Small Business
Top stories summarized by our editors
8/21/2017

Cricket protein is still relatively expensive in North America, says Aspire CEO Mohammed Ashour, who is trying to bring down the cost with a farming system that relies on robots and artificial intelligence to feed its insects. Aspire is planning to set up a 50,000-square-foot facility by the middle of next year, with plans to add to the space until it reaches 250,000 square feet.

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Fast Company online
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artificial intelligence
8/21/2017

Target said it has stopped selling products from the troubled food startup Hampton Creek because of concerns about food safety. Hampton Creek said its products comply with Food and Drug Administration rules and are safe.

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Quartz, Bloomberg
8/21/2017

Sales representatives must enter every conversation with a potential customer strategically in order to succeed, writes Ken Krogue. In addition, an attitude of pleasant persistence can help sales reps get through to buyers and reach their goals.

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Forbes
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Ken Krogue
8/21/2017

Small businesses tend to use outdated mobile marketing strategies, with 47% of small retailers failing to keep up with the newest trends, according to a RetailMeNot survey. Many small retailers have partnered with experienced marketing companies to close this gap, with 53% opting to team with mobile marketing specialists.

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Small Business Trends
8/21/2017

The US consumer sentiment index surpassed expectations in August, measuring at 97.6. "Consumer confidence rose in the first half of August to its highest level since January due to a more positive outlook for the overall economy as well as more favorable personal financial prospects," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

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CNBC
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chief economist, Richard Curtin
8/21/2017

The US needs to continue to be open to immigrants in order to boost its workforce and aid growth, said Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan. "Culturally, we are receptive historically to immigrants -- that's one of the things that differentiates us from Japan and China," Kaplan said.

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Bloomberg
8/21/2017

Customer-relationship management platforms with artificial intelligence features can be useful sales-enablement tools that boost your sales team's effectiveness, writes Jim Dickie. Firms such as Massachusetts' Brainshark are using AI to analyze the actions of sales representatives and ensure that they're using the techniques they've been taught in training, Dickie writes.

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DestinationCRM
8/21/2017

Businesses must be able to track customer journeys across multiple platforms in order to get more bang for their marketing buck, writes Michael Caccavale. Companies should also make use of automated email campaigns, customer-relationship management platforms and chatbots to provide customers with a better buying experience.

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Forbes
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Michael Caccavale
8/21/2017

Your company has access to several different "layers" of content marketing, and your business' reputation is the most important, writes David Teten, managing partner at HOF Capital. Other forms of content include your website, email templates and activity on social media.

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Entrepreneur online
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David Teten, social media
8/21/2017

Scott Holthus -- who estimates he had 5,000 records by the time he was 12 years old -- is the owner of Minneapolis' Vintage Music Co. The business has faced challenges from e-commerce and economic trends, but Holthus keeps the record shop afloat partly by repairing and selling mid-century turntables.