Archive for November, 2019

Are You an Unorganised Entrepreneur?

Many answering the above question may say “no I’m just extremely busy all the time”, while others will admit to conducting their working days amidst general chaos and a constant battle to get everything done.

Self awareness is important here: you may be confusing ‘being busy’ with expending needless time on low priority tasks, unfocused activity or flitting from one thing to the other with no real prioritization taking place.

Unorganized behavior will take its toll

Being unorganized will have a detrimental effect on business; for example, not properly taking time to harness valuable data being harvested by your POS (Point of Sale) tech means you’re missing out on opportunities to serve your market better and create more revenue.

Missing deadlines is obviously a business killer and customers will leave you in droves if you’re guilty of this, so if unorganized work patterns are the cause they need correcting.

Being a good time manager can make a big difference to your day to day efficiency.

Signs of disorganization

Look for the following and try and ‘course correct’ to form better working habits:

Half-finished tasks – do you flit from one unrelated task the next? Does an incoming email or IM cause you to drop what you were doing and react?

If so, batch tasking and focusing on tasks in hand by switching off email and phones for a while could help.

Batch tasking involves taking similar or related tasks and doing them in one hit. For example, working on a report, reviewing finances or certain marketing tasks such as writing an email sequence should be done together to the exclusion all else.

Easily deflected – it’s easy to get deflected away onto another project when an email hits your inbox or a text message comes in and you instinctively read it and react to it.

You don’t have to be available all day long to answer emails and phone messages: many aren’t that urgent that they require an instant response. Perhaps having designated periods to read and deal with emails and phone messages each day while the rest of the time you focus on your tasks at hand will help you stay on track to see work activities through.

Poor prioritizing – the basic ‘to do’ list is important but be selective: having one massive list means nothing gets prioritized and a degree of overwhelm can set in when you see how much there is to tackle.

Instead, have a limit of say half a dozen tasks that must be completed that day, and only add other ‘to dos’ to it when existing ones are all completed.

Poor punctuality – being late for meetings and not returning calls or replying to emails by an agreed time or date is a bad habit to get into.

It lowers your respect levels amongst others and shows them you disrespect their time. Forgetting meetings and other time bound commitments means you’re not scheduling properly, so do tackle this.

Poor scheduling – ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ is something of a cliché perhaps but is also very true: planning your time properly with appointments and commitments recorded is a basic way to schedule yourself properly and ensure designated tasks are completed promptly.

An electronic calendar with reminders set is a basic way to organize your day along with a resolve not to get deflected by incoming emails or phone messages. Indeed, time to deal with these can be scheduled in.

Poor planning – tied in with basic scheduling above, but planning is important in a general sense and is a valuable activity so as to map out activities and time plan properly for larger projects.

Some feel guilty about planning as if it’s not a good use of time, but it certainly is – planning is very much ‘doing’ and certainly saves time, effort and confusion further down the line.

Less is more

In general, a key way to avoid being unorganized is not trying to bite off more than you can chew. Take a few high priority tasks and see them through to completion rather than trying to tackle several things at once.

7 Ways to Prevent Data Breaches

The biggest data breaches in the world should serve as a warning to companies. Whether you have a small or large business, it is crucial to have a proactive approach to prevent serious attacks that can compromise valuable information your organization holds. Keep on reading and let’s talk about the best practices for the prevention of data breaches.

  1. Train Your Employees

One of the pillars of a robust approach to data management is employee training. Cybersecurity training educates and informs employees about the threats that are present, and more importantly, the best ways to protect data. Organizations can conduct training online by using e-learning software, which will make the modules accessible.

If you are looking for the best software to handle cybersecurity training, True Office Learning is one of the best options to consider.

  1. Limit Access

A practical approach to managing data breaches is to restrict access to the valuable data your organization owns. In the past, almost all employees can access every computer in the office. Today, this is no longer the case. Especially if the information is critical, provide access only to the relevant employees. As a part of limiting access, use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.

  1. Hire Security Specialists

Do not hesitate to bring experts outside the organization. This represents an additional cost for the business, but this is an investment you need. The specialists will review your current data infrastructure. They will identify the current weaknesses and provide suggestions on the best approaches to lessen vulnerabilities.

  1. Conduct Background Checks

Employee background checks are important to make sure that there are no people within the organization who will steal data. Do not just focus on external threats. Keep an eye on the people you already have within the organization as they can also pose serious data threats.

  1. Create Data Backups

While this does not necessarily prevent a data breach, this is important to lessen the effects of a potential attack. When you don’t have a backup, there will be huge consequences. This can be costly in the long run since data is one of the most valuable assets any organization can have.

  1. Regularly Update Your Software

Businesses use different software programs to facilitate processes and activities within the organization. While the software can be helpful, it can also make the business vulnerable to attacks. One of the best ways to avoid this is to update the programs regularly. The installation of patches is also recommended. Without patches and updates, your networks will be more prone to attacks.

  1. Collect Only Information You Need

To minimize the organization’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks, it also helps to limit the information collected. Gather only the data that you will need. Otherwise, you will need to manage more, and this will require more time and resources.

Your business has the responsibility to protect data. To do this, consider our recommendations above in preventing a data breach, which includes employee training, regularly updating software, and limiting access, among others.

6 Tips to Run Your Law Firm Like a Business

Running your law firm like a business is one of the best ways to craft a success story. By being business-minded, it will be easier to steer your company in the right direction. Keep on reading and we’ll let you know how this is possible.

  1. Invest in Technology

In today’s modern era of doing business, embracing technology is a necessity and not a luxury. Level up your firm’s operations by embracing the latest legal technologies, such as cloud case management software. This can help improve collaboration and communication. It provides a secure and accessible platform for document management. You can also use technology for e-discovery. Artificial intelligence, meanwhile, can be utilized to predict case outcomes.

  1. Be More Efficient

One of the best ways to improve efficiency is to use legal billing software like Rocket Matter. It will automate the creation of invoices and will send them based on a predetermined schedule. Being more efficient is also possible by using modern methods of recording and computing billables. Use the right technology and tools to run a more efficient law firm.

  1. Market Effectively

Marketing is a key driver of growth. To run your firm like a business, you need to start with a solid marketing plan. You should have a detailed approach to how you will promote your legal services. Among others, one of the most promising is the use of digital platforms, such as social media and email. Be novel in your promotional strategies to attract attention and overtake the competition.

  1. Create a Business Plan

A business plan is important because it stipulates the actions you wish to undertake to achieve the goals of the firm. It goes beyond the identification of your marketing strategies. It includes a statement of your mission and vision. You will also identify your law firm’s core values. The business plan will also outline the plans to successfully overtake other players in the legal industry.

  1. Find the Right Price

Law firms should also take the time to evaluate a variety of pricing models and pick one that works best. Consider what your competitors are charging and what your target customers are willing to pay. Experiment with a variety of fee structures. Go beyond the traditional hourly billing. Be open to negotiations.

  1. Evaluate Key Metrics

Running your law firm like a business also entails the need to evaluate the key figures that will be indicative of your overall performance. It will be an effective way to gain a snapshot of how the firm is doing. Some of the most important numbers include gross revenues, cost of goods sold, payroll expenses, net operating income, number of leads per month, number of consultations per month, and accounts receivables, among others.

Law is not just a noble profession but can also be an attractive business. If you plan to build your law firm, consider our suggestions above to help you manage it like a business. Passion is important, but this alone will not fuel your success.