Monthly Archives: March 2020

Keeping Your Business Secure from Cyberattacks

cyberattack grid

As the frequency of data breaches and cyberattacks grows, the failure of companies to have stable counterattacks and security measures in place is no longer an option. Securing your company network when you move to a new office is critical to ensuring the security of your business and client data.

Cyberattacks are now a scary reality for every business, regardless of size or government stature. Although hackers often target large companies because of their size, small and middle-sized companies are more vulnerable because they lack the top-notch defenses of larger organizations.

You cannot afford to overlook or put off securing your new office space because the looming threat of malicious actors on a mission to destroy, hijack, or steal information is real.

Instead, you must be responsible and prepared to protect your network and systems against hackers. The following nine tips can help secure your new office network.

1. Create a Cyber Security Plan

A well-thought cybersecurity plan can protect your company’s critical infrastructure and information systems and reduce exposure to vulnerabilities. If you don’t have one, look at cybersecurity frameworks for guidance. You can even adopt an existing framework to meet your new office needs or develop one internally.

2. Secure All Hardware

Companies often place a lot of attention to acquiring the latest cybersecurity software, leaving out hardware security. The loss of devices connected to your office network is a real threat because attackers can use the gadgets to infiltrate your systems.

Secure your new office by protecting all the physical devices connected to it with complicated passcodes or other authentication requirements. You can also install location software such as ‘find my device’ on all laptops, tablets, and phones.

3. Physically Secure All Ports and Equipment

Hide and secure all network equipment such as routers, access points, and switches from visitors or public access. Intruders who gain access to these points could easily plugin and enter your network. Ensure all wall ports are behind desks or are in locations that visitors cannot access. Disconnect any open or unused public ports from your office network, or remove them altogether.

4. Encrypt Your Wi-Fi

Encrypting your Wi-Fi locks out unauthorized users from your office network. It is best to use WPA or WPA2 enterprise-mode security for your office network. This way, employees will not see your encryption password. It also reduces the chances of being hacked since you don’t store the passcode on multiple devices lest they get lost or stolen.

WPA-Enterprise uses 802.1X authentication, which experts recommend for office and business networks. All users must provide login credentials to gain access.

5. Encrypt and Back-Up Data

Apart from preventing the physical access to your office network, you also need to encrypt your data to render it useless should it fall into unauthorized hands. Data encryption is the best fix for data breaches if they occur. Encrypt all sensitive data, including business, customer, and employee information. Ensure that you activate and update the encryption software on all office devices.

Data backup is another necessary protection against security breaches. You can use it to restore your data if you suffer loss or a ransomware hack.

6. Put Up a Firewall and Restrict Access

Putting up a corporate firewall and restricting employee access is an essential step in securing your new office network. Some firewalls have an integrated VPN whose encryption provides additional protection. You can use a VPN as a security barrier between the employee PCs and your server. Hence, all computers on your network will work across an encrypted passageway whenever they access the server.

7. Create a VLAN for Guests

Never let guests or the public onto your private network to prevent eavesdropping, breaches, or hijacking of online accounts. If you must offer guest access, assign them to a separate LAN and SSID if your network equipment allows it. Otherwise, consider operating a different Internet connection and wireless router.

8. Invest in Cyber Security Insurance

Cybercriminals work tirelessly to find novel ways of breaching network security defenses, which means that all businesses are at risk of attacks. According to a 2019 IBM report, the average cost of a single breach was $3.92 million. To mitigate network breaches, get cybersecurity insurance. Seek specialist assistance to help you select the best cover for your business.

9. Educate Staff and Create a Secure Workplace Culture

Educate your staff on proper network security protocols to protect against breaches. Security is the responsibility of every employee. Thus, create a formal Internet policy for your business and ensure that everyone adheres to it.

Summing Up

Most businesses rarely think of the day-to-day threats of cyberattacks until they get affected. Having a cybersecurity plan in place allows you to survive attacks and continue your operations. Protecting your new office space from cyberattacks requires several measures, including securing hardware and access points, encrypting your Wi-Fi, using a firewall, creating VLAN for guests, educating employees, and investing in insurance.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loans Available

SBA disaster assistance loanAt OfficeFinder we want to help however we can. We know that many businesses will need help in the coming months. Here is one way to help alleviate the strain, a Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loan. Here is some information on them.

The SBA announced on Wednesday that businesses can now apply for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans to cover the temporary loss of revenue and meet working capital needs. Funds may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other expenses that cannot be met due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19.   Recognizing the high number of small businesses that will likely apply for loan assistance, the SBA says it may take three weeks or longer for the SBA to approve or deny loan applications.

