The Aftermath Of A Data Breach: Vital Steps

 

Another day, another revelation that a major company has suffered through a data breach. Hackers are the highwaymen of our time, and it seems in some cases, companies are more than willing to hand over cash in exchange for silence. It has emerged that Uber paid hackers to remain silent about their data breach, which is the kind of result Dick Turpin himself would likely have been impressed by.

 

Uber join the list of companies who have been hit by mass leaks and data breaches– some of the biggest, most recognisable, companies in the world have fallen victim. If you’re a business owner, this doubtless makes you a little uneasy. If the “big guys” are susceptible, then how can a small or medium business cope?

 

Let’s try and ease some of those fears and assist you in planning for the worst– while you continue to hope for the best. Below are the steps you need to take to recover from a data breach, so read through, have them in the back of your mind, and you’ll be all set so if you do find yourself an unfortunate victim in future, you know exactly where to turn.

 

1) Inform Law Enforcement

A “data breach” is, in effect, a theft, so you will want to report the matter to the police.

2) Inform Customers

One of the major issues being raised with the Uber breach is that they hid the fact that the breach even happened, keeping the hack secret for over a year.

Don’t be like Uber. If you experience a data breach, then your customers have a right to know. Reach out to all those you suspect may have been affected, and advise them to follow precautionary steps to protect their own financial situation.

3) Change Every Password

This may feel a little bit like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, but you still need to do it. Change every single electronic password that relates to your business dealings.

4) Contact Your Bank

If financial information about your company has been lost, you need to contact your bank and freeze your accounts.

5) Think To The Future

You need to start thinking about how you can secure and properly protect your systems in future, even if you’re still dealing with the aftermath of an existing problem. Now is the time for new blood; your existing IT company has clearly made a mistake somewhere, so switching is in your company’s best interests. Browse for a reputable IT security company who can help you batten down the hatches on the existing problem, as well as ensure that such events don’t occur in the future.

 

In Conclusion

Companies can survive data breaches; many people accept they are just a part of the modern world. Hopefully, you will never need to use the information above– but it’s there if you have to turn to it.

Category: Business

4 Solutions For Marketing Your Auto Shop

Running an auto repair shop is a big deal. You’re dealing with customers on a very regular basis and the one marketing tool that you have at your disposal is word of mouth. People rely on reviews when it comes to running a repair shop, because they know they can get a real review of you as a company before they put their money into your skills.

You need to keep your customers coming to your door, and for that you need some excellent marketing plans in place to make it happen! There are over 20million vehicles in England alone, which means there is a lot of business out there if people know where to find you. You can invest in the best car parts and use companies like Air Supplies to get the best products for tyre inflation. But there is no use in having the best of the best out there when you won’t get the customers through the door. You may not be savvy with how to market yourself online, so you need to look at the five tips below to get you started:

Blog It!

Car advice is always being updated. For every service, model of vehicle and car part, there is a guide out there on the internet. Setting up a blog of your very own to market how you run as an auto repair shop, including which services you are offering to people is a good way for customers to learn what you can do for them. With the right advice, customers will keep coming back to your website and will subscribe if you input a button to do so!

Social Media

For the most part, social media advertising is free. Setting up your own pages, with regular posts and customer engagement is important. You need to hear what the customers want and implement any changes to your business. Consistently posting is an absolute essential, as is talking to people who comment on your posts. Make people feel like a priority and you’ll reap the reward.

Coupons & Vouchers

People love things at a discount or for free, so make sure you have some kind of offer on the go at all times. This could be anything from money off for oil changes, to money off for new tyres. Even providing loyalty cards for customers is a smart idea to keep people coming back for your business. Be efficient and honour every voucher!

Service Reminders

You need to branch out of the regular stickers you can provide for people to remind them of replacing tyres and windscreens, and swap to the digital reminders that they would appreciate. Not only are you going to be able to reach them online, you can make sure that you get the customers in!

Getting your auto shop some continued custom isn’t always going to be easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your name out there and get people interested in what you can offer! Make your business heard online, even if your business isn’t!

 

Category: Business

Signs Your Business Is Reaching The End Of The Road

When you started your business, you had high hopes for the future. Everyone goes into business knowing the statistics on the failure rate of startups are high— but they’re convinced that they are going to be the business that makes it. You almost certainly felt the same; assuming that your idea, and your drive, would be enough to ensure you made it in a world where “making it” is ever more difficult.

