Hottest Plus Size Fashion Trends of Summer 2017 that You must Have in Your Store

Are you thinking of restocking your store with the latest fashion trends of summer 2017? Of course, you are! If you are thinking of getting a huge attention from your customers this summer, then it is necessary that you start thinking about restocking your racks again with the hottest trends this season.

Trends keep changing with every passing season. Some of them keep resurfacing again and again. Some die an untimely death. Amidst all of this, it is necessary that you as a shop owner have the insight of latest trends in the market and enough trendy items on your racks to offer to your customers.

Plus size jeans

So, being a shop owner if you are wondering, how you can make your store even more popular to not only the general customers, but also to your plus size shoppers, then you must add these items in your store that I am going to mention here. Take a look at the following points to know more.

Wave of Sportswear

Well, yes. 2017 summer is going to be the time of the bright and casual vibe of sportswear. From bomber jackets to track pants, from bright red or canary yellow to chic and sporty black everything sporty is taking the center stage this summer. The funky playful look is what everyone is trying to achieve. So, get your store stocked up with some great options for layering and color play.

Denim Denim Everywhere

If you are thinking of having a timeless trend on your racks, then it has to be denim. Yes, this season denim is going to be the most popular item in the collection of plus size ladies. From skinny denim jeans to feminine denim skirts, from denim shirts to layered jackets, it is the era of denim trend. So, if you are thinking of alluring more customers who are on the wrong side of the scale, you must add plenty of denim in your collection.

Leather Rage

Which plus size woman wouldn’t love the structured look of leather? From original to faux, leather is the hottest trend of this season. The shiny bottom wear or sexy tops or shirts, leather is something that woman can’t do without this summer. In fact for date nights or party hopping girls of plus size are looking for leather pants or skirts. So, don’t you think adding leather in your collection won’t be a good idea? If you are thinking of getting color leather pants, make sure that the subdued shine makes it look more elegant.

Sheer Magic

Summer is all about easy breezy fabric. And, if the fabric can play some amazing game of peek-a-boo, then why would the curvy fashionistas oppose to it? If you are thinking of making an amazing style statement that your customers will swoon over, add enough sheer top on your rack.

So, now as you know about the trends of summer 2017, what are you waiting for? Get the best provider of wholesale plus size fashion and attract your shoppers like bees.

How Socially Withdrawn Individuals Can Make Their Presence Known at Work

Working in a crowded setting can be difficult for people who are socially withdrawn by nature. In many workplaces, these individuals tend to fade into the background and often have their hard work eclipsed by more outspoken coworkers. Unfortunately, socially withdrawn workers who wish to receive recognition from their superiors have a tough road to travel. In the corporate world, hard work seldom speaks for itself – and it generally needs to be accompanied by a certain level of showmanship. If you’re tired of allowing social anxiety to be a hindrance to professional success, the following tips are sure to come in handy.

Don’t Be Afraid of Pointing Out Flaws

If there are glaring flaws in any proposals or business plans you come across, don’t be afraid of bringing them to attention of your superiors. Not only does this show initiative, it will illustrate that you possess a keen eye for detail – something many bosses look for. Although working up the courage to point out errors can initially prove difficult, doing so can potentially save your employer money and manpower and elicit positive attention from your bosses.

Enlist the Aid of a Career Counselor

A good career counselor or life coach can act as a guide on the path to overcoming your professional anxiety. Additionally, a seasoned career and life coach can provide you with valuable emotional support and helpful advice on getting ahead in the corporate world. Anyone looking for career guidance would be wise to seek out highly-rated career counselors in their area.

Don’t Allow Others to Claim Credit for Your Ideas

Many workplaces have an unofficial pecking order. Although the exact mechanics vary from place to place, this typically entails having section supervisors present ideas from the people they oversee as if those ideas are their own. As a result, the individuals who actually come up with big ideas receive little recognition, if any. If you have an idea that you genuinely believe is special, don’t be afraid of going over a supervisor’s head and presenting it yourself. This may hurt your relationship with the supervisor in the short term, but it also stands to put you on the radar of your company’s decision-makers.

