Small Business Cyber Security Needs Continue

data breach 2A recent article by HuffPost Business examined how cyber security for small business continues. A recent hack at LinkedIn certainly demonstrates that point.

The majority of small businesses are storing email addresses, billing addresses and passwords of their clients. At the same time, they are doing little to safeguard their own passwords or creating passwords that are difficult to break and then changing them on a regular basis.

In 2015, Mary Peabody joined us here at Power of Business to do two sessions on Cyber Security.

Mary has shared a recorded webinar on payment fraud done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Also, she shared the slides from another session done by the SBA and the Federal Reserve Bank.

With this information, you may realize it is time to develop a cyber security plan for your small business.  The Federal Communication Commission has developed two tools to help you make this a reality, a planning guide and a tip sheet.

Now is a great time to protect your business. We hope these tools help.

Small Business Resources in Spanish

Recommended Resources

Photo (CC 2.0) by John Lester, on Flickr

At the request of one of our members, you may remember a call for small business resources that were in Spanish.  We wanted to share the responses we received – list attached.

We need to thank you for your help in sharing these items. They will be helpful to the entire Community of Practice (COP).

The question and the resultant list are perfect examples of what our community can achieve when working together, or as John Stepper would say, Working Out Loud.

Thanks to Sandra Barrera Fuentes for the question and to Connie Hancock for doing the compilation. Both work for UNL.

Thanks and let’s keep moving forward. 

Pop-Up Shops as Opportunities

Pop-up shop

Photo (CC 2.0) by USDA, on Flickr

Are you looking to start a business? Or maybe you work with someone who desires to have a small business?  One of the common questions is how to start?

A pop-up shop may be a good way to give business ownership a try. It also is a way to see how the market responds to your product or service.

What is a pop-up shop?  It’s a temporary place of doing business, i.e., think carts in the mall as an idea. You can find more on the topic here. 

Pop-up shops come in many forms, from the carts just mentioned to a temporary shop in a vacant space to a portable building brought in to a tent along the road. Each of these methods allow you to test your idea and yourself as a business owner/manager.

Becky McCray, of Small Biz Survival, has posted several articles on pop-up shops. She writes on how they can be beneficial in encouraging business owners in small towns. Some of her articles include:

Pam Schallhorn, of the University of Illinois Extension, has also done a blog post on the idea of pop-up shops.  Her articles looks at how they helped rebuild a downtown.

And the Des Moines Register just published a story on a man who has started a business making store fronts for pop-up shops.

Pop-up shops, or similar models, can offer economic development growth and opportunities for local communities.  And communities can be very helpful in making such alternative ideas possible and even helping to market them and encourage their development.

Thinking of starting your own business? Working to develop your community’s economic sector? Try pop-ups!!

Pricing for Direct Market Sales

Mary PeabodyPricing can often be a frustrating process for small business owners. 

In this video, Mary Peabody, Community Economic Development Specialist, University of Vermont Extension, gives a review of the pricing process and adds some new tips and ideas on how to ensure you are maximizing your revenue.

Discussed are aspects of identifying costs, knowing the factors that may influence what you can charge, and some survival tips.

In addition to the pure business items that are included in the pricing model, Mary discusses both the psychological and emotional aspects of pricing. She identifies how some goods are seen more as a luxury item, something a customer is wiling to pay extra. The customer might also be willing to pay more if the product/service is in its growth phase.

Throughout the video, Mary urges the small business owner to know their costs before deciding

Price tag

Photo (CC 2.0) by Ben Ostrowsky, on Flickr

on a price. And she says it may not be a good idea to just “follow the herd,” or price at the level of your competition.

Hope you find the information helpful as you develop prices in your business. Click here for the video.