 

When businesses fail, it tends to happen slowly, so slowly that you might not even notice it’s happening initially. Yes, you know that there are issues; but they don’t seem to be critical, not enough to sink a business. Things devolve over time, inch by inch, gathering speed until the point where the problems can’t be ignored anymore. This long, drawn-out death is incredibly stressful, and also something of a waste of time. If you knew that your business was doomed to fail earlier, you could have called in insolvency practitioners and begun moving on with your life. Instead, the process just drags out, sometimes for months or even years.

 

In an effort to try and prevent this long, slow slide into the end of a business, below are a few signs that your business is heading in the wrong direction. These are small changes, but important– if you manage to identify them in time, you can move on and begin a new venture before the rot truly sets in.

 

SIGN: You’ve Changed The Language Of How You Talk About The Future

 

You can discover a lot about how you feel about your business by examining the language you use. If you use words like “if” and “perhaps” when contemplating the future for your company, this is a sign that some part of you already knows that the future is compromised.

 

SIGN: You’ve Tried Multiple Methods To Improve

 

When you have run through a number of different attempts to help increase sales, boost engagement, and create a buzz around your company, it’s worth wondering why your techniques are not working. If so many different ideas have failed to increase outcomes for you, is it just because you’re misapplying the techniques? Or is there an undercurrent that suggests it is the business itself that has the problem?

 

SIGN: You See Nothing But Problems In Your Diary

 

If you look ahead over your work schedules, do you see exciting appointments with potential clients, product launches, or dates for interviews with a new potential employee? Or do you see nothing but deadlines, debt ceilings, and worrying meetings with creditors? If your diary more closely resembles the latter, then this is a bad sign.

 

SIGN: You’re Beginning To Think Of Life Away From Your Business

 

If you have wondered what life would be like without your business — and have even found the idea quite positive — then this, too, is a sign that part of you already knows that the end may be nigh.

 

If you find that your business is experiencing two or more of the above, it might be time to take a long, hard look at the future viability of your business. Wrapping a business up is a tough decision to take, but it’s infinitely preferable to exhausting yourself trying to carry on in vain.

 

Category: Business

Do Not Fear, Your Business Tech Can Be Fixed

Your business is probably full of different pieces of technology that help you and your employees to get on with your daily work, right? If this is in fact the case, then you’ve probably experienced your fair share of technology malfunctions and breakages, too, haven’t you? Yep, technology breaks. Whether be within 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years or 25 years, every piece of technology is liable to break at some point. And, because the tech your business uses is so important to it and you each and every day, it can be a real headache when it does in fact pop its clogs. But, fear not, there are always ways to fix broken tech. To see just how you can or who can fix your business’s broken tech, make sure to read on.

 

Computer technology

If the computer technology your business uses — whether this be in the form of a desktop computer or a laptop — decides one day that it’s just had enough and, as result, dies on you just when you need it, then you need to get it fixed pronto. You need to do so because it, more than likely, holds the key to you getting business and losing it daily.

 

To get your computer technology fixed, there are a number of options. One option is to take to a Knowhow service bar at your local PC World or Currys store. By doing so, you can get yourself a free consultation on your seemingly broken piece of tech in order to get a diagnosis on its problem. And, if your tech is deemed to be broken by the professionals at the bar, and they believe they have the right expertise and tools to fix your tech’s specific problem, they will fix it for you there and then. Or, if you feel your broken piece of computer tech needs a far more thorough and specific check up, then you should get in touch with a centre specifically designed to repair computers, such as Mobile Computer Repair. What such a centre would be able to do is offer you a fixing solution even if your tech is deemed to be on the brink of dying altogether. What’s more, they could offer you a repair service for your broken computer tech even if it is out of warranty.

Electronic tills

You’d be surprised at just how costly a broken electronic till can be for a business. Even aside from the fact that money and profit might become trapped inside of one, it is costly. Well, if a till malfunctions halfway through a sale or a shift, it can throw whoever is using it off and thus force them to make a mistake. What it can also do is result in a miscalculation at the end of the shift, which will ultimately mean something will be askew in the takings. So, whenever any of your business’s tills go down, get them fixed professionally as soon as you can. Or, just check to make sure that your till is not just suffering from a lack of battery!

