With one eye focused on the future, I see it as my fiduciary obligation to advise SMB Nation peeps on opportunities that can positively impact your professional lot in life. Happy to take on this labor of love as we pride ourselves with being right there with you – carrying the bag in the trenches.

I want to give a new spin to an old conversation: data and voice.

By: Nathan Sykes

As a small business, you’ll eventually be looking at expanding your reach, and that means crossing state lines. The act itself is pretty straightforward — you simply move or open new operations. Of course, it’s more involved than, that but you get the point.

Can you believe it – it was six years ago in early July that Microsoft discretely announced the end-of-life for Windows Small Business Server. And the world has never been the same since. Along with you, I certainly have strong opinions on this. Lord knows we hashed out our seven stages of grieving over these six years and, if a recent post-up to the “You Knew You Grew Up With SBS…” group on Facebook is any indicator, several of you still have resentments LOL.

But I really want to simply recognize that six years have passed.

 

By Tami Luhby, CNN

New York (CNN)The Trump administration is taking the final step Tuesday in its plan aimed at making health insurance policies cheaper for some small businesses.

But the move could weaken some of the Affordable Care Act's consumer protections for those buying these plans and make coverage more expensive for those who remain on the Obamacare exchanges.

 by Jethro Mullen @CNNTech

ICO

 

Don't bet on bitcoin ever replacing the dollar or other traditional currencies as everyday money.

That's one of the messages from a new report by an organization that represents dozens of the world's central banks.

Brenda “Startup” Luper has done it again. Leaving the hallowed halls of Microsoft, Brenda’s latest startup is all about teamwork. Her prior startups include project management for technology move-ins and move-outs. Luper was the event manager for SMB Nation 2006 – the first year we played at the Microsoft Redmond conference center.

While laced with technology, Luper de-emphasized that element when we spoke at her early June grand opening party for Reality Break Escapes in tech hub Bellevue, Washington – just blocks from the Microsoft US subsidiary.

Everybody, every day and everywhere is flooded with large volumes of data. This is most apparent and significant in the business sector. Who is worried and why should anybody actually pay attention to the business data? The fact is that data formulate the framework for all business operations. In order to run a thriving business irrespective of its niche, data management plays a significant role in the overall success equation.

In all probability, if you are reading this blog you are an integral part of such a business; consequently, you must be careful about your business data.

It’s been too long since I sat down with Todd Schwartz and Evan Richman, the co-CEOs of SkyKick, the partner-focused technology solution provider. In the past, I could have said “…the migration company” but SkyKick is evolving and I look to that motion to accelerate with its recent $40-million funding round (it’s fifth round in its five years life; funding exceeds $65-million now).

We met at its lower Queen Anne SkyKick HQ office in Seattle for a free flowing conversation concerning “what is the story with the $40-million?” Here are some excerpts from that meeting that demonstrates how SkyKick is clearly shifting gears and extending its strategy to move forward from being a one- or two-trick pony.

I’d offer in the spirit of the old Pocket MBA program we hosted at SMB Nation several years ago, that a conversation concerning organizational management is always welcome. Think of it as an adjunct instructor from the real world teaching a business class at your college at night telling war stories. Today’s lesson concerns promotion from within. I’ve done it growing SMB Nation (for example, Jennifer Hallmark now in her 11-year was promoted to president four years ago). And Lenovo has recently displayed the behavior by promoting Rob Cato to Executive Director, North America (NA) Channels in early April 2018 (the start of the Lenovo fiscal year). He replaces well-known predecessors Sammy Kinlaw and Chris Frey.

The era we live in is highly automated. At home, you may already have the doors that automatically lock once you leave the house, smart lights you can turn on/off using a single button, or an audio system you can control via your phone.

The same goes for your business. The beauty of today’s machine learning and AI-powered technology is that they give us the opportunity to make almost every aspect of our businesses simpler and faster. By investing in the right tools, you can get rid of boring, repetitive tasks and finally focus on those practices that can help you grow your business.

Even though most people may not realize it, small and medium businesses are the backbone of the economy. In 2016, there were 28.8 million small businesses in the US, which translates to 99.7% of all American businesses – and in fact, since the 1970s, 66% of total net new jobs are generated by small businesses, which also make for 55% of all jobs in the marketplace. Yet only 50% of those businesses are set to surpass five years and only one third will survive for at least 10 years. This means that SMB owners have to play it smart in order to increase their chances in a highly competitive market – so why not take advantage of free applications that could be ideal for your enterprise?