Category Archives: News

What Small Business Owners Should Know About TLDs

coolcatLet’s face it: it’s hard to stand out in the vast landscape of the Internet of today, especially when it comes to your web address. If your business (like most) was a little slow to the .com game, your URL might leave a lot to be desired. For years, the Internet has been limited to just 22 generic top-level domains like the familiar .com, .net, and .org. Besides country domains (such as .jp for Japan or .ca for Canada), general-purpose domain choices have been very narrow.

Until recently that is. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization responsible for Internet governance, is rolling out an effort to massively expand the number of top-level domains (TLDs). These moves should have a dramatic effect on the blueprint of the modern Web.

Just so you’re clear, a top-level domain (TLD) – also known as a domain extension – is the last segment of the domain name. A generic top-level domain signifies that the domain extension is widely open for registration to all users. The TLD is the letters immediately following the final dot in an Internet address. The TLD represents a significant element of the domain name, and is one of the key factors in improving the popularity of your site, shaping the image of your online presence, and boosting brand recognition among your audience. The TLD is representative of the domain’s type and purpose.

            In our Internet address, .com is the top-level domain name (domain extension); and is the second-level domain name. Together, these constitute a fully qualified domain name (FQDN); the addition of http:// creates a complete URL.

Specialized domain extensions are especially useful when you are in need of alternatives to the domain you want to register. Nearly half of U.S. small-business owners say they’re dissatisfied with their internet addresses, and slightly more than that say they’ve lost business because they didn’t get their first choice in a generic top-level domain name, a national survey illustrates. Therefore, it’s likely that the domain your business finds most suitable for your website has been taken, and is unavailable for registration. So what do you do? Changing the first part of the domain may not be a good idea – you have already spent some time thinking of a truly awesome name that will be both user- and search-engine friendly. With the expansion of TLDs, you are now able to seek out an alternative domain extension without having to forfeit that winning idea.

Who’s making proposals for new extensions? One familiar name, Google, spent an estimated $1.87 million to submit 101 names last year (for example: .android, .youtube, .live); but in theory, anyone could propose a new top-level domain to ICANN – as so long as each proposal comes with a solid business plan and a $185,000 check.

Adding hundreds of generic top-level domains is intended to alleviate pressure on .com and other unrestricted domains. It will be easier for brands to obtain a memorable domain name as the pool of possible addresses is larger, and domain seekers won’t have to compete with the whole world. It could also reduce the misleading use of country codes. Further, more than 1,300 new domain extensions will expand the Internet namespace, allowing countless new name configurations. This will better connect people to the products, services, and individuals that matter to them.

Here, you can find detailed information about all new TLDs that are available and waiting for you. ICANN will eventually add over 1,000 new naming options. Many are already live, and more will be coming online steadily well into 2015.

To register or not to register?

Many Web experts claim that the new addresses are a bonus for small companies. Businesses will be able to get domains that better reflect their brand – perhaps “.diamonds” for jewelers or “.voyage” for travel agents – allowing for easier and more impactful marketing. There’s also the chance that the new TLDs can offer better security protections.

Critics, though, say the new addresses may cause confusion for customers and headaches for businesses; arguing that marketing a new TLD will take precious money and time. Opponents also include trademark lawyers who fear that the rollout will lead to a whole new assault of cyber-squatting, as entities will buy up the domain names of organizations to sell them back to them at often extortionate prices.

These new options will bring up new challenges. Small businesses will have to discover how to use the new options to their best advantage. However, we believe that’s a great improvement over the absence of choice businesses face right now.

If you are a business looking to highlight your core service, or if your business came online too late and missed the opportunity to claim the .com of your dreams, you may be interested in picking up a new address.

View a real-time list of all available TLDs from ICANN here.

Google My Business: A New Tool for Local Businesses & Brands

Google-My-BusinessGoogle revealed a major update for small and local businesses with the introduction of Google My Business. The new service enables businesses to create a single dashboard from which to manage core Google marketing products.