The professional world can be very unkind to those who are socially withdrawn. With people constantly taking credit for the ideas of others and employing underhanded means to get ahead, a modern-day workplace can be a scary place. However, while getting ahead can be difficult for withdrawn individuals, it’s far from impossible. If you’re eager to make your presence known at work and get the recognition you deserve, take care to put the previously discussed pointers into practice.

Basic Things to Know About Trade Show Internet Company

Trade Show Internet Company, also known as TSI, is an event internet solution provider in the United States. This is a company that offers the CONNECT premium service to the other companies that may hold events, trade shows, outdoor and indoor events. The company prides itself on being one of the most sought out event broadband internet providers in the events industry. The company, which has been in existence since 2008 offers wifi service via TradeShowInternet for convention center.

One of the reasons the company’s CONNECT premium service offers flawless internet connection to events is that the company deploys state of the art equipment and a team of dedicated engineers who manage the network on-site. The connection speeds are usually high enough for your event needs. However, depending on a number of factors, the company will always advise its clients on the best options for them, well in advance.

When it comes to the cost of the service,  you can be assured of our 4G Internet Kits to offer you  up to 50% savings when compared to the other event  internet providers. Other than offering our connectivity through the 4G Kits, we also deploy WiFi networks for you as well as satellite service for clients who may be located in far flung areas. This will ensure that your internet bandwidth for conventions is availed and professionally managed.

Tips success on small business will be comes true, Learn it

Whether it’s about how to use social media, getting through the early dark days of a startup, or about marketing your business, getting advice can help you succeed.
The video below contains success tips from 11 business leaders. It was shot at ICON14 in Phoenix, Arizona. ICON is the Infusionsoft customer conference that attracts 3,000 attendees, most of them small businesses or serving small businesses like yours and mine.
I was there on behalf of Small Business Trends capturing some “man on the aisle” interviews from presenters and attendees.
And out of all the success tips, what’s my favorite? Well, it’s from Clate Mask, CEO of Infusionsoft, who sat down and talked frankly about the brutally tough early days of the company he co-founded over a decade ago. Infusionsoft, which got $54 million in venture capital from Goldman Sachs, bootstrapped its way for years before earning that large injection of growth capital.
Mask says that in the early years, every single day was a struggle for survival. And while cash flow and business experience matter, the real secret, he says, “starts in your head with your success mindset, attitude and positive thinking.” This is what gets you through the struggle.
Below is the video (accompanied by a brief recap of key quotes):

Tip 1: In Social Media, Be Where Your Customers Are
“Know where your customers are hanging out online. You don’t have to be everywhere. Be where your customers are … and communicate with them there.” – Laurie McCabe, Partner SMB Group, SMB-GR.com
Tip 2: Never Stop Networking. Don’t Give Up
“Never stop networking, never stop pushing. It’s easy to give up when everybody around you … is telling you ‘you can’t do it’. You have to be around positive people. Then push on.” – (Starts at 1:08) Tom Force, Owner, ICE Keytags
Tip 3: Twitter Provides Powerful Market Research
“Twitter is the best thing that ever happened to small business owners. You can listen to your competitors or customers, and they don’t even know you’re listening.” – (Starts at 2:01) Melinda Emerson, Author of Succeed as Your Own Boss
Tip 4: It’s all About Mindset and Positive Thinking
“Our first three years were brutally tough… every day was about survival. Then I remembered a lesson from my father. Your mind is everything, yet it’s not what you know, but rather how you deal with it. It is about your mindset and positive thinking.” – (Starts at 2:43) Clate Mask, Founder and CEO, Infusionsoft
Tip 5: Wearable Tech Keeps You Fit
“The ‘wearables’ tech trend is keeping people fit, keeping them active, and keeping them in toe with their fitness goals.” – (Starts at 7:10) Tishin Donkersley, Editor in Chief, AZTechBeat.com
Tip 6: A Handwritten Thank You Note Will Wow Customers
“One simple way to ‘wow’ customers is thank-you cards — a handwritten note, a thank-you card saying ‘thank you for buying from me’.” – (Starts at 8:09) Ramon Ray, Technology Evangelist, SmallBizTechnology.com
Tip 7: Share Information on Facebook That is Great for Your Customers
“Having a Facebook presence as a real estate professional is vitally important. Buyers and sellers are there. Make sure you are sharing information that is great for the consumer, not just real estate people.” – (Starts at 9:09) Bill Harney, CEO, Keeping Current Matters
Tip 8: To Get PR, Offer Yourself up as a Thought Leader
“If you are a local small business, look at local media for PR. Read those publications, forge relationships, find out what types of stories the journalists are covering, and offer yourself up as a thought leader on a topic.” – (Starts at 9:49) Laura Collins, PR at Infusionsoft

