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4 Considerations Before Starting a Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Starting a business|4 Considerations Before Starting a BusinessBeing the boss is a fantasy a lot of people have because it’s nice to feel in control and like you’re in a position of importance. The idea of developing a business is also very impressive and satisfying, knowing that your hard work paid off and has given you that independence, allowing you to break free from working under someone else. However, although starting a business is an incredible feat and very rewarding, it is also very challenging and can be risky. If you have been contemplating whether or not you should start a business, here are four considerations you need to make before you do it.

1. Is Your Idea Any Good?

Firstly, is your idea any good? To answer this question properly, you will need to do some market research to get a better idea of how your business will meet consumers’ demands and how it will stand out from other companies offering the same as you. Your idea might be reasonably good, but if the market is already saturated with businesses doing the same thing, you might not have much luck getting noticed unless you have excellent branding and a plan to bring something new to the table. Additionally, if your idea is not that common, are you sure this is something consumers want? Research! Research! Research! That is the only way you’ll know whether your idea is bankable.

2. How Much Help Do You Need?

Running a business is a lot of work, and although you might think you can do everything yourself, the reality is that you are going to need a bit of help somewhere along the way. How much help you need will depend on your business’s nature, but it’s important to think this through and whether you have someone who is willing to help you out voluntarily, like a friend or relative, or if you need to hire some staff. The latter is better if you can afford this, as you’ll get more out of people if you can pay them for their time.

3. How Will You Keep Your Business Safe?

It’s easy to get carried away with your idea and start thinking about marketing strategies, branding, renting office or retail space, designing a website – all of which is important. However, one of the most essential things you need to worry about is how you will keep your business safe? You must get business insurance as soon as you incorporate your company to make sure you have the right cover to protect you from accidents, lawsuits, damage, etc. You should also make sure your Cyber Security is impeccable, as protecting your company’s data and customer data is a top priority.

4. Why Are You Doing it?

Finally, why do you want to start this business? As this venture will demand your attention and commitment, you need to be doing it for the right reasons. Are you passionate about your business idea? Is this something you have always wanted to do? Don’t try and start a business just because you’re bored with your current job or think it will be an easier way to make money. You will need to have the passion and ambition to drive your motivation and get you through the tough times.
Starting a business can be very exciting, but before you do, ask yourself these questions to make sure you’re thinking it through.

3 Key Strategies To Enhance Small Business Success

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Small business success|3 Key Strategies To Enhance Small Business SuccessThe truth is most small businesses are currently fighting to establish themselves after facing a heavy blow from the Coronavirus pandemic. The virus saw many ventures close down while others sold out after failing to withstand challenges ranging from lack of finances, stiff competition, unskilled staff, and lack of disaster preparedness mechanism.

As the world moves towards the post-COVID-19 recovery phase, it is essential to take necessary measures to uplift this sector as it plays significant roles in the economy, such as helping tap and utilize local resources and employment creation.

The first step towards enhancing your small business success is realizing that your venture competes with other well-established businesses and serves the same customers. Moreover, don’t forget to implement these three key strategies that are crucial to your business success.

Be a Risk-Taker

It generally requires a risk taker to make it in life and more so in business. As a business person, you must be willing to get out of the comfort zone and make risky decisions. For instance, you will require making a substantial financial investment such as taking a loan to sustain your business.

Additionally, you will need to expand your customer base by reaching new markets and retaining your existing customers. All this requires hard work and taking risky actions in the unforeseen future.

Maintain Your Business Privacy

Stiff competition is one of the main challenges facing many small businesses in the 21st century. To counter this, keep your business rivals from knowing what is happening within your organization.

Most times, your competitors will use what is not working for you to their benefit. They will occasionally spy to identify your strengths and weaknesses and do their best to beat you at your lowest.

Therefore do everything possible to prevent information leakage by doing away with employees likely to betray you to your rivals and improve your venture’s cyber security service.

Additionally, you should also avoid gossip within the organization by developing and sticking to a formal communication model.

Have a Well Laid Out Business Plan

Knowing where you need to go and what is needed to get there is vital for the success of your business. Having a well thought out plan in your business makes this possible.

Moreover, a business plan helps you track progress and take necessary steps early to change the situation when things get out of hand. Through a business plan, one can also identify possible risks that may harm the business and prepare for them beforehand.

A plan will enable you to minimize the wastage of resources in the business. This is because a plan helps you stick to what is essential and devise effective ways of getting things done faster and in a more efficient way.

It requires hard work, commitment, self-confidence, and sacrifice to grow a small business to remarkable heights. The truth is many small ventures do not cross the third-month mark.
Despite this, you can succeed and build a name in the small business world by following the above vital recommendations.