 

The best thing you can do to future-proof your business is to ensure that when a piece of technology is broken, it is fixed in double quick time. Yes, your job isn’t to actually stop your tech from breaking — that’s damn near impossible. Your job is to fix it or get it fixed when it does break!

 

Category: Business

15 Awesome Techniques for Efficient Time-Management by @DonnaANorton

Let’s talk about time management.

Specifically, about good and wise time management.

The kind that helps you get more things done during the day. The kind that allows you to know what plans or events are coming next. The kind that won’t let you waste a minute, even if something goes wrong or plans change.

There are many things that good time management skills can help you achieve, and they’re not that difficult to master and handle once you get the hang of it.

Even if at first it seems like only a professional could manage their time so well.

The key to successful and wise time management is to take into account every tiny detail of your daily schedule.

You also need to be well aware of your habits.

Why is that so important?

So that you know what could possibly prevent you from following your schedule.

Another thing you need to remember when building daily schedules is how difficult or time-consuming the tasks you’re going to complete may be. Being able to accurately assess the time you’ll spend on a particular task will bring you closer to time management perfection.

After all, time is the one resource that everyone relies on. And it’s always running out. Everything you do requires a certain amount of time. Even reading this text will take somewhere around a minute. Not to say that you’ll be wasting that time—it’s worth it. Especially after we let you know that there’s more to find out.

Below, you’ll find an infographic showing you 15 ways to manage your time wisely.

So consider the time you spend looking through it as a beneficial investment. Because after checking out this infographic, you’ll be able to manage your time like a pro—without having to worry whether or not you’ll have enough time to finish everything you were planning to do.

 

Contributed by Donna Norton @DonnaANorton

Original post

Category: Business

Crunching the Numbers: How Data Analysis Helps Your Business

If you listen to many business experts today, everything is all about the big data. Collecting and analysing it can offer a range of benefits to any company, but many small business owners don’t know where to start. They might begin collecting data in various areas, but then they have no idea how to analyse it or make the most of the information they have. Some business owners might not get that far, though. Perhaps you’re not sure how data analytics could help your company, If you need some help understanding how collecting data might benefit your business, check out these top reasons.

 

 

Improved Order Fulfillment

Fulfilling orders in a satisfactory and timely manner is a huge part of providing a great service for customers. Smooth order fulfillment not only improves things but customers, but it keeps things running well for your business and could save you time and money too. If you analyse fulfillment and delivery data, you could make deliveries faster and more affordable, and you could reduce the number of mistakes made. If you outsource any part of the fulfillment process, looking at how your outsourcers and suppliers perform is important too.

 

 

Better Marketing

Marketing and advertising are key areas to pay attention to if you’re wondering what data analytics can do for your company. Finding out what works for your brand requires careful examination of the results you receive. If you find an SEO company with great reviews, they’re sure to have an analytical approach to optimising your website for search engines. Applications like Google Analytics help experts to take a close look at which marketing techniques work for your business and which ones aren’t so great. They can really help you get down to the finer details of what’s successful and where you could be making improvements.

 

Higher Productivity

 

Careful examining of data could improve productivity for your business in a number of areas. Whether you want to examine office workers or productivity in your factory, analysing data can reveal the things that might be slowing people down. Learning to understand your employees better and how they carry out their day-to-day jobs gives you greater insight into how you can help them be more productive. There are all sorts of things you can look at, from which applications your office workers use to how your employees describe themselves.

 

 

Lower Spending

 

Taking a look at big data is often a great way to save money in a variety of business areas. You might be able to save on production, delivery, energy costs, and much more if you take a look at the numbers. Before you start thinking of ways to save money for your company, you need to identify the areas where you’re spending more than you need to. That’s where the data comes in, helping you to see where you could save some money.

 

Analysing data is an extremely useful way to find out where to make some changes for your company.  It doesn’t even need to be data collected from your own business.

Category: Business

What To Expect When You Start Hiring

If you haven’t hired anybody to work for your company yet, it’ll help if you know what to expect. Hiring can be an extremely scary concept, especially if you have no experience with it previously. Hiring at the right time can be the making of your business. It can help you to grow your business, and get to where you want to be.

 

Read on if you want to know what to expect when you start hiring:

 

Expect To Have A Long To Do List

There are so many things to think about when you start hiring – not just finding the right person. You need to make sure you get a employer identification number, as well as getting the correct insurance – insurance is vital for ensuring you protect your employees while they work for you. You may need to do more depending on where you are in the world and the legal implications of hiring for your business. Make sure you read up on this fully before you make a decision to hire. You may realise that it’s more worth your while to go for a freelancer, or to simply outsource some work.

