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Cyber Security – Part Two

Jim Rickards – THE DAILY RECKONING

Hello everyone…this is Part 2 of 3 of our series called Cyber Security.  In 2016, Accenture Consulting published a cyber security white paper (geared towards large organizations) that we thought would be of interest to business owners like you.  This study goes into a more in-depth analysis supported by industry interviews and statistics.  You can download this white paper in two formats; either the Executive Summary or the Complete Report.

Having worked for a forensic accounting firm for several years, I understand some of the challenges and vulnerabilities all organizations face, and that we as consumers face regarding cyber security.  The challenge is, there doesn’t appear to be much access to simple, step-by-step, practical standards of cyber security available to small business owners to readily implement.  This is a real problem!  The white paper focuses its attention on cyber security threats of larger organizations, but we as small business owners can learn from their challenges, approaches and solutions.  The small business owner (and individual alike) needs access to practical, actionable standards of practice against cyber security threats and the protection of their data.

When we think of cyber security from the perspective of a small business owner or as an individual, think about it in terms of our smartphones/ tablets/ and computers.  We either grant permission for auto updates or regularly receive promptings to update and “accept” software company’s “terms and conditions” to either download or update the software on our devices.  This “acceptance” grants those software companies access to our data through our phone cameras, microphones, phone records, pictures and access to other data files.  It’s quite obvious that we have been conditioned to accept whatever terms and conditions are asked by these software companies in order to comply with their downloading/updating standards.   Why should you grant access to all these requests for your smartphones solitaire game?  What this means is that our data and our privacy are at risk.  Our privacy and security are practically non-existent because we have blindly “accepted” software providers terms and conditions.  We therefore have either knowingly or unknowingly relinquished our privacy, our data and control of our information, how it’s managed, secured and shared with others.  This can and does have serious repercussions!  How could we be then surprised that our information could be stolen and disseminated all over the globe?  We have only ourselves to blame.

We would recommend reading the white paper referenced above by Accenture Consulting, and think about how large organizations are approaching this eminent risk.  What can we as small business owners learn and implement from these organizations to better protect our privacy and data (and client data), and to help mitigate cyber security threats and breaches?  We’ll post a follow-up in Part 3 of this series in a few weeks to address how we as business owners (and individuals) can take some practical and actionable measures to better control the security and privacy of our data.  Well I should say, as best we can given that we live in a state of technological acquiescence…whether we choose to believe it or not.  Until then, we hope you enjoy reading the white papers by Accenture Consulting.  Back to you in a few weeks…

Contact Us if you would like to discuss business strategies for your business.

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution) to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

 

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Planning Ahead For 2017 – Best Practices

Strategically PlanBest PracticesMeasuring Results

Hello Everyone!  It’s been a few months since our last post.  We’ve been busy with new business opportunities in new markets that have taken much time from our posting.  We wanted to touch base with our readers on a topic that comes up regularly.  It has to do with something very basic, is relatable by most of us, and is very common among most business professionals we meet; regardless of geographic location or level of experience within their firm or business.  That topic is effective, strategic business planning.  So we want to share with you our views on how to do effective Business Planning For 2017 – by applying some basic “Best Practices”.

While we recommend our existing clients to begin their planning for the next year well in advance, beginning in August – September (to allow enough time to plan, design and implement various campaigns come the beginning of the year).  That said… DON’T WAIT until August to begin your initial planning!  If you’re not a client of ours yet, the best time to begin planning is NOW.  Whatever day you come to the realization that you need to plan more strategically and effectively, begin the process.  You’ll NEVER make-up for lost time.  Listed below are a few best practices related to strategic and effective planning:

  • BREAK THE BONDAGE OF PROCRASTINATION – This is the most critical initial step to strategic business planning.  Putting this off for another day only negatively affects you, your progress and results.  Set a date, calendar it, and do it.  Sounds simple, and it is, however it’s not always easy to do for a variety of reasons.  The bottom-line, is the further you put this off, the greater the negative impact.  The sooner you break the bondage of procrastination, the sooner you begin the path to accomplishing your business goals and reaping the success and results.
  • CONSULT WITH AN ADVISOR – I know this may sound self-serving, but it isn’t.  While we do this for a living (helping clients to strategically focus and tactically grow their practices and businesses), the point is, whether you consult with us or any other organization, don’t go it alone…work with an independent advisor.  Seek someone with relevant experience and expertise in your industry, YET has the ability to critically and constructively guide you away from current ineffective practices, and guide you to more effective and practical practices.  This consultant/advisor should help you strategically align your personal and business goals and objectives with a tactical plan of action, and help you to effectively implement new practices and procedures that will enable you to successfully reach your business goals.
  • EXECUTE YOUR PLAN –  The most strategic plan, the best plan ever designed is utterly useless if the plan is not well executed.  This takes a little time, planning, implementation and patience.  One of the keys to effectively implementing your business and action plan is setting clear and tactical action steps.  Once these action steps are established, they must be embedded into your daily/ weekly/ monthly calendar or CRM solution and put into action.  Without the above stated steps, the execution of your plan is meaningless, and will most likely result in missed goals and opportunities, frustration and perhaps failure.  However, by implementing the fore-mentioned steps, the process will become purposeful, measurable, gratifying and successful.
  • MONITOR & MEASURE YOUR PLAN – Lastly, make sure to evaluate and measure your progress.  Many business professionals begin with a fast start…keeping track of their progress, then begin to slack on documenting their progress, then eventually slack on measuring their progress on a weekly and monthly basis.  This may result in prolonging what could be a simple fix or adjustment to the plan, and may result in wasted time, money, efforts and disappointment.  However, disciplined and systematic monitoring and measuring your progress will enable you to be informed on a timely basis, allowing you to make adjustments when/if needed, and will give you assurance that you’re on the right path to meet your goals and objectives.

