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Archive for the ‘What You Need To Know About Small Business’ Category

Why Mobile Users Should Be The Focus Of Your Digital Marketing

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on May 26, 2017 at 7:44 am

Accessing the internet via a mobile phone is becoming more popular every day. Stats show that mobile access overtook desktop access a few years ago, with mobile now accounting for a huge 55% of web traffic (according to Top10-WebsiteHosting.co.uk). Given the way that more people are buying smartphones, we can expect for the numbers to grow even more.

What this means for businesses is that they need to think about how mobile users are viewing their online marketing. This includes email content, social media content and of course your website in general. Being able to navigate easily around a website and perform simple actions like clicking through pages or links is very important in the realm of user experience. And for businesses that rely on their website to drive business leads, this user experience is critical.

This is why more businesses are planning their marketing strategy around mobile users. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then it is going to irritate a lot of potential customers. Having a responsive website could massively impact your profit margins so the upfront costs of setting up a new website could be a tiny proportion of future business that is generated by a responsive website.

More and more businesses are going for new websites that cater for all devices and if yours isn’t, then you could get left behind your competition. Don’t let an old website stop you from gaining more customers. Build your digital marketing strategy around the usage figures and you will see a better outcome for years to come. You will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

The Importance of a Responsive Website [INFOGRAPHIC] - An Infographic from Top 10 Website Hosting

Embedded from Top 10 Website Hosting

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Cyber Security And The Protection Of Company Data And Network

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on May 19, 2017 at 9:59 am

What Is Cyber Security?

Cybersecurity is defined as a body of processes, practices and technologies. They are designed specifically to protect computers, data, programs and networks from any unauthorized access, attack or damage.

In the world of computing, security contains both physical security and cybersecurity. To attain cyber security, coordinated efforts are required all through the information system. Some of the elements tied to cybersecurity include: information security, end-user security, application security, disaster recovery, network security and operational security.

Types Of Cyber-attacks For Businesses

Phishing Scams

A phishing scam attack mostly involves corporations that are big, as it involves large amounts of money. This does not however imply that small businesses cannot be attacked by such, but it’s not common in small businesses.

Such scammers are in all shapes and sizes, therefore there are the one off scammers that target small businesses.

One of the common phishing scams is spear phishing. This type of attack works by tricking users to download software that are infected, or by transferring attacks through messages and advertisements which attackers are certain the target will click on. They mostly target individuals who can transfer huge amounts of money. Therefore, company executives should be keen, especially when handling suspicious emails.

Malvertising

Malvertising is simply malicious advertising, and it works smartly. It uses various approaches, which includes infecting networks that advertise online by inserting a code that is malicious into an ad that is legitimate. Once a user clicks on the ad, the code gets installed automatically.

The other approach of malicious advertising is to use an ad, which when clicked, redirects users to the site where automatically the malicious code will download itself. Such is mostly enabled through the requirements a business is prompted to key in Adobe Flash. Therefore, businesses should review any requirements before agreeing to them.

Other Types Of Cyber-attacks And How They Work

Service Denial

The aim of service denial is to lock a website by directing so much traffic to it. The attack may be distributed or direct. Distributed is to mean that an attack is launched simultaneously by various computers. Its success results from its nature since in such a case, users would conclude that the traffic surge is due to increased popularity of a given web page.

Malware

Among the most and commonly known cyber-attack is malware. Malware is in different forms which are; worms, spyware, ransomware and viruses. Each type of malware works in a different way from the other. However, their goal is similar which is to infiltrate computer systems, thief valuable information and inflict damage.

Hackers will unleash spyware in order to get passwords and plant on your computer moles in order to acquire sensitive data like passwords. They will also track keystrokes and use them to obtain your credentials. Ransomware works by taking into hostage your computer and for freeing your computer, it demands for a ransom.

Why Are Cyber-attacks Becoming More Serious And Severe?

Cyber-attacks are on the rise due to several reasons which could be. The criminals are quite clever as they are targeting medium sized and small businesses to get to large companies.

