Small Business in the News: Jan 16-22, 2015

We know there is too much to keep up with when you’re a busy entrepreneur, so we compile small business news highlights each week for you to read only what matters most. Here is a summary of the top stories for January 16 – 22, 2015.

Levels of Entrepreneurship on the Rise

According to a report from the Kaufman Foundation, entrepreneurial activity rose last year for the first time in six years from historic low levels that plummeted in 2009. While a sluggish start to 2016, with low oil prices and a economic slowdown in China, has many worried about the upcoming year, this worrisome trend might be fueling levels of entrepreneurship. With flat wages and a dull economy, many may be starting their own businesses to find independent and personal success. Read more...

Social Media Positively Affecting Alternative Lenders

The rise of alternative lenders has been in part due to their modern, connected approach to finding customers. Major financial institutions have generally lagged behind in terms of technology, social media and communication, which has opened the door to new, savvy FinTech companies. The areas where social media is having the greatest impact are in customer service, marketing, product and service development, reducing costs, increasing efficiencies, and providing new business models. Read more...

Conducting Business Abroad Easier Than Expected

Businesses looking to expand into international markets are frequently overwhelmed and intimidated at the thought of conducting business in a foreign currency. According to experienced businesses in the space, it is far simpler than most SMEs would imagine, so long as you have a positive attitude and start small in your own currency. Primary tips involve maintaining a relationship with your bank to stay up to date on exchange rates and partner with a currency specialist to provide an average of rates to build business plans for several months at a time. Read more...

4 Loans Your Small Business Might Need

Having access to capital is important for a small business to thrive and grow. While some businesses are able to get investors to support that growth, in many instances, a loan is often the best solution. This allows the business owner to get access to the funds quickly while maintaining independence in decision making. Four times where it makes a lot of sense to apply for a loan are when your business is seeking to expand, buy more inventory, invest in equipment or get additional working capital. Read more... 

FiveStars Raises $50M for Small Business Customer Loyalty Program

Announced yesterday, FiveStars has raised another $50M in its third round of funding. The company offers an automated loyalty program so small businesses can reward repeat customers with tailored special offers without having to build a custom program. The product is designed to allow small businesses to compete with loyalty programs offered by big businesses like Starbucks, and drove 35 million visits to over 10,000 small businesses in 2015. Read more...

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