SBA disaster assistance loan applicants should provide at least two years’ worth of financials to demonstrate the extent to which the pandemic has depleted cash flow.
To apply, business owners can log onto https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance to complete an online application

Businesses with access to traditional banks loans may not qualify for economic injury disaster loans.  Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.

Credit Requirements:
• Credit History – Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA.
• Repayment – Applicants must show the ability to repay the loan.
• Collateral – Collateral is required for all EIDL loans over $25,000. SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available. SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but SBA will require the borrower to pledge collateral that is available.

Interest Rates:
The interest rate is determined by formulas set by law and is fixed for the life of the loan. The maximum interest rate for this program is 4%.

Loan Terms:
The law authorizes loan terms up to a maximum of 30 years. SBA will determine an appropriate installment payment based on the financial condition of each borrower, which in turn will determine the loan term.

If there are ways we can help, let us know. Feel free to contact me directly at jim@officefinder.com.

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring An Office Cleaning Service

Cleaning Service

It is essential to provide your employees with a conducive working environment. This can be helpful in improving their quality of work and productivity. While many tenants with full service leases may not have the responsiblity for office cleaning, those that do need to know what to look for.

Finding the right office cleaning services can be quite tricky, and you usually won’t be getting it right the first few times. There will be instances when you’ll be hiring a provider that doesn’t live up to your expectations, which can be a total waste of money.

So, if you are planning on hiring the services of an office cleaning provider, take note of these mistakes that you should avoid:

  • Being Misinformed Of Their Specialty

Every cleaning company provides a specialty service. Some specialize in cleaning offices or commercial spaces, while some focus on cleaning houses or warehouses. Knowing what cleaning service providers specialize in will be helpful in choosing the best one for your office, particularly one that fits the cleaning needs of your company.

  • Choosing The Cheapest

When searching for a cleaning service provider, choosing one that fits your budget is always an essential part of the process. However, it does not mean that you should choose the cheapest option available to you. Although settling for the least expensive one may seem like you are saving some cash, the service they provide might not be up to par with your expectations.

That is not to say that cleaning companies who offer affordable prices are not that good. The same can be said for cleaning companies that have expensive price tags. Thus, it is important to also do your research on the cleaning service company you plan on hiring in order to see their track record before you could finalize your decision.

Remember to always try to strike a balance between affordability and high-quality cleaning service.

  • Hiring Without Checking For Liability Insurance

It is very important to check for a cleaning company’s liability insurance before hiring them. Without it, you cannot easily charge them if they cause damage to your properties during the process. Because the workplace houses expensive office equipment, liability insurance is a must.

A legitimate cleaning service provider should have no qualms showing you the details of their insurance, so never forget to ask them for it. If the contractor you’re talking to doesn’t have insurance, better start looking for another one.

  • Hiring Without Doing Your Research

Doing some research on the office cleaning contractor you’ve shortlisted is a must before hiring them. Confirm with their previous clients if they are good at what they do. Were they professional in executing their tasks?  Were they thorough? Were they clumsy and damaged some equipment?

These days, having a website or, at the very least, a social media presence is very common. These platforms often have reviews and comments written there, so it would be best to check those, as well. They can be very helpful in determining whether or not a specific office cleaning contractor really offers high-quality services.

  • Not Looking For Certifications And Licenses

Certifications and licenses are very important for cleaning service providers to have. These reflect their dedication to their craft and the amount of time they have spent in developing their skills, therefore elevating the workmanship of their respective cleaning companies.

Although some cleaning service companies might have great reviews on their websites and social media channels, certificates and licenses legitimize that their cleaning skills are really topnotch and that they know what they are doing.

  • Not Fully Reading And Comprehending Service Agreement Or Contract

Once you have picked an office cleaning contractor, you need to discuss with them the types of services that they offer, as well as everything you expect from them. In doing so, you and the other party will have an idea of what the contract will look like.

However, it is not enough for you to assume that everything that was discussed during such talk will be reflected on the contract or the service agreement. Thus, you should read the contract in full. If there are terms or conditions that are not clear to you, ask before you sign anything.

Conclusion

Sometimes, it’s so easy to hire the first office cleaning company you see or hear about. However, it is imperative that you choose a cleaning service provider that offers professional and top-quality cleaning services.

Before choosing which cleaning company to hire, try to avoid making the mistakes mentioned above. Do your due diligence and think carefully. Whoever cleans your office can make a positive or negative effect on your employees, so take your pick wisely.

