We love this infographic from our friends at Eastern Kentucky University Online. It takes an in-depth look at what can happen to a business when a natural disaster hits. Don’t let your business be one of the six in ten that don’t protect their most crucial files. Be sure to protect your business files with MozyEnterprise cloud backup.
Category Archives: Small Business
We love this infographic from our friends at Eastern Kentucky University Online. It takes an in-depth look at what can happen to a business when a natural disaster hits. Don’t let your business be one of the six in ten that don’t protect their most crucial files. Be sure to protect your business files with MozyEnterprise cloud backup.
By anyone’s standards, US$1,700,000,000,000.00 is a lot of money.
According to the findings of a recently released study, globally, enterprises are losing as much as $1.7 trillion through data loss and unplanned downtime.
The EMC Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), which was commissioned by EMC Corp. and conducted by the global technology market research firm Vanson Bourne, is the result of interviews with 3,300 IT decision makers from 24 countries. All respondents were from enterprise-size organizations of at least 250 employees or more.
The study had three primary goals:
• Calculate the impact of data loss to existing businesses.
• Assess the maturity level of data protection strategies in multiple countries.
• Measure IT leaders’ confidence in protecting new and emerging workloads—cloud, big data, and mobility.
In assessing the maturity level of their organization’s data protection, IT decision makers were asked questions relating to their backup and recovery experience, strategy, and infrastructure. Points were awarded to each organization based on the maturity of their data protection strategy, including for shorter recovery times, confidence in backup infrastructure, modern backup systems, and the ability to replicate data offsite. Here are the results:
• Laggards (scored between 1–25 points): 36.8 percent
• Evaluators (scored between 26–50 points): 49.5 percent
• Adopters (scored between 51–75 points): 11.3 percent
• Leaders (scored between 76–100 points): 2.4 percent
Only 13 percent of organizations globally can be described as adopters or leaders, or, in other words, those who are ahead of the maturity curve. Clearly, many organizations need to redefine their data protection strategy, especially when one considers that of the organizations represented in the study, during the past 12 months:
• 64 percent experienced data loss or unplanned downtime
• 49 percent experienced unplanned downtime
• 32 percent experienced data loss
• 17 percent experienced data loss and downtime
Worldwide, the estimated annual cost for disruptions equates to $754 billion for data loss and $954 billion for downtime, for a total of $1.7 trillion. Regardless of whether an organization is defined as a laggard, evaluator, adopter, or leader, organizations large and small are losing money as the result of data loss and unplanned downtime. But it doesn’t have to be that way. EMC recommends the following:
• Make sure there’s an appropriate data protection solution in place for all of your critical data no matter where it is or how it is generated.
• Manage an integrated data protection strategy and maintain a level of visibility and control for application owners.
• Evaluate the gaps in your protection strategy that may emerge from disparate vendor solutions.
• Match your data protection approach with the availability and protection requirements for your tiers of applications/data.
• Understand who owns data protection, especially in the cloud.
All companies can do more to ensure that one of their primary assets—their data—is protected from loss, damage, or theft. After all, no one needs to be convinced that being a laggard is a lot more costly than being a leader. Fortunately, the tools are available to avoid contributing to that $1.7 trillion for disruptions. You CAN be a leader.
Look around any office today and you’re likely to see a wheeled laptop bag parked beside many of the desks. Why the wheels? Well, we’re all carrying more than just a laptop. There’s likely to be a tablet and a big-screened smartphone in there too – along, perhaps, with an external hard drive, a couple of USB keys and maybe even a sandwich.
The thing is, we’re carrying so many data devices with us nowadays that we can’t… well ‘carry’ them anymore.
That set us to wondering how much data is actually being toted around by commuters every day. And had us guessing how safe that data is too. So much is said about the amount of data on the “Information Superhighway” but so little has been said about data on the *actual* highway.
We took on the task of finding out and, for the first time, we’re lifting the lid on the true scale of the data drain caused by laptops, smartphones, USB drives and hard drives carried by modern commuters in New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin and Munich
The results are pretty shocking:
• The average commuter takes 470GB of company data home with them at the end of every day
• That’s 2,500 times the amount of data they’ll move across the internet in the same timeframe
• Every day, 1.4 exabytes of data moves through New York City alone – that’s more data than will cross the entire internet in a day
• As much as 33.5PB of data will travel over the Oakland Bay Bridge every day
• As much as 49 PB of data will travel through the Lincoln Tunnel each day
• Up to 328PB of data travels in the London Tube network every day
• Up to 69PB of data leaves Munich’s Hauptbahnhof on a daily basis
• The Paris Metro carries as much as 138PB of data every day
• With 41.33% of people having lost a device that stores data in the past 12 months, huge amounts of business data is put at risk every rush hour
The thing is, there isn’t a CIO we know who would risk sending massive volumes of data over the internet without protecting it first. But businesses in New York alone send more data home with employees than is transmitted across the internet globally every day – and the levels of protection applied to that data can be extremely light.
