Ken Warman, The Leader's Evolution
What are the benefits of having a coach?
It’s about achieving higher levels of performance. Far beyond what you thought was possible….
Leaders have a significant impact on how teams and organizations perform. They set the tone, draw the best from those around them, and drive team success. Teams led by complete leaders are much more likely to become high-performing teams, and those teams quite simply produce the best results…..again and again.
But we all know that doesn’t happen easily or as often as we would want in our current business teams.
Strong, effective, and dynamic leadership can change this. It can get our business teams engaged, energized, and performing at high levels.
Coaching is a direct investment into the development of leaders, and leaders have a high leverage impact on the performance of the teams they run. Through engaging with a coach, a leader can magnify their talents and create engagement and followership across their teams. This causes a ripple effect that raises the performance levels of not only the teams they manage but also generates stronger performance across their organizations.
It’s about making changes. Changes in behaviors that matter.
The need to adapt and change is a foundational element of long-term success. Yet, it is in our wiring as humans to resist change. And many leaders initially see the prospect of changing from “what got me here” both challenging and threatening.
A coach helps the leader build the mindset, muscles, and adaptive behaviors to change. To change in ways that impact the current experience and drive the broader evolution of the leader. By fostering a growth mindset, the coach helps the leader identify and eliminate barriers, unlocking new areas of learning and discovery.
With the rapid advance of technology, the speed with which technical knowledge can be gained at our fingertips, and the growth and power of customer centricity, the need for business leaders to master adaptive skills is more critical than it has ever been. The ability to change and adapt will only become more valuable and necessary in the next decade.
A skilled coach is a powerful ally and catalyst for leaders to embrace change and become change agents who will thrive in the competitive environment we face today and tomorrow.
It’s about being fulfilled with our lives. Achieving our purpose.
There are many measures that we can use to gauge success. And by the external and visible measures, you would think many leaders and professionals would be feeling quite good about themselves.
But when you get into a deep and open discussion with a leader about how he/she is really doing – there are often things missing. There are big gaps and needs. There are things out of balance.
Working with a talented coach allows a leader to develop a meaningful connection (or reconnection) with their purpose. The discovery of what is truly important, consistent with their most fundamental values. The pursuit of that purpose through actions which ultimately result in learning, progress, and achievement of the goal.
My most rewarding moments in coaching are when we get to the discoveries that really matter to the client – creating a legacy, building up others to win as a team, connecting success in both professional and personal lives, aligning action directly to the purpose they are here to achieve. It’s about finding fulfillment.
Performance. Change. Fulfillment.
The value of coaching is about the client finding higher levels of all three. Finding ways to achieve them more frequently and easily. And a talented coach can help get you there.
The saying “Cowboy Up” generally means to be tougher or more resilient in the face of difficult circumstances. It can also mean to prepare to act on something about to immediately occur. And, when it comes to protecting your business from data breaches, it may be time for your company to “Cowboy Up” and implement some simple solutions that help mitigate risks and protect confidential information.
Industry analysts agree cybersecurity will continue to be one of the top investments business owners will make for the foreseeable future. Too often, business owners believe that only larger organizations need to take cybersecurity seriously. Listed below are a few facts about who is a common security target, and what can happen to a business after a data breach.
DATA BREACHES CAN PUT YOU OUT OF BUSINESS. Not only do data breaches happen to small companies, but often with greater impact! A National Cyber Security Alliance Study found, that 60% of small to midsize companies go out of business within the first 6 months of a data breach. The costs and reputation damage attributed to a data breach may be too much to recover from for most businesses.
DATA BREACHES AFFECT THE “LITTLE” GUYS TOO. Most often, the media reports on data breaches that affect larger organizations like Target, Home Depot, and Sony, but did you know that a Verizon study found that 71% of data breaches happen to companies with less than 100 employees?
EMPLOYEES ARE YOUR WEAKEST LINK. Installing network firewalls, ensuring that your systems are regularly patched with the most current vendor security patches and deploying up-to-date anti-virus software sounds like a great start to protecting your businesses information, however, technology alone cannot stop cybercrime and data breaches. In a study led by IBM, they uncovered that 95% of data breaches are caused by human error. That makes your employees the weakest link in your fight against cybersecurity!
YOUR EMPLOYEES NEED CYBER SECURITY TRAINING! The best way to minimize the potential risk of a data breach is to educate your employees. Training your employees on cybersecurity best practices and how to recognize possible threats, is the first step in implementing a robust data security strategy. Look for a comprehensive training program that informs and engages your employees on security best practices. Make sure it includes training on phishing scams, ransomware, phones scams and the dangers of public Wi-Fi. Lastly, you want a training program that hits a broad range of security topics to increase your employees’ security awareness and protects your business.
