M&A Digest – March 13, 2015

This week’s M&A Digest explains the best way for business owners to go public, what determines success when succession planning, predictions for merger and acquisition activity in 2015, and more. Click on the headline to read the full article.

Ransomware: What It Is, What It Does, and What Can Be Done To Avoid It

Ransomware is the Trojan Horse of data destruction. It’s a vicious type of malware that creeps into your computer system and literally paralyzes it, locking up your files, videos, business documents – everything on the hard drive, really – and then demands a monetary ransom to unlock it. It’s a serious type of cyber extortion that has been around for years but has seen a recent uptick in activity, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Most malware of this type manages to encrypt or encode all of the files on infected computers. Some of these programs often claim to be from governmental or even law enforcement agencies and use scare tactics to warn the user that illegal or compromising material has been found on the computer.

M&A Digest – Feb. 27, 2015

In February’s last digest we discuss how documentation plays a role in succession planning, how important your executive team can be to your business sale, how to keep your deal on track to close, and more. Click on the headlines to read the full pieces.

10 Things Business Owners Must Know About Cyber Security

cyber-security-tips-business-owners

Cyber breaches don’t discriminate. Theft of digital information occurs at companies large and small, from local banks to major defense contractors, and has now surpassed physical theft as the most commonly reported fraud. According to the business magazine Fast Company, federal agents delivered the somber news last year to more than 3,000 U.S. companies that their computer systems had been hacked to the tune of $215 million. President Obama identified cyber attackers during a recent White House summit as a major threat to the U.S. and world economy.

Whether your business has a sophisticated, high-technological Internet presence or merely uses email and maintains a website, cyber security ought to be part of the overall game plan. Every business using the Internet is responsible for creating a culture of security that will enhance business and consumer confidence.

Usually cyber threats are blamed from the outside where crooked programmers pilfer corporate intelligence and raid your financial data. But sometimes the threat is created from the inside out when employees’ ignorance literally opens the door to cybercriminals. This can’t happen, and doesn’t have to.

It’s important to train and educate your employees BEFORE you have a data breach. Waiting to react is a mistake. Create a culture of cyber vigilance and have in place policies that will leave you cyber secure. Here are things your employees need to know to stay on their cyber toes.

M&A Digest – Feb. 13, 2015

This edition has wonderful news for business owners looking for an infusion of capital or those that want to sell their entire business. Find out what’s in store for 2015 in the M&A industry, as well as learn a few cyber security tips to keep your company safe. As usual, click on the headline for the full piece.

6 Business Lessons from Netflix Series House of Cards

House of Cards business lessonsFrank Underwood lies, steals, and blackmails. He pushes people into oncoming trains, destroys reputations that threaten his own, builds up when it’s in his self interest and tears down when it isn’t. Yet he’s on the fast track to reach the most powerful job in the land: the U. S. Presidency.

As the popular protagonist of the wildly popular Netflix series House of Cards, actor Kevin Spacey’s vainglorious political character is astonishingly fruitful while displaying the sort of deliciously Machiavellian scheming where ruthlessness and cunning always – not some of the time, not just a few times, but always – wins out over integrity and civility.

Still, don’t try this at home.

Yet. . . there are some read-between-the-lines lessons on business one can take from our favorite bad boy politician to improve leadership in business and not be tossed in prison for life. Especially Underwood’s finely tuned skill of relationship building.

M&A Digest – Jan. 30, 2015

This week we explore options for business owners who have family conflicts bringing the company down, private equity’s interest in smaller companies and when the best time for business owners to retire will be. Click on the headline to read the full article.

7 Tips on How To Grow Customer Relationships That Last

Growing Customer Relationships

Solid customer relationships don’t materialize with the first handshake. They take cultivation. Which means extra effort, extra time, a bit of massaging and lots of TLC. Luring curious customers in the beginning is actually the easy part. What’s hard is getting a return visit. Building customer loyalty takes a strategic effort and the rewards of a large and ardent customer base can be momentous.

The art of building sustainable connections with customers – and it is an art – calls for the same ingredients that fuel any personal relationship. Trust. Respect. Chemistry. These days customer management is an increasingly vital aspect of running a business – and a successful strategy is an extremely useful tool, no matter your business model.

So what can you do to grow and maintain customer relationships? Here are several steps that can help.

M&A Digest – Jan. 16, 2015

Have you ever wondered what role emotions play when you’re trying to sell a business? We answer that question and more in our first edition of the M&A Digest of 2015. As usual, click on the headline to read the full article.

M&A Digest – Dec. 19, 2014

In the last M&A Digest of the year, we delve into all sorts of valuable information including the importance of being flexible when selling a company, how to tell if you’re mentally prepared to sell a business, why documenting your company’s procedures is critical and much, much more. Click on the headline to get the full article.