Why should I think of my business as a system?

Restaurant KitchenIn his book The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber tells us that the E-Myth is responsible for the high rate of small business failure. The E-Myth, as I understand it, says that if you are a technician, if you understand the technical work of a business, then you can run a business that does that kind of technical work. To be successful, Gerber asserts, the small business owner needs to embrace the entrepreneur and manager roles in addition to the technician role.

According to Gerber, the successful entrepreneur sees the business as a system that produces good results for its customers, which leads to profits for the business. Your product is what the whole business delivers, not just the products or services that you sell. The system creates a proprietary way of doing business that differentiates your business from your competitors, and doesn’t depend on the owner.

This post is not a book review, though. The point is, if you want to be a successful business, you have to build systems that allow you to deliver consistent value to your customers. The tools we will be discussing in future posts, created by companies like Google, Podio, HootSuite, Evernote and Nimble, can be used to create systems that let you and your team reduce distractions, prioritize, delegate, and organize your work.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Wong through Creative Commons license.

Protecting Your Online Reputation (part one):

Protect your wi-fi connections

If you’re like a lot of people, you use public wi-fi service offered by locations like Panera Bread. Unfortunately, some miscreants hang around public wi-fi sites using software tools to capture your passwords and other security information. When someone else has access to your account, it’s a lot harder to protect your reputation.

The good news is, many social sites have made a change to support start-to-finish encryption of your sessions with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This keeps your important information out of the hands of people with bad intentions.

Google has implemented encryption automatically – you don’t need to make any changes. Here is Google’s explanation. Looks a bit out of date, but informative 

LinkedIn uses encryption automatically for some kinds of transmissions, and gives subscribers the option to select SSL start-to-finish. They warn us that some third-party applications may not support SSL:

The road to selecting SSL for LinkedIn is a bit long. Click on the dropdown menu next to your name, then choose ‘settings’, click the ‘account’ tab, then click ‘manage your security settings’. Finally you will see this:

Twitter reportedly made SSL their default setting in 2011, but it would be worthwhile to check your settings. Click on the drop-down menu next to the silhouette on the top menu bar and select ‘settings’. You should see this (the selection for ‘password reset’ is optional but a good choice):

Facebook – check your setting by clicking on the dropdown menu next to ‘home’, select ‘account settings’ then ‘security’, and you should see that secure browsing is enabled. If not, edit the setting.

Taking these precautions will take you a long way toward keeping the bad guys from scanning your signals for passwords. Want to learn more about protecting your online reputation? Contact Pat Huston (pat@pathuston.com), Bob Gaynor (bob@pathuston.com), or go to www.pathuston.com.