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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.
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.
Cybercriminals Are Counting on You Letting Your Guard Down During This Global Pandemic – Here’s How to Stop Them
Author: John Allen Mollenhauer CPLC, RegenUs Center
1. Right now, immunity is the name of the game, so build it up!
This past Saturday night, my team and I held the Grand Opening of RegenUs Center in Florham Park NJ. Only forty-five people out of 145 that signed up, showed up. This was about 1/3 of what was expected. Had the event been planned for this week, it wouldn’t have happened at all. We would have had to call it off because of curfews, social distancing and not being able to congregate in groups larger than 10 people.
So, you may be wondering why we continued to hold our event in the face of all that was, and is still, happening.
Author: Patrice Schaffer, navitend
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.
Author: Rachel Durkan, Paradigm Marketing & Design
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.
Author: Rosanne DeTorres, Esq., DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law
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%!
Author: Allan Berger, Berger Business Advisors,
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.
Author: Joseph A. Paparo, Esq., Principal, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C., firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Small businesses face a host of challenges. Only a small percentage reach their fifth anniversary. Most people start out with a dream, roll the dice, and jump in feet first. You can reduce risk and increase your chances of success by taking the steps outlined below.
Plan to Succeed. A well thought out Business Plan can mitigate seven of the top ten reasons businesses fail. It allows you to organize, prioritize and shape your thoughts. It is a roadmap to the future. A Business Plan is a living document which changes periodically. When you write your thoughts down, it is easier to see the holes and to fill them before implementing. A Business Plan also allows you to share your thoughts with your advisors and employees so that everyone is on the same page.
Establish Goals. Goals help you measure success. Goals should be reasonable and a stretch to achieve. If they are too easy, the results are meaningless. Unachievable goals are counterproductive. Failure to meet them demoralizes the staff and may cause them to question the competence of the company’s leadership.
Monitor Cash Flow. Cash flow is the life-blood of business. As a business owner, you sign the checks and use the company credit card. You commit the company to spend money. When planning to spend consider Need vs. Want and Invest vs. Spend. Ask yourself, “Do I need it or do I want it?” If you want a $50,000 car when a $30,000 model will suffice, stop and think. Ask, “What’s the return on my investment?” The answer will help you make the right decision. If you need to buy raw materials that you will turn into a profitable deliverable that a customer has ordered, then do so. The question you need to answer is, “Where will I get the best return in terms of new business for the money I am investing?”
Track Your Progress. How do you know who’s winning if you don’t keep score? Determine what metrics drive your business and monitor them on a regular basis. It involves more than looking at your checkbook balance each day or running an income statement each month. You need to break down your sales process. It may include:
Our experience in developing and implementing business development plans increases your odds of success, contact us for a complementary consultation. Learn more
Fact or Fiction? In order to achieve a high reward on your money, you have to accept high levels of risk.
FICTION. The truth is, achieving a high overall reward on your money is possible while taking minimal risks. For years, common investing wisdom has promoted the idea that high risks lead to high returns, but in reality, many people experienced low rewards for taking high risk. It is often assumed that high risk investments will automatically generate high returns, leading you to believe that you will have much more money in your future as a result. When you plan on having a large return you might end up actually saving a much lower percentage of your income than you should be.
High risk doesn’t always equal high reward
It is common to hear a misconception that traditional financial planning offers; in order to achieve a specific financial goal, high risk products are the way to go. Many people build their financial futures based upon the hope that they’ll be in the right place at the right time with their retirement nest egg. There are many factors that affect your future such as rising taxes, life events and stock market fluctuations. All of these things cannot be monetized or computed with a mathematical equation to get an exact number as to how much you should have in retirement. Financial planning need and goal calculations suggest you don’t have to save as much, as long as you’re investing your money. But it’s not just about taking the high risk with your money, it’s also how much that risk is actually costing you. For example, there are factors such as taxes, fees, debt and lifestyle expenses that all have to be considered when determining your actual return. Decisions with your money need to be much more certain in nature and the only thing you can control is how much you save.
So what can you do to get ahead and stay ahead?