A Guide for Business Owners: Protecting Your Company from Cyber Threats

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Cyber Threats|A Guide for Business Owners: Protecting Your Company from Cyber ThreatsWhen you’ve spent time building and expanding your business, it can be easy to find yourself taking your foot off the gas. However, there are many areas you still have to think about, and although cybersecurity may not be at the top of your priority list, it needs to be. You may believe that your established business doesn’t face the same risk as new and small businesses, but all businesses — no matter how large or small — face the same threat when it comes to cyber-attacks.

This is why being continually aware of safety and protection methods when running your business will help you to implement them straight away.

What Kind of Cyber Threats Can Your Business Expect to Face?

Even if you employ a dedicated IT team, you may not be personally aware of the threats your business may be exposed to. Here are the most common cyber threats any business can expect.

  • Phishing. This type of attack leaves businesses extremely vulnerable and entails an individual posing as a secure organization in order to gain sensitive data from you. It can be very easy to misinterpret a phishing attempt and surrender personal data.
  • Ransomware. This is where criminals will lock down business information in order to then demand a ransom from the business to unlock it again. This is particularly problematic for businesses because being unable to access data can mean a loss of service or ability to do business until the ransom is paid.
  • Malware. The most common example of malware is a virus. Your business system may become infected or risk having its data corrupted or hacked.
  • Human error through employees. The threat of cyber-attacks increases when you take your staff into account. This is because the more employees you have, the more risk there is that each individual could make a mistake in regard to responding to phishing attempts, downloading information containing a virus, or even posing a risk to your company themselves.

How to Protect Your Business

Below are some of the ways you can incorporate a defense against these types of threats.

Increase Your Web Security as Much as Possible

Do everything you can to increase web security in any capacity. Even as an established business, this should be setting up dependable anti-virus and firewall software as priority. As well as this, be sure to look into the extra security options the services you already use may provide. For those businesses providing a network service for others, you can improve web security by using packages such as Allot’s Network Secure.

Use Strong Passwords

Always use strong passwords for anything you do within business, and be sure to change and update regularly. Try to avoid using the same password for everything within your business. Strong passwords should include a mix of lower case characters, upper case characters, numbers, and symbols.

Always Update Your Systems

It’s easy to let regular system updates slip under the radar when you’re trying to concentrate on running and expanding a business. However, regular system updates for your devices will make sure that the latest operating systems can be optimized and lower the risk of vulnerabilities.

Train Your Staff

Organize training for any new staff, or have a meeting in regard to safe web practices, so that your employees can learn to recognize potential threats, what not to download, and how to best avoid phishing scams.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Managed IT Services

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Managed IT Services|Factors to Consider When Choosing Managed IT ServicesTechnology is on the rise in every sector of the world, including the business sector. Technology demands for business have made it a necessity to have a department managing IT. Management of IT has today become a vital aspect of every business.

As a result, most businesses have opted to have an internal IT department to help manage the technical aspects of a business. However, some companies have opted to outsource IT management services from professional managed IT service providers. Being that technology is an integral part of business IT, it is essential to always choose a provider with high levels of skills that will provide you with excellent services. Settling on a provider is not easy because there are numerous managed IT service providers.

Here are some if the important factors that you should consider when choosing a managed IT service provider.

Security

With the high levels of cybercrime, security has become an important aspect of a business. However, ensuring a high-end securing can be difficult and costly. With that in mind, you must choose a service provider that does not just monitor your information system and infrastructure. But you must consider a company that can also offer strategic security plans.

With a rigid and reliable IT security, you can ensure all customer and employee data remain safe and secure. Reliable IT managed services ensure to encrypt your network to prevent people from accessing it not unless with permission. Network encryption also allows you to monitor any activity that is conducted on your network. This gives you a straightforward way to detect suspicious activities, giving you an opportunity to come up with an appropriate measure to counter it. With this, you can guarantee that you can minimize and prevent risks of cybersecurity threats from infecting your IT system and infrastructure.

Due to the nature of their work, IT support providers gain access to sensitive company information and private data. As a result, you should ensure the company has a high level of confidentiality. Or you can limit the extent of information they access to have some discretion. You should identify the initiatives the company will take to guarantee the confidentiality of your sensitive information and customer data.

Availability

One of the most essential factors to consider about manage IT companies is their service availability. The company should provide service and support 24/7/365. Quality IT managed services company will provide you with qualified IT personnel to take care of your IT needs on a shifting basis. IT service providers assure constant delivery of top-notch managed IT services through continuous and round the clock IT support.

