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June, 2011

Is Your Business Safe?
4 Steps to Secure Your Business Data

I was recently in a meeting of business owners and the person sitting next to me admitted that his business had been severely affected by a loss of data, which took months to rebuild.

What had happened? Burglars had removed all electronic equipment from his office including the server that backed up all of his other machines. Unfortunately a second copy of the most recent backup was not safely offsite in a protected storage location - and it was taken too!

Planning

In this day of IT maturity with all of the "built in" safeguards it is still common to come across businesses that have experienced a serious data loss or security breach. Recently this situation even extended to web applications where a major provider of cloud computing did not have backups that were sufficient to recover lost data.

What is the answer to this business critical issue? I suggest the following 4 steps that every business (and its CEO) should adopt in order to insure that, in the event of a disaster - burglars, tornado, tsunami, intrusion, and vendor failure - the business will be able to successfully recover its data and restore operations due to taking adequate measures to protect its business data.

1. Exercise the Backup Plan
I rarely come across a business that does not have some type of backup/recovery plan - on paper - for its core data (computers and servers connect to the business network) where either full or incremental backups are performed on a regular basis. However, when asked as to what disaster scenarios the plan will handle or has been tested to I get a shrug of the shoulders and . . . Read More.


Regards,
Mike Brice
Phone: (206)226-1617
Email
Blog


Executive Poll

The May poll on "What is Threatening the Viability of Your Company?" produced a low response. Five people responded.

The May poll tried to measure what owners and senior management leaders see as the most significant threat to the perpetuation of their business.

Question Responses %

Gov't (Fed, State, Local) Regulation 3 60%
Healthcare Expenses 2 40%
Taxes 0 0%
US Gov't Deficit Spending 0 0%
Inflation (including devalue of US $) 0 0%

While the total response was low the results were interesting:

  • Either existing or pending government regulation is the number one threat.
  • In addition, the growth rate of existing healthcare expenses or the those mandated in the future is the second greatest threat..
Feature Article

This article addresses the issue of networking and how to turn it into a productive experience - providing you approach it correctly.

Haden cites Four Basic Principles of Business Networking

  1. Networking is Highly Targeted - Just Like Sales
  2. Networking Always Starts with Giving
  3. No One Cares What You Need or How Badly You Need It
  4. The Higher You Reach the Less You Should Expect

He focuses on the need to create a mutually beneficial relationship. What it is you want and also what you can offer to meet the other person's needs. Your ultimate goal may be to receive, but your short- and medium-term focus must be on giving. Focusing on just what you want will not lead to a valuable connection.

Haden's article offers great advice on how to make the "networking" process more productive and not just a matter of going through the paces.

Read the article, it raises a number of interesting points that I have not covered in my summary, but also scan the comments that follow it.

Management Resources
Articles:
Innovation: Nobody admits to being the innovation killer in a company.  We call these folks the "dinosaurs that won’t change."  Or "nay-saying 'Dr. No' middle managers."  But when you meet these people, they don’t admit to being innovation killers.  They believe, deep in their hearts as well as in their everyday actions, that they are doing the right thing for the business.  And that’s because they've been chosen, and reinforced, to be the Status Quo Police.
Innovation Killers - The Status Quo Police


Communication: Your PowerPoint presentation is often the one chance you have to influence your audience to action. PowerPoint does not have to dull.  Great presentations can move people and truly inspire.
The Best Presentation of the Year


Strategic Planning: A few days ago, I met Ben, a first-time founder who's been working on his business idea for 10 months. I asked him to give me the two minute overview of his business idea (or the "elevator pitch" in investor speak). Ben finally asked me what I thought of his plans. As nicely as possible, I replied that I thought he was planning his company using the stereotypical male approach to driving: Never stopping for directions or checking to see if he was going in the right direction. I told him he needed to plan like a woman.
Why Women Are Great Strategic Planners
...And what men can learn from them.


Working with the Press: Press coverage will not happen exactly when you want it. Instead, you have to cultivate relationships for a long time and well in advance of your needing them.
Strategies for Gaining Press Attention for Your Small Business


Setting Goals: A smart CEO understands the inherent value of goal setting in steering a growing business in the right direction. Unfortunately, figuring out exactly what the right direction is - and the road map to get there - isn't as much of a no-brainer.
How to Set Business Goals


Personal Development: Sending emails we'll regret later, snapping at co-workers - how can we stop doings things we know we'll regret?
Whatever You Feel Compelled to Do, Don't

Video(s): 
Leadership: Ken Blanchard discusses how the Leadership Point of View is a function of the good (non-business) leaders, mission, personal values and how your beliefs affect your ability to lead and motivate people.
Leadership Point of View (2:07 min)


Blogs: 
Teamwork: The value in teams is the ability to combine brainpower to share information and come up with the best thinking possible. But what happens when the team is scattered all over the place? How do leaders get important information, and also capture and share the stuff that "everyone knows" but isn't written down any place?
Get Your Team To Share the Information That Matters Most


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BRICE CONSULTING

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Consulting

. Planning Process
.. Value & Strategic
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.. Metrics & Dashboards
.. Organized Financials
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Assessments

.. Process Review & Analysis
.. IT Effectiveness

Projects

.. Project Management
.. VOC Product Definition

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