What Small Business Owners Need to Know about SSL & Why it Matters Now

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About SSL and Why it Matters Now

As Google steps up its efforts to ensure a “secure web” in 2017 it adds complexity to each and every business owner’s life.  It doesn’t have to give you a headache though, because I will help educate you.

Here’s the What, Why, and How that you need to know without all the confusion, hype, and misinformation that is swirling about.

What You Need to Know

I will stay as non-techie as possible here, but I want to define a few terms that you will see floating around so you know what’s what.

What is SSL?

It stands for secure socket layer.  It essentially encrypts information from Point A to Point B. It doesn’t inherently make a site more secure per se because there are many factors that make up security. For instance someone can “securely” transport malicious code across a secure connection. So if you download something malicious across a secure connection you will still have an infected computer (and spew profanities!).

What SSL does do is ensure encryption of sensitive data across the open field of the web thereby thwarting “man in the middle” attacks. No one can spy on or steal the data from here to there.

What is HTTP and HTTPS?

Both are protocols for the web. Every website you visit is using it whether you are aware of it or not. The letters stand for Hypertext Transfer Protocol.  The “S” in HTTPS stands for secure.

 Why It Matters Now

In September, 2016 Google announced that it will start explicitly labeling HTTP connections as non-secure beginning in January 2017.  In addition, Google had previously added encryption as a ranking factor for your site.

There are three reasons for this:

  • Authentication: Addresses the issue of verifying ownership of your website.
  • Data integrity: Refers to whether or not data on the site has been tampered with while in transit.
  • Encryption: Refers to security of communications between client and server to ensure that no one else can read them.

Quoting directly from Google:

Beginning in January 2017 (Chrome 56), we’ll mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.

Google Chrome Warning for HTTP Sites

Late in January there was a minor widespread panic in entrepreneurial circles on social media about this deadline.  [Read more…]

The Only 2 Ways You Can Be More Profitable

2 Ways to Increase Your Profit

Complex formulas abound on the topic of profitability and your small business.  The simple truth is there are really only 2 ways you can increase your profits.

Earn more


Spend less

(or a combination of the two for a super-duper sundae with cherry on top!)

You were expecting rocket science?

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AEP 026 -The Ten Percent Factor

The Ten Percent Factor Will Transform Your Business

Forget the quantum leap. Use the ten percent factor to create 100 degree shifts in a short period of time.

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Top 7 Posts You Liked Best in 2016

I love to reflect and review this time of year.  Taking a peek at all the blog posts written or revised in 2016 was a fun way to look back at what you – the reader – liked best.

Top 7 Blog Posts You Liked Best in 2016

Below in descending order of popularity are the blog posts you liked best as measured by sharing it with your peeps. [Read more…]

3 Things You Must Know to Price & Package Your Services Profitably

3 things you must know to price and package your services profitably

If you’re a service based small business owner, you know how valuable your time and financial resources are.  Pricing is on your mind regularly as you package new offerings, estimate potential projects, and track your financials.

Pricing is one of the few things about owning a business that can make or break you. Get it wrong and you’ll find yourself in deep waters even if the opportunity of a lifetime finds its way to you.  Remember that if you’re losing money on a small bit of business, if you suddenly get a fire hose full of business you do not make it up in volume. You simply drown faster and more dramatically.

The good news is since you’re the boss you can and will change (whether a tweak or an overhaul) your pricing to address ever-changing life, business, and market conditions.  The secret lies in a sound foundation and thought-process and regular measurement.

Here are 3 things you absolutely must know.

1 – How to calculate your hourly rate

I beg you –  Do NOT just pull a figure out of the air and run with it.  You need to understand your numbers or you will forever be winging it.

Not planning on trading time for money so you think you don’t need an hourly rate?

Even if you never-ever work hourly with clients it is imperative to know what your hourly rate is so you can price your packaged and group services profitably and have a metric against which to measure your estimates versus real-world experience.  (Has it ever taken you longer to prepare for or complete a project? I thought so…)

A thought process and calculation that takes into account time, money (including expenses and taxes), and capacity is crucial to making this work.

[Read more…]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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