Cover story, continued ...
1. TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR
in an outside IT consulting firm, as they’ll give you the hard truth and let you know exactly where your weaknesses lie. This might be a tall order for your small business, but it might save
To this end, it’s a good idea to hold regular education sessions on cybersecurity. You might be able to easily recognize a phishing email; many of your team members may not. Again, it’s a good idea to bring in an outside company whose specialty is training teams on digital threats. Sometimes all it takes is a single session for everyone to understand just what they’re up against. Cybercrime is a bigger problem now than it ever has been, and it shows no signs of slowing down. But if you take responsibility for defending your network before it’s too late, you can bat away these threats and drastically reduce the danger to your operation. All it takes is a little
CYBERSECURITY BUDGET (OR SET ONE).
It can be overwhelming to set a firm budget for any aspect of your business, but this is especially true of IT, because many business owners aren’t often sure what type of security their company needs or how much it will cost. According to CIO magazine, you should spend around 4–6 percent of your annual revenue on cybersecurity. If your current cybersecurity budget falls under this range, it’s time to re-evaluate. Will your current IT system protect your business should a cybercriminal target it? If the tech you use every day gets hacked for hours or even days, will your company survive? Most companies simply cannot afford that much downtime, much less the loss of precious data, due to a single employee’s misguided click. Even if you are already prepared to invest good money into cybersecurity, you must do your research to determine which IT companies are worth your dollars. If you can afford it, bring
your entire operation down the line. 2. LOOK FOR WAYS TO EDUCATE YOUR TEAM (AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE).
According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, more than two-thirds of cyberattacks occur due to “inadvertent insiders.”These are employees who unknowingly engage in actions that leave the network vulnerable, like clicking on a suspicious link in a phishing email or ignoring a key software patch. Cryptographer Bruce Schneier put it best when he said,“Only amateurs attack machines; professionals target people.”Because of this, the best way to boost your cybersecurity isn’t to pile money into a better antivirus or complicated network defense — it’s to get your people up to speed with cybercrime trends and educate them on best practices for avoiding threats.
time, a little savvy, and a willingness to invest in better IT.
3 Questions to Ensure You Obtain the Right Clients AreYou QualifyingYour Prospects?
connection. Just because someone fits what you’re looking for doesn’t mean they are worth the time investment. Some of your ideal prospects will demand excessive time from your team, making the cost of client acquisition even higher. Set a maximum amount of time you’re willing to dedicate to a lead, and as you get closer to that threshold, ask yourself if it’s worth continuing that relationship. DOES THE PROSPECT ALIGNWITH YOUR VALUES? You may attract the right lead, and you might be able to convert that lead efficiently, but that doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your company. Above all else, a client needs to match your core values. Your team is a direct reflection of your company, but so are your clients. By qualifying your prospects effectively, you’ll increase client retention, improve client satisfaction, and create rave followers. Rather than trying to find leads under any rock you can turn over, ask these three questions about each prospect, and you’ll find more success in business.
The shotgun lead generation approach is both ineffective and inefficient. For years, businesses put the power of decision-making in the hands of the consumer. Companies chased after any opportunity to put their name in front of a lead, hoping their skills would lead to a conversion. It wasn’t until recently that marketing and lead generation trends flipped the tables. Rather than an organization spraying out strategies across every feasible medium, new tactics implement a more targeted approach to get the right clients. Here are three questions you can ask to qualify your prospects. WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL PROSPECT LOOK LIKE? Rather than taking any client they can get, a smart business owner focuses their attention toward the leads they want. It’s important to focus on candidates in a specific demographic. Doing business with those who match your requirements will result in happier clients and better relationships. HOW MUCH TIME ARE YOUWILLING TO SPEND ON A LEAD? Once you understand the type of client you’re looking for, the next step is to designate how much time you’re willing to spend fostering a
2 • www.newlookbodyworks.com
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