How to manage your budget on business

If you run a small business, it’s likely that you’re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it’s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.

Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do. A 2015 survey by small business credit provider Headway Capital found that although 57 percent of small business owners anticipated growth this year, nearly 19 percent were concerned about how unexpected expenses would impact their business.

If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you’ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create — and stick to — a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order. [4 Tips for Reducing Startup Costs]

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Define and understand your risks
Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.

“How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce?” Cho said. “Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you’ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.”

Overestimate your expenses
If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can’t predict when something is going to go over budget.

“Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated,” said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. “It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.”

For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won’t be fully unprepared.

“I go by the cost-moon-stars theory,” he said. “If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.”

Pay attention to your sales cycle
Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an “off-season,” you’ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.

“There is much to be learned from your sales cycles,” he said. “Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.”

Plan for large purchases carefully and early
Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them — a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.

“Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you’re operating within,” Cho told Business News Daily. “An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.”

Remember that time is money, too
One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.

“Timing underestimation directly increases costs,” Ontra said. “For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.”

Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.

“If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday,” he said. “So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.”

Small Business Leader Tips

downloadTip #1: Do Not Aim To Match Or Beat Prices Offered By Competitors

Price may win among retailers that include Walmart, Amazon and Target – as well as countless other larger businesses in a variety of categories – but smaller businesses know all too well they typically can’t compete in this big-box space when it comes to dollars. Instead? This is where smaller businesses have the chance to thrive in offering other experiences that stand-out from prices alone. Of course, price will factor into the overall impression any business leaves on consumers, but when combined with other experiences price can often become overlooked thanks to the many other factors that can outshine it.

Tip #2: Deliver Customer Service That Makes A Lasting Impression

Parker, Colorado based cupcake shop Nomelie Cupcakes was a business “not doing well due to a lack of good customer service and absence of quality control on product quality,” as explained by current store co-owner Soumya Sen. Together with his business partner and wife, Avantika Sen, the Sens aimed to bring new life and profitable success to the ailing bakery by making the business “customer centric”. As Avantika explains, their goal was to “provide the best customer service possible.” To make this happen, Nomelie knew they had to become “more than just cupcakes” and soon became the “forefront of major community events and initiatives,” as explained by Soumya Sen.

As small business owners, Soumya and Avantika Sen knew they had to sell more than just outstanding cupcakes to keep customers returning to their store. PHOTO CREDIT: Retail Minded
As small business owners, Soumya and Avantika Sen knew they had to sell more than just outstanding cupcakes to keep customers returning to their store. PHOTO CREDIT: Retail Minded

The Sens approach to bringing new life to a dying cupcake shop was built around more than just tasty cupcakes, but instead around the idea that delivering outstanding customer service would lift their store to where it needed to be. As it turns out, they were right. Their cupcake shop excels in community partnerships, customer service and has a consistent presence in their community that had not existed before. Beyond their store walls, Nomelie is known around town for their memorable customer care and genuine community support. These two factors – combined with great tasty cupcakes and more – are what have grown Nomelie… and continue to help them thrive in a town saturated with big-box competitors. As for the sales that were previously lacking? They continue to grow everyday, which is an accomplishment any small business owner can be proud of.

