Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Thank Google for making it harder to find a phone-repair service.

Most individuals who decide to search for phone-repairs using Google will click on the first link that shows up, not realizing that the top spot typically is filled for a price. An easy target for fraud, that top Google spot is often a hotbed for tech support scams that will fool consumers into downloading malware from a website that—otherwise—looks official. When the problem was revealed by the Wall Street Journal in August of 2018, Google took immediate action and started restricting ads—mainly tech support ads— in related categories. Unfortunately, hardware repair businesses began to find that—along with those fraudulent malware links— their legitimate ads were being blocked by Google as well. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

It’s just a small, but powerful example of how Google – with one flip of the proverbial switch – can kill a small company’s ability to get found online and market their business. Want some other reasons why I think Google is killing small business? Here you go.

2 — The FCC’s rural broadband expansion will benefit small companies.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved $121 million in funding to bring broadband internet to 16 states over the next several years, a project that will benefit rural businesses. Combined with several other funding moves, more than $924 million have been approved to bring the broadband expansion to over 342,000 businesses and homes in a great effort to bridge a major gap in digital accessibility. (Source: Business News Daily)

Why this is important for your business:

This is good news for companies located in rural areas that have been stuck with slow internet service. If that describes your company, then better times are ahead.

3 — The FAA has banned recalled MacBook Pros from all flights- like any other bad battery.

The FAA has taken additional precautions when it comes to recalled MacBook pros—banning them from all flights— echoing what was done when the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones were found to be a fire risk aboard aircrafts. An FAA representative pointed out that they are simply reinforcing an already existing ban on batteries that have been recalled, reminding airlines that— no matter the device— if they contain the recalled lithium-based batteries, they are not allowed on board. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Better check which employees are using these devices and make sure they’re aware of this ban. Are they going to have to check bags in? Who’s going to reimburse they for those fees?

4 — JPMorgan Chase makes strategic investment in FreshBooks accounting software.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has invested in small business accounting software developer— FreshBooks— in an effort to grow its small businesses base, which includes those who are self-employed. According to the head of SMB Product at Chase Merchant Services— Bill Clerico— over 4 Million customers have used FreshBooks to sign up for Chase for Businesses, increasing its demand. The CEO and co-founder of FreshBooks—Mike McDerment—envisions the investment and partnership positively impacting and serving the needs of self-employed individuals and their businesses. (Source:  Mobile Payments Today)

Why this is important for your business:

As I wrote here, I believe this investment will be one of many we’ll see where banks start gobbling up accounting software companies in order to offer their own accounting applications to their small business clients.

5— Report: small business faces challenges selling online, Amazon viewed as the bad guy.

A report released by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance revealed challenges for small businesses that sell online, many of which are caused by the domination of Amazon. According to the study, three-quarters of participants shared that competition from Amazon is the most challenging issue. 93% of the small businesses who participated in the study said that their revenue has been negatively impacted by the online marketplace giant. 70% of study participants believe that regulators need to keep a close eye on Amazon’s behavior and the power it holds over the market. (Source: Telecompetitor)

Why this is important for your business:

The solution here is that Amazon provide more tools and a more level playing field for their small business merchants. The company is already taking steps with sites like this and this.

 



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