What is the CCPA and Could It Threaten Your Small Businesses?

What is the CCPA and Could It Threaten Your Small Businesses?

Protecting personal information of clients should be tops on your radar, and it’s growing increasingly complex. The recent enacting of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) may not directly affect your small business, but you need to know about it. It is definitely a sign of things to come regarding data protection.

What is the CCPA?

The CCPA is a regulation aimed at protecting the personal information of California residents, giving those residents more control over their data. You might think it has nothing to do with your small business. After all, you don’t operate in California, right?

The CCPA has jurisdiction not only over businesses operating in California, but also over all businesses that process the personal information of California residents. In order for the CCPA regulation to apply, the business must have annual gross revenue of more than $25 million.

So, you’re thinking, the CCPA doesn’t apply to my small business. I don’t operate in California or have customers in California. Even if I did, my business revenue isn’t anywhere close to $25 million.

But you do need to pay attention to CCPA, because it’s a sign of things to come. It was the first regulation of its kind in the United States, and other states have either enacted their own regulations or have legislation in the works.  You need to be sure that you have data protection software in place.

A Data Privacy Regulation Example from New York

In March 2020 New York launched the SHIELD (Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security), which requires businesses to have safeguards in place to protect an individual’s private information.

As with the CCPA, the SHIELD Act works both ways. It doesn’t only apply to a business operating in New York. Any business that maintains the private information of New York residents is included.

The private information includes information such as credit or debit card number, bank account number, user’ names and email addresses, for example. The SHIELD Act requires businesses who have private information about New York residents to “develop, implement and maintain reasonable safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of private information.”

Penalties for noncompliance, and breaches, can be high. For example, in the CCPA legislation, businesses which don’t comply with the CCPA can be fined from $2,500 to $7,500. California residents who are victims of a breach can sue the company.

The SHIELD Act is enforced by the state’s Attorney General. The maximum penalty is $250,000.

How Can Your Business Be Compliant with Data Protection Legislation?

Your first step is to take stock of how much personal information from customers you store on your computer or computers. Analyze how the data is stored and how it is protected.

Next, research data protection regulations in your home state. Is your small business in line with the requirements? Do you have the right software to keep your business in compliance with data protection regulations? Where are areas that need improvement?

Remember that if a breach happens, you’ll have to be able to prove that you were compliant with regulations. You may be asked to generate reports about your compliance efforts to prove that you weren’t liable.

Ideas for Outsourcing Data Protection

A number of companies specialize in information technology, network security and SaaS (software as a service). Those companies are already familiar with standard ways to secure data. They know how to maintain and provide the documentation that backs up those security efforts.

Let’s take a look at one of them.

Electric AI Works with Small Businesses

According to Alex Foley, CISO at Electric AI (Artificial Intelligence), the company works with businesses to develop and standardize the documentation processes involved with compliance reporting. The company focus is on startups and small businesses, helping them ensure they are compliant with all present and future legislation.

“Our typical customer has from 25 to 300 employees,” Foley said. “Customer industries include, but are not limited to, financial services, tech, consumer, advertising/marketing, HR, and health / wellness.”

Electric AI works with a range of businesses. They include those with no IT solution in place. But they also include those with an internal IT or an outsourced IT provider.

Common Data Protection Deficiencies in Small Businesses

“Many companies have unsupported and unpatched firewalls,” Foley said. “This lack of support and critical security patching could lead to a compromise of the firewall and the network behind it.”

Many companies possess ports and services open to the Internet. As a result, this leads to a compromise of the firewalls themselves or devices and services behind them. The Electric AI team offers an operational and security review of all new customers. For example, the review ensures devices get support from the manufacturer, have current patching and have a minimum of ports open to the Internet.

More than half of all customer workstations onboarded by Electric AI lack basic security controls. For example, basic security controls include automated security patching, full disk encryption, automated screen lock and firewall enabled.

What Does Electric IA Do?

Electric AI seeks to alleviate problems. As a result, the company performs a comprehensive network review and remediation as part of onboarding. For example, with workstations Electric AI works to implement a default set of policies. As a result, they improve the security posture of customer workstations.

Does Your Small Business Need Better Data Protection?

“We cannot officially tell stories, but we have seen more than a few situations where we have onboarded customers which had critical security vulnerabilities in their equipment,” Foley said. “Our reviews and remediation efforts dramatically improve these customers security posture in short order.”

