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Social Media and Security: Keeping Your Business Safe  

Social Media and Security: Keeping Your Business Safe  
Social media security should be taken seriously if you want your company to thrive, your customers to remain safe online, and your brand representation to remain on top form. Unfortunately, there are people out there that may impersonate your brand or hack your social media accounts. If you want to keep your business safe, read on to find how to do so and what can happen if you don’t. Potential Threats The main threats that can harm your reputation and business are: Fake links which look like your website, but are actually a downloadable malware Impersonation accounts which could sell fake products to potential customers, leaving them unhappy with your brand Impersonating profiles of staff members to gain private and personal data Communication of wrong information which could affect the stock price Hacking of your social media profiles to gain confidential data or post false information The above threats can happen to any business, even small businesses, so you should never believe your business is immune to threats. Instead, you should follow safety advice to ensure your social media is safe from hackers and trolls online. The Cost to Your Business Unfortunately, social media scams such as the ones above can damage a company’s reputation and may lead to financial loss. Any customers who have fallen for this scam will have less trust in the company and will be likely to inform others, meaning many more people are less likely to trust your real profiles and website. You may even deal with negative press over the issue. If you haven’t taken the necessary steps to keep your social media accounts safe, you could be liable for paying back disgruntled customers. Best Social Media Safety Practices There are several simple steps you can take today to implement a safer and more secure way of working with social media, here are a few ideas to get you started: Change passwords regularly, and make them randomised Form a company social media policy that must be signed by each employee Regularly search for your brand name on social media to ensure there are no fake accounts Never list vacation times of management on any social media accounts, whether this be your own personal account of your business account Update your privacy settings regularly, especially if employees have left the company Permanently delete unused accounts Inform your customers if you are aware of any dangers or fake accounts associated with your company If you want to keep your business safe from fake profiles, consider using online brand protection services for businesses. FraudWatch International can protect your company by detecting and removing impersonating profiles from social media, as well as in many other ways. Check out their website for more information on how they can help you to keep your business safe. Being safe online is important for all businesses. Social media is a fantastic, free tool that can drive sales and improve customer retention. Follow the above steps to maintain safety and your company’s...
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Taking the Leap from Engineering to Entrepreneurship

Taking the Leap from Engineering to Entrepreneurship
Every engineer who’s invented some new technology or is adept at coming up with innovative solutions believes that the hard part is over and the step to take that solution to market as an entrepreneur should be easy. And many engineers are in for a shock. In reality, that seemingly short step from engineer to entrepreneur means significantly more risk. In fact, a survey conducted by Duke and Harvard of over 500 technology companies found that only 37% of leaders had any background in engineering or computer science. Engineers should definitely think twice before they assume that they have an advantage when it comes to being an entrepreneur, no matter how great the product they’ve come up with is. The good news is that there are many great resources out there to help engineers make the transition to entrepreneurs. Krishna Uppuluuri’s book, ‘Engineer to Entrepreneur: The First Flight’ is a good start. The book identifies the main business perceptions most engineers have, along with providing a workbook approach to provide a quick start on various business lifecycle topics. Here’s what to keep in mind if you are considering making the transition from engineering to entrepreneurship. A Great Product Doesn’t Always Make a Great Entrepreneur: The old adage ‘if we built it, they will come’ tends to be a common misconception amongst engineers who are considering starting their own business to sell a product they developed. In reality, simply building a solution alone won’t magically make it connect with customers, manage the competition, or communicate the offering to the industry. Today, we’re definitely in an era of information overload. Selling and marketing skills are absolutely crucial to ensure your product takes off, no matter how awesome it is. Thinking that your product alone will act as a customer magnet is a dangerous mindset to have. So, before you make the leap from engineer to entrepreneur, it pays to develop some skills that you can use to put your product in front of the market, promote it, and connect with your target audience. How do you do this? Enroll in a relevant training program or degree: Online learning and online degree programs have made it easier than ever for you to gain the relevant skills you need before transitioning to entrepreneurship, without messing up your already busy schedule. If you want to keep things engineering-focussed then you can find degree programs that combine both engineering and management at Kettering University Online. Or you could opt for a learning program from Kettering University Online that walks you through the basics of business and building the skills necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. Network: As an engineer, you’re probably no stranger to networking; it’s just as crucial in this industry as it is in the business world. You probably already network to keep your engineering knowledge current and stay in the loop about new projects or job opportunities. Switch your networking focus to the business world and connect with people who can offer valuable advice and support. Even better if you can find a network of successful engineers turned entrepreneurs who you can learn from. Get a mentor: Business mentoring is a fantastic idea for anybody new to entrepreneurship, whether from an engineering background or not. Choose a mentor who is able to be honest with you and tell you how it is; you’re going to benefit a lot more from that compared to somebody who won’t stop you in your tracks when you’re on the brink of making a huge mistake. Don’t Rely On a Cool or New Idea to Sell Itself: Similar to the above, just because something is cool and...
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8 Habits to Keep Yourself Motivated with A Strategic Online Business

