There is no doubt you have seen or heard about the scam emails, texts, and phone calls that are a daily nuisance for everyone. It may be in an email, phone call, or text format. The scam message could lure you in many ways; It may tell you that you have won a prize or a notification about an internet order or package delivery.
What is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of social engineering where the attacker sends fake messages to trick a person into disclosing sensitive details to the attacker or deploys malicious software onto a device to get private information. Phishing scams usually require the recipient to perform an action such as clicking a link, downloading a file or entering a password.
Tactics Phishing Attackers Use
Look out for emails and texts with:
Generic greetings such as “Hello Customer” rather than an actual name.
Emails requesting personal information
Emails demanding an urgent response
Emails that say you won a prize for something that you didn’t enter
Messages with poor spelling and grammar
Messages asking for money
Mismatched links in the email body
Spoofed links. Never click on a link unless you are certain it is authentic. You can hover over it first to reveal its true destination. If the email claims to be from your bank, they will never ask you to log in from an email. Also, secure links should begin with HTTPS://
Recorded messages that ask for payment or personal data
Callers who say there is an issue with your computer
Callers who require your action urgently.
Offers or deals that sound too good to be true
If the caller claims to be your bank and asks for your information
If the caller threatens you
How can you protect your business from phishing attacks?
Phishing awareness training – Most successful attacks occur due to employees unknowingly clicking on dangerous links in their emails.
If you suspect a phishing email, you can check online for scams related to the email topic or company. For example, if the email claims to be from PayPal, check PayPal’s website or sites such as www.scam-detector.com
Installing Endpoint Protection software such as Sophos, will add an extra layer of security and warn you if you click on a suspicious link. Ask us for a free trial!
This grant is for START UPS and small business owners just getting back on their feet. It offers $5,000 cash upfront to go towards things like:
Coaching and Training
Creating or updating your website
Business planning and advice
Strategic marketing planning and advice
Cyber Security tools and training
We are here to help your local small business succeed by understanding your goals and the essence of your brand. Please give us a call if we can help you with any of your digital marketing, I.T Support, and communication needs.
So you’ve got a business idea and you’re ready to go. This post is just for you, we’ve collected a list of B2B services specialized in helping small businesses get off the ground, and most importantly, that can scale with you as you grow.
You’re probably trying to work out what you need and what you don’t – we know your budget is tight. What we’re presenting here are the basics, but we’ll give options when we can to suit your particular startup. We’re a strong believer in bringing in good help where possible, so that we can focus on providing value where we do best, rather than trying to manage things we’re not specialized in. We urge you to do the same for the sake of your business. Ask for help! Many businesses – us included – will be happy to lend a word of advice even without a sale (it makes us feel smart).
Fair warning though – we recommend ourselves a few times in this post. That’s because we believe in what we do, of course. The only reason we exist is to provide value to small businesses in Brisbane and make sure they succeed while being easier to manage.
Ok, here we go!
Legal & Accounting
The first things you’ll need are legal advice and to take steps to register your business entity and also things for a trading name, trademarks, and to be ready to collect and pay tax. We’ve got two options for you here.
If you want to do things the old-fashioned way, talking to people over a desk, get in touch with Vault Group. They have a range of experience helping small businesses get up and running.
If you’re fine with pressing a few buttons to get things done, you can’t go past Lawpath. This is an all-in-one service that will not only guide you through what you need to do but do most of the legwork for you. That’s an affiliate link so we get a little something if you sign up, but we’ve been using this service for some of our simpler needs ourselves and can vouch for its value.
Once you’re set up, you’ll need and bookkeeping tool. We use Xero and we know it plays well with the other things we use which we’ll introduce below.
While you’re waiting for all that, and before you bother your neighbor’s kid for a website (that’s a joke, you’re not going to do that), you’ll need to think about your brand. Doing this is like spending time to make sure your rocket is not pointed at a nearby wall before lighting the fuse. Without a defined brand, everyone you work with will be going off their own gut feeling, and you’ll have to spend half your life correcting them.
Once you’ve got your brand you can go ahead and develop your website and marketing plan. These things are a lot easier now that you’ve got your visuals and messaging already worked out during the branding process. We have a great marketing team who would be thrilled to help you put your digital marketing plan together.
We love WordPress for small business websites unless you’re planning on running an eCommerce shop in which case we’d probably want to know how you will be shipping before we make a recommendation. Good options are Shopify, Squarespace, and Prestashop.
Signage & Printing
eg.design are located on the Sunshine Coast but they always deliver the same prompt excellence to Brisbane customers as well. eg handle all our signage needs and can do the design in-house if you need.