With Electric AI, customers see information about their security. They also see their operational posture though the Electric Turbine Dashboard. For more information, email is hello@electric.ai and phone is 646-779-1607.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "What is the CCPA and Could It Threaten Your Small Businesses?" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

What is the CCPA and Could It Threaten Your Small Businesses?

What is the CCPA and Could It Threaten Your Small Businesses?

Protecting personal information of clients should be tops on your radar, and it’s growing increasingly complex. The recent enacting of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) may not directly affect your small business, but you need to know about it. It is definitely a sign of things to come regarding data protection.

What is the CCPA?

The CCPA is a regulation aimed at protecting the personal information of California residents, giving those residents more control over their data. You might think it has nothing to do with your small business. After all, you don’t operate in California, right?

The CCPA has jurisdiction not only over businesses operating in California, but also over all businesses that process the personal information of California residents. In order for the CCPA regulation to apply, the business must have annual gross revenue of more than $25 million.

So, you’re thinking, the CCPA doesn’t apply to my small business. I don’t operate in California or have customers in California. Even if I did, my business revenue isn’t anywhere close to $25 million.

But you do need to pay attention to CCPA, because it’s a sign of things to come. It was the first regulation of its kind in the United States, and other states have either enacted their own regulations or have legislation in the works.  You need to be sure that you have data protection software in place.

A Data Privacy Regulation Example from New York

In March 2020 New York launched the SHIELD (Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security), which requires businesses to have safeguards in place to protect an individual’s private information.

As with the CCPA, the SHIELD Act works both ways. It doesn’t only apply to a business operating in New York. Any business that maintains the private information of New York residents is included.

The private information includes information such as credit or debit card number, bank account number, user’ names and email addresses, for example. The SHIELD Act requires businesses who have private information about New York residents to “develop, implement and maintain reasonable safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of private information.”

Penalties for noncompliance, and breaches, can be high. For example, in the CCPA legislation, businesses which don’t comply with the CCPA can be fined from $2,500 to $7,500. California residents who are victims of a breach can sue the company.

The SHIELD Act is enforced by the state’s Attorney General. The maximum penalty is $250,000.

How Can Your Business Be Compliant with Data Protection Legislation?

Your first step is to take stock of how much personal information from customers you store on your computer or computers. Analyze how the data is stored and how it is protected.

Next, research data protection regulations in your home state. Is your small business in line with the requirements? Do you have the right software to keep your business in compliance with data protection regulations? Where are areas that need improvement?

Remember that if a breach happens, you’ll have to be able to prove that you were compliant with regulations. You may be asked to generate reports about your compliance efforts to prove that you weren’t liable.

Ideas for Outsourcing Data Protection

A number of companies specialize in information technology, network security and SaaS (software as a service). Those companies are already familiar with standard ways to secure data. They know how to maintain and provide the documentation that backs up those security efforts.

Let’s take a look at one of them.

Electric AI Works with Small Businesses

According to Alex Foley, CISO at Electric AI (Artificial Intelligence), the company works with businesses to develop and standardize the documentation processes involved with compliance reporting. The company focus is on startups and small businesses, helping them ensure they are compliant with all present and future legislation.

“Our typical customer has from 25 to 300 employees,” Foley said. “Customer industries include, but are not limited to, financial services, tech, consumer, advertising/marketing, HR, and health / wellness.”

Electric AI works with a range of businesses. They include those with no IT solution in place. But they also include those with an internal IT or an outsourced IT provider.

Common Data Protection Deficiencies in Small Businesses

“Many companies have unsupported and unpatched firewalls,” Foley said. “This lack of support and critical security patching could lead to a compromise of the firewall and the network behind it.”

Many companies possess ports and services open to the Internet. As a result, this leads to a compromise of the firewalls themselves or devices and services behind them. The Electric AI team offers an operational and security review of all new customers. For example, the review ensures devices get support from the manufacturer, have current patching and have a minimum of ports open to the Internet.

More than half of all customer workstations onboarded by Electric AI lack basic security controls. For example, basic security controls include automated security patching, full disk encryption, automated screen lock and firewall enabled.

What Does Electric IA Do?

Electric AI seeks to alleviate problems. As a result, the company performs a comprehensive network review and remediation as part of onboarding. For example, with workstations Electric AI works to implement a default set of policies. As a result, they improve the security posture of customer workstations.

Does Your Small Business Need Better Data Protection?

“We cannot officially tell stories, but we have seen more than a few situations where we have onboarded customers which had critical security vulnerabilities in their equipment,” Foley said. “Our reviews and remediation efforts dramatically improve these customers security posture in short order.”

