5 Reasons You Need To Back Up Your Computer – And How To Do It

By Chubb.com 

These days, so much of our lives are on our computers – term papers, tax documents, family photos, favorite songs. That can leave a lot of information at risk, unless you take the time to back it up on another device or service. Don’t think you need to bother? Below are 5 scenarios that could happen to your computer and very real reasons to back up the data on your computer:

Your computer could:

  1. Get stolen
  2. Be destroyed or damaged in a fire
  3. Get damaged by water
  4. Fail, due to a virus or other reason
  5. Experience “human error” – you accidentally trash important information 

Regardless of which issue you face, your data and information would be gone, unless you had backed it up. Two of the most common methods of backing up a computer are using a cloud backup service or an external hard drive. You may want to use one or both to make sure your information is available, no matter what.

How to use a cloud backup service

Even though cloud storage services are still relatively new, many people like the access and security they provide. Cloud storage allows you to easily transfer files from your computer to a web-based service, which stores them on an off-site database. These services use encryption and authentication to keep your data safe and secure.

Examples of cloud data storage services: Google DriveDropboxiCloud and Microsoft OneDrive

How to use a hard drive to back up your data

You can purchase a hard drive at most retailers. They are typically small, self-contained storage units. Some come with extra protection features such as a fireproof or waterproof casing and offer a variety of quality options. By connecting it to your computer, you can easily transfer data using either Mac OS X or Windows, on a daily, weekly, monthly or random basis.

Examples of brands: Seagate, Western Digital, LaCie, CalDigit, Toshiba

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Women Start Nearly 2,000 Businesses A Day

Betsey Guzior, Bizwomen engagement editor

3 steps for Hispanic women to navigate corporate America
Monkey Business Images                                                                                           Women are starting businesses at fast pace, according to the latest report from American Express.

Women started new businesses at the rate of 1,821 a day between 2017 and 2018, according to new research from American Express.

In its eighth annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, American Express found that women-owned businesses now employ 9.2 million people and generate $1.8 trillion in revenue.

The pace of business creation in the last year is the fastest since 2002, according to the report. Between the years of 2002 and 2007, the average number of new women-owned business started each day was 714.

Businesses started by women that generated revenues of more than $1 million a year increased 46 percent in the last 11 years, compared to a 12 percent increase for all businesses, per AMEX

“This new data demonstrates not only the remarkable impact women entrepreneurs have on our economy when it comes to creating jobs and generating revenue, but also the growing role of women-owned businesses in our communities,” said Julie Tomich, SVP, American Express Global Commercial Services.

Read more here.

SEP IRA Or 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan Which Should You Choose?

By Sheree Tallerman, CEO PlanPerfect, Inc.

The Simplified Employee Pension Plan (“SEP”) IRA and the 401k Profit Sharing Plan (401k PS) are two of the most common retirement plans for successful small businesses and self-employed individuals, since they offer high contribution limits and flexible annual contributions. But which is right for you—the SEP or 401k PS? That depends on how much you want to shelter on a tax-deductible basis for retirement each year.

Simply put: the 401k PS allows greater retirement contributions, but it usually involves greater administrative responsibilities and higher fees than a SEP. The SEP is easier to set up and more flexible.

Features of a SEP

The SEP is a great choice for self-employed people and small businesses who want to contribute up to 25% of their W-2 earnings or 20% of net income up to the contribution limit.

This type of plan also has the optional flexibility to allow you to convert to a regular Roth immediately or anytime in the future. Here are some additional features of a SEP plan:

  1. Part-time employees must be included
  2. All employer contributions are 100% vested immediately
  3. Assets are not protected from creditors
  4. Loans are not allowed
  5. Employer contributions only

Features of a 401k Profit Sharing Plan

A 401k PS plan offers four primary advantages over the SEP:

  1. Employees who work less than 500 hours can be excluded
  2. You can set up a six-year vesting schedule e.g: 0-20%-40%-60%-80%-100%
  3. Assets are protected from creditors
  4. Loans are permitted up to 50% of the total 401k PS value with a $50,000 maximum
  5. Potentially greater retirement contributions at the same income level

Contributions are flexible for either program. You can make them in some years and not in others.

The term “Profit Sharing” is actually a misnomer. It is not based on profit but on compensation (salary). In fact, you can have a net loss on the corporation and still make profit sharing contributions.

Example:

Owner pays themselves $125,000 salary

The contribution to a SEP:

25% of $125,000 = $31,250 (paid by corporation)

Total contribution: $31,250

The contribution to a 401k Profit Sharing Plan:

Profit Sharing: 25% of $125,000 = $31,250

Salary Deferral 401k: $18,500 (through payroll deduction)

Total contribution = $49,750*

*If you are over 50, you can contribute an additional $6,000 for a total of $55,750

Conclusion…

 If you value the loan feature, creditor protection and/or want to maximize your retirement contributions, you should consider a 401k PS. If not, the simplicity of a SEP IRA makes it the better choice.

