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Weekly Business News Roundup

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

Will Flexible Workspaces Disrupt the Traditional Satellite and Branch Office Markets?

No longer will flexible workspace be the exclusive domain of entrepreneurs and small business owners, as corporate businesses are seeing the benefits of flex space for their satellite and branch offices. As an alternative to traditional satellite and branch offices, flexible workspace is a tailor-made solution that may prove to be a disruptive, long-term trend in this segment of the office space market. Here the author discusses why there is far more driving the move to a flexible workspace by corporations than merely low-cost office space.

Why small biz owners should hope for 4-star reviews over 5 on Yelp and Google

As a small business owner, you would think a perfect five-star review rating from Google, Yelp, and other sites would convey its trustworthiness to potential customers. However, according to a study by SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk., people will trust a business with a three- or four-star average rating than they will one with an average five-star rating. The author says this the counterintuitive findings are “assumed to because potential customers think three- and four-star ratings are more genuine, and that five-star rating could just be from a friend of the business.” In fact, “five-star ratings are only trusted by 10% of customers, while 22% of people trust three-star ratings, and 35% of people trust four-star ratings.”

This Is the Secret to Avoiding Burnout, According to Google’s In-House Productivity Coach

While burnout is nothing new, “these days the problem has reached near epidemic proportions,” says the author. She cites a recent Gallup poll that found nearly a quarter of employees claimed they’re constantly burnt out, “while a massive 44 percent reported feeling sometimes burnt out.” But according to the book Peak Performance, Google’s leaders and workers are far less prone to burnout than those at other big companies despite its demanding work environment. The tech giant’s productivity expert, Laura Mae Martin, who leads a team of 15 others and works as an advisor to its top executives, discovered her formula for productivity while working her way up to her current role. In essence, she advises “if you’re productive in one way at work, take the opposite approach in your personal life.”

A Remote Workforce Keeps Your Business Agile

Based on his own experience with scaling down a business with dozens of people at a pricey downtown office to an agile model focused on leveraging a remote team of skilled professionals, the author discusses what you should look for in remote employees; what “agility” actually means, in his experience; and perhaps most importantly, how technology “will continue to redefine what it means to run an agile team.”

5 Things We Learned From Amazon’s Record-Breaking Cyber Monday

While every Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday are the five busiest shopping days each year, this year was notable for Amazon as Cyber Monday was the company’s biggest shopping day in its history. Here, the author shares “five of the most interesting takeaways from the world’s largest shopping spree”, from the worldwide top Amazon buy of its new Echo Dot (and smart devices for the home in general) to “small business is big business”, with record-breaking Small Business Saturday sales for independent retailers.

Apple will soon offer coding camps for women-founded startups

With only 2.2% of venture capital funding going to women-founded startups thus far in 2018, Apple is trying to help address the disparity by offering a two-week “technology lab” at its Cupertino campus, where participants will receive one-on-one “app development guidance” from the company’s experts and engineers. According to the tech giant, this will include “mentorship, inspiration, and insights from top Apple leaders.” Apple says it will keep doing the labs, once every three months, beginning with its first in January. After the lab work is done, startup participants will receive an “ongoing follow-up” from an Apple developer who is knowledgeable of their industry niche, as well as a membership to Apple’s Developer Program that will allow them to submit their apps to its App Store.

5 Criteria for Splitting Equity in Your New Venture

As you need the skills or experience you may be lacking in business, technology, or financing for your startup, your first task is to find a co-founder or two. So how do you determine what percent of the business or equity that person is worth? While the default answer is often to split everything equally, the author contends that is a “terrible answer, since now no one is in control, and startups need a clear leader.” He says the second default answer of waiting until later to decide is “equally bad, since partners who bow out early will still expect an equal share of that first billion you make later.” Furthermore, there is no equity value in the idea alone, “as the value in a startup is all about tangible results.”  He then delves into five key variables for determining how to appropriate equity, from having “lived a key role in a previous startup” to the “amount of venture funding provided.”

4 Mental Skills Used by Every Successful Business Leader

“Motivation, focus, goal clarity, resilience and stress management are all mental demands placed on anyone who strives to be the best in their field,” the author says. He then discusses “the four core mental skills of champions the world over that you must master if being a successful business leader sits high on your bucket list”: reach for the stars when you’re aiming for the moon; accelerate your progress with imagery and visualization skills; practice self-observation and introspective reflection for greater resilience; and lastly, practice optimism through reframing while also acknowledging the negatives.

DiDi Launches Labs in Toronto, Expanding Global Research Network to Canada

In yet another development underscoring Toronto’s global appeal for tech investment and development, China-based DiDi Chuxing (DiDi) has launched its “DiDi Labs” in the city. Marking the second major research facility founded in North America, DiDi Labs specializes in smart transportation and artificial intelligence. Senior vice president of DiDi and chair of its product and design committee, Jun Yu, is credited with creating many of China’s leading internet products and recognized as a pioneer in the country’s consumer app industry. DiDi has also formed a strategic partnership with the University of Toronto for collaborative projects.

About Laura Crest

With an educational background in journalism, Laura began her career as a professional writer and editor 35 years ago with an internship for a magazine while an undergraduate at Michigan State University. After the advent of the internet, Laura transferred her skills from print to digital with a small online consulting business specializing in SEO and content strategy. Since, she has also served as the blog writer, managing editor, and content curator for several small online businesses before joining Telsec Business Centres, where she continues to apply her expertise in content discovery and curation for small businesses.

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