Small Business Snapshot: Amazon Defends Its Small Biz-Killing App
Today’s roundup starts with news that Amazon.com is defending its ‘Price Check’ application and includes a piece on small business predictions for 2012 and how one comedian is making life better for CEOs.
Main Street businesses are seriously ticked off with Amazon.com over its ‘Price Check’ application—which allows customers to compare brick-and-mortar prices just to leave physical stores and buy the same products for online. But as Robb Mandelbaum of The New York Times writes, an Amazon spokesperson says the application wasn’t created to target small businesses, but instead was ‘primarily intended for customers who are comparing prices in major retail chain stores.’ What do you think of the application?
Next year, small business owners can expect more economic uncertainty, writes Entrepreneur's Carol Tice. Also on the horizon is the trend of customers helping to choose marketing tactics, an increase in mobile purchasing (make sure to activate your app!) and the great news that SBOs will finally have more access to credit.
Great news; as a social entrepreneur, you no longer have to choose between for-profit or non-profit status (which can be very limiting). As Kyle Westaway writes on The Wall Street Journal, there are several new legal structures available to social entrepreneurs including L3C (good for companies that want to blend traditional capital with donations), Benefit Corporation (good for companies that want to be transparent) and Flexible-Purpose Corporation (good for companies that want to do things on their own terms).
VCs love thriving industries, and according to Sarah McBride of Reuters, online retail is one of the most profitable out there right now (i.e. consumers spent $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday). In this year alone, VCs invested $2.39 billion into online shopping—a record.
Haven’t established your marketing plan for 2012 yet? You’re in luck. As Drew Neisser of Fast Company writes, small business owners are smart to establish resolutions such as setting up systems to measure marketing effectiveness, seeking partnerships with successful companies, producing content for your customers, and focusing on excellent customer service. This is a great piece—print it off and post it in your office for reference.
Running a business isn’t exactly a laugh-a-minute. It’s hard, dawn-till-dusk, backbreaking work that can turn your hair gray 20 years too early. Adam Seitz doesn’t see it this way. As Kent Bernhard, Jr. of Portfolio writes, Seitz is an improvisational comedian launching his own company, Improvulutions, which administers seminars for CEOs on how to lighten up and find laughter and happiness in every day life. The goal: when you are enjoying yourself, your creative juices can flow.
Not sure what to get your freelance friend? As written on Cohere Coworking Community, some great ideas include a membership to a local coworking space, cloud storage, relevant industry books and a portable solar charger.
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