Here’s a Very Simple Solution to the Mystery of Why You Can’t Find Employees

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(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

A few years ago my wife and I decided to put our house on the market. It was an older house with lots of space and lots of memories. But, like any older house, it also had its share of maintenance and structural problems. We fretted that it wouldn’t sell. That is, until our real estate agent put things into perspective.

“Look,” he said to us as we were putting the paperwork together. “If you list the house for $1, it’ll sell tomorrow. If you list it for $1 million, you might not have a buyer. We just have to find a price in between.”

It’s smart advice, but when you think about it, it’s not exactly genius. It’s just supply and demand. That’s how prices are determined. This guy sells houses for a living. No one knows better about pricing than he does. Read More…

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Would you spend $37.99 for “hot dog water”?

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

OK, I admit it. Sometimes those advertisements promising immediate hair growth catch my eye. I don’t think it’s so unreasonable. Take a look at my photo. What middle aged man wouldn’t want a full head of hair like he had when he was twenty? But then reality sets in. Of course, these things don’t work as promised, right? And besides, the abuse I would receive at the hands of my family if this stuff did work and hair began to sprout in odd places on my head would be merciless. Oh well.

But apparently, many men don’t move on from those commercials like I do. The hair growth industry is a $2.8 billion industry and…c’mon…does it really work as promised? Maybe for some. But there are plenty of stories about how these products don’t do all that they say and many customers walk away disappointed, and a little poorer from the experience.

Which brings me to hot dog water. Read More…

The supreme court’s online sales tax ruling is hurting small merchants

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

Last week the US supreme court ruled that states are within their legal rights to collect sales tax when products are sold online, even when the business doesn’t have a presence in that state. The ruling is expected to be a significant revenue generator for many cash-strapped regions. Unfortunately, it’s also expected to be an enormous challenge for businesses – particularly small businesses – that sell over the internet.

The problems are already starting to be felt by some. Read More…

On CRM: Why Did Microsoft, Amazon And Salesforce Just Invest In This CRM Company?

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

It’s not every day that large competitors become investors in the same company. This week, however, one CRM company attracted funding in a Series C round from four of the biggest: Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce and Comcast.

The venture capital arms of those tech giants – as well as a few other well-known VC investors like Accel Partners and Redpoint Ventures, plowed $27 million into UK-based Tact.ai, bringing the start-up’s total amount of capital raised to $53 million, according to this report on TechCrunch.

What’s so special about Tact.ai? Two words: voice recognition. The company’s technology uses artificial intelligence to solve a CRM headache that many of my clients consistently complain about: getting their sales people to use the system!

Read More…

Google Can Now Predict When You Will Die…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 — Google AI can predict when you will die.

Google is currently training a new artificial intelligence computer to predict whether hospital patients will die within 24 hours after being admitted. So far, during the initial trials, the system has been 95 percent accurate. It makes its predictions using basic data such as a patient’s age, ethnicity and gender, and a new algorithm then includes information like a patient’s vital signs, medical history and even PDFs, charts, and hand-written notes from his or her doctors. (Source: Fox Business)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…

A Restaurant In China Offers An All You Can Eat Deal for only $19

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Offering free products is a marketing tactic that has been used by businesses big and small ever since there have been businesses big and small. But these tactics certainly have their risks, as the owners of a restaurant in China recently found out.

For the equivalent of only 120 yuan ($19) per month, customers at Jiamener restaurant Chengdu, Sichuan province – a city that boasts more than 14 million residents – were able to eat as much as they wanted for as long as they wanted. The promotion was a hit. In only 10 days, more than 1,700 people signed up for the deal. Unfortunately, the restaurant’s owners got a lot more than they asked for. Read More…

Facebook Will Ban Some Businesses From Advertising…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 — Facebook will now ban “bad” businesses from advertising.

Facebook has announced the global rollout of a new policy that will now let users file a complaint about businesses they’ve had a problem with if they bought something after clicking on one of their ads. If enough people complain about a business, it could lead Facebook to ban the company from running ads. The new policy is meant to help Facebook fight back against advertising abuse on its platform and trying to prevent “bad shopping experiences,” which can cost customers and make them frustrated with Facebook, too. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…