Category Archives: Business

Cyber Attacks on Small Businesses: Review of the National Federation of Independent Business Webinar

The NFIB hosted a seminar on the disturbing issue of cyber attacks against small businesses. The webinar covered why and how fraudsters target small businesses, what to do to avert attacks and how to respond in case of a breach. This is a review of what was discussed.

Most small businesses don’t see themselves as a potential target for hackers so they don’t take appropriate cyber security measures, only 33% have the tech to prevent cyber attacks. And this is exactly why cybercriminals are after small businesses.  Of all cyber crimes, 43% target small to medium businesses. Over the past 12 months, 55% of companies were attacked whereas 50% experienced data breaches.

Where attacks come from

Cyber criminals can access your date either online or offline. They use a range of tactics including stealing or penetrating through weak passwords, phishing emails, social engineering and physical breaches (i.e. stolen physical documents, laptops, etc.)

While 75% of these attacks begin from outsiders, a scandalous 25% start from internal sources. Domestic attacks begin when staffs accidentally send an email with confidential data to a wrong person, or lose a drive with private company data. In the worst cases, workers act out of malice.

To avoid the above cases, you need to take measures like;

  • Regularly updating your premium software
  • Safeguarding you’re sensitive data.
  • Using two-factor authorization
  • Regularly backing up company data
  • Installing and updating antivirus software
  • Using very strong passwords and frequently updating them

And since everyone is a target all the time, you want to be prepared. Here are other preventive measures.

  1. Evaluate your data protection software and check if you need to upgrade.
  2. Identify all your confidential data, its storage place and the risks involved in case of a breach.
  3. Have a detection system and have it tested after every six months.
  4. Plan a data breach response.
  5. Plan how to recover from a breach to make sure you uphold your company’s reputation.

Wrapping Up

One cyber attack could cost you months or years of hard work. For that reason, you should invest in precautionary measures even if you have to seek for cash advances from financial institutions.

Author BIO

Business Funding expert, Nathan Hale, founded First American Merchant with his eyes set on helping the backbone of our country, small business owners. His passions include writing/producing music, and travel. First American Merchant is America’s Best Cash Advances Company, serving both traditional and high-risk Businesses.

Helpful Tips for Integrating a Better Work Life Balance into Your Routine

If you are one of the millions of Americans who work insanely long hours at the office and still continue to do your job after you walk out the door for the night, you are probably struggling with finding a better work life balance. One of the reasons we have so many much disease and so many mental health problems is because our society has been trained to place such a high importance on the fast paced, immediately gratifying, superficial lifestyle. There is not much of an important placed on personal happiness and wellbeing. However, over the last three to five years, there has been an uptick in employee benefits designed to enhance the physical and mental wellbeing of an organizations employees. If you are not one of the lucky few to experience this kind of office setting or work place environment, then it is up to you to create your own healthy habits and routines to improve your work life balance. Here are a few tips we have picked up along the way to start you off.

Create Boundaries at Work

One of the main reasons so many people have such a high level of stress and feel like they never get any breathing room from their job, is because they allow other people to dictate how they will, or should be, spending their time. Without setting boundaries about when your time is your own and when you can be available to handle work related tasks, it is hard to expect anyone to give you your space. Start by defining your on and off the clock hours and it should be easier to go from there. What you think you need now and what you actually need is very different in many cases and you will likely figure it out along the way.

Start a Fitness Routine

If it were not for my regular runs I would probably be a lot more stressed out than I already am. When I dedicate the time to getting out on my own, breathing in the fresh air, and inducing those work out related endorphins, I am a much happier and more balanced person. I feel like the effort I put into running allows me to release any built-up energy or tension in my body. If you don’t know where to start, visit your local foot locker to get yourself a pair of running shoes or training sneakers and take one step at a time. The best part about Foot Locker is all of the discounts and deals they offer regularly.

Find Time to See Your Friends

Socializing outside of work can be an important part of your work life balance. The idea that all of your friends are from your office can cause a problem when all you end up talking about is work relate topics that will just continue to trigger stress. If you are talking about the issues you have during the work day during your time off, you might as well be at work.