With Electric AI, customers see information about their security. They also see their operational posture though the Electric Turbine Dashboard. For more information, email is hello@electric.ai and phone is 646-779-1607.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "What is the CCPA and Could It Threaten Your Small Businesses?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Running a Multi-national Digital Business? You Should Use a Virtual HQ. Here’s Why.

A Virtual headquarter – or Virtual HQ – in a nutshell allows businesses to benefit from all the advantages of having a prestigious address, landline phone number, and team support without committing to dedicated office space. Office investments are minimized and your business can have the impression of a conventional high-cost infrastructure and office.

Professionals can work from home or co-working spaces and still have the reputation of a city center address. Research has shown that customers prefer businesses that have a proper address and not a home or post office address.

A Virtual HQ service provider, such as www.virtualheadquarters.com, gives your digital business the professional presentation it needs to develop its brand image, the freedom to still explore and work wherever you need to, all while conserving your expenses.…

The post Running a Multi-national Digital Business? You Should Use a Virtual HQ. Here’s Why. appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.



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Offer 401ks for Employees at No Cost to You? SaveDay Says You Can

SaveDay 401k

Providing your employees with an option to join a 401K plan sounds more like a dream than a reality. It serves as quite a perk. And it helps level that proverbial playing field. For example, bigger companies often siphon off great talent from small businesses because they can’t provide such perks.

One of the biggest hurdles small businesses face remains the costs associated with managing those 401K plans. For example, consider how much it costs for record keeping and accounting fees.

But what if a 401K existed with no administrative fees for employers?

A company called SaveDay says it can help small businesses. It claims to offer employees a 401K plan with no cost burden to the employer.

How the SaveDay 401k Works for Employers

SaveDay integrates with any payroll provider. As a result, it works with small businesses of any size, said CEO Barry Mione.

“SaveDay will handle the sync with payroll,” Mione said. “Once payroll is submitted, 401K contributions are also completed.”

With traditional 401K plans, the employer pays administration fees. For example, the cost covers things like management, record keeping, accounting, legal and trustee services.

“The fees can vary widely in the industry,” Mione said. “The SaveDay cost to employer is a nice round number, zero.”

How the SaveDay 401k Works for Employees

Any 401k by definition functions  as a professionally managed account. These accounts help employees reach retirement goals. As a result, SaveDay uses a proprietary online risk assessment to analyze each employee’s financial status. For example, the company looks at when they want to retire, and the employee’s risk tolerance.

“The individual’s risk tolerance is analyzed in seconds with remarkable accuracy,” Mione said. “The result is a customized portfolio base.”

For the employee, SaveDay’s investment fees are the lowest in the industry at .35% annually, or $3.50 per one thousand dollars invested. That covers investment management and all investment-related services.

Fund fees reach no more than .10%. As a result, SaveDay’s all-in fee rises no higher than .45%.

“Given the current state of the economy, we are moving quickly to help secure retirement accounts,” Mione said. “To assist in these efforts, we are waiving all our fees on new SaveDay 401K plans until July 1, 2020.”

SaveDay Is a Bundled Provider

SaveDay stands alone as a bundled 401k provider for small businesses.

“We are not just a 401k advisor, we also manage and trade securities on behalf of our clients,” Mione said. “Bundled this way, we offer small businesses a unified service like no one else.”

“We don’t use third parties in our 401K plans,” he explained. “This is how we pass the savings on to our clients.”

Nondiscriminatory testing is critical and mandatory for all 401K plans. If a 401K provider does not offer compliance testing or charges high fees for those tests, it creates big problems for small businesses. SaveDay does not charge for compliance testing.

Barry Mione Background and Experience

In 1985, Barry Mione earned a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University, New York. He then earned certification from the Securities Industry Institute through the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

“As the internet began pushing new opportunities within the financial industry, I began working in the investment banking division at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), a U.S. investment bank,” Mione said. “Shortly after starting at DLJ, a handful of associates and I cofounded DLJdirect, an online brokerage business.”

DLJdirect IPO’d in 1999, raising $320 million. Owners sold the company in 2005. As a result, they delivered its technology and customers to E*Trade for $700 million.

For the next few years, Mione held upper management and executive positions in several companies. For example, he worked for Credit Suisse, BNY Mellon, and the Bank of Montreal. In 2012, he joined the executive leadership team at Kapitall. As a result, in 2015 he took leadership as president of New Kapitall Holdings LLC.

