GoDaddy Launches New Service, oDesk Changes Name

godaddy pro launch

It was a big week for freelancers, all kinds of freelancers on the Web.

Domain registrar and Web hosting service GoDaddy officiall launched a service for freelancers and Web professionals who tend others’ websites.

Meanwhile, oDesk and Elance, also big names in online freelancing had equally big news.

Check out these and other headlines in the full Small Business Trends weekly news and information roundup below.

Freelancing & Contracting

GoDaddy Pro Officially Launches Aimed at Web Managers

When you’re just starting out as a Web developer or site maintenance freelancer, it may not be a bother to manage your client list. Especially if it’s just one or two clients. But when that list grows to five, then 10, then more, the management of all those accounts for all those clients gets harder and harder. That’s where GoDaddy hopes its new GoDaddy Pro services can help.

oDesk Becomes Upwork, But What About Elance?

Over a year ago, two of the biggest freelance marketplaces, oDesk and Elance, announced they would be merging into one. Since then, they have operated as separate platforms. Today the new company announced a relaunch under the name Upwork with a new platform by the same name.


Glassman: Revenue and Labor Greatest Small Business Challenges

Optimism among small businesses about the national economy is up from last year rising from 42 percent in 2014 to 47 percent this year. That’s according to the recently released 2015 Chase Business Leaders Outlook. For the annual outlook, JP Morgan Chase surveyed 2,000 small business leaders to find out their thoughts for the coming year.

Carly Fiorina: The Small Business Candidate for President?

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will formally start her Presidential campaign on May 4, the Wall Street Journal reported recently. Small business owners should be happy for in Fiorina they have a candidate who cares about their issues. The former HP CEO has made it clear in recent speeches that she is worried about American small business.

Retail Trends

Your Customers Could Soon Be Asking for Lab Grown Leather

If you sell leather goods, you are dealing in products made from animals. But times are changing and customers may soon be requesting something more in line with evolving ethical and environmental standards. Check out Modern Meadow, a Brooklyn-based company that uses tissue and cell engineering technology to create lab grown leather.

Maple App Offers Food Delivery Without an Actual Restaurant

What are the essential factors that make up a restaurant? Your list probably includes a menu, kitchen staff, and a physical location. Maple has each of those factors. But it’s actually an app, not a restaurant. Instead of going to Maple to eat or to pick up food, customers simply order from a rotating daily menu of fresh meals on the app and then get the food delivered.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: ReachLocal Lets You Find Customers Near You

Marketing a local business is not necessarily the same as marketing a nationwide or online business. But that doesn’t mean that online tools like social media and search marketing aren’t necessary. ReachLocal knows the power that these online marketing tools can have for local businesses.

National Small Business Week

Amer Akhtar of Yahoo Small Business Speaks of Big Changes Coming

Yahoo Small Business, which aims to get small businesses up and running on the Web, debuted in the 1990s and has grown into a comprehensive resource. Yahoo says its platform offers a wide variety of tools designed to help small businesses create a website or eCommerce site.

Elizabeth Gore of Dell, Empowering Entrepreneurs Around the World

Dell Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Elizabeth Gore recently spoke with Small Business Trends in an exclusive interview about what Dell has in the works for small business entrepreneurs, as well as what the company has planned for Small Business Week.


Subscribe to an Art Education with Schoolism

“To become the best, you must learn from the best.” That is the tagline for Schoolism’s new endeavor to make art education available and affordable for everyone. Schoolism wants to offer art courses taught by seasoned professionals paid for with monthly online subscriptions instead of tuition.

Law & Security

Court Defends the Anonymity of Yelp Reviewers

Yelp does not have to identify seven online reviewers who posted critical comments about a carpet cleaning business, the Virginia Supreme Court recently ruled. Based on procedural grounds, this ruling is viewed as a big win for Free Speech. However, there are clear implications for small businesses too.

