With the rise of malwares nowadays, it has become very important to have a strong cybersecurity plan, especially for startups just beginning their journey in the business world. As a report suggests, almost 43 % of cyberattacks are focused on startups and small businesses as they are more vulnerable to security breach than big corporations. If your startup is working in such an environment and has limited resources to protect itself from security breaches, these tips can help you secure your data online.
Tips to strengthen the cybersecurity of your startup
1) Start with the right plan
It’s always easier to start with the right plan and to get your basics right to help you secure your startup. By identifying the important information valuable to your startup and keeping it separate from public information, one can avoid losing important information due to major security breaches.
2) Securing cloud storage
Startups use cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive to store important data about the company. Sometimes, they fail to recognize the risks of backing up data in this manner. Even though the cloud services take extra steps to secure all the stored information, it is not completely secure from hackers. Installing advanced and internal firewalls as well as intrusion detection system are some simple steps one can adopt to protect their startup’s data. Some of the best cloud firewalls in the market right now are CloudFlare WAF, Amazon Web Services WAF and Sophos XG Firewall, which are easy to use and offer multiple security features.
3) Use stronger passwords
Sometimes, instead of using advanced software to hack into a startup network system, hackers just type in passwords to get access. It is wiser to set up passwords with multiple special characters and to avoid using the same password for multiple platforms, to keep your network system protected.
4) Two factor authentication
Using multiple factors to log in to the system is a clever way to protect your account and information from security breach. Two factor authentication helps in verifying the identity of a user, usually through password and a second factor like SMS verification. Two factor authentication can be used anywhere from protecting your email accounts to your Dropbox account and more. Many Companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft provide this service, which can be used by any startup to ensure its online security.
5) Educating the employees
It is a good idea to put the employees of a startup through a cybersecurity training. The training can be about how cybersecurity works and in which direction it is headed and most importantly, how the employees can contribute to protect their organization from security breaches.
With the cost of data breaching expected to increase to $ 150 million by 2020, it is important to take every precaution available to save startups from losing money and time.
If you have any other tips about strengthening the cybersecurity of a startup, comment below and let us know.
How To Increase Online Sales Of A Business
Sales is an important part of any establishment or organisation as it is a major revenue contributor. A product or service can be sold any number of ways, but mostly it falls under either offline or online sales. The present consumer is increasingly relying on technology to make their purchases and that is the reason why almost every company or organisation has an online presence on an aggregator platform or via their own in house app.
Online sales can be made consistent by following some simple tips given below.
1.Show customer testimonials
Testimonials are an important way for a new user to get an understanding of the product or service they plan to buy. Testimonials offer customers a sense of confidence that they are making an informed decision about their purchase. Good testimonials are a way to convert impressions into sales. Amazon has reviews for every product it offers on its platform and urges customers to leave a review as well after making a purchase.
2. Money back guarantees
Most online sales happen without the customer physically inspecting a product or service before making a purchase. Therefore, it is a good practice to offer some form of money back guarantee for a sale, in case a customer is not satisfied with their purchase. Having a money back guarantee is also a form of conveying the strength and quality of the product being sold. Online clothing store Myntra has a return policy where, if a customer is not satisfied with their purchase, they can return it back and the cost of the transaction is reverted back to the customer’s account.
3. Create a call to action
Creating a sense of urgency or a call to action is a very subtle way of guiding a customer to make an online purchase. This can be achieved in many ways like offering a product bundle for a discounted price or creating a discount sales campaign. Showcasing high selling products or the most recommended products are some other ways to make the customer make their choice quicker. Food delivery platform Swiggy has an option called Swiggy Pop which has a curated list of meals for one person at attractive prices. This spares the customer the hassle of browsing through multiple restaurants and making a decision.
4. Streamline the checkout process
The checkout process is the most important part of a purchase. Items in an online shopping cart are often left in the cart itself as the checkout process is time taking. Lengthy information fields are most often a hassle and make a customer abandon their product in the cart and instead look for other alternatives elsewhere. Having a secure payment gateway, which does not interrupt transactions midway, is a must have for the customer to trust the brand.
5. Offer multiple payment options
Have multiple payment options like cash on delivery, netbanking, online wallets, credit and debit cards. The present day customer has many options at their disposal to make a payment and they would like to be able to make that choice in choosing how they would like to pay. In India, almost every online marketplace offers a plethora of alternatives for payment, like Paytm, Google Pay and credit/debit card transactions from multiple banks, from which the customer can choose.
While there are multiple tweaks and ways to increase the online sales of a product, following these tips can help streamline the sales process and offer a sense of understanding from a revenue standpoint as well.
Learn more about how to increase sales of a business here: 4 Tips For A Business To Increase Sales
4 Tips For A Business To Increase Sales
Any business, once established, needs to generate revenue in order to sustain itself. Sales are the major revenue generating stream for any business. In the current business landscape, it is highly imperative to have stable sales revenue. A good product will automatically generate sales if it has a target audience who like what they are purchasing. However, any product or service always has scope for improvement and generating more sales.
