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Resources for Small Business News

Are you a small business owner without go-to resources for your business news? It is important to stay on top of industry updates, events, and ideas that may impact your small business. However, we know that running a small business is no easy feat. When you have five extra minutes, you do not want to spend them sifting through news outlets, deciding what is trustworthy and worth reading.

In order to help with this, we are sharing a blog post by Meredith Wood of Fundera. Meredith provides readers with an organized list of resources including websites, blogs, and social media pages to follow. When utilizing this list, business owners will save time and have easy access to helpful advice and information.The list provided includes sources that will share the latest news and updates in capital expenses, loans, budgeting, forecasting, marketing, social media, taxes, HR issues, government standards, etc.

For example, one of our favorite suggestions in the list is New York Times: Entrepreneurship & Your Taxes. The New York Times is common reading material for most people but the particular sections Meredith mentions, we find important. The first one being Entrepreneurship and the second being Your Taxes. Both of these sections highlight subjects like small business tax, healthcare reform, and credit scores.

Click here for the 37 Best Resources For Small Business News

Fraud Alert: Identity Theft Fraudsters Targeting Small Businesses

In recent years, we have seen a marked increase in the amount of identity theft cases due to our increased use of the internet. Generally, as tax professionals we mainly see the impact on individuals from these schemes. However, there is an surge of small businesses being targeted now.

The Journal of Accountancy recently posted an article regarding this increase. The article highlights signs that you may have been a victim of identity theft and provides information on the ways both the IRS and state tax agencies are working to combat these fraud schemes. To read the full article click here.

LBA Haynes Strand is dedicated to alerting the public on any scam or fraudulous attempt to steal identities or gain access to important financial information. If you are interested learning more, contact us today.

3 Design Tips For Your Exit Strategy

A successful and effective exit from a business usually takes more than a miracle. I do believe in miracles, however gaining the greatest value for your company doesn’t usually happen without a solid design and execution. As a business owner contemplating a future exit, you should be focused on a plan that includes the following 3 design tips:

1. Timing

Is the market right? Are other parties interested in acquiring your company? Do you have plans for after your exit? Do you have more passion or anxiety over the business?

Timing is everything if your objective is to maximize the value of your company. Don’t be a statistic, too many company owners run the company up the growth curve, and down the other side before relinquishing control and exiting the business. Companies frequently grow beyond the capabilities of the owner, so all these considerations will help you determine the right timing.

2. Value

Have you completed a valuation on the company? Can the value of the company be improved? Will the exit event provide the revenue, cash and stability you desire and need?

Value is the number one driver for most executives contemplating an exit. However, value is nearly impossible to change if you have one foot out the door. Value creation is difficult but will yield the greatest financial reward for each dollar invested. Reducing costs, improving processes, increasing margins, managing debt, hiring the right resources and growing the top line are all important factors in gaining the greatest value for your business. A good business advisor can help you navigate through the projects that offer the highest return on value.

3. Succession

Do your leaders have the skills, interest and passion to carry on and improve the business? Do you financially need the business to perform after your exit?

Succession is not an issue if you are emotionally and financially detached from the exit event. In this scenario, succession is the problem for the acquirer and the seller can take the money and run. However many small business owners can’t afford to detach financially and therefore must be concerned about the quality of the successors (family members or employees). Complicated exit scenarios tend to create succession challenges and as a result will have a negative impact on the value.

Exiting a business is not an event, it is a process. Albeit an emotional process, it requires a proper design to get the most out of the final exit event. Exiting your business is much easier when you understand the 3 design tips and  have a plan to answer the tough questions regarding. . . Timing, Value and Succession.  Then you can ” Exit by Design”,  and not exit by mistake or miracle.

June 15th Lunch-n-Learn: Information Security Threats

Small businesses (SMB’s) are subjected to a daily onslaught of Information Security threats. These threats come in many forms including technical, human, and software vulnerabilities. How does a SMB that is already restricted by personnel, budget, and productivity constraints effectively combat these threats?

There is always more…

More hardware, more software, more people, more procedures.

Just more stuff.

More is not always the answer. Often times other more practical methods or improved configuration/utilization of existing resources are the solution

Corporate Information Technologies (CIT) is a 19 year old information technology firm that are subject matter experts in the areas of Technology Infrastructure, Data Storage and Backup, and Information Security. CIT is privileged to have the opportunity to perform both defensive (Blue) and offensive (Red) team Information Security (InfoSec) assessments for many of their clients. These organizations, many the leaders in their respective industry, have substantial IT infrastructure and Information assets to secure. More often than not these assessments reveal substantial ways to better secure these organizations using their existing systems and investments. Many times training and communication is the only component missing from their InfoSec arsenal.

Understanding the methods and techniques used by attackers is one of the most effective ways to combat attackers. Using this understanding to better craft defenses and detection methods against ever evolving attacks is one of the most effective preventative measures an organization can take.

Humans remain one of the largest weaknesses while simultaneously being one of the greatest assets to any organization’s InfoSec policy. Training and equipping them for battle should be on the forefront of every SMB’s InfoSec plan. Plan, train, rehearse, test. It is often the simplest things that make the greatest differences in the battle to secure an organization against attackers.

On June 15th Corporate Information Technologies (CIT) is hosting a Lunch-n-Learn to share the top 5 ways small businesses are hacked and effective ways to combat them. This talk will be presented by a member of CIT’s offensive security team (Red Team). As ethical hackers, they are involved intimately with the techniques used by their nefarious black-hat counterparts. Come learn how to better secure, detect, and deter hackers from making your organization their next victim.

This event is an informal small-group setting with a member of CIT’s offensive security group discussing this vitally important topic. CIT will provide a non-technical presentation that is intended for both a semi-technical and completely non-technical audience.