Google Antitrust Case: EU Charges Explained

Business regulators in Europe believe that Google is violating antitrust rules there by forcing its Shopping results on users. Here’s a deeper look at the Google antitrust case and why EU regulators decided to act. In April, the European Competition Commission filed antitrust charges against Google.

Kaspersky Lab’s Online Security Solution Built for Small Business

Kaspersky Lab, founded by Eugene Kaspersky (pictured above) has always provided online security solutions for small businesses. But today the company is emphasizing “small” even more by offering a system specifically designed for companies with fewer than 25 employees.

Image: GoDaddy

This article, “GoDaddy Launches New Service, oDesk Changes Name” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Nick VanWagner of LinkedIn on Social Business — Yes, it’s Getting Personal

social business

Social selling is a concept that’s been taking the online business world by storm.

If you do business online, whether it’s selling marketing services to other businesses or selling products directly to consumers, you should probably be utilizing social selling methods.

Some might think that social selling is just the act of using social media to reach out to customers. But it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.

“Social media is just the channel that you use for social selling. Social selling itself is the strategy. It’s a whole new way to approach selling,” said Nick VanWagner, Director of Insights for LinkedIn Sales Solutions, in an exclusive interview with Small Business Trends.

The main difference between social selling and just generally promoting products on social media is the personal connection. With social selling, businesses can use referrals or warm introductions to reach out to potential clients. When those potential clients already have a connection to the business, they’re more likely to actually listen to what you have to say. And so they’re more likely to do business with you.

The other difference with social selling is the ability to learn a bit about potential clients before reaching out to them. Social media profiles can be a valuable source of information. When you see what types of content different people post, you can better decide whether they fit into your target market as well as how to best reach out to them.

This is in stark contrast to simply reaching out to a wide and random assortment of other social media users. VanWagner said that this type of marketing is basically just the cold calling of social media.

For example, if an online marketer were to just send out several generic InMail messages to other LinkedIn users, it likely wouldn’t be as effective as reaching out to other users with personalized messages and/or referrals.

To best take advantage of social selling, VanWagner offered these four basic tips:

Create a Professional Brand

This requires having a complete profile full of information that might be relevant to your target audience. VanWagner also suggests having a professional looking photo and maybe some other multimedia elements like videos or slideshows.

Find the Right People

Reach out to people who actually fit into your target audience and find the people in your network who might be able to help you make those connections.

Engage with Insights

This tip involves becoming a thought leader in your field. If you share information that is relevant and potentially helpful to your target audience, they’re more likely to see you as a reliable source.

Build Strong Relationships

This last point, VanWagner says, is potentially the most important.
“Social selling is about creating real authentic connections, not just getting on different platforms and sending out a ton of requests. It’s about real personal relationships that are just reflected in a digital way,” he said.

Image: Twitter, Nick VanWagner

This article, “Nick VanWagner of LinkedIn on Social Business — Yes, it’s Getting Personal” was first published on Small Business Trends

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8 of the Top Apple Watch Apps for Small Business Owners

apple watch

For years, Apple fans waited patiently for the so-called iWatch.

Then, on Sept. 6, 2014, Apple finally gave the world a first look at its first piece of wearable technology during the big iPhone 6 event.

The Apple Watch, not the iWatch, has now been on wrists for at least several weeks. So far, even with some first-gen hiccups, the Apple Watch has proven to be a well-constructed smartwatch that should come in handy for small business owners thanks to the eight following apps.

With expectations of sales of wearables increasing 50 percent in 2015, being an early Apple Watch adopter doesn’t only mean being ahead of the game, but for small business owners, these are the top Apple Watch apps at your disposal for making the most of your Apple Watch.


The free Evernote Apple Watch app is a great addition to the popular business app that you probably already have installed on your iPhone.

Just like the iOS app, this Evernote app can be used to set reminders, take dictation or view notes, and even see content that is related to an upcoming meeting. Because the Evernote Apple Watch app moves seamlessly between your iPhone or iPad, it makes working while on-the-go a breeze.