Business Coaching for Business Improvement

Business coaching can actually bring the much-desired changes to your business. Coach is a word which is derived from “kocsi”, a Hungarian name that means “carriage”. Today, however, the word has a wider use and it basically means transportation of people from one point to the other where they desire to be.

Business coaching, therefore, can be defined as a process that can be applied so as to move a business from its current position to where the owner envisions it to be. What a business coach does is to offer guidance and assistance to the owner in view of business growth, helping in the clarification of the business vision and how exactly it can fit well with the personal goals. This is a very important step and should be a point of focus.

Business owners should be made to understand the importance of reaching their goals for the business and how it can affect them personally. The business owner is responsible for the determination of the passion and speed in which goals are met. When the business owner has a passion for reaching a goal, he will be more determined to make it work by all means.

Usually, a coach will get to know the business owner desires and this helps in the prioritization of the goals and strategies that need to be put in place. It is the work of the coach to meet you with the owner on a regular basis so as to ensure they remain on track to all commitments that they may have made.

Accountability is a critical component of business coaching. It is important to understand that a business coach isn’t a consultant. This means that they don’t work for the business. The main aim is to help you with focus and keep on reminding you the importance of reaching the set goals. They also work to motivate the business owner to actually keep the commitments. They are the sounding board and can even hold a mirror so as to reflect all the blind spots that you may have missed.

Most of the success stories that you may have heard attributed it to amazing business coaches. For business owners who seek to have more time, more money and better relationships and health, it becomes important to have a business coach. The reason why the most business fails is that people are not really taught about ways in which they can actually win at life. Coaching, therefore, bridges the gap and enlightens the business owners in ways that only a coach can achieve.

It is the dream of every business owner to have a winning team around them. Also, anyone in business desires to have great profits in an effortless and exponential way. A winning business allows you to have time and money freedom. If you feel that you need to rethink your commitments and focus on the goals you had initially set out for your business, then getting a great business coach can actually help you and your business to a great extent.

Steps for Business to Business Partnership Deals

There are many important stages to creating a successful business to business partnership deal. Generally all B2B partnerships keep to a few basic steps from initiation to execution. The following are ten points to be aware of while moving through the process of establishing a business to business partnership. Whether you’ve never established a partnership business deal or you have created several, these steps can be a good guideline to follow.

Process guide for Business to Business partnership deals

  •  Identification – Identify the advantages you’re seeking in forming a business partnershipdeal. This way you’ll have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a partnership. Also be sure to understand what value your business provides to potential partners.
  • Exploration – Finding the right partner is critical. Create a target list. Reach out and meet people on your list. Be ready to perform due diligence on companies and understand the opportunities that may be presented to you and your company.
  • Structuring – Work out the partnership details with the other executive management team. Make sure to include these steps during implementation of the partnership.
  • Negotiating – Know what you need from the partnership and what your final numbers are concerning any revenue shares or costs associated with the partnership.
  • Drafting – Work with your company’s legal team to create a template for creating partnership deals especially if your company’s business model is B2B.
  • Reviewing – Try to get as much of the work done beforehand as possible before having the lawyers review the agreement in order to keep costs down. After you have a great working template just a simple review is often all that will be needed.
  • Signing – Always meet in person if possible to sign the agreement and make sure to keep copies of all business to business partnership agreements both in a cloud based service like Dropbox and in hard copy formats.
  • Executing – Educate your staff about the partnership. Be sure to create a training manual that explains the details of how the partnership works. This can also be provided to the partner’s staff in order to bring them up to speed. Make sure everyone involved has current and correct contact information to reduce communications issues.
  • Review – Schedule regular partnership review meetings and updates. This keeps communication open and is critical in the early stages of a new partnership to fix any unforeseen issues that may come. This will also be a valuable tool for establishedpartnerships as new opportunities for growth may present themselves. Always be on the lookout for new and innovative ideas as they relate to your business to businesspartnership.
  • Reward – Build incentives for both your team and the partner’s team. When staff can see the direct benefits to new relationships in their pockets versus just more work being placed on their shoulders they are more likely to take the relationship seriously and strive to maintain effective business partnerships.

