Drone Registration Up, New Cloud Accounting Software Announced

Just over a month ago, the FAA announced that all drone owners would be required to register their devices. Now, it has released information about the number of drones registered in the first month. This news and more, including a new cloud software and website building tool, is included below in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Technology Trends

Day of the Drones? FAA Says 300,000 Registered in First Month

One month after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its new rule requiring drones to be registered, the number of drones registered is nearly 300,000. Owners who registered in the first month received a refund for the $5 application fee. “I am pleased the public responded to our call to register,” said U.S.

Sage 50 Now In a Cloud Version Called Sage 50c

Starting today, Sage Software will be replacing its Sage 50 accounting software (formerly Peachtree) with a new offering, Sage 50c. The “c” in Sage 50c stands for “cloud” and it’s easy to see why: users of the new Sage 50c will be able to store their accounting data in, and share their accounting data via, the cloud.

Adobe Launches New Website Building Tool

Adobe has launched a website building tool to design customized websites right from within the company’s Creative Cloud Suite. Called Portfolio, Adobe’s latest offering makes it possible to build personalized websites in minutes, and competes with website building services such as Wix and Squarespace.

Why Analytics Are the Hot Topic at This Small Business Conference

Are you ready? Infusionsoft is building towards its March 2-4, 2016, ICON conference in Phoenix, Arizona. For ten years, Infusionsoft has been hosting ICON conferences specifically designed to inform and assist small businesses. The aim is to make use of software and technologies which can improve small business results. But this year analytics is a particular focus.

How Safe Are New York Public WiFi Hubs?

When was the last time you used a public phone? That is a question most of us will have to scratch our head to answer, because it has been that long ago. Which is why the move by New York City to replace 7,500 public payphones with WiFi hubs makes a lot of sense.

Mobile Technology

Microsoft Doubles Storage on Surface Book, Surface Pro to 1 Terabayte

When Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book in October 2015, the company also announced they would be available in an ultra-high-end configuration. This includes the Skylake CoreI7 processor, 16GB of RAM and enough storage to meet almost any demand, 1TB.

Foursquare Adds Travel Recommendations Feature

Your small business has a new reason to be listed — or a reason for updating your listing — on Foursquare. The social geo-location site has introduced a new feature called Foursquare Trip Tips. It’s a Foursquare and Foursquare user-curated guide for upcoming trips you log into the site.

Cortana Now Prompts You to Remember Email Promises

How many times have you sent an email to a client promising to finish a project only to have three other projects pile up and put it right out of your mind? But now, Microsoft digital assistant Cortana helps you to remember email promises you’ve made by scanning your emails and prompting you to set reminders.

Crowdfunded Jolla Tablet Calls it Quits, Issues Refunds

Jolla Tablet was once a crowdfunded marvel. Now, it’s turned into a nightmare for the Finnish company behind it and a letdown for a lot of its Indiegogo supporters. Jolla Tablet had raised $380,000 in just over two hours. At the end of 2015, the company said that only some of its first-day backers on its Indiegogo campaign would ultimately receive a tablet.

New Universal LG White Card for Credit Card Processing Coming Soon?

LG is reportedly developing a universal credit card to go with LG Pay, its new mobile payment system. A report by ETNews says that the card will be called LG Pay White Card and like the failed Coin or the new Plastc, the White Card will be able to store several debit, credit and rewards cards.


New York Restaurants Eliminate Tips to Offset Wage Hike

Restaurant owners, staff and customers have long questioned the culture of tipping, but like any entrenched cultural practice, it has proven difficult to change. Now, prompted by a slew of new minimum wage legislation in major U.S. cities, an increasing number of restaurateurs are experimenting with a no tipping policy as a way to manage rising labor costs.

Lyft Settles its Employee Misclassification Lawsuit, but Uber’s Still Pending

Lyft, the ride-sharing company, agreed this week to pay $12.25 million to settle the Lyft employee misclassification lawsuit that was filed in 2013. The lawsuit was filed to compel Lyft to reclassify its drivers as employees just like other on-demand companies like Shyp, Instacart and Luxe Valet have.

Green Business

Is Sub Metering Your Water a Good Idea for Your Small Business?