A thief holding up a New York subway car at rush-hour capacity could walk away with over 100TB of data. Though, of course, what’s more likely is that they’ll run off with a single commuter’s bag – but even that could have a big impact on the business they work for if it doesn’t have another copy of the data on their laptop.
It’s not just large volumes of data that we carry with us, it’s also the most-critical data; the edits to the contract that we’ve just worked through in today’s meeting, the presentation that we’re giving tomorrow morning, the tax forms that you’re halfway through filling in. Losing this data can have an immediate impact on a company’s success.
The data drain from our cities at the end of the working day could be a real issue for businesses – but it doesn’t have to be. Backing up data on mobile devices has never been easier – gone are the days of devices needing to be connected to a corporate network in order to protect them.
But many businesses still fail to prioritize endpoints in their data protection strategies because they’ve not realized the extent of the vulnerability issue that mobility has caused or the ease with which they can protect themselves.
To see more details on where the data drains from our cities, check out our heat maps.
Wherever you seek out information about protecting and storing data, there is plenty of noise about the cloud. Not about whether the cloud is an important part of a data protection strategy. That’s a given; the cloud isn’t going anywhere. It’s as firmly tied to technology as technology is tied to information. The noise is about whether the Mozy cloud is better or whether their cloud is better.
Recently, one of our salespeople shared some interesting—though not unexpected—news about a global market research firm whose employees use the Mozy by EMC solution and another company’s product (which will remain unnamed) to back up and access their data.
Mozy came out on top. The other company was dropped.
Let’s talk about the why.
This global market research firm that chose Mozy by EMC is all about data. Everything it does revolves around data collection. They use the data they gather to connect their clients with their target markets. That data must drive business. And that data must be protected and accessible, anytime and from anyplace.
There were a number of reasons why this marketing research firm decided to dump one backup solution and rely on Mozy to fully safeguard its data. The following are a few of the reasons.. And for the record, these are the company’s reasons for sticking with Mozy.
Mozy by EMC offers enterprise-grade integration tools: The other company’s integration tools were lacking. Mozy integrates to any LDAP-capable directory service—such as Active Directory—for secure, automated user provisioning, and management. We have to be integrated! Mozy scales to complete data protection from a single person to tens of thousands of devices in the enterprise.
Mozy by EMC offers detailed reporting: When the other company’s backup fails, a simple report indicates that and not much else. Mozy’s backup status feature monitors your system continuously to inform you of any issue that might interrupt the protection of your data. Mozy reports ensure that you know the status of your backups so that you can react quickly and solve an issue before it becomes a problem. In fact, in addition to detailed reporting, the feature-rich Mozy Admin Console has more than 130 features that allow admins to perform their duties in ways that work best for them, and it utilizes pooled storage, which eliminates the need to manage storage at a device level. That virtually eliminates the risk of failed backups.
Mozy by EMC means better support: The other company’s support was sub-standard at best. Mozy, on the other hand, provides enterprise-quality support with dedicated resources 24x7x365 in multiple languages. The Mozy Community lets you discuss issues, watch tutorials, and find and share solutions with users from all over the world. The Mozy Knowledge Base includes answers to just about every question you might have. And there’s a full range of documentation. Sure, we could mention that Mozy has award-winning support. OK, we will. Maybe you didn’t know that Mozy Support was a winner of a 2014 Stevie Award for legendary support. But that’s really just icing on the cake. The long and short of it is this: There’s a broad range of Mozy resources that can help you maximize everything that Mozy can do for your organization.
Mozy is a mature offering: We aren’t going anywhere. The other company just didn’t measure up. You might call them a newcomer when compared to how long we’ve been around (since 2005). Mozy is backed by years of experience, and wholly owned by EMC. Mozy is built for the enterprise with the flexibility to scale to any size business. We store data in world-class, EMC managed data centers.
Mozy is a proven solution for implementations of from 1 to 1 million endpoints. We take our credentials seriously. And so do millions of individuals and thousands of businesses and enterprise customers, including a global market research firm.
