can’t be near employees’ homes, it should focus on making their commutes as easy as possible.

 

10—The Secret Lives of Small Business Owners

Nearly a third (31%) of small business owners have dated a customer according to new research from Bluume, a marketing solution for small businesses.

Looking for Love (or Even Just Friendship)? Talk to the Owner! Business owners are busy people. But some still find time to date their customers. Male small business owners (38%) were more likely than female ones (23%) to have dated customers.

Small business owners also like to spend their free time with other entrepreneurs—80% of those surveyed say they’re friends with other small business owners. And 67% say they sometimes plan local events with their friends at other local businesses.

Me, Myself and I: Small business owners say they’re most concerned with how to deliver the best possible customer experiences—49% of those surveyed say offering good customer service is their top concern.

Technology is another concern for small business owners—42% say managing their technology is both a concern and a pain point and that generating creative marketing ideas is also a pain point.

Excuse Me While I Take a Selfie: When left to their own devices to appeal to customers and prospects 67% turn to social media to attract business and engage customers.

The most popular social media platforms of those surveyed:

  • Facebook—85% use
  • Instagram—67% use
  • Twitter—53% use

The Bluume survey also shows 70% of small business owners manage their own social media profiles on such platforms, 21% have a social media manager handle it, 20% have a staff member do it sometimes, and 20% use software to manage social media.

A whopping 89% of the survey group spend between one and four hours a day managing social media.

 

11—Dress to Impress—How to Set the Standard for Your Employees

Guest post by Allena Rissa, Editor, The Better Fit

For business owners or managers, it’s important to set the standards for your employees especially when it comes to the dress code. Remember, you’re actually representing the general brand of your company. For women, there is growing research on the increasing influence of women in the workplace and the factors in this include how you leverage your workplace wardrobe to portray the right image and gain respect.

It is highly recommended you dress smartly and professionally. Casual pieces such as sneakers and leggings may not be the best attire for when you’re going to work—unless you’re working in a more creative work environment.

Looking professional does not always mean you have to suit up. Instead:

Choose Clothes that are Structured and Tailored: Baggy clothes—or clothes that are too tight won’t do. Find pieces that are structured and form-flattering for you. If you find a piece of clothing you love but it doesn’t quite fit, consider getting it tailored. While it may be expensive to have all of your clothes tailored, pick a few staple pieces to begin with.

Check if Your Clothes are in Good Condition: Make sure your outfit is free from stains, dirt, and holes. An outfit that is neat, tidy and wrinkle-free is crucial for setting the standard.

Incorporate Your Personal Style: Women can express this through statement pieces, accessories, handbags, or shoes. For men, accessories might include a tie, belt, or wing-tipped shoes.)

Wear the Right Undergarments: Picking the right undergarments is key in having an outfit that looks put together.

Men should wear boxers or briefs that don’t bunch and fit comfortably under a pair of slacks. If you naturally sweat more, consider wearing a white undershirt under your buttoned shirt.

Women should opt for bras that are neutral in color, so they don’t show through their shirts. If you wear a skirt or dress, keep it modest by wearing a slip underneath.

Choose an Outfit You Feel Confident in: Do you want to really set the standard for your employees? At the end of the day, focus on how you’re feeling in the outfit. This is affecting your energy towards how you approach anything and anyone throughout your day.

If you’re not comfortable with your look, it shows off through your actions. This can then influence how people perceive you.

When dressing to impress, remember to choose outfits that are modest, flattering, and make you feel confident. Your outfit should not be a distraction in the workplace, and it should set the standard for how your employees should dress.

 

Cool Tools

12—Get Real-Time Access to Funds Anytime, Anywhere

Cash flow is one of the most significant challenges facing a small business’ growth. In fact, 69% of small business owners have been kept up at night by issues related to cash flow and 61% of businesses have regular issues with cash flow.

To continue its efforts to solve cash flow issues for small business owners, Intuit’s QuickBooks just announced Instant Deposit, a new feature enabling real-time disbursements for small business owners using QuickBooks Payments directly to their eligible debit card using Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time push payments solution.

By accessing the capabilities of Visa Direct, merchants using QuickBooks Payments will now be able to deposit their working capital directly into their bank accounts linked to an eligible debit card, whenever they need it—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—with Instant Deposit. Visa Direct leverages VisaNet, the world’s largest payments network to transform the way people are able to pay and be paid.

