YouTube’s New Design Overhaul Signals Changes for Small Business Users Too

Check Out the Major New YouTube Design -- Including a New Logo

If you went on YouTube this morning and felt something was amiss but couldn’t quite put your finger on it, you were not alone. The company made several changes to the user interface (UI) for the desktop and mobile platforms, along with a redesigned logo.

A Look at the New YouTube Design

The logo change is the first for YouTube, and it represent the shift that has taken place in our viewing habits since the site was launched 12 years ago. The screen with the play button has moved to the left, signifying a flexible design for the many different devices now available in the marketplace. More importantly, the company also recognizes the creators who have made YouTube an industry in itself. So the changes are going to improve the way creators and viewers interact on YouTube.

Check Out the Major New YouTube Design -- Including a New Logo

In announcing the changes on the company blog, Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer, said YouTube is far from finished. Mohan added, “Over the last few months we’ve started releasing updates and will continue to throughout the rest of the year. When all is said and done, we’ll bring a new level of functionality and a more consistent look across our desktop and mobile experiences.”

Mobile

The changes to mobile begin with a clean new design and more control of what is being watched. For creators such as small businesses, it includes a feature that changes shape to match the video format, such as vertical, square or horizontal when users watch it.  This means less time in post-production time spent on reformatting videos.

Additional mobile updates include videos that move with you, being able to watch at your own pace, and browse and discover videos while you watch. 

Desktop

The changes to the desktop also include some of the mobile UI improvements. A feature called Dark Theme delivers a cinematic look by turning the background dark while you watch a video.

 Check Out the Major New YouTube Design -- Including a New Logo

Highlighting the Content

YouTube is making changes, but addressing the UI first highlights the company’s desire to make consuming videos much easier. As Facebook Video continues to capture more of the market, YouTube’s dominance will not be as strong.

For small businesses that rely on video to engage with their customers, it will mean using YouTube and Facebook, as well any other platform as long as it delivers results.

Images: YouTube

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Lost in Translation? These Uniquely American Business Phrases Baffle the British (INFOGRAPHIC)

Lost in Translation? These Uniquely American Business Phrases Baffle the British (INFOGRAPHIC)

Virtual offices bring together people from all corners of the world. And it’s creating a linguistic nightmare — even when people are speaking the exact same language.

If you’ve partnered with some freelancers or have clients living in the U.K., you may have already encountered this phenomenon. You’re having a normal conversation and suddenly the Brit on the other end has no idea what you’re saying. This goes beyond replacing Zs with Ss or spelling COLOR with a U.

Turns out, there are plenty of phrases and words in American English that simply do not translate to British English. These are phrases that Americans in business use every day — maybe a little too much — but are completely foreign to our friends over there.

In the blog written by Kerry Noonan on the Foothold America site, she says, “One thing that’s becoming more prevalent in UK offices, it’s the frequency of which we hear Americanism expressions spoken by British colleagues.”

She goes on to say, “Many of us use them without even realising (it is realizing for the American version) that they have origins across the pond.”

It may be some time before we start adopting more British business-isms in America. Don’t expect to hear people complaining about queues at the bank any time soon. But it does appear the British are catching on to the way American business colleagues speak.

American Business Phrases

Here’s just a sampling of the puzzlers that have Brits doing searches to figure out just what their American counterparts are saying …

Boiling the Frog

Apparently this is an American expression meaning, the art of managing a smooth transition, so much so it goes unnoticed. The frog analogy comes in from the folklore that frogs jump out of hot water, but do nothing if the water is heated slowly. 

Sausage and the Sizzle

This is an expression used in marketing about selling the sizzle and not the sausage. It means to sell the benefits and not the features. (Another version of this expression is to sell the sizzle not the steak.)

Aces in Their Places

It sounds pretty straightforward to an American audience. Clearly, this means having the best people in the roles best suited for them. In the U.K., it’s pure gibberish.

Ninth Inning

They don’t play much baseball in the U.K. Cricket has innings, too, but this just doesn’t translate. You’ll probably want to avoid most sports references unless you’re a soccer (err, football) fan.

Speaking a Foreign Language

Effective communications is key to any business relationship. And while the Brits have adopted some American phrases, it would behoove any small business in the U.S. to reciprocate.

Check out these stumpers that are spoken plenty in the U.K.:

Throwing a Spanner in the Works

To really understand the meaning of this, it helps to know that a spanner is a wrench.