TL:DR is a free iOS app that was released earlier this year. It was specifically designed to simply browse your Gmail messages since you may be too busy to read them. The messages appear as “cards” which give you just a glimpse of the email.

TL:DR also provides an estimated time on how long it will take to read an email, as well as the ability to reply, read later, or open the email. You can can even use TL:DR to open attachments.


Clear is another popular app (it’s been downloaded by more than 2.5 million users) that can be used to create reminders, view upcoming tasks, and swipe tasks once they’re completed.

Because of Clear’s elegant and minimal interface, it’s well-suited for the smaller screens of the Apple Watch. Clear is available for $4.99.


Slack is a free productivity app that has been gaining a lot of traction lately. The iOS app is already being used by over 750,000 people. Through the Slack app, you can easily and quickly communicate with team members, as well as share valuable content with them.

A very handy feature for the Apple Watch is the ability to respond to messages by either dictation or choosing a pre-selected response.


Invoice2Go is a powerful cloud-based app that allows users to create invoices and estimates instantly. It can also be used to keep track of unpaid invoices and give you a glimpse of how your business is performing through reports. The Apple Watch app has a very cool “geo-fencing” feature that tracks your time spent at a job.

Service is free for three invoices, with more robust plans starting at $49.


CommiTo3 is one of the more innovative productivity apps available. It was designed to allow users to prioritize three most important tasks for the day. You can then create teams of people, which can be anyone from co-workers to family members, who can assist with completing the tasks.

Participants can send reminders to each other throughout the day, check the status of tasks, and check off tasks when they’re completed. The app is free to download.

Salesforce Wave

If you rely on the awesomeness of Salesforce’s CRM platform, then you should be thrilled that it’s also available on the Apple Watch. The Salesforce Wave app gives you a snapshot of your business analytics through the Salesforce Analytics Cloud.

With Salesforce1, you can send notifications to salespeople, marketers, and service agents.

Finally, the Salesforce Wear Developer Pack can allow you to create your own enterprise apps.


BetterWorks was designed to help enterprises establish goals. And, that’s why this simple idea works so well on the Apple Watch. As BetterWorks cofounder and CEO Kris Duggan states,  the “app will make it easy to get a quick snapshot of where current goals stand, add short check-ins and cheer on coworkers achieving their goals.”

The Apple Watch is still just in it’s infancy. But we can expect even more apps that can help small businesses achieve success to roll out in the very near future as soon as the bugs that come with a first-gen product get ironed out.

Apple Watch Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “8 of the Top Apple Watch Apps for Small Business Owners” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Robot Bugs Can Teach Kids How to Code

dash robotics learn to code

There are lots of kids’ toys that are also meant to teach.

Puzzles can teach children about shapes. Blocks often include letters, colors or animals. There are even plenty of tablet and smartphone apps aimed at teaching kids everything from reading to motor skills.

But now there’s another option that’s teaching a new skill. Dash Robotics is a company that creates small robots aimed at teaching kids how to code.

The bots come as a sheet of different fabric and metal parts that kids can then pop out and build into bug-like creatures with six legs. Kids can then program the robots to do different things like move toward lights or complete mazes.

Nick Kohut, cofounder of Dash Robotics told VentureBeat:

“There’s a lot of things going on with this. It’s programming, building with their hands. They get to create their own character and personality.”

The company started as a research project for a group of PhD candidates at the University of California at Berkeley. Their first batch of robots were made of plastic and all they could do was skitter in a straight line.

But when the PhD candidates, including Kohut, Paul Birkmeyer, Andrew Gillies and Kevin Peterson, started showing the robots at some schools and museums, they knew it was bigger than just a school project. Kids really seemed to enjoy them.

So they formed a company, refined the product by creating mobile apps that would allow users to control the robots, and started a crowdfunding campaign. Within two weeks, the company had sold 1,000 robots. And they currently retail for only $50 each. While that’s not exactly pocket change, it seems fairly reasonable for a toy that can also teach kids a skill that’s becoming increasingly valuable. Dash Robots could potentially even contribute to creating a new generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs.

