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Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2017-12-14 12:01
Greenwood Hospitality Details Aggressive Growth Strategy Going Forward

Intuit Will Acquire Employee Time Tracking Software Tsheets for $340 million

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2017-12-14 11:30

Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), parent company of accounting software QuickBooks and TurboTax, has signed an agreement to acquire the time tracking and employee scheduling software company Tsheets for $340 million. The acquisition will reportedly make manual time tracking a thing of the past for small businesses, the self-employed, accountants and gig workers.

Intuit Acquires Tsheets

Small businesses that use the QuickBooks platform will now have a single, seamless solution to track their time, streamline their invoicing and simplify paying their workers with confidence.

The QuickBooks platform is a popular small business ecosystem that automates and simplifies key business tasks, such as payroll, invoicing and payments. With more than 12,000 customers already using QuickBooks, Intuit says bringing Tsheets on board will benefit millions of small businesses and self-employed people.

“This acquisition will unlock critical upstream data that will allow us to create frictionless experiences that remove work, make it easier to get paid, and provide valuable insights into the health of our users’ businesses,” Alex Chriss, Senior Vice President, chief product and platform officer for Intuit’s Small Business and Self-Employed Group, said in a statement.

TSheets Product Benefits Set to Improve

TSheets currently serves over 35,000 customers, overseeing 500,000 workers managed through its platform. The time tracking app automates much of the time sheet process, making life simpler for contract employees, or staffers who have to track how much time they spend on any given project.

“With this transaction, we will work together [with Intuit] to vastly improve the customer experience and product benefits of the TSheets and QuickBooks integration,” said Matt Rissell, co-founder and CEO of TSheets, which has its headquarters in Eagle, Idaho.

The deal is expected to finalize by the end of Q2 2018. Once it closes, Time Capture, a TSheets feature, will become a new offering within Intuit’s Small Business offering. Rissell will assume leadership role reporting to Chriss.

“We are excited for what this [acquisition] means for customers, as we continue to champion their cause and provide them with the real business insights they need to thrive,” Rissell added.

Image: Tsheets

This article, "Intuit Will Acquire Employee Time Tracking Software Tsheets for $340 million" was first published on Small Business Trends

Retail Roundup—Sears gets another extension; Zara to sell off 16 stores

Store Front Talk Back - Thu, 2017-12-14 11:01
Sears is getting another extension on its loan, Zara will sell off 16 store locations in Europe, plus more need-to-know news from the world of retail.

Tyto Care Brings Medical Visit to You Without Taking Time Away from Your Business

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2017-12-14 10:30

A flu outbreak can bring your small business productivity to a standstill during a really important time of year. But new technology could provide ways for individuals and businesses to quickly identify illnesses and potentially avoid the spread of serious diseases.

Tyto Care is one company that is part of the growing telemedicine field, a concept that allows doctors and care providers to use telecommunications devices to provide clinical health care remotely. So instead of having to actually make an appointment and drive to a doctor’s office, you could video chat with a provider to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan.

But until recently, this concept was mainly just a way for patients and doctors to communicate if a physical appointment wasn’t possible. There wasn’t really a way for doctors to take vitals and do an actual examination. That’s where Tyto Care comes in. The company has a couple of different products that allow patients to easily collect this information, which can then be sent directly to a care provider.

Currently, the company has two main options. There’s a device meant for individuals who receive care from telemedicine provider and one that’s meant for organizations with multiple patients, so it could work for a business with a large campus that includes a health clinic. Right now, Tyto Care works directly with telemedicine providers, who can then provide patients with these devices.

How Telemedicine Solution Benefits Small Businesses

For small businesses, this concept could be a game changer. Receiving medical care in the traditional sense isn’t always convenient for entrepreneurs or their employees, especially if they’re worried about time away from their businesses. So the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently with care providers could lead to quicker diagnoses and better care — which means less chance of major outbreaks.

Tyto Care CEO Dedi Gilad said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “Whether you have a small business or a large business, telehealth as a concept can offer a great way to save on healthcare costs and brings ease of access to improve healthcare to employees.”