If you’d like to try digital signage, check out our signage subsite. Digital signage is a great option when you need to capture that valuable foot traffic.
eg. design and their handiwork at KeyTech, Toowong
Business Phone System
Again, this is something we can help with. We’ll keep it short here, but you’ll need to think about what exactly you’ll need. Will you have people on hand to answer calls 24/7? How will you handle excess callers? We sell Telstra TIPT which is their cloud-hosted phone system solution, which works out to be a really cost-effective and easy phone system. The most simple use case is to have a single 1300 number going through your mobile phone. That can be scaled all the way up to a national call centre with an office in every state (and anything in between of course). And why not? Think big!
Workwear & Safety Gear
All Purpose Workwear & Safety are our go-to for our polo shirts, jackets, caps (even Covid masks when required). Tracey and her team are always a real pleasure to deal with. They have such a huge range and can get your logo onto anything at all. Just look how great Ben and Nat look(!)…
M365 can be extended to support video conferencing and remote collaboration with Microsoft Teams Rooms, which might require some extra hardware if you want to support a boardroom table.
The Office suite of apps is all available through the web as well as desktop/mobile with 365. This means all you need to do is log in and you’re right at home, on any device. We’re big believers in running a business from the cloud – it’s really a necessity these days and can save you thousands upon thousands in hardware and maintenance costs over the years – not to mention the peace of mind it brings.
Just make sure you get Microsoft 365 backed up as most SaaS products like M365 don’t do this by default. We have the right tools to make sure these products stand up to scrutiny.
You’ll need a CRM. We’ve been using ConnectWise, which is an extremely powerful and extensible piece of software that handles everything including agreements and billing to support tickets, time and calendaring, and of course customer relationship management as well. Talk to us if you think you’re CRM need will go beyond the basic, especially if you’re going to have customers with varying types of purchases and agreements, and extra especially if you’re going to be offering support.
Otherwise, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a good option because it will slip right into your 365 workflows, as well as possible integration with Telstra.
Computers and IT Support
How many computers will you need? Do you need laptops or will basic desktops do (desktops are generally cheaper for what you get, but you can’t lug them around)? Or even tablets? Another shameless plug: we’re a managed ICT services provider in Brisbane doing IT Support. We help businesses of all sizes with their computer, laptop, and mobile needs, and make sure all devices are well-protected against cybercrime threats. We do everything from provisioning, installation to maintenance and upgrades. Talk to us and let us take care of all that, so you focus on what really matters- your customers and staff (oh, not to mention having time for your family).
On the chance, you need to build something, large or small, get in touch with CamPak. They’re right around the corner from us so we know they’re good people!
Last but not least…
Running a business is hard going but you’re not alone in it. Most of what you want to do has already been done and you can save a lot of time and money by learning from others. What’s more, most small business people are happy to share their lessons.
Join the Love Local Brisbane community on Linked In. We started this group specifically to share our knowledge and experience with you, no strings attached, so hit us up with anything you’re not sure about (we mean it). I’m sure you’ll be helping the next brave venturers in no time.
All the best with your new venture. Keep at it, but treat yourself kindly. You’re in it for the long run.
The recent outbreak and spread of coronavirus has sent shockwaves through world markets and underscores just how interconnected we are in this age of global supply chains and mass travel.
The ASX has shown signs of vulnerability, with major players such as Qantas down as much as 20% since the start of the outbreak, and markets still on edge for further flow-on effects.
So, with travel down, and the supply potentially affected, how much do you need to prepare and make contingency plans for your small business? Major governmental and nongovernment bodies emphasise that the crisis is far from something to panic over, and so far the response and adaptation internationally has been heartening.
Examine your supply chain for direct connections to mainland China, and it may be worth considering how to keep things running if those particular elements are cut off or run low in supply. For most of us with businesses directly relying on Chinese supply, that will be an urgent and specific issue to keep track of. But there’s also the indirect effect of a general slowdown affecting your bottom line, efficiency of delivery and cash reserves.
Back to the news. Some products expected in early 2020 have delayed. Companies, including Apple, have been confirming their supply chain has been affected by Coronavirus, affecting all kinds of tech products. Apple has been the first to officially recognise this impact but you can bet they’re not the only ones.
What should you do about it? Keep your products and systems in good shape, and if your depreciation schedule is telling you it’s time to upgrade, don’t throw out the old ones until the new one’s have arrived! If you have any concerns about the health of your system or devices, we’re here to help you get the most out of them.
Lookout for coronavirus phishing scams!
There are also phishing scams a plenty around Coronavirus. Scammers pose as health officials, asking you to log into other sites. Businesses who host their own email and access it via old school IMAP (or even POP!) are vulnerable to such attacks as their spam filters are less powerful than those used by white label email services such as gmail and outlook 365. Talk to us about modernising your email, but in the meantime, rather than clicking a suspicious link, copy and paste it into your browser’s search bar and see if the domain matches the advertised link.
This event – so far – gives us a good opportunity to examine our systems and prepareness for untoward events, while falling short of worst-case scenarios. Use it to stress-test, and let’s hope it all fizzles out soon.