 

If you do decide that hiring is right for you, you could even use a headhunting company to make the job as quick and painless as possible. A place like http://www.eagleheadhunters.co.uk/ will aim to find the best hires for your business. That’s why you need to know exactly what you want!

 

Responsibilities

When you hire, you have plenty of responsibilities to be prepared for. Paying your employee minimum wage at the very least is a must. Bear in mind, the more you’re offering for the job, the more talent you’ll likely get apply for it.

 

You also need to make sure that your hires get adequate rest time . This is usually at least 11 hours in between shifts and a break after 6 hours work. Employees should also have at least 24 hours off in a 7 day period.

 

 

Costs

Knowing the costs of hiring somebody is crucial too. As making a hire can be so expensive, it’s really important that you do it right the first time around. You have taxes, training, and how much you can afford to pay to consider.

 

Advertising for the position will also cost money! Remember, you want to sell your job role to talent, so you must make it sound like a wonderful opportunity. It might very well be a fabulous opportunity, but they won’t know that if you write something boring and boilerplate.

 

Objective Interviews

Although qualifications and credentials are important, how somebody handles responsibility and working with others is also crucial. This is why you shouldn’t focus too much on qualifications and experience, but on the personality of a person and how they fit into your environment too. You want an even mix of both. Focusing too much on qualifications can leave you with a hire that was a mistake, as can focusing too much on personality.

 

Good luck!  

 

Category: Business

6 Things We Learned About Business From Our Parents


Eat your greens. Wrap up warm. Tie your shoelaces. Familiar words? Our parents were often quick to give us advice when we were kids, but I bet you didn’t realize their wise words would extend to business. You may think we are stretching things a little here, but you will be surprised. Here are six things that your parents may have said to you when you were younger, that will help you when it comes to managing your business.


“You aren’t having dessert until you have eaten your dinner”

Metaphorically speaking, you need to eat your greens before you get to the good stuff. You need to put a lot of hard work into making your business succeed before you reap the rewards. In food terms, you won’t get to enjoy the fruit (salad) of your labor, without forcing your way through your vegetables first!

“Don’t forget your coat”

In short, we need to protect ourselves. As kids, if we didn’t wrap up warm, we would be vulnerable to infection and illnesses. The same applies in business. We need to protect ourselves with insurance. Security cameras need to be installed at our premises. Our computers need to be firewalled. When we say you might catch a virus, we aren’t talking about the common cold. Though your mother probably was!

“You need to look your best”

You may have been happy to hang out around in your scruffy clothes all day, but when you were going outdoors with your folks, they would have insisted you wear your best clothes so at to impress others, not least your nan! Again, the same rule applies in business. If you don’t spend time working on your website’s presentation, or focussing on your outfit when you go to a meeting with a client, you aren’t going to impress anyone.

“Be yourself”

As kids, we try and fit in to please others, such as wearing the same type of trainers or listening to the same music. But, as your parents would have told you, be yourself! When it comes to business, we need to stand out from the crowd to survive. That is where branding comes in, setting ourselves apart from all the other companies that look and do the same thing. So create a brand for your company. Look at logo design online and create something original. Do your own thing, and blaze your own trail in business.

“Many hands make light work”

Your mother probably said this to you when she tried to get you to help with the cleaning. After all, why should she have to do everything? The same is true in business. There will be jobs you don’t like doing, or have the inability to take on, so gathering people to help you is vital. From freelancers to paid members of staff, having other people on board will make light work of the tasks that are set before you.

“Stop wasting electricity”

Our poor parents probably dreaded the next bill coming in after our late night video game sessions. Not only that, but we probably left all the lights on in the house too! Becoming eco-friendly is now common amongst families, though your parents possibly cared more about the financial side of things than the environment. However, going green is something you need to focus on in business. Not only are you doing your bit to save the world, but you will get credibility from eco-conscious customers who care as much about the world as you do.


Thanks mom and dad!

 

Category: Business

5 Tips to make the most of ‘education’ on your LinkedIn by Petra Fisher

Original Post 

How does the education section of your LinkedIn Profile look? Did you bother to enter any details at all? And if so, how much detail? Ever given it any thought as to WHY you should pay decent attention to this area? I’ll give you 5 reasons here and now!

