Should Your Business Worry About the Cambridge Analytica Incident?

The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has everyone talking about online privacy. How will this incident impact your business?

The recent Cambridge Analytica Facebook blowup has everyone up in a frenzy about privacy settings. Should you quit Facebook? Should you be concerned about your small business? Are you about to be part of a major hacking problem? Chances are, your small business is fine, but here are some ways to digest the whole incident.

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    Privacy updates

    Businesses and CRM programs are going to be updating their privacy settings.  Take this step with your business!  Have you received a lot of "privacy setting update" emails lately?  Businesses are taking a second look at their privacy settings. Check with any CRM programs you use to see if they are updating their terms to a stricter policy.

    Don’t quit Facebook

    Articles are being written left and right about people quitting Facebook because of Cambridge Analytica, but chances are these fans will come back or not leave at all. Facebook has updated their policies to ensure something like this never happens again. In fact, after all this Facebook will probably be the safest social media channel to leverage for your business.

    New laws will be in place

    This is just the beginning of a long list of laws that will be implemented.  Be prepared to update any digital marketing components accordingly when the new laws roll out and be sure to communicate to your customers that you've updated in accordance to the law when it happens.

    Your customers will move on

    If any of your customers are worried that the data you are collecting is going to turn into another Cambridge Analytica scandal, reassure them the steps you're taking to avoid that.  Chances are, something new will conspire in the marketing world soon and Cambridge Analytica will be old news!

    Should you worry? Not yet. This is all new and businesses are taking the appropriate steps to protect people's data. Be sure any vendors you work with are taking the correct steps and communicate with your consumers. And don't quit Facebook (yet!). It isn't going away anytime soon.

    Annie Pryatel is the owner of AMP Brand Studios. Learn more about how AMP is helping small businesses succeed by clicking here
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    Next up: Change of Perspective Can Help Solve Common Business Problems

    Change of Perspective Can Help Solve Common Business Problems

    One of the things I like most about my job as the content director here at COSE is the interaction I get on a daily basis with entrepreneurs and small business owners from across the region. It’s always fascinating to me to get the opportunity to chat with folks who can give a from-the-trenches view of the business climate of Northeast Ohio.

    One of the things I like most about my job as the content director here at COSE is the interaction I get on a daily basis with entrepreneurs and small business owners from across the region. It’s always fascinating to me to get the opportunity to chat with folks who can give a from-the-trenches view of the business climate of Northeast Ohio.

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    Invariably, these conversations will turn to the challenges these business owners face every day. This week, I had the opportunity to talk with three such small business experts and get a sense with what’s occupying their time these days. It’s remarkable how similar the challenges these business people face are. And how the solution to these issues often lies in being presented with a different angle on the problem.

    For instance, Monica Green, the CEO of So Curly, So Kinky, So Straight, The Salon, told me it’s easy for small business professionals to overlook opportunities. She pointed to herself as an example, saying that she thought the easiest path for the growth of her salon would be to expand her brand and duplicate the salon. However, after going through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, she learned there could be another way to think about growth: Generate training opportunities so that as people are moved through her training program, they can help her expand. She is in the process now of opening such a school.

    A similar sentiment was echoed by Matt Radicelli, founder/owner of Rock the House Entertainment Group, Inc. He said one of the takeaways he learned from the Goldman Sachs program is that: “Anybody that can be your competitor, can be your partner.” This new line of thinking forced in him a change in thinking and he ended up acquiring his biggest competitor.

    “Instead of worrying about watching my back for this guy who is gaining on me, I said, ‘Let’s work together. One plus one equals three,’” Radicelli said.

    Elisabeth Sapell, founder/owner of All City Candy, said the experience of sitting in a room with like-minded professionals, such as is the case with the Goldman Sachs program, is inordinately valuable.

    “It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae,” she said. “You forget to look forward.”

    Learn more about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and how it can help you learn to think differently about your business.

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    Next up: Chatting with Secretary of State Jon Husted

    Chatting with Secretary of State Jon Husted

    On May 20, approximately 15 fairly newer start-up small business owners had an opportunity to sit down with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to talk about some of the ways his office helps small businesses. Following the meeting, Steve Millard, President and Executive Director of COSE, had a discussion with Secretary Husted about the registration process for businesses in Ohio and other opportunities to connect small businesses with tools and resources.