Marketing Tips For Small Business

As a small business, you may think it’s impossible to get the word out about what you do. That’s no excuse. And you don’t need fads or gimmicks. Follow the proven, timeless tips and techniques of these entrepreneurs to help get the word out about your business and watch it grow.

1. Give Your Stuff Away

Ari Fleischer and Aly Moler of Frozen Pints have grown their craft beer ice cream business by leaps and bounds by attending craft beer shows and farmers markets to do one thing–give their product away. Once customers taste this unexpected combination (which happens to be delicious) for free, they line up at their local store to buy it or even request that the store carry it.

2. Attend Networking Events…

Desiree Scales of Bella Web Design is a master networker. She attends and presents at almost every event in town. Her contribution to the overall community makes her one of the first people that come to mind when anyone looks for an expert in her area of concentration: small business websites and drip marketing.

3. …Or, Create Your Own Event

If you don’t like the events you are attending, invent your own! Darrah Brustein has created one of the most successful networking events in Atlanta: Atlanta Under 40. The event, which Darrah created to connect with other young entrepreneurs in her city, is now being franchised to other cities.

4. Volunteer to Lead an Organization

The secret to getting the most out of a group or organization is not just to attend but to lead. Take Lisa Calhoun of Write2Market. She served as the president of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, allowing her to rub elbows and connect with the brightest minds of the fastest growing companies in the Atlanta market.

5. Start a Podcast

Todd Schnick of Dreamland Interactive is the first person I saw create his own podcast–he interviews other business owners. People love to tell their story, and by highlighting them on a podcast you make an instant and meaningful connection. It’s also a great way to get an education on a topic you are interested in.

6. Be Helpful

Most small business owners struggle to get their finances in line, especially when they move from an Excel spreadsheet to something as sophisticated as QuickBooks. Cathy Iconis of Iconis Group hosts a Quickbook Chat on Twitter every Thursday night at 7:00 EST to answer small business owners’ questions–and potentially find some clients.

7. Send a Weekly E-mail
If you want to stay in relationship with your customers, there is nothing simpler than creating a weekly e-mail that provides something of value. Rick Houcek of Soar With Eagles sends one out every Monday that he calls the 2-Minute Monday Motivator. I look forward to getting it every week and often forward his advice to others.

8. Support a Cause

Mary Hester of LAN Systems throws an annual cookout with purpose every Earth Day. Party-goers are encouraged to bring their “e-waste”–old computer monitors and CPUs. At their most recent event they collected more than two tons of IT equipment, keeping it out of the landfills and creating goodwill with their customers, current and potential.

9. Sponsor an Organization

Many local organizations are not that expensive to sponsor for a year if you consider the so-called per meeting cost. If your product or service is a good fit with their audience, you will get exposure every time the organization sends out an e-mail and a mention every time they meet. Attendees always remember and appreciate companies who sponsor their favorite organizations.

Business Women Tips

Women are natural-born leaders, so it’s no surprise that women have founded so many of today’s most interesting and powerful companies. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 9.4 million companies are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015.

Here are 10 successful businesses that were started by inspiring female entrepreneurs:

1. Bark & Co.
Carly Strife co-founded Bark & Co. with Matt Meeker, Henrik Werdelin, who were brought together by their love of all things pups. The trio launched Bark & Co’s first product, BarkBox, with little thought as to how popular it was going to be, according to the website.

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Strife, who serves as the CEO, was also the NYC operations manager at Uber, in addition to working for management and consultation firm Deloitte before Bark & Co. According to Forbes, the company has an approximate valuation between $150 million and $200 million.