Data Quality: The Core of Strong Analytics

By: Joyce Durst, WPO Member

On the GAP blog, we cover a lot of topics related to big data, machine learning, and analytics.

But there’s an underlying assumption we make when talking about these topics: that your data is important.  It is the lifeblood of your company, so data quality matters.

In this blog post, we explore the importance of data quality. We look at why you should pay attention to the quality of your data, the attributes of having good data and some steps that will help ensure you attain high levels of data quality.

The Data Economy

Some of the most valuable companies in the world today such as Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, sell vastly different types of products and services, but they do all have one very interesting thing in common – they convince users to part with their data in exchange for free services.

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More than ever, the quantity of data being generated each second in the enterprise is a driving force for businesses that want to unearth market insights in order to gain a competitive edge. Additionally, the exponential growth of user-generated content, such as social media, encourages this push even more forcefully.

Read more here.

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Why The World Bank Is Investing In Women

By: 

The World Bank has put its money where women-led businesses are – and a year into the investment, it says it’s seeing promising growth.

Priya Basu, head of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, touted the strength of the program in the latest episode of the Women Rule podcast.

“It’s been very challenging in some ways to work with so many stakeholders,” Basu said of We-Fi, the World Bank “start-up” that provides loans, mentorship and other services to women-owned businesses in developing countries. But, she noted, “a very welcome surprise has been that there’s so much commitment around everyone to sort of make this a success.”

According to Basu, We-Fi has already overshot its lifetime goal, which aimed to get a billion dollars in to the hands of women-led businesses by the year 2022.

“For the $120 million that we allocated” this year, she said, “we were able to mobilize an additional $1.6 billion,” with those extra funds coming from the private sector and other sources.

In April, We-Fi announced its first funding allocations for projects around the world, including initiatives to improve the business environment for women in some of the poorest conflict-affected regions in Sri Lanka and to grow already-successful projects promoting women-led businesses in Yemen, Mali and Nigeria.

Click here to read more.

How I Turned a Crisis Into a Brand-Defining Moment

By Sarah LaFleur, Guest Writer for Entrepreneur.com

I thought I had the perfect product — but no one was buying. 

In 2011, I left my private equity job to start my own company, with the goal of making it easier for professional women to shop and dress for work. I knew that getting the business off the ground would require hard work, but I (naively) assumed it would be straightforward. Having seen the success of other hot direct-to-consumer startups, I thought that if I followed their formula of making beautiful products, pricing them reasonably and selling them through an ecommerce site, we would see instant success. I was wrong.

When we launched our website in 2013, we excitedly waited for the orders to roll in. Instead — crickets. We didn’t see any traction: No one was visiting our site, and we didn’t have a marketing budget, so acquiring customers was difficult. I realized then that other ecommerce models weren’t particularly relevant for us. We needed to go back to the drawing board when it came to how we were selling our product.

About a year after launching our site, our sales were still lagging. One day, I walked into our inventory room, and saw that it was packed with product we were struggling to sell. I thought, We are going to die under a mountain of dresses.

In an act of desperation, my six-person team and I decided to be more proactive about getting women to give us a try. We emailed our customer list, saying, “Can we send you a box of styles, and you can keep the ones you like and return the ones you don’t? You don’t have to pay anything up front.” A surprising percentage of customers responded “yes” to that email, and we made more money in that one week than we ever had in one month.

Read the full article at Entrepreneur.com

The Top 10 Exit Planning Mistakes Business Owners Make

By Jana Shoulders

Managing Director, Mariner Wealth Advisors
Member, Women Presidents’ Organization

  

Many business owners delay exit planning to manage their busy schedules or to avoid the negative emotions associated with retirement. Owners who don’t plan properly often make the same common mistakes when they eventually exit their companies. Below are the top ten mistakes business owners make in exit planning.

1. Waiting to plan until you must sell

Many small- to mid-sized business owners fail to consider exit planning when things are going well for the company. Planning far in advance allows you to articulate your goals, prepare your business for sale, and seek the best possible liquidity event.

2. Waiting for a deal to come to you, rather than proactively seeking the deal you want

Waiting for the perfect deal is like trying to win the lottery. You might get lucky, but it’s not likely. There is an exit opportunity out there that matches your objectives, but finding it will require a lot of time and effort. Unless you take the time to develop and implement an exit plan, it’s unlikely you’ll ever find that deal.

3. Failing to consider all liquidity options

Many business owners believe an outright sale of the company is their only exit option, but an ultimate liquidity event can take many forms, including:

  • Management buy-out
  • Initial public offering
  • Sale to a financial buyer
  • Recapitalization
  • Sale to a strategic buyer
  • Intra-family sale
  • Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)
  • Continue to generate dividends

Read more here