And while any cloud backup solution can claim just about anything with the right amount of marketing spin, it’s the customer who knows best.
All cloud backup providers are not equal. Of course, you already know that; that’s why you depend on Mozy seven days a week. And if there were eight days a week, then we would back up and protect your data on the eighth day as well. And speaking of eight, in a recent BusinessNewsDaily article, Mozy’s Gytis Barzdukas, senior director of Product Management, identifies eight key elements a business should expect from a cloud storage provider:
• Financial stability
• Proven infrastructure
• Established customer base
• Geographically distributed data centers
• Robust encryption
• Third-party validation and accreditation
• Longevity and experience
Each element is important and should be expected by the customer. Of course, a few of these elements lose their attraction if the other elements aren’t part of the picture, so it’s important to understand what you need and why you need it. “Online data storage is a broad term that can mean lots of different things to lots of different people, so it’s really important for businesses to properly understand what’s right for their needs and what’s being offered by different providers,” Barzdukas says in the article.
Let’s take a few minutes to discuss why Mozy cloud backup protection is complete. You might already be familiar with this, but it’s still a nice refresher course and a reminder that Mozy has your back when it comes to protecting your data.
Financial stability: Mozy is profitable and is backed by EMC (EMC), the leader in storage. We’re not going anywhere, except to the future. Enough said.
Proven infrastructure: Mozy easily scales complete data protection from a single person to tens of thousands of devices in the enterprise with easy deployment options from Mozy’s feature-rich Admin Console, which lets admins perform their duties in ways that work best for them.
Established customer base: Sure, we can say that we protect a large customer base (6 million individuals), but we also protect 100,000 businesses and store more than 90 petabytes of information. (When you have a few minutes, read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials page.)
Geographically distributed data centers: Mozy servers are located in world-class data centers across the globe. And because there are regional jurisdictional requirements for data location, our data centers are situated where they need to be.
Security: We don’t take chances with the data that’s entrusted to us. The security of your data is our highest priority. Mozy security policies protect your information from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. Our data centers have never been breached.
Robust encryption: All data handled by Mozy is encrypted with military-grade encryption prior to transfer, during transit via an SSL connection, and it remains encrypted while at rest in our data centers. Users can choose a managed encryption key, or personal or corporate encryption keys for added security.
Third-party validation: Mozy is SOC 1 SSAE 16 Type 2 audited and ISO 27001 certified. These independent verifications certify that Mozy’s processes and procedures meet or exceed the strictest control objectives in the industry.
Longevity and experience: Mozy is an established cloud provider; we’ve been around since 2005. During that time we have gone through successful certification and auditing processes and have gained loads of experience in deploying and managing cloud infrastructure and providing award-winning customer support.
Maybe it goes without saying (but we like to say it anyway) that Mozy online backup is comprised of all of those elements. They’re eight more reasons why Mozy is the most trusted name in cloud data protection and why Mozy cloud backup means complete data protection. And when we say complete, we mean that your information is private, secure, and accessible. It’s there when you need it, whenever you need it, whether for the home, SMB, or enterprise. Seven days a week, eight days a week—whatever it takes—we’re here for you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you own or operate a business, you know how important it is to protect your data from internal and external threats. Losing data negatively impacts you, your customers, and your stakeholders. If you want to avoid financial loss and damage to your company’s reputation, make sure you’re managing its data in a safe and secure way.
With that said, here are four crucial data-loss prevention tactics.
Develop a sound plan
Your data protection strategy should include a range of controls and protective measures at different points in the data lifecycle (collection, use, transit, storage, archival, and destruction). Implementing a sound data-loss prevention plan with other protection technologies, like encryption and file destruction, is key to your overall success. You should also look into utilizing a cloud backup system. That way, even if your devices fail, your data will be safe. More than half of all U.S. businesses are using some sort of cloud storage system already!
When deciding on a data-loss prevention vendor, carefully consider and examine each company to ensure that it provides comprehensive solutions, centralized workflow capabilities, integrated policies, and customized reporting. The vendor you choose should also offer you a program that has capabilities across three vectors: data at rest, data in motion, and data at endpoints.
While you might overlook it, it’s also important to involve your stakeholders from the start of plan development. This ensures that all parties understand your business’s requirements and how they’ll affect operations, employee behavior, and company culture.
Linking your data-loss prevention plan with key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you measure your company’s performance and the effectiveness of the strategy you’ve developed. KPIs commonly used include percentage of network coverage, number of incidents concerning data leaks, and percentage of application coverage. To make this process easier, eliminate reporting that doesn’t directly involve your data-loss prevention plan or KPI strategy.
