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It’s a hard life being a successful businessman.

Aside from paying over the odds for new Ferrari tyres and forking out exorbitant sums for your supermodel girlfriend’s beauty products, there’s the issue of making sure your company is secure.

Of course, I’m only half joking.

The reality for most business owners is a daily round of rather pedestrian tasks, not least the job of keeping criminals and vandals at arm’s length.

Quite simply, whether you sell latex in London or bananas in Birmingham, the dawn of a new day brings with it the very real threat of theft or vandalism.

Long gone are the days of sternly worded signs keeping criminals at bay, with the modern interloper more likely to tag a written warning with graffiti before plundering your goods.

Considering the modernity of most contemporary businesses, however, it’s not just the bricks and mortar that require protection.

Cybercrime is a very real risk to firms who are unprepared – or uninformed – about the dangers digital delinquents can pose to an unprotected organisation.

To prevent your business becoming a victim, then, follow our top five tips below for comprehensive security coverage …

Firm Up Your Fencing

Yep, a fence may be a rather old fashioned security measure, but its effectiveness cannot be overstated. It’s a superb first line of defence against those with unscrupulous intentions and, considering its imposing nature, is likely to prevent them attempting to scale it in the first instance.

Install a CCTV System

There aren’t many businesses that DON’T have CCTV installed – but if you’re lagging behind, security cameras are a worthwhile investment. Why? Because if a criminal scales your security fencing, the chances of their mugshot being captured by CCTV increases the prospects of them being caught.

Implement an Alarm System

So an intruder has scaled your security fence, evaded the CCTV and is hotfooting it to your business’s front door – but wait! Once he attempts to open the door or enter through a window, an alarm system should detect the movement and send out a warning to you and the authorities.

Purchase Antivirus Software

Nowadays, it’s not only criminals in stripy jumpers and bags marked with “swag” that you should be wary of. In an increasingly digital world, online security is just as important, which is why your electronic devices should be locked down with quality antivirus and antiphising software.

Reinforce Password Etiquette

With the risks of hackers unlocking your system and plundering your valuable data, it’s vital your employees attempt to guard against such a scenario by ensuring their passwords meet certain criteria. As a rule of thumb, passwords should be eight to 10 characters long and contain letters, numbers and symbols.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Improving Your Business Should Always Be Something You Are Aiming For

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Your business is your top priority. It’s something that you built from the ground up, and you want to make sure that it stays safe, right? To do this, you have got to be trying to constantly improve it so that it remains competitive with the others in the industry. It’s not always easy to work out how you can improve your business, so we’ve come up with some ideas that you can consider. Not every single one is going to be necessary in your business, but we can guarantee at least one will be. Keep reading if you would like to find out more.

Your Employees

The first thing that you want to think about is your employees. If they are not pulling their weight, they are letting water onto the ship. Do you know what happens when too much water gets onto a ship? It sinks, and this is not what you want for your business. It’s for this reason that you need to keep an eye on your employees, conduct regular performance reviews, and watch what everyone is doing, especially if you think that someone isn’t pulling their weight. If you do find someone not doing their job properly, you have two options. The first is that you speak to them, find out what is going on and give them a chance to improve. The second is that you let them go and hire someone who is going to give your business 110%.

Your Software

Another thing that you are going to need to think about is the software that you use in your business. There are softwares that are dedicated to specific industries, such as revenue cycle management software which is used for hospitals mainly. The point is that you need to work out if there is any software that is going to make your business life easier. Is there something that can make your employees jobs that little bit less complicated? Is there something that will make your business more efficient? Take a look and find out.

Your Customer Service

Finally, your customer service is essential. For some reason, there are many business owners who are of the opinion that customer service is just an add on of sorts to a business, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, your customers are the very heart of your business, and you wouldn’t survive without them. As such, if that means that you have to spend extra money on providing the perfect service for them, that is what you need to do. It’s important, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you should be aiming for in order to improve your business. Keep in mind that if you stop trying to improve, things are going to go wrong for you quite quickly. Try to think of your business as a shark, it needs to keep moving forward or else it won’t survive.

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The Green, Orange, And Red Lights For New Investors 2021

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The first time the world of finance heard about the new coronavirus outbreak was on 7 January 2020 when the World Health Organization identified the health crisis in China. Two months later, the virus had “traveled” to over 110 countries. The disruption to international trade and activities put a lot of pressure on the global financial markets. As a result, investors noticed struggles with equities products, traditional safe-haven assets, and forex pairs. The pandemic led to financial panic at a global level. 

The delayed reaction to the pandemic can be traced back to the period between January and March 2020, where investors carried on trading with a risk-on attitude. By March 2020, the outbreak had spread to several countries, affecting the trading approach. Previously confident investors became uncertain, which caused panic behaviors. Volatile financial markets took a dramatic hit; global commodity, equity, currency, and bond markets plunged to record lows. 

One year on, new investors are wondering how to approach the financial markets. Which are the green, orange, and red lights for new hobbyist investors to navigate their portfolios?

