business

5 Things You Should Know Before Conducting International Business

If you’re planning to start an international business, you must keep in mind that it’s not always an easy task. Most of the new entrepreneurs are making similar mistakes, and that can result in affecting the business. Sometimes business ideas are not even realized because they have been stopped even before they started. Many new entrepreneurs begin businesses like Internet selling, web design, or providing international communication services using call centre software, etc. Being a newcomer in these branches can sometimes be quite hard. If you’re thinking that these jobs are easier to run, you might see things a bit naively. Because of a lack of knowledge your business might even collapse.

So, what are the things you should know before you start your international business adventure?

1. Precise Business Vision

When you’re planning to conduct your business internationally, you must be aware of a few things before you start working. Make a precise and concise plan and answer some basic questions: Are you planning a  long-term business abroad?

Will you develop your business from a scratch, or are you growing your existing business? How will you make progress for your business but also for your customers?

5 Things You Should Know Before Conducting International Business

Having a precise vision is crucial in long-term planning. Without a clear business plan, your work might not function as easy as you imagined. Therefore, planning can prevent any mistakes you might make.

2. Exploring The Market

Many new entrepreneurs who have international ambitions do not think about the competition in some specific working fields. Have you ever wondered if someone has already developed the same idea as yours, and positioned it into the specific market you wanted to conquer? Such situations will mostly happen in fields like digital marketing, networking, etc. In this type of business, your competition will be measured worldwide.

Резултат слика за Exploring The Market business

In practice, there is a huge possibility of duplicating business ideas or projects. This is the main reason why you should make a good market exploring. It is the first and most important step in developing an authentic and successful business idea.

3. Check The Affordability Of Your Business Abroad

Conducting an international business sometimes implies more expenses that you might know of. Lease of office space, travelling and shipping costs – they all have a price. This is why more experienced entrepreneurs would recommend you to make a list of all the costs your business include. When you make a list of expenses,  compare it to your potential business gains. This calculation will help you in making a final decision.

4. Be Familiar With The Local Law

Starting an international business will require a lot of effort besides your basic work.  It is quite certain that you will have to deal with a lot of other stuff. Dealing with finances, marketing but also with legal issues will become a part of the everyday routine. If you’re not ready to face these challenges, especially in a legal area – you can reconsider your decision. Foreign laws and legal regulations can be quite different from the laws in your country. You must also keep up to date with the laws since they are changing parallel to market needs. Staying up to date with the latest legislation can be of crucial importance because the incorrect interpretation can sometimes cost you a lot of money. The best advice would be to set up a team to help you with legal problems that might occur. In this sense, partner collaboration with a legal specialist is recommendable. This will make things much easier for you. And the most important – it will eliminate the risk of making a mistake and loss of your money.

5 Things You Should Know Before Conducting International Business

5. Successful International Business Requires Money

If you’re making your business international market, you have to reconcile with the fact that you will be needing money. Moreover, the foreign government will probably request to see the proofs of your financial investing. So, if you’re taking a business step on the International market, you will be required to have your own financial resources. Precisely that means that such resources probably won’t come from the local government support. So, if your company is ranking as a low-financed, you are taking a risk of disappointing both – your associates, as well as your customers.

 

 

How airlines generate their profit with their ticketing system

There are some questions which often pop up when we come across someone who talks about “traveling” or “flying for less.” Questions like “how often do you fly? Where do you fly to and for how long? Or “Are you traveling for business or pleasure?” should probably be replaced with “How much are you really paying for that comfy first-class seat?” To most of us, the answer will be shocking.

First-class airfares may seem out of reach, but great values can be found, even during Christmas or New Year’s. Airlines generate most of their first-class revenue on normal business days, and slash fares to leisure travelers over holidays. Since airlines were deregulated, airlines have charged more for nonstop flights and offer cheaper fares on connecting flights. When flyers refuse to overpay for the convenience of direct routes, empty airline seats become depreciating assets. The hidden city ticket in the terms of commercial aviation helps airlines unload these depreciating assets before they expire worthless, and is discussed in the Involuntary Reroute series by Robert Laney. Hidden city airline ticketing occurs when a traveler purchases a ticket from departure point a to the destination point c with having a stop at point b. The passenger ends their journey at point b.

