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What To Know Before Moving to a New Office Building

  • September 16, 2021

What To Know Before Moving to a New Office Building

Deciding to uproot your office and staff is a huge decision. Whether you’re trying to save money, downsize, or relocate closer to your clients, moving comes with many benefits and challenges. To make the move successful, you need to understand what to know before moving to a new office building. Use these tips and tricks to get started.

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What you Need to Know About Buying a Business

  • September 15, 2021

Buying a business can be an excellent way to own a business without many of the initial start-up costs, but while it presents many advantages, it isn’t always a walk in the park. Buying a business from a trusted online platform still requires a lot of research and patience. Here is what you need to know about buying a business before investing.    

Work out your goals 

Some people buy a business as a livelihood, while others use it as a step to the next project. There are many reasons to buy and run a business, and you need to work out what yours are before you start investing.  

Understanding your goals for the business will shape everything that’s to come. For example, if you want to receive an annual income from the business, you will run it differently than if you what to increase its value to sell. 

Pick the right industry 

Once you have established a clear goal for your business, it’s important to pick the right industry. There’s little point in attempting to fulfill a childhood dream if the business isn’t going to be viable. You also need to pick an industry that has some potential for future growth. 

But how can you tell if an industry is going to be viable for you? You can do some research and talk to people, but this strategy will only take you so far; alternatively, you could work part-time in the industry to learn the basics and get a feel for it.  

Buy from a trusted source

When you have decided that owning a business is the right thing for you, it’s time to find one of the markets that’s for sale - but where can you go to find listings of businesses for sale? It needs to be a trusted source, so you don’t pay too much or buy a business that’s mis-advertised. 

First, find the top places to buy a business online and research the platform. Of course, you will want to view the listings but remember to take a look at the website itself and look into its terms and conditions. Carrying out this additional research reduces your risk of buying a faulty business.   

Do your research 

Research is vital when buying a business online. There’s a high chance that you will invest your money in a business that isn’t viable or one that is being mis-sold. So begin your research on the business listing platforms and draw up a shortlist of options. 

When you have your shortlist, it’s time to dig deeper and research the businesses themselves. Perform plenty of online and offline checks, write emails and talk to company personnel and customers. You might even pose as a customer to get a feel for the business.   

Have an initial viewing 

After you have carried out substantial research, it’s time to approach the business and make an offer - this is usually done through an agent. You can think of buying a business as similar to buying a house; it’s important to think with your head and not your heart.  

Investing in a business that isn’t viable can be an expensive mistake, so you need to get it right at the start. Have your agent arrange an initial viewing where you can come into the business as a prospective buyer and ask all the questions you need to ask. 

Do a reality check 

Researching a business before you buy one is a time-consuming process; it is also an emotional investment that can be hard to separate yourself from. However, this is something you need to train yourself to do before you choose to buy the business. 

After you have acquired all the information you need, both financial and legal, it’s time to take a reality check. Step back from the business and look at it objectively. Consider its strengths and weaknesses and decide if you can really turn it around or not.  

Work out the financials 

There are various ways to buy a business, but most prospective owners use a credit agreement with a bank. So before you make your initial offer, you will have to have this financial agreement set out in principle - a little bit like taking out a mortgage on a property. 

The financial institution you’re working with will need three years of accounts from the new business as well as financial projections. They might also require a guarantee from you in the form of a lump sum deposit. Other sources of finance are available if you struggle to get a bank loan. 

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Top Tips for Starting Your Honey Business

  • September 14, 2021

Top Tips for Starting Your Honey Business

The honey market is a consistently growing and profitable business. This product has many different uses in various industries, making it the ideal product to start a profitable business.

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Necessary Equipment for Your Commercial Cleaning Business

  • September 14, 2021

Necessary Equipment for Your Commercial Cleaning Business

Are you considering starting your very own commercial cleaning business? If you're a wiz at cleaning, commercial cleaning can be an extremely profitable venture. Cleaning services are always in demand, which means there’s a virtually endless supply of potential clients.