Businesses to business partnerships are one of the best ways to grow a company and expand into new markets quicklyFree Articles, but they do require a well thought out start-up process if they are to be a successful and integral part of your businesses growth strategy.

Drawing People Into Your Business

As a business owner certainly you have noticed business slowing and yet you feel powerless to do anything about it.  One thing is for certain, you don’t want to sit by and watch your business go out the window without doing something.  So what can you do? Well, there are some great ways to attract people to your business without spending a fortune.

You should be talking to people that you meet about your company and what it does. You never know when someone may have a need or they just finished talking to another person that has been looking for a service like the one that you provide. Keep some pens or key chains with you that have your company info on them. These are a great way to keep your business in other peoples minds. They will think about you when they pull that pen out to use.

You can find free bulletin boards all over town. One of the best places is on a college or university campus. These are hot-spots and get used and looked at tons. You really never know what you will find so people check them regularly. You need to maintain your flyer that you decide to put up. These are constantly shifting areas and if someone is interested they will take your flyer, or cover it up if they need the space.

The worst that you can do is nothing at all. You are not the only business that is going through hard times right now. Count your blessings and appreciate all that you have. Negative feelings only attract more negativity into your life. What you want is some positive influence in your company and your life. When you radiate positivity you will attract more customers and more money is right behind that.

If you want people from the community to come to your businessHealth Fitness Articles, they need to know your name. It also helps if they know you and what you have to offer. Sometimes that is all it takes to get new business. It could be a very simple promotion after all.

Make your business succeed

Running a business is a daunting task. It’s never easy. Thousands of business owners across the globe put their best foot forward in the global competitive business world daily with the hope that they will reach to the top. But most of us are not aware of the fact that many of these businesses disappear within a year without making an impact in the market. The reason is very clear. These businesses lack business ideas and most importantly they fail to take the help and guidance of a business coach. Every business should understand the fact thatgood business coach is an absolute necessity to reach out to the world. A business coach can provide you with the requisite knowledge and experience to make better marketing strategies; operate business successfully and achieve maximum profits.

Start your business with the able guidance of Brad Sugars

If you are a new business owner, small time businessman or an established business owner, you can learn to run your business successfully with the able guidance of Brad Sugars – a leading business coach who has already transformed the professional and personal lives of thousands of business owners. He can teach you how to become a leader in your business and also create an impact in the market with your products and services. He is a proven leader and a successful businessman. He now wants to share his success with entrepreneurs and make them achieve what he has achieved in a short span of time.

Learn to make effective business decisions with Brad Sugars

Effective decision making is vital for the growth of your business. It is an important task that no business owner can ignore. It is a must for business organization to function properly; otherwise your business will end up as a failure. To learn decision making, some might go to a consultant. But ordinary consultant or business coach will not be able to deliver the solutions. This is precisely Brad Sugars ActionCOACH is so effective. Brad Sugars feel that Business coaching is not only useful for identifying the problems or areas to be improved in a business, but also teaching entrepreneurs how to successfully overcome obstacles and achieve set goals.

 Brad Sugars’ Instant Success Series books are a hit with entrepreneurs

Brad Sugars’ Instant Success Series books are a big hit with entrepreneurs across the globe. It clearly outlines effective business strategies that allow entrepreneurs to achieve success both in their business and personal life. The business techniques introduced in Brad Sugars Instant Success Series are used by ActionCOACH’s international team of franchisees to help small business owners streamline their business operations and get on the fast track to attain maximum sales and huge growth. With his Instant Success SeriesScience Articles, Brad Sugars offers proven methods that go a long way in developing successful entrepreneurship.

To end with it can be said that there are so many business owners in the market who look for business help to give momentum to their business. Brad Sugars successful strategies can be of great help to reach the pinnacle of success.

Business insurance quotes and suggestions

If you do have an old policy that does not denote that you can secure the business of yours easily. It is very important that whenever you find business related insurance quotes you must find the correct quotes for each policy which is what you require for your particular business. The hardest part is to start the way to acquire business related insurance quote.

