Nearly three months after Google introduced Now cards, which serve as more detailed reminders for 40 apps, the search giant has expanded the feature to include 70 more third-party apps.
For a small business, it can be intimidating trying to compete with larger companies. Since your brand isn’t as recognizable as others, it can be easy to get lost.
That’s why Google is furthering its efforts to help small businesses attract new customers online with the launch of Google for Retail.
In a recent post announcing the new service on the official Google Inside Adwords Blog, Google Product Marketing Manager Kim Doan explains:
“Whether you’re an ecommerce business or a multi-channel business, the new Google for Retail offers a one-stop hub to learn more about Google’s solutions for retailers of all sizes.”
Google for Retail is essentially a resource center to help businesses make the most of Google’s retail tools. Google for Retail can help business owners learn how to upload their advertising inventory. It can help them manage their products, advertise local inventory and become a trusted Google store. It can help them effectively use Google AdSense and more.
The new hub is a place to find other Google products like Google Shopping. It’s a comprehensive way to create campaigns for your products and services both on Google and across the Web. That’s a way to help your customers find you easily.
Google Shopping helps small businesses grab a customer’s attention by relying on product images rather than just brand names. The service has been around for a while and is already popular with online retailers.
Chris Wu is CEO and co-founder of Paper Culture. The company is an online retailer specializing in graduation cards, baby shower invitations, and many other items you might once have bought at a brick and mortar card shop. Speaking about Google Shopping on the recent blog post announcing Google for Retail, Wu said:
“One of the toughest challenges for us as a small business is that we don’t have the brand of our larger competitors … Google Shopping helps us tell our story through showing searchers our unique product designs, right on Google search.”
In addition to the launch of Google for Retail, the company is also introducing a new Shopping Campaigns page. Shopping Campaigns is geared at small businesses to help them get started on Google Shopping and make the most of what the service has to offer.
Small business owners will be able to find product reviews, tutorial videos, success stories, and help resources for Google’s myriad retail tools.
Google for Retail could help small businesses make the most of the tools and features offered by Google Shopping. Your great products combined with Google’s reach could bring in customers worldwide.
On April 19, Freddie Gray died from injuries he sustained while in the custody of Baltimore police. In the wake of his funeral on April 27, peaceful protests erupted into vandalism and looting across the city. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake instituted a curfew, effective Tuesday, April 28 at 10pm. VICE News went to the flashpoint of the protests in west Baltimore during the hour leading up to the curfew. Watch VICE News’ Raw Coverage from the Streets of Baltimore – http://bit.ly/1Fyipdp Baltimore Protesters Call for Peace and Justice After Chaotic Night of Riots – http://bit.ly/1bVcBis Baltimore Gang Members Say Police Allegation They Are Uniting to Kill Officers Is a Lie – http://bit.ly/1QKXbgx Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideos
|Time: 06:54||More in News & Politics|
Opening a pizzeria isn’t exactly a novel idea for a business. You can find restaurants that serve pizza nearly anywhere. But one thing you can’t find too often is a pizzeria run by an Italian trained Pizzaiolo and a classically trained chef. That is, unless you are near Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria.
Glenn Cybulski and Joseph Baumel launched their restaurant just a couple of years ago, but they already have multiple franchises in the works. Read about the team’s journey and what sets this pizzeria apart in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Serves authentic Neapolitan pizza and hand-crafted salads.
Food quality and experience.
According to Cybulski, Persona is the only pizzeria with an Italian-trained Pizzaiolo and a classically trained chef at the helm. In addition, the team uses fresh ingredients that are prepped in-house. So, the pizza is truly what sets this restaurant apart from the competition. Cybulski says:
“The fast casual pizza segment has gone from nowhere to seemingly everywhere with head-spinning speed. And while a band of start-ups have debuted in the past few years, our high-quality, Neapolitan pizza is what differentiates us from all the rest. We’ve taken that extra step to make sure the quality is there, and bring the public a truly fast-fired pizza, 90 seconds rather than five minutes.”
How the Business Got Started
Because of a chance encounter.
“I was giving a speech on, ‘So you want to open a pizzeria?’ at the 2012 Pizza Expo. Joseph, an aspiring restaurateur and recent graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California, was in the audience, looking for a professional that knew what they were doing. He came up to the little pizza shop I had at the time, tried the pizza and said, ‘You have to partner with me.’ I said, ‘I’m willing to do that if you’re willing to go big with this.’ Shortly after, we worked tirelessly to launch our vision and Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria opened its doors for business in Santa Barbara on Feb. 16, 2013.”
Signing a large franchising development agreement.
Not long after the team launched their franchise opportunity, they signed a development agreement with an established franchiser to develop up to 20 pizzerias in South Florida. Cybulski says:
“Not only did the agreement mark our first major franchising announcement, but it was signed with a 30-year veteran of the franchise industry who already owned and operated 20 SUBWAY and Auntie Anne’s. Attracting a multi-unit franchisee of this caliber confirmed what we knew all along — we had something big and were ready to take off.”
Starting a franchise program after opening just one store.
Many people think it’s best to wait until you already have multiple stores under your belt before opening franchise opportunities. But Cybulski and Baumel knew they had something special on their hands. And the franchise program has been a success thus far. Cybulski says:
“We didn’t think it was necessary to take the long road and invest $5 million into corporate stores and wait two years. In a sense, this is a footrace. The excitement is going to be short-lived in some of the other concepts. You’re already seeing some fall off. But not us. From the very beginning, we knew our concept was going to be a smash hit and change the way people thought about pizza.”