Increase employee effectiveness
When dealing with your employees, the first action you should take is to assign roles and responsibilities to them, providing in-depth training and outlining what you expect. A detailed, accountable, and informed staffing model will help you determine how the different functional areas of your company factor into the plan, design, implementation, and operation of your data-loss prevention solution. You also include your stakeholder’s role in this plan.
Remember though, some employees might consider your vendor of choice intrusive. It’s important to gauge your company’s culture so you can establish protections that are vital to it without being too invasive. The goal here is to complete a smooth implementation of your data-loss prevention strategy. Also remember to identify data owners, establish close relationships with them, and engage with them in effective and ongoing communications.
Streamline and simplify your processes
When establishing a data-loss prevention program, the most important step you can take is identifying your most sensitive data and assigning it a classification. Doing this will aid you in creating the right policies you need to detect and respond to incidents that involve sensitive data leaks. It also helps your company understand what data is most important and how it should handle and protect that data.
Conducting a data protection assessment will allow you to analyze the existing process controls and technology, finding any gaps within the system. Make sure that you include all areas of the company, document the location of the sensitive data, estimate the exposure it faces, and measure the potential magnitude of the loss. Doing so will help you develop processes that are simpler, yet more efficient.
Use technology to detect and prevent data loss
You should aim to deploy modular solutions that offer the maximum coverage with minimal internal disruption. This makes it possible for your company to implement robust data protection solutions as technologies mature and your business needs dictate.
Underestimating the threats to your data can prove to be a major mistake. If you want to protect your company and avoid an unfortunate future situation, keep these four points in mind when developing a sound strategy.
Has your company developed and implemented a data-loss prevention plan? How has it worked so far?
Recently, I was cleaning out the chicken coop. Yeah, you heard right: the chicken coop. When I finished, everything looked good—clean straw, better smell, happy hens, and probably happy neighbors. As I was putting away the tools of the trade (rake, trash can, and gloves), I noticed a small hole in the fence. Not too large, but big enough to allow the neighbor’s cat to enter and do some serious damage to our source of fresh eggs. I quickly repaired the fence. That got me thinking about backup and recovery (hey, inspiration comes from many sources, and that apparently includes cleaning the chicken coop).
If a business isn’t backing up its data and has never had reason to recover an important lost, stolen, or missing file, how likely is it that the business is going to heed the call to start securely backing up its data? After all, if the business hasn’t had to recover data yet, why worry? What are the odds that something is going to happen that will require data recovery? Actually, the odds are not in anyone’s favor, whether it’s an individual, an SMB, or a large organization. The odds, which include hardware failure, software issue, accident, an honest mistake, disaster, etc., are stacked against you. At some point, you will need to restore your files. But if you haven’t backed it up, you’ll wish that you heeded the call to safeguard your data.
Consider the following: 20,000 hard drives fail in the United States every day; 60 percent of companies recognize that their business would be in serious jeopardy after 48 hours without their data; and more than 12,000 laptops are lost or stolen every week. That 12,000 figure accounts for lost or stolen laptops at just U.S. airports, and it doesn’t begin to account for laptops left in taxis or rentals or coffee shops or….
Disasters such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Superstorm Sandy underscore the need for data protection in the event of both unanticipated and anticipated disasters. Even anticipated disasters can be devastating, depending on the severity of the event and unforeseen consequences. Proper backup protection ensures that an organization’s data is adequately protected in the event of a disaster and that lost or damaged data can be recovered in a timely manner with the least amount of disruption to the business.
So even if you’re backing up, that may not be enough in the event that something unexpected occurs. For example, let’s say that you’re backing up to a network attached storage device. All is good, right? The short and simple answer: No. If the drive fails, what are your options? How will you get your files back if you can’t access the drive? And what if you forgot to back up or schedule a backup altogether?
As you evaluate your backup protection options, consider the following:
• Do you have a consistent strategy for backing up desktops, laptops, and servers?
• Is backing up remote and branch offices a major headache? (Are you even consistently backing up remote and branch offices?)
• Are you taking advantage of the convenience and speed of local backup and restore with the offsite protection of cloud backup?
• Are you compromising security for convenience?
• Are you able to access your data anywhere, anytime?
• Do you have control over company data?
• Do you have a set-and-forget backup solution that you don’t have to constantly monitor?
• How easy is it to recover data? And just as important, how quickly can it be done?