About New Kapitall Holdings

“New Kapitall Holdings is a platform used to inspire and teach the next generation about investing using unique gamification strategies,” Mione said.

With Mione at the helm, Kapitall received distinctive recognition awards. For example, the company won Forbe’s Fintech 50 Finalist and U.S. News Top 10 Greatest Investment Sites for Millennials.

In 2018, Kapitall got selected as one of four companies to participate in Fidelity’s new worldwide accelerator program. Disruptor Daily chose Kapitall as one of Nine Companies to Watch in 2018.

“SaveDay acquired Kapitall’s broker/dealer and advisory business, which accelerated the growth and opportunity for the company,” Mione said. “I used my industry foresight to offer a digitally advised investment product with a portfolio customization that is unique to the market.”

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Offer 401ks for Employees at No Cost to You? SaveDay Says You Can" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Offer 401ks for Employees at No Cost to You? SaveDay Says You Can

SaveDay 401k

Providing your employees with an option to join a 401K plan sounds more like a dream than a reality. It serves as quite a perk. And it helps level that proverbial playing field. For example, bigger companies often siphon off great talent from small businesses because they can’t provide such perks.

One of the biggest hurdles small businesses face remains the costs associated with managing those 401K plans. For example, consider how much it costs for record keeping and accounting fees.

But what if a 401K existed with no administrative fees for employers?

A company called SaveDay says it can help small businesses. It claims to offer employees a 401K plan with no cost burden to the employer.

How the SaveDay 401k Works for Employers

SaveDay integrates with any payroll provider. As a result, it works with small businesses of any size, said CEO Barry Mione.

“SaveDay will handle the sync with payroll,” Mione said. “Once payroll is submitted, 401K contributions are also completed.”

With traditional 401K plans, the employer pays administration fees. For example, the cost covers things like management, record keeping, accounting, legal and trustee services.

“The fees can vary widely in the industry,” Mione said. “The SaveDay cost to employer is a nice round number, zero.”

How the SaveDay 401k Works for Employees

Any 401k by definition functions  as a professionally managed account. These accounts help employees reach retirement goals. As a result, SaveDay uses a proprietary online risk assessment to analyze each employee’s financial status. For example, the company looks at when they want to retire, and the employee’s risk tolerance.

“The individual’s risk tolerance is analyzed in seconds with remarkable accuracy,” Mione said. “The result is a customized portfolio base.”

For the employee, SaveDay’s investment fees are the lowest in the industry at .35% annually, or $3.50 per one thousand dollars invested. That covers investment management and all investment-related services.

Fund fees reach no more than .10%. As a result, SaveDay’s all-in fee rises no higher than .45%.

“Given the current state of the economy, we are moving quickly to help secure retirement accounts,” Mione said. “To assist in these efforts, we are waiving all our fees on new SaveDay 401K plans until July 1, 2020.”

SaveDay Is a Bundled Provider

SaveDay stands alone as a bundled 401k provider for small businesses.

“We are not just a 401k advisor, we also manage and trade securities on behalf of our clients,” Mione said. “Bundled this way, we offer small businesses a unified service like no one else.”

“We don’t use third parties in our 401K plans,” he explained. “This is how we pass the savings on to our clients.”

Nondiscriminatory testing is critical and mandatory for all 401K plans. If a 401K provider does not offer compliance testing or charges high fees for those tests, it creates big problems for small businesses. SaveDay does not charge for compliance testing.

Barry Mione Background and Experience

In 1985, Barry Mione earned a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University, New York. He then earned certification from the Securities Industry Institute through the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

“As the internet began pushing new opportunities within the financial industry, I began working in the investment banking division at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), a U.S. investment bank,” Mione said. “Shortly after starting at DLJ, a handful of associates and I cofounded DLJdirect, an online brokerage business.”

DLJdirect IPO’d in 1999, raising $320 million. Owners sold the company in 2005. As a result, they delivered its technology and customers to E*Trade for $700 million.

For the next few years, Mione held upper management and executive positions in several companies. For example, he worked for Credit Suisse, BNY Mellon, and the Bank of Montreal. In 2012, he joined the executive leadership team at Kapitall. As a result, in 2015 he took leadership as president of New Kapitall Holdings LLC.

About New Kapitall Holdings

“New Kapitall Holdings is a platform used to inspire and teach the next generation about investing using unique gamification strategies,” Mione said.

With Mione at the helm, Kapitall received distinctive recognition awards. For example, the company won Forbe’s Fintech 50 Finalist and U.S. News Top 10 Greatest Investment Sites for Millennials.