Focus more on your rate of savings than on your rate of return. The better you are at putting money away, the less dependent you may be on needing high returns and taking on high levels of risk. If you feel like you are fighting an uphill battle as you build your net worth, and you feel like you aren’t making any progress, ask yourself these questions…How much money did I save/invest last year as a percentage of my income? What is the right amount of money to save? If you find yourself saving a lower percentage of your income, there may be a temptation to turn to higher risk investments to help close the gap as you plan for retirement. By setting a goal to save more, you can be in more control over your financial future. Since rates of return are so unpredictable, saving the right amount each year may actually allow you to lower the amount of risk you take. You work hard for your money and it shouldn’t all be put at risk in hopes of a high payout.
Become a saver before becoming an investor.
Today, it is all too common for people to invest in market based investments before using guaranteed assets. This approach may not only encourage high levels of risk and volatility, but might also leave you without enough accessible money to respond to changing life events. There is no way to predict what may happen tomorrow and you could suddenly be faced with events such as an unexpected job loss, a medical emergency, or an opportunity to start a business. Before taking high risks with your hard earned money, or setting aside funds in illiquid accounts, focus on the following:
• Become a world class saver by setting aside 15-20% of your gross income.
• Accumulate one year of household income in accounts you can easily access.
• Protect your balance sheet and cash flows against life events that could wipe out your ability to save and wipe out the money you’ve already saved.
• Become more efficient by lowering taxes and other expenses that can erode savings and investment returns.
Rather than hoping for an attractive high rate of return on your money, and accepting the high risks that come with it, focus on these steps to lead you toward a more positive road to building wealth. Always remember, your rate of savings is more important than your rate of return.
Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. The Living Balance Sheet® and The Living Balance Sheet® Logo are registered service marks of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. © Copyright 2005-2018 Guardian
People are odd when it comes to risk. Marc Adee, chairman and CEO of insurance giant Crum & Forster, noted people living near water often opt not to purchase flood insurance for $300 but buy insurance on their smart phones. “They get to watch all their worldly possessions float down the river while filming it on their fully insured phones,” he said. Adee was the keynote speaker at the Annual Meeting Luncheon of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce in January, held at the Hanover Marriott. His topic was how businesses can mitigate risk. “It’s fun to talk about things like landing on Mars or automated vehicles,” he told the audience of more than 500. “I’m not going to talk about anything fun like that. I’m going to talk about things that can go wrong and how you can navigate that.”
People have different levels of appetite for risk, according to Adee, yet he offered the following advice to all business owners and managers:
1. Identify the risk
2. Assess the likelihood of occurrence and the resultant impact on the business
3. Create a plan to mitigate that impact
“You can share (the risk) with insurance or you cankeep your fingers crossed,” he said.
Adee discussed a number of issues impacting risk for New Jersey businesses. He noted New Jersey placed seventh on a recent list of the most litigious states in the nation, resulting in high levels of liability. The list identifies states with an unfair bias against defendants, often businesses, he said. He said the state’s new equal pay law increases the threshold of risk for businesses being sued by current or former employees. He called such laws job killers. Adee reported that twice as many people move out of New Jersey as move in, which impacts employee recruitment and retention. Reasons include affordability and taxes. “Making New Jersey in its entirety a place people want to move to is a challenge,” he said. The state’s approaching legalization of marijuana also will increase risk for businesses, Adee warned. “It’s unlikely productivity is going to go up for employees,” he said, drawing laughs. Adee cited problems experienced by Colorado, the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, including issues such as employee testing, work accidents and driving accidents.
Cyber attacks are an increasing cause of risk for businesses, Adee said. “The guys who built the internet did not design it to be defended,” he said. “So defending your little part of it can be problematic.” Adee told the audience most cyber attacks are emailbased and 90 percent of related costs are due to human error. Therefore, educating employees about cautionary policies and procedures is essential, he said. For example, he recommended sending a fake phishing email and seeing which employees open it. “If you walk the halls and find everyone has sticky notes with their passwords, it’s probably an indication further education is needed,” he said. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and extended power outages, were the final issues Adee discussed. He suggested small businesses evaluate how long they can go without cash flow and all businesses consider the secondary effects of disasters when creating a disaster recovery plan. “What you’re looking for is resilience so you bounce back better than the next guy,” he said. In summary, Adee said, “Having a healthy respect for risk involves going through the process, assessing and planning…It (also) increases the long-term success of your business.”
One-2-One meetings allow you to establish the Rapport that helps build Relationships which can lead to a Reward. Here’s how to make the most of your One-2-Ones:
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
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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.