The importance of small businesses having real-time access to funds was underscored in a research report QuickBooks issued earlier in 2019: The State of Small Business Cash Flow – The State of Payments. In the report, 66% of the surveyed SBOs say the time it takes money to process after receiving payment has the largest impact on their company’s cash flow. By utilizing Visa Direct through The Bancorp Bank, QuickBooks Payments will be able to get funds to small businesses faster, ultimately mitigating cash flow issues and keeping small businesses running smoothly.

“QuickBooks Payments is deeply committed to solving the cash flow problems that plague small businesses, and we know that getting paid fast and in a real-time manner has a game-changing effect on the health of a small business,” says Rania Succar, vice president and business leader, QuickBooks Capital and Payments at Intuit. “We’re focused on providing faster funding and accelerating the rate at which payments hit a small business’ account. With the help of Visa Direct’s push payments technology, QuickBooks Payments is now able to deliver a business its money faster than ever.”

With a history of over $50 billion in credit card and ACH payments processed annually, QuickBooks Payments’ comprehensive platform offers multiple ways for merchants to receive funds (mobile payments, remote payments, invoices) and now deliver funds in real-time. With a 1% fee on all real-time deposits, QuickBooks Payments users will be able to use any eligible debit card to receive secure, convenient, real-time funds directly into their bank account.

Instant Deposit has begun to roll out to QuickBooks Payments customers in the United States and is expected to be generally available by the end of this year.

 

13—Helping Merchants Support Schools in Their Communities

A new app to help merchants support schools in their local communities was just announced by Clover, a cloud-based point-of-sale solution under Fiserv and DonorsChoose.org, an education crowdfunding platform.

The Round Up for Schools app, available for free in the Clover App Market, offers customers the option to round up their purchases and donate the change to nearby schools chosen by the business owner. When customers choose to round up, those dollars go directly to requests from teachers at that school. To celebrate the launch, donations made through the Round Up For Schools app will also be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

DonorsChoose.org, founded in 2000 by Bronx history teacher Charles Best, is the leading teacher crowdfunding platform in the United States—83% of U.S. public schools have at least one teacher who has created a project on DonorsChoose.org. To date, teachers have had 1.5 million requests funded on the site for school supplies, technology, books, field trips, sports equipment, musical instruments, and more.

“Schools and small businesses have always been at the heart of local communities, and we’re so excited that Clover merchants now have a way to show their support for neighborhood classrooms on DonorsChoose.org,” says Best. “With the Gates Foundation’s generous match of donations made through the Clover app, it’s never been easier for local merchants and their customers to make an impact in their communities.”

The Clover point-of-sale platform functions as a complete business-management platform enabling merchants to maximize their operating efficiencies and grow, while allowing customers to pay using a debit/credit card, in addition to mobile payment options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. The Clover App Market gives merchants that use Clover the ability to download apps that help them run their business directly onto their Clover devices.

“The Round Up for Schools app offers merchants a simple way to create a positive impact in their surrounding communities,” says Mark Schulze, co-founder of Clover. “It’s a great example of the power that technology can have in enabling people to give back in ways that are easy for them and significant for others.”

To download the app on a Clover device, select “More Tools” from the main menu, and click the “Round Up for Schools” app in the “New and Noteworthy” section. Once a merchant downloads the app, they will be able to select a nearby school to support when a customer rounds up their purchase. The matching donation from the Gates Foundation will happen automatically, while funds last.

 

Quick Clicks

14—What Do Customers Like Best About Retail Experiences?

According to the survey Optimizing In-Store Consumer Experiences from Cloud Cover Music

  • 92% of people say the most important factor to increase purchase likelihood is a clean, organized environment
  • 71% of customers would rather shop in a spacious, open environment—only 13% of people consider a store packed with merchandise to be an important factor
  • 66% of customers say empathy from employees increases their spending potential
  • 75% of shoppers say that free samples are the #1 perk that increases purchase likelihood—open mic night decreases purchase likelihood the most
  • Music matters too. Check out the survey to find out what music attracted which customers.

Business stock photo by Pressmaster/Shutterstock

The post Digital Marketing Myths, Avoiding Invoicing Mistakes, The Secret Lives of Small Business Owners and Other Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know appeared first on SmallBizDaily.

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