Etsy and BlackBerry Make News, Big Player Enters Search Ads

Big announcements came from both Etsy and BlackBerry this week. But just as important is a big player moving into search ads for small business. Read about these and other top stories in the Small Business News and Information Roundup this week.

Technology Trends

Etsy IPO Crafted to Seek $100 Million in Investment

Etsy is planning to go public. The online marketplace site announced that it had filed IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to begin the process of opening its stock to the public. In the filing, Etsy says it hopes to raise $100 million in the sale of its stock with the IPO. Etsy is exploding in popularity.

BlackBerry Jumps Into Mid-Range Market with Leap Phone

On March 3, at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Blackberry announced its latest smartphone. The new BlackBerry Leap is an all-touch smartphone boasting a reasonable price tag, the company says. Here are some specs to sink your teeth into: The BlackBerry Leap sports a 5-inch HD display, BlackBerry 10 OS, 16GB of storage, and an 8MP camera.

Advertising

ypSearch Wants to Be Your One-Stop Shop for Search Ads

YP, formerly AT&T Interactive and AT&T Advertising Solutions, says it’s created a new one-stop shop for search ads. The new service is being touted as a solution for small business owners overwhelmed by maintaining campaigns with multiple search ad providers. ypSearch is the latest product from YP to cater to small business owners specifically.

Bad News for Marketers, Pinterest Affiliate Links a “No-Go”

If you were an affiliate marketer using Pinterest, you recently got some bad news. The social media site just instituted a complete ban on affiliate marketing. That means any affiliate marketer using the social Pinning site has probably had all those links removed by now.

Employment

25 Percent of your Competitors are Recruiting on LinkedIn

A lot of small businesses apparently had a good 2014. And they’re looking to grow during the early part of this year. That’s the crux of a new report from SurePayroll, the company’s February Small Business Scorecard. The ScoreCard focuses on so-called “micro-businesses” with between 1 and 10 employees. But the average business represented has about six employees, SurePayroll says.

Local Marketing

Did You Know There was a Black Friday for Lawn and Garden?

Here are some statistics that might make anyone who operates a small business sit up and take notice. The average household spent $347 on lawn and garden last year. Sure, that may seem like a drop in the bucket when compared to the $335 billion in home improvement sales expected this year.

Research

ADP: Slowing in Small Business Job Creation No Cause for Alarm

Job growth continues to drop across the U.S., but it’s a downward trend that shouldn’t cause much alarm. The ADP February 2015 Small Business Jobs Report for February reveals that there were 94,000 small business jobs added last month. That figure is down from the 97,000 small business jobs added in January.

Retail Trends

Move Over Square, Here Comes vCita LiveSite Online Payments

If you’re opening an online store, there are plenty of options for taking payments. Some platforms like Square Market even offer you the option to set up an online store free. But for service-based small businesses, taking payments on your website requires a little creative thinking and a little Web know-how sometimes.

Finally, the Small Business EMV Assistance Program is Here

Your business may be ready to upgrade to an EMV card reader. The cost of doing this may be curbing your ambition, though. But now, small businesses can get some help to defray that cost, with the introduction of the Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program from American Express. To recap, EMV cards are sometimes called chip cards or chip-and-PIN cards.

Retailbound Wants to Build a Retail Platform for Gadget Entrepreneurs

So you have a successful crowdfunding campaign. Your product has been funded, manufactured, and shipped. The question is, now what? According to Retailbound, Inc. only one in fifty crowdfunded gadget entrepreneurs manage to get their product on the shelves of major retailers. The team behind Retailbound wants to improve these odds.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Former Russian Ballerina Develops Yuve Nutritional Products

When Russian ballerina Lola Sherunkova moved to the U.S., the transition took a bit of a toll on her health. Since she wasn’t keeping up the same level of physical activity, she felt the need to improve her nutrition.

Small Business Operations

FedEx Rewards Loyalty With Breaks on Shipping

FedEx is looking to give some shipping and other discounts to its loyal small business customers. The company has extended the participation eligibility in its FedEx rewards program. FedEx says that small businesses can earn shipping and printing discounts, receive exclusive offers.

With BigPicture, Spreadsheets Come to Life with Visuals

Being introduced to BigPicture is like peeling an onion – there are a lot of layers inside, each one adding depth and functionality to this new Excel add-on. While you may not love onions (or onion metaphors), by the time you reach the center of BigPicture, you’re going to wonder how you ever lived without it.

Startup

Pittsburgh Business Offers Another Mother for College Students

College students aren’t known for being the most clean and organized bunch. Often young and just leaving the comfort of mom and dad’s house for the first time, college students sometimes might benefit from a little extra help … perhaps in the form of a mom.

Entrepreneur Cleans Up With Handmade Product Businesses

The craft and hobby industry is booming, reaching the $30 billion mark in the U.S. alone. Online resources and marketplaces like Etsy have made it incredibly easy for almost anyone to turn a hobby or creative passion into a business. But with so many of these businesses popping up daily, it can be a challenge to make one really stand out.

Flow Hive Makes Harvesting Honey Easier for Bees and Beekeepers Alike

Consuming honey may be an enjoyable activity, but gathering it certainly isn’t. Extracting honey from beehives has traditionally been a complicated and sometimes dangerous process. But now an Australian beekeeper and his son are aiming to change that process. Their product is called Flow Hive. The device dispenses honey from a tap, similar to how syrup is extracted from maple trees.

Image: Etsy

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