Small Business Risk

Small Business Risk – How to Avoid It

One of the best ways to separate business and personal financial interests is to have your business become incorporated. This step will immediately reduce personal liabilities for any of the debts and responsibilities of the business from the owners or operators of the business. To become incorporated means to create a wall between these interests so that the business can operate free from personal interests and the person or individuals do not have to bear all of the responsibility for being in business.

To become incorporated also means that there is an agreement to operate the business under a series of specified conditions. They include separating the ambitions and interests of a number of groups who may stand to gain or lose from the operations of the business. Each group is provided rights and bears some of the responsibility for the ultimate success or failure of the corporation.

The owners of a corporation are the shareholders. They can purchase or be granted shares in the corporation and they hold the legal ownership of the corporation as specified in the articles of incorporation. The shareholders in a business that has become incorporated elect a Board of Directors to oversee the corporation and also elect the Officers of the corporation such as the President, Chief Operating Officer, Treasurer, and Secretary. The Officers are responsible for the day to day operations of the corporation and the Board of Directors oversees their work. The Board reports on business activities to the shareholders at a general meeting which must be held every year.

The step to become incorporated is a sign of maturity for a business, especially a small business. Many successful businesses also operate as LLCs or limited liability companies, an action that accomplishes many of the same objectives as the move to become incorporated. Others opt for the even simpler processes of registering as a sole proprietor or partnership, both of which cost far less than the somewhat lengthy process to become incorporated, however they lose the liability protection and some tax benefits.

A good business lawyer can help evaluate the decision to become incorporated and a qualified accountant can provide information on the tax advantages and possible downsides of moving in this direction. Once a decision is made to become incorporated then articles of incorporation must be filed with the state in which the business will become incorporated.

That might be the business’s home state or the state in which a majority of the Board of Directors reside, or it can be in a state that provides certain advantages and tax breaks if a business chooses to incorporate there.

Risk Management Strategy

IT Risk Management Strategy

IT risk management by definition is to balance economic and operational costs related to using protective measures to achieve nominal gains to support an organisation’s operations. It includes hardware and software failure, human error, spam, viruses and malicious attacks, as well as natural disasters such as fires, cyclones or floods. This risk is present in almost every business and data has become the new gold for organisations. Possession or a lack of it can make or break a company and would be a major setback.

A very real and recent example of data loss is where a supermarket chain lost credit card information and personal details of almost 40 million customers across the United States. Business owners have legal obligations in relation to privacy, electronic transactions and staff training that influence IT risk management strategies.

The IT scope has evolved from just being hardware, networks and storage of information to include a company’s operations from data storage to administrative tasks and everything in between. An organisation’s dependence on IT has increased the risk. The storage of data has moved from independent servers to the cloud, making it easier to access from anywhere, the downside is that data is accessible to people who aren’t part of the company. Employees create a risk when they are not able to work for a certain length of time on projects risking and creating operational threats such as malfunctioning IT systems, improper records etc. These factors are ubiquitous and prevalent, and create a risk probability that dents the projects profitability. A common counteractive measure is the use of managed IT services or outsourcing IT, reducing the risk a company has to face and also increasing the profits.

Every organisation has its own challenges and these risks can be managed to a large extent.

First by prognosticating the discovery of each risk and assessing for severity, in order to be able to understand and prepare.
Then by mitigating, putting counteractive measure in place to ensure the impact of the risk is at its minimum.
Lastly by evaluating and assessing the counteractive measures and their effectiveness in warding off or minimising risk. This would help finding out what actions should be taken to improve, change or stick with the current plans. The cost effectiveness of the measures should be taken into account.

It is important to have strategies in place, in advance, to manage threats. They are as follows:

Transferring the threat to another party
Avoiding the threat
Reducing the negative effect of the risk or probability of the threat, or even accepting some or all of the potential or actual consequences of a particular threat

Having IT risk management strategies particular to a company’s requirements is the need of the hour and the sooner such strategies are implemented the better.

Process of Internal

The Process of Internal Mail Tracking

If you are going to use an internal mail tracking system you need to know what the process of this is. Only when you have the process down will you be able to obtain the benefits that you want. The process of internal mail tracking will be the same regardless of the system that you get. However, there will be small differences in the process depending on the software that you have and the features that it offers.

When the Post Comes In

The start of the internal mail tracking process starts when you receive the post. When the mail arrives the person in charge of the mail will need to organise it. The organising of the post at this point will help you later on in the process.

Once the post has been organised the post will need to be bar coded. Many companies feel that it is only the large packages that need to be bar coded, but it is all mail that needs to be done. When you bar code all the mail you will have better control and tracking of your post. The bar coding of the mail will be done with a machine that is commonly provided with the tracking software.

