Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to Keep You and Your Small Business Safe on the Internet


Did you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month?

What does National Cyber Security Awareness Month mean? Well, with the popularity of the internet at an all time high; with the amount of personal information our computers contain, it's very important that we all do our part to make sure we are safe and secure while online.

Below are a couple of suggested websites we found to help you find tips on how to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • StaySafeOnline.org - Stay safe online offers tips and advice on some practices we could use to keep us safe and secure online.
  • Multi-State ISAC - click the link for some more online safety practices and take the cyber pledge.

What types of online strategies do you use to ensure your cyber security?

 





ABOUT WNFP Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Creating the Perfect Strategic Plan for Your Business

Did you know that October is Strategic Planning Month? Strategic planning is setting a goal that your company wants to achieve, and then designing steps to achieve this goal.



Some small business owners and entrepreneurs choose to create and develop their strategic plan on their own, while others hire an outside consultant to help to accomplish their company goals.

October is a great month to search the internet for qualified professionals who can assist you in planning for your business's future

If you plan to take the time to plan and create strategies on your own for your business check out the software below to help you get started:

SmartDraw (software) SmartDraw will help make your strategic planning process a breeze. Download the templates and get started on your strategic plan today. Find hundreds of professionally designed templates.

Another source of information are book to help you with your strategic planning process:


"10 Steps To Successful Strategic Planning"
by Susan Barksdale & Terri Lund








"Strategic Planning", 
by George A. Steiner








 






There is no right way to create a strategic plan, as it varies for each company and goal. The better you know your company, industry, and goals, the better chances of success you'll have.

Have you ever had to create a strategic plan? Was it successful? If not, what could have been done differently to ensure its success? Comment and share below.



ABOUT WNFP Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
Like us on Facebook! Connect on LinkedIn! Follow us on Twitter! Google Plus! Google Plus!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Taking Your Finances to the Cloud!

With the ever so changes of technology, small business owners are handling almost everything in the cloud.  Cloud-based technology refers to applications, services or resources made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers.

Throughout our years in business B&M Financial Management Services has always recommended QuickBooks to our clients and the best account software program available at an affordable price.

Businesses have the option of installing the software on their computer, which takes up space on their hard drive or they can subscribe to QuickBooks Online and not worry having enough space on their hard drive.


Now, although QuickBooks Online is highly recommended because of the convenience, cost and great feature, it may not be suited for your business.  Below is a list of features QuickBooks Online does not provide:

  • Online Edition does not integrate with QuickBooks Point of Sale as desktop versions of QuickBooks do.
  • Online Edition does not offer QuickBooks Bill Pay as but desktop versions of QuickBooks do. 
  • Online Edition does not do complete job costing, although it does track expenses by job. QuickBooks desktop versions offers complete job costing. 
  • Online Edition offers less flexibility with regard to customizing forms or reports than QuickBooks desktop versions.

If these features do not affect your business, then QuickBooks Online is a great accounting software program for you to use to keep track of your income and expenses.  You can test drive QuickBooks Online for FREE.

For a limited time B&M Financial Management Services (BMFMS) will set up your account at no additional cost and for a limited time we will pass on our saving of up to 30% off the retail subscription price.  Discount offer is good for purchase after free trial or buy now.  For more information visit BMFMS online:  http://www.bmfms.com/quickbookspromotions.htm






ABOUT WNFP Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
Like us on Facebook! Connect on LinkedIn! Follow us on Twitter! Google Plus! Google Plus!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tips on How to Have a More Positive Attitude and Improve Your Life

Having a positive attitude can improve your health, your relationships, and most importantly your life.



Did you know that October is Positive Attitude Month? Your attitude is everything, serving as a reflection to others of who you are.

With so much negativity surrounding us on a daily bases whether its: online, in the media, music, or those around us, it may be very hard to keep a positive attitude.

Here are 7 tips you can following to help you have a more positive attitude:
    1. Decide to have a positive attitude.
    2. Surround yourself with positive people.
    3. Use positive affirmations.
    4. Be selective of the music and news you listen to.
    5. Take time to help others.
    6. Get in touch with your spirituality.
    7. Never give up.

    Just by following these simple tips, it will not only help you to stay positive but enjoy your life more. Life's to short to be anything but happy.


    Source: selfgrowth.com


    Comment below and share with us some ways that you stay positive in even the most negative situations?


    ABOUT WNFP Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
    Like us on Facebook! Connect on LinkedIn! Follow us on Twitter! Google Plus! Google Plus!