When you wish to look for companies to offer you insurance quotes for the business it can get quite grueling. You can find some good companies you can also find some bad companies. But you can start off with the better business bureau.

The next stage is some research for knowing the things you are searching for in the policy you need to get. The company for quoting can be quite an expert but it can be always good to be familiar with basics so that you can enquire about the right type of questions and you are familiar with all the options. Like car insurance policies there are so many different ways when one is looking for the quotes needed for policies for business of yours. Getting all the right alternatives in the quote is very important to ensure that the business of yours is protected well with all the right cover that it requires.

Another option to help to lead you to the correct business related insurance policy is to take suggestions from a business lawyer well knowledgeable in the business of yours. The lawyer can look your business related insurance quotes to check if they have all required policies for your business. The type of insurance cover you require depends on type of business of yours. Are you selling a product, are you providing a service or do you provide advice to consumers? These are questions which companies should ask before offering you business related insurance quote.

There is not any harm to get little different type of insurance quotes. This is like if you are searching for a person that takes contracts you would not get just only one assessmentArticle Submission, you don’t wish to get only one estimate for business insurance.

What You Should Do To Set Up Your Business

If you are thinking about opening a business then you will need to go through the process of business incorporation. It is not a hard process but every state has its own set of rules and regulation. What you need to know is what incorporating your business will do for you and why it needs to be done in the first place. Let’s start with what incorporating your business actually means.

The reason that you go through this process is you are telling the state that you reside in that you are opening a business. Most states have forms that you can download and fill in yourself. However if you are going to be having partners and share distributions you may want to consider legal advice for how to set up your corporation. When you fill out the state’s form you are firstFeature Articles, letting them know what the name of your business is going to be.

Then you are also recording other pertinent information such as where your business will be located. You will also need to name a director; this is some one that is claiming responsibility for the corporation. You will also include all officers that will be listed on the corporation and you will need to assign them each a title such as president or secretary. In this declaration you will also need to set up the way your stocks will be distributed and what percentage of stock each officer will own.

Another reason it is imperative for your business incorporation to be set up is you cannot get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the federal government without it. Without and EIN you can’t open a bank account so it is important that you get your state paperwork together correctly and mailed in because you cannot go any further without it. You are also unable to get other necessary paper work completed such as filing for state unemployment taxes or a sales tax number.

One of the most valuable things that comes from incorporating your business is that you are setting your business assets apart from your personal assets. What this does for you is protects your personal assets from being part of any law suit that may arise from your business. This is especially important with the type of climate we live in where everyone’s answer to a problem is to sue someone. Make sure that you bring this up with your legal advisor when you are setting up your corporation.

So when you are considering opening a business it is important that you do all of the incorporating paperwork first. If it is a complex corporation you should get legal advice but for simple one owner corporations you may be able to do some of the paperwork yourself. Remember that business incorporation is a must in order to get registered with the proper paper work with the federal government and it will help protect your personal assets in the event that you are sued.

Protecting Your Business Ideas

The intellectual property transfer market is now estimated to be worth over $100 billion. If you have a new idea, a patent or an invention, you may be able to license it or sell it for millions of dollars. Many Fortune 500 companies are now making their intellectual property available for sale or licensing at new online intellectual-property exchanges. These companies are trying to maximize their return on research and development investment and generate a new source of revenue by licensing their unused and underutilized inventions to others.

The Internet currently reaches more than 560 million users around the world. This makes innovators’ potential for exposure much higher than with traditional forms of media. The worldwide online commerce has reached $2.2 trillion in 2002 and is expected to reach $6.

8 trillion by 2004. The innovators today can leverage the massive reach of the Internet and promote their new ideas to the global market without substantial marketing costs.

Official copyright registration and patent rights can be obtained from appropriate authorities. A directory of Patent and Copyright Offices around the world is available When a potential buyer contacts the seller for more information about the intellectual property, the seller should require the buyer to sign a non-disclosure agreement before revealing the details.

As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he’s taking his business elsewhere. So to prevent that you offer guarantees, secure payment methods, prompt customer service, and more. You do whatever it takes to show each customer that you are sincere and trustworthy.