2. SlideShare
Rashmi Sinha is the female mastermind behind the popular presentation-sharing platform, SlideShare. Sinha co-founded the company with CTO Jonathan Boutelle in 2006, a year after launching another project called MindCanvas. Before launching SlideShare, Sinha was doing lab work after earning a Ph.D. in cognitive neurospychology, when she realized her passion for web technology and co-founded another company called Uzanto.

SlideShare was acquired by professional social networking giant LinkedIn in May 2013 for a reported $118.75 million and now has more than 16 million registered users.

3. Birchbox
Birchbox, one of the top monthly box-subscription services, was co-founded by two entrepreneurial women: Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna. The duo met at Harvard Business School and created their company in 2010 with the goal of improving the beauty industry and making it more customer-friendly. In 2012, Barna made Forbes’ “30 under 30” list of marketing and advertising influencers.

Initially, Birchbox was a subscription service for women looking to try new beauty product samples, but the company expanded in 2012 with the addition of Birchbox Man. As of 2014, Birchbox had more than 800,000 subscribers and was bringing in approximately $96 million a year in sales.

4. Cisco
Sandra Lerner founded what would become technology giant Cisco alongside then-husband Len Bosack, after the pair was unable to email each other from offices in different buildings while working together at Stanford University. Lerner’s desire to connect with her husband led to them designing the multi-protocol router — the platform that launched Cisco in 1984.

While she was eventually ousted from the company in 1990, Lerner reportedly walked away with $170 million from the sale of stock options. She went on to start Urban Decay, a cosmetics company, and today she’s running a certified organic and humane farm in Virginia.

5. Flickr
At age 35, Caterina Fake, who had worked as the art director for Salon.com, founded the popular photo-sharing website Flickr in 2002. The site was actually an offshoot of a game Fake was developing with Stewart Butterfield, her husband at the time. While the game quickly went bust, the photo-sharing technology they designed was a hit.

In 2005, Fake and Butterfield sold Flickr to Yahoo for a reported $35 million in cash and stock options. Fake has since co-founded the website Hunch, a site that makes recommendations based on detailed user preferences, and been named to the board of directors of the handmade online marketplace Etsy.

6. Liquid Paper
Liquid Paper was the brainchild of executive secretary Bette Nesmith Graham, who in the 1950s began using white, water-based tempera paint and a thin paintbrush to cover her typing errors. She sold her first bottle, originally called Mistake Out, in 1956. Graham later patented the must-have office product and renamed it Liquid Paper.

After starting with just 100 bottles a month in sales, Liquid Paper was selling 25 million bottles a year when Graham sold it for a reported $47.5 million in 1979. She passed away six months later at age 56. (And, yes, the rumors are true, she was the mother of Mike Nesmith of The Monkees).

7. The Body Shop
After trying her hand at running a hotel and a restaurant, Anita Roddick started The Body Shop in 1976 in England to create a livelihood for herself and her two daughters while her husband was traveling the globe. The bath-and-body-product concept caught on, and she opened a second shop within six months. She soon launched The Body Shop’s franchise program, which has opened stores all across the world.

The company went public in 1984 and in 2006, 30 years after its founding, Roddick sold The Body Shop to L’Oréal for a reported $1.4 billion. Today, there are more than 2,500 stores in 61 countries.

8. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Following a career that included teaching and horse training, Ruth Fertel mortgaged her house in 1965 to buy a little restaurant, Chris Steak House, on the corner of Broad and Ursuline in New Orleans. A fire ravaged the restaurant in 1976, forcing her to open in a new location under a new name, Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

That same year, Fertel agreed to let Tom Moran, a regular customer, open the first Ruth’s Chris franchise location. Today, there are more than 130 company and franchise-owned locations around the globe.

Fertel, who passed away in 2002 at age 75, sold her majority interest in the chain to private equity firm Madison Dearborn in 1999 for an undisclosed amount.

9. Build-A-Bear Workshop
Maxine Clark came up with the idea for Build-A-Bear Workshop after shopping with a 10-year-old who questioned why she couldn’t just make her own stuffed toy when she couldn’t find one she liked. Clark turned the idea into a business when she opened the first Build-A-Bear Workshop in St. Louis in 1997.

