The Biggest Myth About Online Lending


(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Would you pay 35-50% annual interest for a loan from an online lender? Yes, you would.

The past few weeks have not been great or those in the online lending business. Lending Club’s CEO was forced to resign after an internal investigation found that he made inappropriate loans. Google stopped “payday lenders” (those that lend money at more than 36% annual interest and with a payback requirement of under 60 days) from using Adwords. U.S. regulators are now paying closer attention to the industry’s lending practices. Led by companies like Lending Club, Kabbage, CAN Capital, Lendio, Prosper and OnDeck Capital online lending in the United States has tripled in volume in just the past year, reaching a total of $36 billion in 2015 according to this study. Read More…

The Secret to Saving Sears


(This post originally appeared on Fox Business)

My dog had her anal glands expressed last week. And it got me thinking about Sears.

 You may be thinking: TMI! But anyone who owns a dog knows what I’m talking about. The minute my wife and I saw her scooting around the carpets in an attempt to scratch those intimate places of hers – well, we knew it was time. We didn’t take her to the vet (too expensive) or to Petco (in my opinion, too impersonal). We marched her to a local store called Doggy Style. It took just a few, smelly minutes. All is good.

Read More…

3 Essential Technologies All Retailers Should Own


(This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post)

It has not been a great time for retailers. Last week, Macy’s missed its estimates and reported its fifth consecutive decline in revenues. Kohl’s and JC Penney saw declines in their stock prices and Nordstrom suffered a profit drop. Both Walmart and Target are expected to show similar disappointing results when they release their earnings this coming week.

But what about you, the small merchant? How are you doing? The good news is that you’re different than those stores. You’re more nimble and less bureaucratic. You can make decisions quicker and act faster. And there are plenty of great technologies available for you to not only increase productivity in your store but also expand your customer universe and your profits, regardless of how those big-box retailers fare. Here are just three technologies that will help you do this.

Read More…

How Far Business Owners Should Go to Keep Customers Happy

I run a restaurant, and Saturday night is always our busiest. Last Saturday, we were completely full. That morning one of our very best regulars called me and pleaded for a table for four people because she had her family in unexpectedly from out of town. She said she knew it was short notice, but pressed me to accommodate. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, and I knew that she was not happy. Did I make the right decision?

 You did.

For starters, I sympathize. Anyone who runs a business doesn’t like to admit it, but our biggest and best customers usually get priority treatment. I’ve more than once rescheduled jobs and redirected products targeted for other orders to my better customers in lieu of others.While growing your business with new customers is important, there is nothing more important than serving your existing (and best customers) first. We learn in business school that it’s much less expensive to get work from our existing customers than to find new ones – and it’s true. Treating those customers better and with preference – even if it’s to the detriment to other customers – is commonplace. Read More…

This Week’s Tech News for Business Owners: A Better Twitter And Instagram Videos


(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 – Twitter TWTR +0.31% may be removing photos and links from its 140-character limit.

Twitter has been struggling with the decision to increase its 140-character limit and so far the purists are winning. But just this week, it was reportedthat the company will no longer be including photos and links in that count.

Why this is important for your business: Read More…


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