What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
|Chris Crum writes for Small Business Resources about what's new for small business. Chris was a featured writer with the iEntry Network of B2B Publications where hundreds of publications linked to his articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.|
Small Business Technology Coalition Adds 11 Members
In August, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it has added eleven new members to its Small Business Technology Coalition, which it launched earlier this year. The coalition was initially billed as a "first of its kind" public-private partnership and included Amazon, Facebook, Box, LegalZoom, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Zenefits. The companies joined the SBA's initiative to give entrepreneurs throughout the country access to digital tools and resources.
The eleven new members include: Bench, Canvas, Dash Data, Google, Gusto, Intuit, LinkedIn, Paychex, Square, Thumbtack and Yelp.
“With the addition of these partners, SBA’s Small Business Technology Coalition continues to grow its unprecedented collection of educational and training resources from the world’s most iconic technology companies," said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. "These partners play a vital role as we work to educate entrepreneurs on the range of resources and technology available to help them connect to customers, scale, and conduct business safely anywhere in the world.”
SBA said the original member companies would collaborate on entrepreneur education and resources to help entrepreneurs connect to customers, scale, and do business safely. At this point, educational resources include webinars, white papers, guided trainings, and more. Topics include e-commerce and payment platforms, back-office operations support, productivity solutions, improving customer service and shopping experiences, cybersecurity, social media marketing and brand awareness, digital content management, doing business online through e-commerce, mobile centricity, and managing accounting and payments.
Through the coalition, Bench aims to help small business owners with financial organization and guidance and "take control of their financial lives." Canvas is offering over twenty eBooks and guides with titles like "4 Ways Technology Helps Retailers Thrive in the Modern Marketplace" and "The Guide on Collecting and Using Business Information". The company has guides for everyone regardless of industry.
Dash Data is offering businesses a free "paperless workflow bundle," which teaches them how to properly plan and scale a paper scanning project, select a cloud content management system, and build a cloud ecosystem of applications.
Google is offering five workshops and guides on: getting found on Google Search and Maps, building a free website, growing your business online, getting a custom email address with Gmail for Work, and promoting your business with AdWords Express.
Gusto's featured resource is "The Essential Guide to Offering Employee Equity," but it offers a number of other guides and articles as well. Intuit has a Small Business Center, which it calls the "ultimate guide to running your small business," and LinkedIn provides businesses with guides on branding, marketing, sales, and hiring.
Yelp, which has had a famously turbulent relationship with small businesses, is contributing webinars, tailored blog content, and other resources aimed at helping businesses "win in an increasingly digital and mobile world."
According to the company, 91% of consumers in 2015 looked online to find a local business and over 50% of small businesses still don't have a website. While Yelp is pitching its own offerings here, businesses could stand to gain a great deal in this department from the combined resources being offered by the entire coalition. In other words, if you're looking to build or improve the technology aspects of your business, you have a lot of great resources at your disposal here.