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Tag Archives: small-business

Mobile car rental app officially launches in London – Bdaily

Bdaily Mobile car rental app officially launches in London Bdaily The Virtuo app was hand selected by the Apple team as App of the Day on Saturday which generated thousands of installs ahead of the launch. Users are now able to book a vehicle through the Virtuo App, with rates from £35 per day. Already a success in ...

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Mobile car rental app officially launches in London – Bdaily

Bdaily Mobile car rental app officially launches in London Bdaily The Virtuo app was hand selected by the Apple team as App of the Day on Saturday which generated thousands of installs ahead of the launch. Users are now able to book a vehicle through the Virtuo App, with rates from £35 per day. Already a success in ...

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Pro drone racing confronts its amateur roots

"The drone racing league is a sport. We are a league. We do an annual season. We have a clear rule system and scoring system," Nick Horbaczewski, founder and CEO of the Drone Racing League (DRL), enthuses in a small business suite located on the seco...

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Microsoft Surface Go: The Perfect Travel Laptop? – Forbes

Forbes Microsoft Surface Go: The Perfect Travel Laptop? Forbes Microsoft has announced a new Surface tablet computer called the Go. It's smaller, lighter, and cheaper than its ... Being able to charge your laptop via USB means you can connect a USB battery pack and have, essentially, unlimited battery life. OK ... and more »

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Disrupting the paycheck, Gusto’s Flexible Pay allows employees to pick when they get paid

People should get paid for work they have done. It’s a pretty simple principle of capitalism, but a principle that seems increasingly violated in the modern economy. With semi-monthly paychecks, the work an employee does on the first day of the month won’t be paid until the end of the third week — a delay of up to 21 days. That delay is despite the massive digitalization of bank transfers and accounting over the past few decades that should have made paychecks far more regular. Gusto , a payroll and HR benefits provider focused on small businesses, announced the launch of Flexible Pay today, a new feature that will allow its payroll users to select when they receive their income for work already completed. The feature, which must be switched on by an employer, will cost employers nothing out-of-pocket today. The launch is limited to customers in Texas, but will expand to other states in the coming year. As Gusto CEO Joshua Reeves explained it to me, a kid mowing lawns in a neighborhood has a much more visceral connection to income than the modern knowledge economy worker. Cut the grass, get cash — it’s that simple. He also pointed out, with irony, that terminated employees experience much better payroll service than regular employees: they have to be paid out on their last day of work outside of the standard paycheck schedule.

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States will be able to charge sales tax on online purchases thanks to the Supreme Court

In a five-to-four decision issued today, the Supreme Court ruled that states can make online businesses collect sales taxes — even if they don’t have a physical presence in that state. Today’s ruling overturns a decision from the Court in 1992 that paved the way for the explosion of online retail in the United States. Important Tax Cases: Quill Corp. v. North Dakota and the Physical Presence Rule for Sales Tax Collection At issue was the Quill Corp. v. North Dakota decision, which ruled that companies need to have at least some physical connection with a state for that state to require that company to pay taxes. Today’s ruling caused publicly traded e-commerce company share prices to tumble, with Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Alibaba all recording losses in midday trading on their respective U.S. exchanges. It’s a huge win for vendors with physical storefronts, which have long argued that their online counterparts enjoyed an unfair advantage because they didn’t have to charge customers local sales tax. Local governments may also see a windfall as a result of the ruling, as the government estimates that between $9 billion and $13 billion in potential tax revenue is left on the table, thanks to earlier Supreme Court decisions on the taxation of online purchases.

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Pornography and the butterfly effect

“Whatever happens to musicians happens to everybody,” said Bruce Sterling years ago, referring to the effects of free downloadable music on their industry; and so it has come to pass for pornographers, as depicted by the great Jon Ronson in his equal parts charming and spellbinding podcast series “ The Butterfly Effect .” Pornography, however, is much weirder than music, both as concept and as industry; and so, unsurprisingly, the emergent properties of the overturning of the porn industry are much weirder too, and the full extent of their ripple effects have yet to be measured. It’s at least plausible that the latest salvos in our intensifying culture wars, the subjects of “incels” and “enforced monogamy,” stem from touchpaper lit long ago by the butterfly in Ronson’s story. That story seems simple in outline. A Belgian named Fabian starts trading in passwords to porn sites in the 1990s. Next decade, he purchases a relatively small company in Montreal which offers porn online for free; it faithfully complies with DMCA takedown requests, but they have no hope of keeping up with the firehose of uploads. He applies modern data science, A/B testing, SEO, etc., and his business grows from “substantial” to “enormous.” Based on that he gets a $362 million loan, which he uses to purchase essentially all of his competitors. Ultimately, this cornucopia of free porn makes Fabian very, very rich, while impoverishing the American porn industry, headquartered in the San Fernando Valley just north of Los Angeles. It is the tale of a transfer of colossal amount of money, and viewers, from the Valley to Montreal; from porn directors and performers to buttoned-down data scientists and infrastructure engineers. It is also, more interestingly, a tale of the emergent properties of free content. For instance: there is so much free porn that it had to be taxonomized; this, in turn, trained users to focus on and search for particular categories and keywords; this, in turn, forced the industry to adapt to those keywords. Ronson finds a director (Mike Quasar, the find of the show) working on a movie called Stepdaughter Cheerleader Orgy 2. “I guess the first one left a lot of unanswered questions,” Quasar cracks, but in fact it’s called that because titles have become strings of keywords

