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Credibly Financial News Roundup for the Week of July 11, 2016


Ben Goldstein

With the world of small business finance changing so quickly, who can stay on top of it all? Here at Credibly, we sift through hundreds of blogs, news alerts, and emerging Fintech trends every day, selecting the most important industry updates so you don’t have to. Here’s the financial news that caught our attention this week.

Retailers Are Licking Their Chops at Wandering Pokémon Hunters by Reuters

“Pokémon Go, a mobile game that has rocketed to the top of Apple and Android app stores in record time, looks set to challenge young Internet companies that specialize in increasing foot traffic for small businesses and may end up playing a role in major brands’ marketing, according to industry experts.

“The augmented reality game from Japan’s Nintendo, where players walk around real-life neighborhoods to hunt down virtual cartoon characters on their smartphone screens, has more than 65 million users in the United States just seven days after launch.

“That is more users than Twitter, and the game is already helping local restaurants, coffee shops, and small retailers to attract new customers.”

Herbalife Agrees to $200 Million Settlement Over Allegations of Unfair Business Practices by Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times

“Herbalife Ltd. has agreed to pay $200 million to consumers and change its business practices to settle a two-year federal investigation triggered by allegations by activist investor Bill Ackman.

“The Federal Trade Commission announced the settlement Friday, saying the Los Angeles company’s compensation practices were unfair.

“In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the agency said Herbalife rewarded distributors for recruiting others to join the company and purchase products instead of basing compensation on ‘actual retail demand for the product.’

“This settlement will require Herbalife to fundamentally restructure its business so that participants are rewarded for what they sell, not how many people they recruit,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.”

37 Proven Methods To Increase Blog Traffic And Boost Engagement by Nadya Khoja, Venngage

“Anyone can build a blog. It’s easy. Heck, I’ve got two blogs–both about completely different things. The struggle I face is not so much running the blog, or creating content for the blog, but rather getting high-value traffic to it. Can you relate? I thought so.

“Well, what if I told you that in less than a month, I grew my personal blog traffic by 600%? But wait! On top of that, in less than a year with the help of the Venngage team, we grew our entire site traffic by 400%. Oh yeah. This stuff is repeatable.

“Want to know how I did it? After reading this guide, you will have access to not only my personal super awesome methods for boosting blog traffic, but you will also have access to the super awesome tricks used by Venngage. So if you don’t have time to read this now, bookmark it for later, or download it as a PDF to read when you’re commuting to work, sitting on the toilet or on a boring Tinder date. But read it.”

The Fed’s Analysis of Online Lender Satisfaction Is Bogus by Sean Murray, deBanked

“A strange statistic about borrowers and their supposed overwhelming dissatisfaction with online lenders is circulating where it shouldn’t be.

“Only 15% of small business borrowers were satisfied with the loan they were approved for by an online lender, according to a Federal Reserve study published back in March. That’s actually not even what the study says but that’s the selective takeaway that some very influential people have gleaned from it.

“That figure in some way shape or form is being repeated at conferences, cited in academic papers, and even referenced in Congressional testimony. Apparently when it comes down to it, people are starting to believe that small businesses overwhelmingly hate their experience with online lenders because it’s something they think a very credible Fed study has confirmed.”

Cannabis Dispensaries Transform Into High-End Retail Spaces by Will Yakowicz, Inc.

“The Apple store is considered a prime example of a killer retail store–a beautifully designed space that attracts customers to come in, hang out and buy expensive products. Each Apple store, on average, makes about $4,799 per square foot, a recent report finds.

“But some marijuana dispensaries are catching up with, and in some cases besting, Apple. Blum, a dispensary in Oakland, California, owned by husband and wife duo Derek Peterson and Amy Almsteier (who both own public marijuana company TerraTech and marijuana brand IVXX) brings in about $7,000 per square foot, Almsteier says.

“After decades of doing everything they could to keep a low profile to avoid legal scrutiny, the cannabis industry’s retailers, like Blum, have started using design and retail strategies that have worked so successfully at some of the most profitable storefronts in the country, like Starbucks, Apple and Whole Foods.”

Lifting the Second Generation Curse by Amy Haimerl, The New York Times

“Natalie Sexton jokes that her earliest memory is being rocked to sleep on the machinery bottling her mother’s line of all-natural juices. She was just an infant when Marygrace Sexton started Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company in 1990, naming it after her.

“’This is all I’ve known,’ Ms. Sexton said.

“Twenty-six years later, she is preparing to take over her family’s business in the coming decade. The company, based in Fort Pierce, Fla., has expanded from its humble beginnings. Her mother had to borrow the butcher’s truck at night to make deliveries. Now, the company has 100 employees and distribution in 32 states and 34 countries.

“For Natalie, expanding while keeping the business debt-free, as her mother has, remains an important goal…Looming over her is the statistic that only 30 percent of family-owned businesses make it through the second generation. That data is from 1987, but experts say it still holds true today. It is known as the second-generation curse.”


Have you checked out our small business education blog, InCredibly?

Over at In.Credibly we’re helping small businesses evaluate their working capital needs, source the right funding, and put those dollars to use more efficiently. This week, we discussed why identity theft insurance is essential for small business owners, and how your business credit score fits into lending decisions.