For example, flying from New York (point a) to Madrid (point c) through London (point b) then, choosing to get off at London (point b) instead of continuing onto Madrid (point c). Some airlines claim hidden city tickets cost them money even though they’ve been paid for an empty, depreciating and otherwise worthless seat.

Robert Laney has been in the airline and aviation industry for around three decades having his experience in strategic planning, management, airline deception, airline booking ploys, business development and also business strategy. This American entrepreneur is an author as well of the series Involuntary Reroute which focuses on the primary tools of premium cabin fare deception, i.e. the hidden city tickets, arbitrage, mileage and AD75 tickets from an insider’s perspective followed by the books I-Reroute. Also, he is the co-founder of 1st-Air.Net which is an online provider of alternative methods for purchasing business and first-class travel. Traveling first class could have been made easier only if the airlines would lessen the price which they quoted uselessly for generating as much of the profit as possible.

Robert, in his book, has told how exactly the hidden city ticketing works as well as airline booking ploys and throwaway ticketing. In order to make the most use of an airline ticket, exploring Robert’s books can give you the knowledge you need.

How to Find the Right Investor for Your Startup

Contrary to popular belief, investors aren’t just good for bringing in an adequate amount of capital for your startup business. In fact, investors can help one find more than just an incredible amount of money to help their business flourish. The ideal investor can also help bring in the perfect amount of resources and organizational skills that are necessary in order to accomplish a business plan that many startups might fail to stick by or follow through with.

However, investors come in all forms – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to be the perfect option for you or for your business. As a matter of fact, it is worth mentioning that as much profit as the right investor can bring to you, a bad investor can actually cause your entire business plan to fail as miserably as possible. Which, of course, is irreparable damage to the business itself.

Fortunately, there are ways to know ahead of time whether an investor is right for your startup business or not. If you’re wondering how you can stay above the game, read on to find out more.

Numbers Don’t Lie

If you think every person who poses to have your best interests at heart actually is that nice, then you’re certainly a lot more naïve than half of the world’s population. In this day and age, giving away equity of your business in exchange for a bit of cash isn’t ideally the way to give fractions of your business away, mainly because this could lead to you incurring a huge loss as a result of a miscalculated decision.

Do Your Homework

Ideally, great investors have a lengthy string of statistics to prove their worth. While you’re creating your own plan and strategy in order to prove your own worth to the investor, it’s important to find out as much as you can about the investor as well. WOS Swiss Investments AG is an ideal example of this, partly because they ensure that they have their statistics-laden out in front of their partners. This investment firm was founded in 2016 by Jennifer and Thomas WOS. The company specializes in offering investments to startups and other organizations and has a long list of happy clients.

Follow Your Instincts

As desperate as you may feel to prove yourself to an investor in order to ensure that you get your business up and running, don’t ignore the signs that your instincts may be trying to tell you. Often times, business owners end up giving away a lot just to get a specific amount of capital, but that doesn’t always need to be the case. Take your time with the investor that you choose in order to ensure that things don’t blow out of proportion later on. Remember, you should always have a future planned out for your business and it is always in the best interest to not stray off plan and to always stick to it.

Banking for Individuals and Businesses Simplified – A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started

Selecting the right bank for your personal and business needs is a critical decision. There are many banks which offer a range of consumer, as well as business products, to their customers. Gustavo Dolfino, an investment banker by trade said- “it’s important that you choose carefully, as every product is different, and every bank is different. What matters most, is the type of relationship you are able to develop with the bank in the long run.”

Interest rates.

A small difference in interest rates can add up to a lot of money over time, regardless of which type of loan you are in the market for – auto, mortgage, and payroll to personal credit cards. Don’t fall for the “skip a payment this month” trick. What actually happens in the month you skip a payment, is the outstanding amount gets compounded, and so does the interest amount you end up paying. It will add up in the long run.  Avoid excessive debt at all costs; servicing that debt is one of the main reasons people file for bankruptcy.

Electronic services

Know what services and operations can be done through online banking, if there is a charge associated with them, and what level of sophistication they entail. Ideally, this service should be an essential part of your relationship, should not cost extra, and should be available to you 24/7.

Trust and Security

Even though US banks are insured by the FDIC, this federal form of insurance is capped at 250K per account, and applies only to non-interest bearing accounts. In addition, you should note the credit quality of the bank, as well as its stock price, should it be publicly traded. Assuming the bank offers a debit or credit card, you should investigate their policy regarding fraud, and your liability should it occur.

