Cash-less? Cash only? You’ve got to be crazy to reject any form of payment

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

This week, the state of New Jersey passed a law banning businesses – with the exception of parking lots, car rental companies and a few others – from not accepting cash. The move, which follows a comparable law recently enacted in nearby Philadelphia (Massachusetts has had similar legislation in place 1978) – has sparked a debate.

Is this fair? Is this discriminatory? Is this anti-business? Oh please. To me, the law doesn’t go far enough.

If you’re a supporter of “cash-less” stores you’re probably a chain store like Sweetgreen or a disruptor like Amazon. These companies argue that cashless stores are safer for employees, provide a quicker and more seamless experience for their customers, and encourage more productivity and better accounting. They’re probably right about that. Read More…

On CRM: JotForm Adds HubSpot So That You Can Stop Losing Website Leads

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

It amazes me how many companies I know – particularly small companies – that go to great effort and expense to build cool websites and attract leads don’t complete the process. There’s a disconnect when visitors arrive and request more information or have a question. When they fill out a form their contact data is just emailed to someone in the sales department who then has to enter that information again into the company’s CRM system. Errors occur and – not surprisingly – follow-ups are unreliable.

It happens a lot and when it does sales inevitably get lost. And yet, simply integrating a company’s website with their CRM application would solve that problem and create more revenue opportunities.

Maybe the fact that this isn’t happening as much as I would’ve thought isn’t so amazing. Most good, mainstream CRM applications do have the ability to integrate themselves with a customer’s website. But it takes some effort and a little technical expertise and these are the kinds of things that are sometimes in short supply at the typical small business.

But there’s an easy way to do this which doesn’t take much effort or expertise. Just create a JotForm and use its built-in integration with popular CRMs and email marketing applications like ZohoVerticalResponseMailChimpInsightlyKeapHighriseConstant ContactSalesforce.com and now…HubSpot. Read More…

Five Technologies Every Construction Company Should Own

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(This post originally appeared on Inc)

You’re a small contractor or you run a mid-sized construction business.  You do general contracting or you specialize in drywall. You build retail stores or you build homes. Either way, you either employ, partner or contract with mechanical engineers, electricians, carpenters, masons, welders, glaziers and many others like them.

When it comes to technology, none of those specifics matter. That’s because if you’re in the construction business you’re likely doing the same thing. You’re estimating jobs. You’re overseeing projects. You’re managing teams. You’re making calculations.  All of these tasks – and many others – have been made easier by technology and the smartest construction clients my firm works with are leveraging new technologies to improve productivity, quality, safety and profit.

Here are five construction techs that I like.

Read More…

Why shouldn’t there be a Yelp-like app for Trump-supporting diners?

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

Can’t a Trump supporter find a quiet place to eat dinner nowadays? Geez! Across the country, people who openly display their support of the president – usually via some type of Make America Great Again clothing – are getting harassed in public restaurants and other places of business. Thank goodness a clever entrepreneur has come up with a solution: it’s called 63red Safe.

63red Safe is a mobile app that differs from other review services in one major way: it provides information to its users about whether a business is safe from politics, especially for those that lean right.

“I’m trying to position it as an everyday ‘where can I go eat safely’ app,” Scott Wallace, the app’s founder, told the Daily Beast. Read More…

Microsoft: Windows 10 Will Auto-Uninstall Buggy Updates…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 — Microsoft: Windows 10 can now automatically uninstall buggy updates.

If you have automatically downloaded Windows 10 updates that aren’t compatible with your device, there’s no need to worry. The company says Windows 10 can now remove “problematic updates” without requiring user interaction—a feature that aims to address updates with more severe incompatibility issues, specifically ones that prevent a Windows 10 PC from starting up. The OS will try to address the failure by uninstalling recently installed updates, but this ‘last resort’ will only be taken when all other automatic recovery attempts have failed. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…

Businesses may not like the overtime rule, but best not to mess with it

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

Starting in January 2020, small businesses will see their compensation costs rise. It won’t just be due to the increased wages as a result of the tight labor market. Or entirely because of higher minimum wages mandated by a city or state. Or as a result of the paid time off that’s increasingly becoming required in regions. All of those factors will contribute. But now there’s another thing: overtime pay.

Currently, if a business – big or small – pays a salaried worker who does not supervise others and is not a salesperson more than $23,600 a year, then that worker is not entitled to any overtime. This week, the Department of Labor issued a proposed ruling – effective next year – that would raise those wages approximately 50% to $35,308. The DoL estimates the 1.1 million US workers will be affected.

Business owners “generally do not like it when the federal government intervenes on wage issues”, Karen Kerrigan, president of the advocacy group Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, told the Associated Press. That’s not surprising. But the rule, however, isn’t a big surprise to most of the business owners I know. There’s a history. Read More…

This Is Why You Should (Almost) Always Go for It on Fourth Down But Seldom Do

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(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Back in 2009, the football coach at a little known but prestigious high school in Arkansas had an unorthodox strategy. The coach, Kevin Kelley, always went for it on fourth down.  Why? Because it made sense to him – and he couldn’t understand why more coaches didn’t do the same.

“You can have an extra down if you want it,” he told the authors of the great book Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games are Won. “(But some coaches just say) no, I’ll be nice and just use three.”

Turns out Kelley was right. His winning percentage was 82 percent. His team won championships. His players loved the risks he took. The fans ate it up. But Kelley wasn’t taking such a big risk. To him, it was crazy not to go for it on fourth down — and the numbers, according to the book, certainly back him up. Read More…