With every new year, there is an opportunity to take stock, reevaluate, and course-correct when necessary. This is especially true for entrepreneurs, who can use this time to establish smarter practices and keep their business moving in the right direction. These five big-picture best practices are wise implementations for any small business in 2018.

It’s easy to overlook regular software updates for the technology your business uses every day, especially if they appear when you’re in the middle of working on something important. However, it’s wise to install software updates whenever the opportunity presents itself, because failing to do so can make your business vulnerable to a cyberattack.

Companies patch their software all the time to defend against new threats and mitigate previous shortcomings. Ignoring these patches puts you at great risk of falling victim to preventable scenarios, such as last year’s Wannacry ransomware attack.

“Patching is probably also the primary cause of most penetration that happens to IT administrators’ environments. The industry numbers point to vulnerabilities as the root cause of infections, spanning from 65 to 92 percent of the compromise sources,” said Morten Kjaersgaard, CEO of Heimdal Security, said on the company’s blog. “If you spend more than one week – or even one day – getting up to date with your software, you might as well not update it at all. Cybercriminals … [can] implement exploits in less than 24 hours, so that’s what we have to keep up with as users.”

It’s important, now more than ever, for companies to create coherent brands that stay on message across a number of channels. Disjointed marketing efforts, or those that only focus heavily on one channel while neglecting others, no longer work in a hyperconnected world.

“The most important thing for small business owners to realize is that a piecemeal approach to marketing is now a death sentence,” said Evan Berglund, senior partner at the Gonzberg Agency.

It’s never a bad idea to brush up on the legal aspects of your industry. Laws and regulations are often changing and, while many entrepreneurs retain attorneys to deal with the finer points, understanding the broad strokes could keep your small business from running afoul of Uncle Sam.

Whether it’s existing laws on the books or pending legislation, understanding the current landscape is key to making smart decisions. And it’s not only of federal laws that entrepreneurs should remain apprised, it’s also those at the state level.

“Year after year, small businesses say complying with government regulations is their top concern, and this year, there are sure to be many changes as a new administration takes office,” said Charley Moore, Rocket Lawyer founder and CEO. “It’s good to consult with a business attorney more than once a year rather than wait until a big issue arises. It’s better to pay a little up front than a lot down the road, especially when dealing with federal regulations.”


Read more: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10520-small-business-best-practices.html

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