Image: Dash Robotics

This article, “Robot Bugs Can Teach Kids How to Code” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Come Chat With Us at #SMBTalk on Small Business Productivity Hacks!

#SMBTalk on Small Business Productivity Hacks
Ah, productivity!

It’s the key ingredient to so much small business success. As a small business owner, you are always trying to figure out how to do more with less.

Fortunately, technology provides solutions to the productivity problems so many small businesses face.

For example, when purchasing technology for your small business, be sure to “future proof” your operations.

This would include things like making sure your point-of-service terminals are able to accept new forms of payment such as the new EMV chip cards set to replace traditional magnetic strip cards this year.

The new cards provide extra protection for users, businesses and customers by decreasing the opportunity for fraud.

But, if your point-of-service terminal isn’t able to receive the new payments, your business might be left out in the cold.

And here’s another idea for using technology to improve your small business’s productivity: Start using cloud software to manage your business.

Using the cloud makes it easy to check on your business from anywhere … and when it’s most convenient to you.

If you’d like to learn more “productivity hacks” for your small business, join Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell (@SmallBizTrends) and SVP, Global Head of SMB Product at First Data Corporation, Peter Karpas (@FirstData).

They’ll be hosting a Twitter chat on “Small Business Productivity Hacks” on Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m. EDT. You’ll be able to ask your own questions about improving your small business’s productivity.

You’ll also have an opportunity to win a $25 Gyft card from First Data simply by giving the best answer to any one of the questions posed during the chat. So follow the hashtag #SMBTalk to take part in the conversation.

Here are those details again …

#SMBTalk Twitter Chat Details

Who: Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell (@SmallBizTrends) and SVP, Global Head of SMB Product at First Data Corporation, Peter Karpas (@FirstData)

What: Small Business Productivity Hacks

Where: Under the hashtag #SMBTalk

When: Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m. EDT

Disclosure: Anita Campbell has been compensated to participate in this Twitter chat.

This article, “Come Chat With Us at #SMBTalk on Small Business Productivity Hacks!” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank: Real Entrepreneurs Better Off Trying, Failing Than Never Trying at All.

With this being National Small Business Week, we’re excited to bring you a special conversation featuring Barbara Corcoran — serial entrepreneur, best selling author, keynote speaker, and co-star of the extremely popular show Shark Tank.

Barbara shares with us her thoughts on entrepreneurship today, what was the most successful business she invested in, her definition of success, and why it drives her crazy when she invests in a company that doesn’t share her passion for business. (This transcript has been edited for publication. To hear audio of the full interview, click on the audio player at the end of this article.)

* * * * *

Barbara CorcoranSmall Business Trends: When it comes to Shark Tank and all the different contestants that you get a chance to sit in front of and have pitch to you and your co-stars there, what does that tell you about the state of entrepreneurship today?

Barbara Corcoran: Not just the people pitching on Shark Tank, but the cab driver that took me over to the set, the waitress who’s pitching me her new idea. I mean, it’s been a release of a flood of people ushering in their great business idea. Now many of the business ideas on first blush to me sound like they’re pretty stupid and they’re not going to go anywhere. But who am I to say?

I failed at my first business of Flower of the Week Club. And then I succeeded at my second business. And so what I’ve learned more than anything is to just tell people the dream is great. Try it. You don’t want to die thinking you wish you should have, could have.

Small Business Trends: You mentioned there are a lot of ideas that get brought to your attention through the show. Is it harder to get ideas to market today than it was years ago, even though technology seems to make it easier?

Barbara Corcoran: In the easier column, I would put crowd funding. A boom to small business if you can pitch well and convince regular people that you’re on to something, almost everybody will give you ten bucks to a hundred bucks and invest in you. You never had that before. I think on the easy column it’s a more level playing field. You can be found online. If you’re really scrappy, can write a good blog, get people to like you, get creative, you have a level playing field.