There are more than 400 stores worldwide have helped people create more than 100 million furry friends. Clark, who remains the company’s “Chief Executive Bear,” was inducted into the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame in 2006 and named one of the 25 Most Influential People in Retailing by Chain Store Age in 2008.

10. Proactiv
Classmates studying dermatology together at Stanford University, Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields felt strongly about finding a better treatment for acne because both of them had lived with it at some time in their lives. After starting separate practices, the pair noticed the problems acne posed for people of all ages. The realization led them to start working on a new way to treat facial blemishes.

Over a five-year period, Rodan and Fields developed a comprehensive acne skin care system, Proactiv Solution, which combines acne medicine with soothing botanicals to create an acne-fighting system designed to leave skin smooth, clean and clear. The product, which has found success via 30-minute television infomercials, has become one of the top-selling acne medications in the U.S.

Tips for Creating a Secure Home Office

The ability to work from home is a prized employee perk that offers workers the chance to free themselves from the daily commute and complete their tasks from anywhere with an internet connection.

But along with that freedom and flexibility comes the risk of security issues that occur outside the protected corporate network. Even if your company provides VPN (virtual private network) access, your computer — and everything on it — could still be compromised if someone hacks into your home Wi-Fi network or the public hotspot you’re connected to.

“Making sure that sensitive documents and files remain confidential is definitely an issue remote employees need to tackle right from the outset,” said Brian Stark, general manager of North America at smanos, a smart home and DIY security systems company. “Of course, ensuring that there is a secure connection to the server is extremely important, but this is ultimately placed in the hands of the homeowner.”

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Andrew Hay, chief information security officer at DataGravity, noted that other connected devices in your home may have far fewer security controls than your work laptop, which may give cybercriminals easy access to your device.

“Home-based workers must be diligent about what types of systems are on their home network that might also provide additional attack vectors,” Hay said. “I once spoke with an NCIS agent who conducted an investigation where a naval officer’s laptop was compromised by way of infiltrating his daughter’s laptop.”

Employees, then, become at least partly responsible for the safety and integrity of their company’s information. [See Related Story: Technology and Inclusion Will Shape the Future of Remote Work]

Best practices for remote workers
How can you protect sensitive corporate data when you’re working from home? Here’s what our expert sources recommend:

Invest in antivirus software
This is the most basic, but by no means the only step you should take to secure your company’s files. Your employer may provide a recommended software for a company-issued device, but if you use your personal laptop for work, it’s important to keep your system protected.

“Since many internet providers [offer] free antivirus software, we recommend that our employees use them on their personal laptops,” said Venu Gooty, founder of MyBusinessGenie, a provider of small business software solutions.

Don’t allow family members to use your work devices
Gavin Silver, director of operations at Blue Fountain Media, reminded remote workers that the computer they do their work on is for employee use only — it’s not the family computer.

“Treat your work-issued laptop, mobile device and sensitive data as if you were sitting in a physical office location,” Hay added. “This will help you continuously associate your actions with a security-first and data-aware mentality in mind. For example, in a physical office location … your child [couldn’t] use your work-issued mobile device for games or movies. If you think of your laptop and mobile devices as work-only assets, it makes it far easier to control access to sensitive data and remain data-aware.”

Keep your physical workspace secure
While virtual security is important, it’s equally important to make sure that your home office is physically secure, said Stark.

“Home offices often contain expensive equipment or even physical files or documents that contain sensitive information, so it’s imperative to explore security options,” he told Business News Daily. “While it’s not possible for all home offices to have a scan-to-enter system or a security guard, it’s important to add whatever elements of traditional physical security you can.”

Depending on your needs, you can look into a DIY home security system like the one offered by smanos, or check out our recommendations for business-grade video surveillance systems.

Follow company policies to the letter
Your company likely has clear policies for accessing the company network outside the office. Those guidelines and rules should always be followed, but it’s especially important when you’re working remotely, said Silver.

