A record number of small business owners are selling their companies

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Exit…stage left!

That’s what a lot of business owners are saying – and doing.  In fact, sales of small businesses reached record levels in 2016. A total of 7,842 closed transactions were reported this past year, the highest annual total of small business sales since online business for sale market place BizBuySell first started tracking data in 2007, according to the company’s quarterly Insight Report published this week. Sixty-three percent of respondents to the survey also said they experienced more deals in 2016 than in 2015.

Why so many sales? Read More…

Finally…a new Google Voice is coming

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

I use Google Voice, and if you’re running a small business it’s likely that you do too. Google Voice is free and a great service for receiving, storing, transcribing and sharing voice mail messages. I use it as my primary voicemail for my smartphone and get my messages emailed and texted to me –I’d be lost without it. Many business owners, particularly freelancers and solo-preneurs, use it for outbound calling too. Did I mention that it’s free? Read More…

Are You Aware Of This Brand New Way To Make Money On Facebook?

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Did you know that Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video every day? It’s true. My household accounts for about 30 percent of that number. We like watching kittens, OK?

There are more than a billion people using Facebook every day and video has exploded on the social media platform over the past year. If you’re running a business it’s time for you take notice. Facebook has launched a new program that will enable you to make money from your Facebook videos.

According to this report from Recode, the social media giant will soon start testing a “mid-roll” advertising service where you can insert an ad into a video that users can see after they’ve watched for 20 seconds. Facebook will sell the ads for you and take 45 percent of the revenues. Read More…

Would you pay $1,500 a month to drive an Escalade whenever you want?

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

In what AdAge is calling a “Netflix for cars,” Cadillac has launched a program that it says is a “first-of-its-kind luxury vehicle subscription service.” The program is called Book by Cadillac and here’s how it works:

For starters, customers are no longer customers. They’re now “members.” A member pays a flat monthly fee of $1,500 (there’s also a one-time $500 initiation and processing fee).  For all this, the member gets unlimited access to several Cadillacs – from the V Series, XT5 and CT6 to an Escalade – for as long and whenever wanted. These same cars would cost between $60,000 and $100,00 if purchased outright, according to a Reuters report. The car is home delivered and the fee includes registration, taxes, insurance and maintenance costs. There’s no mileage limit and if you want out of the program you just have to give 30 days’ notice. Read More…

Chipotle’s getting sued for $2 billion – yes $2 billion – over a marketing move

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

As soon as you’re done reading this piece, please go and check your website, your social media sites, your brochures and your marketing literature. Are there images of people in these materials? Where did you get these images? Are you sure – absolutely sure – that you have the rights to these images?

If not, you could be sued. For $2.2 billion! Billion! Read More…

So who’s behind all those snarky tweets from @Wendy’s?

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Wendy’s is lately getting a lot of online attention thanks to its social media manager.

Last week, a Twitter user accused the fast food chain of lying about its “fresh, never frozen” beef that it uses in its hamburgers, according to this report. An exchange ensued about the company’s refrigeration methods. The user said McDonalds served a better breakfast to which @Wendy’s responded: “You don’t have to bring them into this just because you forgot refrigerators existed for a second there.” The Internet loved it. Read More…

Carnival Cruises Does Something Really Creepy And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Carnival Corporation plans to make guests wear “smart medallions” to record their every whim.

The medallions can be carried in your pocket or worn as jewelry and will track your movement all around the ship, automating the purchase of food, drinks and merchandise. The smart disks can also tell Carnival employees of your preferences and whims by letting them see your prior purchases, preferences and social media activity and will power a new “shipwide gambling platform.” (Source: New York Times)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…