• Do you have a backup solution that’s flexible, scalable, and meets your needs?
• Do you have a limited capital expenditure budget to spend on backup?
• If you have a backup or restore issue, do you have 24x7x365 support that understands your technical configurations and can help you solve the issue quickly?
Remember the tools of the trade: simple, secure, and affordable backup that’s scalable and that includes quick methods to restore your data, and a professional support team that you can depend on whenever you have questions or are pressed to solve a problem quickly. The right tools make the job easier and help prevent unnecessary worry. Who doesn’t want peace of mind? After all, no one wants to find a torn fence or, even worse, discover that a cat has entered the coop.
It’s not a stretch to say that high tech touches everything these days. You almost certainly own a smartphone or tablet (probably both), which you no doubt use for any number of ways to make your life easier, faster, and more convenient. Now you can add one more thing to that list: How to buy the perfect steak.
And while you definitely don’t want anyone touching your food, when high tech does it, there are benefits. Read on.
Codes, calories, and consumer confidence
Steak and other cuts of meat have gone high tech in Thailand and other countries. And not just beef, but pork, chicken, eggs, fruits, vegetables, frozen food, baked goods, and ready-to-eat meals.
Consumers simply use their smartphones or tablets to scan the QR code—those blocks of black and white squares typically used for storing URLs and other information—on the food package to trace the history of the contents. For example, you want to know about the producer, the farm, the slaughterhouse of your steak? Just scan the QR code. It’s a great way for consumers to get information about the freshness and quality of the food they are buying.
But there’s even more information to be had from that QR code. You want all of the nutritional information—vitamins, minerals, calories, and fat content? Scan the QR code. What about favorite recipes—what’s the best way to cook your steak? You got it: scan the QR code.
Information is power, and when it comes to food, not only does information help to establish safety measures and help to ensure quality, it’s a great way to instill consumer confidence.
The new fast food?
Is fast food not fast enough for you? Maybe delivery to your front door step (or your neighbor’s roof, depending on the strength of the wind) via parachute is the next step in food convenience. Some folks Down Under have come up with a clever way to deliver your calories. While the QR code gives you information about your food, the parachute delivers your food. Although it’s certainly a new twist on food delivery, it’s probably not too practical. However, maybe a floating piece of toast with melted cheese will satisfy your craving for something “light.” I’d say Swiss cheese just got lighter.
Maybe food by parachute is not the next trend. But how would you know if it is? Food Genius might. The big data startup claims it is able to detect future food trends. Lately, Food Genius has been aggregating data from restaurant menus and has determined that burgers are one of the most popular foods in the country. Maybe you already thought that, but what you might not know is that peppers are a more popular topping than pickles. And if you like cheese on that burger, cheddar is the most popular cheese for primping the patty.
I’m no genius, but they might be on to something. Dang, I’m getting hungry all of a sudden. Maybe something topped with peppers. And cheese! Hmm, I wonder if that can be delivered by parachute? Who would refuse a peppered patty provided by parachute?
Not only is high tech figuring out food trends, high tech is also helping restaurants increase efficiencies.
Avero’s software lets restaurants track purchases and voided items at the time of transaction. Restaurants can use that information to improve service, increase sales, and identify employees who might be stealing food, like burgers topped with peppers and cheddar cheese. This type of information is vitally important to staying in business when you consider that pre-tax margins for restaurants is a scant three to five percent. If profits were food, those would be low in calories.
But let’s say you didn’t like your burger (because you never really liked peppers), you could use Punchh’s mobile app to share your disappointment by writing a review. But if you loved that burger because it was dominated by those peppers, you could proclaim the virtues of the pepper-topped patty. Pucch’s app does more than just provide a way to share your gastronomical experience. Restaurants can use the app to let you sign up for their loyalty programs, take surveys, or even order your next burger. That’s one small touch to get your hands on the next great burger.
Using the cloud to help prevent waste
And because we’ve been talking about food and high tech and how the two get along (unlike those nasty gray peas that rolled into your applesauce when you were a kid), what about the food that goes uneaten? According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a whopping 40 percent of food in the U.S. ends up in landfills. Americans throw out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, according to the NRDC report. Can high tech change that?
LeanPath is one company that’s passionate about food waste. Making the most of their cloud-based analytics platform, they’ve helped their customers reduce food waste by as much as 80 percent. Before throwing away any pre-consumer food waste, including overproduction, expired items, and food trimmings, restaurants are able to “catalog” it, analyze it, and then use that data to gain insights into making future food purchases and running the business more efficiently.