But what steps do you take to protect yourself and your livelihood?Too many business owners spend all their time worrying about their customers’ security without thinking of their own, even though small companies must often deal with customer fraud, non-paying clients, and more.

Just as you’ve taken steps to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their buying experience, so should you feel comfortable and secure by taking a few precautions of your own.

Get Everything in WritingWritten contracts are not just for helping customers understand what they can expect to receive for their money, they are about laying down the ground rules for your business relationship. When these guidelines are in writing, nothing is left up for a debate or becomes a misunderstanding.

Both parties can be assured that their interests are being protected and both should have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities in the event that something goes awry.

A good example would be if you sold a toy which a parent returned six months later because it was broken. Without a contract in writing specifying the time limits and conditions of your return policy, you might end up with an ongoing battle wit the customer which could result in lost business and even lawsuits.

Written contracts also don’t need to be crafted by lawyers. You can write everything out yourself in ordinary, easy to understand language. When you and the customer sign it, it becomes a legal and binding agreement. It’s really that simple.

Don’t Be NaiveSo many people in business get burned by their customers simply because they are too trusting. For example, some of you may have shipped products before the customers’ payments cleared. Or you may have completed agreed upon work without asking for a deposit. Both are risky propositions as many new entrepreneurs discover the hard way, especially if they do business online.

You can protect yourself by always asking for a partial payment in advance and by always waiting until a customer’s payment has cleared before you ship their products. Another method of protecting yourself and your customer is by using a service such as Paypal.com to handle your transactions. The service protects you from non-paying customers and offers your customers protection for lost, damaged, or unshipped products.

Know Your Local LawsOne of the best ways to protect you is by becoming informed. When you know your legal rights, you’ll have a better understanding of how to effectively deal with troublesome customers.

For example, some states don’t allow you to limit a customer’s right to return a product beyond a certain time limit, so you may not legally be able to enforce a guarantee of only one week. On the other hand, if you know your rights, then you’ll also understand what steps to take in case legal action on your part is necessary.

For instance, you may want to send a certified letter demanding payment before you file a lawsuit. Additionally, if you appear knowledgeable about your rightsScience Articles, many customers might think twice before failing to pay or committing fraud.

The bottom line is that you deserve to be protected just as much as your customers. A few advance precautions now can ensure that you’ll have a long and satisfying business relationship with your customers.

Materials for your business success

Now, you want to go into business, you have a product or service to sell . . . I would strongly advice that you go into a business you love, a business you enjoy. A business you know something about or that you are good at. If you don’t know or enjoy your line of business, your customers will sooner or later discover this and disappear.

Acquire the necessary skills you need to understand your line of business. Gain the experience. You can be very effective and productive in a business you understand. It sure helps if you enjoy it, but you must understand something about it.

Statistics show that most businesses started nowadays, fail. The truth of the matter is that your business can be among the successful ones out there. You just need to do the right things at the right time. I have discovered that many business people suffer because of lack of knowledge.

It’s actually very easy for businesses to excel and increase their sales. All it takes is for businesses to understand and implement certain things to enhance their business. You need to start doing some things you have probably been neglecting. I will explain these things to you in this book . . . so get ready to improve your profit dramatically.

Your business needs certain ingredients for it to be prosperous. Think of a well-prepared soup with all of the necessary ingredients . . . It becomes a delight to the stomach. Take away some vital ingredients and the result is soup that even your dog would sue you for offering to it as a meal.

Create a business plan. This serves as a road map for your business. I really want you to understand the importance of having a plan before you go into business. Don’t just jump into business without thinking carefully. You need to have a clear vision about what you want to achieve with your business. Stick to your plan, but I must emphasize that you need to be flexible too. Your plan might need some changes as time goes on.

Don’t stick with a direction that isn’t working forever. Make new changes to your plan to fit your present situation. You must be willing to change when necessary. There are useful computer software available in the market to help you with your planning.

An important ingredient in achieving business success is preparation. Find out all you can about what laws, rules or regulations that apply to your business. Keep your business legal. Protect your business against law suits and other legal problems by talking to a Lawyer whenever you have agreements/contracts being signed. This could save you a lot of headache and money in the long run. Get the necessary permits for your business.

