Archive for October, 2017

Rio Tinto shares near 5-year high on iron shipment growth

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Petrobras seeks approval for listing of petrol station business

Monday, October 16th, 2017

PG&E shares lurch lower on uncertainty about California wildfires

Monday, October 16th, 2017

The Power of Testimonial Videos for Amazon Product Pages

Monday, October 16th, 2017

The Impact of Ecommerce Testimonial Videos

If you’re not including testimonial videos on your ecommerce product pages, especially on Amazon, you could be missing out on a lot of sales.

Small Business Trends caught up with Frank Morelli of Gen Video at the recent Influencer Marketing Days conference in New York City’s Times Square. Morelli is an Account Executive with Gen Video, an influencer marketing platform that helps ecommerce businesses integrate video content from influencers right on their shopping and product pages. The company also has a special relationship with Amazon that could help small businesses selling on the huge ecommerce site.

During the conversation, Morelli shared some thoughts about the importance of using video content on product pages, and how using video from influencers can be a great way to set your brand apart.

The Impact of Ecommerce Testimonial Videos

He said, “It’s a lot easier to connect with someone who’s just like you and I and who has built a following from the ground up than it is to connect with a brand who’s this huge household name and you’re not sure if you trust their word or not.”

Of course, a lot of businesses already understand the power of using influencer marketing in their social media or content marketing strategies. But Gen Video focuses more on integrating that content into actual ecommerce stores. This is a concept that you can apply to your own hosted website or even popular ecommerce platforms like Amazon. In fact, Gen Video is a programming partner with Amazon. So the company can help brands get video content from influencers up on product pages easily.

Basically, having video content that explains something about the product and offers a third party’s perspective about it can help convince some of those potential buyers who might be on the fence about hitting that buy button. Video is already a very popular format for online marketers. But using it in this way can help businesses impact the opinions of the people who are really close to making a purchase.

Morelli said, “Video in general is an extremely important process in terms of educating consumers. And when you’re able to place video on a product page it kind of completes that cycle. And when you’re working with influencers on different social platforms it’s kind of providing a content story for them as they’re going through that purchase funnel.”

This article, “The Power of Testimonial Videos for Amazon Product Pages” was first published on Small Business Trends


Trump Executive Order on Health Insurance Aimed Directly at Small Business

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Trump Executive Order on Health Insurance Aimed Directly at Small Business

Obamacare still hasn’t been repealed. And the chances it happens before the end of the year seem unlikely.

Executive Order on Health Insurance

However, last week President Donald Trump performed a bit of an end-around on the stifling healthcare bill by signing an executive order aimed specifically at providing small businesses some relief — and more affordable health insurance options.

In a ceremony at the Oval Office, Trump signed an executive order that does a few things to directly impact small businesses.

Association Health Plans (AHPs)

The order directs the secretaries of the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury to re-establish health care associations, or association health plans (AHPs).

The groups that typically would buy an AHP are trade organizations or other business groups, though Trump’s executive order does allow for the creation of new groups to purchase insurance.

“We aim to allow more small businesses to form associations to buy affordable and competitive health insurance,” Trump said. “This would open additional options for employers to purchase the health plans their workers want.”

Trump also specifically directed Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to work toward making these associations available to small businesses and their employees across state lines. This falls back on a campaign promise Trump repeatedly made to “erase the lines” that prevented health insurance companies from operating much the same way auto insurers do.

“The competition will be staggering,” Trump added. “This will allow thousands of small business employers to have the same purchasing power as large employers to get more affordable and generous insurance options for their workers.”

Conceivably, this would allow small businesses across the country in the same line of work to band together to purchase health insurance with the same leverage as a larger company would.

A written statement from The White House states: “By potentially making it easier for employers to band together, workers could have access to a broader range of insurance options at lower rates in the large group market. Employers participating in an AHP cannot exclude any employee from joining the plan and cannot develop premiums based on health conditions.”

The President says these healthcare associations were in place for small businesses prior to Obamacare being signed into law. They quickly became unaffordable to many who were enrolled, specifically the small businesses that benefited from them.

“People had plans that worked and they were suddenly cut off,” Trump said.

This part of the executive order is being received well by some business organizations already. The International Franchise Association was in attendance at the signing of the executive order. The IFA is an example of such an association.

IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti said, “President Trump’s move to improve association health plans is a step toward ensuring a competitive market that would demand flexibility and affordability for small business owners. We look forward to working with the Administration to implement this important policy.

Karen Kerrigan, the president and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, says she hopes to work with Trump administration officials to finally make HRAs purchasable by small business owners, too.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs)

The executive order signed on Oct. 12 also calls for the creation of Health Reimbursement Arrangements. These would allow small business owners to reimburse their employees for their healthcare expenses.

Specifically, these expenses include the co-payments and deductibles that an employee would have to pay out-of-pocket for their healthcare.

Trump says these HRAs would benefit the two-thirds of small business employees who do not receive health insurance coverage through work. Those employees not getting health insurance through work are forced either pay for Obamacare through the exchanges or pay the individual penalty.

Kerrigan applauded the executive order signed last week, specifically on HRAs and short-term insurance.

In a written statement, Kerrigan said, “The various measures in the executive order address the different needs of entrepreneurs and small business owners, and we especially applaud efforts to expand health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and allow for short-term insurance. These measures can provide more flexibility, and directly empower entrepreneurs and individuals in their health care decision-making based on their financial resources and health coverage needs.”

Short-term Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI)

Trump’s action last week also called for the creation of short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans.

These plans are suited for people between jobs, who have limited options available through the ongoing Obamacare exchanges or who missed enrollment periods and need a short-term health insurance plan.

Kerrigan added that STLDI plans address the changing look of the American workforce and the needs of entrepreneurs. She said, “Our regulatory systems need to allow for how people currently work, and how they will work. As they cycle between full-time jobs and gig work, more affordable and flexible health coverage is desirable. This is a vital option for startups and the newly self-employed.”

Image: The White House/Twitter

This article, “Trump Executive Order on Health Insurance Aimed Directly at Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends


Latino Owned Small Businesses See Revenues Up 26 Percent But Credit Scores Falling

Monday, October 16th, 2017

2017 Biz2Credit Latino Small Business Credit Study: Latino Owned Small Businesses See Revenues Up 26% But Credit Scores Falling

Latino owned businesses are rising on the tide of the improved national economy with improved revenues. However, they need to leverage business credit better to keep their credit scores from dipping.

2017 Biz2Credit Latino Small Business Credit Study

Last year’s falling Latino credit scores (down from 595 to 592) were in contrast to the higher revenues for 2016 (averaging $258,702). These were the big takeaways from the annual Biz2Credit Latino Small Business Credit Study.

The study also found there were some common industries where Latino business ownership seemed concentrated. These were services, retail, construction, food services and accommodation as well as transportation and warehousing. The states leading in loan applications from Latino businesses included California just over 25 percent and Texas at 20.4 percent.

Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit, told Small Business Trends there was a reason for the credit drop beyond the payment history.

“Latinos have not had great access to business credit, thus they leverage their personal credit. They may be putting costs on credit cards that come with higher interest rates than loans,” he said.  “The problem is that once you go about 50 percent utilization, your credit score drops — even if you are paying on time.”

Latinos own over four million businesses now in the U.S., according to the report. They contribute over $668 billion to the American economy every year according to the U.S. Latino Chamber of Commerce.  Arora says having Latinos apply through traditional business credit channels is important.

“A lot of Latino-owned businesses are in construction and transportation/logistics, and retail food businesses.  The key is Latino-owned businesses need to apply for more formal business credit. Construction and retail are not traditionally funded by banks, and many of the business owners do not have a lot of experience in dealing with formal business credit,” he said.

The study looked at 2000 Latino owned businesses and 25,000 other companies with less than 250 employees and annual revenues less than $10 million.

Business Owners Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Latino Owned Small Businesses See Revenues Up 26 Percent But Credit Scores Falling” was first published on Small Business Trends


Ineos appoints a CEO for its shale gas unit

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Kurdistan oil: military drills

Monday, October 16th, 2017

The disputed area has failed to live up to its billing as a producer of crude

Siemens Gamesa: the inquisition begins

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Losing the Spanish company’s chief after the merger in April has proved to be a mistake

Rio Tinto in talks to sell aluminium assets to GFG Alliance

Monday, October 16th, 2017

Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta keen to buy mining group’s Pacific Aluminium business