16 December 2014

"Fighting frauds and scams" Article by Steve Marsten

Recently we have again become aware of a number of our clients and their customers who have been targeted via ‘online fraud’. This is a pertinent reminder that scams attempting to deliberately deceive you or your customers are still operating and remain effective.

We know the financial services industry has been constantly targeted over the past twelve months.

The term 'online/telecommunications fraud' refers to any type of fraud scheme that uses email, websites, chat rooms, phone or message boards to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims to conduct fraudulent transactions or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions.
You may be aware of some recent threats that include emails being sent to mobile phone devices that requested the download of a security certificate. This download installs a malicious application onto the mobile phone which can forward on personal details and SMS messages received.
Another common threat involves links within emails. Some links are not always what they seem. They can lead to websites that download unsafe software such as spyware, releasing a virus onto your system to find out your personal information.
How to protect yourself – please feel free to forward this information to your clients
1.     To check where a link will really take you, hover your mouse icon over the link. The real address should appear in the bottom left corner of your screen.
A secure website address will always:
             Begin with ‘https://’, not ‘http://’
             Display the image of a closed padlock. The location of the closed padlock is dependent on the browser, but generally is located near the URL bar. 
Please note extreme care must be taken before any personal details are provided.
2.     Always check that you’re on a secure website before making a payment
3.     Never click on any links or open any attached files in a spam email
4.     Always keep strict privacy settings on social networking sites
5.     Don’t respond to text messages or missed calls that come from numbers you don’t recognise
At Sothertons we treat personal information like diamonds. WE regularly update our system to ensure that we minimise the risk of coming under attack from outside influences. Contact us on 4972 1300 to discuss what measures you can take to minimise your risk.

10 December 2014

"What's your definition of Success?" Article by Tina Zawila

I spent this weekend at the Sunshine Coast at the Allstar Affiliate Series Finals.  The top 60 crossfit teams in the country were competing.  To qualify for this weekend's finals, every team here had to compete at an event earlier in the year, and perform better than another 40 or so teams in their state/region to qualify.  So every single one of the 360 athletes here are already winners and have tasted previous success.

However, every person at this event, now has a different definition of success.  For some, nothing short of a podium finish will meet their definition.  For others, it will be achieving a personal best, or getting their first muscle up even if their team finishes in 60th place.
So which definition is correct?   Their own!!
In business, we hear and read a lot about success, however, success is different for every business owner.  For some, it might be achieving a million dollar bottom line, for others it is simply making their very first sale.  We all want different things in life and business.  The key is to recognise and celebrate what success means to you.
Success isn't a destination.  As soon as we achieve a previous goal, we will naturally be inclined to work towards another one. 
Aim for continual improvement, celebrate your wins along the way, no matter how small, and pick yourself up after a setback. 
If you are in the game you are already a winner.
At Sothertons Gladstone, we work with business owners from all different industries of all different sizes.  Talk to us about your definition of success and let us help you set new goals.  Phone 07 4972 1300.

02 December 2014

"Sometimes our ideas don’t have to be new…… just done better!" Article by Steve Marsten

Following a short break to Florence, Italy, I had the pleasure of walking through one of the most beautiful ageless cities in the world. The preservation of the old city is amazing and the whole place should be heritage listed – if they have such a thing over there.

Following some research to identify a good restaurant, I was directed to a “small restaurant” called All’Antico Vinaio. Supposedly one of the best restaurants in Florence.
Finally I walked down a winding cobbled street and noted heaps of people eating sandwich’s (and drinking glasses of wine) in the street. A large crowd was gathered outside what seemed a “hole in the wall”. It did actually have an entrance and room for five or six people to enter and be served. The rest had to line up outside to deal with the elements. After ordering a sandwich – not really sure what I ordered as they speak Italian and I don’t! However I did understand “I maka for you a gooda food!”. That sounded good enough for me.
The sandwich was the best I have ever eaten. I went back several times because the business was extremely unique. The key things I took away were:
1.       The Staff were singing and enjoying their job. I mean really happy to be there. As a result customers were relaxed and smiling as well.

2.       They acknowledged everyone all of the time. It never stopped.

3.       They never seemed to miss an opportunity to interact no matter how busy everyone in the business was. Quickly noticing anyone serving their own wine and NOT filling the glass to the top. (Yes the wine was self serve! Very impressive.)

4.       All the food was fresh. The tapenades were fresh. For every sandwich – the salads were cut from scratch.

5.       Amazing what can be produced from a very small space;

6.       And finally the bread was baked fresh on the premises and deliver hot to the front counters every hour.
I have read they won the 2013 “best street food venue in Italy” and were attempting to win the 2014 award as well. They have my vote.  At Sothertons, we use our experience to support start up businesses especially if there is a unique angle they wish to explore. Phone us to find out more on 07 4972 1300.