When it comes to marketing, most small businesses take the approach of throwing something against the wall to see what sticks. Or even worse, they try something once and if they don’t see immediate results, they give up. What many don’t realize is it takes 9 - 13 touches to reach their audience, rendering the wing-it approach virtually useless.
To truly reap the rewards from your marketing efforts, you need a funnel system that strategically orchestrates multiple touches across the lead nurturing spectrum, measuring as you go. Think of it like an auditorium. You’ve got the space with hundreds of seats, a stage and powerful AV system—and you’ve got something important to say. But if no one knows you’re there, you’ll be speaking to an empty room. Before you can impart your wisdom, you need to first fill the seats (build brand awareness). Once you’ve got a captive audience, you need to give them compelling reasons to stay (engage through multiple touch points in your funnel), all while constantly reading the room to see if you’re getting through (measure).
The problem is, many businesses aren’t taking this approach—not in its entirety. In fact, up to 65% have not even identified or attempted to measure their sales funnel, which is staggering considering nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Implementing a marketing program alone is not enough. You absolutely need to be measuring its effectiveness. If you neglect your funnel, you’ll miss out on a huge revenue opportunity. In my experience, there are two reasons why businesses aren’t measuring: they fear they’ll only call attention to their marketing fails or they think it’s too complicated to do. Good news—neither is true.
Metrics support profitable decision-making
The most successful marketers are those who unapologetically assess their marketing efforts on an ongoing basis to see what’s working and what’s not. They rely on the data to tell a compelling story about where they’ve been, where they are today and where they need to go. Yes, when you do this you may discover that a particular marketing program underperformed. That’s okay—even expected at times. Use those insights to redirect you to a more profitable and successful marketing program—not to point out your “failures.” It’s not a linear process, but rather an evolution in your approach as you nurture your customer along their journey to the point of purchase.
Measuring marketing performance doesn’t have to be hard
It’s true—measuring marketing performance isn’t as cut and dry as measuring your sales team’s performance. In fact, it might take a customer anywhere from 3 - 12 months to go through the entire funnel before purchasing (sometimes longer). But, don’t let that deter you. While you may not be able to attribute a particular marketing effort to the ultimate sale, you can measure your brand awareness and ROI through each stage of your customer journey by way of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
For example, you can measure your brand by looking at how you’re doing on social media. Track things like follower growth, reach, referrals and engagement. Also examine your website metrics. How many page views are you generating and what’s the average user’s time-on-site? If your traffic is increasing (both new and existing users) and users are staying on your site longer, then you’re doing a good job building your brand.
To measure direct ROI, look at metrics like social media conversion, the number of webinar registrants, downloadable content conversions, email open rates, etc. These metrics are relatively black-and-white and should be fairly easy to capture. More importantly, they reveal a wealth of information that can guide your marketing decisions moving forward.
The truth is, to really understand how well you’re reaching your audience, you need to measure throughout the entire customer journey. But be sure to set goals. Identify the metrics you want to achieve across every touch point and monitor as you go. By tracking your efforts as you go, you’ll end up with a powerful funnel that delivers a shorter sales cycle and ultimately supports revenue growth.
What do I know about hyper growth? Quite a bit, actually.
In the last five years, my law firm experienced hyper growth. From 2015 to 2018, we saw a revenue increase of 125% with profit hovering around 10%. By 2017, we had quadrupled our revenue—without quadrupling client headcount. In fact, in 2016, we serviced 158 clients. In 2017 that number dropped to 125, but our revenue jumped by almost half a million dollars. By 2018 we brought in 142 new clients, representing a 15.5% revenue growth over 2017. We grew the dollar value of our average client by over 60%!
You don’t experience growth like this without learning some lessons along the way. For us, it was a matter of gathering data and applying metrics to course correct when we needed a change of direction.
Several years ago, were not reaching our ideal client. We thought we were doing everything right: we had a target market, a message we believed resonated with our audience and a valuable service that helped people. Yet, somewhere along the way, there was a disconnect—and we had to get to the bottom of it in order to stay profitable.
We needed a better understanding of our ideal client. To do this, we gathered as much demographic data as we could about our existing clients—things like age, gender, occupation, zip code and more. We then formed an advisory board, which was comprised of a sampling of those ideal clients, as well as successful business owners and community leaders, to help us identify why we weren’t reaching more customers. The more we dug, the more metrics we identified—and the more we learned about what we were doing wrong and where profitable opportunities were hiding.
Before we knew it, we were headed down a metrics-based path that guided us to the hyper growth we continue to enjoy today.
Here’s what those metrics told us:
To combat the false perception, we initiated a number of rebranding initiatives, which included a new website, updated marketing materials and a new visual brand identity that reflected the more upscale image we were trying to convey. We also updated the physical appearance of our offices—both inside and out. With those foundational elements in place, we then targeted our print and digital advertising and social media strategy on clients with higher income.