Chuffed to Bits

If your business partner tells you they are chuffed to bits, take it as a compliment. It means they’re happy.

Check out the full infographic from Foothold America highlighting these uniquely American business phrases that baffle the Brits:

Lost in Translation? These Uniquely American Business Phrases Baffle the British (INFOGRAPHIC)

Flags Photo via Shutterstock

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Get Better Conversions With The Facebook Pixel

With Facebook now topping 1.28 billion active daily users they are really moving to the top of the online traffic charts; leaving everyone else far behind.

After opening up their Ad Platform to everyone, Facebook has now become an absolute ATM for Digital Marketers. But it came with a price – reach – organic reach to be more specific. It used to be that a Facebook Business Page would be ale to attract followers and then have direct access to them through the Facebook Platform – not anymore. Now Marketers must “Boost” a post or create an Ad to have a better chance of getting in front of their own fans. It’s a Play-to-play system now; you are either paying for Social Media, or you are the Product.

It's a Play-to-play system now; you are either paying for #SocialMedia, or you are the Product.… Click To Tweet

Enter: The Facebook Ad – Facebook Ads are easier to use than Traditional Ads, carry a more affordable price tag, and allow you to build a custom target audience that you own. A well-crafted Facebook Ad can be a powerful tool in the hands of the Brand or Business. The ability to customize various aspects gives Digital Marketers (like Cusp Creative) is the savvy creative’s preferred choice over running a full-page Ad in People Magazine that a prospective client may skim through while waiting for their Hair appointment.

…but that’s not even the most exciting thing about advertising on Facebook .

Enter: The Facebook pixel

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What Is A Facebook Pixel & How Does It Work?

The Facebook Pixel is a short snippet of code that you can add to your website that uses cookies to track visitors’ specific actions.

Think: a tracking device from a Bond Film.

Once it is properly added, the pixel works behind the scenes, gathering a bunch of relevant information and insights about the people that visit your site and browse your pages.

So, what are some ways that you can use the Facebook Pixel?

1. Track Conversions

The Facebook Pixel is equipped to track a number of actions, including:

  • How people view and interact with your ads
  • What ad attracted the most leads
  • Was the ad converted by a customer on mobile or desktop

2. Show Ads Based On The Buyer’s Journey

A user who already knows who your Brand is and what your Brand does, and has visited your site or bookmarked it to their favorites lists is far more likely to respond to a targeted ad from you. They already know, like, and trust your Brand. Depending on the length or complexity of your Sales Funnel you can serve different ads to different users based on their own position in your funnel.

By properly using the Facebook Pixel you can target users that have already taken a specific action like downloaded a Case Study or read a specific piece of content on your blog.

3. Clone Your Best Customer

Once you’ve gathered data, or “pixeled,” your website visitors based on the way they interact with your content and created separate Audiences for them, you can then can use that data to create a Lookalike Audience (LAA) – not to be confused with our local Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The LAA mirrors your existing Audience and draws on:

  • Likes
  • Habits
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Interactions

…and creates a Clone of the Audience that consists of people most-like the original Audience – expanding your reach to people that will most-likely enjoy/need your Brand’s goods/services.

Creating A Facebook Pixel

Sweet, So how does one get all setup for this?

Pretty Simple. Go to your Facebook Business Manager (Don’t Have One!! Read This), click on the little hamburger menu on the left and then select Pixels.

How To Install A Facebook Pixel

 

 

 

 

 

Click on Create Pixel and follow Facebook’s instructions. You can create up to 10 Facebook Pixels for your Business

Next, Install it!

install facebook pixel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you have gotten this far you might be pretty savvy. Depending on your skill level and the actual way you want to set this up select your method here.

Cusp Creative Agency has a Done-For-You Service where the proper installation of the Facebook Pixel and Social Media Management is all done by our in-house experts to ensure you are all good to go.

If you use a tag manager or your website is on an e-commerce platform that has Facebook ads integration select the Use an Integration or Tag Manager option. You can also manually insert the pixel code by using some sophisticated copy and paste skills.

Facebook will ask you to install 2 different bits of code.

The first is called the pixel base code and needs to be installed on every single page of your site. To do that copy the code and paste it into the website header.

The way we recommend for WordPress is to install the Insert Headers and Footers plugin from WP Beginner.

How to Add a Facebook Pixel

Paste the pixel code into the header in the WP Admin, click save.