Commissions and fees

You should check what fees and/or commissions, if any, apply to the use of the bank’s debit or credit cards, when those fees apply, for example, by using a non-bank ATM, or when used in a foreign country. Do not ignore in your analysis, charges for wire transfers, checks, minimum balance or insufficient funds fees.

Loyalty points

This is an aspect that can be misleading and should be treated with caution. Not all purchases will earn you loyalty points; should they, verify when, where and how they can be used, including blackout periods.

10 Benefits of Outsourcing Accounting Services for Your Firm

There is an unprecedented demand for outsourced accounting services among CPA firms today. Many of these firms acknowledge their relevance in cutting overhead and operational costs substantially. The cost savings, however, amount to just a tiny advantage for a service that can benefit and prove to be insurmountably lucrative in the long run.

Cost savings aside, outsourcing accounting services can have innumerable merits for the profitability of a firm.

Below are the 10 benefits that outsourcing accounting services can have on CPA firms.

Substantially Decreases Operational Costs

Many CPA firms decide to outsource their accounting services to save on operational costs. Hiring a freelancer expert results in firms paying only if and when the service is rendered and not otherwise.

Increasing Profit Margins

CPA firms can outsource low margin activities like undertaking data-intensive compliance functions, thus increasing profit margins.

Boosting Operational Efficiency

A typically cited benefit but potent nonetheless, outsourcing accounting services can result in smoother operational functions in a firm. CPA firms who are just starting and are yet to see some returns can hire accounting specialists who are better equipped with the software technology to carry out complex accounting services.

Competitive Advantage

Hiring outside help pertains to hiring someone who is far more proficient and capable of handling the accounting service required. Thus, hiring such talent inadvertently increases the value of the services you provide to your customers. This dramatically gives you an effective advantage over your competitors.

Risk Sharing

Outsourcing accounting services can prove to be a very smart strategy resulting in decimating a firm’s risks. Risks associated with a particular project is shared between the firm and the outsourced accounting specialist.

Time Effective

It’s fascinating to learn how much time is spent in an organization doing things that ultimately proves to be unproductive. Outsourcing specific talent for specific services can save management a lot of time in recruitment and selection. This time can be better utilized in other productive activities like relationship management and client servicing.

Being Flexible With The Workforce

Perhaps the most underrated advantage of outsourcing would be the flexibility it provides the management in dealing with outsourced talent. Unlike permanent placements, firms have the option of experimenting with different skills available in the market. They can choose to carry on with the current outsourced expert or opt for another one depending on their satisfaction.

Working With The Best Talent

Outsourcing allows firms to work with a plethora of talented, proficient accountants playing in the market. With the help of a few minutes of internet research, a firm can scrounge for some of the best minds in the business today. Getting your hands on such talent can dramatically improve your standing in the industry.

Dealing With The Legal System

Most outsource accounting service are well equipped with the tools and resources required in dealing with legal bodies like the IRS and US GAAP. As they handle the legislative aspects of the business, you can concentrate on the more pressing issues of your firm.

Challenging Big Firms

Outsourcing accounting services by smaller and medium CPA firms can drastically change their standing in the market. Having a well-fueled accounting service delivering the best services to your customers can help you go toe to toe with many big firms in the industry and maybe even outdo them one day.

Outsourcing accounting services have been proven to be a lucrative undertaking for many CPA firms struggling to succeed in a competitive industry. The benefits listed should be enough reasons for you also to consider outsourcing your accounting services to a reputed expert in the field.

8 Relentless Financial Factors Hindering Growth & Profits of Business

One of the reasons so many small businesses fails the first year of operation is because their owners don’t know what it takes to make their business run and grow. Their notion is that their work ethic alone will bring them money, freedom and control of their business. They fail to understand that financial factors mentioned below are not worth paying attention to if their business is single-handedly run. They are wrong!

  1. Not Creating A Financial Blueprint

Financial blueprint, just like a business plan, is where all the finances related to the business is put together. This includes business startup cost, cost of procuring materials, equipment, place and personnel and transportation among many other things. A financial blueprint will describe the source of fund, such as banks, credit unions or other financial institutions, who your investors are and how much of the personal asset will you set aside for the business. Not having this blueprint is equivalent to showing to the lenders that your business is a bad risk.