For every business, setting goals like this might look different. For us it meant defining what each lawyer and paralegal could and should generate in terms of billable hours. That gave us a projected revenue stream, which helped us determine the budget we had to work with. We then engaged our marketing team to develop a dashboard that now helps us measure ROI on every marketing dollar we spend, our growth and the number of clients coming in.
Do you want to experience hyper growth? Of course you do. What business wouldn’t? You can. But it takes some tough love, an honest look at the business and a willingness to use input and data to understand your customer, your market and even your business so that you profitably redirect your efforts.
Since 1991, Leadership Morris has showcased Morris County’s non-profit community to classes of future leaders who have taken the opportunity to learn about Morris County, its non-profits, the local and state government and explore how they might be able to give back to communities in which they live and work.
Although the program began in 1991, since 2005, Leadership Morris has been under the direction of Dr. Joseph Nazzaro. Leadership Morris is a community education program of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. Along with co-program administrator, Laura Cust, they have witnessed nearly 1000 alumni morph into servant leaders and community volunteers. “It has been very rewarding to see some of our graduates serve on non-profit boards and even build careers in government. I am proud to have been able to facilitate a program that helps build our non-profit community” said Nazzaro in a recent interview.
Class participants come from an array of professional backgrounds, including sole proprietors and entrepreneurs, mid-level managers, healthcare practitioners and professionals such as attorneys, communications experts and nonprofit executives. “Our goal,” explains Nazzaro, “is to expose students to our community so they can see the more intricate aspects of what makes our county run.” Each one-day session of the eleven-month program features a field trip. Economic Development Day features a trip to Picatinny Arsenal (the largest employer in the county). Criminal Justice Day is a trip to the County Jail and County Courthouse with meetings with the County Sheriff and Prosecutor. In addition to learning about Morris County, one of the class excursions (for State Government Day) is to Trenton, where students tour our State Capital, meet and hear from a member of the Assembly and President of the New Jersey State Chamber.
Media Relations/County Government Day involves a visit to JCP&L’s corporate communications department and interacting with a panel of communications and media experts as well as a visit from County Freeholders. Healthcare Day is an exciting trip to both Saint Clare’s and Morristown Medical Center. Human Needs and Services Day focuses on the nonprofit community and affordable housing with interesting visits to both. Environment Day features hiking at either the Great Swamp or Pyramid Mountain culminating with a visit to Fosterfields Living Historical Farm for an environmental presentation.
A graduate of the 2016 class, Deborah Gussoff, President of In Order, Inc. said, “Leadership Morris is a unique opportunity to learn about the wide range of non-profit services the county offers. I learned about homelessness in Morris County and how the community helps those in need.” Sandy Stiles of Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central and Southern NJ said, “I thought I knew about of most of the non-profits in our area, but the diverse range of venues we visited was enlightening.” Anthony Abrantes, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Local 254 said, “I loved this program and feel very privileged to have taken it. The exposure to such a variety of organizations helped me grow both personally and professionally.”
Nazzaro explains, “While Morris County offers a bucolic environment with more than forty public parks and nature trails, we see families who, from time to time need housing or nutritional support.” Typically, individuals who find themselves in situations they could never imagine, don’t know where to turn for help. Nazzaro explains, “We live in a compassionate community where services are available to help those in need. Leadership Morris exposes students to the variety of services offered and our hope is that they will find a program that ‘speaks to them’.” The program also features team building, community service projects, and “board reports” from each class member after interviewing a Non-profit executive. Following graduation, there is an optional active Alumni Association.
The 2019 class of Leadership Morris will graduate in November and applications are now being taken for the 2020 class. To apply for the next Leadership Morris class, complete the application on the Chamber of Commerce’s website or contact Laura Cust at 973-539-3882 x232 or Laura@morrischamber.org.
By Naoma Welk, Welk Ink, Leadership Morris Alumni Council Member
Media Contact: Joe Nazzaro, 973-476-8731, firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional potential revenue streams exist in every business. They are hidden within the capabilities of the firm. The challenge is finding and turning them into new products and services. Most businesses are not structured or focused to discover or develop them. As a result, sales don’t materialize.
This does not have to be the case. The business leader needs to make generating revenue from new sources a strategic priority. Enlisting the leadership team in this effort can have a two-fold benefit. It focuses on growing revenue and unifies the company on a positive initiative that potentially benefits everyone in the company. Below are a series of steps to make this happen.
Create a leadership team meeting agenda to focus on uncovering new revenue sources. Include your outside advisors in this meeting. They will bring an external view of the business and the market that will be helpful. Brainstorm what internal capabilities could become new sources of revenue. Set a goal to identify one idea in each leader’s area. For example, a new product or service could be developed as a result of a unique solution devised for an individual customer. It may come from a valued employee developing an idea for a product or service. Implementing unused functions in existing technology could generate a new product or service. An internal process could be re-purposed to generate revenue. No ideas are off limits. Write them all down for all to see.
