5 Tips for Avoiding the Potential Pitfalls of Online Business 49

5 Tips for Avoiding the Potential Pitfalls of Online Business

The following article is a guest post.

Online businesses are a tempting modern alternative to the tried-and-true method of setting up a shop to sell your chosen wares, because they offer the lucrative gains of a shop without many of the problems associated.

No rent to worry about, no employees needed (until your business gets large enough to require shipping employees), and much lower costs all contribute to the allure of online businesses, but it’s not all good on the information superhighway.

There are many dangers connected to running a business online, such as scamming, loss of internet, and loss of product through the mailing system. At least for the loss of internet you can always get IT support in Sydney, but for help with the others you may need to read on.

1. Scamming.

Online scamming has been occurring for many years, and has gotten more subtle since the beginning of the internet.

Where once you would get an email from a “Nigerian Prince” asking for some money which they would repay tenfold, now you could lose your bank account details from something as simple as signing up to a gaming service through a verified program.

Data security is very important in this modern age, and protecting yourself is one of the key steps to having a successful online business.

2. Advertising.

One of the unfortunate pitfalls of online businesses is the much lower levels of “random” advertising success.

With a physical storefront, you could design a window display and draw some people in via that method, just randomly. With people searching for what they specifically want, it’s harder to accidentally find a rare gem of a store in your online travels, and therefore your random draw-in can be harder to find.

That being said, online advertising does reach a much, much larger audience, so the benefits may outweigh the negatives.

3. Shipping.

You don’t have to worry about the travel time of a package that makes it’s way from the counter of your store to the hands of the customer in front of you, but with an online store shipping is always an issue.

Maybe you find a person who is good at organizing shipping and postal services, and they handle the sending-and-receiving side of things, but then you have an extra employee to pay.

It’s a balancing act, ensuring all of your packages reach their destinations in time.

4. Physical Presence.

Some shops, and some wares, really benefit from having a place for a person to visit.

See the items, try them out, talk to the shopkeeper, etc. Online businesses suffer from a lack of this, and some things get sold at much lower regularity due to this missing connection from shopkeeper to customer.

That’s not to say online businesses aren’t flourishing in general, it just happens to mean that some products aren’t as good for online businesses as others.

5. Customer Base.

Finding your customer base in an online setting can be tricky, unless you ask your customers to fill out membership forms when they sign up for a mailing list, and that step alone can dissuade people from buying from a particular online store.

You have to know your product well to be able to effectively market it without that crucial piece of information, so make sure to study up on the many uses of your product before taking it to the online marketplace.

The online business can be a great asset to anyone willing to put in the effort to bring out the best in their product and themselves, as a business owner. Provided these things are looked out for, the business shouldn’t hit any potholes along the way.

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Data Is Important to Your Business’s Operations: Keep It as Safe as It Is Accessible 4

The Secret to Designing Perfect Landing Pages

Computers have been able to move files between one another since the technology’s very early days. The first File Transfer Protocol (FTP) technology emerged in 1971. Back then, network administrators only needed to move data from one place to the next; security was not an issue. Furthermore, since the computers were probably in the same room, the data did not have very far to go.

Today, there are many ways to move data efficiently and safely over long distances. MOVEit by ipswitch is a good example. It’s very robust yet also very easy to use. It also has a number of audit trail and compliance features that really make it a useful program.

How do you know for sure whether Moveit or some other program is the right one for your business?

What is Secure File Transfer?

FTP still works very well when there is absolutely no need for security, but these instances are few and far between. Some of today’s most popular file transfer options are:

  • Secure File Transfer Protocol: As the name implies, SFTP is FTP plus encryption. The combination is very fast and prevents network eavesdropping. SCP (Secure Copy) is a closely related protocol.
  • Managed File Transfer: MFT is a much more complex option. In addition to file security, it adds a variety of audit, management, reliability, and other features.
  • Email Encryption: Instead of transferring the file as an attachment, a secure email sends a link. Then, the recipient can download the document from a secure site. Moreover, email encryption enables users to send very large files with little drama.
  • Hosting: Originally, file hosting services supported document collaboration and nothing else. Lately, security features have emerged as well, making network hosting a viable secure file transfer option.

All these methods rely on access control. Typically, that involves a username and password. Depending on the organization’s needs, the access control can be much tighter. Usually, this process involves an Identity and Access Management (IAM) system.

Some File Transfer Features

In its most basic form, secure file transfer relies on command line interfaces. This system is automated and not designed for user interface, so there are very few additional features. On the other hand, command line interfaces are very low-cost and allow organizations to maintain control over file security even if they use cloud providers.

SFTP is still the best option for most businesses, but SFTP by itself often falls short. Consider adding additional features like:

  • Auditing: Sometimes, auditing functions are available as an add-on. But organizations that also have compliance issues in this area, such as those that handle Personal Identifying Information (PII), may be better off with MFT.
  • Scheduling: This need is not as common but it’s still out there. Sometimes, users need to send documents at certain times of the day, usually to avoid bandwidth conflicts. Customers with scheduling needs almost always need MFT, because its systems are very robust.
  • Indirect Transfer: Only MFT allows users to send documents to an intermediary server when then forwards them to the recipients. The user and recipient are isolated from each other, and such transfers are easier to track.

Consider the options carefully before making a decision. Then, go with an established provider who stands by its products.