Set appropriate and realistic goals which should make you achieve and create something good. Have confidence in your ability to provide and promote your product or service. Remember the old saying: “All things are possible to he(she) who believes?” . This is very true about business.

Determine what type of product(s) or work/service you want to offer. If you are into a business with a broad area of operation(market), I would advice you to narrow your focus and specialize in a particular branch of your kind of business. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades.

You then need to ensure that you portray your company to the public in the right manner. Your business cards, brochures, flyers, adverts, posters, website, etc. should reflect your business in the best way. Enlist the help of experts to get this done. The customers first and continuos impression of your business is very vital in creating a successful business. Your business needs to look good!

Determine the type of person that will be most attracted to the product or service you are offering. Determine the best method to reach them. Are they limited to a particular area? Do they belong to a demographic group? Do they have special interest? Do they read a particular type of newspaper or magazine? Are they more prone to listen or watch a particular type of show?

You can market your product or service more effectively when you have answered these questions. You must learn to accept other people as they are in any sales effort. Don’t get impatient when a prospective customer is slow to understand or make a decision. In any sales effort, you must accept other people as they are, not as you would like for them to be.

One of the most common faults of sales people is impatience when the prospective customer is slow to understand or make a decision. Handle such situations as if you were on a date or applying for a new job. Be patient!

Be determined and stay focused. You probably have invested all or a substantial amount of your money in your business. It can be very difficult owning your own business initially, but it’s worth it. You realize you have to work more, you worry more and you push yourself harder. It’s really very challenging.

Things can get really stressful sometimes that you almost want to give up. You start regretting leaving your employed job. Your determination has to come in here. No one can guarantee your success in business, except you, but utilizing the advice in this book would go a long way in making things much easier for you.

Like I earlier mentioned, it helps if you love the business you are into. You generally have an easier time getting through your initial start-up problems when you enjoy what you do. Be motivated. You can make it. One very important step in improving your business is your reading this business enhancement book. Information is power!

Your business should have an effective accounting and record keeping plan. Have a well-planned book keeping system. Keep sales records, proper employee records, tax records, business agreement records etc. There are several good accounting software available in the market for those with computers. Otherwise, get an accountant to review your records from time to time.

Think of the kind of customer your product(s) will appeal to, and focus on that customer base. Target your customer base with your sales message. It’s very important that you know who your typical customer is. You get to increase your sales by providing this customer group with other products or services.

Advertising/Marketing is very important to your business. Potential customers have to know you exist. They have to be able to reach you. To be successful in business . . . you must do some form of advertising or marketing. Put aside money for advertisement.

Monitor how effective or ineffective your adverts are. Don’t waste money and time running an advert that doesn’t work. Your business needs an efficient customer service plan. You will lose your customers if you don’t treat them right.

They might even tell others not to do business with you. It’s very difficult to repair a damaged image. With all the competition out there, word of mouth still remains the most powerful form of advertisement . . . so don’t spoil your reputation.

Treat every customer like your most important customer, and they will not only come back, they will recommend you to others. Get your staff to be polite and friendly. I don’t shop at certain shops because of how rude and unhelpful their staff are. I am quite sure others feel the same way too.

Forget the idea of some people being “born with great sales skills.” We all have this talent. Every society is built on selling. Just think about it . . . we all do some form of selling(marketing) every time. We do this when we try to be close friends with others, when we try convincing people to see things our way. We’re all sales people in one way or another.

A wise man once said “Anyone can sell anything to anybody. We could correctly say that some things are easier to sell than others, and some people work harder at selling than others. But regardless of what you’re selling, or even how you’re attempting to sell it, the odds are in your favor.

If you make your presentation to enough people, you’ll find a buyer. The problem with most people seems to be in making contact – getting their sales presentation seen by, read by, or heard by enough people. Selling is challenging.

It demands the utmost of your creativity and innovative thinking. The more success you want, and the more dedicated you are to achieving your goals, the more you’ll sell.” Patience must be applied here.

In selling, we all begin at the same point, and have the same finish line as the goal . . . a successful sale.