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Defend Your Business Against Password Spraying Attacks

  • September 13, 2021

Password spraying is a highly prevalent form of brute-force cyberattack used to gain unauthorized access to computer systems. In this kind of an attack the hacker attempts to guess a user’s password using a list of common passwords like “123456” or “password.” Hackers try to avoid detection by using automated processes that occur slowly over time. Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Report found that 80% of all hacking-related breaches involved brute-force methods like password spraying. IT support Joplin can help businesses in Joplin secure their sensitive data against password spraying and brute force attacks.

Passwords are vulnerable

Even with the highest ever increase in ransomware attacks in recent times, unsafe password behavior remains rampant. We just can't seem to get rid of bad habits like using easy to remember (and easy to guess) passwords or reusing the same password for multiple accounts. Many resort to password managers, but finding a reliable one remains challenging (without resorting to browser in-built password managers that can again be quite easily compromised). 

To add to the list of growing concerns, sophisticated technologies now exist that can help hackers crack even well-maintained passwords. 

The best way forward for organizations seems to be to eliminate passwords altogether, thereby effectively removing the risk of credential-based attacks such as password stuffing. 

Compromised Credentials and Privileged Accounts Are Dangerous to Your Environment

Compromised credentials pose grave dangers for any business environment. These can allow hackers to have legitimate access to your entire network. This leaves the hackers free to tweak or modify the rights and permissions to all the systems, data, and resources the compromised account can access.

When this compromise happens on a privileged account, the fallout can be even worse. These accounts always have high levels of access including administrative access. With this kind of access, hackers can be free to have network-wide access and also create backdoors and high-level accounts that are difficult to detect and take much longer to be identified. The problem is that the longer these backdoors exist, the more damaging it proves for the business. This can take a huge toll on both reputation and cost for the business. If you want to secure the constant flow of data with full control, please refer to private cloud solutions.

What Is a Password Spraying Attack?

Although it is a type of brute force attack, the password spraying attack is different from typical brute force attacks. In the latter, the hacker targets a single account with an exponential number of passwords. In contrast, the password spraying attack targets multiple accounts with the same password. If the hacker manages to pick out one or multiple user accounts configured with known, breached, or default passwords - those accounts are compromised. Password spray attacks are only successful because so many users fail to adhere to password best practices. With a large enough bank of usernames and sets of common passwords, hackers are bound to compromise some accounts.

In order to discourage brute force attacks, many businesses now utilize Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) and account lockout policies. This enables administrators to set the number of failed login attempts before the account gets automatically locked out for a set duration. Password spraying attacks work around this limitation by spreading the attack out over multiple accounts.

Password spraying attacks may appear like throwing stuff on the wall to see what sticks, but there are ways in which hackers can further streamline this kind of attacks. Most often, hackers target an account with single sign-on (SSO) authentication. If they manage to guess the credentials for that account, they can effectively gain access to multiple systems or applications. Other common targets include users that make use of cloud services and applications using federated authentication. As federated authentication can often mask malicious traffic, this enables hackers to move laterally. 

Once an account is compromised, companies stand to face temporary or permanent loss of sensitive information. Depending on the scale of the success of the attack, it could also result in significant operational disruptions, productivity and revenue losses and reputational damage.

How to Prevent Password Spraying Attacks?

Enforce Account Lockout Regulations that Limit Bad Password Attempts 

Account lockout policies are an effective prevention method against attackers trying out an infinite number of passwords. Enforce a set number of failed login attempts before access gets locked out automatically. While password spraying attacks can still manage to be effective against account lockouts, it will still prevent brute force attacks in general. 

Effective Password Policies for Better Security

Incorporate safe password practices as part of the security culture in your organization. The best way to do this is through effective password policies that help you control the characteristics of passwords used in the office environment. Good password policies allow administrators to define the length, complexity, and content of passwords that can be used in the corporate network. It is recommended for businesses to have advanced password protection policies such as breached password protection. Unfortunately, Microsoft's Active Directory Domain Services don’t allow for much beyond creating basic password policies. Businesses must try to use effective third-party solutions that can prevent the use of breached or weak passwords. Managed IT Services Washington can help your business with the right third-party solution for secure password management.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Strong password policies that are regularly enforced along with breached password protection do help in securing passwords. But to go one step further up, companies need to implement multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication is another step of identity verification layered with username and password. It combines something you know (your password) with something you have (a hardware authentication device). This makes it much more difficult for hackers to compromise credentials without having access to the physical devices. Even if they manage to get access to the compromised passwords, the second factor of the authentication security layer will prevent them from accessing your network. 

