Bob Rankin is a small business owner - a writer, computer programmer and ecommerce expert who enjoys explaining technology in plain English. His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Ask Bob Rankin, author of several computer books, and owner of Flowers Fast, the online florist service.

Social Marketing With Live Video Streams

Small business owners can now have their very own video broadcasting networks right in their pockets. Smartphone apps Periscope and Meerkat enable spontaneous or scripted recording of videos and instant broadcast to fans and customers on Twitter or Facebook. Here’s how it works…[Continue Reading…]

400 Free Tools For Business Building

There are a lot of specialized tasks involved in building a successful online business. If you’re a programmer, a graphic artist, a website designer, a search engine optimization whiz, a copy writer, and a social media expert, you might be able to do it all on your own. But most entrepreneurs need help. Hiring an expert is one way to get ‘er done, but first, check out this list of FREE self-service business building tools…[Continue Reading…]

Protecting Against Online Extortion

No business is too small for online criminals. Just ask Mark Stefanick, president of Houston-based Advantage Benefits Solutions. With only about a dozen insurance and benefits consultants serving local small to medium businesses, Advantage might seem … [Continue reading]

Social Marketing With Twitter Website Cards

Marketing on Twitter is simple. You craft a Tweet of less than 160 characters that includes your enticing message and a compelling call to action (“Visit our site,” “Retweet this,” “Follow me,” etc.) then click “Send” and hope for results. It takes li … [Continue reading]

Automating Repetitive Business Tasks

Jayme Fishman is a self-taught programmer who believes that the future of business coding should involve everyone in the organization – from the mail room to the CEO’s office. Fishman says that “the future of successful, entrepreneurial companies will … [Continue reading]

Yes, You Need an Ecommerce Platform

Maximizing online sales is more challenging than just adding shopping cart software to your website and waiting for customers to buy. Ideally, an ecommerce platform should help you reach prospects, draw them to your site, guide them through a … [Continue reading]

New Square Reader Does Apple And Chips

Square, Inc., is helping small businesses accept the latest payment methods without breaking their budgets. The upcoming version of the Square Reader will accept Apple Pay and other NFC contactless payment systems, as well as the chipped (EMV) … [Continue reading]

Are You Ready for Equity Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding – the raising of large amounts of capital by means of small contributions from many people – passed a significant milestone on June 19, 2015, when the SEC’s new Regulation A+ went into effect. Read on to see how Reg A+ may help your busin … [Continue reading]

Are You Paying For Ads That Nobody Sees?

If you buy online display ads through an ad agency, ad network, or other intermediary, you are not getting what you pay for. The results you do get may be worth the price that you pay, but in planning an online ad campaign you should never rely on … [Continue reading]

Is Cloud Computing For Small Business?

“Cloud computing” has rapidly emerged from the “what are you talking about?” stage to become a business buzzword. A new survey by Goldman Sachs forecasts software-as-a-service (SaaS) sales of $106 billion worldwide in 2016, up a phenomenal 21% over 20 … [Continue reading]

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