  1. Not Investing In Technology

It used to be such that all a business would need is a telephone and fax machine. Not anymore. Today, every business irrespective of its size and mode of operation needs a computer and access to the internet, a full-pledged website where customers and clients can interact with the business, software to manage accounting and other mandatory operations and other technology related elements. There is a need to manage the information accumulated and make the best use of the collected customer data as well. Not investing in technology can set you back and cost valuable clients, information and all the good things the modern world offers.

  1. Non-utilized Fund

The goal of your business is to make a profit and grow at the same time. It is also to build a long-term relationship with your clients and create excellent customer satisfaction. When you are short on the fund, your lenders will help you get through. However, you can always utilize fund from your business account and reduce your interest and borrow only if absolutely necessary.

  1. Unprotected Business

You will need to protect your business as well as employees for which you need adequate insurance coverage. To be precise, property insurance, liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, assets and errors insurance and omissions insurance are some of the required insurance types. Without them, your business will suffer financially. In essence, keeping the coverage up-to-date will make the difference between closing the business permanently and running it with a minimum possible loss.

  1. Neglecting Compliance

Neglecting such significant issue like compliance can put companies at risk which can harm their reputation as well as the brand. The company should avoid such consequences or should take immediate actions to avoid further damage. Similarly, to avoid decreasing customer base, the companies could outsource to handle the operations such as legal fee financing,  & helps to run the transactions smoothly.

  1. No End Goal In Sight

Financial setback can occur when you are not sure where your business is headed and what you can expect in two years, three years or five years down the road. You started with a vision with the intention of making it a reality. The hard part is, only goal-oriented businesses survive and grow in a competitive world like this. You need to put in place the goal-setting system to make the business successful. You will also need to gather the team that will help your business grow. This vision or goal needs to be created, first inside your own mind and then put into action with preparation and planning. If you are leading the business this way, you will find that creating that goal and achieving in the outside world is easier than dreaming.

  1. Unorganized Worksite

Good business owners are organized, punctual detail oriented and neat. They will not end their day without a balanced financial statement. In other words, not being organized will lead to huge financial loss. You would probably end up with the wrong information about how many sales were made and how much money was earned or lost. If someone is organized, it means they are using the needed software or balance book to the fullest. It also means they have the knowledge, skills and are financially responsible that will help the business succeed.

  1. Stubborn Attitude

Change is something every business faces, and adapting to that change is a prerequisite to run a business, not an option. Simply managing the business to stay alive is not adapting to changes. Certainly being adaptable means money well spent or saved for the future. The only way to do this is to check the progress frequently and consistently and make sure the goals are closer. Running a business is about making an honest assessment of what aspects are working and what are not working and changing accordingly.

Curb Your Habit of Saving and Learn How to Invest – The Thomas Wos Story

A lot of people of all age brackets never really bother to learn about the benefits that investing carries. They think saving up their cash is the way to being wealthy when in fact it’s actually just stagnating. Money needs to be exercised in order for it to make gains. Investing in shares, property etc. helps your cash stock increase in value and number.

Thomas Wos is a marketing expert, an author, entrepreneur, investor, online marketer, real estate developer and hotelier. Before becoming the mogul he is today and being this decorated in the workforce, he was just a kid with ambition. Born in Germany 1986, Wos knew he would become the frontrunner in many walks of life and in order to do that, he moved to Switzerland in order to tap into his potential and give life to his career.

Wos was already fascinated by marketing when he was a student. He started his own ad agency to channel his newfound talent in digital marketing. Today, this company is situated in countries across the world and Wos has been deciding to shift the workforce of roughly 60 employees to 100 because of how high the demand is. Thomas Wos provides his marketing consultancy services to all companies that approach him, regardless of their size and popularity.

Apart from being very invested in his digital marketing agency, he was into building a hotel for a long time. The idea of hotels had always appealed to him and there’s no one that can stop a dreamer with vision and hard work. Therefore, he is now making plans to construct his luxury hotel “The Wos”. He aims to make it one of the biggest hotel chains in the world someday and has 3 divisions that focus on all the key appeal factors in the industry.

Aside, from directing The Wos and his swiss marketing firm, Thomas has served as the Chief Operating Officer of “Swiss Marketing System GmbH”.“Swiss Marketing System GmbH” is doing marketing and creating/develop own projects.