Video Marketing Ideas You Should Consider To Improve Sales

Video Marketing

Running a business entails looking for the best office space for your team, hiring the right talent to support your venture, and creating processes for smooth operations. Another crucial thing that you should be doing is developing marketing strategies to improve sales.

One excellent tool for your marketing strategy is video marketing. Many consumers prefer watching videos to get information, rather than reading blocks of text on a blog. It allows you to maximize each second to provide your target audience with knowledge about your brand as well as products and services.

You can find lots of small business video marketing study ideas online. You’re definitely missing out on conversions if you haven’t started creating videos for your company.

Here are some video marketing ideas that you should consider to improve sales:

  1. Establish A Consistent Style And Design

Aside from delivering information to your consumers in an easily digestible form, videos are also valuable for branding. Have you ever stumbled across a viral video on social media and thought that it looked like it was created by a particular company? Then, upon checking the original account that posted it, you find that it really came from that business.

You must establish a consistent style and design for all your videos so that, when people watch it online, they can immediately associate the scenes and graphics with your brand. Do this consistently, and you won’t even have to introduce your company anymore later on because people will already know you created the video based on its aesthetics.

This doesn’t mean, though, that all your content should look the same since that’d be boring. You can play with different elements, like colors, animations, and music. Just make sure that you figure out the tone that you want to be linked to your brand.

  1. Guide Your Customers Using Videos

There are lots of different formats that you can use for your video marketing content. Each type has a specific purpose. You should know what you want to achieve through this strategy so that you can create the best video using the right format for your target audience.

These are the different types of videos you can make:

  • Brand Videos – Introduce your business to potential customers with brand videos. This can include the history of your company as well as your advocacy. You can even give customers a virtual tour of your office space.
  • Product Or Service Clips – Create videos for each of your products and services to provide comprehensive information to your target audience. Show them the different angles of the merchandise and disclose their dimensions, too.
  • How-Tos – Tutorial videos are valuable in teaching your customers how to use your products properly. You don’t even need to advertise your merchandise blatantly in these videos. For instance, if you’re selling sprinklers, you can make a video on how to create a lush garden and incorporate your product in one of the items in the content.
  • FAQs – This type may include your payment methods and shipping policies. Basically, they’re your website’s FAQs in video format. Animation is the ideal style to use for this type of content.
  • Testimonials – Customer reviews are an excellent way to build your brand. Producing them in video form can make the testimonial seem more authentic. Ask your loyal customers for their feedback and give them rewards for sending in their videos.
  1. Publish Your Content On Various Platforms

Your website is the primary platform where you should upload your video content. However, unless your search engine optimization (SEO) is perfect, you may be unable to reach your target audience through your domain.

Create official accounts on social media and publish the same set of videos there. YouTube, which is deemed as the top video search engine, also allows you to reach consumers worldwide.

Make sure you establish brand continuity on all the online platforms you’re using. Embed YouTube videos into your company blog for cross-medium content.

  1. Take Advantage Of Live Videos

Live videos are another format that allows you to build a real-time connection with potential customers. These are ideal for showing behind-the-scenes occurrences and covering your events. You can even hype up new products with a live launch to boost interest in them.

Some tips when doing live videos:

  • Promote, Promote, Promote – Constant promotion is the key to ensuring that your customers tune in to your stream. Think of live videos as an event rather than a post that you publish online. Clarify the date and time of your broadcast so that loyal subscribers can watch your event or product launch.
  • Have An Outline – Because live videos are more spontaneous, you should have an outline of the program’s flow. Without this, the stream may drag on, and you’ll risk losing the interest of those who are watching.
  • Prepare The Logistics – Think about how you’ll shoot the video, who will host it, and what products or services you’ll be highlighting. You have to put a lot of thought into these factors to show customers that your business is serious about providing solutions to their needs.
  • Choose the Right Time – Make sure that the schedule you choose for your live video works with your consumers. If your target audience is young professionals, you should broadcast after work hours when they are available to watch throughout the entire event.
  • Provide Context Throughout – One thing you must remember with live videos is that people can join and leave any time. Aside from introducing your brand at the start of the stream, you should let people know what’s happening in the middle of the broadcast to let them know what the live video is about.
  1. Optimize Your Videos For Search Engines

Similar to writing a blog post, you should incorporate the right keywords into your video’s tags and descriptions. This way, you’re informing search engines and human customers about what a particular content is all about.

Conclusion

Video marketing is an excellent way to boost sales because videos are the favorite medium of today’s consumers. Check these ideas and see how you can use them for your brand to improve conversions and expand your customer base.

Check out the OfficeFinder YouTube Channel

 

Top Ways To Promote Growth And Scale Your Business

Business Owner

Running a business is not easy. It takes substantial time and effort if you want to make it successful. When your business is generating revenue, it’s time to scale it up.