Image: Tytocare.com

This article, "Tyto Care Brings Medical Visit to You Without Taking Time Away from Your Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

Wix Code Introduces Dynamic Web Design for Business – No Tech Knowledge Required

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2017-12-14 09:30

Website building platform Wix.com Ltd. (NASDAQ: WIX) has launched Wix Code, a web development solution that allows you to extend substantially the functionality of your Wix website. With Wix Code, you can enrich your website or web application with hundreds of design and website components without needing technical knowledge or coding — all from the visual elements of the Wix Editor.

Wix Code Advanced Development Capabilities

The all-in-one, drag-and-drop Wix Code development environment was introduced in beta version back in July this year to allow you to build the exact website or web applications you envision for your business. You needed to apply to use it in beta, but now Wix Code is out of beta and open to everyone.

“Wix Code provides an all-in-one platform, hosted in the secure Wix cloud, that allows users to spend their time creating, rather than on complicated setup and maintenance,” Wix said in a statement. “These capabilities are coupled with the Wix OS backend to manage all operational aspects of a business, blog, portfolio and more.”

Wix is already well-known for offering a useful website building tool for small businesses and solopreneurs. Some 100 million registered users, including entrepreneurs, small business owners and artists around the world, use Wix to create their websites using its signature drag-and-drop capabilities.

The newly launched Wix Code brings more functionality and introduces some new features, including Database Collections and Dynamic Pages.

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Wix Code Development Features Content Database

According to the Israel-based web development company, Database Collections allows you to manage all of your website’s content in one place. You can collect and store text, images, numbers, documents, user info and more in a database. You’ll be able to use it anywhere on your website.

Dynamic Pages With Wix Code

Dynamic Pages, on the other hand, allows you to generate one single design style that will adapt itself to each item (row) on your list once you’ve collected your content in your database. This allows you to create an infinite number of new pages — without having to duplicate them, says Wix. Each page (generated automatically) will have a custom URL and unique content.

Custom Forms, Multiple Uses

Other features include Custom Forms allowing you to create application forms, review sections, quizzes and more without writing a single line of code. Developers using Wix Code also have access to the Wix OS infrastructure empowering you to extend a website’s functionality with JavaScript and APIs.

Ready to Build Stunning Websites Using Wix Code?

To activate Wix Code, just go to the Wix Editor, click Tools, then Developer Tools. Tada! You’re in. The serverless development environment requires no setup.

“By using Wix Code, we will save about 50 percent off the time it would typically take to build on other platforms — but often more,” one Wix Code user, Andreas Kviby, is quoted as saying on the official Wix Blog. “It is amazing when you can create client apps in days instead of weeks. For designers who are not coders, they can now take some code and extend sites for clients in no time.”

Image: Wix.com

This article, "Wix Code Introduces Dynamic Web Design for Business – No Tech Knowledge Required" was first published on Small Business Trends

New Dialpad Free Claims to Kill the Desk Phone But May Kill Your Business Phone Bill Too

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2017-12-14 08:30

Do you have a small business with five employees or less? Well, if you do, Dialpad has released a new service called Dialpad Free which will get rid of your phone bill. The company’s slogan says “Kill the Desk Phone,” but with this new service, it is striving to do the same with the phone bill.

Dialpad says this is the first time a free business phone system has been offered in the history of telephony without a trial period or having to upgrade. And with Dialpad Free, up to five employees can be dialed by name or by extension from a single office number.

Small office or home office workers and small businesses can take advantage of this offer to lower their monthly communications bill. As a free service, it has its limitations, but it is still a free service from a reliable company. According to Dialpad, more than 65 percent of the Fortune 500 are using its technology.

Dialpad is a pure-cloud communications company making it possible to be available on any device, anywhere. The platform it provides allows anyone in your small business to connect and work from anywhere with voice, video and messaging.

Dialpad co-founder Craig Walker said, in a press release announcing the new service, “We’re truly diminishing the need for businesses to use existing phone lines or to be limited to mobile phones, landlines or the need to list multiple phone numbers on their websites and business cards.”

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So What do You Get With Dialpad Free?

Here is the meat and bone of the service.

  • 100 outbound minutes per month
  • Unlimited inbound minutes
  • 100 inbound and outbound SMS messages
  • Free UberConference accounts for all 5 employees

In addition to these free services, you also get Dialpad’s list of calling features. This includes voicemail, call recording, HD calling, professional IVR with extension calling, video calling between Dialpad users, call recording and much more.