Next, Install The Event Code

This – THIS – is where the wizardry takes place. These event codes allow you to track different specific actions users take on select web pages.

Facebook has created a series of standard events that they believe are useful to marketers. The events you can track are:

  • Search: Use it on a search results page to track a specific search term. You can use this to show the user ads for the same product or for products that solve the same problem.
  • Initiate checkout: This event triggers when the user starts the checkout process.
  • Add payment info: This triggers when the customer enters payment info.
  • Purchase: This event happens when the order is complete.
  • Lead: This event tracks when a lead converts by taking a specific action like signing up for a newsletter or an opt-in.
  • View content: Use this either on product pages or high-value content pages that you want to track, such as white papers, specific landing pages or sales pages.
  • Add to cart: This one is pretty self explanatory, but you can use it to track abandoned carts and show the user targeted product ads.
  • Add to wish list: This can give you a pretty good idea of what different users want and can be handy for future warm ad campaigns, particularly around the holiday season.
  • Complete registration: This is triggered when the user subscribes to one of your compelling offers.

And, if you want to get real crazy, you can define your own parameters and create a custom event.

You’ve got a few different options of where these event actions go, you can set them to happen as the desired action happens or just after the action happens.

Once you’ve decided which actions to track and set up your pixel, the next step would be to to test it and make sure it’s working correctly.

This is where it can become complicated, especially if it is your first time playing around with Facebook Pixels. If your Business Website is a WordPress site, then you can try using a PlugIn like the Facebook Pixel for WP or Facebook Conversion Pixel. Otherwise, be careful- experiment with different parameters – or give us a CALL

Take Your Facebook Ads To The Next Level

With a properly installed Facebook Pixel you can create highly targeted ads, experiment with re-targeting, and create a number of useful event triggers. By letting Facebook do all the targeting and guess work for you, you will be able to actually create ads for an audience that would enjoy and benefit from the content and products you offer – A Win, Win.

The new world of Digital Marketing is not one of general offers to wide swathes of the public, but rather laser-focused ads that are targeted to consumers that want what your are selling – if done right.

Are you ready to do it right? Then go for it!

Have questions? We are always here for any help – Message our Cusp Bot

Done For You Ad Management capabilities are also available allowing Cusp Creative Agency to easily create, manage, and publish ads on your Business or Brand’s behalf for for higher customer conversions.

30 Percent of Small Business Owners Don’t Take a Salary

Salary of a Small Business Owner? 30% Don't Take One

Running your own small business is the life, right? Being in control of your day and your destiny sounds great.

That’s the goal and the reason you decide to venture into business on your own, but a new Fundera survey of small business owners reveals small business ownership isn’t for the weak-willed or faint of heart. The life certainly comes with its hardships.

Salary of a Small Business Owner

And most notable is the lack of pay. The Fundera survey reveals that 30 percent of small business owners don’t take a salary.

Salary of a Small Business Owner? 30% Don't Take One

What that says is, if you’re looking to collect a regular paycheck or you’re dependent on the check you’re getting from your day job, think twice about starting your own business.

Of course, if 30 percent aren’t taking a salary, that means that 70 percent are. Running a business certainly won’t leave you penniless, at least if you’re avoiding catastrophic mistakes. But compared to the average CEO, a small business owner’s pay is considerably less. According to Fundera, the national average pay for a CEO is $160,000. Almost 87 percent of the small business owners surveyed told Fundera they take a salary less than $100,000.

Paying the Cost to Be the Boss

Even if a small business owner is making close to that $100,000 figure, it’s not without toil.

Fundera found in its survey that the average small business owner is working much harder than the average worker. According to the data, 81 percent of small business owners work nights and almost half (45 percent) do so on a regular basis.

Weekends are no exception either. In fact, it’s more likely a small business owner will work a weekend (87 percent) and will do so more often (45 percent) than the average worker.

The average small business owner, according to Fundera, works between 40 and 49 hours per week. The average American worker clocks in for 38.6 hours a week.

For this survey, Fundera partnered with Qualtrics and questioned 409 small business owners and people in positions of upper management at small businesses.

Images: Fundera

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Star Wars Promotion Teaches Small Businesses Important Local Marketing Lesson

Star Wars Promotion Teaches Small Businesses Important Local Marketing Strategy

Disney is going local to promote the newest Star Wars movie. Instead of sticking with nationwide advertising campaigns and huge events in big cities around the world, the popular film franchise is letting fans discover secrets about the new movie through an augmented reality game that takes them to locations within their own communities.

