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13 Important Questions to Ask Before You Sign Up With a SaaS Provider

Every business owner should go into a vendor partnership with a clear understanding of the details. When considering a potential software as a service (SaaS) vendor, what’s one security question that should always be asked? Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co. 1. Where Is Our Credit Card Data Stored? Get a guarantee that your provider won’t store your credit card details on its own server. In a best-case scenario, a provider will use a payment gateway or vendor’s server for processing and maintaining all of your information. Though no measure is cyberattack proof, most of these third-party vendors have the appropriate security and infrastructure in place to handle your sensitive data. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker 2. Do You Use Two-Factor Authentication? By now, most mission-critical systems offer two-step verification. In addition to logging in with a password, a code will be sent to your mobile phone, which you‘ll also need to enter to confirm that you are really you. This additional layer prevents someone who may have access to your password from also logging into vital technical systems and causing damage. – David Ciccarelli, Voices.com 3. What’s Your Action Plan for a Worst-Case Scenario? When evaluating a SaaS partner, ask them what the worst-case scenario is that they can foresee. It might be a data breach, a service outage or something else, depending on the software. Then, ask how they would deal with that worst case. Ask detailed questions, and make sure you‘re comfortable with the action plan laid out. – Brittany Hodak, The Superfan Company 4. Is Data Encrypted at Rest? Data should be encrypted in transit and at rest. Secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption for data in transit is nearly ubiquitous, but many vendors don’t encrypt data at rest on storage devices. If their network is breached, that data is vulnerable. Ask potential vendors if the data is encrypted, how it is encrypted and who has access to the keys. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting 5. Are You GDPR Compliant? The recent EU General Data Protection Regulation sowed much confusion among online businesses worldwide, but one positive side effect is that it forced reputable SaaS vendors…

8 Ways to Streamline Your Monthly Billing Process

As a business grows and it becomes imperative to streamline monthly billing, what’s your best tip for doing so efficiently and effectively? Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co. 1. Delegate the Process to a Financial Professional The most important thing you can do with your day-to-day finances as your business grows is to delegate them to someone else. Whether you delegate them to a CPA, a fractional CFO or a trusted bookkeeper, the best way to help finances run smoothly is to remove them from the founder’s plate altogether. An hour-long check-in meeting once a month is much more manageable than dealing with individual invoices. – Brittany Hodak, The Superfan Company 2. Set a Companywide Day for Invoicing It’s good to build a company policy for how billing and payments are handled. It’s even better to create a policy for when invoicing takes place. Set a day in your company for when this will occur, and make sure everyone is aware. The better you systematize it, the better it will go. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now 3. Find a Software Solution That Works for Your Business There are tools out there, such as Quickbooks Online, Stripe and Chargify, that handle monthly billing. These solutions enable you to set up monthly billing options and monitor activity. They also integrate with a bunch of other third-party tools, enterprise resource planning systems and e-commerce systems. – Michael Hsu, DeepSky 4. Build a Tech-Centered Process for Invoicing Entrepreneurs now have access to a long list of software, particularly in the cloud, that supports small- to medium-sized businesses. These tools can help with invoicing, collections and even processing payments. Invest time in building a process that leverages the best software for the business while documenting all the relevant steps so anyone on the team, including new members, can step in to take over the work. – Jonathan Gass, Nomad Financial 5. Negotiate the Proper Payment Terms Up Front As your business reputation and the desire for others to do business with you grows, you should start dictating better payment terms from your vendors. For product companies, a net 90 payment term can be brutal…

13 Effective Ways Business Leaders Can Continue Improving Their Skills

Continuing education is important — especially for leaders. What is the best method to learn or improve work-related skills? Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the… Read more » The post 13 Effective Ways Business Leaders Can Continue Improving Their Skills appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

