Is Your Business Secure?

Running a business isn’t an easy thing to do, I think many of us can agree on that. There is always so much to think about when it comes to the day to day management of your business and staff that sometimes things that matter can become less of a priority to you, and one of those is business security. But yet, in any office, you have technology that has a value. Many businesses have stock that has a huge value and not to mention some of the damage that can be done digitally, so why wouldn’t it be a focus of yours?

That being said it can be easy to be distracted by other aspects of your company, and with that in mind, I thought it would be an ideal time to share with you some of the ways you can ensure your business is fully secure moving forward.

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Are you covered from digital theft?

Much of what is important to a business is stored digitally these days through hard drives and smart devices, and so this means that all businesses are at risk of theft digitally. In a nutshell, this means that someone hacking into your servers and gaining all aspects of your business. From personal information and records to bank details of your business and even personal information of customers. Being hacked is not something you want to happen, so it’s always a good idea to ensure that all hard drives and technology aspects of your business have some form of protection placed on them. It’s also a good idea to only keep the information that you need and regularly audit to ensure that other sensitive information won’t be put at risk.

Is your premises secure?

Not only do you need to think about your business security digitally, but you also need to think about the offices and business premises that you have. A good security alarm these days can now be linked to local police departments so that if something were to happen the authorities would be notified straight away. Other aspects of physical security could be surveillance cameras, or even hiring someone to keep watch during out of hours.

What about sensitive information?

Most businesses have some form of sensitive data, that could be customer information and payment details, or that of members of staff when it comes to HR records, payroll and employment details. It is vital to keep this information safe and secure, and so it might be worth having some form of extra security placed on those records. Sometimes people can use services to verify your customer’s identity through visual and verified documents, and the same could be done for members of staff. For example, there could be visual checks placed on sensitive information of customers or staff, and only verified people can access it at any time. This could also protect you from rogue staff members trying to sabotage your business.

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The use of strong passwords

It may sound very basic, but when was the last time you changed your password? Some people can be guilty of using the same password for a multitude of things or worse still not changing them for a number of years. This puts your business at risk so it is always advisable to regularly change passwords and encourage staff to do the same.

Create a social media policy for your business

Social media is a great tool for business, but it could also put your business in jeopardy. This is when it is advisable to have a social media policy for your staff members, for example, not mentioning company practices or sensitive information that only certain people are privy to. You may also want to put in a clause in regards to slander from disgruntled ex-staff members.

Have some form of signing in and out book

Many businesses have a lot of people coming and going, but do you really know who is entering your business on a day to day basis. This is when a signing in book could be a real simple feature to add to your business and could help in regards to security. Knowing who has been in your business and subsequently left can help you keep track.

Is there anything else your employees could do?

Finally, your employees can also be responsible for the security of your business but ensuring their desks are tidy and that records and sensitive information are locked away. If you have people locking up on your behalf then ensure that they follow certain procedures.

I hope that some of these tips help you to increase the security of your business.

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Enhance Your Business With A Virtual Receptionist

Most companies employ a receptionist to take calls, speak to the callers, screen the calls and pass the calls to the right person to handle the calls. You will have to pay the receptionist a monthly wage, increment when it is due, and plus other monetary benefits. Sometimes the receptionist will call in sick and you will have to find a temporary receptionist to stand in for her until she is well enough to return to work. A receptionist can resign if she is not happy working in your company or when it is time for her to retire.

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In today’s modern world, more companies are relying on a virtual receptionist to do the work of the traditional receptionist that works in your company. There are now companies providing business owners with virtual receptionists that can handle the normal work done by your staff. A virtual receptionist is an outsourced call handling operator who is trained to manage your companies’ calls from outside your company.

These virtual receptionists are highly-skilled telephone agents. They are trained to carry out the full range of receptionist skills that include message taking, switchboard call forwarding or call patching, dairy management, order taking, emergency call response and etc. Virtual receptionists are trained professionals who are able to handle difficult callers, angry callers and are usually based in a call center and work in a team. They are rarely seen by business clients. Modern technology are able to have your calls from your existing telephone line transferred out to the call centre where the virtual receptionist is without the knowledge of the callers.