From September 1 through 3, fans can pull up the game in the Star Wars app on their phones and use it to discover clues about the new movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Participating retail stores will include posters or other artwork that include the “Find the Force” logo. Players can then scan the art with their phones to see a virtual Star Wars character and learn more information about the upcoming film.

This promotion is unique in a lot of different ways. Of course, there’s the use of new technology like augmented reality (AR). But it’s also a very interactive promotion that actually gets customers to participate in their own communities.

Adopt This Local Marketing Strategy

Your small business can emulate this sort of promotion even if you don’t have the resources to create a full AR app. You can simply create a local scavenger hunt or work with other local businesses to create an interactive promotion that gets customers to actually visit your business and others in exchange for some kind of incentive. It could be a prize for the customer who finds the most of a certain item hidden around local stores. It could be a promotion where the customer who shares the best Instagram photo taken at your store gets a major discount on their next purchase. The possibilities are endless. You just need to get a little creative.

Stormtrooper Photo via Shutterstock

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30 PayPal Alternatives Ideal for Small Business

30 PayPal Alternatives Ideal for Small Business

PayPal is a great solution for businesses  looking to accept payment, send invoices and manage finances online. But it’s far from the only option. For businesses that are looking for a PayPal replacement or just some other options to add more flexibility, here are 30 PayPal alternatives for small businesses.

PayPal Alternatives

Google Wallet

30 PayPal Alternatives Ideal for Small Business - Google Wallet

Google Wallet is an app and web platform that allows users to send and receive money using their email address and phone number. You can connect the service directly to your bank account and also use it to track your expenses and payments over time.

Stripe

Stripe is a software platform that allows you to accept credit card payments online. But the tools are also flexible so you can set them up to accept subscription payments or make it fit with the specific needs of your business.

Venmo

Venmo has become a popular platform for individuals looking to send money and share expenses. But it can also have business applications for those who want to make it easier for customers on mobile devices and social media apps to make purchases using Venmo.

Amazon Payments

Amazon Payments gives online merchants a way to accept payments through Amazon’s online platform. So for customers who have payment information saved on their Amazon account, they can really easily just login and use that same payment method in other stores that use the platform.

Square

Square is already well known for providing a POS system for businesses that accept credit card payments in person. But the company also offers tools for ecommerce and appointment based businesses. Processing fees start at 2.75 percent per transaction.

Payline

Payline provides a few different options for payment processing, including those for mobile, online and in-store purchases. Fees start at 20 cents per transaction plus 5 percent overall.

Payza

30 PayPal Alternatives Ideal for Small Business - Payza

Payza is a payment platform that works with credit cards, bank accounts, Bitcoin and more. The platform supports ecommerce businesses and even offers a Payza card to make purchasing even easier for customers. Accounts and sending money are free. And there are minimal transaction and Bitcoin processing fees.

Skrill

Skrill is a digital payment platform that can help online merchants, app developers and game creators accept payments.

WePay

WePay is an integrated payment platform that can help you accept payments from customers, send invoices and even manage things like marketing automation.

Authorize.net

Authorize.net provides payment processing tools for businesses that accept payments in stores, online or on site. Pricing starts at 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction.

Intuit

QuickBooks from Intuit provides a platform for businesses to send invoices and accept payments from anywhere. Fees start at 25 cents per transaction plus 2.4 percent.

Shopify Payments

Shopify Payments lets you accept payments online if you run a Shopify ecommerce store. But the company also offers a POS system for businesses that need to accept payments in person as well.

ProPay

30 PayPal Alternatives Ideal for Small Business - ProPay

ProPay offers payment solutions for everyone from small businesses to enterprises. The company supports credit card payments, bank transfers, mobile payments and more.

Worldpay

Worldpay offers a global payment platform that lets you accept payments online and in person. The company works with all different forms of currency and also offers data and optimization tools.

Charge.com

Charge.com is a credit card processing platform that comes with no setup fees or contracts and lets you accept payments online and in stores.

2Checkout

2Checkout is an online payment processing platform that offers a mobile friendly hosted checkout with advanced security and global reach. Pricing starts at 2.9 percent and 30 cents per transaction.

