Welcome to the very first week of Merchant Maverick’s essential news briefing for small
company owner. An appointment-making robot and Amazon Prime Day records dominated the small organization news cycle over the past seven days. Keep reading for this week’s leading five must-know stories for little organization owners.
Google’s AI Assistant Has Begun Booking Appointments For Users
Something Good …
It’s a bleak, bleak world out there, so let’s finish your briefing on a favorable note.
In Tampa, Florida, 2 teenage boys raised $30,000 over the course of 6 months to help small companies Due to the fact that of COVID, struggling. Gifts of $10,000 will head out to 3 services regional to Tampa.
“We could never ever have actually expected to raise this much cash,” stated Robbie Herzig, one of the resourceful teens that kick-started the operation. “We were just wanting to help any way that we might and when it removed.”
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An appointment-making robot and Amazon Prime Day records dominated the little business news cycle over the previous 7 days. The rollout of Duplex’s scheduling feature, Google likewise shared a number of bits appropriate to small services during its Search On conference this week. Why this matters to you: Duplex’s booking feature could help increase the reach of small organizations that rely on phone calls to book services. Why this matters to you: Because lenders may have preferred existing customers, underserved small services (which include those owned by minorities and women) were potentially put at a drawback when applying for PPP funds., small businesses will require to turn to alternative methods to assist press through a decline in earnings.
The rollout of Duplex’s booking feature, Google likewise shared a number of bits pertinent to small companies throughout its Search On conference this week. The business says Duplex has updated 3 million service listings across eight countries considering that the start of the pandemic. Google likewise revealed that starting in the very first half of 2021, everyone can migrate totally free from Hangouts to its new communication service Chat— a prospective Slack rival.
Google recently began rolling out the reserving feature of its AI chat assistant Duplex, per a report by VentureBeat. Duplex’s reserving capabilities enables users to request appointments at a company using the Google Assistant, Search, or Maps apps on their phone. Duplex will then call business and reserve a consultation on the user’s behalf using “natural language processing.” In all cases, Duplex informs the individual on the other end of the call that it is an automatic service.
Why this matters to you: Duplex’s reserving function could assist increase the reach of small companies that rely on phone calls to book services. Because not everyone likes discussing the phone, prospective consumers who might balk at contacting us to set up a consultation might feel more comfortable reserving one through Duplex.
Additional reading: One year later, dining establishments are still confused by Google Duplex, The Verge
Amazon Prime Day Set A Record For Small & & Medium Businesses
This year’s Amazon Prime Day, which ran October 13-14, saw third-party sellers rack up $3.5 billion in sales— a 60% boost over last year. While stopping working to disclose overall Prime Day sales, Amazon claims that third-party sales grew more than Amazon’s own retail organizations. Amazon included that “most” of its third-party sellers are small-to-medium-sized companies, with little businesses in Utah, California, and New Jersey capturing the biggest sales per capita.
Regardless of smashing sales records, Amazon faces examination. The business was just recently called in a Congressional anti-competition report that checked out how Amazon’s guidelines may have put smaller sellers at a drawback. The website has actually likewise struggled to shake the notion that it regularly pitches counterfeit items, a problem that capped in 2015 after a Wall Street Journal examination.
Why this matters to you: As small organizations try to find digital profits streams in the world of COVID, selling on Amazon could be an excellent method to dip into the eCommerce area– and Prime Day’s record sales numbers offer an early indicator that shoppers are eager to purchase online this holiday.
For more on how your little organization can earn money on Amazon, take a look at Merchant Maverick’s guide to beginning an Amazon shop.
PPP Lenders Allegedly Told To Favor Existing Customers
The government’s much-ridiculed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small companies has yet another blotch on its record: A Democratic-led House congressional oversight subcommittee discovered that the US Treasury Department privately motivated lenders to prioritize existing clients when providing PPP loans. The initial guidelines for loan providers to “go to their existing consumer base” apparently came from the Treasury on March 27, the exact same day the PPP legislation was penned into law.
The House report did note that the Treasury rejected such claims. The report pointed out a number of high-up market leaders, including the president of the American Bankers Association and a “senior banker” at JPMorgan Chase & & Co., as stating that the Treasury desired banks to work with existing customers. A spokeswoman for JPMorgan said that the bank “initially concentrated on existing consumers” due to the fact that of the “time-consuming regulative requirements to onboard a brand-new client.”
Why this matters to you: Because lenders might have favored existing customers, underserved small companies (which consist of those owned by females and minorities) were possibly put at a disadvantage when getting PPP funds. These newest insights strengthen earlier reports that banks preferred bigger business— even though rules issued by the Trump administration stated the PPP was to be “first-come, very first served.”
Comcast RISE Launched To Help Diverse Small Business Beat COVID
In an effort to help small organizations endure the recession created by COVID, telecommunications and media conglomerate Comcast released Comcast RISE. This new support program will assist small companies via $10,000 grants, marketing resources, and tech equipment.
Black-owned small services are qualified to make an application for Comcast RISE’s initial wave today. The program will open applications to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)-owned small companies beginning November 28. The grant part of Comcast RISE likewise hasn’t started yet, either– that will release November 28, too.
Why this matters to you: COVID has damaged much of the United States economy, with small companies taking the brunt of the damage. With financial backing from the government looking slim, small organizations will require to rely on alternative methods to help push through a downturn in revenue. Through its numerous tools, Comcast RISE will ideally have the ability to keep numerous small companies up-and-running through 2021.
A New Service Can Help Track Competitors’ Google Maps Ratings
Scores on Google Maps have actually long been a great way to evaluate the public’s perception of an organization. It’s difficult to keep an eye on a business’ rating over time– and even more challenging to assess numerous competitors’ scores over time. Enter Local Monitor, a recently-launched service from Paris-based startup WizVille.
WizVille’s Local Monitor works merely: You enter your business’ name on the website and get a display of neighboring places that offer similar services or products to you. You can then select up five competitors to track and WizVille will email you a monthly report detailing your company and its competitor’s Google Maps rankings gradually. Read more about Local Monitor on TechCrunch.
Why this matters to you: Being able to track Google Maps ratings can assist you comprehend how consumers view your business and its competitors. This extra bit of data could offer you a leg up over other local organizations within your specific niche.
The Latest From Merchant Maverick
Our newest little service spotlight takes a look at a Texas-based startup called Everyware, a payment gateway that offers text message-based billing options for a variety of industries. By building its item around text, Everyware aims to eliminate the clutter that persists throughout daily life. Take a peek for more information about Everyware:
Originally teased by Google in 2018, Duplex’s recent launch supports hair salon, barbershop, and hairstylist consultations, but the AI bot has also had a minimal ability to make restaurant reservations over the phone given that a minimum of 2019.