Are You Prepared and Protected?
At one on my clients this week, I was working on paying off a loan and wiring money to the lender. I started receiving emails from the lender asking me to wire information to a certain bank in Florida to a person I didn’t recognize. The email looked like it was coming from the lender, and I was ready to send the wire. But something didn’t make sense because the supposed lender was getting impatient and wanted the money immediately. Also, the name, address, and banking information didn’t make sense or match any of my other paperwork. So, I called the lender and he had never heard of the person I was about to wire the money to. He said that our email communication must have been hacked.
He was right. Somehow a middleman got into our email string and even replied to a subject I had emailed. Fortunately, this was caught before any money was transferred, but it was close. I certainly will be on the lookout more.
Do you have a good policy for sending wire or ACH payment? Do you have a secure email or network security setup? How could you possibly know?
6 Key Business Areas
I have reached out to experts in different areas and am working to develop a questionnaire and assessment of the below business areas.
Finance & Accounting
First, this area is my specialty and improvements are needed in many organizations. Are you preparing and reviewing financial reports and forecasts on a regular basis? Are you doing bank reconciliations? Do you compare actual to budgeted revenue and expenses? Have you reviewed expenses that seem to be rising to find a more affordable solution? Do you have proper segregation of duties? There are so many important tasks that companies should be doing, and you should review this regularly as you grow.
HR & Management
So you know managing employees are even harder if you don’t have a strategic business plan that employees are accountable and measured against. Do you have incentive plans that match your company’s strategic goals? Does every employee know the top priority of the company so that they can focus on these priorities?
Another important area is marketing. If you don’t have a good marketing plan, then your brand is not growing, and future growth and opportunities are in jeopardy. Do you have a marketing strategy, or do you have a blog that is consistently published? Are you capturing names of prospects, people reading your blog, and those downloading your resources? Marketing seems to be rapidly changing due to social media and online opportunities, so if you aren’t reviewing this regularly, many opportunities are being left out.
It seems like sales can cure all kinds of company pains. Do you have a sales strategy and forecast that is measured? Are compensation plans of sales managers linked to company goals? Are sales people properly trained in sales techniques and product knowledge? If you aren’t investing in business development and sales, then your company could be destined for hard times.
Technology is changing at such a speed that it should be assessed regularly. There are so many solutions that help with finance, HR, expense reports, project management, and marketing that save time and aren’t very expensive.
IT and Network Security
Finally, I am going to end on this note because this was the issue I discussed at the beginning. We know that credit cards get stolen, hackers steal information, and viruses can be crippling. How do we fight this? Do you make sure your online services are protected against backdoor intruders? There are ways to protect ourselves, and upfront investment could save you millions of dollars.
So, are you interested in an assessment tool that will give you good questions to answer, an assessment, and a person with which to talk further? If so, take the survey below because your feedback is valuable. This assessment tool has value and will eventually cost to purchase. However, if you respond to this survey, I will send you a copy of the assessment when it is completed free of charge. I can’t tell you the value this assessment tool will have on your organization. It will be a great tool for future goals and growth opportunities.
Click the Survey Link below:
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