Have the leadership team prioritize the ideas. Focus on ideas that could be implemented in 12 to 18 months. That way results can be seen in a reasonably short period of time and reinforces that the process can be used successfully again. Have each executive take responsibility for the top idea that emanates from their area. Each area leader should discuss the idea with their staff to determine if it is feasible. If it is, devise a plan to make it a reality. If an idea involves more than one area, each area leader commits to work with the other to determine implementation feasibility.
Establish review milestones. Put dates on the calendar for the leadership team to get together quarterly. Meet with each area executive monthly to review the status of the initiatives they are leading. Monitor each team initiative to ensure that the teams are meeting and progress is being made.
Team brainpower is more powerful than individual brainpower, Whenever possible, using a team to refine and implement any idea provides far more value to the business. It gives the team a sense of ownership. It also provides motivation to help ensure the success of the idea.
Other benefits. Using teams to develop a product or service adds another level of benefit. The team that developed it becomes the cheerleaders. They provide an additional push to the sales organization to focus on the sale of this product or service. There is an additional benefit for the firm’s leader. He/she gains time to focus on other areas of the business and their personal life to keep them energized.
An option. If you don’t have the appropriate staff or time to focus on identifying and implementing new products and services, Berger Business Advisors has the expertise to help you. For a free consultation to explore how you can implement new revenue streams for your organization, contact us.
Author: Allan Berger, Berger Business Advisors, Aberger@BergerBusinessAdvisors.com
New Jersey’s diverse economy, an ideal geographic location and extensive infrastructure, which should all make the Garden State attractive to businesses. But when it comes to relieving corporate and personal tax burdens the state consistently ranks in the bottom of the fifty states year after year. Fiscal headwinds impede New Jersey’s competitiveness and high wage job growth.
The Morris County Chamber of Commerce is addressing on a statewide level the challenges that businesses are encountering as a steering committee member of Opportunity New Jersey (ONJ), a non-partisan coalition, and a member of the Economic Development Advisory Council. The ONJ “Plan for an Affordable New Jersey” intends to set New Jersey on a path to increased competitiveness. Since more than 80% of economic growth is a result of expansion of existing businesses, we need our state legislators to advance policies that support New Jersey businesses even as we seek to attract new companies to the state.
Low unemployment makes cultivating talent and ensuring career pathways key to growth of our economy. This includes retaining young professionals and retraining seasoned workers. The Chamber and EDC, which work closely with the Workforce Development Board, have made strengthening the workforce a priority. Initiatives include: the launch of a Talent and Human Resources Committee and mentor program, the development of an on-line jobs database featuring employers in the county that will also include internships, support of local job fairs, and administering a GAINS apprenticeship grant in conjunction with the German American Chamber and the County College of Morris.
Morris County consistently ranks as a “top 10” county in the nation based on household income and quality of life. The county boasts the highest about of preserved land in the state while producing an impressive $53 billion gross regional product, which is greater than five states. However, business surveys have revealed that talent is deterred from locating in New Jersey due to high housing costs. As the Chamber educates the business community on best practices related to talent attraction and retention, the EDC is preparing a relocation guide that will promote the county’s variety of employment and housing choices.
The ONJ’S “Plan for an Affordable New Jersey” puts forth grant and tax-credit investments in workforce training and job placement programs, business tax structure reforms, reinforces the need to drive capital investments into lower income communities the Opportunity Zone program and aligns with the broad tenants of Governor Murphy’s new vision for tax incentives. The ONJ’s Economic Development and Advisory Council plans to meet with policymakers in Trenton to provide input on legislation that positions New Jersey for not only fiscal stability, but business and job growth. New Jersey’s loss of talent will have long term negative effects if it is not addressed. The Morris County Chamber of Commerce is proud to be working toward a solution with the ONJ coalition.
To learn more about the Plan for an Affordable New Jersey, and the formation of the New Jersey Economic Development and Advisory Council, please visit ONJ at www.opportunitynj.org and join their mailing list to stay updated on news and developments.
Meghan Hunscher, President & CEO, Morris County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corporation, email@example.com
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the Nation, and as a result, traffic is a primary concern for any development project. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (“NJDOT”) has jurisdiction over all projects along state highways. Although local and county roadways fall outside of the State’s authority, New Jersey agencies maintain their own application and approval process.
As businesses look to secure real estate and operate in New Jersey, navigating traffic issues and permitting can be daunting. Working to understand the State’s permitting challenges and knowing how to obtain the necessary approvals for a project in advance are critical in ensuring a real estate project is completed on time and on budget.