Determining the availability of the company is crucial. This is because it will help you ascertain how proficient the IT service provider can be. 24/7/365 IT monitoring means that the company will be in a position to offer updates and provide technical support as quickly as possible. On top of this, the constant monitoring of systems also allows them to detect IT related issues in a timely manner before they became a major problem in the organization.

With early detection of problems, your provider will be able to quickly come up with solutions to the problems. This guarantees that your business can prevent worse system problems and IT disasters in the future.

The managed IT service provider you choose must be capable of addressing all your concerns. Apart from 24/7 system monitoring, the company should also provide a responsive service desk where your employees can be able to reach them for support, either through call, email or chat. This allows you staff to have a faster resolution to any IT challenge that they might face, such as problems logging in.

Scalability

You should always remember business growth when selecting an IT managed services provider. Your business demand today may not be as critical to what your business will have in a few months or years. That is why it is important to hire a service provider that understands your ever-changing business needs.

Reliable and experienced IT managed service providers offer scalable services. This means that their IT services will adapt to all the technical needs of your business. For instance, if the number of employees in your organization increases by a large number, say from 3000 to 4500, the IT service provider should be able to provide you with enough skilled personnel to provide quick and timely resolutions to prevent a decrease in productivity. This allows the It service providers to meet all your IT requirements smoothly and effectively. Through this, you can ensure that your IT system and infrastructure will be able to adapt to the changes as a result of business growth.

Experience and expertise

It is imperative to consider the experience and skill of the company. Should the personnel have the right skills, knowledge and expertise? The IT service company should have a team of professionals in IT who are certified to offer these services, thereby preventing amateur companies from experimenting with your IT infrastructure. Reliable service providers are ones that have successfully handled a number of clients from different industries.

Every industry is unique. Similarly, every organization and company has its own way of handling day to day operations. Consequently, every business has varying and different IT requirements. As a result, you must choose a provider with a proven reputation and experience of handling IT needs of a diverse set of clients. This shows the company can offer unique IT services that your system needs.

Additionally, you should choose a company with the ability to provide cloud back up and data recovery services. Generally, the company should be able to provide solutions to any problems with your network and computers. If you hire a company that does not offer full IT support, then you will have to incur additional costs of hiring a new company or losses from unsatisfied customers or clients.

Conclusion

Outsourcing managed IT services allow you to focus on other vital needs of your business. With the best IT service, you can ensure that your network is secure and stable. This allows you to maintain smooth business operations. You need to ensure you only outsource services from a well proven and reliable company.

Keeping Your Business Safe From Any And All Threats

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Keep your business safe|Keeping Your Business Safe From Any And All ThreatsYour business is constantly in danger. It might not be imminent, and it might be through no fault of your own, but you’ve got to make sure that you are protecting it. Make sure that you take preemptive measures, and this will ensure that you’ve given your business the best possible chance of staying safe. In this article, we’re going to talk about what some of these measures are, so keep reading down below if you would like to find out more.

Online Security

The first thing that we are going to look at is online security. Unfortunately, cyber crime is constantly on the rise, and your business needs to be protected as much as possible from it. Make sure that your network has firewalls, encryptions and antivirus software to allow for maximum protection. It’s essential that you hire an IT expert to set all of this up for you if you don’t know what you are doing. Don’t try to do it yourself to save money or for whatever other reason, because it must be done right.

It’s very easy to leave holes in your security if you don’t know what you’re doing, which leaves your business vulnerable. The whole point is that we are trying to keep your company safe, so all of that goes out of the window if you try to save a little bit of cash by not using an expert.

Pay Back Any Loans

If you have borrowed any money, then you need to make sure that you are paying it back in a timely manner. We’re not saying that people are going to come round with baseball bats and trash everything, but the person you borrowed money from could take you to court if they don’t get it back. Don’t think that they are going to forget about the people that owe them money, because this is not going to happen. In fact, they use exception tracking and other methods to ensure they always know who owes how much.

You need to be careful about borrowing money in the first place, because you wouldn’t want to be in a position where you can’t pay it back. Stick to your payment plan and everything should be fine. You don’t want to lose your business over something like this, and you very well could if you aren’t careful.

Have People On The Door

The final thing that we are going to mention is that you should always have people on the door of your business premises. Nobody should be able to get into your business building without the proper clearance and authority to do so. That is where teams like this come in handy though. Having security on the door will act as a deterrent to those who would seek to do something harmful to your business premises or anyone on it.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you are going to need to do if you want to keep your business safe from any and all threats. Of course, there is more that you can do but this is just to give you an idea of a couple of them. We wish you the best of luck, and hope your business remains safe for years to come.