How Can You Get It?

If you want to use Dialpad Free, you have to sign up and download the Dialpad app onto your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Once you have it on your device, you use your broadband connection for the service.

The offer also includes a limited time deal to transfer your existing business phone number to Dialpad Free at no cost.

Cloud Communications for Small Businesses

As a pure cloud communications company, Dialpad offers small businesses the flexibility to work from anywhere without sacrificing functionality. Dialpad has native Single-Sign-On with Google G-Suite as well as integration with Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and LinkedIn.

With Dialpad, you can video conference with all of your employees whether they are working from home locally or in another country. Your employees can connect and collaborate with some of the most popular business applications using their preferred platform without any compatibility issues.

Walker added, “Any app-enabled device immediately becomes an extension of the business’ main number and can be using Dialpad Free within minutes.”

Images: Dialpad

This article, "New Dialpad Free Claims to Kill the Desk Phone But May Kill Your Business Phone Bill Too" was first published on Small Business Trends

How to Use Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains to Innovate in Your Small Business

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2017-12-14 07:30

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been in the news a lot in the recent months. This is mostly because of the record heights that crypto currencies and so-called crypto assets have reached, in terms of valuation and volume. Bitcoin recently breached the $12,000 price mark. While naysayers are predicting a crypto bubble, it seems there is no stopping startups from launching their tech-driven businesses via blockchain.

For businesses, these are exciting times, especially with the enhanced capabilities that fintech startups and service providers can offer, whether you are an enterprise seeking to optimize operations or a small business looking to expand.

Looking beyond the cryptocurrencies, however, what’s more important are the fundamental technologies that underpin these new asset classes, which are their respective blockchains. These are the secure, immutable and distributed cryptographic ledgers that serve as record-keeping mechanism for decentralized tech.

While many blockchain-based startups are focusing on consumer-facing applications, a good number will be useful in a business environment, catering to B2B, B2C and other such transactions.

How Blockchain Leads to Innovation

Here are a few notable ways blockchain-based technologies can help any business become more innovative.

Establish a Self-sovereign Identity

To date, establishing your business as a legal entity would require registering the business either as a proprietorship or as its own corporate entity. This will require “citizenship” in a certain country or sovereignty, which is managed by a government. Some communities would like the ability to establish an entity without having to rely on an external or centralized authority, however.

Here is where a startup called SelfKey will come in. The basic precept is that identity can be established through cryptographic means via blockchain. Users essentially tokenize their identities, paying KEY tokens to trusted notaries to authenticate and verify their identities. Such identification has privacy and granularity — meaning users can share only certain aspects of their information, and not the whole package.

The good thing with SelfKey is that it is valid both for individual users and for businesses seeking to establish their own identity without relying on a centralized authority.

“SelfKey has basic cap table management, and can provide basic corporate governance which allows the startup to do things that are currently burdensome such as opening a bank account,” wrote the founders on the SelfKey whitepaper. “When relying parties onboard a new company, KYC needs to be done not only on the specific company level but also for all significant shareholders at each ownership level above the entity until you reach the ultimate beneficial owners.”

Leverage Distributed Computing Across a Global Network

Cloud computing and virtualization are now mainstays for both small businesses and enterprises, due to their low cost of ownership, scalability and low barrier to entry. However, cloud computing platforms are still owned by centralized entities, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure. An emerging technology from Golem leverages just about any computer across the world in a truly decentralized computing platform.

“Golem connects computers in a peer-to-peer network, enabling both application owners and individual users (“requestors”) to rent resources of other users’ (“providers”) machines. These resources can be used to complete tasks requiring any amount of computation time and capacity,” states the Golem whitepaper.

One key aspect of Golem is monetization, which enables nodes to earn from participating in the network and contributing their processing cycles. While a cloud computing platform can potentially offer businesses some level of savings, a truly decentralized approach might offer more optimal performance-vs-cost, especially since business users are now directly paying the individual node owners. These transactions are done through smart contracts powered by Ethereum.

Manage Private Capitalization Tables and Profit from Secondary Markets

We mentioned capitalization tables under the self-sovereign identity aspect of Streamr. Another startup that focuses on this aspect of building a business is CapchainX, which is a blockchain startup that tokenizes capitalization tables.

