Smart Ways Female Entrepreneurs Can Protect Their SMB

Smart Ways Female Entrepreneurs Can Protect Their SMB

October is National Women’s Small Business Month, a celebration of the more than 11 million woman-owned businesses in the United States and their fearless leaders. According to research conducted by SCORE in a recent infographic, 1,071 woman-owned firms are started every day. Since 2007, women have started businesses five times faster than the national average.

As more women pursue entrepreneurship, it’s important that they conduct their due diligence. They must understand which legal steps to take so they can protect their small businesses and intellectual property. There are several items all entrepreneurs must be able to cross off their legal to-do list, including covering these key areas:

  • Incorporate or form a limited liability company (LLC) to protect the business.
  • Register for trademarks to ensure exclusive rights to the marks.
  • File for necessary business licenses.
  • Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) to hire employees.
  • Determine who will act as your registered agent.
  • Keep up with annual maintenance to stay in compliance with the state.

You’ve drafted a business plan, reviewed the viability of your business idea and accessed how much capital you’ll need to start your business. Now, it’s time to protect your startup.

1. Incorporate the business.

This is one of the basic, first steps many entrepreneurs take to protect their small businesses. An unincorporated business struggles to establish credibility, and it does not receive liability protection like an incorporated formation. An incorporated business receives liability protection. This allows personal and professional assets to remain separate from each other. It also ensures that personal assets, like houses and cars, are protected in the event of an unforeseen circumstance that may negatively impact the company.

Entrepreneurs may choose to incorporate as one of several different types of business structures. Here’s a look at some of the most common, and popular, options


Why In-House Marketing Teams Beat Outsourcing

Why In-House Marketing Teams Beat Outsourcing

If there’s one marketing trend that most agencies would love to see die off, it’s the ongoing migration of marketing functions from outside agencies to in-house marketing teams.

Where did this trend begin? It’s easy to blame everything on money; we know that the cost of outsourced marketing is one of the biggest concerns for CMOs around the world. But that’s not the only reason brands are turning away from agencies and building up their in-house teams.

New technologies are expanding in-house teams’ capabilities. By in-sourcing different elements of their marketing – such as digital advertising, creative, design and media buying – and combining this with the clever purchase of the right technologies, businesses are doing the following:

  • Using emerging marketing technology to take back control of their brand’s reputation and customer experience
  • Becoming agile enough (thanks to technological advances) to navigate the lightning-fast modern marketing landscape
  • Increasing productivity while decreasing overall costs
  • Allowing for greater innovation and risk-taking
  • Creating an in-house team with a deeper, more visceral understanding of the brand (which allows for more effective marketing overall)

As you can see, technology is what drives this trend. In-house teams are becoming more viable because of the emergence of new marketing technologies that allow those teams to reduce costs (especially compared to the cost of outsourcing to an agency).

Still, other factors are at play.

1. Passion and control

The Achilles’ heel of every outside marketing agency is its inability to intuitively understand a brand at the same level as the brand’s employees do. That’s simply the nature of the business – it takes time for an agency to learn about a new client, become accustomed to brand voice and tendencies, and get a feel for management and the direction the brand’s ambassadors would like to move in. Though


How to Protect Your Company from Mobile Channel Fraud

How to Protect Your Company from Mobile Channel Fraud

Everybody loves m-commerce. Customers can shop whenever it’s convenient for them. Merchants earn more sales because customers have their store in their pocket or bag. And fraudsters see a bonanza, because mobile fraud prevention practices haven’t yet caught up to the many ways criminals can exploit the channel. That’s part of the reason that 72% of fraudulent transactions happened via mobile during the first three months of 2019.

Fraud in the mobile channel is a serious risk to merchants and consumers. Stopping it requires a multipronged approach that’s slightly different from traditional e-commerce fraud prevention.

Here’s what you need to know to protect your mobile channel from three common types of fraud.

Stopping mobile brand impersonation

Brand impersonation is a growing problem on all kinds of platforms, including email, SMS, social media and mobile apps. Malicious brand impersonation accounts on social media have increased elevenfold since 2014, as fraudsters seek to dupe consumers into sharing payment data and credentials. Digital security firm RSA said that social brand impersonation accounted for 9% of all Q1 2019 online fraud. 

There are two ways brand impersonators directly exploit the mobile channel to target victims and steal data. The first is by using technologies that are unique to mobile: SMS and apps. 

In a typical SMS brand impersonation attack, fraudsters send a message asking recipients to click on a link to verify account information, claim a prize or change their password. The link may look legitimate, but it leads victims to a site that harvests their data for resale on the dark web or for use by the scammers who sent the text messages. 

In an app impersonation scam, malicious actors publish apps that appear to be from trusted retailers or service providers. Customers who don’t realize the apps are fake may install


7 Ways to Improve Your Website’s SEO

7 Ways to Improve Your Website's SEO

One of the primary challenges for any small business in 2019 is visibility. After all, you might have an amazing business and a beautiful website, but it won’t matter if potential customers can’t find you. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. SEO, in a nutshell, is the art and science of raising your profile through organic search results. 

You probably already know that. What you might not know is that Google tweaks its search algorithms as many as 600 times a year. That means that great SEO isn’t a goal to be attained; it’s an ongoing process that requires your constant attention. 

At Clever Real Estate, we’ve made SEO one of our highest priorities, and it’s paid huge dividends, as we’ve seen our site ranking rise steadily since we began doing regular SEO audits. Here are some SEO strategies we focused on to improve our site ranking.

Provide a user-focused experience

One of the most important lessons of SEO is also one of the most obvious: if you want more traffic, you have to give people a reason to come to your website and, equally important, a reason to stay. 

That’s because your site’s ranking isn’t just based on raw clicks. There’s an assumption, common in business circles, that all you have to do is get the customer onto the website. And maybe that was true a few years ago before SEO really became refined.  

But a huge proportion of search engine ranking is determined by what happens after a user clicks onto your site. If they take a quick look and immediately click back to the search results, Google will note that, and your site will lose ranking. 

At Clever, we recently undertook an overhaul of our 5000-article blog library after we noticed that many


How to Make Your Hiring Process Easier

How to Make Your Hiring Process Easier

Regardless of how good you think your current hiring process is, chances are if you asked for feedback on the experience from newly-hired employees, you’d see there are several ways it could be improved.

Hiring the right people is what allows your business to thrive. However, you must first learn the proper technique for effective talent management. Is your company growing the right way? Do you have a streamlined process for hiring that’s comfortable for all involved? Here are 10 ways to ease the hiring process for your company.

1. Understand the components of the hiring process

The first step to mastering anything is to truly understand it. The recruiting process can span quite a length of time and executing the steps correctly will ensure that the hired employee is the right fit for the company. 

From the time that a company decides there’s a need to hire someone, to the time that the new employee goes through training, recruiting is underway. Start to finish, this process includes: 

  • Deciding what the company values in an employee
  • The recruitment and talent management process
  • Selecting an employee
  • Onboarding them once they are hired

Recruiting isn’t a single step – there are multiple stages that come together and flow through one streamlined process.

2. Include technology in your hiring process

Technology helps with just about everything else in your life, so why not use it to enhance your business?

Talent management technology, like that of VeriKlick, is available to help you find qualified candidates who meet your specific set of criteria in today’s competitive environment. Think about tasks that could benefit from automation, such as:

  • Finding candidates
  • Sorting through profiles
  • Filtering out unqualified resumes
  • Verifying credentials
  • Scheduling interviews 

Use tools to your advantage to streamline the way that you vet employees and