This machine will print out a unique bar code for each of the items of post. When the bar code is printed the post room personnel will need to input information about the post into the system. This will include who it is addressed to and when it came in to the company.

After the Bar coding

Once all of the post has been bar coded it will need to be delivered to the staff members. At this point you will see why you need to organise the post before bar coding. By having the post organised before coding you are able to easily determine the post for each department and have it stacked for easy delivery. There are a number of ways that you can deliver the post to the staff.

Many companies have a mail trolley that goes around the company and delivers the mail to the different departments. However, you can also have a pigeon hole system where post is put in a central location for people to pick up. If you use this system you need to have a barcode scanner in the central location to track when the post is removed from the pigeon hole.

Tracking the Post

If you have a mail trolley you need to get a handheld barcode reader. The handheld scanner allows the person with the trolley to scan the barcode and get the signature of the person getting the mail. This is a record of who received the mail and when they received it.

Risks Worth Taking

5 Risks Worth Taking

Some people are natural risk-takers while others shy away from any type of liability or loss. What can be an easy decision for some can prove crippling for others. No matter which category you fall into, we know that taking risks is necessary to truly succeed and get the most from business and life.

But not all risks are created equal and the lasting impact they can have on us also differs. Physical risks – like skydiving or driving fast cars – will affect us in a different way than social risks, such as public speaking. Someone who doesn’t hesitate to take emotional risks can find themselves conflicted when it comes to making a financial or intellectual decision.

Virgin founder Richard Branson is one of the most celebrated risk-takers in business today and is known for testing himself by taking chances. Though he’s not one to shy away from a challenge, he readily admits there are limits.

“As an entrepreneur you should be willing to take risks and trust your judgement when you do, but you always have to think about the worst-case scenario,” he said in a recent Forbes interview.

Many calculated, well-planned risks are worth taking and can help your business get ahead. Let’s look at five risks you should never hesitate to take:

1. Hire New Talent

The employment market is hot and companies have their pick of some of the best and brightest workers. New hires can infuse your workplace with innovative ideas and motivate existing employees to step up their game. And thanks to current labor conditions, talented workers are plentiful and can be brought on board for a reasonable salary. However, be careful to choose those who are a good fit for your company and its culture. Hiring the wrong person can have disastrous results.

2. Reinvent Your Company

Any company with longevity has reinvented itself more than once. Taking a complacent approach almost always leads to a slow death, whereas those who aren’t afraid to mix things up reap the greatest rewards and rise above the competition. Take an open-minded look at your business model on a regular basis and brainstorm ways to keep innovating.

3. Invest in Yourself

When was the last time you took a business course or attended a webinar to learn more about the newest technology or tactic? Continual professional development leads to high levels of expertise and keeps you up-to-date with the current trends. You may be busy, but investing in yourself is always time (and money) well spent, so dedicate some attention to yourself in the coming weeks. The reward is much greater than the risk.

4. Ignore Conventional Wisdom

Straying from established formulas can cause anxiety; however, playing it safe by sticking to conventional wisdom can also amplify the perceived risk. Bucking the trend can take us outside our comfort zone, but it’s often what is needed to gain a competitive advantage. This is one risk that forces you to face your fears.

5. Help Others

It can be difficult for some people to give more than they receive in return, but we know this act can build the strongest relationships which, in turn, lead us to the greatest success. If you give selflessly to others you will increase trust amongst those in your network, making them more likely to reciprocate and expedite your success. Your time and effort will never go to waste though it may take a while to see the benefits since it can be a slow process.

Social Engineering

Social Engineering – Why I Think Your Business Should Care

I’m amazed every single day about the way people think about normal-life security inside companies. Big or small; everybody has weaknesses that go unnoticed until disaster strikes.

Whether it’s an employee, a disgruntled employee or an external entity who gained access to your company; it doesn’t matter much. Any of them can cause your company to go bankrupt instantly when the job is executed correctly and no disaster recover plan is in place.

The best way to convince management that they need a disaster recover plan; it to burn down the building across the street.

It’s evident that you have to make backups of your systems. But who ever checks if the backups are valid and not corrupted? Who checks them for viruses? Who stores them offsite? Who stores them on multiple locations even? If you do; how are these locations secured? Probably not as well as the location where the (file)servers are that you’ve just backed up. I would love to have a backup restored that I’ve injected with an exploit after corrupting the original files/drives.