Modern and Robust Password Protection

For effective protection of passwords, companies need to implement modern password protection in their Active Directory environment. Third-party tools have more or less become a necessity here to protect against breached passwords and further secure Active Directory password policies. With enhanced cybersecurity posture thanks to more robust password protection, organizations can effectively prevent password spraying attacks from happening in the first place.

About James:

James Richards is a serial jelly bean eater with over 30 years of experience in the Information Technology industry. Growing up around the first generation of home computers, he always had a strong interest in technology and is continually grateful to be in a profession that he honestly enjoys. James is a problem solver who’s vision to provide quality is the foundation of Stronghold Data. His goal is to deliver solutions for customers that truly impress them with the outcome. His authenticity and compassion for his team and clients extends into the community with his active leadership roles. 

 

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Maintaining A Complete Online Presence for Your Business

  • September 9, 2021

Irrespective of the business or the industry vertical that you are in or the size of your business, the only way to populate your customer’s mind space is through having an extensive digital presence. The demand for multichannel digital activity has only grown more insistent over the years. Having a healthy presence over all digital platforms can help your business stand out from the competition and create better recall value in the minds of your customers. IT Support Houston can help you deploy and maintain a unified brand presence across multiple relevant digital channels.

Business World is Taken Over by Digitization

The need of the moment is for businesses to maintain targeted marketing activity across multiple platforms that ends up directing traffic to specific pages on their official website where users typically convert. Simply put, if you want to be able to influence purchasing decisions of your customers, you need to go where they are - on digital channels. Your digital presence is the backbone for delivering an effective digital marketing strategy in order to realize an incredible ROI. Digital marketing is not only affordable, but it also empowers your business to target specific audiences and get immediate feedback in ways that simply aren’t possible with traditional marketing. Therefore, expanding and enhancing your digital presence is critical to the expansion of your customer base and improving revenue generation.

24/7 Availability 

A digital presence of any business can include everything from your company website, social media accounts, listings in online business directories, search engine results, paid online ads, email newsletters, or listings of products on eBay, Facebook or your own website. The best part about having a multi-channel digital presence is that your business gets a 24/7 open storefront. This means that potential customers can find your products and services whenever they conduct searches even remotely related to your business. IT Consulting Houston guarantees uptime across your business’ various digital assets.

Huge Audience

The Internet literally acts as a hive mind for your customers across the globe. First of all, thanks to the Internet, your digital presence can attract customers from virtually anywhere in the world. This already gives you access to a much wider swathe of the consumer chunk than traditional marketing. This allows your business, no matter how small or large, to have access to new opportunities and cater to a global audience. Cloud Computing Houston can help you manage your customer base across the globe more effectively.

Gain Credibility

Recent statistics indicate that global consumers are becoming more distrustful of brands. Much of this distrust and discontent can be traced to suboptimal customer service experiences. The consequences are grave as nearly 75% of consumers are now unlikely to buy from a business they don’t trust – no matter how highly they value the product. This indicates the importance of building an unimpeachable online presence to gain the credibility your brand deserves. It's not enough to just establish trust, you need to be able to command authority in your specific niche. Communicating these qualities online requires patient building of your online presence through delivering a safe, secure and consistent online experience that encompasses branding, design and usability. When consumers browse through your catalog, they must be able to do so with complete confidence in both your business integrity and data security.

Online Customer Reviews

The digital world moves at the pace of the Flash on steroids. If you do not respond to customer queries or feedback on time, they could simply choose to move to a brand that does. Interacting with your customers and getting feedback momentarily can quite literally unveil a treasure trove of information that you might otherwise spend months gathering, and still not be as accurate. You could use this information to tweak your product or service to offer better value. You could potentially even come up with new offerings on new business strategies that you think might work better with your intended audience. The benefits of prompt customer interaction and professional monitoring of online customer reviews go far beyond building a trustworthy brand. 