Popmoney

Popmoney allows you to send, request and receive money online or on your mobile device. For businesses, the tool would be most useful for those who work closely with specific clients. The service has straightforward pricing at 95 cents per transaction.

Paymate

Paymate’s merchant service allows businesses to accept credit card payments online, in person and over the phone. The service supports multiple currencies and also features support and dispute resolution services.

Payoneer

30 PayPal Alternatives Ideal for Small Business - Payoneer

Payoneer specializes in international money transfers. You can use it to bill customers, facilitate bank transfers and manage accounts.

Dwolla

Dwolla is a developer friendly API that allows you to build applications to facilitate bank transfers and manage purchases and customers. You can use Dwolla’s interface to quickly facilitate transfers or integrate the API into your own interface.

Braintree

Braintree is actually a PayPal service. But it provides a platform for businesses to accept, process and split payments. There are several solutions available for different types of businesses, including marketplace and direct services.

Paysera

Paysera offers cheap money transfers and a platform for accepting online and mobile payments. Registration is free and merchants just pay fees for services like checkout and e-banking.

PayLane

PayLane is an online payment processing solution specifically for SaaS and ecommerce businesses. It allows businesses to accept payments in many different formats and currencies.

Wirecard

Wirecard offers end-to-end payment solutions for merchants and other types of businesses. Products include payment processing, mobile payment solutions, risk management and more.

BlueSnap

30 PayPal Alternatives Ideal for Small Business - BlueSnap

BlueSnap offers payment processing for online stores and web and mobile development. The platform allows customers to pay with credit cards, bank transfers or online accounts like PayPal.

Merchant Inc

Merchant Inc offers credit card processing solutions for businesses that accept payments online, in person or over the phone. The company charges 1.99 percent plus 25 cents per transaction.

Selz

Selz allows businesses to process payments from online stores or social media platforms. You can actually use Selz to create your online storefront or offer products for sale on social media. Then you can process payments through Selz Pay or use other payment platforms that Selz is compatible with, including PayPal.

Viewpost

Viewpost is a solution that allows you to send invoices, securely accept payments and manage cash flow. Businesses can accept electronic payments for free. And the business charges small fees for sending payments and other actions.

Fastspring

Fastspring is a digital commerce platform for software and SaaS businesses. The platform allows you to enable payments online or in apps. The company offers a pay-as-you-go as well as business plans that come with flat monthly fees starting at $199 per month.

Avangate

Avangate is another payment solution that focuses on software developers. Pricing depends on your plan and the specific needs of your business.

PayPal Photo via Shutterstock

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ADP Small Business Report — Service Businesses Driving Job Creation

August 2017 ADP Small Business Report

Small businesses in the U.S. created about 48,000 jobs in the last month. That’s according to the August ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) Small Business Report.

August 2017 ADP Small Business Report

This figure actually shows a slow-down in job creation among America’s small businesses. Overall, companies with between 20 and 49 employees created 30,000 new jobs in August, according to the ADP Small Business Report, which is created in conjunction with Moody’s. The smallest of small businesses — with less than 20 employees — created 18,000 jobs.

Combined, these businesses created 50,000 jobs in July.

Service Jobs

Service-based small businesses continue to outpace goods producing companies in job growth. In August, service-based small businesses created 39,000 of the 48,000 new jobs.

Nationally, private sector companies produced 237,000 jobs in August, according to the ADP report. And job growth is actually up nationally among businesses other than small businesses. That trend has been seen for three consecutive months, according to this index.

But like small businesses, service-based businesses are leading the charge on job growth in the U.S.

August 2017 ADP Small Business Report

August 2017 ADP National Franchise Report – Franchise Job Growth

ADP and Moody’s also provides updates on franchise business job growth. According to the report released this morning, franchise businesses in the U.S. created 21,200 jobs in August.

The most jobs at franchise businesses were created by those in the Restaurant and Auto Parts and Dealers categories. Those businesses created 16,800 of the more than 21,000 franchise jobs in the U.S. this month.

Franchises in the Accommodations sector actually saw job losses over the last month, likely due to the summer vacation season coming to a close in the U.S.

August 2017 ADP National Franchise Report

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What is a WPAN and Does My Small Business Need One?

What is a WPAN and Does My Small Business Need One?

Like it or not, connectivity is crucial to any company’s success. Sales management, lead generation, remote working and everything in between are becoming increasingly reliant on the use of bespoke wireless networks – and the vast majority of small businesses could probably benefit from investing in their own network.