11 Ways to Beef Up Your Business’s Cybersecurity

What is your best tip for ramping up cybersecurity in the early stages of your business? Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC)  is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.   1. Use a Password Manager   Early on, it’s easy to create user accounts quickly and without much thought of security. However, many times those accounts are either used frequently or forgotten about, and the passwords are weak. Simply start out with a company password manager tool to ensure all passwords are strong and handled securely.  – Shawn Schulze, HomeArea.com   2. Create a Formal Plan  Have a formal security plan in place that you can expand and add to as you grow and need further cybersecurity tools. This sets a standard and precedent that gives you a process and best practices to adhere to rather than just addressing problems in a reactive way. – John Rampton, Calendar   3. Implement Best Practices From the Start  Cybersecurity becomes more difficult to manage the faster your business grows. I implement the best practices for security as soon as possible and schedule a regular test. The best defense is an alert team that has good habits and a sense of suspicion about any new messages. – Derek Broman, Discount Enterprises LLC (DEGuns.net) 4. Address Weak Links Personal smartphones and tablets are weak links in the security chain. Improve your overall protection by keeping personal devices off the corporate network. Instead, set up a separate Wi-Fi network to which employees and guests can connect their devices. Also, employ a strong spam filter and turn off clickable links in emails that come from outside the company. Infected emails often lead to cyber attacks. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker 5. Educate Your Employees  Making sure that your employees know how to spot a cyber predator is worth more than any cybersecurity system. Oftentimes, employees will surf the web or answer an email that can compromise your entire system. Arm your staff with knowledge of how to prevent cyber threats. – Patrick…

12 Ways to Put Your Testimonials to Work

How can you get the most mileage out of a glowing business testimonial?   These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.   1.Get It on Video  Video testimonials are powerful. Ask your client to create a short 45- to 120-second video about their experience.- Jean Ginzburg, JeanGinzburg.com       2. Brag About It  When someone says something positive about your company, that’s cause for celebration. Spread the word. Post it, tweet it, Instagram it and frame it. Be proud, and make it known. – Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution     3. Encourage Sharing   I love asking my contacts to share testimonials on LinkedIn. Then my whole network sees them.- Jessica Gonzalez, InCharge     4. Create a Case Study If your business receives a great testimonial, make the most of it by creating a case study page dedicated to that client’s project on your site. Showcase the client’s objective, your execution strategy and the project’s results that warranted the glowing review.  – Duran Inci, Optimum7   5. Share It Strategically  When you receive a glowing review, the first thing you’ll want to do is share it everywhere, but don’t do that. That will immediately make the testimonial stale. Instead, use it strategically: Share it on one platform, and then later embed it in a press release. Use the testimonial as supporting evidence but not as the main attraction. This allows for multiple-use and won’t cause fatigue.  – Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving   6. Place the Testimonial Up Front First impressions matter. If you run a website, add testimonials on your homepage where they’ll stand out. If you run a brick and mortar business, consider building a wall of testimonials with picture and frames. Whether you have a website, a shop or an office, you want your visitors to get that glowing first impression from all your recommendations. – Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net   7.…

Nine Better Ways to Communicate Your Commitment to Data Privacy

In today’s technology-driven society, data breaches are a common concern among online users and companies alike. What’s one way companies can communicate their commitment to data protection to their customers? These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. 1. Two-Factor Authentication Having people log in with their mobile phones is a great way to ensure that systems are well protected. It’s a key that most people will always have with them and not something easy to hack or duplicate. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now   2. Transparency Make sure the communication with your online users is short and simple to understand. An overcomplicated message generates confusion and concern. Tell your customers in a clear way what the data is used for and how you are protecting it. – Duran Inci, Optimum7 3. Whitepapers One way would be to create and publish a whitepaper on the topic. Make it complete and comprehensive, including how privacy is approached, what you’re specifically doing to protect consumer info, as well as how you’re complying with current regulations. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance 4. Social Engineering Prevention The most common cause of data breaches isn’t actually software exploits. More often than not, hackers use social engineering to trick unassuming supervisors to share information. In order to avoid this, and in order to indicate to your clients that you avoid this, it’s important to make sure access to login information is as limited as possible. If you can, try to keep everything in-house. – Bryce Welker, Crush The LSAT 5. Website and Data Security Communication Your brand should be synonymous with privacy and security. One way to go about doing this is to encrypt your website with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. Browsers like Google Chrome will begin marking sites that have no SSL encryption as ‘not secure’ in the address bar of the browser. You do not want to be ‘that guy’ and lose business by telling visitors that their data isn’t secure. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc. 6. Data Collection Assurance As a rule, any time a company asks customers for their…