Let us have a look at some tips for a business to increase sales.
1. Invest in a good sales team
Any business needs a sales team which can look after pitching the product or service to the target demographic. Providing resources and training to the sales team will go a long way in generating a healthy sales forecast. Elevator pitches, quarterly audits and target based competition will generate a healthy atmosphere and a zeal to perform. Leading software as a service (SaaS) company Salesforce currently has one of the best sales teams in the world and they invest a lot on them by offering them training at an event called ‘Dreamforce.’ The sales team is trained by leading industry experts and Salesforce executives.
2. Generate positive reviews
A business needs constant feedback to know the needs and wants of the customer in order to optimise its offering to suit their audience. One of the easiest ways to do it is to go online and register on a reviewing site relevant to the industry in which the business is. Constant feedback, especially positive feedback, is important as it increases the likelihood of generating more traffic and demand for your product/service. Google is one of the best platforms to get reviews as it is used by almost everyone. For example, a business which is in the food service space can focus on reviews on platforms like Zomato or Yelp.
3. Create packages or bundles
Creating packages or bundles of products or services clubbed together is a good way to maximize sales. Clubbing together products or services which deal with the same issue or action increases the convenience and seem more useful to customers, who may believe they are getting more value out of a purchase. E commerce giant Amazon offers suggestions based on user purchases, which show similar products that will be useful with a purchase. For example, if a customer purchases a mobile phone, Amazon’s suggestions may include a screen guard and a mobile phone case.
4. Partner with other businesses
A business can explore the possibility of partnering with another business if investing in research, development and infrastructure is expensive. Partnering up with a business can create unique products which need less development time and investment because existing businesses have the necessary infrastructure in place and only need collaboration. Microsoft is a good example in this instance. Microsoft was notorious for its reputation of not offering its products on Apple’s Linux platforms because Apple is a competitor. However, Satya Nadella, when he was made CEO, decided Microsoft would partner with Apple and release a Linux compatible Microsoft Office suite for the iPad, the iMac, the iPhone and the MacBook. This move drastically increased the sales of Microsoft.
A business can adopt these tips to come up with a sales plan which creates a revenue stream. While these do not guarantee immediate results, they can provide an organic growth in sales traffic. A good product should be able to elicit a definite answer from the audience and these tips should always go along with a call to action for the customer.
Read more about how to increase business opportunities here: Five Steps Entrepreneurs Can Follow To Identify New Business Opportunities
How To Start A Business With Little Capital
Starting a business may seem like a great idea to pursue a passion, but it has its share of problems. It is easy to worry about from where to bring in the investment for it, what kind of business should it be, whether it will give a return on investment and whether it will become sustainable and provide a stable source of income. While these questions and the uncertainty can act as deterrents to begin a business, you can still start a business with a little bit of planning.
Let us look at some tips about how to begin a business with little or no investment.
1. Keep working at your present job
If an individual who wishes to begin a business already has a stable job, it is a little easier to begin investing resources into a business or an idea. Having a job acts as a cushion on which you can fall back if things don’t go as planned. The job also acts as a source for initial startup capital by creating savings on which you can bank. You will, however, have to put in those extra hours to work on the business. Mailchimp is a popular email marketing platform which was created by founder Ben Chestnut when he was running a design consulting business.
2. Create a business plan
Once sufficient savings are pooled up, it is important to work on your business plan. Creating a list of variable and dynamic parameters which may affect the business, analysing the market for a demand, creating a business plan with minimal investment and operational costs and creating value for the product is important.
3. Start simple and build a revenue stream
One of the easiest ways to begin a business with little capital is most often by creating a service based model. Service based models are easy to implement as revenue can be generated after providing a service. There are many service based industries like washing and cleaning, housekeeping and delivery services, to name a few. If a product based model is your passion, consider starting off with services and use the revenue to build a product. For example, cooking or baking is the easiest way to generate revenue. Food will always see sales and the initial market demographic can be acquaintances, family and colleagues.
4. Consider a small loan or an incubator
Once a working model is established with revenue forecasts, consider taking a small business loan which will provide a capital pool that can be used to invest in scaling up and building infrastructure. Incubators are a great way to grow as well. An incubator acts as a source of funding for businesses if they have good business models. Many well known business schools act as incubators. The famous startup WeWork also began as an incubator platform for startups and they have branches all over the world now.
Crowdfunding is a very powerful tool to generate capital for your product or business idea. A lot of businesses kicked off using crowdfunding and it is not just limited to businesses. Crowdfunding can be used for any number of reasons like making a movie, starting a restaurant or funding travel. Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset which was crowdfunded by multiple backers on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform. Oculus was later acquired by Facebook for over $ 2 billion.
Starting a business does not have to be a complicated exercise and it can begin by following these tips if there is the problem of initial capital . There is no shortcut to success, but these simple steps can help in achieving the goal of starting a business.
Read more about how to start up here: A Simple Guide To Starting A Business
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