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Printify, a new marketplace for custom printing, raises $1 million seed

Printify , a startup all the way from Riga, Latvia, has raised $1 million in seed funding led by Google AdSense pioneer Gokul Rajaram as it looks to expand its services in the U.S. and build out its team in Latvia. Today, roughly 50,000 e-commerce stores use Printify’s services for printing-on-demand, according to the company. Together with Lumi, which can handle packaging for consumer-facing startups, Printify is making the notion of becoming a brand as seamless as possible by taking much of a vendor’s legwork out of the equation. The company keeps its customers’ billing information on file and links with the back-end ordering system of almost any e-commerce platform. When an order comes in, Printify gets an API notification to begin working on a product. The company then sends print-ready files to an on-demand manufacturer that can print a design and ship a product within 24 hours. Printify founder James Berdigans came up with the idea for the company after starting a business making accessories for Apple products. “We wanted to print custom phone cases and we thought we’d find an on-demand manufacturer and it would be easy,” says Berdigans. That’s when Printify was born. The company first integrated through Shopify and began to see some traction in November 2015, but because the company didn’t own its own manufacturing, quality became a concern. In 2016, Berdigans pivoted to the marketplace model because he saw demand coming from a growing number of small business owners like himself that needed access to a selection of quality printing houses. New direct-to-garment printing and digital printing on t-shirts is going to grow very rapidly over the next few years, according to Berdigans

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iZettle expands from mobile payments into e-commerce and online sales for SMBs

iZettle , the startup out of Sweden that has been referred to as the Square of Europe, is today making a move that underscores its bigger strategy to build on its traction with small businesses in mobile payments, to expand into an ever-wider range of financial services to fill out its $950 million valuation . The company is launching a new e-commerce platform, where customers can build online inventory and check-out experiences either to complement the physical sales they are already making with iZettle itself, or as a standalone service as new customers to the company. The service is rolling out in Sweden and the U.K. first, with plans to extend to the rest of iZettle’s footprint in Europe and Latin America over the coming months. The idea is to provide a set of tools build and run shops quickly and easily for the same kinds of small businesses and sole traders that already use iZettle, or “Shopify simplified,” as iZettle’s founder and CEO Jacob DeGeer describes it. Pricing follows the same basic format as that of the company’s core mobile payments service. In the case of the UK, for example, DeGeer says iZettle takes a 1.75 percent fee for each transaction on its mobile payments, and the e-commerce product will come in at £29 per month plus 2.5 percent on each transaction. (Rates might vary depending on the market in question.) iZettle moving into e-commerce is not exactly a revolutionary idea. Square has been offering a Stripe-style online component to businesses since 2016 , and of course companies like Shopify and Stripe and many others are also providing similar services. DeGeer says that iZettle’s service is differentiated and better because it follows on from iZettle’s belief that there have not been enough attention given to building products specifically for the small business person. “It’s a segment that is traditionally underserved,” he said. The same had been the case in card payments, where sole traders and small businesses were regularly not accepting cards simply because the cost of doing so was too high for them, a problem solved by turning ordinary smartphones and tablets into point of sale terminals with the help of a dongle. The same ethos appears to be applying here: for those who are already iZettle customers and running sales through the company’s platform, DeGeer said that they can bring their sales online with one click, and then all sales across both offline and online will be viewable in a single database. And why would customers add the online component? It’s potentially a way to, for example, facilitate online ordering ahead for a cafe, or for a jewellery vendor from a market or small shop to develop a web-based store — offerings that in the past would have been too costly or complicated for small businesses to create and integrate

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Zoho at a crossroads: Stepping up means stepping out

Zoho has been one of the great successes in the world of small business technologies. Few companies have been able to succeed with a similar business model, yet Zoho has been wildly successful. But they are also enshrouded in mystery. Read on to see what's under their veil and what they have to do next -- if they want to.

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