This guide will help assess site feasibility and what lies ahead on the road to permitting a project from a site access and traffic impact perspective. The information provided addresses sites located along a state highway falling within the jurisdiction of the NJDOT. Projects located on county roads will require review and approval by county planning and engineering agencies rather than the State of New Jersey which generally can be accomplished in less time and at less cost. The assistance of a New Jersey licensed civil engineer specializing in traffic engineering will be needed to not only assess all required permits and approvals, but also to prepare the information necessary for filing with the appropriate agencies.
Getting Ahead of New Jersey Traffic Issues - Step By Step
1. Due Diligence - Determine if the site is located along a local, county, or state road. For purposes of this discussion, we will assume the project is located along a state highway as NJDOT permitting poses the most challenges.
2. Lot Conformance Analysis- This analysis is a study of the amount of traffic that will be permitted to access a state road from a site and which traffic movements will be allowed. It takes into account a number of factors including roadway speeds, amount of frontage along the roadway, size of the site, etc., and can be performed by most traffic engineers in less than two days. With approximately 90% certainty, this analysis can determine the extent to which a development will be limited by the NJDOT.
3. NJDOT Pre-Application Meeting - Schedule an informal meeting with the NJDOT to confirm the results of the Lot Conformance Analysis and the allowable movements out of a site driveway and onto a state highway. There is no fee charged by the NJDOT for these meetings and all that is required is a conceptual layout plan and initial calculations from a traffic engineer.
4. Evaluate Permit Options - After performing steps one through three, the potential development limitations are now known and a determination can be made as to what type of permit will be required. Now, an accurate evaluation can be made of the potential costs and time periods associated with securing the particular permit.
The Four Types of NJDOT Permits
1. Letter of No Interest - A Letter of No Interest allows developments to reuse existing driveways to the state highway with no changes to turning movements out of the driveway, the width, driveway material, or curbing. The applicant is required to provide proof that there would not be a significant change in the amount of traffic being generated by the development compared to the previous use.
2. Minor Access Permit - A Minor Access Permit will likely be required if a new driveway or a modification to an existing driveway is proposed and the trip generation associated with the development is very low (less than 500 trips a day to the state highway). The types of developments that would fall in this category are usually small and medium-sized residential developments, small offices, and smaller retail establishments with additional access to a side street.
3. Major Access Permit - A Major Access Permit may be required if a new driveway or modification to an existing driveway is proposed, the site will generate over 500 trips a day, and the net increase in trips compared to the previous development is less than 200 in the busiest hour. Typical developments that would fall in this category are restaurants, medium-sized office and medical office buildings, smaller shopping centers, and fast-food/coffee/convenience stores with a significant amount of traffic using a side street.
4. Major Access Permit with Planning - A Major Access Permit with Planning will likely be required if a new driveway or modification to an existing driveway is proposed, the site will generate over 500 trips a day, and the net increase in trips compared to the previous development is more than 200 in the busiest hour. Typical developments that would fall in this category are large shopping centers, gas stations with convenience stores, and other large-scale developments.
Joseph A. Paparo, Esq., Principal, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C., firstname.lastname@example.org
Networking is the hot topic for this month’s newsletter. Leadership Morris graduates are no stranger to networking as our credo of helping each other via a phone call coupled with identification as a LM graduate, has paid off in dividends for many of our grads seeking assistance. Our Alumni have enthusiastically reported assistance in changing and searching for jobs, getting hard to find contact information, help with personal and family issues, finding non-profit board opportunities, solving work-related problems and many other issues. Our network is enormous, powerful, and available. We are present on LinkedIn, Facebook, and e-mail. And, we are continually exploring new ways to make our network even more powerful and accessible to our members.
Your Association is always ready to entertain new networking ideas and opportunities for our graduates and currently include a variety of local socials, a breakfast, and a picnic, all with the purpose of networking. I urge you to take advantage of your membership directory, our LinkedIn and Facebook sites and keep your network active. Networks are organic and need to be fed and cultivated to see them grow. Remember you are a member of the County’s Premier network as a Leadership Morris Graduate, so use it and reap the benefits.
Time and time again, we continue to see news stories or hear about cyber security related events in the world. As technology and the internet continue to drive itself into the backbone of what we do and how we operate, the need for cyber security and effective planning continues to become essential in our daily lives. Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, is being sued by users over a 2018 data breach. According to a court filing, they are claiming that Facebook failed to warn its users about risks tied to its single sign-on tool, but protected their own employees. Single sign-on connects users to third-party social apps and services through their Facebook credentials by using “access tokens”. Who could have foreseen that the trade-off for convenience would potentially involve getting your data stolen? With the transmission of data on the internet, one weak link such as an outdated system, firmware or application is all it takes for a cyber-criminal to get access. This scenario Facebook is dealing with is a great example of failing to ensure all of your bases are covered when planning for cyber security – more specifically, reacting to a cyber-breach. This likely could have been prevented with some forward thinking and planning.