Global Business Centers is now a leading worldwide supplier of virtual offices for small businesses, home-based businesses, and international entrepreneurs. Business owners are able to use their prestigious Executive Suites address as their virtual office address on their business cards, website and marketing materials. These prestigious addresses included GBC’S headquarters location in the famed “Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills and other national and international locations e.g. New York City, London and Hong Kong. Business owners using these virtual office addresses need not have to worry about pricey rental for full-time offices.

Clients of Global Business Centers are offered access to personalized phone reception services and postal management at a distinguished mailing address. The professional mail room staff accepts and sign for clients’ mail and packages to be collected whenever convenient for their clients. Luxurious conference room are available for their use. Most attractive is business clients get to enjoy short term leases.

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Invest In A Clover POS System

A powerful tool has taken over the traditional cash register in most restaurants, shops, and stores. Whenever you enter a café, restaurant or when you pay for your purchase, you will see this powerful tool at work. This powerful tool is the Point Of Sale Station.

A Clover POS System usually works with a printer, cash register and a terminal. When the POS is enhanced with other apps from Clover’s, it becomes a powerful tool to help you manage employees and customers. It can help you track inventory, cash flow, make payments, create and view reports, manage time sheets and print documents all in one.

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Whatever the type of business or whatever products you are selling, the Clover POS machine enables you to accept credit cards and debit cards, EVM chip cards and even touchless payments. Using this POS system offers your customers efficient payment solutions and ensures them of a safe, easy, and secure transaction with you. When you use a Clover, you can have the Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, Clover Station, or Clover Go systems working for you, or you have multiple systems. For more details about the devices, Merchant Account Solution is the place to go to for assistance.

In a restaurant, a POS system enables communications between the kitchen and the wait staff. Orders are sent through the computer directly to the kitchen printer. A restaurant can program the POS system to track everything from food usage, to the most popular menu items. Since the POS system acts as a time clock, it is able to help prepare payroll by helping you save money. A POS system can organize profit and loss statement and sales tax for you to help you save time.

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If you are running a restaurant, a mobile Clover Flex device will enable you to check out customers waiting in-line to be seated, at table-side, or even at the counter. You are able to take orders, process a transaction, print the receipt, get the customer’s signature, and even adjust a tip right on the spot. The device has a built-in camera and QR code scanner to help you manage your inventory. It also has a 5-inch touch screen display to view options and capture signatures.

Every system has its drawback and since this system uses a computer, there is a possibility it may crash for some reasons. It is advisable and necessary to have regular backups. Preferably, do a backup at the end of each day’s closing to avoid losing all your data. Information concerning sales, profit and loss statements, and payroll statement.

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Find Your Flow To Stop Profits Plunging

How much work really gets done in your business? Before you answer, it’s worth noting that the amount of work that gets done isn’t the same as the amount of work that you and your team do. The productivity of the team depends very much on the efficiency of the work they’re doing. It’s called the workflow, and when it’s smooth, you get a high return on results for the time put in. When it’s blocked and redirected and slowed, you can work as hard as you can and still get very little done. Here, we’re going to investigate some of the many causes of workflow issues in the business and what you do about them.

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Busy with busywork

Busywork is one of the worst enemies of a business. Especially when you’re first starting out, feeling your day dragged down by monotonous, low value, but essential tasks can feel like you’re a hamster in a wheel. HR, bookkeeping, and schedule arranging are just some examples of this productivity-sapping busywork. With a little time and investment, however, you can find lots of ways to get around your busywork. For instance, you can use software to automate as much of it as possible. Or you can outsource it to a virtual assistant. Or even delegate it to other members of the team, providing it has some value to them such as training them in a new skill. Whatever method you use to clear busywork off your desk, you can focus on the work that will actually make you money.

