Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Security Breach and Ethics

As a healthcare patient, I feel that the privacy of my personal information is a major concern. Organizations should focus on making ethical decisions when handling patient information in regards to implementing effective security and privacy measures (Haag & Cummings, 2008). Many organizations including healthcare spend thousands or millions of dollars on securing patient privacy and protecting data against breaches and hackers (Farahmand, Navathe, Sharp, & Enslow, 2005). It is the responsibility of leaders and management to understand and influence ethical practices which relate to privacy and security threats (Haag & Cummings, 2008). Security breaches have the ability to disable the functions of a business and pilfer confidential consumer information such as healthcare information, social security numbers, and passwords (Tran & Atkinson, 2002). In addition to potential loss in revenue, breaches also create consumer distrust, and negatively affect brand reputation (Farahmand et al., 2005).  The risks associated with breaches such as loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability, should cause organizations to be aware and active with threats that generate concerns (Halliday, Badenhorst, & Solms, 1996).

 

Suggested Readings

Farahmand, F., Navathe, S. B., Sharp, G. P., & Enslow, P. H. (2005). A management perspective on risk of security threats to information systems. Information Technology and Management, 6(2–3). doi:10.1007/s10799-005-5880-5

Haag, S., & Cummings, M. (2008). Management information systems for the information age (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin

Halliday, S., Badenhorst, K., & Solms, R. (1996). A business approach to effective information technology risk analysis and management. Information Management & Computer Security, 4(1). doi:10.1108/09685229610114178

Tran, E., & Atkinson, M. (2002). Security of personal data across national borders. Information Management & Computer Security, 10(5). doi:10.1108/09685220210446588

E-Commerce

E-commerce and online transactions account for billions of dollars in sales activity. While e-commerce is a good opportunity for your business to expand online, it could be overwhelming if your business is not prepared for online growth. Initiating your online store is like opening a second location, so you will need to hire new employees and a new technology team to help manage the new location. Additionally, your online store will require top-notch security measures, privacy resolutions, and excellent customer support. You will need to define and understand your new online customer group which will be very different from those ordering by phone or shopping in-store. If your customers are within an older demographic group, you could find yourself having to create and market your new business service to a new user group from scratch considering disruptive technology is often influenced and adopted by younger demographics.

The benefits of e-commerce are based on the efficiency of the automated system. Benefits include a decrease in overall production and transaction costs if implemented properly which can help resolve business concerns regarding the budget. Ample stock inventories, proper notifications, timely delivery dates, and excellent customer support is key to achieving e-commerce success.

A drawback of e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar businesses is that with e-commerce sites it is difficult to generate a sale through user interaction with the business. To partially resolve this issue, you can implement a chat system and monitor the effects of your e-commerce strategies by using activity and traffic tools that monitor users visiting the website.

Customer Marketing

Purpose of Marketing

Without marketing, your business is taking the risk of losing customers and revenue. Think of your brand, website, or artwork as a resume. You spend hours or days writing, designing, and editing it to perfection, not to mention the years of enhancing and refining your background with experience and education. After you’ve culminated and perfected your resume, what next? What’s the next step to ensuring that you land that dream job? The appropriate response is to send your resume to employers. In the context of business, that’s called marketing. You must market yourself to win the job. A terribly unattractive resume sent to potential employers has a higher probability of landing a job over a superb resume sitting in a drawer. Without marketing, you will waste time and money creating a great brand that never gets noticed.

Customer Marketing

If your marketing strategy is not structured on the purchasing needs and wants of your desired customer, you are missing the mark in marketing. An effective campaign is one that influences customers to make a purchase. The secret is to build trust and positive brand awareness through attractive and targeted marketing. Additionally, the campaign should aim at solving the customer’s hesitation to purchase. As customers make purchases, a trend will develop, outlining likes and dislikes based on what sells and what doesn’t.

A Hesitant Customer. All customers experience some hesitancy before making purchases. They don’t simply walk into a store or view a website and make a purchase without thinking about it. How long they hesitate is where you should focus your marketing. For example, a product discounted with a “One day only” stamp will make the customer spend less time debating the purchase because of the urgency of the deadline. If you want a today purchase, you should try marketing your product or service so that it positively influences the customer to decide and act quickly.

As a business owner, you have the responsibility to provide customers with the information they need to make a purchase. If presented effectively, the information you provide customers can persuade them to believe they need what your business is selling, even if the product is outside of their immediate desires or needs. In this sense, information used within your marketing efforts are responsible for shaping the needs and wants of your customers. The implication is that, through marketing, you can capitalize on your customers’ internal weakness and persuade them to make a purchase.

A customer purchase is often based on one of three factors; (1) whether the product or service will help the customer be more productive; (2) whether the product or service can satisfy the things or people the customer cares most about; or (3) whether it fulfills a desire or need.

When marketing, you should understand how your product can solve your customers’ problem or situation. If you know your customers’ habits, likes, or dislikes you can market based on how your product will fit into their lifestyles. From there, the customer will be less hesitant to make the purchase and will have a solid answer as to why they need your product.

Building an online presence

Optimizing Your Brand

An online presence starts with analyzing your website. Forget about the competition for one second and ask yourself if your online brand has really been optimized to produce the best possible results. Most businesses spend months or years being mediocre online, all because they’re missing a simple fix.

Through experience and statistics, it is proven that an online presence can make (or break) an organization’s success. When creating a new website, don’t just build it based on what other large companies are doing. Analyze your business. You have a unique business and just because Coke or Pepsi does it, does not mean that it will work for your business.

Every business is unique, and it is your responsibility to make certain that you build an online presence that uniquely fits your business and brand image.

Outlining your personnel expenses

The Right Personnel

Businesses generally have multiple employees completing various task. If this is your business, then you need to evaluate the expenses needed when hiring new personnel.

Personnel expenses may include expenses of current and future employees, which are needed to successfully implement the marketing strategy.

Expenses to consider include:

  • Number of employees
  • Type of labor (skilled, unskilled, professional)
  • Where to find new employees
  • Quality of existing staff
  • Pay structure
  • Responsibility
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