Category: Risk

Small Business & Success

You are a small business owner and want to make a difference in your community.
You want to attract and retain clients.
Here are the top WHY, WHAT and HOW questions to ask yourself:
WHY did I choose the specific business? Does it represent who I am and what I really want to do?
WHY should customers prefer my services?
WHY can’t I get more clients?
WHAT could I implement to be a better local business?
WHAT do customers think about my services?
WHAT tools do I need to succeed?
HOW am I different than my competition?
HOW can I retain satisfied customers?
HOW can I get above the competition?
HOW can I get better and be more efficient?
Once you answer all those questions honestly, you will have your plan.
Know that you cannot do everything alone. Hire some help to fine-tune your business model.

Force Authorization Scam

From the Santa Barbara Police Department

Information Bulletin
Santa Barbara, CA – 08/21/19
Force Authorization Scam
An authorization code is an alphanumeric password that authorizes a purchase. A force authorization may be required for times when a merchant’s payment terminal cannot connect to the network or the amount of the sale is above a predetermined amount. The authorization code allows a merchant to bypass the process by manually entering a previously obtained authorization code.
Recently, two Santa Barbara downtown businesses fell victim to a credit card authorization fraud scheme. Based on the recent events, we would like to inform businesses of the scheme presented and ways in which to defend your business from such incidents.
Common scams include both over the phone and in person transactions.
Example 1: The suspect/customer enters the store and attempts to make an expensive purchase. When their credit card is denied, he or she will likely pretend to be upset and act as if he or she is contacting the bank. The suspect(s) will hand you their personal phone and have you speak with the (fake) bank representative, who will provide you a force authorization code. A later chargeback will result and the merchant will be at a loss.
Example 2: The suspect/customer will arrange for a transaction and provide the credit card number and an alias. The customer will provide the authorization code once the card declines to force the fraudulent transaction through. A rapport is usually generated prior to the actual transaction to cause the employee to further believe the transaction is legitimate.
Best Practices:
* Never enter an authorization code given by a cardholder to force a transaction. Always contact the cardholder’s issuing bank yourself to obtain the valid code.
*  Ask for identification, especially for expensive transactions made over the phone to verify the identity of the caller. This can be sent to you (the merchant) via fax, email, or text.
* Do not hand your payment terminal to the customer as the customer may enter the fraudulent authorization code themselves without your knowledge.

Social Media Posting: Can You Overdo it?

Doing too much social media posting (posting too often, displaying the wrong things, or being present on the wrong social channels) can harm your strategy.
Why is This Happening?
Social media users understand the purpose of advertising, so they tolerate it. However, they don’t always recognize the content presented to them in their news feeds as being promotional.
People follow brands on social media because they offer engaging, exciting, and valuable content. Once they start seeing too much unoriginal and repetitive content, they realize that they are simply targets for advertising. They become frustrated and irritated because the brand they’re following isn’t creating anything innovative or new.
Read the Full article here
You can only hurt your efforts by posting daily, let alone multiple times daily! You are destroying your brand! When your audience gets sick and tired by the same message, you have lost the war before even starting the battle!
RESPECT your potential buyers!

 

Radio Stations and Indifference

I am talking here about small AM stations that broadcast locally.
They host hard working people who broadcast their shows and finish wondering why they do not see any growth.
I will share an example: I was recently invited to talk about my business by a wonderful woman who does an excellent series of shows. The date of airing the program arrives. The radio station is nowhere to be seen online.
The signal is iffy at best from home if you have an actual radio nowadays. In the car it’s almost impossible. You have to drive around and find a place where the reception is right.

Their website is as well as abandoned…. You email a person from the contact list they offer on their site, only to receive a reply that this person is no longer at their station. Not to mention that their site is not secure.

So a few pieces of critical advice:
I assume that you are in business to succeed. In order to do this, you must at least hire someone who knows what 2019 means to your audiences. You absolutely MUST update your website and broadcast online.
You MUST respect all those you have entrusted you with their programs and have worked hard to create them.

If you don’t update your brand, you might as well close your business.
This sort of behavior and disinterest is unacceptable in this day and age. There is way too much competition out there and if you don’t jump FAST and fix what’s broken, VERY few will give you more chances!

Collaboration Opportunities and Follow Up

Have you ever witnessed a great meeting between two professionals? I am sure you have. And then … Oh we will certainly keep in touch, let’s do this!
One person sends information and shows their excitement, while the receiving party never responds.
Here are some basic rules for this game:
We all want our small businesses to succeed. So when someone shows genuine interest and acts on their side, do the same.
It’s very impolite to not respond to messages.
It shows that you are either not taking your business seriously, or that you simply don’t care.
Good collaborations don’t come by the dozen, nor do they knock on your door often.
So take this advice to heart.
Show other professionals that you mean what you say.
Thank them if they promote your business on their website, blog etc.
Act on your verbal promises, such as: Let’s get together and talk next week.
Nobody will beg or ask you twice. You are either a go-getter and want to take your business to the next possible level or you don’t.
It’s as simple as that.
Don’t expect second and third chances. We are all trying to help each other, lift each other up and succeed.
REPLY to your messages.
Don’t hide behind the lame “I am busy” excuse. We are all busy.
Show that you are as interested as you first said you were.
Get organized. It takes a village people!

The Most Effective Ways To Protect Your Small Business From Cyber Attacks

by Jeff Charles
Okay, I’m going to start with a question.
What would happen if a hacker decided to launch a cyber attack against your business? Would they be successful? Would they easily gain access to your company’s sensitive information? Or would their attempt fall flat?
Believe it or not, cyber security isn’t just a concern for large businesses. It’s something that small business owners need to pay attention to.

 

FULL ARTICLE HERE

One Good Reason to Comply with CCPA Now

GDPR is in full force. And CCPA, California’s new data privacy regulation, is set to be effective from January 1, 2020. Is your organization ready? Here’s the case for taking action now and some facts about compliance, writes, David Jones, VP of Product Marketing for Content Services at Nuxeo.

When the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in May 2019, it introduced organizations to far-reaching data privacy legislation and forced them to understand the requirements of complying with such laws.

Then, California joined the party, establishing early 2020 as the deadline to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This sets the stage for what could be numerous state laws holding businesses that operate in the U.S. accountable for the protection of personal data. But with the CCPA deadline now just months away, only 14% of companies report being CCPA compliant.

Read the full article here

Basic Marketing Rules

We all understand the need to attract new customers. There are some rules though that can make or break your brand.
If you are not a professional marketer, do your company a huge favor and hire one.
Common mistakes made in trying to create your brand and attract interest are:

  1. You post every single day. This is immediately turning people off, because in essence you are selling the same message with different pictures.
  2. You promise a big picture but your actual product/service is only a fraction of this picture. BE CLEAR AND HONEST!
  3. You change your course but have promised something else to your audience. Big mistake here. Publish an article of your change and explain the decision making.
  4. You create constant questionnaires that basically have the same content, hoping to engage more people.
  5. You are not looking at products that are using the same language as you for their marketing. Be very clear about what it is you are doing.
  6. Make your product stand out by fine tuning your message. Be exact, be honest and respect the marketing deluge people are receiving daily on every Social Media Platform.
  7. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL MARKETER. Never assume that reading a few How-To books will make you an expert.

 

Businesses’ Core Functions Are More Vulnerable to Hackers

Companies are connecting behind-the-scenes business software to the internet, meaning that the systems that run their accounting, supply chains and other core functions are increasingly vulnerable to hackers.

 

Read the full article HERE