In 2018, Kapitall got selected as one of four companies to participate in Fidelity’s new worldwide accelerator program. Disruptor Daily chose Kapitall as one of Nine Companies to Watch in 2018.

“SaveDay acquired Kapitall’s broker/dealer and advisory business, which accelerated the growth and opportunity for the company,” Mione said. “I used my industry foresight to offer a digitally advised investment product with a portfolio customization that is unique to the market.”

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Offer 401ks for Employees at No Cost to You? SaveDay Says You Can" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Webinar Will Tackle Transitioning to a Work-From-Home Business Model

webinar-coronavirus-work-from-home-business-model-small-business

Small businesses conferences and events have been, for the most part, put on hold or cancelled as we all endure the disruption coronavirus has caused.

When things finally get back to normal — hopefully sooner than later — it’ll be great to connect and re-connect with others.

Until then, we still have a chance to connect with events like the one coming up on Wednesday, April 1.

That’s when Results Resourcing hosts a webinar called, Business Virtual – A Crash Course for Entrepreneurs.

And the topic of the webinar is very current: coronavirus and its impact on small businesses. Specifically, how are businesses adapting to the change and creating a work-from-home business model.

ResultsResourcing founder and CEO Elizabeth Ess will be joined by author Terri Maxwell to provide small businesses with a step-by-step guide to altering your business model to adapt to working from home, going from the “cube to the cloud” as they put it.

You’ll hear about how different types of work-from-home models, success strategies and systems that are easy to implement in a hurry, creating protocols, and getting results.

This free webinar from ResultsResourcing starts off at 12:30 p.m. (Eastern)/11:30 a.m. (Central).

Register Now



More Events

Check out these other upcoming events for the small business community. Note: Events held at a physical location, are subject to change.

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

This article, "Webinar Will Tackle Transitioning to a Work-From-Home Business Model" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Webinar Will Tackle Transitioning to a Work-From-Home Business Model

webinar-coronavirus-work-from-home-business-model-small-business

Small businesses conferences and events have been, for the most part, put on hold or cancelled as we all endure the disruption coronavirus has caused.

When things finally get back to normal — hopefully sooner than later — it’ll be great to connect and re-connect with others.

Until then, we still have a chance to connect with events like the one coming up on Wednesday, April 1.

That’s when Results Resourcing hosts a webinar called, Business Virtual – A Crash Course for Entrepreneurs.

And the topic of the webinar is very current: coronavirus and its impact on small businesses. Specifically, how are businesses adapting to the change and creating a work-from-home business model.

ResultsResourcing founder and CEO Elizabeth Ess will be joined by author Terri Maxwell to provide small businesses with a step-by-step guide to altering your business model to adapt to working from home, going from the “cube to the cloud” as they put it.

You’ll hear about how different types of work-from-home models, success strategies and systems that are easy to implement in a hurry, creating protocols, and getting results.

This free webinar from ResultsResourcing starts off at 12:30 p.m. (Eastern)/11:30 a.m. (Central).

Register Now



More Events

Check out these other upcoming events for the small business community. Note: Events held at a physical location, are subject to change.

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

This article, "Webinar Will Tackle Transitioning to a Work-From-Home Business Model" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Want to Increase Your Small Business Knowledge? Here are 10 Expert Tips

Small Business Knowledge

There are some business lessons that you need to learn through experience. However, there are some things you can learn by paying attention to experts in your field or utilizing data and tools that are available to your business. Read on for some of the top lessons you should take from industry experts and other members of the online small business community.

Learn from Top Marketing Mavens

Throughout the month, 30 Days of Marketing Mavens will be sharing interviews with experts to reveal some of their top marketing tips and tricks. Small Business Trends’ own Anita Campbell is honored to be included. You can see her interview plus insights from other marketing experts here.

Follow Search Marketing Influencers

If you want to gain industry influence, you need to learn from the best. SEO is constantly changing, so following a well rounded list of experts can help you constantly stay on top of the trends and processes that are necessary for success. See some of those top influencers in this TopRank Marketing post by Lane Ellis.

Learn the Basic Business Realities

While it’s certainly valuable to learn from experts, influencers, and data, there are certain lessons you’ll need to come by on your own. In this Startup Professionals Musings post, Martin Zwilling shares some of the things business owners have to learn through experience. To see commentary on the post, head over to the BizSugar community.

