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6 Things That Can Undermine Your Small Business

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It’s not easy running a small business, as anyone who has undertaken that challenge can attest to. You need to work harder than the bigger companies around you, with a smaller budget and a smaller team. However, while there are plenty of external aspects that can make it difficult to build success, sometimes the damage happens internally, too. Many small business owners end up inadvertently undermining their business, without realizing it. Below, we take a look at some of the more common mistakes that company owners make, as well as provide some tips on how to overcome them. 

Jack of all Trades

You might know that you’re a small, one-person operation, but there’s little value in shouting it from the rooftops. Your customers don’t need to know that, or at least not from their very first interaction with you. It just doesn’t always look so great if a person is the receptionist, accountant, support person, and expert in the company. If you’re handing out business cards, put your name and your main role as the title. You may also consider outsourcing your receptionist duties to another company. Both these things will make your small venture look bigger than it really is.

A Bad Employee

However, it’s not as if you’re out of the woods just because you’ve got a team of staff. The more people that you add, the more potential there is for something unprofessional to occur; at least when it’s just you, you’re aware of what’s going on. Because of the impact that your employees can have, it’s really important that you take steps to develop a robust hiring policy, one that’ll lead to professional and courteous employees coming on board. Don’t forget: everyone at your company has the potential to undermine your professionalism. 

Inconsistent Branding

It’s important that you’re firing on all cylinders if you’re going to make the most of your business. As we said earlier, you’ll be competing against bigger companies, so there’s little margin for error. In your quest to deliver your best, your branding will be key. If you get this aspect of your business right, then you’ll appear much larger than you really are. However, in many cases, business owners don’t take their branding as seriously as they should, and it shows. The message and the visuals used to portray that message can be used inconsistently. As such, it’s recommended that you use a Corporate Identity Management platform, which will help ensure that all your visual assets are used correctly. Ultimately, it’s all about creating a solid image of your business in the eyes of your potential customers.

Lack of Updates

You might have worked hard to develop an excellent website when you first got your business up and running, but alas, it’s not as if you can just sit back and enjoy your work. If your business is going to stay relevant, then it needs to be updated. This doesn’t mean changing everything; it just means showing that the website is actively managed, rather than dormant. You could have a blog, for example, or slightly change your design to match whatever is happening seasonally (such as Christmas or Halloween). The same principle applies to your social media channels. They can be excellent tools for your business, but only if there are regular updates. There’s nothing sadder than seeing a company’s Facebook or Twitter page that hasn’t been updated in months. It can make people doubt if the company is still in operation.

Untidy Environments

So far, we’ve talked about the things that you pump out into the world, such as your website and branding and so on. But from time to time, you may find that you have visitors to your work premises. This is another area where things can be undermined, so it’s important to look at your environment and ask some questions, such as: is it tidy? Does it reflect your company well? Is there anything that would give someone an unfavorable impression of our business? People do, rightly or wrongly, make snap judgements about, well, everything. If your offices fall short in any way, then it could be a mark against your business. 

Suppliers and Practices

Finally, it’s always worth interrogating your working practices to ensure they’re in line with modern standards and expectations. If they’re not — say, you’re using practices that harm the environment and/or people — then there could be a backlash. It pays to have an ear to the ground and move as times change.

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

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Matica’s CEO Sandro Camilleri speaks about security in digital payments

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One thing is for sure: the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many behaviors and trends that once were holding their pace. A great example can be found in digital payments and online shopping. According to Rakuten Intelligence, from March through mid-April, e-commerce spending in the United States increased more than 30% compared to the same period last year. When it comes to worldwide scores, it reaches the surprising increase of 74%.

Although books and cleaning products led the ranks mapped by Rakuten, specialists argue that digital payments and online shopping are here to stay, as much as it has already been observed in Asian countries. In this sense, securing financial transactions and protecting consumer data became a mandatory issue to be addressed both by companies and the government.

As a leading European company in the processing and printing of cards and identification documents for security systems, Matica Technologies is dedicated to granting safety and technological solutions to businesses dealing with financial transactions online. According to the CEO and founder of Matica, Sandro Camilleri, the advent of digital payments is a revolution similar to that which technology has caused and is currently causing in other areas, such as transports. “It is an inevitable revolution, which citizens will have to get used to, and which must therefore be managed in order not to risk unintended consequences, being the key issue obviously safety,” he argues.

Camilleri stresses that there are two different phases when it comes to digital payment security. A first one is about information and personal data storage, one of the greatest topics of our time and also a potentially enormous market sector. The second, less discussed though equally important, is guaranteeing strength and security for the financial transaction itself — and this is a purely technological issue. “The use of chips that are equipped with incredible memories, high precision lasers and holograms makes it extremely difficult, not to say impossible, for any attacker to clone a card produced by us. Secondly, the transaction must be secure thanks to specific and constantly updated software,” explains Matica’s CEO.

