Category Archives: Tip of the Week

Lisa Hephner

Small Business Security: Advanced Tips for Spotting a Phish

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It’s been said that when it comes to phishing and malware, there are two kinds of people—those who know they’re victims, and those who don’t. Last week’s Tip post, Small Business Security: Focus on a Speedy Recovery, detailed measures you can take to mitigate the damage in the (unfortunately very likely) event that your small business finds itself compromised by ransomware or other malware, or finds that an employee has been tricked into disclosing credentials.

That’s the pound of cure. This week we’ll focus on the ounce of prevention. After all, it is far better to detect a phishing email before you download a malicious attachment or click a link leading to a phishing page. And in the event that you don’t catch yourself before you click, it is critical that you pay attention to browser warnings and other signs that you are on a phishing screen rather than a legitimate website.

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Lisa Hephner

Small Business Security: Focus on a Speedy Recovery

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By now you’ve probably heard so much about the WannaCrypt/WannaCry worldwide ransomware attack that you are looking at every email with skepticism and expect malicious intent behind every link you see. While remaining vigilantly on the lookout for phishing attempts and steering clear of downloads from dubious origins is important to securing your computer and your small business network, caution to the point of constant second guessing that leads to business stagnation is as debilitating as becoming a cybercrime victim.

So what is a small business to do?

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Lisa Hephner

5 Videos: Small Business Problem Solving Experiments & Techniques

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One of the most effective things you can do to ensure productive problem solving (regardless of whether you do it yourself or with your team) is to begin with exercises that expose predispositions and blind spots as well as thought patterns that may be advantageous or detrimental to developing the best possible solutions to small business problems. The following five videos highlight experiments and techniques that will help you do just that.

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Lisa Hephner

Share Your Story & Hone Your Skills by Participating in National Small Business Week Events

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PaySimple champions small businesses because we know that small business owners are super heroes who deserve accolades all year long. This week (April 30 – May-6, 2017) is National Small Business Week, a time when everyone is prompted to think about the contributions small businesses make to their communities. (And just to make it official, President Trump proclaimed it so.) It is also an opportunity for small business owners to come together to celebrate their accomplishments, and to share the secrets of their successes with each other.

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Lisa Hephner

10 TED Talks for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

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While a TED Talk can be anything from a music performance to a comedy performance, to a serious lecture on the future of humanity, many are either business or technology related and provide helpful advice for small business owners in a variety of industries. If you can’t make it to a live event, check out the following 10 TED Talks, carefully curated by me, that provide insights, advice, and strategies that will help make your small business a success.

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Lisa Hephner

5 Ways Public Libraries Can Benefit Your Small Business

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This week (April 9 -15, 2017) is National Library Week, and today (April 11) is National Library Workers Day. While both are cause for celebration of all the meaningful contributions that public libraries make to our communities, they also present an opportunity to highlight how your local library can provide valuable tools and resources that your small business can leverage (often for free) for a wide variety of sales, marketing, research, and other business needs.

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Lisa Hephner

7 Good Software Review Sites and How to Use Them to Find the Perfect Application for Any Small Business Need

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Are you old enough to remember the days when selecting a small business software package meant deciding between WordPerfect and Wordstar for word processing or Excel and Lotus 1-2-3 for spreadsheets? If so then you’re probably amazed at the vast quantity of software applications available today designed for just about any application you can imagine. (And if you’re not, then you probably take for granted that you have not just one but multiple Apps for any “that” you can conceive.)

The sheer volume of choices means that there is likely a “perfect” application for every one of your small business needs; but it also means that you’re likely going to have to do a bunch of digging and research to find it. That’s where software review sites come into play.

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Lisa Hephner

How Lessons from the Ultimatum Game Can Help Improve Your Small Business Ecommerce Site

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In a typical ecommerce implementation a merchant is faced with an Ultimatum Game type decision– how to price a product/service in order to maximize his own utility—i.e. to generate the greatest possible profit without losing the sale. If the merchant can determine the 50-50 split scenario of perfect Ultimatum Game fairness, he can be reasonably certain of closing deals with a modest utility upside for himself. If he can find the lowest possible split that the customer will accept, he will maximize his utility for the sale. Thus the critical question for an ecommerce merchant is how to create a website that moves a customer to pay the highest possible price while still perceiving positive utility for the transaction.

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Lisa Hephner

Checking In on Small Business Optimism Again

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The last time we checked in on small business optimism was June, 2016—at that time the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was at 17,829, the US unemployment rate was about 5%, inflation was at 1%, and economists declared the market booming; yet small business owners were less than optimistic about business conditions and the outlook for future growth.

Fast forward 9 months, and we have a new President, the DJIA has reached record highs (over 21,000, with a slight pullback to just under that number today), the unemployment rate is holding steady (4.9% at last report), and inflation has risen to 2.7% prompting the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates once again. Fears of rampant inflation aside, the economy appears on a tear. And finally, small business owners are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and apparently optimistically no longer fear it to be a truck.

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