Visualize Data with the Google Data Studio

When it comes to collecting Data, Google can be one of your most valuable resources. In fact, Google can also help you visualize the data you collect so it makes more sense for your operations. Learn more about the Google Data Studio in this Content Marketing Institute post by Fatmir Hyseni.

Use Chrome Extensions for SEO

The tech tools you use can also go a long way toward equipping your team with the knowledge they need to market your business effectively. More specifically, there are several Chrome extensions available to provide valuable SEO insights. Neil Patel shares 13 free ones in this post.

Find the Right Websites to Hire Dependable Freelancers

If you want to grow your team but can’t hire full-time staff, freelancers can help you fill in some of the gaps around your operations. But you need a reliable place to look for these freelancers if you’re going to find them efficiently. In this Process Street post, Thom James Carter lists some of the best websites for this purpose.

Solve Pain Points with Customer Video Interaction

For businesses to effectively market and create solutions that are useful for customers, you need to fully understand what problems you’re trying to solve. Grasping customers pain points can be tricky without the right tools, but customer video interaction may help to bridge that gap. Learn more in this Right Mix Marketing post by Ben Tejes.

Learn How Guy Kawasaki Fuels a Successful Podcast with Content

Constantly finding effective content for a blog or podcast can be a challenge. But Guy Kawasaki has managed to do it for years. In this Blogging Brute post, Mike Allton interviews him to share valuable insights with other content creators. And BizSugar members offered thoughts on the interview here.

Improve Quality Ratings with Google’s Guidelines

If you want to improve your SEO, it’s essential to follow guidelines that come straight from Google. The search giant recently unveiled some quality rater guidelines that may impact small businesses. See some takeaways in this Target Marketing post by Phil Frost.

Let Data Drive the Creation of Your Marketing Creative

If you want your marketing creative to be truly relevant to your audience, you might let insights from your customers drive those decisions. The data you collect can play an integral role throughout the development of your materials. Get more insights in this UpCity post by Trevor Anderson.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Want to Increase Your Small Business Knowledge? Here are 10 Expert Tips" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Want to Increase Your Small Business Knowledge? Here are 10 Expert Tips

Small Business Knowledge

There are some business lessons that you need to learn through experience. However, there are some things you can learn by paying attention to experts in your field or utilizing data and tools that are available to your business. Read on for some of the top lessons you should take from industry experts and other members of the online small business community.

Learn from Top Marketing Mavens

Throughout the month, 30 Days of Marketing Mavens will be sharing interviews with experts to reveal some of their top marketing tips and tricks. Small Business Trends’ own Anita Campbell is honored to be included. You can see her interview plus insights from other marketing experts here.

Follow Search Marketing Influencers

If you want to gain industry influence, you need to learn from the best. SEO is constantly changing, so following a well rounded list of experts can help you constantly stay on top of the trends and processes that are necessary for success. See some of those top influencers in this TopRank Marketing post by Lane Ellis.

Learn the Basic Business Realities

While it’s certainly valuable to learn from experts, influencers, and data, there are certain lessons you’ll need to come by on your own. In this Startup Professionals Musings post, Martin Zwilling shares some of the things business owners have to learn through experience. To see commentary on the post, head over to the BizSugar community.

Visualize Data with the Google Data Studio

When it comes to collecting Data, Google can be one of your most valuable resources. In fact, Google can also help you visualize the data you collect so it makes more sense for your operations. Learn more about the Google Data Studio in this Content Marketing Institute post by Fatmir Hyseni.

Use Chrome Extensions for SEO

The tech tools you use can also go a long way toward equipping your team with the knowledge they need to market your business effectively. More specifically, there are several Chrome extensions available to provide valuable SEO insights. Neil Patel shares 13 free ones in this post.

Find the Right Websites to Hire Dependable Freelancers

If you want to grow your team but can’t hire full-time staff, freelancers can help you fill in some of the gaps around your operations. But you need a reliable place to look for these freelancers if you’re going to find them efficiently. In this Process Street post, Thom James Carter lists some of the best websites for this purpose.

Solve Pain Points with Customer Video Interaction

For businesses to effectively market and create solutions that are useful for customers, you need to fully understand what problems you’re trying to solve. Grasping customers pain points can be tricky without the right tools, but customer video interaction may help to bridge that gap. Learn more in this Right Mix Marketing post by Ben Tejes.

Learn How Guy Kawasaki Fuels a Successful Podcast with Content

Constantly finding effective content for a blog or podcast can be a challenge. But Guy Kawasaki has managed to do it for years. In this Blogging Brute post, Mike Allton interviews him to share valuable insights with other content creators. And BizSugar members offered thoughts on the interview here.