“Report any suspicious behavior to IT immediately and follow basic ‘computer hygiene’ standards such as up-to-date operating systems, antivirus/malware and regular scanning,” he added.

Use a centralized, company-approved storage solution
Adhering to company policies also includes using only the designated programs that your employer wants you to use, even if you prefer a different program.

“This is so the IT administrator doesn’t have various security configurations that may or may not comply with the company’s security requirements,” Stark said. “[It] establishes a set standard, which is much easier for the IT officer to support remotely in the field.”

This becomes especially important when you’re dealing with file storage and backup. You should be storing all your work data in a secure location that’s both approved by and accessible to your company.

“Ensuring that sensitive data is stored and protected centrally is always a good course of action,” Hay said. “This allows central management and control of all aspects of the data, such as ownership, access, availability, security, etc., with a reduced chance of duplicate copies residing in places beyond the reach of the organization, such as on a personal laptop, mobile device or cloud environment.”

Gooty noted that his company was able to accomplish this after switching to an Office 365 subscription.

“Not only does OneDrive for Business allow us to collaborate better with one another, but it also securely saves the files in the cloud. All employees can access files on different types of devices,” he said.

Best practices for employers
If your company employs part- or full-time remote employees, Silver advised taking the following precautions to limit security risks while employees are working from home.

Require that employees use a non-stored password to connect during each session, especially for VPN access.
Enforce reasonable session time-outs for sensitive programs or applications. A user should not have to reconnect after walking to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee, but at the same time you cannot trust everyone to always log out for the day.
Limit program/file access to only the areas absolutely needed by that employee.
Reserve the right to terminate employee access at any moment.
Provide services for remote file storage and other tasks; don’t rely on individuals to use their personal programs and accounts.
“Users will always take the easiest method when it comes to technology, and you can’t always enforce what software people use when they are remote, so it is better to give them the best software in the first place,” Silver added.

Above all, Hay reminded employers to outline policies, procedures and guidelines for workers who use company resources outside the office.

“This includes, but is not limited to access to corporate data, acceptable use of websites, approved applications, etc.,” he said. “The best thing an employee can do is ensure that they adhere to the guidance.”

Business Ideas for Retirees Tips

Looking for a new challenge now that you’ve retired from the corporate world? Why not start your own business?

Many retirees who’ve been employees all of their lives get excited at the thought of running the show, and building a business that reflects their interests and values. If you’re thinking of launching a business during your retirement, here are six ideas to get you started.

Online businesses
Many new business ideas well-suited for retirees harness the power of the internet, as long as you don’t let technology intimidate you.

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“Online businesses are truly some of the best types of businesses for people over 50, but they need to get over their fears,” said Diane Eschenbach, owner of startup consultancy firm DE Consultants and author of “How to Quickly Start a Business Online.”

One simple new business option involves researching and compiling information on websites.

“One of my favorite types of online businesses for the ‘post-50 group’ is curation sites,” said Eschenbach.

As people get older, the time invested in activities (such as a new business venture) becomes very important, said Eschenbach. She is a big fan of the idea of retirees learning to use technology because of the time saved by automated programs, but she stresses the importance of choosing a business you enjoy.

“The key to a great retirement is doing what you love and finding a way to monetize it quickly,” said Eschenbach. [See Related Story: New Business Idea? How to Test Before Launching ]

Consulting and coaching
Retirees considering starting businesses should start by thinking about two areas: skills from their previous jobs and life lessons. These experiences make retirees well-positioned to share their knowledge.

“Since they have a lot of life and career experience, a consulting and coaching business suits them well as a new endeavor,” said Dolly Garlo, business coach and president of Thrive!! Inc. By capitalizing on existing knowledge, retirees can spend their time learning the ropes of running a new business.

“Retirees should focus on jobs and business opportunities that leverage the individual’s years of work and life experience, such as consulting, teaching or tutoring,” said Jamie Hopkins, Esq., assistant professor of taxation in the Retirement Income Program at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and associate director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income.