And then also it’s getting a little bit easier to fund small businesses. I’m not talking about the fancy kind from angel investors. Fund Box I know came out recently. You can actually fund your outstanding invoices which might not seem like a big deal. But when you’ve used your credit cards to fund your business and you have invoices and you can’t convert them to cash, that becomes a big deal pretty quickly.

On the negative side, there’s so much clutter and so much trying to get everybody’s eyeball and attention and ear constantly. It’s harder to get them to listen to you. And that becomes a bigger issue, but not just for the little businessman, for the big business too. They’re struggling with the same thing. So it’s more good news than bad, I would say in the final tally.

Small Business Trends: How do entrepreneurs quantify their intangibles as well as the tangibles? How does that help you to understand what it is?

Barbara Corcoran: I’m not a numbers person. I’ve never read a financial statement. I ran a huge thousand-man employee business, and I never read a financial statement. But I had hired myself a minority partner who was a whiz at that kind of stuff. And so I believe you don’t have to know a damn thing about math and numbers to be hugely successful in a business. And sometimes that kind of left-brain analysis stuff can get in your way because you don’t do things on a leap and a prayer and an intuition and a trust of your gut very often. You have to analyze it and justify it.

It’s great to hear somebody has sales, but I’m more of a believer in the potential for those sales. And the potential for sales is trying to use your God-given common sense judgment to figure out whether enough people out there might buy the thing.

And so I pay attention above everything else to my trust of the entrepreneur. Are they the right type of people? Do they have the traits that it’s going to take to hit the finish line and having success on the their hands? Or are they not wired to be an entrepreneur? And so I pay attention to the entrepreneur 90 percent of it, and then the 10 percent is the business piece.

Small Business Trends: What is the most successful company you invested in, and why was that considered — at least by you — a success?

Barbara Corcoran: Well, it’s two ways to quantify success, I believe. One is sheer dollars returned, and the answer to that would be Grace and Lace that makes lacey socks and shawls and ladies clothing. Very sexy, great designer, but that’s not why. I mean, she’s got a great product. It sells like hotcakes, and they sold over a million dollars worth of product within the three days from the night they aired on Shark Tank. So that’s the most successful in terms of returning money to me, and I’ve gotten a 20 to $1 return in two years flat. That’s pretty remarkable.

But my idea of the most successful businesses are the ones I think have the most expandability; that I could grow them the farthest, that I could make the biggest business of them. And what is interesting is in all the good ones, all the entrepreneurs are the same. They all have the same qualities of taking a hit and getting back up without feeling sorry for themselves. They’re all street smart versus book smart. They’re all very clever on their feet. They can think fast in a situational problem and they’re all fiercely competitive. All those traits are common to all the best businesses.

Small Business Trends: If you were to look out over the next four to five years or so, what kinds of business opportunities do you think entrepreneurs — maybe first time entrepreneurs — should focus in on?

Barbara Corcoran: I don’t think there’s an answer to that because “entrepreneurs” has an “s” on it which means it’s a lot of different people. I think the heart and soul of a business that will succeed is when you have an entrepreneur who has a product or service they’re really excited about. And generally when someone’s excited about a service or a product, it means they do it well. You don’t get excited about things that you just don’t do well at, right? So if you have something you’re really excited about, that would be the best thing to do. Okay?

Small Business Trends: What is more irritating to you? This is a question specifically around the show. Missing out on a contestant that you really feel confident they’re going to be successful or picking somebody and then they don’t really turn out the way you thought they would.

Barbara Corcoran: When I don’t get an entrepreneur I’m really excited about, it’s like ouch. I hustled. I couldn’t get him, and I can’t stand the fact, so I’m very competitive. I’m fiercely competitive. It’s more I’m upset that somebody else got him. Not that I didn’t get him, but somebody else got him. That’s my ridiculous competitiveness, all right? But once they leave that set, I don’t remember them. I don’t think about them, and I genuinely hope they do very well with their new partner. Too bad it wasn’t me.