Thomas, apart from being involved in so many fields, and amassing a net worth of $200 million – Wos is also very involved in charity. All the projects that he works on, he personally oversees them in order to make sure that the environment is not infringed in a harmful way. Wos wants to be famous so he can make the world a better place to live in for everyone. As of now, he is donating and working meticulously to devoid the ocean of pollution. He has also helped in building schools in West Africa in order to uplift the literacy rate and help those that do not have access to quality education.

The key to remaining rich forever and to reach the success point in your life is to invest, have goals, not rely on one stream of income and make sure that you give as much money to charity as you can.

Highly Effective CEOs in the World Today

Every business graduate wishes to become a CEO of a company one day. The lust to climb the corporate ladder ignites as soon as you land your first job and for most people, this is the very space where they map out a career growth strategy and stay committed to it. Being a CEO of a company is not an easy job; people do not realize the underlying truth of such a responsibility. Surely, it is glamorous and you get to wear more suits than you ever will in your lifetime but all the stake relies upon your decision making and as much frightening it may seem, it is definitely fascinating.

We are talking about the top CEOs in the world today who have made significant contributions to their companies. These people are a core reason why their companies reach exuberant success every fiscal year and just why they are important besides their basic professional jobs.

James Michael Lafferty

He is the CEO of Fine Hygienic Holding, previously a CEO of The Coca-Cola Company (Bottling) in Nigeria, Procter & Gamble, and British American Tobacco in the Philippines. James has also been the coach of Nigerian Marathon team and Philippines in Rio Olympics of 2016. He co-founded a beginners’ marathon event called The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, which is held in Manila every February. A University of Cincinnati graduate, he is a professional athletics coach, award-winning columnist for a leading Philippines-based newspaper, a college professor and competitive powerlifter.

Indra Nooyi

The powerful President and CEO of PepsiCo have been a key individual. She is a graduate of Yale School of Management and is responsible for over 26,000 global employees. She even oversaw the major acquisition of Tropicana in 1998 and her business strategy has been followed since a decade now. Indra is the 5th CEO of PepsiCo and was named 2nd Most Powerful Woman in Business by Fortune magazine in 2015. Her net worth is $80 million.

Tim Cook

Filling the footsteps of late Steve Jobs wasn’t easy but Tim Cook has been recognized as a highly influential CEO in the tech industry today. He holds an MBA from Duke University and joined Apple back in 1998. After Jobs resigned, Cook was announced as the company’s CEO in 2011. Tim Cook has steered Apple Inc. to a great record of annual profits and overseen releases of most modern iPhones and other Apple products. He was named Person of the Year in 2014 by Financial Times.

Jack Ma

He leads an inspirational story and was even denied by KFC for a minimum wage job. He was rejected by Harvard University and different other institutions. After facing rejection from 30 job offers, Jack Ma decided to keep pursuing his goals. He started his first company in 1995. Then, founded Alibaba in 1999 with 18 people and it quickly became a billion dollar company. He is the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group and has many different brands under the portfolio: AliExpress, Alipay, Alibaba e-commerce, Taobao Marketplace, eTao, Tmall, Alibaba Cloud Computing, 1688, Juhuasuan.

How to Turn Your Instagram from Personal to Business

Instagram is the next big thing in the influencer marketing scene of today. The platform continues to house millions of influencers who have partnered with a plethora of brands to amplify their digital marketing campaigns. The fundamental rule of influencer marketing is to gain traction through social media as it is now the foremost medium of exchanging information. Conventional media has become obsolete and today, brands hardly ever devise a strategy to allocate budget for conventional media campaigns.

On social platforms like Instagram, there is a pool of influencers engaged in different categories. It is believed that these people can sway the purchasing power of their audiences. Brands work with them by offering them incentives or a particular for every post where they market their content subtly or prominently (depending on the brand’s choice). Influencers are categorized from their quality and following. The more followers you have as an influencer, the more you are likely to work with brands and the bigger compensation.

A good example of an Instagram influencer is Jonathan Jadali who is growing popular due to the fact that he has accumulated over 30,000 followers in a relatively short period of time. Jonathan Jadali has become the talk of the town and people are eager to know what exactly he has done to gain such a massive following in a tiny bit of time. Jonathan usually documents his everyday life chronicles on his profile and stays highly engaged with his followers.