Large organizations, with their huge valuable information volumes, incorporate better systems on security. The only problem is failing to monitor regularly on suppliers, partners which exposes them to hackers.

The other reason tied to the increase in cyber-attacks could be lack of right information and knowledge of threats. Despite that cyber-attack is known as a major threat to businesses, not much is being done to work on that.

Why Should Businesses Find Solutions To Cyber-attacks?

Cyber-attacks have become more severe and frequent especially for businesses. This has led to breaching of business data. Therefore, due to the raise in cyber-attacks, companies need to combine software and hardware not forgetting training on security awareness for protection against such attacks.

Some other solutions to such attacks includes ensuring central monitoring of both web and email traffics as most hacks target such. In case you consider cloud solutions, ensure two-factor authentication is used. In case you decide on paying a ransom, know the procedure of doing it well.

Train employees on security awareness and encourage them to report any case of hack by thanking them and making them understand how it happens if it is a hack.

Despite that it’s widely known that cyber- attacks are at the pick and with more intense worldwide with most cases not reported for recording or even under-reported, the public still has a very false sense on the possible threats posed to property as well as lives.

Cyber-attacks are targeting individuals, governments and businesses not forgetting infrastructure that is aimed at disrupting formerly trusted security systems. This explains the vulnerability of countries, businesses and cities and the importance of adopting some solutions against such threats.

Guest Blogger: This article was written by Simon Parker. Simon Parker has over 70 years of shared experience with Minerva Security, dealing with commercial business security and fire alarm systems.

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Network Like You Mean It

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on May 19, 2017 at 9:50 am

If you find that you just have a desk full of business cards, then it might be time to change up how you do your networking. To keep it simple, you need to think about quality over quantity. With the rise of social media, especially in business, then it may feel like we have to have the highest number of followers and meet the most people. But in business, there aren’t many professions that will actually benefit from just knowing lots of people. Perhaps for event or nightclub promotion, for instance. But for pretty much every other business it is a totally different story. So here are some more effective ways to network and make your networking work better for you.

Find a Critical Few

It is a good idea to think about a small number of people that have shown to be or will be, important in your career. It could include people like customers, co-workers, or someone that has helped the business along the way and helped you to make some important and valuable connections. Once you have identified those people, then it is so important to stay in touch with them all on a regular basis. Don’t just send a card around the holidays. Make it much more regular, and they will appreciate it much more and be more likely to help again too.

Choose a Way To Stay Engaged

There will be other people that you have the business card of. They might not be counted as one of your ‘critical few,’ but they are still important to stay in touch with. It could be that you send them a newsletter or follow them and engage with them on social media. It is always a good idea to keep doors and connections open. But obviously, some are more important to keep open than others.

Be Generous

Whether you are generous, and genuinely mean to be, then t really does show. People don’t want to just see you as someone that is self-interested. You want to have more of a generous spirit with those in your network. Some of the best networkers are those that like to help others and are genuinely happy to do so. It could be that you offer help with others or get involved with the local community that your business finds itself in. You could even send out helpful things to schools including things like flash drives for promotion, for example. You are being helpful but getting some promotion in return too.

Find a Connection

If you want to find a worthwhile connection with someone, then find out more about them. If you’re at events and talking to different people, try to focus on things other than business. When you can find a personal connection with people, they will remember you so much more. The same goes for you too. You’re much more likely to take the card of someone that connects with you on a different level, rather than someone just talking ‘shop’ all evening.

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A Crisis Is Brewing In The Global Economy – Is Your Startup Ready?

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 28, 2017 at 5:45 am

Startups in the genuine sense of the word are all about reinventing industries. You’ll often hear eager entrepreneurs talking about how their product is going to upend the incumbents and change the world. Oracle, Apple, Facebook and Amazon all managed to do this.

But startups don’t just need to reinvent industries, they also have to be prepared to reinvent themselves. Take Apple, for instance. After the dot-com bubble hit the US economy back in 2000, the price of the company’s stocks fell sharply. For a time, it looked like the company might go out of business, especially if it continued to focus on its core PC products. Both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided that it was time for a change of tack. Instead of Apple focusing on the PC market and competing with Microsoft, it would try to drum up support from new market segments, like mobile music players. Before long, Apple had reinvented itself (again), and the iPod was born.