Improve Quality Ratings with Google’s Guidelines

If you want to improve your SEO, it’s essential to follow guidelines that come straight from Google. The search giant recently unveiled some quality rater guidelines that may impact small businesses. See some takeaways in this Target Marketing post by Phil Frost.

Let Data Drive the Creation of Your Marketing Creative

If you want your marketing creative to be truly relevant to your audience, you might let insights from your customers drive those decisions. The data you collect can play an integral role throughout the development of your materials. Get more insights in this UpCity post by Trevor Anderson.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Want to Increase Your Small Business Knowledge? Here are 10 Expert Tips" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Small Businesses Doing Their Part to Produce PPE for Medical Staff Shortages

Small Businesses Making PPE

With the COVID-19 epidemic causing ripples across the global supply chain, companies are trying to come with grips with shortages in key inputs for their production. Hard hit is the manufacturing sector that produces vital medical supplies. These include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and medical robes.

Recent weeks have seen a surge in medical supplies and protective gear as numbers of those infected rose across the nation. The problem was further compounded with factories seeing either closures or quarantines coupled with international trade heavily restricted.

Hard hit include manufacturers heavily dependent on inputs from the Chinese market the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The US needs an estimated 3.5 billion masks to cope with the outbreak this year. Manufacturers are now looking in country for solutions to address the current pinch in supplies.

Against this background the shortage crisis has caused textile companies to recalibrate their businesses to address the urgent need for face masks, gowns and gloves. Crafters too have taken up arms to fight the onslaught of the outbreak by setting up Facebook pages to create a community as well as provide DIY videos on how to produce PEPs such as the Crafters Against COVID-19 Seattle.

Other manufacturers have tweaked their production lines that once produced T-shirts and hoodies to produce protective masks. Though the masks are not medical grade they do get the job of helping reduce the risks of being infected.

Small Businesses Making PPE

Below are some businesses that are working towards addressing the shortfall of protective masks.

Gaslight Costume Shoppe

Costume designer shop Gaslight Costume Shoppe have started a new line of masks for medical professionals. Along with the University of Arizona Costume Department, they are making two types of masks. A surgical mask people can wear for everyday use and the N95 masks. As per the CDC an N95 mask filters out about 95 percent of airborne particles. Thus, making the best protection for medical staff working with patients.

So how did this come about, head costume designer, Renee Cloutier told Small Business Trends, “My daughter is a nurse in the ICU, she and I were talking about a month ago and I realized the shortage of masks for the hospital staff. So, I asked her if it would be helpful if I made a few masks for her.”

Cloutier goes on to say, “Of course she said that it would be great! Then I was talking about it with my co-workers and sewing friends, and they too said they could help. And it just grew exponentially. I have two daughters that work in the medical field, so my one daughter called the news, and since then, it has blown up. I am trying to fill the needs of anyone that asks.”

Since this is a philanthropic venture, Cloutier is asking help from seamstresses and donations of 100% cotton. The last request goes on like this, “Any, and I mean any, 1/4 inch elastic or corded elastic!”

Bayside Apparel

This California based apparel company has shifted its sewing machines from making T-shirts to manufacturing face masks. The company is supplying cotton masks to hospitals and medical facilities.

Beverly Knits Inc.

Beverly Knits has started producing face masks for health care workers on the front lines. Together with small and medium size companies, they are retooling their production lines to meet the growing demand. They along with their consortium plan to produce 1.5 million masks produced domestically per week.

Band Shoppe

Band Shoppe which produces uniforms for the marching bands as well as formal concert apparel and accessories has heeded the call for protective masks. It has closed its showroom to help meet shortages of washable face masks.

DigiStitch Embroidery

This T-Shirt maker has started using its embroidery machines to start making masks and supplying healthcare workers. “The only thing slowing us down is the lack of materials. …We are trying to make as many masks as we can while we are slow for nursing homes and hospitals that need them,” said DigiStitch Embroidery.

Something Vintage rentals

Something Vintage rentals have collected donated money, fabric, to make masks for medical professionals and hospitals. This events and rental company not only supply the masks but also coordinates volunteers to deliver the masks to hospitals.

Hedley & Bennett

This Los Angeles manufacturer of handmade chef-quality aprons, has developed the Wake Up & Fight Mask. This washable, reusable cotton mask is being sold under the company’s ‘Buy 1, Give 1’ plan.