But on the other side of the equation, when I pick up an entrepreneur and work like crazy with them and they’re not a good entrepreneur and they don’t have the work ethic or the stamina or the spirit or the drive or all the things it takes, and they’re using my time, that hurts a lot.

I have a wall in my office where I have every single one of my entrepreneurs I invested in in a beautiful frame. And the minute I see that they’re not matching my intensity and desire to succeed, I flip that photo over and I don’t spend any more time thinking about them, because they’re not going to make it.

Small Business Trends: Maybe you could talk a little bit about your partnership with Canon.

Barbara Corcoran: I know this sounds like a ridiculous thing, but why does a typical copy machine have to be longer than it is wide? It takes up too much space, and that’s how I feel. And they’re ugly to look at. So I like the little Maxify printer, and when they wanted me to partner up with them, I said, send me the machine. And I put it in competition to probably the best-selling machine on the market, and I watched my office staff. And guess why Maxify won over the other machine? Because it doesn’t take any time to warm up and I could get two Maxifys side-by-side in the same space that I could get my one old clunker with the side wing that looked like the barbeque machine that was too big and you should have never bought it in the first place? So I like the neatness of it, okay?

And even though I have a large, successful business now and invest in a lot of places, I can’t stand losing money I don’t have to lose. So I always figured out the cheapest way to do anything more than once. And before I signed up with the Maxify printer, I did the numbers and found out it’s cheaper per page than all my other machines.

Small Business Trends: One last quick question. It literally just came to me from a friend on Facebook. She’s heard it’s harder for women to get funding for businesses than it is for men.

Barbara Corcoran: It is true. There’s a very well-known Harvard study that was done roughly 18 months ago that they actually — and I hope I’m representing it properly — but it unequivocally proved that men get funding from angel investors three to one over women. And they had very sharp women go in and make the pitch. They had very sharp men go in and do the exact same pitch, and two out of three of the funders went to the men. One in three went to the women, all right? You can’t argue with that. They even tested it beyond that and had female voices on a video pitch. The exact same video pitch, they had a male voice — equally credible voices. The men got the funding two to one. It’s definitely true, without a doubt.

Small Business Trends: Wow. Well, let’s end it on a higher note then. What last piece of advice would you give folks who are really serious, who do have a great idea, who do have the passion but maybe need a little piece — a nugget — of information to get them going to success. What would you tell them?

Barbara Corcoran: I think it’s very important to ask yourself, when you’re 60 or 50 and you haven’t done it and you’ve been carrying this idea in your heart and your head for a while, how are you going to feel about that? I’ve met so many entrepreneurs that have won, lost, won again, lost again on different businesses. And I tell you, I have never met anyone who regretted trying anything. Even losing their house — they didn’t regret that they tried it. But boy, have I met enough moany, groanies who say I wonder what would have happened. I wonder if I could have gotten rich. I wonder if… What a waste of a way to spend your life. I think you’ve got to try it and the sooner you try it the better. Before you have kids, the mortgage and life sits on your chest.

This interview with Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran celebrating Small Business Week is part of the One on One interview series with thought-provoking entrepreneurs, authors and experts in business today. This transcript has been edited for publication. To hear audio of the full interview, click on the player above. 

This article, “Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank: Real Entrepreneurs Better Off Trying, Failing Than Never Trying at All.” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Promotion Off the Beaten Path


“Creating awareness” is one of those phrases you hear a lot, but it’s always seemed wishy-washy to me. It’s like the second cousin of marketing or the next door neighbor of branding.

I imagine a meeting after an awareness campaign going much like this:

Q: “So, how’d it go? Did we get more sales?”
A: “No, sales are flat.”

Q: “OK, well, how’s traffic on the site?”
A: “Unchanged.”

Q: “Really? Did we see any benefit at all?”
A: “Totally! Apparently, people know we exist.”

Q: “And…”
A: “That’s it. We did it! WOO! WOOOO!”


Maybe I just don’t understand it, but perhaps, going forward, we’ll all be a little more aware of awareness.

This article, “Promotion Off the Beaten Path” was first published on Small Business Trends

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