New Drone Rules Take Effect, Wix Uses AI to Design Websites, More

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Drones and artificial intelligence are among a handful of exciting tech trends that have consumers excited. But they can also have a big impact on small businesses, as evidenced by some of the top business headlines this week. Read on for those headlines and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Technology Trends

New  FAA Rules for Commercial Drone Use Now In Effect: Here’s What You Need to Know

Heads up: if you are looking to fly a drone for business purposes, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put into effect new rules for commercial drone use. The announcement came Monday, Aug. 29 at a press conference held by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx.

7 New Wix Business Sites Designed With Artificial Intelligence

Wix, the popular drag-and-drop website builder, recently unveiled a new tool to make designing websiteseven easier. In fact, with Wix ADI, you don’t even have to do the work yourself. ADI stands for Artificial Design Intelligence.

Stop Looking at My Screen, Bro! HP Sure View Addresses PC Peeping

You go out to Starbucks or another spot to drink your latte and enjoy free WiFi on your laptop, when you notice someone looking at your monitor. At this point you don’t know if it is an innocent glance, or someone that is “shoulder” or “visually hacking” the content that is displayed on your computer. The threat of this type of hacking is very real.

Economy

Survey Says 64 Percent of Small Businesses Expect Growth But Challenges Remain

Regardless of the challenges they face, small businesses are optimistic about their growth, a new study has found. CAN Capital’s 2016 Small Business Health Index (SBHI) reveals 64 percent of small business owners are expecting growth in the next 12 months.

Small  Business Loan Approval Rates at Big Banks Decline, Biz2Credit Index Finds

Turbulence in global markets has made big banks wary of approving small business loans. That’s what the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index (PDF), the monthly analysis of more than 1,000 small business loan applications on Biz2Credit.com has revealed.

Employment

Keep on Truckin’: Transportation and Material Moving Jobs Grow by 190 Percent, Indeed Says

Every day, products, packages and people are criss-crossing the nation on a vast network of highways. And, largely, it’s small businesses getting them here, there and everywhere. According to Indeed, transportation and material moving jobs among small businesses have exploded over the last couple of years.

Capital  One Announces Spark 401k, a Low-Cost, Digitally-Managed Option for Small Businesses

Capital One recently announced the launch of a new retirement savings product designed expressly for small business. The product, Spark 401k, provides low-cost, digitally-managed 401(k)s targeted specifically to companies with one to 100 employees, the company says. It utilizes exchange-traded funds (ETFs), a type of index fund, as the investment instrument.

Marketing Tips

Coca-Cola’s Water Replenishment Effort Succeeds – and Fails (Watch)

Coca-Cola is giving back — water, that is. Ten years ago, the company pledged to replenish all of the water it used in its finished beverages. And it has now completed that goal about five years early. But not everyone is impressed.

What Is Influencer Marketing and How Can It Help My Business?

Influencer marketing is a growing trend and a tactic that you should consider adding to your marketing mix. While it’s unlikely you’ll be hiring Kim Kardashian to represent your brand anytime soon, everyone has some degree of influence, and many will talk about your company, products and services, provided you offer the right incentive.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight:  Bar-B-Clean Franchise Focuses on Cleaning and Maintenance of Barbecue Grills

Barbecue grills can be great for summer gatherings and everyday meals. But they can also get quite dirty and aren’t exactly easy to clean. A few years back, one enterprising entrepreneur decided that this somewhat messy niche could make for a great business opportunity. And Bar-B-Clean was born. Read more about the business below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Operations

For  Disasters, Cyber Security and More, Millennial Entrepreneurs Seem Best Prepared, Poll Finds

Whether its for disaster recovery, retirement or other business eventualities, Millennial entrepreneurs seem better prepared then their older counterparts, a recent poll finds. Look at Nationwide’s Small Business Indicator survey conducted by Harris Poll of 502 U.S.  small business owners.

DoL Implements Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, But Could It Hurt Small Businesses?

The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council recently issued (PDF) their respective final guidance and regulations to ensure federal contractors better comply with laws that protect their workers’ safety, wages and civil rights.

Social Media

How New Social Network Plum Can Help with Your Business Networking

Plum, short for People Like You and Me, is a community platform that connects individuals with others who share the same interests, passions and concerns. Similar to Facebook or LinkedIn, Plum allows users to discuss ideas and topics openly, join groups and chat with other users privately.

Twitter Will Pay You to Post Video, Up to 70 Percent of Ad Revenue Going to Creators (Watch)

Twitter is going to start splitting ad revenue with content creators who post videos on its platform. The company hopes that this move will make it more competitive with other social platforms like Facebook and YouTube. And actually, Twitter is giving about 70 percent of ad revenue to content creators, making it an even better deal than YouTube.

Facebook Introduces Text, Music Other Features to Slideshow Ads

In a bid to improve its ad features, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has announced a number of improvement to the platform’s Slideshow ads tool. Facebook first announced Slideshow ads last October, launching the program on both Facebook and Instagram.

Startup

Uber Faces Competition From Google’s Waze, But Could There Be Room for Both Services? (Watch)

Google is trying to cut into Uber’s Bay Area business. But its offering is just a bit different. First of all, Google is offering the service through Waze, a popular traffic app among commuters and a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Mobile Technology

Acer Swift 7 and Spin 7 Seem Useful for Mobile Business — If You Don’t Mind the Price

When Apple launched the MacBook Air, it introduced a new level of portability in computing with a very slim form factor and functionality that got everyone’s attention. Although it has taken a while, Acer (TPE:2353) has one upped Apple with the announcement of its new laptop and a two-in-one, called the Swift 7 and Spin 7 respectively, at the IFA 2016 in Berlin.

8 Things Business Users Should Know About the New iPhone 7

It is that time of year again, when the Internet is abuzz with speculations about what Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will add to its latest iPhone. As Sept. 7 fast approaches, everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter regarding what new features should be in the iPhone 7 (assuming that’s what the new device will be called).

Will New Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Be Business Friendly?

The smartwatch market is picking up traction as manufacturers reassess the design and functionality of their first generation watches with much better versions. Samsung (KRX:005930) is one of the companies that has dramatically improved from the first Gear S to the Gear S2, which has placed some great expectation for the upcoming Gear s3 to be unveiled this week.

Xiaomi Introduces Latest Example of Cheap Smartphone Trend with Redmi Note 4

The continuing trend of full-featured and cheap Chinese smartphones is disrupting the segment, as the sales of premium flagship brands keeps declining. While the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is not as cheap as the ZTE Zmax, which came in at $99, its $239.99 and $179.99 price tags are still considerably lower than the high-end versions.

Garmin Changes Smartwatch from Geek Gadget to Status Symbol

Smartwatches are still somewhat of a niche product, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from creating premium versions with some hefty price tags. The Fenix Chronos by Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) takes the proven and highly acclaimed functionality of the  company’s Fenix 3 line of smartwatches and adds some luxury for high-end customers. The adoption rate of smartwatches is growing.

Samsung  Notebook 7 Spin Seems Pricey for Business But May Be Good for Road Warriors

Samsung’s new laptop/tablet hybrid may be the best option for full time digital nomads and entrepreneurs living out of their suitcase. Or you may just be a techie that wants the option of a standard laptop combined with the convenience of a tablet.

This Device Claims to Turn Your iPhone into a 360 Degree VR Camera

Expectations for virtual reality are obviously quite high. And those expectations among content creators have led companies to introduce products aimed at helping to create content in the new format. Creators of the Insta360 ha done this in a unique way.

Drone Photo via Shutterstock

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