Time well spent

Another way to get a better balance between the kinds of work you do is to better schedule it. Plan out your days. Many of us have a ‘to-do’ list, but we also need a ‘to-don’t’ list. This is a way of prioritizing your work. Sort them by which are the most time-sensitive and which are the most important. Whatever tasks fit those categories the least, those go on the ‘to-don’t’ list for the day. When you know what work you have, you should also use batch arranging. When you switch from one process to the next, productivity takes a hit while your brain switches gears. Make those gear switches as few and far between. If, for instance, you have two tasks for the day that require the use of spreadsheet software, do one immediately after other, instead of doing them on either end of a task that requires you to make phone calls. Above all else, start by making a schedule and dictating how much time you can spend on a task at an absolute maximum. That way you make sure you have a reasonable expectation that you can get everything on the agenda done for the day.

Where’s it all going?

Another way to prioritize your work is to figure out where it’s all going. The best way to do that is to set your goals in advance. Short-term, medium-term and long-term goals are all important. Which goals does that task fit? If it’s non-essential and it doesn’t contribute to any of your current goals, rethink whether it needs to be done now or if it can wait.

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Get them in on it

Of course, the tips above also apply to members of your team. But beyond helping to organize their workday, ensuring that they’re motivated to tackle the work provided will be a big help. Unmotivated workers are more easily distracted and generally a lot less engaged and productive with their work. Make sure the right person is matched to the right job based on their skills, that they know their goals and how they align with the team’s and consider incentivizing good results. For instance, let them know that the path to further training and skills lies in achieving what you’ve set for them now.

Processing the process

Even if they’re engaged with the work, your team might not always be doing it in the most productive way. This is an issue especially with businesses where every member has their expertise and is relied on exclusively to handle it. When a business relies on individual knowledge, it leaves itself open to the risk they may be absent or leave and take the ‘key to the castle’, so to speak, with them. Avoid that, and make sure any replacements or stand-ins they have are using the best methods. The way to do that is to systemize all the most common and important processes in the business. This means not only discovering the most effective methods of tackling a process but documenting them so that any new recruits or replacements can more quickly learn the most efficient methods. Of course, if someone has an idea that they think is better than the proposed systemized route, give them a chance to try it out. But don’t force every new challenger to the task to think up the process from scratch.

The danger of distraction

Distraction isn’t always down to a worker who isn’t motivated enough to concentrate on the work. Think about the top sources of distraction in the office. If they spend too much time on social media or irrelevant internet sites, consider restricting certain sites on their devices within certain times. If they can’t concentrate due to noise, think about their physical work environment and whether rearranging them or getting them new furniture can provide a little more quiet for them.

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Communication conundrums

Effective internal communication is the cornerstone of any business. Employees need to be able to understand and acquire the information they need to do their jobs in short order. For that reason, seriously consider how you communicate. What’s the most effective way to share a certain kind of information? For instance, a response to a query might be best answered in email. Unless it’s a more detailed conversation in which case a face-to-face and hands-on teaching may result in a quicker understanding. Or unless it’s information they should always have access to, in which you can make it ‘sticky’, either by hosting it on a shared server everyone has access to or by printing handouts and passing them around. Depending on the information that needs to be delivered, different methods to sharing it can be the difference between quick, clear communication and a business full of uncertainties and errors.

It’s not fun without funding

There are few greater disruptions to your workflow than not having the money you need to keep the business running. There are, of course, the very real risks that you can no longer afford members of the team you need or to keep the lights on in the office. Before then, however, lacking funding could mean you lack access to maintenance or repairs that keep your IT running or you lack the money to lease equipment you need for a certain job. A business owner should always keep in mind the potential sources of funding available to them to smooth out any potential cashflow road bump that could turn into a productivity pothole.

Paying for your problems

Then there are those costs that are much less expected. The problems are the same, if you don’t have a healthy cash flow, you won’t have an efficient business. However, the causes are a lot more direct. If you have to go out of pocket for repairs to a piece of equipment damaged by fire or natural disaster or stolen from the office, you simply might not be able to afford it. This is why every business owner needs to find commercial insurance information about which risks are most likely to hit their business. If you don’t protect your assets in advance, work will grind to a halt as you attempt to find funding for them later.