8 Habits to Keep Yourself Motivated with A Strategic Online Business
8 Habits to Keep Yourself Motivated with A Strategic Online Business The online clothing business is growing in its reach for a great many reasons. First of all, individuals are living a busy life, and shopping online saves a significant amount of time. Also, the ecommerce industry is a growing culture, and conventional retail therapy is a dying breed. That is why the clothing brand that you have developed deserves a robust online outlet so that it can get its true admirers on the internet cloud. Here are a few habits that will help you reach success with online business and help you win the online shopping sphere. 1. Online Entrepreneur and the Balance of Success: The Internet is a unique realm where overnight success and endless failure are both equally probable. The main factor that differentiates the successful online entrepreneur from a failed online seller is the fact of tricks up their sleeves. The entrepreneur who has cracked the code to online success will achieve success beyond belief while the one who struggles with grasping the main concepts shall falter. In a word, that trick has to be named as ‘effectiveness’; the reason being that the online strategies that you implement have to be useful for your online plan to be effective. So here are the habits that will increase your effectiveness in creating an online sales and marketing strategy. 2. Improving E-Commerce Experience: Any online marketing and sales venture are only as good as the experience that the customers are getting from the rand. E-commerce like Linen clothing for women sold online is an endless venture where customer complaints, order deliveries, and other issues crop up on an everyday basis. Make sure that you have a smooth and continuous process to ensure that the customer service that you provide is going smoothly. Whether you are managing e-commerce yourself, or have people in place, make a habit of sticking to your customer engagement regularly. Word of Mouth: The online community is the new local community. A right word of mouth and an honest review from the customer is the key to a successful trust-building exercise online. The more satisfied and trusting customers you have, the better your brand will perform. Strong Brand: The brand that has a reliable customer service also has a robust online identity. The customer service representatives also feel energized to work in the brand if they know that they are closely supervised and are held accountable. 3. Know Your Business: Many businesses are launched online without any need for more in-depth knowledge. The reason being that as long as you have a consumer base and the product in hand, all you need is a shipping option, and you are good to go. Your product will take off, and your company is ready to sell its products. But that is no reason not to understand your funnel process thoroughly. Make sure that you know all the minute details of your business and keep in touch with current and upcoming technological and marketing options for your product type. This will allow you to experiment frequently and expand your business when the time is right. Network: We cannot emphasize this point enough; networking in your field is crucial to success in the ventures you are undertaking. There is a great need for ensuring that you have proper connections in your industry because they are continuously needed in business conduction. 4. Business Evaluation Metrics: The metrics that are commonly used in the evaluation of the business are crucial to the success of the market itself. These metrics are scientific methods devised to ensure that the company is objectively...
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4 Ways to Keep Your Retail Store Customers Happy

