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Target Hiring 130,000+ To Help With Online Holiday Orders…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By September 19, 2019No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

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

1 — Target will hire 130,000-plus workers for the holidays to help handle more online orders.

With the holiday season upon us, Target announced that it plans to hire over 130,000 seasonal employees in their distribution centers and storesnot only to ensure that customer service needs are met throughout the busy season— but also to help the retail giant keep up with online orders. Target is making this move despite the fact that job growth has been slowing down across the nation. The company—however—is anticipating this upcoming shopping season to be busier than past years, particularly with online orders. (Source: Star Tribune)

Why this is important for your business:

What caught my eye about this headline is the fact that Target is hiring all these people to help with online orders. Why do they need so much help? It’s because that even with all the automation afforded by the very best e-commerce technologies, it still takes people to get the products out the door, answer questions and do the back end work. If you’re building an e-commerce operation you – like Target – better also staff up. Just because something is “online” doesn’t mean it’s automatic.

2 — Kabbage introduces a new tool aimed at small business allows for real-time analytics.  

There is a new analytics tool that was introduced this past week by Kabbage a lending platform based out of Atlanta —and it’s free. The motivation behind the tool is to help provide small business owners and other tracking small business an avenue to evaluate in real time the way their businesses are performing. The tool uses live data from over 200,000 companies, and users can filter their analysis options by industry, date range, and state. Users will also be able to also create an individualized report indicating revenue, with the option to compare their performance to others. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

As I wrote here, it’s a good start. But I want more! I’m hoping that great companies like Kabbage will expand the data it’s making available to help small business owners like myself do better.

3 — Microsoft debuts a new version of its To Do app as Wunderlust founder expresses remorse.

Microsoft has announced the debut of a newer version of their To Do app called Microsoft To Do — years after acquiring the productivity app Wunderlust with the intention to create its own product that would measure up. With the release of Microsoft To Do and the announcement of new features and upgrades to help bolster convenience and productivity there is buzz that Wunderlust may be shutting down entirely in the near future. This doesn’t seem to be sitting well with the founder of Wunderlust who has expressed interest in reacquiring and improving the app by making it free and open-source, along with other improved features and capabilities. While Microsoft has hinted at a total shut down of Wunderlust, there is no set date.  (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re using Wunderlust, be aware that its days could be numbered. In the meantime, keep an eye on the changes Microsoft is making to its To-Do app – it could make you even more productive. (My company, The Marks Group PC, is a Microsoft partner).

4 — The California Senate passes a bill to limit the gig economy.

The California Senate has passed legislation that is now going to make it more difficult for workers to be categorized as independent contractors. Gig-economy businesses and companiessuch as Uber and Lyft— will be drastically altered if the bill comes to pass. Employees from Postmates, Instacart, DoorDash, Lyft, Uber, and others would be considered official employees as of January 1st, 2020. Other gig-workerssuch as translators and taxi driverswould also be impacted. Uber, Lyft, and similar companies taking part in the gig-economy are working to create an original category for workers in an effort to combat the bill. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

Many small businesses outsource their tech work to contract workers. In California the rule is that independent contractors are specifically “workers whose tasks aren’t performed under the company’s control, are performing work outside the company’s main business, and have their own independent enterprise in their trade are contractors.” Will this spread nationwide?

5— Payments giant Stripe debuts a credit card in its latest step into the financing fray.

This past week, Stripea popular payments startup— announced the release of the Stripe Corporate Card. The Stripe Corporate Card is a Visa card that will be available to businesses that are integrated in the United States. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re already a Stripe customer – as many businesses are- than this card could be an inexpensive and more convenient alternative to other cards. The card will not have any interest rates or fees to use the card, but only because users will be required to pay their balance in full each month. Stripe will be making money off of the interchange fee that is charged each time there is a transaction recorded on the card.

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