    On May 20, approximately 15 fairly newer start-up small business owners had an opportunity to sit down with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to talk about some of the ways his office helps small businesses. Following the meeting, Steve Millard, President and Executive Director of COSE, had a discussion with Secretary Husted about the registration process for businesses in Ohio and other opportunities to connect small businesses with tools and resources.

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    Next up: Cleveland a Start-Up Model for the World

    Cleveland a Start-Up Model for the World

    Cleveland has become a start-up model the rest of the world can follow, Michael Goldberg, assistant professor of design and innovation at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, said during the keynote address of COSE’s Annual Meeting on February 24.

    Cleveland has become a start-up model the rest of the world can follow, Michael Goldberg, assistant professor of design and innovation at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, said during the keynote address of COSE’s Annual Meeting on February 24.

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    Through his massive open online course called “Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies” Goldberg has laid out the start-up lessons Cleveland has learned that more than 100,000 students in 190 countries can begin applying for themselves.

    Fifteen or so years ago, when Cleveland was coming in at the bottom of lists of the most start-up friendly cities, the emergence of such a course might  have seemed impossible. But the emergence of such things as the Ohio Third Frontier program, The Fund For Our Economic Future and others has drastically improved the start-up climate for Northeast Ohio.

    And students from around the world, from Tehran to Macedonia, have been eagerly soaking up the information, Goldberg said. “The hunger for what we are doing in Cleveland is very strong,” the former director of international business development at AOL said.

    The students of Goldberg’s global classroom aren’t the only ones interested in hearing his message. The hundreds of COSE members who attended Annual Meeting inside the Near West Theatre were as well. And they took to Twitter to share some of their own takeaways:

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    Next up: Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley Receives Small Business Advocate of the Year Award

    Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley Receives Small Business Advocate of the Year Award

    Members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and its small business division, the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), selected Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley as a recipient of the 2016 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award.

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    COSE/GCP Board member Kevin Johnson of Glenwood Management Company lauded the Council President for his foresight on issues directly impacting Cleveland’s small businesses.

    “Our members are appreciative of Council President Kelley’s leadership during a time in which Cleveland is experiencing substantial success,” Johnson said. “Thankfully, the Council President recognizes the importance of job creation and business growth and we look forward to building upon the momentum the City of Cleveland is currently experiencing.”

    The award was presented today to Council President Kelley at Speed Exterminating, a small business in Cleveland. Speed Exterminating is a family owned residential and commercial pest control company founded in 1908.

    Council President Kelley said he was appreciative of the recognition.

    “It’s an honor to receive this recognition from members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership because GCP and COSE have a long-standing tradition of fostering economic development and supporting small businesses,” Council President Kelley said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and efforts to foster new ones and strengthen and grow existing businesses only improve the City of Cleveland and the broader region.”

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    Next up: Cleveland Council Introduces Petition Transparency Proposal

    Cleveland Council Introduces Petition Transparency Proposal

    Sometimes well-intended ballot issue proposals and campaigns can severely limit the way businesses can strengthen and grow. GCP membership has expressed concerns over parts of the process in place for petitioners to place an issue on the local ballot. 

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    To help shine more transparency on Cleveland ballot issues that are brought forward, City Council introduced a proposal last week that would make it mandatory for circulators of petitions to file an itemized statement that provides more information on that individual’s petition circulation experience. The Cleveland legislation largely mirrors current Ohio Revised Code which, for example, says information should be provided that includes the time spent and salaries earned while circulating or soliciting signatures to petitions. The overall statement is to be open to public inspection for a period of one year. 

    “GCP believes the signature collection process to put an issue on the ballot requires examination to avoid the potential for costly changes to municipal ordinance or charter,” said Joe Roman president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. “This legislation is a step in the right direction; it provides the public more information and context, which the voters can ultimately use to evaluate the merits of any given issue and better understand who is behind it.”

    The realization of this issue was particularly evident last year when petition efforts (with out-of-state origins) attempted to impose a part-time workers’ mandate and a Cleveland-only minimum wage on our city. Those specific issues would have placed Cleveland at a disadvantage, hindered job creation, and the overall momentum the City of Cleveland is now experiencing.

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