K&K Logo Designs

K&K Logo Designs is an on-screen printing and promotional products company. Following appeals made by the local nursery for masks for their medical personnel it decided to pitch in. Today they have around 20 people making cotton masks.

Image: GaslightCostumeShoppe.com

This article, "Small Businesses Doing Their Part to Produce PPE for Medical Staff Shortages" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Small Businesses Doing Their Part to Produce PPE for Medical Staff Shortages

Small Businesses Making PPE

With the COVID-19 epidemic causing ripples across the global supply chain, companies are trying to come with grips with shortages in key inputs for their production. Hard hit is the manufacturing sector that produces vital medical supplies. These include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and medical robes.

Recent weeks have seen a surge in medical supplies and protective gear as numbers of those infected rose across the nation. The problem was further compounded with factories seeing either closures or quarantines coupled with international trade heavily restricted.

Hard hit include manufacturers heavily dependent on inputs from the Chinese market the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The US needs an estimated 3.5 billion masks to cope with the outbreak this year. Manufacturers are now looking in country for solutions to address the current pinch in supplies.

Against this background the shortage crisis has caused textile companies to recalibrate their businesses to address the urgent need for face masks, gowns and gloves. Crafters too have taken up arms to fight the onslaught of the outbreak by setting up Facebook pages to create a community as well as provide DIY videos on how to produce PEPs such as the Crafters Against COVID-19 Seattle.

Other manufacturers have tweaked their production lines that once produced T-shirts and hoodies to produce protective masks. Though the masks are not medical grade they do get the job of helping reduce the risks of being infected.

Small Businesses Making PPE

Below are some businesses that are working towards addressing the shortfall of protective masks.

Gaslight Costume Shoppe

Costume designer shop Gaslight Costume Shoppe have started a new line of masks for medical professionals. Along with the University of Arizona Costume Department, they are making two types of masks. A surgical mask people can wear for everyday use and the N95 masks. As per the CDC an N95 mask filters out about 95 percent of airborne particles. Thus, making the best protection for medical staff working with patients.

So how did this come about, head costume designer, Renee Cloutier told Small Business Trends, “My daughter is a nurse in the ICU, she and I were talking about a month ago and I realized the shortage of masks for the hospital staff. So, I asked her if it would be helpful if I made a few masks for her.”

Cloutier goes on to say, “Of course she said that it would be great! Then I was talking about it with my co-workers and sewing friends, and they too said they could help. And it just grew exponentially. I have two daughters that work in the medical field, so my one daughter called the news, and since then, it has blown up. I am trying to fill the needs of anyone that asks.”

Since this is a philanthropic venture, Cloutier is asking help from seamstresses and donations of 100% cotton. The last request goes on like this, “Any, and I mean any, 1/4 inch elastic or corded elastic!”

Bayside Apparel

This California based apparel company has shifted its sewing machines from making T-shirts to manufacturing face masks. The company is supplying cotton masks to hospitals and medical facilities.

Beverly Knits Inc.

Beverly Knits has started producing face masks for health care workers on the front lines. Together with small and medium size companies, they are retooling their production lines to meet the growing demand. They along with their consortium plan to produce 1.5 million masks produced domestically per week.

Band Shoppe

Band Shoppe which produces uniforms for the marching bands as well as formal concert apparel and accessories has heeded the call for protective masks. It has closed its showroom to help meet shortages of washable face masks.

DigiStitch Embroidery

This T-Shirt maker has started using its embroidery machines to start making masks and supplying healthcare workers. “The only thing slowing us down is the lack of materials. …We are trying to make as many masks as we can while we are slow for nursing homes and hospitals that need them,” said DigiStitch Embroidery.

Something Vintage rentals

Something Vintage rentals have collected donated money, fabric, to make masks for medical professionals and hospitals. This events and rental company not only supply the masks but also coordinates volunteers to deliver the masks to hospitals.

Hedley & Bennett

This Los Angeles manufacturer of handmade chef-quality aprons, has developed the Wake Up & Fight Mask. This washable, reusable cotton mask is being sold under the company’s ‘Buy 1, Give 1’ plan.

K&K Logo Designs

K&K Logo Designs is an on-screen printing and promotional products company. Following appeals made by the local nursery for masks for their medical personnel it decided to pitch in. Today they have around 20 people making cotton masks.

Image: GaslightCostumeShoppe.com

This article, "Small Businesses Doing Their Part to Produce PPE for Medical Staff Shortages" was first published on Small Business Trends



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