Instead of sharing knowledge through a face-to-face business, retirees may prefer to teach or coach through a freelance writing business. “Writing and blogging can be a way for the retiree to stay engaged in an online or other community, generate some income and leverage their knowledge,” said Hopkins.

As you brainstorm new business ideas, Garlo suggests asking a few key questions. “How much time do you want to spend working? What kind of flexibility do you require? Do you want to work from a fixed location or be able to work virtually? What subject matter in particular excites you?”

Garlo says it’s also important to consider your potential business customers, and if they can afford to pay you. “This will determine whether what you provide becomes a hobby or charitable endeavor, or is an actual business,” she said.

Start a “mastermind group”
Have you left a successful career after establishing a large network of valuable and experienced business contacts? If so, the main ingredients of your new business idea may be as close as your address book.

“[Retirees] have learned lessons that many business owners won’t learn for another 10 to 20 years,” said Tobe Brockner, author of “Mastermind Group Blueprint: How to Start, Run and Profit from Mastermind Groups” (Aloha Group Publishing, 2013). “This is why starting a mastermind group is a natural fit for retirees.”

Members of mastermind groups meet regularly to collaborate and solve the problems or issues of their members, tapping into the collected experience, skills and knowledge of the group.

“Many [retirees] already have a network that they can tap into to find excellent mastermind group members, and by being the group organizer and facilitator, they can make a nice supplemental income,” said Brockner.

Depending on the size of the area in which they live, Brockner said enterprising retirees can start and facilitate multiple mastermind groups, and charge a premium for the value of being a member.

“Mastermind group facilitators can generate between $1,500 to $3,000 per month per group for just a few hours [of] work,” he said.

Service-based businesses
Providing services has long been a popular idea for younger, active retirees who want to start their own businesses; however, familiar choices like handyman services, tutoring or pet sitting aren’t the only games in town.

“There are many options for service-based businesses, but one area particularly well-suited for retirees is to provide eldercare services,” said Nancy Collamer, career coach and author of “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement” (Ten Speed Press, 2013).

“Many elderly living on their own need someone to help out with the tasks of daily living: housekeeping, shopping, errands and cooking,” said Collamer. “They also hire people to help out with special projects such as relocating, medical claims assistance and bill paying.”

Entrepreneurial support services
As the total number of entrepreneurs increases, so does the number of entrepreneurs over the age of 50. Why not start a business catering to them? There is a tremendous opportunity for you to assist new entrepreneurs with building, managing and marketing their businesses, said Collamer. While older entrepreneurs have solid core skills from previous professions, they often fall short on the skills needed to capitalize on their expertise and turn their knowledge and talents into a profitable business.

“So think about how you can apply your skills in a small business environment,” suggested Collamer. “Are you a talented graphic designer? You might be able to design logos, brochures or menus for a new restaurant in town. Do you have strong financial skills? Perhaps you could work as a small business coach or a bookkeeper.”

Few business people have the time and know-how needed to handle all the tasks required to keep a business profitable, Collamer said. And filling this need suits aspiring business owners who are also retirees.

“Most small business people can’t afford full-time staff, so this can be a nice way to earn income on a flexible or part-time basis.”

Active living
There are many ways to take advantage of the spreading “active living” philosophy, which is especially popular among Boomers. Who better to help show them the way than a peer with the know-how to stay fit and age gracefully? One of the greatest things about starting a business focused on active living is how creative you can be about what exactly your business looks like.

“The spectrum of involvement is pretty wide,” Jonah Bliss, director of community for electric bicycle company EVELO, said. “[It could be] anything from opening up franchises for electric bike stores to being ambassadors for healthy living brands, or running tours and treks to outdoor locations.”

These types of businesses not only work well as a way to bring in some money after you retire from your career, but they also help others maintain their health as they age. Be creative and use what you know to find your niche in the growing active living marketplace.