4 Ways to Keep Your Retail Store Customers Happy
It’s well known in the retail industry that happy customers turn into repeat customers, which leads to a more sustainable and prosperous business. However, what’s less well known is that many customers would actually be willing to pay a higher price if they received superior customer service at a store. This turns customer service from preventing complaints and minimizing loss to actually maximizing profits. By re-examining your customer service strategy and improving the experience your customers receive in your store, you can take your business to the next level. Here are 4 ways to keep your retail store customers happy and coming back time and time again. Stop upselling, start educating There is a misconception that customers do not want stores to upsell to them and would rather be left to browse on their own. However, the situation is not so simple. A surprising number of customers are actually frustrated with stores that do not offer advice or support, especially those which are selling technology or appliances. There is so much choice on the market that customers regularly feel overwhelmed and confused, so take the opportunity to impart knowledge and genuine advice when it arises. You should not be attempting to sell the customer items that they don’t want or need, but by educating and advising, you can naturally maximize sales when appropriate. For example, by highlighting one product’s advantages over another or recommending other items that may be more suitable, you can help the customer without being too ‘salesy.’ Personalize the customer experience Consumers expect personalized service from the adverts they see and communications they receive to the service and products they buy. Take the time to find out as much as you can about your customers before making recommendations to them. Offer a selection of products that might be suitable rather than trying to push a particular solution. Customers should feel supported and guided, not pressurized or manipulated. Train your staff to go the extra mile to ensure customers get the very best advice for their unique requirements. Gather and analyze customer feedback You may not know where to begin in order to improve your customers’ service, but your customers can provide you with this essential information. You could provide them with a retail customer survey either within the store itself or online. Some brands will invite reviews and feedback via receipts or follow up emails. You may also choose to offer entry into a prize draw or discount offers to incentivize participation. By allowing your customers the opportunity to voice their opinions, you show them that they are valued and can gather the data you need to make significant improvements to your service for the future. A smile goes a long way Being served by staff with a pleasant and friendly demeanor should not be a novelty, it should be a basic standard of customer service, but unfortunately, too many retail stores underestimate its value. When your staff are positive in their attitude, open in body language and attentive to the needs of customers, they are far more approachable. This increases the likelihood that they will establish a rapport and the customer will feel able to ask questions. Rude or disinterested staff are a big turn off for customers and they will not hesitate to take their business to one of your competitors. Invest in your staff training and morale through regular one-to-one meetings, requesting and listening to their feedback. You may also want to run bonus or reward schemes which recognize exceptional customer...
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How to File a Patent for Your Invention

How to File a Patent for Your Invention
How to File a Patent for Your Invention Inventors are highly prized in any market, since their work is often the focal point that other infrastructure, marketing, and production coalesce around. But as an inventor, whether in a startup or independently, it is important to make the most of any invention you create. This means protecting your original work legally. In this article, we look at one of the primary tools at the disposal of any inventor: the patent, and how to file one.     Why File a Patent? Patents provide a level of economic security and market edge for their holders. They are specifically designed to incentivize invention and innovation, offering an avenue to significant potential profits for an invention that is patented quickly and correctly. Patents fall under the category of intellectual property (IP) law, and are one of four kinds of IP protection, the others being copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. Copyrights cover original creative work, trade secrets involve confidential information that benefits a company competitively, and trademarks protect branding and brand identity. However, patents may be the most powerful intellectual property tool. Holding a patent grants a twenty-year monopoly (in the United States) for the development, production, and sale of the invention in question. This means that no other companies can compete via imitation for this time period, allowing the best possible version of the invention to be produced and sold, gaining more profits by being a unique entity in the market. Filing a patent can make the difference between being swallowed by competitors who have the infrastructure to take your idea and produce it more cheaply or more quickly, and having the time and resources to perfect your invention and get rewarded for its genesis. Sure, the patent filing process is time consuming and costs money, but the potential benefits are immense. Is Your Invention Eligible? The United States Patent & Trademark Office, or USPTO, outlines what is and is not eligible for patenting according to the patent statute codified in federal law. Eligible areas include a process, machine, “article of manufacture” (manufactured product), composition of matter, or “improvement of any of the above,” as well as specific designations for unique plant patents and design patents that govern the nonfunctional design and aesthetic components of a product. So, if your invention happens to be a machine or a composition of matter, is it automatically eligible for a patent? In short, no. There are additional requirements that must be met for patent eligibility. These boil down to usefulness, novelty, and non-obviousness. To have any chance of being granted a patent, the invention in question must be useful. Usefulness here can be very broad and does not only encompass crucial or definitive needs and benefits. Things like entertainment and enjoyment can also qualify as uses. Novelty refers to being sufficiently unique and new in order to deserve a patent. This can often be an issue of contention, with gray areas existing between what constitutes a slight tweak or variation upon an existing idea versus a truly novel improvement. Lastly, being non-obvious may seem quite easy, but this determination usually helps to weed out inventions that are not really inventions but obvious combinations of previously existing factors. Before delving into the patent search and filing process, it may be a good idea to seek out a qualified patent attorney or law firm to determine what the best course of action is, as a professional will better know how your invention might fare.   Picture Courtesy: Taylorip The Patent Search Now that you’ve determined your invention may be patent eligible, it’s time to hone in on the...
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