High tech and food go together like two peas in a pod. And that involves a lot of data in one form or another. So, be sure that whatever you’re doing with your data that you’re also backing it up and protecting it—and that it’s fully and quickly recoverable. And that’s more than just food for thought.
Tell us how high tech has influenced what you eat. And let us know if you are one of those people who likes peppers on your burger.
Business owners and professionals can come together on at least one idea about meetings: While nobody loves to take them, everybody agrees that face-to-face time is a key value to the conference-room setting for meetings. Companies are increasingly looking for effective ways to provide that face-to-face opportunity–even when one of those faces is far apart from the other.
Indeed, the circumstances around “face time” are changing.
A new Blue Jeans Network survey shows that while 71% of polled professionals believe they’ve lost a business deal because their personal contact with a client or partner was replaced by conference calls and all-audio environments, some 30% are now using online tools to create video meetings that can in turn replace the physical conference room.
“This new way to collaborate means that bad weather, budget cuts, holidays and a geographically scattered team are no longer threats to business productivity,” said Stu Aaron, chief commercial officer at Blue Jeans. “You can easily conduct face-to-face meetings with nearly any browser-based device — from any location.”
The Blue Jeans Network survey offers additional insight into the state of the modern meeting and the changes business conferences will undergo in 2014.
Meeting Modern: Trends and Technology
A number of trends are affecting the meeting milieu.
- In 2013, winter storms resulted in more meetings rather than fewer–some 20% more. Meetings simply became online conferences instead of in-office meet-ups.
- One-third of all meetings now include participants who are appearing via mobile devices. New York holds the title for most mobile meeters, with San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston close behind.
- Mobile is driving a change in meeting times, as well. Three times the conferences via mobile devices are now happening at 7 a.m. versus 8 a.m., or at 6 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.
- Meetings on Saturdays and Sundays declined by more than one-third in the last half of 2013–from one in 10 meetings occurring on the weekend to just one in 15. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most popular meeting days of the week.
- The traditional lunch hour is also improving, at least in terms of how many times meetings intrude upon it. The polls shows a 20% dip in conferences scheduled between 12 noon and 1 p.m.
The survey also revealed another interesting statistic: While 41% of meetings begin on time, the survey stated, CEOs, CTOs, and other C-level execs typically arrive after everyone else.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Hiring a new employee can be stressful–especially for a small business. Get it right, and you improve the productivity and profitability of the company. Get it wrong, and it can end up costing the company dearly–in time, money and, potentially, reputation.
While there is always an element of the unknown when making a new hire, there are some tried-and-true guidelines that organizations can follow to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
- Your ‘gut’ isn’t a hiring manager. Your intuition can be a powerful force, but, when it comes to hiring, gut feelings should not drive your decision-making process. Rely more on work samples and references and less on a candidate’s charisma.
- Favors to friends and family won’t do you any favors. Cousins, nephews, buddies and next-door neighbors–keep all these individuals in their place. Due to emotional ties and the complications that come with friendships, bringing personal and family relations into the workplace can be a recipe for trouble if things don’t go well on the job.
- Not every great candidate is a great small-business candidate. The stellar designer whose last job was in a shiny office tower with 10 times the resources your small business can provide might not be the right fit. Problems arise when a new hire has all the right qualifications and skills, but also has expectations that are torqued to a big-business kind of horsepower. Be clear with your candidates about the nature of a small business — your small business. Be specific about its atmosphere and limitations, and also its charms. How a candidate responds can tell you a lot about how he or she will fit into a small-shop experience.
- Listen more than you speak. You feel strongly about your business and love talking about it, but it’s important when interviewing a job candidate to listen more than speak. Market the pros of your company and provide all pertinent information, but then stop talking for as long as you can and open your mind to what the potential employee has to say. Watch the candidate’s body language and seek out tones, textures and all the little things that will develop your impression of how this person’s skills and background match up with how they present themselves and who they probably really are.
- Beware of illegal questions: Small-business owners may not have a human resources department or even an HR specialist on board, so they have to learn themselves what is and isn’t OK to ask during a job interview. Stay away from questions about things like pregnancy, marital status or age. Basically, avoid any questions whose answers could be perceived as placing a candidate at a disadvantage.
The good news is that successful hiring comes down mostly to common sense. Pay attention to these tips and then start fielding your best bets with the confidence that you’re about to find the right person for the job — and that you’re going about it by making all the right moves yourself.