First, it tackled the credit card transaction process. Now, Square wants to replace the antiquated cash register, USA Today reported.
The company—co-founded by Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey—recently launched Square Register, a free Apple iPad app designed to modernize point-of-sale devices for small merchants.
"I truly believe POS, as you know it today, is dead," said Megan Quinn, director of products at Square. "This will bring Square to an entirely new, small-market audience (bricks-and-mortar stores)."
Read the full story here.
No pension, no retirement savings — and no solid plan for how they will fund the latter part of their life. That's the dire situation for many small-business owners.
About a third of small-business owners do not have a personal or business-sponsored retirement plan such as a
401(k), a SEP IRA or deferred annuity, according to a new survey from non-profit the American College. Nearly the same number haven't estimated how much money they need for retirement.
Many workers feel unprepared for their golden years. But a lack of retirement planning by small-business owners is stunning because they "have no one else to rely on," says Mary Quist-Newins, director of the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services at the American College.
Unlike government or company employees, who are eligible for 401(k)s or similar plans, small-business owners are often solely responsible for their retirement planning, she says.
And that can be a difficult task for a business owner who is already taxed time-wise. Saving for retirement falls to the bottom of the to-do list. "They are just so living in the moment," she says. "They are just trying to keep this (business) going." Other reasons business owners aren't better prepared for retirement:
•Just surviving takes priority over saving. Businesses that are in the start-up and early growth phase often reinvest money into the firm, and don't put it into retirement funds, says Gary Kushner, CEO of human resources consulting firm Kushner & Co. And many owners — even those of more mature businesses — severed retirement funding during the downturn.
"Certainly when you're worried about your business surviving, you're not worried about funding your retirement," says Michael Preisz, an adviser with the non-profit Institutional Retirement Income Council.
•They think the business will provide for their needs. Some owners solely plan on continued revenue from the business or proceeds from selling the firm to sustain them later in life. And there are those who prefer to rely on their business' returns rather than unpredictable stock and bond funds. But if the firm goes south, "They are left with nothing," Preisz says.
•Setting up a company savings account appears daunting. Many haven't set up an employer-sponsored plan since the paperwork can seem time consuming and complex, Kushner says.
•They don't consider retirement. Many entrepreneurs "love what they are doing and don't see the point of retiring," so they don't plan for it, says Patricia Greene, the Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College. "It's hard for many of them to think what life would be like without (running) the business."
The backyard greenhouse is finally getting some respect, The Wall Street Journal reported. Avid gardeners, many of them retired baby boomers, are building greenhouses not just for gardening, but also for crafting, reading and lounging—in essence, a female version of the "man cave."
By day, they are sunny, private, plant-filled sanctuaries filled with the sound of classical music or NPR. By night, they are sparkling spaces for cocktails amid exotic foliage. Either way, they are worlds away from the rinky-dink eyesores that backyard greenhouses used to be, all flimsy plastic and wobbly poles.
"I love to go out there on a cold January day," says Alice Preyer, 56, whose greenhouse is built of heavy aluminum and tempered glass from an English-imported kit behind her 1930s brick home in Greensboro, N.C. "The sun is beating in, and it feels fabulous," she says.
Read the full story here.
Wondering how to get customers to "catch your wave" this spring? You might try to emulate what Jennifer Schamber of Greenscape Gardens in Manchester, Mo., does and make sure that wave goes to the farthest reaches in your community.
Each Saturday for three hours, Schambers joins Ellen Barredo of Bowood Farms and Steffie Littlefield of Garden Heights to become "The Three Amigas" on "The Inside Out Show" on radio station KTRS ("The BIG 550!)
The three gardening experts exchange ideas and mix with callers to solve practically every gardening question you can imagine.
In the meantime, Greenscape Gardens gets lots of residual "Cha-Ching!" -- just because they've branded one of their own.
Looking for a Cha-ching! you might have missed? Go to the search box and type Cha-ching! Items are listed by date.
Building on the joint venture announced in January, the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and OFA — The Association of Horticulture Professionals are introducing a new event to be held in winter 2013. With a target audience of business leaders and decision makers – owners, CEOs, top managers, and emerging professionals – the new event will focus on the business skills and innovations needed for sustainable success in this rapidly evolving economy.
According to ANLA board member Dan Mulhall, co-owner of Mullhall’s, a retail, landscape, and growing operation in Nebraska, “This new venture will fill a need not met by any other program out there. We will deliver new thinking and innovation from within and outside our industry while creating a community of the best and brightest professionals.”
OFA president Mike McCabe, co-owner of McCabe’s Greenhouse & Floral in Indiana, states, “These two organizations have a long history of leading the industry with new speakers and innovative ways to learn, beyond just the traditional classroom setting. You bring together the best that both groups offer, and we’ll create an incredible event.”
OFA CEO Michael Geary, CAE, responding to questions about this event said, “I can tell you it will not be on a beach somewhere – or in Louisville, KY – but we do want an accessible location. We’re tackling the important details first, like deciding what this new effort is going to look like and identifying leaders from both OFA and ANLA to help shape it. For now we want members to know that they can anticipate a significant learning and networking experience.” Geary finished, “We’ll get back to you on the name.”
Further details about the event will be released this summer.