The lawsuit facing the social media giant stems from their worst-ever security Breach back in September, when hackers stole the previously mentioned “access tokens” which allowed them to access nearly 29 million accounts. Think about all of the data and personal information that people are willingly putting out on the internet, especially Facebook. Hackers could potentially find a lot of value in this data, depending on what their end goal is. The plaintiffs stated that, “Facebook knew about the access token vulnerability and failed to fix it for years, despite that knowledge” in a section of the filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. They continue to state that, “Even more egregiously, Facebook took steps to protect its own employees from the security risk, but not the vast majority of its users.” The judge of the case told Facebook he was willing to allow further research into the case to uncover how much user data was stolen. It was found that the attackers took profile information such as birth dates, employer and education history, religious preference, types of devices used, pages followed and recent searches and location check-ins from 14 million users. For the other 15 million users, their information was restricted to name and contact details. In addition, the hackers could see the posts and lists of friends and groups of about 400,000 users. They did not steal personal messages or financial data and did not access users’ accounts on other websites, as claimed by Facebook.
While the information taken during this breach back in 2018 may seem irrelevant or small in comparison to larger, more confidential breaches such as the Equifax hack, it should not be taken lightly. Large amounts of data like this are valuable to hackers and cyber criminals, one way or the other. Both personal and business data is often traded and sold between cyber criminals. They could easily piece information together to find trends and target specific groups of people based on certain criteria and move on to their next plan of attack. What can be done to keep your information safe? From a business perspective, you’ll want to be sure that you have a cyber-liability policy in place that has coverage for cyber breaches with ample limits to cover any costs of dealing with cyber related losses. On top of that, it would be smart to have a plan in place for breach responses, to mitigate any legal ramifications similar to what Facebook is dealing with. There are many other facets to consider in the cyber space, which is where your local NFP Risk Consultant can step in to add to the conversation. If you are unsure of how to appropriately insure for cyber threats or want to discuss best practices further, please do not hesitate to reach out to NFP.
If you are a frequent consumer of the news/social media outlets you have probably begun to realize that cyber threats and attacks continue to grow as we advance further as a society. From the widespread Equifax hack down to a local machine shop being held up operationally from ransomware, there is really no guarantee that any particular group is safe from these cyber threats. Which is the most prevalent, you may ask? Reported by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the first time in their Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, they have identified that imposter scams are the top consumer fraud complaint that was received in 2018. More specifically, they are finding that there is an increase in these cyber criminals claiming to be from a government agency such as the IRS or Social Security Administration. In totality, the FTC received close to three million complaints from consumers in 2018. It was reported that roughly $1.48 billion was lost to fraud in 2018, which is 38% higher than the year before – a notable growth percentage.
In this day and age there always seems to be some sort of sense of urgency with most individuals and businesses, which is what these cyber criminals are utilizing to their advantage. Since we are more connected as a society than ever before, people’s demands and needs have risen as they are able to openly voice their thoughts/opinions to the masses. This has ultimately influenced our fast-paced culture. Of the previously mentioned $1.48 billion being lost to fraud, $488 million of that was lost to imposter scams which accounts for more than any other type of fraud, with the median loss being $500. In the FTC’s report, they found that Florida has more fraudulent claims than any other state. This may not be a surprise to many, due to Florida’s population being densely packed with potentially high-value fraud targets. Florida is well known for the large population of retirees and elderly, which unfortunately makes them an easy target for cyber criminals due to their age and financial assets they have built throughout their life.
In 2018, there were 535,417 imposter scam reports to the FTC and roughly half of those reports were government imposter scams. Typically these scams will involve an indidivual impersonating someone from the Social Security Administration. What happens next is the impersonator will tell people that their Social Security number has been suspended and they’ll need to pay money to “reactivate” it or that there is some other problem altogether in hopes they’ll reveal the Social Security number. Social Security numbers, however, are never suspended and the Social Security Administration will never require an individual to pay to obtain one. These scams have become so popular due to the short turnaround time with the sense of urgency in either emails or phone calls, and it also comes at a pretty low cost to reach a high volume of potential targets. Spoofing emails and phone calls has become a common threat and the cyber criminals behind it are becoming more advanced as we continue to catch on to their schemes.
How can you protect yourself against threats like these scams, or perhaps you’re concerned about other cyber exposures to you and/or your business? We would recommend reaching out to your local NFP Risk Consultant to start the discussion. From there we can see where you or your business may become a target to cyber criminals and how to prevent those risks. If you are interested in reading further into the FTC’s report there is a hyperlink included above. The FTC produces the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book annually using reports received by the Consumer Sentinel Network. These include reports made directly by consumers to the FTC, as well as reports received by state and federal law enforcement agencies, national consumer protection organizations, and nongovernmental organizations. Please do not hesitate to reach out if NFP can be of assistance in protecting you and your business from cyber threats or anything else that may be keeping you up at night.
