In this episode of "Dr. Dan's 5 minutes to Wellness," e4e partner Dr. Dan Fazio educates the audience about hydration. Dr. Dan explains how water and electrolytes interact in the body and offers suggestions on what foods to eat that help the body stay hydrated.
In this presentation called "How Setting One Goal Rocked My World," e4e partner John Eyres describes how setting a single goal for his exercise routine changed his life. He discusses the importance of consistency and perseverance, and explains the value of pushing yourself to do something uncomfortable.
In this episode of "Dr. Dan’s 1 minute to Wellness," e4e partner Dr. Dan Fazio offers a healthy alternative to antihistamine based allergy medicines that avoids the feeling of drowsiness commonly associated with those medicines.
In this presentation called "Team Work Makes the Dream Work," e4e partner Karen Fox stresses the importance of recognizing the unique talents of team members within an organization. She also warns against forcing people into rolls that don't match those talents.
In this episode of "Dr. Dan’s 1 minute to Wellness," e4e partner Dr. Dan Fazio offers insight into how our minds process fear and gives some advice on avoiding physical injuries when we become more active this Spring.
In this episode of "Dr. Dan’s 1 minute to Wellness," e4e partner Dr. Dan Fazio offers his expert advice on a healthier (caffeinated) alternative option to coffee.
In this episode of Dolphin Tank called "Creating the Joy in Goal Setting," e4e partner Karen Hoffman introduces Kelly Kimberlin and her business. As a Life Master Coach, Kelley works with individuals to develop actionable goals they can work towards to achieve a fulfilling life. She asks the audience for advice to grow her business and receives valuable feedback any business leader can learn from.
In this new episode of "Dr. Dan’s 1 minute to Wellness," e4e partner Dr. Dan Fazio offers his expert advice on staying healthy during cold and flu season.
In this presentation called "Living with an Attitude of Gratitude," e4e partner Andy Magnus discusses the importance of being thankful for what we have and how that affects our well-being. He explains how we can create our own positive habits and learn to receive gratitude from others.
In this presentation called "How the Patient Experience Is Changing," e4e partner Dr. Dan Fazio explains how health care in the United States is moving from a provider-centric philosophy to one more focused on the patient. He also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of American medicine, how to improve the patient experience and offers advice on how to live a healthy life.
You probably started your business because you’re passionate about the products you make or the services you provide. The last thing you want to think about is the law and how it impacts your business. But the law affects your business, so you should be informed.
Here are a few legal questions that you should ask yourself.
Should I incorporate?
Every business’s operations create the potential for legal liability. Like it or not, it’s a part of interacting with the public and offering products or services to them. Do you have a retail store? Someone could fall and become injured while shopping in your store. Do you manufacture a product? Using the product might hurt someone or damage property. This sort of potential liability could cost you and your business a lot of money if it’s your fault.
One of the ways to protect yourself against the liability risks generated by your business is to incorporate. When you incorporate, you create a new entity that owns and operates the business. You
own the company, but the company owns and operates the business. In this way, you are legally separated from your business and the liabilities it generates. If someone slips and falls in a store operated by your corporation or limited liability company, then your company would be held responsible instead of you. This creates a barrier between your business operations and your personal
There are limits to this protection, however. For example, you are always responsible for your own actions [http://bluemavenlaw.com/llcs-limited- liability-protection- torts/], so if you’re the one who mopped the floor and forgot to post a wet floor warning sign, both you and your company could be held liable when someone slips and falls. Also, you are responsible for obligations you personally guarantee, and in certain circumstances courts will disregard the company entity and hold the business owner responsible in what is known as “piercing the corporate veil.”
There are very few circumstances where it is advisable to operate a business without the protection of a corporation or limited liability company. Since every business creates the potential for
liability, your personal assets will be at risk unless you can mitigate all of the risks created by your business through some other means, such as insurance. Sometimes business owners decide that the potential liabilities created by their businesses are very small or they conclude that they have adequate protection from insurance. But it’s the rare business that shouldn’t be incorporated.
Could I be held personally liable for my company’s contracts?
If you haven’t incorporated, the answer is definitely “Yes, you are personally on the hook for your business’s contracts.” If you have incorporated, you shouldn’t be personally liable in most cases as long as you sign the contracts correctly.
When you do business through a corporation or a limited liability company, you should think of yourself and your company as separate persons. You don’t own or operate the business—your company does. You own the company, and you do things on behalf of the company such as sign its contracts, but you don’t directly own the business assets and you don’t enter into contracts on your own behalf.
When you sign your company’s contracts, you are acting as an agent of the company. That is, you’re acting on behalf of the company and not on your own behalf. In order to make sure that it’s clear that your company is the party to a contract—and not you—and that you’re signing the contract on the company’s behalf, you should clearly indicate that the company is the party and that you’re signing as an agent of the company.
This is usually done by listing the company as a party to the contract in the first paragraph and also in the place where the contract is signed, which is known as the signature block. You should also list your title (such as president) next to your name in your company’s signature block. If someone presents a contract to you that has your name instead of the company’s name in the first paragraph or in the signature blocks, you should have them correct the document before you sign it. Otherwise, it looks like you are the party to the contract instead of your company, leaving you responsible for the contract instead of the company.