There are quite a few opportunities to explore when it comes to developing your company’s online connectivity, and no two are alike. But if you’re looking to experiment with a simple and low-cost option, it’s worth looking into Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs).

What is a WPAN?

A WPAN is a short-distance network that can be used to connect a range of devices to the same workspace. You might also hear people refer to a WPAN as a ‘short wireless distance network’.

WPANs generally offer the user a network range of around 10 meters, and so they’re most effective in a small office setting or for each staff member to use personally in order to connect multiple work devices. That might sound a little bit like a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), but WPANs typically rely on a pre-existing WLAN or WiFi connection in order to work.

A WPAN is essentially the next piece of the puzzle in terms of establishing total office connectivity. They’re created by utilizing a computer or smartphones as an Internet access point, and then subsequently tether other smartphones, tablets, printers or wireless enabled devices in order to share data.

There are several kinds of WPANs, and you’ll probably already be familiar with one. A huge number of smart devices now come with built-in Bluetooth, which is one of the easiest ways to set up a WPAN. Other devices may be able to establish WPANs using Ultra-Wideband (UWB) or ZigBee technology, although these can be a bit trickier to set up.

The type of WPAN you’ll be able to establish depends entirely upon how your devices have been configured and what they’re able to do.

Does My Small Business Need a WPAN?

If you need to do anything business-related using multiple devices simultaneously, you’ll probably need to set up a WPAN at some point.

Short-range networks like Bluetooth connections are a super low-cost and simple way to connect multiple, unrelated devices without having to shell out loads of money on overpriced IT infrastructure. WPANs also come with in-built security options that enable you to lock out other devices selectively – which prevents other team members or anyone else passing by from latching onto your network.

In terms of why you might need to set up a WPAN, the opportunities are basically limitless. WPANs enable you to do things like print documents off your mobile phone, send huge attachments from your PC to a tablet, regulate the temperature in a meeting room or control music on the shop floor. New possibilities are emerging each and every day, and most of the smart devices you’ve already got have these capabilities in-built. You’ve simply got to get them connected.

How Do I Set Up a WPAN?

Setting up a WPAN is incredibly simple. If you’ve got a laptop or PC that was built in the last five years, you’ll probably already have spread spectrum technology like Bluetooth built in. But even if your computer doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can get fairly cheap USB adapters that will be able to transmit a signal in order to connect it with other devices.

First and foremost, you’ve got to make sure you’re connected to the Internet. Then, ensure you’ve got Bluetooth switched on so that your device is discoverable. You should be able to make sure you’re Bluetooth-enabled by going into your system settings and choosing from a pre-populated list of devices. Alternatively, you can choose to add a device – and then just follow whatever instructions might appear on-screen.

From there, all you’ve got to do is enable Bluetooth on any other devices you’d like to connect, select your access point and connect. How many devices you’re able to connect on the same WPAN depends on what you’re trying to connect and what sort of capabilities they’ve got.

Bluetooth isn’t the only type of WPAN, and it’s not the strongest, either. ZigBee and UWB WPANs could be faster, and are generally able to cover a wider network area. That being said, both are a bit more intensive to set up, and UWB networks have declined in popularity over the past few years because they’re considered a bit clunky.

But if you’d like to learn more about UWB WPANs, several device manufacturers offer comprehensive set-up guides. Likewise, you’ll be able to find some helpful how-to videos outlining how to set up a ZigBee network.

At the end of the day, the type of WPAN you’ll want to use will depend entirely on your own needs. But either way, it’s more than likely your business will benefit from setting up some sort of WPAN.

WPAN Photo via Shutterstock

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7 Steps to Grow a Blog Post

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Last week I talked about how writers seem like magicians, because we have the power to create something out of nothing. An important point to note about magicians, though: They don’t really do magic. Instead, they study and practice specific behaviors until they can create that illusion of creating something out of nothing. And of
Read More…

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Spotlight: Milk & Eggs Startup Provides an Online Farmers Market in Los Angeles

Spotlight: Milk & Eggs Provides an Online Farmers Market in Los Angeles

Even though health is a major trend in the food industry right now, healthy food isn’t always easy to find. That’s the reality that led one entrepreneur in L.A. to start Milk & Eggs.