Smart electric meters have proven the Internet of Things (IoT) is valid, but now water meters are also getting smarter as submetering systems get installed around the country. Submetering has been around for several decades. The concept is the basis for individual meters for electricity.

Hot Dang! Meatless Grain Burger Invented at Kitchen Table

Some of the best inventions were created by accident. And that was also the case for Martha Pincoffs when she created Hot Dang and its now somewhat famous meatless veggie grain burger. Pincoffs never intended to start a business or to invent a new type of food. She was actually just taking part in an experiment.

Local Marketing

5miles May Challenge Craigslist as the New Online Classified

5miles, the Dallas and Beijing-based challenger to Wallapop and Craiglist has secured $30 million in new investment as it celebrates its first year in business this month.

Marketing Tips

Mobile Search Ads Are Outpacing Paid Search, Adobe Report Says

Paid search engine marketing (SEM) is losing its growth momentum to mobile advertising, according to Adobe Digital Index’s new “Q4 2015 Digital Advertising Report.” Among other things, the report notes global growth of paid search is down 75 percent year-over-year, “which can be partially attributed to advertisers’ new willingness to spend on mobile search.

Retail Trends

Are Comparison Apps Making Competitive Pricing More Imperative?

Today’s consumers are becoming more and more connected and well-informed. Businesses looking to tap into the buying processes of these connected consumers means being able to provide helpful information just when these consumers are looking for products that they want to purchase.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Boxy POS Plans to Disrupt the Restaurant Industry

Running a restaurant means needing so many different systems to manage all of the different aspects of your business. But a new solution, Boxy POS, plans to disrupt the industry by offering a point of sale system that’s easy to use and can help bring restaurants into the 21st Century.

Social Media

14 Factors Contribute to Viral Success, Study Finds

Getting your content to go viral can provide a huge boost to your business. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way for you to ensure viral success. However, recent findings from BuzzSumo suggest that there are several factors that can contribute to whether or not a post has a good chance of reaching that coveted viral status.

Business Users Trial New Facebook Live Streaming Video – We Have Examples

Since Facebook announced its new live streaming feature last year, and then opened it up to all users in December, the feature hasn’t exactly caught fire as some expected it would. But Facebook Live does have some potential benefits for business users. And a few business users have been able to try out the new feature and use it to interact with their networks.

Tag Photos #ThisIsRetail, Get Your Business Featured on Instagram

Trying to promote a retail store on social media? The process can be tricky. But luckily, there are some promotions and contests that can make it a bit easier to get the word out about your retail business. The National Retail Federation hosts one such contest.


Top 20 Tax Deductions for Small Business

On Wall Street, there’s a saying that past performance is no guarantee of future results. When it comes to taxes, however, past performance is a great indicator of the types of deductions that businesses typically take each year. Last winter the IRS released data on Schedule C filers.

Drone Photo via Shutterstock


Drone Racing Could Be the Next Big Thing in Sports (Watch)

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Drones and virtual reality are both growing trends in the tech sector. And now, the two concepts are combining in a new sport — drone racing.

Here’s how it works. Drone pilots use virtual reality headsets to fly drones around an obstacle course from a first person perspective. Drones fly in different heats and are scored based on checkpoint passes and the overall time it takes them to complete the course.

It might sound like a weird niche, but this new sport incorporates some interesting new technology that is already trending with a lot of consumers. And on top of that, it also incorporates some classic racing elements that fans of other sports are already drawn to.

Spark Sales by Suggesting Creative Product Uses

Drone racing also demonstrates a really creative way of using new technology. And it’s something that could potentially get even more people interested in owning some of the high tech devices used. So there are even more possibilities for businesses in these growing sectors.

If you’re more interested in just watching drone racing, you’re also in luck. ESPN has picked up the broadcast rights to the first season of Drone Racing League. So it should be coming to a TV near you shortly.

Drone Racers Photo via Shutterstock


New Drone Rules Take Effect, Wix Uses AI to Design Websites, More


Drones and artificial intelligence are among a handful of exciting tech trends that have consumers excited. But they can also have a big impact on small businesses, as evidenced by some of the top business headlines this week. Read on for those headlines and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Technology Trends

New  FAA Rules for Commercial Drone Use Now In Effect: Here’s What You Need to Know

Heads up: if you are looking to fly a drone for business purposes, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put into effect new rules for commercial drone use. The announcement came Monday, Aug. 29 at a press conference held by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx.