The importance of education on your LinkedIn Profile

  1. List any relevant qualifications
  2. Prove your academic level
  3. Make yourself easier to find
  4. Reconnect to expand your network
  5. Start telling the story of the professional you are today!

1. List any relevant qualifications on LinkedIn

That seems to be stating the obvious doesn’t it? What if your qualifications are no longer relevant? Should you still list them? YES I’ll get to that in the next 4 points. Firstly list all relevant qualifications.

2. Prove your academic level on LinkedIn

You should always list your highest qualification. Relevant or not. It does show at what academic level your thinking is (or at least once upon a time was).

3. Make yourself easier to find on LinkedIn

This is quite an interesting one! Keywords, does that ring a bell? What is your ideal client, employer or customer looking for? They’ll use the search option in LinkedIn of Google, so your profile needs to be keyword rich. What better way to tuck in some keywords than right at the bottom of your profile.

Have a look at my profile, Petra Fisher LinkedIn Profile, and scroll down to my college degree (2nd last entry under education). Can you see how I managed to fit the words training, trainer, coaching, coach and public speaker quite neatly and naturally even though I studied “Youth Welfare”?

4. Reconnect to expand your network

LinkedIn is a network and in order to network, you need to be connected. It is easy to find people you studied with (and be found by them) if you list your education properly with the right institution, course and dates.

5. Start telling the story of the professional you are today!

This is where the fun and games begin! Before you can start cooking up a brilliant LinkedIn profile, you need to gather the right ingredients. If you haven’t done so already, then read this post first to get yourself organised.

Your ideal client, employer or customer is looking for someone with the right skills and knowledge. Instead of just saying: ” Yup, got those”, why not SHOW you’ve got what it takes? Which of the skills or knowledge you need, did you gain/develop in your student days? Write about that in your education section.

Compare the two examples below:

education-linkedin-profile-example-01-petraf-fisher-trainer-expert

education-linkedin-profile-example-02-petraf-fisher-trainer-expert

>>> Happy with the education section on your profile?<<<

Post the description below for feedback (feel free to add a link to your profile).

Category: Business, LinkedIn

How Media Can Boost Your Business

 

As a community, the world is pretty media obsessed. A huge part of our day is taken up by consuming media, whether it’s online, in print, or social media too. We’re addicted to it. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because you can definitely harness the world’s media obsession to your advantage in business. Whether you like it or not, media is powerful. And even if you’re not the biggest consumer of it, you will have to agree that it can work wonders for your business. Because media can really help to push the activity that you’re doing and encourage customers to keep on coming back.

 

Encourage Engagement

First of all, media can definitely be an invaluable asset to your business based on the effect it can have with engagement. Customer engagement, as we know, is essential to driving your business forward. And media can play a huge part in that. Customers don’t always want to read huge pieces of text, especially if they’re just casually browsing. So media can be an asset to you here. When you want to be able to engage your customers, you can use imagery and video to get your message across and ensure they’re listening.

 

Provide Entertainment

This is often one of the most common effects that media can help you to generate, because most forms of media are always going to be entertaining to your audience. You may even find that looking into working with professional video production or photography partnerships can help you here. Because working with media specialists can help to take your business to the next level. And if you really want to ensure that you can entertain your customers, they can help with this.

 

 

Prompt Purchases

You may also find that media can really help you to drive sales. Without media, it can be hard to get your customers hooked. But when you’ve got stunning product shots, promotional and exciting videos, interesting and informative infographics, and a strong social media strategy, there’s no denying that your sales will increase. Yes it will take work, and it won’t happen overnight, but when you really want to drive sales, media is vital.

 

Gain Loyalty

But media is also great for winning over your customers, and not just making money out of them. The secret of a successful business is often the connection they can make with their customers. So if you’ve always wanted to be able to connect with your customers and keep them loyal, you can certainly use media to do it. Providing them with content that they want to consume will always work in your favor.

 

Drive Additional Sales

Media can also be incredible for helping you to pick up lost sales that you perhaps should have made the first time round. Automated emails are incredible for things like this, and media can often be the thing that gets the results you’re looking for, especially when it comes to abandoned carts. So putting some thought into making this work for you should be something that you’re really conscious of doing soon.

 

Category: Business