Now, when it comes to privacy, Camilleri states that people must be aware of what is at stake when data is leaked and why such occurrences are so alarming. With more and more appliances being automated and connected to computers and to the internet, such as is the case for cars and home security systems, cyberattacks could lead to consequences that are not only terrible, but tragic. 

In such situations, Matica’s CEO believes that only biometric data could spare individuals from having their systems hacked, though this data must be filed with care and used only for strictly necessary purposes. In any case, Camilleri argues that using biometrics is becoming day by day more inevitable with the increasing rhythm of automation, and this is a feature that can already be found in some of Matica’s available systems, such as is the case of the passport series.

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The Importance of Branded Clothing

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When it comes to the basics of branding, it’s essential that you don’t skip out one of the most important aspects of your store; clothing. When it comes to creating a professional image for your business, first impressions count and you want your customers to believe that you are a credible and reliable business. The best way to achieve this excellent first impression is to pay more attention to the appearance of your staff and creating a consistent company image.

So here are a couple of tips that will explain the importance of branded clothing and why you should invest in it.

Creating a sense of team spirit

One of the biggest advantages of having branded clothing in the workplace is inspiring a sense of team spirit. It’s important to have everyone on board when it comes to running your business. It could be your brand message, commitment to customer service or even your values as a business. Whatever the case is, having everyone wear the same uniform can help promote teamwork in the workplace.

It’s an inexpensive way to show professionalism

It’s surprisingly cheap to purchase customer embroidered badges to sew onto plain shirts. This is an inexpensive way to create a branded uniform and also means that you can remove the badges when the shirt is ruined and then stick it to another shirt. It also means you can just buy blanks in different sizes instead of having multiple shirts printed. This is usually a much better option than pre-printing a bunch of shirts and hoping that they fit a new staff member. If you take this approach, you’ll find that you can easily create a sense of professionalism on a budget.

Showing who the staff members are

When you first walk into a store, it’s easy to tell who the staff members are if they’re wearing branded clothing. They’re easy to identify and recognize which enhances the customer service, especially in a relatively large store. For instance, if you run a clothing store with multiple floors, then having staff members in uniform will ensure that your customers know who to speak to if they need assistance.

It inspires confidence in your shoppers

You might not notice it immediately, but people will react more positively to your brand if they see that you and your staff are proud of your work. Having a branded uniform means that your staff are more than happy to represent your business, and this inspires a sense of confidence in shoppers that is difficult to achieve in other ways. They want to see that your staff have faith in your brand and a branded uniform can show this in a subtle way.

At the end of the day, a business doesn’t need to force its staff to wear a specific uniform. We’ve probably all seen or experienced it before; a store clerk or staff member that isn’t wearing a specific uniform. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t create a consistent and professional brand image with your clothing.

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5 Main Advantages of Colocation Hosting for Your Business

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Your organization requires a data center business plan if it is going to move forward to expand smoothly. Thus, you must look at your IT needs and decide what is to come so that your business can grow. If you are not sure whether outsourcing to a colocation facility is right for your organization or not, read on to learn what to consider.

1. Many Connectivity Options

Rather than building a private data center, which is a major capital expenditure, many companies choose a migration of their data instead. The range of connectivity choices available makes colocation a great choice in several cases, particularly if expanding the company’s infrastructure is necessary. Rather than laying down and integrating expensive cables, it is often more budget-friendly to use colocation facilities that easily connect to leading providers of internet services, network services, and more.

2. Scalability

When your current data solution is no longer enough, then it is time to consider scaling the IT infrastructure so that your business can continue to grow. Using a colocation provider allows you to agree together on service terms that allow you to scale services as necessary. If you’re interested in this scalable solution, check this page out for more information.

3. Less Downtime

A big benefit of colocation hosting is less downtime. An outage is costly for any company because it means less work is being done then, which equals fewer sales. Significant work must go into catching up on operations afterwards too. Thankfully, colocation data centers reduce downtime and maintain hardware because they have many supports, including different power sources and physical security.

4. Data Security

This point is essential. Your business has data that you need to ensure is secure for your customers and for the organization generally. Keeping patented data out of competitor hands is important, and you have an ethical obligation to your customers to safeguard their personal details too. Thankfully, colocation data centers have cutting-edge security measures in place. The colocation facility also has many policies that align with compliance regulation for various types of data, which means you won’t have to worry that you are vulnerable to lawsuits.

5. Lower Costs

Finally, colocation reduces costs in many ways for your growing organization. For example, you will save money as you will consume much less power after the relocation. Not only that, but you won’t have to own and operate hardware for networking because that is taken care of by the trusted colocation provider.

Deciding to Make the Move to Colocation Hosting

If your business has complex needs for an internet infrastructure, colocation can offer significant benefits, including saving money, state-of-the-art security methods, and scalability. It’s nice not to have to worry about infrastructure anymore too.

When your business moves to a colocation data facility, you can then focus on daily operations and an expansion strategy, rather than spending time managing an on-site data center. You can spend your time efficiently by outsourcing in this way, which makes it a successful part of building your company’s future.

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