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Jennifer Volz is the Senior Development Director at the Boy Scouts of America, Patriots’ Path Council located in Cedar Knolls.
The Boy Scouts of America, Patriots’ Path Council is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preparing young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of good character, citizenship and personal fitness.
The Patriots’ Path Council serves more than 16,000 youth members and 5,000 leaders each year in the counties of Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union and parts of Middlesex, New Jersey. Some 400 local organizations have a Cub Pack, Scout Troop, Venture Crew, or Explorer Post as a part of their service to youth. The Patriots’ Path Council’s core objective is to build strong personal values, family values and character in young people by providing program activities that teach, support and encourage such values.
Jenn began her career at the Boy Scouts of America as a District Executive serving the Scouting units in Western Morris County and Northern Somerset County. In 2008, she served as District Executive and became Senior District Executive in Western Union County of the council.
In 2010, Jenn left the Boy Scouts of America to serve as a program manager for the Development School for Youth in the All Stars Project of New Jersey, a performance-based, non-profit located in Newark. The Development School for Youth is where Young people learn to perform as professionals, and they partner with business leaders who conduct development workshops and provide paid summer internships at their companies.
In 2011, Jenn came back to the Boy Scouts of America as Development Director, focusing on special events council-wide throughout all counties. Jenn now serves as Senior Development Director and is a Leadership Morris Alumni, class of 2015.
Jenn is born and raised in New Jersey and attended the University of Vermont, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in sociology and gender studies. She enjoys spending time with family and friends.
In the age of digital everything, the average consumer’s approach to buying has been completely reimagined. No longer do consumers react favorably to the once tried and true sales models of yesteryear, when sales teams would rely almost exclusively on tactics like phone calls and conferences to facilitate transactions. These days, the sales funnel is tied much more closely to marketing – a technique that aims to build and sustain customer loyalty by creating an inviting and engaging user experience at every touch.
When it comes down to it, sales and marketing have a lot in common, perhaps most notably that both directly impact lead generation and revenue. The biggest difference, however, is that marketing is defined as the process of getting people interested in the goods and services being sold, whereas sales refers to all activities that lead up to the direct selling of those products. The most successful businesses, therefore, are the ones that understand the nuances and are open to implementing a strategy that integrates elements from both sides.
What does sales and marketing integration look like?
Sales and marketing integration starts with collaboration. When sales and marketing teams work together instead of as separate entities, the sales process becomes significantly easier for everyone from start to finish. The marketing team’s job is to ensure that the consumer is already educated in your brand – and has had several positive touches related to the brand – before ever making any sort of contact with a salesperson. This approach has been shown to make the sales process more likely to be successful and more efficient because:
Sales and Marketing Integration: A 3-Step Process
At Paradigm, we believe that both sales and marketing should operate with the same two goals in mind: brand building and maximizing ROI. Many companies are at least familiar with ROI – measuring how much has been gained or lost on an investment, relative to the amount of resources invested – because those numbers are a direct indicator of the company’s overall profitability. But brand building – and measuring the success of a brand building campaign – can be much trickier, especially for small businesses. The effort usually pays off, though, because once a strong brand building strategy has been executed, your job as a marketer or salesperson becomes easier over time.
We measure brand building by identifying and then measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which can be things like email list growth with quality leads (example: if we grow an email list by 50% but see the open rate decrease significantly, we know those were poor leads); social media mentions, follows and engagement; and website hits, time spent on the site, etc.
Once everyone is on the same page and working toward the same brand building and ROI goals, there are three steps to follow for effectively integrating your sales and marketing teams:
Sales and marketing integration is a process that takes time; it’s not going to happen overnight. But once both teams begin working together to drive home your brand and maximize ROI, you’re likely to see significant improvements in your efficiency and effectiveness at closing deals.
For more detailed tips on how to integrate your own sales and marketing teams, contact Paradigm Marketing and Design today to schedule a consultation.
If you have a website for your small business or organization, you probably feel pretty much in control of it. You can see it; you can interact with it and it even has your photo on it! But do you really control it? Let’s review the areas where control can be (and is regularly) lost:
Domain name/domain registration
If your name is John Smith and your website is johnsmith.com you probably feel pretty secure but as small business owners we often delegate tasks to support staff or outsourced help and if one of them registered the domain on your behalf and didn’t use your name – then technically you’re not in control. There have been many cases of domains being held ransom by 3rd parties who haven’t been connected to the website for years.
Also, remember that domains are only ever rented - never purchased outright. The day you stop paying the domain registration fee (or worse, you forget to pay) your domain is back on the block and up for grabs from whoever wants to get it.