Turning your personal account to business is the new big thing on Instagram users. Given the fact that these people have a considerably large following and post quality content on a consistent basis.

First things first, your Instagram should be a gateway to your lifestyle and should be an open book to learn things about you. Brands would be willing to work with you if one can assess more about you from a glimpse to your profile. It works wonders in different ways because building a profile requires effort and effort means consistency in posting content.

Secondly, you are required to engage with the community. Follow people and they would be on the look for viewing your profile. This way they can learn about your public profile and thus, you gain traction. Drop people DMs, introduce your content and back it with a story. Do not carpet bomb your message because it is a thin line between effective communication and spamming.

Apart from that, you need to work on a consistent style that hooks people to your profile. People are lazy. They like scrolling down. The opportunity to seek the attention of a user is relatively low. Work with something unique and creative that it gets into the minds of people. From an individual, the influence would be circulated to more and more people. This way you will be known, you will gain followers and your engagement would dramatically multiple on the platforms.

Owing the Road to Exponential Growth

Every business operates with a unique business model allowing it to gain profits with efficiency. Svetlana Ustinova’s business model was simple but effective. She realized how difficult it is for iPhone users to sell their product. Tapping just the right market, Svetlana launched her company by the name, “IGotOffer”. The module for this business was fairly straightforward. ‘Sell us your used Apple products”. The company was invested only in purchasing and selling these devices previously, however, it has now stepped into the area of repairs as well.

Rising to Fame

As it stands, there were quite a number of people who wanted to get rid of their Apple product. iGotOffer.com eased their trouble of going on the market and trading, and instead, allowed them to sell their product directly to their company. iGotOffer.com even paid the shipping costs if any incurred. It did not take long for the company to start making money.

iGotOffer.com bought these products and went either of the ways: it would either refurbish the set and put it back on the market for another user who wants a pre-used Apple product, or it would simply dismantle the phone and sell the parts individually. The business was also a blessing in disguise as it also kept the environment from getting polluted by e-waste. Svetlana’s company started off by dealing in Apple products, since the exponential expansion of the company, it has also started dealing in Samsung and Google products as well.

Due Recognition in place

iGotOffer.com began its operations with an income of a little over 0.2M back in 2011. Svetlana’s hard work and dedication, partnered with her lucrative business idea, led her company to become one of the marvels of the US market with a staggering 1000% increase in a mere period of three years. According to Business Insider, iGotOffer.com stood among the top 500 companies in 2017 in terms of growth. As per the 2018 rankings, the company has jumped from a position of 496 in 2017 to 369 in 2018, which goes to show the sheer dedication and drive this company has in order to succeed.

iGotOffer.com was given a rating of 9.7/10 by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 2013. In the year 2018, the year-on-year growth rate of this company has gone on to a jaw-dropping 1344%. Its revenues are well past the $6.1M back in 2017.

Although iGotOffer.com was founded by Svetlana Ustinova in 2010, its operations began in 2011. There is no doubt in saying that the year lost at the beginning in setting the company up was well-covered in the years to come. iGotOffer.com continues to grow at such astounding rates and aims to reach the top 100 companies in INC 5000 list of top 500 companies. It staffs a total of 13 people spread across its stores at different locations, with the headquarters situated at New York, United States. To learn more about the exquisite business module of iGotOffer.com, or to become a customer, simply visit their website: www.igotoffer.com.

How to Strengthen Collaborative Security

With remote work on the rise, tools that help to foster collaboration are becoming more important than ever before. Even in traditional work environments, employees may spend up to 80% of their time working on collaborative endeavors. While the jury is out as to how effective inter-office collaboration may be, the truth is that in a global economy, the ability for workers around the globe to share and access the same information is becoming more critical than ever before. The sharing of information, however, has always brought with it an inherent risk to security. This means that collaborative security is also more important than ever before. Here are four ways to strengthen your collaborative security.

Monitor all external platforms

While no one likes the idea of knowing “big brother” is watching, the truth is that many of the same toxic behaviors and attitudes that can cause extreme discord in an office can be transmitted just as effectively through communication platforms like Yammer, Workplace and Slack. In addition, a recent study conducted by Wiretap found that out of more than 1 million messages sent on these collaborative platforms, 1 out of every 118 communications contained sensitive information and passwords were given out in 1 out of every 262. While monitoring your employees may seem like a violation of their privacy and feel somewhat like voyeurism or a lack of trust, the truth is, it is actually better for all parties concerned.