Business knowledge is important, too.
The two entrepreneurs were extremely confident with the food aspect of their business. But if they had to do it over again, Cybulski says they would have partnered with a CEO with franchise expansion experience:
“Our recipes and operations are excellent so what was missing was the overall plan of action that would have assisted in expanding more efficiently.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Specifically, they would like to hire a full-time social media professional to spread the word about their pizza.
Image: Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria
This article, “Spotlight: Persona Offers a Unique Pizzeria Experience” was first published on Small Business Trends
VICE News traveled around the world speaking to people about democracy, and differences in global attitudes towards popular rule. Find out what people from Priština, Kosovo to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil had to say about about it, and tell us what you think: share a post with the hashtag #vicenews on Twitter, or send us a Skype video message. Watch The People Speak on the Death Penalty: http://bit.ly/1bV1Ywl Watch The People Speak on Gun Control: http://bit.ly/1EpLm9b To leave a Skype video message, follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/1Fpn9lC With support from Skype. Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideos
|Time: 04:07||More in News & Politics|
Despite sanctions, a plummeting economy, and isolation from the world as a result of its actions in Ukraine, a wave of patriotic fervor is spreading across Russia. Thousands of Russians have attended rallies in support of President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity ratings remain sky-high, while voices of the opposition are increasingly stifled. On the streets and in the media, the Kremlin has tightened its grip on power. State-controlled television channels spin facts to bolster the government line, whipping up anti-Western sentiment and paranoia about internal enemies. Independent broadcasters are struggling to make themselves heard as the country grows more dangerous for journalists and popular figures who are critical of the authorities. VICE News traveled to Moscow to find out how the Russian government has suppressed dissent and fostered fear among Putin’s critics. Watch “Why Are American Troops in Ukraine? – Russian Roulette (Dispatch 108)” – http://bit.ly/1J4gj3K Watch “Meet the Texan Fighting for the DPR: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 107)” – http://bit.ly/1z1Q4ef Read “Kim Jong-un Is Headed to Moscow to Make North Korea and Russia BFFs” – http://bit.ly/1OYWI6T Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com Follow VICE News here: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/ Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideos
|Time: 21:30||More in News & Politics|
There’s a movement afoot to shorten the traditional 40-hour full-time work week to a 30 hour work week.
Spurred by increasing concerns about our always-on culture and the popularity of books like “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Timothy Ferriss, the concept has some merit. But can it possibly work for a small business?
Shorter work weeks have many benefits, those who support the concept contend. Some of the arguments in favor include:
- Benefit to the environment, because employees aren’t commuting as much, which typically involves public transportation or driving; (A book by experts from the New Economics Foundation argues that a 30 hour work week would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping the planet.)
- Reduction of emotional and physical stress for workers by allowing them more time to rest and recharge;
- Stimulation of the economy because workers can spend money on leisure pursuits during their time off;
- Allowance for workers to contribute to society in other ways, like volunteering or taking classes that make them more productive in the long run.
Many other nations are more productive than the U.S. with shorter work weeks. The German economy is famously robust, but workers only put in an average of 35 hours a week.
Here are a few other things to consider:
A 30 hour work week may not be welcomed by hourly workers who need the extra income from working 40 hours. It’s more of a perk for salaried workers, especially in knowledge industries, who often put in 50, 60 or more hours per week.
Cutting to a 30 hour work week won’t allow your business to reduce benefits or healthcare in most cases. Full-time under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is defined as any employee who works 30 or more hours on average per week. Under Obamacare regulations, a full-time employee is defined as anyone working 30 hours a week.
A 30 hour work week is obviously easier to implement in a huge corporation with lots of employees to fill in the vacated hours. For small businesses with only a few employees, it’s a bit more challenging.
How can a small business owner implement a 30 hour work week? Here are some ideas:
- Give everyone the same day or days off. The most obvious solution is to implement a 4-day, 7.5-hour schedule for all employees. Give people the day off that’s typically slowest for your business.
- Rotate days off. If you can’t have your entire office closed on certain days, create a schedule that provides enough coverage to handle work each day while still giving every employee one day a week off.
- Use a seasonal approach. Implement a 30 hour work week during slower times of year and a 40-hour work week during busier times.
- Set up a system where employees are in the office 30 hours a week and can work at home the other day. This isn’t a true 30 hour work week, but does provide more flexibility.
- Set workplace quotas instead of hours. Require employees to get a certain amount of work done, ideally in 30 hours. If they can’t complete it, they’ll need to work longer, but the possibility of a shorter work week is highly motivating. You’ll need to make sure the quality of work doesn’t suffer.
While a 30 hour work week may not be realistic for you, the business owner, you might find that being at the office 30 hours and spending more time away improves your results. Even if you are working, you’ll be able to focus better and strategize the big picture since you won’t be putting out fires all day long or interrupted by employees.
Last, but not least, if the 30 hour work week just won’t fit your team, consider implementing the 10/40 system, where employees work 10 hours a day, four days a week. Although it means longer workdays, many employees find the day off is worth the trade.
Treating employees well makes your business a better place to work, makes your employees more energetic, and helps you attract and keep workers. Sometimes, you really can get more from less.
Traffic Jam Photo via Shutterstock