Tag Archive | "Business"

7 things you might not know about Google My Business categories





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Even Just on the Medical Side, There’s Big Business in Pot

There’s a big business to be built even just on the medical side of legal marijuana says legendary technology investor Geoff Lewis. Lewis was an early investor in Tilray which recently had a hugely successful IPO of which he was pleasantly surprised.

Lewis thinks the worldwide trend is toward recreational legalization of marijuana and that bodes well for Tilray. “I think quite honestly the US is behind other countries on that score,” says Lewis. “So TBD here, but around the world, the trend is very much toward recreational legalization.”

Geoff Lewis, the founder of Bedrock Capital and an early tech investor in many companies including Tilray, the global leader in legal marijuana, Lewis recently discussed the recent Tilray IPO and the future of legal pot around the world on CNBC:

I Didn’t Think the Tilray Founders Actually Used the Product

One of the reasons I invested in Tilray, via Privateer Holdings, the creators of Tilray back in 2014, was that I didn’t think the founders actually used the product. I spent a lot of time trying to diligence whether I thought the team was actually using it and they weren’t.

The reason I cared is not that I have anything societally against it, but it was illegal at the time. The company was based at the time in Washington State where it was not legal.

At this point, I do think the trend has really dramatically shifted from back when we invested in Tilray in 2014 and it’s now obviously a publicly traded company. It’s a big win and we’re really lucky to have been able to back those founders early on. But there were only a few countries in the world where there was a medically legal framework and now there are over 30 countries.

There’s Big Business to be Built on Just the Medical Side

We didn’t know the IPO was going to be as successful as it was, that was a pleasant surprise. I would say that we did believe that regulation ultimately follows what society wants. We felt back in 2014 when we made the investment that most people in most countries believe it should at least be medically legal and the regulations were very expected.

There’s big business to be built just on the medical side. I do strongly believe the trend is toward recreational legalization. This is certainly true in many of the Western European countries and South America. I think quite honestly the US is behind other countries on that score. So TBD here, but around the world, the trend is very much toward recreational legalization.

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The Root of Impostor Syndrome in Creative Business (and Two Steps to Temper It)

Philosophy of art has been an interest of mine for quite some time. But philosophy of professional art is a…

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Get a More Useful Perspective on Your Business and Content Goals

Sometimes in business, it’s a good idea to slow down and reflect on your real goals. Are you getting what…

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Alphabet Chairman: Anybody Who Does Business in China Compromises Some of Their Core Values

Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy says that anybody who does business in China compromises some of their core values. Alphabet, of course, is the parent company of Google and reportedly Google is considering re-entering the search business in China. Hennessy said that Google is struggling with whether it is better to give Chinese citizens a decent search engine even if it is restricted and censored. 

John Hennessy, Chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, discussed Google’s struggle and internal debate on whether to provide a censored search engine in China during a live audience interview on Bloomberg.

Anybody Who Does Business in China Compromises Core Values

“Anybody who does business in China compromises some of their core values,” says Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy in a live audience interview on Bloomberg. Alphabet is the parent company of Google. “Every single company because the laws in China are quite a bit different than they are in our own country. The question that comes to my mind and that I struggle with is are we better off giving Chinese citizens a decent search engine, a capable search engine, even if it is restricted and censored in some cases than a search engine that’s not very good? Does that improve the quality of their lives? That’s the struggle that we have to work our way through.”

“I think it is a legitimate question in asking how can you do it and still live within the context of what their regulations are,” Hennessy said in response to whether Google can do more good by being in China. “Part of what is reflected inside Google as it is everywhere in the Valley and everywhere in our country right now is the divisiveness that exists. I think that divisiveness has fed more concern in how these technologies get used.”

We Are in a Different Time Now

“If you wind back to the time that Google decided to exit China there were lots of things going on, not just censorship but also surveillance, hacking attempts, things like that,” noted Hennessy. “Those all added together to create a situation. We are in a different time now. Asking how you do this, how you make it safe, but if you store data in the country it can be gotten at by the Chinese authorities. I think you should worry about that and as a minimum, you should make sure that your users understand that.”

Hennessy is not a fan of the current trade wars. “I think in general that trade wars are not productive and they’re not economically productive either. We should try to remind people of that and try to find a way to move forward.”

Google Pulled Out of China in 2010

In 2010 Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, announced that Google would no longer continue censoring their results on Google.cn which quickly led to a complete Google block by the Chinese government:

On January 12, 2010, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

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3 Empowering Small Business Tips for Today, 2019, and a Better Future

Posted by MiriamEllis

“American business is overwhelmingly small business.” – SBE Council

Small businesses have created 61.8% of net new jobs in the US since the early 1990s. Local business is big business. Let’s celebrate this in honor of Small Business Saturday with 3 strategies that will support independent business owners this week, and in the better future that can be attained with the right efforts.

What’s Small Business Saturday?