Regardless of any of the digital security systems you have installed; no matter how 5-star your IDS/IPS is; if I walk into your building and give you a handshake, you can be pretty darn sure I have a goal for giving you that handshake. I can be a printer service guy that comes in to run your office printers for their maintenance…

Not many people know that most network printers are basically unsecured computers that are hooked up to the company network, and have the WORST SECURITY EVER when it comes to password protection and storage. “Within 5 minutes I’ll be able to get the admin passwords for the network, resulting in me owning your company network and data.”

This is just one simple way of social engineering. The main rule is that people who mean to do harm seriously don’t give anything about the way how they obtain their goal. They feel no remorse; they have no moral. They will do whatever it takes to get what they want to have.

When you go to any geek website you can buy USB keyloggers; mini pen-cameras and several other small tools to spy instantly and with next day delivery. This is very scary; there are keyloggers that don’t even need to be recovered. They send their logs via wifi / 4g to email; so the social engineer just plugs it in and runs. An even more evil version install itself automatically on the user’s computer unnoticed.

Risk Management Courses

Risk Management Courses – How To Get One and Its Benefits

There are many different management courses that are being offered today to help the businesses to continue to evolve and grow at a consistent pace, and stay competitive at the same time. As the competition continues to grow and many new companies continue to surface and grow, it has become important for the businesses to take steps to ensure they remain future and failure proof to maximum extent possible. This is where the need for the risk management professionals come in. Risk management courses are offered for the business professionals and company executives who are experienced and want to further expand their profile and knowledge and want to grow as professional.

There are many oversight in the businesses that causes the business to suffer in the long run if not noticed early. The small loopholes in the business can continue to chew up the business slowly but surely and this is where the expertise of the risk professionals come into the picture. Risk professionals helps in developing the culture of risk assessment in all strata of the business in a more formal way, so that the employees at all levels are able to discuss it more openly. This helps in better communication, better assessment, and helps in taking corrective steps at the right time.

The risk management courses are offered at many institutes and educational academies and it helps in ensuring that the professionals gets the knowledge, understanding of all the modules, as well as industry recognized certification. This certification helps the professionals to get better job with better pay package, and also helps them in gaining more exposure and knowledge about how the business and management machinery works. The operational efficiency of the business management is magnified and improved manifolds with the help of risk management professionals, and it also ensures that revenue of the business continues to grow.

Risk management courses are designed to help streamlining the businesses and there are many private institutions that offer this course, with or without certification. Even non-certification short duration courses including MoR Questions and Answers, are accredited and recognized by the industry. There are small workshops held in many different companies from time to time to help the employees understand the basics of risk management, and integrate the knowledge with their day to day working. It would help in much safer and risk free environment for the business. The preparedness of the business is also increased when there is risk assessment done on a regular basis and the employees are more informed about catching the oversight.

Risks In Business

The Importance Of Taking Calculated Risks In Business

Good risk vs Bad risk

Many people grow up with the belief that taking risks is a negative thing. Whether you are looking to start a business or broaden it, every project brings a risk of failure. It is not good to make decisions as you go along, it is better to develop a strategic plan from the get go. Every opportunity that comes through should accelerate forward to your company’s long-term vision. A good risk is the result of determining needs, distinguishing areas that need growth, creating a strategic plan, and taking it upon yourself to get rid of anticipating omissions.

Most business owners must learn how to take calculated risks, it may not come naturally, but just like everything else, if you want to succeed, you will learn the trait. Recognize the value of risk in business. Taking risks is needed for any business ideal. Without risks, very little is cultivated and customers become easily bored with your product, service or program. Risks open the door to many prospects.

Risks bring change

For a business, risks can bring new markets, new people and new possibilities. Risks force leaders to do away with their fears and take strides to the future of success. Many people are allured to listen to the voice in their head that is telling them, it’s not the right time” or “should I try again, it didn’t work last time.” Learning to get through self-doubting will take you to new levels of success.

Over-analyzing

Leaders tend to become numb in the business world when they spend too much time thinking about the outcomes and probable mistakes. Over-analyzing before going forward with the plan, weakens the results of the company.

Establish the risks

A big part of calculated risks include pinpointing the probable negatives and creating plans to put out the fires after execution. By recognizing risks ahead, businesses can have a better outcome towards success.

Predict mistakes

Before executing any plans, be prepared for mistakes. They are unavoidable elements in risk taking. In addition, you will have to be prepared to handle the outcomes, tolerate the possibility of failing, and be ready to create and develop plans to turn things around. Consider that a risk is a way for the company to move in a new direction. Mistakes are a natural component of the process of learning.

Take the leap

Just do it! After you weigh all your options, implement a plan and just watch it unfold. The result could be different than what you had predicted. The result could be a failure or a complete success. Regardless of the result, you need to continue taking risks because it builds confidence and brings success to a business.