11 Ways to Stay Up-to-Date on Social Media Platform Changes

As social media companies continuously roll out new rules and updates to their advertising platforms, what’s your top tip for keeping up with these changes? These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. 1. Google Alerts Our social media team has certain keywords that they are sent alerts for. This keeps them up to date on any new rules, updates or news put out by different social platforms. – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com   2. Podcasts You can find a podcast about just about any topic these days, and they’re an easy way to keep up on new trends as you’re walking, driving or working out. I’m all about learning while I’m doing the things that I would be doing anyway. – Allie Siarto, Allie Siarto & Co. Photography 3. Compliance Officer As a leading digital agency, it’s our job to be up on these things, so we have a compliance officer. Most sizeable companies should have one, and if it doesn’t quite make sense, then add that as a dual role for someone in your company. Have them update your marketing team and even execs via email, and if need be on a monthly in-person basis just to ensure they are on top of things. – Scott Levy, Fuel Online 4. The Platform’s Own Training Modules Social media platforms have their own training outlets. For example, Facebook has a platform called ‘Facebook Blueprint’ that contains training modules. You can subscribe to the newsletter and receive monthly content consisting of highlights, updates and new courses. Twitter has a platform called ‘Twitter Flight School’ which has a resource library and online courses to keep you up to date. – Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk 5. RSS Feeds It might seem old-fashioned to use RSS to follow social media news, but it is effective. Most of the big social networks have news blogs, like Facebook Business News. We subscribe via RSS to many of the most important social media news sources, which helps our team to keep on top of changing rules and updates. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting 6. Log In and Check The simplest…

14 Cost-Effective Ways to Engage Facebook Followers

With new capabilities and creative ways to reach your audience, increasing your social media engagement doesn’t have to rely on the dollars you spend on sponsored posts. What’s one cost-effective way you have been able to increase your audience’s engagement on Facebook? These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. 1. Guest Post for Others One of the best ways to build your audience and increase engagement on Facebook is to partner with a complementary brand. Find a noncompeting brand that has an existing audience that overlaps with your ideal target demographic and vice versa. Both brands can mutually benefit from an occasional guest post on each other’s Facebook pages. – Duran Inci, Optimum7 2. Use an Attention-Grabbing Photo A unique photo placed at the right time boosts engagement. Photos make a much greater impression than status updates and posted links. People are drawn to visuals. They are clear, concise, easy to digest and they only take a second to look at as opposed to reading an update or clicking on a link and reading content. Once you have their attention, research has shown that people are more likely to comment. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker 3. Create Contests and Giveaways  Contests and giveaways are one of the easiest ways to increase engagement on Facebook. Who doesn’t love to win something? And as a business, it’s a great opportunity to market your products. Create a contest campaign where you partner with other like-minded brands as well, so you are able to cross-promote with their audiences. It creates a win-win for all! – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR 4. Share Product Content Pages As an e-commerce seller, all I have to do is copy the link to any one of my product pages and paste it on my Facebook wall. I can caption it with an incentive to win a free product if they share the page. The cost to get someone to share your post is far cheaper than launching a…

14 Ways to Keep Up with Your Industry

Industry news is vital for keeping in touch with changes and upcoming trends. What is the best way to stay on top of industry news? Why does it work? These… Read more » The post 14 Ways to Keep Up with Your Industry appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

​10 Ideas for Small Businesses That Want to Attract Top Talent

It’s difficult to compete with tech giants like Google when it comes to recruiting top talent. As a small business, what’s one tactic you’ve found successful when attracting highly qualified potential hires? These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. 1. Think Laterally We think laterally by asking what skills are valuable to our clients. I don’t let myself become blinded by passionate people who want to make a splash and have the ideas to effect meaningful change by focusing only on impressive, yet safe, resumes. We hire, for example, dropouts who are Mensa members. One of my rock star employees has zero formal business education and was a theater major. – Robert J Choi, RJC & Company Transformation Engineers 2. Invest More Time Screening Tech giants like Google regularly pass up amazing talent simply because they do not have the appropriate degree or work experience. Rather than looking at degrees, we choose to look at soft skills. We schedule interviews with the candidates that would normally be screened out by Google. We have found many hidden gems this way and can only hope these tech giants continue doing a poor job screening. – Mike A. Podesto, Find My Profession 3. Don’t Underestimate Room to Grow Highlight the areas that your company outperforms larger corporations. Often, this is in the form of growth opportunities. At giant corporations, candidates get pigeonholed into specific roles without an opportunity to grow and learn like they would have at a smaller company. When candidates understand they should be thinking about their long-term career, tech giants often have very little to offer. – Arian Radmand, TurnGram 4. Hire Locally We always focus on hiring fresh, college graduates from local universities and provide them with full training and the potential to grow. It is very easy to compete with Google; our process is simple, faster and focused on the growth. Students want to work in…

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