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Waiting on your money

Sticking with the link between money and productivity, there are few things more frustrating than slowing your pace because you’re waiting on money that should be with you right now. This is most common for businesses that use credit arrangements or invoices instead of straight cash transactions. With credit, it’s all about being thorough with who you let use credit and running checks to get as best an estimate as possible that they will pay reliably. With invoices, you can use factoring to get advances on the money you’re owed, but the best long-term solution is to set transparent payment terms, including dates, so you’re never kept waiting on money to the point it affects your scheduled cash flow projections.

You’re just not big enough

It’s a problem all businesses have. You don’t have the manpower or the skill supply to take on absolutely everything you need. In time, you should focus on growing to the point where you do. For now, however, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the market of relevant outsourced service providers. It’s less cost-effective in the long run, but it’s a lot less risky than trying to hire someone you don’t necessarily have the funds to support.

Follow the tips above and the next time you’re asked how much work gets done in the business, you can offer the same answer as the amount of work you actually do.

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Safety First: How to Protect Your Small Business

When you run a small business, whether as a home-based sole trader or managing a small team, what could be minor problems for a huge corporation could literally be the end of your enterprise. As a small business owner, it can often seem like you are taking one step forward and two back as you attempt to navigate your way through all of the problems and issues that face a business today. You need to think about financial forecasts and business plans, how the economy could affect you, marketing, sales, customer service, website development, product or service quality and much more. One area you can’t afford to neglect is safety. Failing to protect your business adequately could see all of your time, effort and hard work come to nothing. Here is what you need to do to make sure your small business is safe and protected from threats.

Insurance

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Insurance may seem expensive but it could save you a fortune. Source

The insurance you need will largely depend on what kind of business you are involved in. Some options include small business insurance, liability insurance, and extended home insurance if you plan to work there. People have a habit of putting off coverage, or only getting the absolute minimum to cut costs. But, this can be much more expensive if there’s a problem later.

Keep It Legal

Legislation and licensing also depend on your business field. But, it’s a legal requirement to get everything you need. If you work with food, you’ll need health and safety and food hygiene certificates for your place of work. If you sell to the public, you may need a sales license. Find out what you need, and give yourself plenty of time to sort everything out before you open your doors for the first time. It can take up to 12 weeks.

Back It Up

As a small business owner or sole trader, one of the worst things that can happen is losing your files and documents. Protect yourself by backing everything up. Here, Casey Explains Exactly How To Back Up Your iPhone and you should also make sure everything is saved to the cloud or on an external hard drive.

Think Cybersecurity

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Being safe online is essential. Source

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest threats to both small and large businesses today. It’s one you cannot afford to ignore. Adequate cybersecurity can ensure your business is safe, both now and in the future. Just make sure you update your security systems regularly.

Trust Your Staff

One way to ensure your business is safe is by hiring the most trustworthy staff. These are the people you are going to trust to look after your business, help it to grow and spot any issues that could pose threats. Make sure you’ve got a thorough recruitment process and that their training is comprehensive.

Building Safety

Consider installing security cameras and other security cameras to keep your business premises safe.

Safety and protection might seem like another thing to add to what is sure to be a massive to-do list already. But, it’s one thing that you absolutely cannot afford to get wrong.

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Entrepreneurship, etc.

I have been reading a lot about businesses, what is the best one I can put up with the little capital I have now, and how to put up one. I have gathered quite a number of information about putting up a small business and I thought I’d share it here for those who are also interested in being an entrepreneur themselves.

I am an accountant by profession. So, the financial side of a business is quite easy for me. I also know a lot about securing permits and licenses and certifications from the local government units. I will also share it here.

You can expect a series of posts about it. I am just jotting down a list of things I want to share as I want everything in order, not haphazardly shared only.

You can also expect a couple of posts about handling finances. I am very much interested in it, reading a lot of articles about separating money for savings and adventures.

Stay tuned.

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