You can read about this startup and how it’s changing the way consumers can buy healthy food items below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides an online farmers market for businesses and shoppers in Los Angeles.

Founder and CEO Kenneth Wu told Small Business Trends, “Milk and Eggs is an LA-based online farmer’s market that partners with local farms and businesses you would find at your Sunday market to bring quality products at low prices directly to customers’ doorsteps.”

Business Niche

Focusing on healthy, locally-sourced food.

Wu says, “While many big box chains have entered the online grocery market, few have made an effort to offer customers food that is being grown/baked in their own communities. Milk and Eggs fills this gap in the market with locally-sourced products at affordable prices.”

Spotlight: Milk & Eggs Provides an Online Farmers Market in Los Angeles

How the Business Got Started:

Out of necessity.

Wu explains, “First, I have a family history of diabetes and have early stages of diabetes (diagnosed pre-diabetic 10 years ago). For this reason, I’ve always been health-oriented and concerned with eating healthy and having fresh, locally-sourced produce and artisanal goods. I’ve been borderline for the last 10 years and I manage it by having a healthy diet and being active.

“Second, when my son was born, my wife was nursing and our family was consuming much more food. My wife’s high metabolic rate due to nursing meant she was having to eat more and it was so onerous during the 0-6 months of infancy to buy groceries that were both voluminous and healthy while in a sleep deprived zombie-like state.

“Having to go to the market so often to keep up was very time consuming and a hassle with two little ones. I’ve been doing ecommerce since 2001 and it baffled me why groceries and food have not gone digital yet! It was amazing, we could buy anything from TV’s and sofas to socks online, but I couldn’t buy a tomato or chicken! We would have loved to be able to order food rather than trying to pack up and head to the market, shop and then lug the bags in from the car. But as we were looking for a service to fit our needs, we realized there were very few options.

“Many that were doing delivery either offered mostly packaged and non-perishable foods, junk food and things from the center aisles of the grocery store. Otherwise, there were produce subscription box services but often you would at most get these once a week and offered little control or input as to what ingredients you received. The types of produce and food would be picked for you by the company, you had no control over it and you would still need to take a trip to the store or order elsewhere for the remainder of the items on your list.

“Otherwise, only higher end companies and grocery stores would offer delivery or pick up and it was incredibly expensive. We wanted to eat healthy but also affordable.”

Biggest Win

Closing a couple of big deals.

Wu says, “The company’s biggest win was probably when we landed contract to supply all of the WeWork’s. This was as very serendipitous sequence of events. We first closed Compass Realty Group, another tech startup changing the real estate world. Compass happened to be one of WeWork’s largest national clients, having offices in all WeWork’s throughout the country. In doing business with Compass, we attracted the attention of WeWork and connected the dots through Compass. This was a big 1-2 deal for us and afforded us a great foundation for our volume and logistics.”

Biggest Risk

Investing in advertising.

Wu says, “Signing on to cable and radio advertising was a huge potential risk and gamble. We had to gamble half a million dollars on these campaigns and trust that they would convert listeners and watchers to believe that our value proposition was worth their attention and money. This one campaign could have single handedly turn our business model upside down but it has so far been very successful at getting our name out to the public.”

Spotlight: Milk & Eggs Provides an Online Farmers Market in Los Angeles

Lesson Learned

Find the right team members.

Wu says, “As of today, the one biggest thing we would have done differently is be more selective in the hiring process to ensure the strongest team. We’ve had a few roles that team members were struggling to fill, partially because the growth was faster than we could anticipate. Something I’ve learned from this process is: try to hire for what you will need in 6-12 months as opposed to hiring someone to fill the current role. Especially in quick growing startups, needs and roles are constantly changing. It’s important to find the right team members who can be flexible, help you anticipate needs and grow with your business.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Hiring and rewarding team members.

Wu says, “Hiring even more incredible team members and putting in a bonus program for personnel. The people are the most important aspect of any business and we value our team.”

Favorite Quote

“Life is what you make it.”

Wu explains, “This is the title of the book by Peter Buffet, son of Warren Buffet. To me it means everything that happens in your life is, in some shape or form, your responsibility or a result of something you have done. How do you handle the failures as well as the successes? That’s what you make life to be for yourself.”

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Images: Milk & Eggs, Top Image: Kenneth Wu

This article, “Spotlight: Milk & Eggs Startup Provides an Online Farmers Market in Los Angeles” was first published on Small Business Trends

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