Apple didn’t do this because it wanted to. It was quite happy merrily going about its business, making regular PCs and laptops. Instead, the company changed because it had to in response to the pressures the financial crisis put on its bottom line. Just like back in 2000, today’s entrepreneurs face similar challenges. We’re now nearly ten years into the current economic expansion, the second longest period of sustained growth in history, meaning that we’re probably due a recession sometime in the next couple of years. Startups, therefore, need to think long and hard now about whether they have the product stack to survive changes in the future market. If not, then the preparation should start today.

According to Make Money in Life, many startups fall at the first hurdle because they don’t plan far enough ahead. They are so focused on their own product and how innovative they are that they fail to adapt to the changing world around them. When recessions hit, they’re toast.

Surviving a crisis as a startup is never easy. But it is possible with the right approach.

Admit You’ve Got A Problem

An important part of managing a crisis is admitting that you’ve got a problem. Gather your team around and spell out in plain English the situation you’re in financially. This helps to make it clear that the startup is on the line and motivates people to make immediate changes.

Create A List Of Small Executable Wins

When a startup is in crisis mode, perhaps because of a recession, it’s important to make sure that the company continues to have victories. In times of crisis, even small wins can have a large impact on morale. Get your team together and make a list of all the things that you think you can achieve under the current economic climate and get them done. Then, celebrate each win and move forward.

Grade Your Capabilities

Lastly, figure out a way to grade your capabilities from zero to ten for a range of things that your company does. This will help you identify problem areas which need to be improved.

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The Show Of Business – Making Your Event Impression

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 25, 2017 at 6:27 am

You need to have a good marketing head on your shoulders if you expect to succeed in business at all. It’s one of the most effective tools in bringing leads to you, it adds legitimacy to the business, and it helps you stand out amongst competitors. The expos, events and trade shows of the business year are your opportunity to do that in style. However, if you want to stand out, you have to be willing to earn that visibility.

Find the right space

For a lot of businesses that haven’t done it before, the impact of choosing the right physical space at a trade show can be a surprisingly important choice. It’s vital you learn that now as opposed to later. The closer you can get to entrances and the beginning of a route through booths, the better. It might cost more and it might require booking as early as possible, but it pays off for the amount of attention you get by sheer virtue of foot traffic alone.

Wear that brand

It’s inconceivable to some, but there are businesses who just aren’t used to wearing their brand loud and proud. If that’s the case for you, it may very well be because you haven’t put a lot of thought into the visual brand of your business. Now is the time to change that. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting impression of the business and having a unified style, alongside a logo, is a big part of that. Unbranded booths in a trade show just look confused and unfocused. They’ll be ignored more often than not.

Stand out

Branding isn’t the only thing you need to be concerned about it, either. It’s important for leaving that impression but you need to put serious thought as to how you gain attention in the first place. Embracing the full spectrum of visual and audial display is what ‘wins’ a trade show. If you could use AV hire to set up a specific mood around the booth, then set it. If you have good multimedia such as videos or presentations to dot the booth with, do it. Be bold in setting an impression.

Have something to say

Of course, there’s a phase between ‘catching their attention’ and ‘getting remembered’. That phase is the meat of it, winning over your potential leads. The wrong way to go about it is to expect them to have all the questions and just be loaded with the answers. Talking to the specifics of needs and circumstances they mention is a great way to personalize your approach. However, you still need to work on the core of the presentation beforehand. Know what you’re offering, know the emotional values of it, know the audience. Don’t read directly from cue cards and don’t rote memorize entire paragraphs, but have an aim and have the talking points to take the discussion there.

Showing up to a trade show with nothing to show, say, or offer isn’t just going to be a benign failure for your business. It’s a marketing disaster that can cast real doubt onto the professionalism of your operation. Don’t let it happen to you.

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