Do I own my website?
So far we’ve been dealing with legal issues relating to liabilities, but there’s a quirky part of the law involving ownership of written materials that every business owner should be aware of. This
involves copyright law.
When you hire someone to create work product for your company, such as marketing materials or the code behind a website, rights to those materials—known as copyright—are automatically
created. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that the copyright 3 Legal Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask Themselves in the person creating the materials—and not your company—even if you’re paying the creator specifically to create the materials for you.
This is the default situation under copyright law, which is completely opposite of what you would expect. Most people intuitively believe that they automatically own materials that they pay for.
But that’s not the case.
Although the default under copyright law vests copyright ownership in the creator of materials, this default can easily be overcome through your contract with the person you’re engaging to create
your marketing materials or your website. Your contract should contain a clause by which the creator assigns the materials to your company. It’s that simple.
Although you probably don’t want to spend a ton of time thinking about legal issues, you should consider whether or not to incorporate, you should be careful to sign your contracts correctly, and you should make sure that you own materials that you pay to create, such as your marketing materials and your company website. If you do these three things, you’ll be able to focus on why you started your business in the first place. And you’ll sleep better at night.
In this presentation called "Every Challenge Has a Solution," e4e partner Cathy Sexton describes her four step process for overcoming challenges in the workplace. She explains how to identify a problem, find the core causes, brainstorm solutions and how to implement one specific solution.
In this presentation called "Calm Amidst Chaos," e4e partner Dale Furtwengler lays out a seven step process for dealing with stressful situations. He explains how he sets aside unhelpful emotions and the techniques he uses to find the core issues and the best solutions as quickly as possible.
Most people take websites and digital services for granted, and expect them to be available 24/7/365. And a crashed website can cost a business a lot of money. Some business models, such as ecommerce platforms, lose money with each minute the website is down. But even if you don't sell anything online, a crashed website could be costing you brand reputation, trust with your audience, leads that are trying to find your business, and repair costs.
Instead of leaving things to chance, it's better to proactively take measures that will minimize downtime and ensure that your website doesn't crash in the first place. It also pays off to make sure that you've taken measures to recover if the worst should happen. Use the following tips, tools, and techniques to help minimize the chance of an outage, and to recover from one if your website crashes.
Use Website Security Tools
The best way to thwart hackers and viruses is to prevent them from tampering with your website in the first place. Any web administrator or small business that's trying to grow an audience online needs security services to ward off invasions from the latest threats, but some people forgo security protection in an effort to save a buck in the short term.
In the long term, however, failing to use security services could devastate your business. I'm sure just about everyone has read headlines detailing the latest successful hacking attack, whereby an Internet hacker stole hundreds of usernames and passwords. In the past, there were even reports that terrorist groups like ISIL were exploiting WordPress vulnerabilities.
The Internet isn't a safe place, and failing to protect your website is a rookie mistake.
Research Patch Notes and the Latest Vulnerabilities
It's always worth keeping up with the latest vulnerabilities and exploits. I know it might sound like a lot of work, but two of my favorite sources for the latest threats are the WordPress Vulnerability Database and CVE Details. I think anyone can make time to check things out at least twice a month or so. Since all the hard work has been done for you and all the latest known vulnerabilities have been aggregated, you can easily scan through the list and make sure you don't use any plugins, themes, or WordPress versions that are vulnerable to an attack.
I'd always recommend upgrading to the latest WordPress version, but it's a little nuanced. You do need to feel comfortable making technical changes to a WordPress site, and it's best to read up on patch notes to make sure the latest version is stable. Furthermore, you're going to want to make sure all of your add ons, plugins, and other similar components are all up to date. If you fail to update WordPress modules, you may still be vulnerable to an old attack.
If you’re uncomfortable with running updates and patches on your site, find a service that will do it for you. We offer a WordPress maintenance service which includes offsite backups and weekly updates.
Backup Your Website
Anyone who's felt the sting of a virus or data loss in the past knows just how critical it is to backup data on a regular basis. It takes an immense amount of time to put together a quality website, and creating content is a continuous process. But without website backups, you could lose all your content, custom coding, and user data in an instant. It only takes one virus or configuration error to negate all the blood, sweat, and tears you've poured into your digital marketing campaign.
As such, you need to stay on top of backups. Not only will it prevent data loss, but it can help give you a restore point if a new plugin goes haywire and crashes your theme. The good news is that there are plenty of free tools to help you backup your website, such as Duplicator, BackupWordPress, BackwpupFree, and even WordPress Backup to Dropbox. I wouldn't recommend Dropbox due to a lack of encryption and past security issues, but if you know how to encrypt your files, it's a viable free alternative.
Consider Using a CDN
A CDN is a Content Delivery Network, which may or may not be appropriate for your business (depending on the industry and type of website you run). If your main product is content, such as software reviews or how-to content, a CDN could be a real life saver. They work by caching static page content from your website and deliver it to users based on their geographic region.