7 New Wix Business Sites Designed With Artificial Intelligence

Wix, the popular drag-and-drop website builder, recently unveiled a new tool to make designing websiteseven easier. In fact, with Wix ADI, you don’t even have to do the work yourself. ADI stands for Artificial Design Intelligence.

Stop Looking at My Screen, Bro! HP Sure View Addresses PC Peeping

You go out to Starbucks or another spot to drink your latte and enjoy free WiFi on your laptop, when you notice someone looking at your monitor. At this point you don’t know if it is an innocent glance, or someone that is “shoulder” or “visually hacking” the content that is displayed on your computer. The threat of this type of hacking is very real.


Survey Says 64 Percent of Small Businesses Expect Growth But Challenges Remain

Regardless of the challenges they face, small businesses are optimistic about their growth, a new study has found. CAN Capital’s 2016 Small Business Health Index (SBHI) reveals 64 percent of small business owners are expecting growth in the next 12 months.

Small  Business Loan Approval Rates at Big Banks Decline, Biz2Credit Index Finds

Turbulence in global markets has made big banks wary of approving small business loans. That’s what the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index (PDF), the monthly analysis of more than 1,000 small business loan applications on Biz2Credit.com has revealed.


Keep on Truckin’: Transportation and Material Moving Jobs Grow by 190 Percent, Indeed Says

Every day, products, packages and people are criss-crossing the nation on a vast network of highways. And, largely, it’s small businesses getting them here, there and everywhere. According to Indeed, transportation and material moving jobs among small businesses have exploded over the last couple of years.

Capital  One Announces Spark 401k, a Low-Cost, Digitally-Managed Option for Small Businesses

Capital One recently announced the launch of a new retirement savings product designed expressly for small business. The product, Spark 401k, provides low-cost, digitally-managed 401(k)s targeted specifically to companies with one to 100 employees, the company says. It utilizes exchange-traded funds (ETFs), a type of index fund, as the investment instrument.

Marketing Tips

Coca-Cola’s Water Replenishment Effort Succeeds – and Fails (Watch)

Coca-Cola is giving back — water, that is. Ten years ago, the company pledged to replenish all of the water it used in its finished beverages. And it has now completed that goal about five years early. But not everyone is impressed.

What Is Influencer Marketing and How Can It Help My Business?

Influencer marketing is a growing trend and a tactic that you should consider adding to your marketing mix. While it’s unlikely you’ll be hiring Kim Kardashian to represent your brand anytime soon, everyone has some degree of influence, and many will talk about your company, products and services, provided you offer the right incentive.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight:  Bar-B-Clean Franchise Focuses on Cleaning and Maintenance of Barbecue Grills

Barbecue grills can be great for summer gatherings and everyday meals. But they can also get quite dirty and aren’t exactly easy to clean. A few years back, one enterprising entrepreneur decided that this somewhat messy niche could make for a great business opportunity. And Bar-B-Clean was born. Read more about the business below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Operations

For  Disasters, Cyber Security and More, Millennial Entrepreneurs Seem Best Prepared, Poll Finds

Whether its for disaster recovery, retirement or other business eventualities, Millennial entrepreneurs seem better prepared then their older counterparts, a recent poll finds. Look at Nationwide’s Small Business Indicator survey conducted by Harris Poll of 502 U.S.  small business owners.

DoL Implements Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, But Could It Hurt Small Businesses?

The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council recently issued (PDF) their respective final guidance and regulations to ensure federal contractors better comply with laws that protect their workers’ safety, wages and civil rights.

Social Media

How New Social Network Plum Can Help with Your Business Networking

Plum, short for People Like You and Me, is a community platform that connects individuals with others who share the same interests, passions and concerns. Similar to Facebook or LinkedIn, Plum allows users to discuss ideas and topics openly, join groups and chat with other users privately.

Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)

Twitter is going to start splitting ad revenue with content creators who post videos on its platform. The company hopes that this move will make it more competitive with other social platforms like Facebook and YouTube. And actually, Twitter is giving about 70 percent of ad revenue to content creators, making it an even better deal than YouTube.