It’s an annual shopping event sponsored by American Express on the Saturday following Thanksgiving with the primary goal of encouraging residents to patronize local merchants. The program was launched in 2010 in response to the Great Recession. By 2017, Small Business Saturday jumped to 7,200 Neighborhood Champions (individuals and groups that organize towns for the event), with 108 million reported participating consumers spending $ 12 billion across the country.

Those numbers are impressive, and more than that, they hold the acorn of strategy for the spreading oak of a nation in which independently grown communities set standards of living, set policy, and set us on course for a sustainable future.

Tips for small businesses today

If your community is already participating in Small Business Saturday, try these techniques to enhance your success on the big day:

1. Give an extra reason to shop with you

This can be as simple as giving customers a small discount or a small free gift with their purchase, or as far-reaching as donating part of the proceeds of the day’s sales to a worthy local cause. Give customers a reason to feel extra good that they shopped with you, especially if you can demonstrate how their purchase supports their own community. Check out our Local Business Holiday Checklist for further tips.

2. Give local media something to report

Creativity is your best asset in deciding how to make your place of business a top destination on Small Business Saturday, worthy of mentions in the local news. Live music? A treasure hunt? The best store window in town? Reach out to reporters if you’re doing something extra special to build up publicity.

3. Give a reason to come back year-round

Turn a shopping moment into a teaching moment. Print up some flyers from the American Independent Business Alliance and pass them out to customers to teach them how local purchasing increases local wealth, health, and security. Take a minute or two to talk with customers who express interest. Sometimes, all it takes is a little education and kindness to shift habits. First, take a few minutes to boost your own education by reading How to Win Some Customer Back from Amazon this Holiday Season.

AMIBA has a great list of tips for Small Business Saturday success and American Express has the best examples of how whole communities have created memorable events surrounding these campaigns. I’ve seen everything from community breakfast kickoffs in Michigan, to jazz bands in Louisiana, to Santa Claus coming to town on a riverboat in California. Working closely with participating neighboring businesses can transform your town or city into a holiday wonderland on this special day, and if your community isn’t involved yet, research this year can prepare you to rally support for an application to next year’s program.

Tips for small businesses for the new year

Unless your town is truly so small that all residents are already aware of every business located there, make 2019 the year you put the Internet to work for you and your community. Even small town businesses have news and promotions they’d like to share on the web, and don’t forget the arrival of new neighbors and travelers who need to be guided to find you. In larger cities, every resident and visitor needs help navigating the local commercial scene.

Try these tips for growth in the new year:

  1. Dig deeply into the Buy Local movement by reading The Local SEO’s Guide to the Buy Local Phenomenon. Even if you see yourself as a merchant today, you can re-envision your role as a community advocate, improving the quality of life for your entire town.
  2. Expand your vision of excellent customer service to include the reality that your neighbors are almost all on the Internet part of every day looking for solutions to their problems. A combination of on-and-offline customer service is your key to becoming the problem-solver that wins lucrative, loyal patrons. Read What the Local Customer Service Ecosystem Looks Like in 2019.
  3. Not sure where to begin learning about local search marketing on the web? First, check out Moz’s free Local SEO Learning Center with articles written for the beginner to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts. Then, start following the recognized leaders in this form of marketing to keep pace with new developments and opportunities as they arise. Make a new year’s resolution to devote just 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, to learning more about marketing your small local business. By the end of a single year, you will have become a serious force for promotion of your company and the community it serves.

Tips for an independent business future: The time is right

I’ve been working in local business marketing for about 15 years, watching not just the development of technologies, but the ebb and flow of brand and consumer habits and attitudes. What I’m observing with most interest as we close out the present year is a rising tide of localistic leanings.

On the one hand, we have some of the largest brands (Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.) losing the trust of the public in serious scandals surrounding privacy, human rights violations, and even war. On the other hand, we have small business owners uniting to revitalize their communities in wounded cities like Detroit and tiny towns like Bozeman, in the wake of the Great Recession, itself cited as a big brand product.

Where your company does business may influence your customers’ take on economics, but overall, the engrossing trend I’m seeing is towards more trust in smaller, independently owned companies. In fact, communities across the US are starting to map out futures for themselves that are as self-sustaining as possible. Earlier, I referenced small business owners undergoing a mental shift from lone merchant to community advocate, and here, I’ve mapped out a basic model for towns and cities to shift toward independence.

What most communities can’t access locally are branded products: imported big label clothing, packaged foods, electronics, cars, branded cosmetics, books. Similarly, most communities don’t have direct local access to the manufacture or mining of plastics, metals, and gases. And, very often, towns and cities lack access to agroforestry for raw lumber, fuel, natural fibers and free food. So, let’s say for now that the typical community leaves these things up to big brands so that they can still buy computers, books and stainless steel cookware from major manufacturers.

But beyond this, with the right planning, the majority of the components for a high standard of living can be created and owned locally. For example:

There are certainly some things we may rely on big brands and federal resources for, but it isn’t Amazon or the IRS who give us a friendly wave as we take our morning hike through town, making us feel acknowledged as people and improving our sense of community. For that, we have to rely on our neighbor. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s up to towns and cities to determine whether neighbors are experiencing a decent standard of living.