Access to content management system (CMS)
Can you make changes, edits and additions freely (whenever you want) to your website? If not (or if it’s really complicated to make changes) then you’re not really in control of your site. And even if you do have access do you know whether you have FULL admin access? Without full admin rights you’re likely restricted to what you can add or change.
Web designers sometimes do this for a very good reason – they don’t want people messing up their hard work, but you may not have the same web designer forever and then it can become a real headache to get back control.
Ownership of content
It’s your website with your name all over it – surely you own all the content? Not necessarily.
When you contract with certain website providers, they take full control of your content of your website and wrap it up with proprietary software that means you can’t take it somewhere else. Many of them even copyright your material as theirs – meaning that you might not even own the material that you supplied to build the website! This includes words/text and pictures/videos – whatever is on your website.
The conditions that morph into gut-wrenching money problems and create further operational breakdowns are weak or insufficient systems for:
When public companies face challenges, they dedicate millions to consultants and taskforces, quickly addressing problems and getting back on track. When small businesses need help, there are few process improvement experts that have the skills to assist the business in addressing these foundational needs.
There are plenty of marketing resources, CPAs, HR experts, coaches and consultants for specific problems that need fixing in a closely managed business. However, few experts have the reputation and perspective, plus enough skills and experience to fix the whole operation.
Every business has problems, but many can be addressed before they disrupt the organization. Typically, privately held companies operate in a reactive environment dealing with problems as they occur. Many times, they address the same problems over and over because we don’t make policies to eliminate them. The daily rapid-fire succession of in-coming demands, many requiring snap judgements and unsettling after-thoughts, redundantly soak-up much more time than necessary.
Are your competitors, both locally and around the country, holding their own? If they are, your business certainly can do at least as well as these others are doing. And, likely could do much better if all your internal process were operating at peak potential. Making your business more proactive takes a different approach than addressing chronic troubles when they happen. If you’re tired of not operating under control, do what every franchise in America is required to do, create a robust Operations Manual. This labor and frustration saving tool requires a template, plus time, perspective and guidance.
Don’t be like so many business leaders that keep their entire operations in their heads, start creating a more robust platform right away. Optimizing systems, operating under control, having a sustainable flow of interested prospects and recurring customers, plus a workforce that is invested in the future, is what provides a business owner with more creative time, options and opportunities.
Operational sustainability requires detailed procedures and employee buy-in. Operating under control means being a better leader by communicating your objectives, reinforcing them every single day and posting metrics for all to see.
At the start, you’ll still experience tactical problems that require an immediate solution. Handle them like you always have except, once fixed add the matter to a snags list alongside the solution and store the solution under the proper heading in your new operations manual.
Operational processes include business development, operational efficiency, culture shift, and a progressive leadership function. Take the time to evaluate each platform, enlist the key players on your team and meet regularly on the most pressing topics. If it’s finding more customers, do a competitor evaluation then challenge your people on ways to improve your offering.
Look at the culture in your company. Do you regularly evaluate your employees with reviews and ideas for improvement? Does your staff really understand the goals you have for the company, how growth will take place, and what each employee’s role is in getting to your objectives? Look at absenteeism and turnover to determine why you might be losing your better players.
Find ways to optimize your operations. This includes better internal communications and interdepartmental relations. If you make stuff, find ways to do it faster, better or less expensively. If you provide services, update your protocols and customer interface to assure a satisfactory experience by all customers, every time.
Finally, examine your role. Are you a facilitator or tyrant? You may be the business expert in one or more areas of the company, but your first responsibility is to be an effective leader. Communicating goals, mentoring the team and creating a platform for operational efficiency are your core responsibilities.
Do you know a company with an afterhours sports team? On the field everyone wants to win, right? Well, a good coach can bring winning inspiration to make that winning perspective happen every day. Now, consider how you can imbed that winning spirit at 9AM every day instead of afterhours at your company.
While it doesn’t happen overnight, becoming a better leader will begin to get everyone to fully embrace your business objectives and understand their individual role in contributing to the overall goals of the organization. Being led is what employees want, they want purpose and need to experience winning. When they feel the connection, they will stretch their abilities and do more to contribute.
The foundation of it all is a proactive operating platform. You won’t have to mitigate recurring problems since the granular details in your operations manual will reflect every detail in every process. Every business can do better, most can do 20% better next year with the right direction and training.
Consider the fact that implementing change in a functioning company usually requires skills that do not reside within that organization.
Please Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce.
Morris County Chamber of Commerce
325 Columbia Turnpike - Suite 101
Florham Park, NJ 07932 (MAP)
Our Mission: The Morris County Chamber of Commerce collaboratively advances the interests of its members to champion a thriving business and community environment.
Our Vision: Creating member experiences that foster exceptional business success and quality of life.