Create passwords for your employees

Every year, SplashData compiles a list of the top 100 worst passwords gathered from more than 1 million login information leaks culled from the internet. The passwords “123456” and “password” continue to make the top of the list, just as they have for the last decade. This is why it is a very bad idea to let your employees create their own passwords. By now we all know the elements that actually create good, strong passwords, so make sure that every employee has a good, strong password – whether they like it or not.

Do password updates regularly

No one likes password updates. No one. Not the people that have to create the updated passwords and hand them out nor the people that have to learn new passwords. Because of this, many companies still allow employees to create their own passwords and often put off doing updates. This is a mistake. When employees leave certain companies, it can sometimes be months before someone remembers to eradicate their login information from the system. This can be particularly problematic when you have a high turnover rate such as when you are using remote workers on a project by project basis. One way to avoid this is to do monthly password updates.

Get employee buy-in

One thing to remember is that much of the data you are trying to protect is personal information about your own employees. If you remind them of this fact regularly, you may get better participation from them in regards to security measures and precautions. At the very least, you may get less grief when you hand them a new password every month. In addition, not all data breaches are external. You can perhaps help keep employees from sharing passwords by reminding them of just how much personal information they are putting at risk by sharing passwords and other secure information with their coworkers.

When it comes to collaboration, the free flow of information and ideas and security will always be somewhat at odds with each other. Just like freedom and security always will be. That makes collaborative security something of a paradox. Like all paradoxes, they must simply be addressed and constantly balanced to help them function well together.

How Your Business Can Benefit from Competition

Competition can be fierce in many industries, and there may be times when you wish your competition would ease up so that you can gain an edge in the marketplace. However, competition is actually beneficial to businesses. After all, in order to survive and to thrive, you must constantly be improving your business activities in different ways. Without competition, you may be more inclined to sit back on your haunches and operate with business as usual. These are some of the more significant and specific ways that competition helps your business to improve.

A Push to Find a Niche

You may be aware that successful startups usually concentrate on one thing initially. They find the product or service that they excel in, and they focus on carving out a niche in this area. When you are faced with heavy competition in various niche areas, you understandably may be more inclined to find what you do best and to refine that service or product to perfection before you think about branching out. Through this effort, you may find ways to save money on production, find the right pricing strategy and more.

Motivation to Innovate

Innovation is essential for a startup’s success. Many entrepreneurs, however, may have the inclination to get stuck in a rut without motivation to innovate. For example, they may eventually turn a small profit, and they may be timid to make changes that may ultimately promote growth and increased profits. When strong competition is present, however, entrepreneurs may not have the luxury to sit back and maintain the status quo. Without constantly innovating new and better ways to get things done or to improve products and services, they may fall behind.

Willingness to Adopt New Technologies and Strategies

Some entrepreneurs have a natural tendency to scrutinize and even to shy away from new technologies and strategies. After all, if something works fine now, why would they try to change it? The competition is regularly taking advantage of new technologies and business strategies. They may be using these technologies and strategies to reduce the cost of doing business, to improve production so that they can lower the cost of their goods, to improve customer service and more. Competition encourages and even requires successful entrepreneurs to be more willing to look at and to adopt improved ways of doing things.

A Focus on Customer Service

Even if you have an amazing product or service, poor customer service can lead to the demise of your business. Without competition, some customers may feel inclined to muddle through and accept the low level of service that a company provides. However, when they are provided with an option of seemingly equivalent products or services, they may be inclined to choose the company that offers better service. In some cases, they may even be willing to pay slightly more for products or services if they know that they will be treated fairly and respectfully.

Competition in the business world may initially seem like a negative force that you must constantly combat. When competition is too fierce, it could even lead to your company’s downfall. However, when you embrace competition as a motivating factor to innovate and to improve in different ways, you can turn what is seemingly a negative force into a positive, driving force. Rather than constantly chasing the competition, it may be better to strive to be at the forefront of change and innovation by leading the pack. With this in mind, make a regular effort to explore new ways of doing things, and take bold steps forward to improve your business in different ways.