“The Crypto token market is valuable because it accelerates liquidity in private markets,” writes Beryl Chavez-Li, founder and CEO of CapchainX. She adds that “[t]he solution for a responsible liquid secondary market is issuing tokens backed by real shares — Crypto Equity,” which is the main concept behind CapchainX.

The company will basically replace paper-based legal, regulatory and operational aspects of maintaining a capitalization table, which makes it easier for startups to manage their company’s shares. This can be particularly useful when accepting institutional funding, since share dilution can be complex to compute. According to Chavez-Li, this also opens up the potential for a secondary market, wherein shareholders can use the tokenized system to buy and sell shares, which can help both improve liquidity and bolster market value.

The Takeaway? Blockchain Technology is Flexible and Businesses Stand to Gain

While it is true that the recent run of coin sales and token sales might be akin to bubble-like growth, one cannot deny the importance that such blockchain-based startups are offering individual and business users alike: value from truly decentralized applications.

Blockchains also now cover a wide variety of industries from fintech to insurtech, edtech and more. This means there is only room for growth, and whether your business is directly dealing with blockchains or crypto assets or not, you will feel the impact one way or another.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "How to Use Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains to Innovate in Your Small Business" was first published on Small Business Trends

RLH Corporation Launches Effortless Franchise With Franchiseasy

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2017-12-14 07:06
DENVER—RLH Corporation (NYSE:RLH) today announced the launch of franchiseasysm, a modern approach to franchising for hoteliers. From the online application process ...

Hilton Appoints Kellyn Smith Kenny As Chief Marketing Officer

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2017-12-14 05:43
MCLEAN, VA--Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced the appointment of Kellyn Smith Kenny as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. Effective ...

ASFONA Expands Mandate Following Acquisition Of Starwood Hotels & Resorts By Marriott International

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2017-12-14 05:38
YOUNTVILLE, CA--At the Fall 2017 Board of Directors meetings, which were held in Yountville, California on November 28th and 29th, ASFONA ...

Hotel Equities Promotes Drew Salapka To SVP, Revenue Generation, Drives Top-Line Growth

Hotel Interactive - Thu, 2017-12-14 05:16
ATLANTA--Hotel Equities (HE) recently promoted Drew Salapka to the position of Senior Vice President of Revenue Generation.  ...

Coach Todd Woods, Co-Author of Guerrilla Marketing for Franchisees,...

PR Web - Thu, 2017-12-14 04:30

The QSR Freedom Course was recently launched nationally. It addresses the specialized needs of Quick Serve Restaurant Owners, and it is designed to help them achieve greater success faster.

(PRWeb December 06, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/11/prweb14938700.htm

Pita Jungle Opens New Location at Phoenix Sky Harbor International...

PR Web - Thu, 2017-12-14 04:30

Arizona Restaurant Group Celebrates 21st Location in Partnership with SSP America

(PRWeb December 06, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/12/prweb14985538.htm

LunchboxWax Opens Fifth Idaho Location in Idaho Falls

PR Web - Thu, 2017-12-14 04:30

Idaho Falls marks the body-waxing franchise’s fifth Idaho location, 32rd location in 10 states overall.

(PRWeb December 06, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/12/prweb14986770.htm

Experienced Business Owner Brings New Pet Wants Pet Food Company to...

PR Web - Thu, 2017-12-14 04:30

Pet Wants Central Florida is a mobile business that offers free, personal delivery of Pet Wants products to Winter Park, Baldwin Park, Thornton Park, Downtown Orlando, Lake Mary and the surrounding...

(PRWeb December 06, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/12/prweb14989897.htm

FSC Franchise Co. Adds Franchise Veteran as Chief Operating Officer

PR Web - Thu, 2017-12-14 04:30

Scott SirLouis to Help Implement 2018 Growth Strategy for Leading Full-Service Restaurant Franchise Beef ‘O’ Brady’s® and Craft Beer Bar Franchise The Brass Tap®

(PRWeb December 05, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/12/prweb14981652.htm

Givex® Gift Card Innovations Helping to Re-Shape Consumer...

PR Web - Thu, 2017-12-14 04:30

Cloud-based Customer Engagement Solution Helps Retailers Connect with Consumers in More Interactive Ways

(PRWeb December 05, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/12/prweb14981662.htm