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    WANTED! Young Professionals Committee Members | Westchester County, NY





    WANTED: Young Professionals Networking Committee Members! Westchester Networking for Professionals is seeking members to join our YPN Committee.  For more information visit us online at http://wnfpevents.webs.com/career-opportunities  #business #westchestercounty #committee

    Friday, October 3, 2014

    Organic Vs. Paid: Ranking in Google Search

    As a small business owner, we all know that when it comes to establishing a new business, keeping expenses to a minimum is very important. I say this because you can spend a lot of money on paid advertising, Google Ad Words, and other means to get people to know you business, or you can opt for some other less expensive strategies. The goal is the same: is to reach as many people, or future clients as you can. There are two ways to accomplish this goal when trying to have your company come up on the top ____ in a Google search, Organically, or Paid. The term Organic means not paid for, or as we like to call it, FREE!! The term “paid” is exactly that, you are paying Google, or another company, to help you get ranked and to get noticed and gain followers. When it comes to Pay per click (PPC) - - also called cost per click - - you are paying for a service such as ADWORDS, which is an advertising service by Google for businesses in which advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. It is defined simply as “the amount spent to get an advertisement clicked.” An Organic Search is achieved by convincing the Search Engines that you are more relevant for a particular keyword or phrase (that you provide). When creating your business website the easiest Organic tactic to reach your audience is to lock in on the perfect domain name, this allows the best way to maximize the traffic to your site. Investing in your own domain name with a shorter web address will make it easier for your visitors to remember and spell your site and it will appear more professional, and will stand out more. This was one trick I wish I had known before creating my business domain name.

    20140404-111114.jpg

    When it comes to gaining followers, with respect to social media and blogging, each platform has its own paid service. Facebook and Twitter give you the opportunity to pay for ads to promote your page so that more people will be reached. When I launched my business Brennan Social Innovations (BSI) and created the social media and blog accounts, seeing “0 followers” at first was a frighten thing. How was I going to get anyone to follow me? Sure I can pay to acquire followers, but spending money on advertising was something that I really didn't have the funds to do. As I got deeper into researching the ins and outs of social media and blogging, I found the best way to establishing my business presence would be to take advantage of 4 things: Time, Consistency, Patience and Interaction, all of which are Organic and FREE!! I found that of all of the social media platforms Facebook was the hardest to gain likes organically because of the way the business pages are set up. Because it is an extension of your personal page it makes managing business pages and acquiring page likes more difficult if you are not paying for advertising. A good way to begin is to reach out to all of your personal FB friends and family to like your business page. This is way to start, but in the end, these folks are not your target audience. I ended up paying for advertising, but felt that it was really not worth the money. For the money I spent, the number of extra likes was minimal. Twitter and Pinterest on the other hand were much more interactive than Facebook, and I found them to be a lot easier to gain followers organically. I started by searching for anything that had to do with social media and businesses both locally and regionally that I thought could become clients and followed as many synergistic businesses as I could. Then I started posting and interacting, and before I knew it my follower base was growing. I also began blogging, which is a great way to increase SEO and up your ranking organically on Google, and I am finding that sharing my experience and knowledge is playing an important part not only in increasing my credibility as a business owner, but in allowing me to reach more people. I know you are probably thinking increasing followers on the social media platforms is all well and good but what does that have to do with driving people to my business website? Well, it has everything to do with it. The goal is to drive as many people to your website and the first line of attack in doing this is making sure that there are inbound links to your website as part of your profile on your social media accounts. Then its important to make consistent in your posting and interactions. The more you draw people in by your posts, the more interest you will garner for your business and website. It may take more time then if you spent the money to launch a PPC (Pay per click) campaign but with a little patience you will see results and it won't cost you a thing. When it comes to establishing a successful business you have to think of it as a marathon not a sprint, and this is why taking on an Organic approach can be as effective as paying for ads.

    SUCCESS CAN BE ACHIEVED FOR FREE WITH A LITTLE PATIENCE!

    graph credit goes to Agile impact

    ABOUT WNFP Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
    Like us on Facebook! Connect on LinkedIn! Follow us on Twitter! Google Plus! Google Plus!

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    Self-Promotion and Why You Need It to Succeed

    Did you know October is Self-Promotion Month? No matter what career path you choose, 
    self-promotion is important if you want to succeed.
    If you do not promote yourself, how is anyone ever going to know what you have to offer?

    Here are a few tips to help you promote yourself and stand out from the competition:
    1. Be original
    2. Have a positive attitude
    3. Know your strengths and values
    4. Build Relationships
    5. Listen
    6. Be proactive
    7. Go outside of your comfort zone

    If you're an expert in your field of work, don't be afraid to show it! If you don't promote yourself than who will? People will never know what you have to offer if you don't tell them.

    Comment below and share with us if you believe self-promotion is the key to success? Why or why not?


    ABOUT WNFP Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is an organization consisting of professionals and entrepreneurs which focuses on the success of our Members. We help our Members establish lasting relationships and generate new business opportunities towards the growth of their business.
    Like us on Facebook! Connect on LinkedIn! Follow us on Twitter! Google Plus! Google Plus!