Precisely Designed and Informative Website

We have already established that having updated and regularly maintained Digital presence on multiple channels makes it easier than ever to market your products. But in order to truly leverage the power of your online presence, you need to empower your customers with information that they value and are unlikely to get elsewhere. This means having a properly designed and informative website replete with high value content that enables your customers to make informed choices. 

There are many ways of achieving this. First and foremost, you should try to keep your domain and branding credentials consistent. Any inconsistencies in aligning website and email domains may lead to doubt in the minds of customers leading to hesitation in reaching out to your business. You should also try to find and work with a single reliable hosting provider that makes it simple and cost-effective to access and manage all of your digital properties. Your social media channels should also follow the same branding guidelines so customers know that they are in fact interacting with the official business channels. Most importantly, you need to be able to provide a stable and secure website connection. Slow response times or inconsistencies are likely to scare off potential consumers worried about data security. 

Need for a Managed Service Provider

This is why it's so crucial to invest in the right managed service provider who can provide you with reliable web and email hosting services, guarantee uptime across your digital assets, improve your security posture, cost efficiency and more. Most importantly, having access to the right managed service provider will enable you to access critical business and technical expertise when you need it the most. Apart from giving you the peace of mind that comes with guaranteed uptimes, the right MSP will enable you to enhance your customer experience and improve business efficiency and responsiveness overall. 

About Scott Young:Scott Young is the president of PennComp LLC, an IT Outsourcing Houston Company. Being a CPA, Six Sigma Master Blackbelt, Change Management Certified and Myers Briggs Qualified, Scott's expertise is reflected in PennComp as a leading IT company for computer services and network integration. PennComp utilizes Six Sigma methodologies and practices in their service delivery and offers state-of-the-art monitoring and management tools to their clients.

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Want to Start a New Business? 7 Factors you Should Consider

  • September 9, 2021

So, you're thinking about starting your own business. Good for you! It's a challenging way to make it in life, but the rewards are worth the risks. But before you dive into that minefield, there are a few factors that can make or break your business venture from the start.

Location

When looking for a new business, one of the most critical factors you should consider is the location of your business. You want to be in a place that will offer you access to all kinds of established and emerging markets. Look for a position with good transportation, affordable and accessible facilities, and plenty of space for future expansion.

Resources    

You're going to need some capital to get your business up and running, and having access to enough cash will be one of the factors that determine your success or failure. Talk to banks, find angel investors, and apply for grants if you need to, but make sure you have enough capital to pay for initial expenses. The bank may not give you as much as an investor would, but it beats getting no funding at all.

Competition

When you're starting, other businesses in the same field will be competing for customers' attention. Therefore, your company needs to provide something that other companies don't, and this should be one of the factors you consider when planning your business strategy. A good business strategy should include factors that will set you apart from the crowd.

Specialties

Before you start your business, take time to figure out what made you choose that particular field in the first place. What's the one thing that will make your company stand out from the competition? Is it better service? Better quality? Is it more attractive prices? Knowing why you're in that field will help you find your niche and compete with other businesses.

Licenses and Regulations

Be sure to do some research before you get started on the legal aspects of opening a business. In some countries, you may need a license to run a business, while in others, certain businesses are banned from being operated. Be sure to check with your local authorities to see what regulations apply to your business before getting started.

Customers

Your business may generate revenue in the short term, but if it doesn't provide customers with what they want in the long run, it won't last very long. Figure out what customers are looking for in your field, develop a strategy to meet their needs, and stick to the plan. Getting customers to come to you will help you generate income for your company and ensure its survival.

Strategies

Once you've got all these factors down, it's time to develop a solid business plan. What kind of strategies will you use for marketing and promoting your company? How will you handle customer complaints and concerns? What kind of policies and procedures do you have in place for hiring new employees? You need to know what steps you'll take to make your company a success.

Bottom Line

All of these factors need to be taken into consideration before opening a business. The fact is: starting a business isn't as simple as opening a shop and waiting for the customers to come. Take time to research your market, strategize and develop an effective plan to help your company take off in the right direction. Remember to save money when starting a business and talk to various experts to ensure that your business is viable.