We hope this gives you some food for thought on effective business planning for 2017.  These are simple guides and best practices that can dramatically impact the effectiveness of your strategic planning for this next year.  Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter when you begin your planning, just as long as you begin planning and don’t procrastinate.  Have a good 4th quarter of this year, and do yourself a favor and begin strategically and effectively planning for a strong 2017.

 

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution) to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

GMS Business Consulting 288 Comments

Part 1: Out-Strategize & Out-Maneuver Your Competition

Business Development Services

Business Development Services

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!  Today’s post is part-one of a three-part series on how to “Out-Strategize & Out-Maneuver Your Competition“.  After 30+ combined years of business and consulting experience, we have seen common threads related to business success and failure.  These common threads may appear to be quite simple at the surface level, however beneath the surface they may vary significantly in complexity depending on the nature of the practice, targeted clients (and their particular needs), and one’s ability to effectively reach & communicate your value proposition to them.  That said, the successes and failures all have a few things in common…right from the start.  That’s what we’re going to address today… Read more

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Business Succession

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Hello Everyone!  Recently, we met with a few attorneys with small practices, in their late 60’s with no plans of retirement, nor thoughts of business succession.  That’s a concern we have for many business professionals today who know better to plan for events like this, yet they don’t.  Over the years, we’ve seen many business professionals own and operate very successful practices/businesses, however we’re still surprised to see how many have not planned for their business succession.

If there is a younger family member coming into the practice or business, then that is a natural business succession, and the business owner has a whole lot less to concern themselves with.  Conversely, if there is no family member or young associate interested in taking over the practice some day, then that leaves a potentially valuable asset foregone and left behind, and clients that will still need to be served. Read more

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What’s Your Business Interruption Plan?

GMS Business Consulting 3-Step-Solution

GMS Business Consulting
3-Step-Solution

 

Hello Everyone!  As you know, our previous post on June 6th centered on how you can prepare and protect your personal and business finances prior to the next economic meltdown, with guidance from former Wall Street insider Nomi Prins.  This post is going to address how you can better prepare your business in case of an unexpected business interruption such as a natural disaster or any other type of situation that could disrupt the flow and operation of your business for an extended period of time.  So here are a few scenarios for you to ponder:  You’re heading into work on what appears to be an ordinary weekday morning, and everything is rolling along, business as usual… Read more

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Protecting Your Business & Personal Assets…Before The Next Financial Crises!

Nomi-Prins2AllPresidentsBankersCover

Hello Everyone!  As you know, we aim to bring insightful news, practical information, and reliable sources that can help you personally and professionally.  Most of the information we bring to your attention is not readily available on mainstream media for a variety of reasons (which we’ve covered in prior postings).  As informed readers, we know that the state of the economy is NOT as it is commonly reported to be on mainstream media. Read more

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3 STEPS – To Grow Your Practice in 2014

Hello Everyone!  We’re always asked by new clients, “How can I grow my business this year?”  There are two answers…the first answer is short…begin by implementing the three steps listed below.  The longer, more detailed answer requires more critical thinking, strategic business planning, and tactical implementation.  That said, let’s get to the “Short Answer” by following these three steps: Read more

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Social Media – Is It a Waste of Time?

Socail Media Picture  Social Media #2

The question many small businesses are asking is, “Is social media helpful for my business or is it a waste of time?”  Well, the obvious answer is, it depends.  There is no dispute that social media is perhaps one of the most powerful, most influential mediums and tools used by businesses to reach the masses.  However it may not be quite the panacea for your business as it may be for others.  We came across an article in the Washington Post back on September 24th by Eric Holtzclaw that we thought would be of interest.  We wanted to share this article’s points and add our perspective as well. Read more