Instead of the server hosting your content directly supplying visitors' web browsers with your static page content, the cached static pages can be hosted on redundant servers to lessen the load on your main server. Using a CDN can also help mitigate the damage from a DoS attack or sudden traffic spike. However, if your website is nothing more than a simple digital storefront that helps local customers find your business, you likely won't see much value in a CDN.
Drill Down and Determine the Root Cause
If your website mysteriously crashed and you can't discover why, it pays off to be diligent. You'll want to make darn sure you find out the root cause of the crash, or it could happen again. Worse yet, your website may have been the victim of an attack, in which case you'll need to determine where the vulnerabilities lie.
This is where monitoring packages provide massive value, since they'll be able to help alert you when your website crashed as well as other abnormalities. For instance, if you notice an abnormal traffic spike, it could be that you were victimized by a DdoS or DoS attack. Other times, physical hardware problems might be the issue. Hosting providers aren't perfect, so if you suspect physical hardware problems, get on the horn with your hosting provider ASAP.
I'd recommend looking into the WPServerStats plugin if you don't already have monitoring software in place.
A lot of headaches and expensive downtime can be completely avoided with a little bit of preparedness. I'd highly recommend doing the following to ensure your website doesn't bite the dust:
- Keep all of your code modules, plugins, addons, themes, and WordPress version up to date
- Spend the few extra bucks on a security service
- Use monitoring tools to log oddities and abnormalities
- Always backup your data
- Consider using a CDN
There may not ever be such a thing as a perfect server, but by using these techniques, can can drastically reduce your risk of a costly outage.
In this presentation called "Growing a Valuable Organization on a Shoestring," e4e partners Karen Hoffman and Cynthia Correll discuss how Karen successfully created her nonprofit organization, Gateway to Dreams. Karen emphasizes the importance of building a strong support network as a fist step. She also explains how to keep a team motivated and navigate financial obstacles on a shoestring budget.
In this presentation called "Creating a Miracle Life," e4e partner Richard Terry talks about the three things that helped better his life in the past three years. He offers advise on how to reduce stress, increase positivity and extends a challenge to make a positive change in your life.
In this presentation called "Business Is Growing - When Do I Hire?," e4e partner Lori St. Clair talks about the mental obstacles of hiring new people and the benefits of overcoming those obstacles. She explains the importance of knowing your professional priorities, knowing when to hire and understanding a new employee as an investment.
In this presentation called "5 Points of Wellness," e4e partner Dr. Dan Fazio explains some of the core principles of leading a healthy and fulfilling life. He distills the concepts into five key points and weighs the importance each.
In this presentation, culture change expert Judy Ryan presents on the transformation process for fostering free and contributing human beings. She offers key points that may challenge the status quo and offer a new perspective for supporting greatness in self and others.
In this presentation called "Using the Phone to Connect with New Business Leads," e4e partner John Eyres describes three core principles of successful telemarketing and teleprospecting. His presentation teaches you how to build and use multiple calling lists, how to develop a winning script and how to make yourself a better caller.
In this presentation called "Conquering the Challenges," e4e partner Cathy Sexton share's some of the personal challenges she has faced and how she has manged to overcome them to manage her business and life. The key is your mindset.
"Strengthen Your Business’s IT Competence" is the e4e December 2016 GROW Showcase Presentation by Jared Peno. Jared defines potential risks in IT security, identifies methods to prevent systems from being hacked and informs us how to make and implement a plan to protect and recover from an IT attack.
After his presentation, Jared takes questions from the audience.
Nationally known tax professional Andy Magnus reminds us that taxes can be our "friend." With great insight and lots of humor, he helps to decode the tax code, and he offers tips on how to approach tax management for your business.
We are inundated with social media. If you want to get noticed,
you must impress your market with targeted, meaningful messages.
Social media expert Karen Fox shares a compelling opening story by helping the audience members see the importance of recognizing your target market and their unique characteristics and how you can reach them effectively. She offers the following important tips:
- Take time to know your buyers – their age, challenges, code language, and needs, where they are located, etc.
- Keep your content current and fresh
- Ensure your prospects can subscribe to your site and services
- Use short videos to reach your market
- Don’t assume everyone is your target market; rather speak to the 20% is good
- Images matter to your marketing efforts and are are the primary influence for your products or services
- Follow-up with sound and proven processes
- Listen and pay attention to who is responding and writing so you are engaging with them
- Do not allow your postings to become a source of conflict or debate
- Make sure you are focused on the customer needs not your own
- Track and test what works through review of your analytics and let them inform your next decisions
- Create repeatable, sustainable processes
- Get the support you need
- Get your branding out on a regular basis so that when I need your services, I remember you as top-of-mind
Social media is no longer an option for businesses because it plays a major role in shaping the business reputation and perceptions about credibility. If you don’t think you have time to implement a social media strategy, outsource this very important business strategy to Karen Fox at Karen@karentheconnector.com or check out her website www.karentheconnector.com