Scaling up your business means generating income faster than your expenses. Doing that is not a smooth process when you don’t know the right strategies. So here are some ways through which you can easily scale up your accounting business and make it a more fruitful one:

  1. Build A Sales Funnel

Since you’re doing business in the digital age, digital marketing has become a trend over the years. Without such, you will not be able to grow your business rapidly. This means you may need a website or a social media accountant for your various aspects of your business. As an example, accountants in brisbane and an accounting services company uses sites to reach more potential clients.

This is true because you need an online presence if you want to generate more leads that can then become potential paying clients.

One of the most effective ways to scale up your business is to build a sales funnel. The sales funnel refers to the buying process you need to create to encourage clients to pay for your accounting services. So here’s a list of how you can do it:

  • Connect with your potential clients. You also need to know what frustrates people when it comes to paperwork related to accounting.
  • Now that you know what their accounting issues are, it’s time to give them something valuable. For instance, maybe you can offer them a free consultation or free e-book related to their frustrations. By doing such, you’re making your brand known online.
  • It’s also vital to use related keywords that your target audience is searching for. That way, you can create content or product offers using such keywords.
  • Afterwards, you should create a landing page that can attract your audience’s attention. With this, you should have an irresistible call to action.
  1. Delight Your Employees

Aside from the sales funnel, you should also consider your employees. Part of becoming a successful boss is to have loyal and efficient employees. You can have such workers by valuing them. Especially since accounting services can be stressful work, your employees will value you when you give them importance as well.

When your employees feel that you value them, they won’t come and go. Thus, it can save you a lot of hiring and training expenses caused by resigning workers.

A simple thank you, greetings, or friendly chit chat can do wonders. But to make it more effective, you can give your employees bonuses for their hard work. This is a simple way of appreciating their efforts.

Aside from that, unlimited sick days, paid leave for volunteering, and paid leaves may show that you also value your employees’ welfare. As a result, your employees will know they’re in a healthy workplace. For this reason, they wouldn’t even think of leaving.

  1. Invest In Your Clients

Of course, the other people you need to value are your clients. That way, you can also expect loyalty or returning clients. Not only that, but satisfied customers can become your marketing tool as well. They can talk about you or refer you to their friends who need accounting services. Remember, testimonies coming from other people are more effective than claims coming from the business owner.

That’s why you should do the following if you want to satisfy your customers:

  • Give them a great experience by reaching out to them as soon as possible. Keeping your clients waiting for too long may add up to their frustrations with their accounting needs.
  • Establish different communication channels so that clients can reach you conveniently. Telephones are not enough nowadays, you must also have a social media account, website, emails, and messaging apps.
  • Most importantly, analyze feedback from previous clients. When you value their feedback, it helps you deliver a better accounting service in the future. This way, you can eliminate services that may not be satisfying your clients.
  1. Ask For Help

Well, if you think asking for help when doing business is a weakness, then think again. Even Steve Jobs said that asking for help from known entrepreneurs is worth it. Not only that, but successful business people also have their mentors from whom they seek regular advice.

That is why, you should have a mentor for the following reasons:

  • Scaling up, as mentioned, is not that easy. But with a mentor, you can generate more ideas to make your original plan more effective. Because advisors can share a different perspective, you can learn more from them.
  • Since you’ll face ups and downs during scale-up, you might drain yourself. When you’ve got a mentor, they’ll become a source of inspiration. They can share their hardships and how they overcame them. Thus, they would encourage you not to give up.
  • Lastly, with a mentor, they can see your point of weakness in your accounting business. You may not see it yourself, but your mentors might recognize it. Not only that, but mentors can even give you suggestions on how to address such issues.

Conclusion:

Scaling up your business means you’re one step ahead of growing your business. It may take time, but it’ll be an exciting process. However, together with such excitement, you’ll also face hardships. That’s why you must learn how to establish a sales funnel to keep your income flowing. And your employees can help you with growing your business, so you need to invest in them too.

While it’s vital to keep your employees delighted, you must also satisfy your customers throughout their experience. But most importantly, you’ll need a mentor who can give you inspiration and suggestions when you feel like giving up.

Benefits of Virtual Tours for Commercial Real Estate Listings

Eastgate Virtual Tours

Technology has allowed the automation of many businesses. In fact, it simplifies many aspects of business by reducing operational cost, streamlining duties, and contributing to your business bottom line. Business is an investment and technology has allowed many professionals to meet their ROI.