Facebook Introduces Text, Music Other Features to Slideshow Ads

In a bid to improve its ad features, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has announced a number of improvement to the platform’s Slideshow ads tool. Facebook first announced Slideshow ads last October, launching the program on both Facebook and Instagram.


Uber Faces Competition From Google’s Waze, But Could There Be Room for Both Services? (Watch)

Google is trying to cut into Uber’s Bay Area business. But its offering is just a bit different. First of all, Google is offering the service through Waze, a popular traffic app among commuters and a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Mobile Technology

Acer Swift 7 and Spin 7 Seem Useful for Mobile Business — If You Don’t Mind the Price

When Apple launched the MacBook Air, it introduced a new level of portability in computing with a very slim form factor and functionality that got everyone’s attention. Although it has taken a while, Acer (TPE:2353) has one upped Apple with the announcement of its new laptop and a two-in-one, called the Swift 7 and Spin 7 respectively, at the IFA 2016 in Berlin.

8 Things Business Users Should Know About the New iPhone 7

It is that time of year again, when the Internet is abuzz with speculations about what Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will add to its latest iPhone. As Sept. 7 fast approaches, everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter regarding what new features should be in the iPhone 7 (assuming that’s what the new device will be called).

Will New Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Be Business Friendly?

The smartwatch market is picking up traction as manufacturers reassess the design and functionality of their first generation watches with much better versions. Samsung (KRX:005930) is one of the companies that has dramatically improved from the first Gear S to the Gear S2, which has placed some great expectation for the upcoming Gear s3 to be unveiled this week.

Xiaomi Introduces Latest Example of Cheap Smartphone Trend with Redmi Note 4

The continuing trend of full-featured and cheap Chinese smartphones is disrupting the segment, as the sales of premium flagship brands keeps declining. While the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is not as cheap as the ZTE Zmax, which came in at $99, its $239.99 and $179.99 price tags are still considerably lower than the high-end versions.

Garmin Changes Smartwatch from Geek Gadget to Status Symbol

Smartwatches are still somewhat of a niche product, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from creating premium versions with some hefty price tags. The Fenix Chronos by Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) takes the proven and highly acclaimed functionality of the  company’s Fenix 3 line of smartwatches and adds some luxury for high-end customers. The adoption rate of smartwatches is growing.

Samsung  Notebook 7 Spin Seems Pricey for Business But May Be Good for Road Warriors

Samsung’s new laptop/tablet hybrid may be the best option for full time digital nomads and entrepreneurs living out of their suitcase. Or you may just be a techie that wants the option of a standard laptop combined with the convenience of a tablet.

This Device Claims to Turn Your iPhone into a 360 Degree VR Camera

Expectations for virtual reality are obviously quite high. And those expectations among content creators have led companies to introduce products aimed at helping to create content in the new format. Creators of the Insta360 ha done this in a unique way.

Drone Photo via Shutterstock


DJI makes it easier to maintain your drone out of no-fly zones

Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg thru Getty Images
DJI’s Geospatial Environment On-line (GEO) software already stored pilots from flying its drones in “touchy areas” and now the setup is getting plenty greater useful. The UAV maker is makingenhancements to the device internal of its Pass app it really is used to manipulate Phantom and Inspiredrones. By using doing so, DJI offers pilots clean get entry to to its geofencing machine that keepsairports, prisons and power plant life completely locked down further to transient restrictions roundspecial activities like stadiums and “country wide protection activities.”

The GEO device will even mechanically update with temporary restrictions round wildfires in order thatdrone pilots aren’t interfering with firefighting aircraft. DJI introduced in January that pilots would be able tounlock constrained regions with a verified account. This ensures that such things as inspections andversion plane indicates can still take location, even in a typical no-fly zone. But, places that mightpurpose national security troubles, like Washington, DC, will not be able to be unlocked.

The progressed GEO machine is now to be had within the DJI Move app for iOS and Android to be usedon all Encourage models and the Phantom 4, Phantom three Professional and Phantom 3 Superiordrones. Proprietors will want to update the app as well as the firmware for the manage and the drone itself to take gain of the replace.