Keep these seven factors in mind as you research what kind of business to start, and you'll significantly increase your chances for success.

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Business Growth: 7 Tips to Elevate Your Business

  • September 8, 2021

Are you a business owner? Do you want to grow your company? If so, then these are a few things that you can do. 

Set SMART Goals

Have you set SMART goals for your business lately? A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Make sure they are evident, so there's no confusion about what needs to be done by who when. Doing this will help establish a healthy path to progress in the future of growth.

Setting SMART goals will also make it easier to track the progress of your business and quickly determine what is working and what needs adjustments.

A clear plan will help you identify new growth opportunities and then allow you to take advantage of them!

Work on Your Website

Your website is the first impression that people get of your business. If it isn't up to scratch, they may never choose you over a competitor - even if you offer more value for money. 

A new website can be expensive, but look at how it could help grow your company: A well-designed site will make customers want to do business with you and not one of your competitors. It will also increase trust among potential clients who are considering doing work with you. 

Hire a PHP Agency

A PHP agency provides the expertise and, perhaps just as importantly, all of the resources that come with hiring one. They include marketing collateral, website design and development, hosting solutions, app creation tools for customer relationship management (CRM), and many more. 

Using a dedicated team will also allow you to scale your business more quickly than if you had tried to do it on your own or in addition to doing everything else already there is so much demand for. Therefore, it is essential to look at the PHP Agency reviews to see how beneficial it will be for your company.

Have a Customer First Mentality

It sounds simple, but many companies fail to do this. A friendly mentality means that you should put your customers first in your business decisions and always keep the customer's needs at the forefront. Remember, the customer is what keeps your company afloat, after all! 

Ask for Help

Asking for help can be difficult. However, your business will grow if you ask for the right help and advice from more knowledgeable people than yourself in specific fields. You may need to hire another staff member or outsource work, but hiring a new team member is not always possible, especially when your startup cannot afford it.

Manage Your Cash Flow

Managing your cash flow is an essential part of managing your business. If you are not on top of it, you could be losing money, and that's never good for a company's success!

There are many ways to manage your cash flow: 

Cash in Bank

If possible, keep all available funds in the bank instead of investing them elsewhere; this avoids any risks with investments and ensures that there will always be enough funds readily accessible whenever they're needed and avoid overdraft fees or penalties from lenders. Also, withdrawing large amounts can affect interest rates so try to start smaller batches throughout the month. 

Limit Spending

Only invest what you have ready access to, which should mean no credit cards unless, of course, you have the cash available to pay them off at once; this will help reduce interest costs and can avoid any late payment fees or get into debt with lenders. 

Set a Budget

Following limiting spending, set a budget for your company based on income vs. expenditure which should be done monthly/quarterly depending on what suits your business best. Now that you know exactly where money is going, it'll make planning better since you'll already have a basic knowledge of how each area of your business functions financially. 

Have the Right Workforce

A business is only as good as the people who work for it. Having employees with expertise in different areas will provide you with more opportunities to grow your company, so hiring the right team of professionals should be a top priority. 

Work on finding talented individuals who are passionate about what they do and want to go above and beyond their job requirements; this can help develop an environment where creativity flourishes, which helps generate new ideas that could take your company further than ever before.

Conclusion

In conclusion, many great tips can help elevate your business. These are just a few that will get you started; later on, feel free to try out new ideas. Hopefully, this article helps you in achieving extraordinary business growth.

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Things You Need To Consider Before Opening a Retail Store

  • September 6, 2021

Things You Need To Consider Before Opening a Retail Store

Building a storefront from scratch is a gratifying and rewarding endeavor. That said, various things go into making it happen. Read about the things you need to consider before opening a retail store so that you can prepare for a successful start for your business!

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The Significance of Keeping Your Customers Happy

  • August 31, 2021

The Significance of Keeping Your Customers Happy

The best way to ensure success for your business is to build a base of returning customers that love your company as much as you do. How do you ensure their satisfaction? Why is that satisfaction crucial to your success? Let’s look at the significance of keeping your customers happy. Think of your business and what your customers want. They’re your most important resource, so treat them with care and consideration.

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