For commercial real estate, technology has proven to be invaluable. For buyers and sellers, technology has allowed commercial realtors to:

  • remain competitive/productive
  • generate leads
  • reach a target audience
  • communicate quickly
  • become more accessible

One of the key advantages of technology for realtors is the ability to take potential clients on virtual tours of their properties. Keep reading more details below as OfficeFinder points out the advantages of a modern day virtual tour for commercial property.

What Is A Virtual Tour?

According to Techopedia,  virtual tours are the stimulation of an existing property (i.e. virtual reality). Commercial real estate professionals already have the opportunity to use still images or videos to feature their property. Virtual tours are a more realistic representation of commercial property. To take full advantage of a virtual tour, professionals can use multimedia that includes music, floor plan design photos/videos, sound effects, etc. There are a number of virtual tours that include:

  • 360 degree tour
  • panoramic tour
  • still view tour
  • video tour
  • floor plan tour
  • 3D tour

What Are The Advantages Of Virtual Tours For Commercial Real Estate?

Convenience

Have you ever had to schedule a presentation under an already hectic schedule? A virtual tour is an opportunity to schedule a tour of your property from anywhere in the world at any time. Potential buyers and tenants can also view your property day and night at their convenience. Decrease the probability of losing a lead because of a tight schedule by recommending a virtual tour. In a competitive industry, buyers and prospective tenants should be able to view your property at their leisure.

From an internet perspective and the pages of a real estate practitioner’s book, more and more commercial brokers are turning to online property tours to showcase their listings or peruse available properties for clients.

Highlight Your Best Property Features

The curb appeal of a 360 degree panoramic view of your commercial property can be the difference in your next sell. By highlighting your best features, you can appeal to your client’s desire for a specific commercial property or feature. Remember, there will always be certain features that will interest a buyer or tenant. A 360 degree view is not going to be like showing a property in person, but the buyer or tenant can zoom in on specific areas of interest with the click of a button. Using “A” and “Z” on the keyboard respectively, allows them to zoom in on any image during the virtual tour. Other property features may include:

  • location
  • proximity to other businesses
  • portion of commercial real estate
  • security features
  • landscape

Save More Money!

An actual tour of your property will cost you time and money. For example, if a client decides not to go with your property, you’ve invested time that could have been spent on other important business tasks and lost money on transportation. A virtual tour is a cost effective way to show off your property and cut your costs. The money that you save on an actual tour can be used towards other elements of business including advertising.

Narrow Down The Odds!

Once a buyer or tenant has taken a virtual tour of your property and formed a good first impression, they’re more than likely interested. One of the key advantages of technology for realtors is the ability to take potential clients on a virtual tour of their property. Virtual tours can help you narrow down potential leads. In fact, after a virtual tour, you can put on your best in person presentation to encourage the sell. After a virtual tour, you can offer an extraordinary real-life presentation and start to make negotiations. A survey by the National Association of Realtors reported, “44% of all clients search for property on the internet first.”

Get More Clients!

Virtual tours are an opportunity to immerse buyers or tenants in an experience. An online guided tour is a rather simple take on an actual tour and can enhance the client’s perspective of your commercial property. With over 81% of American smartphone users, it’s imperative to optimize your virtual tour for cellphone compatibility. There are currently 3.7 billion active cellphone users around the world, which expands your audience to a global scale.

Grow Your Commercial Real Estate

By virtually staging your property, you can build your clientele. For example, imagine showing an empty piece of property versus a virtual tour of commercial property that includes actual furnishing or appeal. The latter has the potential to grow your name. Find out the most popular features in today’s commercial real estate market and use those features to draw in prospective clients.

Adopt A Signature Style

Virtual tours can create an experience that gives your commercial property a signature look. Use furniture, real life movement, or sound effects to familiarize your audience with your property. Once you find a style that appeals to your audience, you can use that as a unique trademark for your virtual tours. Paint a clear picture of your property along with its features and benefits to build trust with your clients while branding your name. Transparency will be one of your greatest assets when you’re showing commercial property on a virtual tour .

Bottom line: A virtual tour cannot replace an actual guided presentation of your property, but it can provide more visual dimension and range than a still photograph.

Take A Virtual Tour With Us!

At Office Finder, we’re proud to partner with True View 360s for an opportunity to give our clients a sweeping view of our commercial real estate. Our virtual tours paint a mental picture to help you with your decision into a new investment. For over 25 years, we have been able to do business in some of the most popular and profitable business districts in the U.S. including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New York. Our groundbreaking structures appeal to many areas of business.

You’re invited to contact us at Office Finder for more details on our commercial real estate or visit our website and take a virtual tour of one of our properties today!