Think rudimentary CRM platform: businesses will be able to easily update information across Google, from listings to map placements, from customer service to marketing outreach. The service will also make it easier than ever before to gain visibility within the Google ecosystem. Google describes the service as a “free and easy way to find and connect with your people, wherever you are”. Of course users will need a Google Account to gain access to the service.

Facebook to Unveil New Feature to Empower Small Business

facebook-logoFacebook announced Thursday it’s testing a new feature for small and medium-sized businesses across the country. The feature, for now called the ‘Buy’ button, will allow users to purchase products directly from their News Feed, permitting impulsive online shoppers to buy instantly from businesses’ Facebook pages, without being redirected to the merchant’s website or app.

The feature is currently being beta-ed amongst a very, very small group; a Facebook spokesman claimed less than five companies are currently testing the feature. Businesses can embed the Buy button on their Page post or in Facebook ads, the button will be available on both mobile and desktop versions of Facebook.

Apple & IBM Join Forces

appleIBMOn Tuesday, Apple announced an agreement with IBM that signals the tech giant’s occupation of the enterprise market. Utilizing each company’s respective strengths, the plan is to build business apps and professional software that matches the quality and simplicity of Apple’s consumer applications. Apple will sell its devices (which will come preloaded with newly developed enterprise software) to IBM’s corporate customers, and also provide on-site support. IBM plans to make more than 100,000 employees available for the Apple initiative, which will develop more than 100 new apps for various industries.

Mobile Payments On The Rise

mobile paymentEven though the mobile payments movement is only in its frontier stages, it’s grown rapidly in recent years with worldwide payments reaching $163.1 billion in 2012. That figure jumped to $235.4 billion by the end of 2013 (Gartner). A recent Nielsen report about the state of the industry sheds light on the particularities of this growing trend.

Modest Growth Trend Continues In Small Business Economy

Newtek---No-BG-300Newtek, The Small Business Authority®, Releases May 2014 SB Authority Index

Newtek has announced the release of the SB Authority Index of small business indicators for May 2014 which reached 127.41 points. The Russell Microcap Index, approved SBA lending volumes and new business formations led the increase. The SB Authority Index is up 0.37% from April 2014.  On a year-over-year comparison, the SB Authority Index is up 7.31%.

Newtek Hires Two Senior Executives

Newtek_Web_Services_noNewtNewtek has attracted and retained the talents of two senior executives, Susan Streich and Harold Gartner.

Susan Streich will be joining Newtek Business Services, Inc. and Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc., our nationally licensed SBA 7(a) lender, as Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. Ms. Streich has over 30 years of experience as an executive-level finance professional with extensive experience initiating and leading national small business lending departments ensuring their compliance with federal and corporate requirements. Ms. Streich comes to Newtek from Booz Allen Hamilton where she served as a Senior Advisor, Project Lead and Subject Matter Expert for multiple government clients, including the U.S. Department of Treasury, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and the State Small Business Credit Initiative Fund. Ms. Streich previously worked as a Director at Capital One Bank with an overall loan production exceeding $1.5 billion and as President of Transamerica Small Business Capital.

Modest Growth Trend Continues In Small Business Economy

Newtek, Releases the March 2014 SB Authority Indexindex_01

Wednesday, Newtek announced the release of the SB Authority Index of small business indicators for March 2014 reaching 126.33 points. The increase in the Russell Microcap Index, retail sales, and Newtek Merchant Processing volume led the trend. The SB Authority Index is up 0.58% from February 2014. On a year-over-year comparison, the SB Authority Index is up 7.70%.

8 Ways To Feel Happier in the Office Every Day

Young office worker phones at the officeNo one ever feels completely content, fulfilled, and stimulated during every moment of every office day – but there are definitely little alterations to your work environment, schedule, and strategies that can help shift your mood to the positive side more often.

1.     Save your favorite tasks for your least favorite time of day

Newtek Business Services Partners With Teachers Federal Credit Union (TFCU)

Newtek-headerNewtek has partnered with Teachers Federal Credit Union (TFCU), one of the largest and most prominent Credit Unions in the United States with 26 branches, 234,000 Members and $4.9 billion in assets, to provide its Members who own and operate businesses the essential tools they need to compete effectively in today’s marketplace.