Green: Real estate

The real estate market has been affected by the pandemic. Commercial buildings, especially, have been vacant for the best part of a year. Lockdown, work-from-home, and other restrictions have made it hard for business offices, shops, and venues to thrive during the pandemic. However, the real estate market is bouncing back with house sales and innovative construction projects. These are essential to the economic recovery, which will pave the way for new investors. A buy-to-let within an innovative building can turn into a profitable source of revenue. Additionally, house-flipping will also prove one of the winners at the end of the pandemic, as loans become more accessible and house prices continue to rise. 

Orange: Forex

It’s good to know that naturally volatile markets, such as the foreign exchange currency market, are expected to recover thanks to the arrival of new investors. Indeed, forex brokers are actively supporting the self-employed workforce that the pandemic has created. Individuals left unemployed or on furlough during lockdown embraced entrepreneurship. They are solo business owners, contractors, consultants and do not trust bank institutions with their money. The renewed activity will support forex recovery. Some currencies have recovered from the losses of 2020, so investors can confidently look forward to gains. However, targeted market analysis and full access to forex signals with a trading platform such as MetaTrader 5 are essential to improve the precision of your trading operations. 

Red: Stock market

The stock exchange market reflects global uncertainty. Some stocks and shares have fallen throughout 2020 and gradually gaining their value back. However, not all have managed to secure their recovery. Therefore, unless you are an experienced stock and share trader, you want to stay away and observe. Big names, such as Harley-Davidson, are not expected to have any favorable growth in the coming months. Energy giant National Oilwell Varco is also reported to decline throughout 2021. The bottom line: Wait and watch for now. 

New investors need to arm themselves with patience and caution in 2021. Real estate remains a safe market for an investment portfolio, but investors need to be creative about their choices. Forex is recovering, yet not all pairs are back to their previous reliability, so you want trustworthy signals and analysis. Stocks and shares trades get the red light for inexperienced investors for the time being. 

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Strategies To Help Your Business Discover New Markets

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When entrepreneurs set up a business, they tend to focus on a particular market. This is the area in which you will sell your products/services, usually focusing on a particular target market. It’ll include a specific type of customer that you think suits your business the most. All of your work will revolve around targeting this market and selling to it as best as you can. 

Often, your business will consider discovering new markets as well. This tends to happen after you have experienced some success and are looking to grow/expand. Discovering new markets means that you find new people to sell to, drawing in lots of new customers. In turn, this will expand your customer base as you have your old market, plus the new one. 

Venturing into new markets isn’t always easy. For one, you have to find a way to tap into this new market without neglecting your old one. Otherwise, you just won’t see any growth – the new market customers come in, but the old ones leave! With that in mind, here are some strategies to help you:

Diversify your products/services

As you move through these strategies, you’ll see there are a couple of ways to encounter and discover new markets. The first is by focusing on what you offer the customer. This is a fantastic way of uncovering new markets within the same geographical region that you currently cover. Therefore, it’s excellent for more localized businesses. 

In essence, you start developing new products/services that target a slightly different market to the ones you already have. Thus, you draw more people to your business who otherwise would never have been interested. At the same time, your new products/services should still relate to your business. For instance, you run a marketing agency that offers SEO and PPC services. Why don’t you also add social media marketing to the mix? It’s a form of digital marketing, it fits with your brand, and you attract a different stream of customers. 

Don’t start adding random services or products that don’t relate to your company at all. It leads to all sorts of brand identity issues, and it needs to be avoided. If you want to start selling something completely different, start another business!

Target a different geographical area

Uncovering new markets doesn’t just mean finding new customers in your local area. Another approach is to target the same demographic, just in a different location. Essentially, you move your business operations to a new place and target the people in this new area. 

It requires a decent amount of effort and research, but it can work extremely well. A lot of businesses will open satellite offices to achieve this, basically opening up a new branch of their company in this new location. Finding the ideal location is one of the main things to consider with satellite offices, ensuring you have a new market to target. Once everything is set up, you can basically run similar ad and marketing campaigns as before. Technically, your demographic hasn’t changed – you’re offering the same products/services, targeting the same customers, just in a new place. 

Another way to target a different geographical area is by going online. Starting a website means you open yourself up to new markets from all over the world. Of course, you have to think about the logistics behind this – as well as the additional costs of selling overseas. 

Play the educational angle

Lastly, you can find new markets by playing the educational angle. Instead of selling products to people, sell knowledge! This will help you reel in a select group of people that aren’t necessarily interested in buying what your business sells but are keen to learn. 

For example, you could start a blog or YouTube channel where you provide tips and tricks relating to your expertise. People can watch these for free, and you can monetize the content with adverts, sponsorships, etc. Then, you could even offer paid educational resources that go into more detail on certain topics. But, at this point, you drift back to the first idea of diversifying your offerings. When you provide free educational resources, it’s completely different!

You see, discovering new markets is tricky business, but it can be done. The advantage of doing this is that it enables you to find new customers and make more money. All the while, you’re maintaining your original customers, meaning your business is bound to start growing. There is only so much you can achieve when you strictly target one market – if your business starts to stutter, it could be a sign that new markets must be reached.

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