Reading the mood of the economy, I am seeing more and more Americans becoming open to the messages that the percentage of small businesses in a community correlates with residents’ health, that quality social interactions lessen the chances of premature death by 50%, that independent businesses recirculate almost 4x as much community wealth, and that Main Street-style city planning massively reduces pollution vs. big box stores on the outskirts of town.

Small Business Saturday doesn’t have to be a once-a-year phenomenon. Small business owners, by joining together as community advocates, have the power to make it a way of life where they live. And they have one significant advantage over most corporations, the value of which shouldn’t be underestimated: They can begin the most important conversations face-to-face with their neighbors, asking, “Who do we want to be? Where do want to live? What’s our best vision for how life could be here?”

Don’t be afraid to talk beyond transactions with your favorite customers. Listening closely, I believe you’ll discover that there’s a longing for change and that the time is right.

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SearchCap: Google My Business app, Bing ads insights & web site trust

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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The Freedom Episode: How To Build A Business To Create Financial, Time And Mental Freedom

 [ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] From the day I was born I valued freedom (well I assume I did as a baby, I can’t quite be sure). As I entered university and contemplated growing into an independent adult, the kind of independence I craved most was […]

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SearchCap: Google My Business Insights, search industry honors Barry Schwartz, more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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4 Ways to Identify Talented Salespeople for Your Business

Do you know why a lot of businesses fail? It’s not because of poor products or service or bad accounting. Most small businesses don’t survive past five years because of the lack of sales.

As your business starts to grow, you start looking for people who will push your products. Finding and hiring salespeople is critical for any company. However, finding the right applicant for the job is a complex process, especially since many employers don’t know how to recognize talented salespeople. Here’s watch you should look for:

4 Ways to Identify Talented Salespeople

1. Look for Passion, Not Just Knowledge

Sales is a dynamic job, and a salesperson who’s passionate about their product has a greater chance of closing deals. Look for someone who’s excited about meeting new prospects and who’s happy to find a solution to a client’s problem through a well-crafted sales solution. You can easily see an employee’s passion through their body language. A company should also take steps to keep their workers’ passions alive. 

  • Teach them everything they need to know: It’s hard to be passionate about a product you don’t fully understand. Make sure each salesperson is knowledgeable of all aspects of the product, from the technical to the aesthetic, from its history to future plans.
  • Keep your team engaged: A salesperson who’s deeply invested in a product is one who’s passionate about it. Engage your sales staff by listening to their feedback and keeping them in the loop whenever there are changes in your product. Recognize their contributions and provide them with a chance for career growth.
  • Share the success: Market your product to your people too. Treat employees to lunch or host a small party when the company wins an award or receives good feedback. Making an effort to inform your sales team about the company’s success and acknowledging their contribution will enhance their pride and stoke their passions.

2. Look for Real Experience, Not Just Qualifications

Qualifications still matter when hiring, especially if you’re considering tapping someone young. Candidates with a degree in marketing and sales are better choices than applicants without actual sales experience or who studied a different major.

However, there’s no substitute for experience. Candidates who have worked in sales for years or have been a part of multiple organizations have a definite edge. In this situation, employers can even overlook the applicant’s qualification as the skills accumulated by dealing with diverse clients and selling a wide range of products is invaluable.

3. Look for Adaptability, Not Just Competence

You need competent salespeople if you want your business to survive. These days, you need people who are not only competent but adaptable as well. Employers need people who can develop a new skill or who can learn how to sell a new product or service quickly, even if their background is in an entirely different niche. Rival companies roll out new products consistently, and there are always threats from startups. So your sales team has to be flexible enough to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

4. Look for One With a Strong Sales IQ

The best salespeople all share specific characteristics. They are great at developing relationships, have high EQ (emotional intelligence) and can easily understand what people want. They have tremendous empathy and are good at reading body language. And, they are good listeners. They hear what the customers are looking for and they can convince them that their product is exactly what they need. All these traits come together to make for a strong sales IQ.

However, it’s hard to find someone who embodies all these traits. Big companies have the luxury of hiring several people who can handle different sales processes. For instance, they can hire one who’s in charge of building relationships, another one who can pitch the product and someone who will close the deal. But small companies can only hire one or two people. If you’re lucky, you can find someone who has great sales IQ. If not, choose someone who has the strongest sales IQ and be ready to provide them with the training and support they’ll need to grow.

Conclusion

It’s a challenge to find talented salespeople today. So once you have finally hired the right person for the job, make sure you hold on to them. Show that you appreciate them. While incentives are a good way of encouraging your employees, it’s better to make them feel that their job is secure, regardless of whether they hit their sales target or not. Relevant training, good leadership, and a supportive environment also go a long way in ensuring you won’t lose good people.

[Featured image via Pixabay]

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