Now Shopify Users Can Easily Advertise On Snapchat…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

(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 – Snap has a new partnership that opens it up to hundreds of thousands of advertisers

Snap and e-commerce company Shopify this past week announced a new partnership that will let small businesses that sell on Shopify easily buy ads on Snapchat Discover. The integration is designed to let Shopify customers – many of who small businesses and solo merchants – to buy and manage a Snapchat Story ad campaign directly on Shopify’s platform. (Source: CNBC) Read More…

Here’s one tax that restaurant owners just might approve of

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

Ask any restaurant owner today and they’ll tell you that running their business is not easy. Costs are creeping up, margins are tight and the competition is tough. So the last thing a restaurateur would want is another tax, right?

Maybe not.

That’s what Anthony Myint is hoping. Myint is the co-owner of Mission Chinese, a popular restaurant with locations in the Bay Area and New York. He’s concerned with the environment and particularly global warming. So he has decided to do something about it. And because of his efforts, the state of California will have a new tax this fall that restaurant owners are being asked to levy on their customers. It’s called the Restore California Renewable Restaurant program. But don’t worry, tax-haters: this tax isn’t as onerous as you might think. Read More…

Employers and contractors enjoy a harmonious relationship

(This post originally appeared on The Hill)

On Monday, the U.S. Labor Department (DOL) wrote a letter to a company that employs independent contractors. In the letter, the department re-affirmed the Trump administration’s position that those workers were not employees. Good.

Besides the Labor Department letter, April also saw a new rule from The Texas Workforce Commission that classified “gig” workers that were hired for jobs through online applications as independent contractors and not employees. Read More…

Why Twitter Is An Awful Place For Your Business

(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Twitter uses said this. The President tweeted that. Kanye tweet something else. Twitter’s growing, Twitter’s failing. Twitter is toxic. Twitter is free speech. Twitter’s amazing. Twitter’s horrible. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter!

Make no mistake, Twitter has its uses. You can go there to get news and information (and some of it’s even real). You can see what your favorite celebrity is up to. You can laugh at hilarious memes and jokes. You can commiserate with fellow @phillies fans like me when another save opportunity is blown. You can argue politics with complete strangers.

Read More…

Will Orlando Be My Happiest Place on Earth?

This post was sponsored by National Car Rental. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of National Car Rental.

I am a heavy traveler.

I do more than 50 presentations at associations and conferences every year. I also travel for client projects. My in-laws live in the UK so my wife I and travel there a few times a year. And as much as we like going to the Jersey Shore (I live in Philly), we also like to visit other countries.

Because I live in Philly, I’m an American Airlines guy. The Philadelphia airport is one of their hubs and the airline provides me with the most destination choices. I’m an Executive Platinum member, which I believe is the highest status other than Concierge Key, and I have no idea who those people are! I do know that I have close to a million miles spent in the air.

I’m definitely not an irate or difficult traveler. I’m short, so even though American frequently upgrades me, I’m fine sitting in a regular economy seat. I have my laptop, Kindle and Spotify, so I’m happy. Ask me about pretty much any new show to binge on Netflix or Amazon, and I can make a number of recommendations. I’m the same with books and podcasts. Thanks to traveling so frequently with these amazing devices and technologies, I’m pretty much up to speed on all things pop culture.

My only thing with traveling – and you can call it a pet peeve – is speed. I understand that there are delays when you fly. When you think of all the things — from getting the crew to the plane, to the weather, the mechanics and the congestion – that can get in the way of an on-time flight, it’s a miracle that 95% of the time I’m actually on-time or close to it. It’s pretty impressive.

But once at my destination airport I want to go, go, go. I like sitting up front in the aircraft so I can be one of the first off. I don’t want to wait long for transportation or to check in to my hotel. And I specifically don’t want to wait for a rental car, which I frequently use. That’s why I just signed up for National Car Rental’s Emerald Club. To me, it’s all about speed, baby, speed!

My first test will be in a few days at Orlando’s International Airport. This is not an easy test. Orlando’s airport is a busy, crazy, chaotic place with lots of crying, yelling and screaming — mostly by the parents accompanying their children to Disney and Universal! I’m interested to see how organized National Car Rental is there, of all places. I’m curious to see just how quickly I get in and out. Will I get the respect for my time that I so desperately crave? More important, can I get in and out fast?

I know that Emerald Club members are entitled to car upgrades and other perks. That stuff is nice. But believe it or not, it’s not a huge priority for me. In fact, I’ve been known to turn down upgrades to larger SUVs or sedans in the past in lieu of a smaller, zippier car. Once on the road, will it be effortless? I’m driving to the hotel, but after checking in I’m meeting an old friend for dinner. Orlando has a lot of toll roads and traffic. Will my car be equipped?

Being an Emerald Club member means I can book cars through National’s mobile app and get reminders on my phone. Imagine arriving at an airport, avoiding the line at the rental counter, and just jumping into your car! I’m expecting to get there, choose my rental car and be on my way to my destination faster. That’s what I’m hoping for!

To me, it’s just speed. That’s what I’m hoping to enjoy during my first Emerald Club rental in Orlando. I’m hoping that my Emerald Club experience there will truly make Orlando the happiest place on earth…for this business traveler.

Small business owners: be smart with marketing, and don’t mess with LGBTQ

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

How many times do I have to tell you? It’s 2019!

That means if you’re running a small business, you need to be very careful about your marketing. Your business can’t have a sign showing a sexy cow. You need to be careful of cultural appropriation. And you shouldn’t “play” with the LGBTQ acronym. This kind of stuff will get you in trouble.

That’s what Jamie Smith, the owner of Belle’s Smokin BBQ, a food truck in Williamstown, Kentucky learned. Read More…

Why Did SNL’s Bill Hader Frequently Screw Up on Purpose?

(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

I know you’re probably nervous about that presentation you’ve got coming up next week in front of the customer’s purchasing committee. Or maybe you’ve got a big meeting setup with a prospect. Or a public speech you’re making to a business group. But c’mon, at least you’re not trying to make a live audience of…oh, anywhere between seven-and-nine million people…laugh every Saturday night.

That’s what Bill Hader had to do. The 40-year-old comedian and current star of HBO’s great show Barry (see it!) became famous as an eight-year cast member of Saturday Night Live where he portrayed legendary characters such as Stefon, Weekend Update’s flamboyant New York City correspondent, the elderly reporter Herb Welch and Vietnam war vet Anthony Peter Coleman and his puppet “Tony.” Read More…