Blog

01
Nov 2019
  • BY: italiancpafirms
  • TAG: Documents, Business, tax
  • 01 COMMENT

How to protect your privacy and identity online

Avoiding to exchange personal data online is almost unavoidable.

When we visit a website, make a purchase, book a hotel room, login to our email client, we share important pieces of information leaving digital traces that can be used to get our identity.

Some of us pay little or no attention at all to the data we exchange online.

A few basic precautions can help us keep our identity and details safe while we surf the web. And even if it’s impossible to be 100% safe, we can certainly limit the risks.

What precautions can we take?

Passwords – use long and complex passwords. They should include a combination of upper, lower case alphabets, numbers, special characters. Never use names, birth dates or phone numbers. It would be advisable to use different passwords for each platform you’re using, and change them every six months (especially for banks, credit cards, and email accounts).

A double factor authentication is an excellent solution to use whenever possible. It will require entering the password and another form of authentication too (for example an additional code sent to your smartphone or your email). It will make things harder for hackers.

Public wi-fi – when using a public wi-fi (airports, hotels, restaurants, etc..) it would be much better to avoid entering your credit cards details, passwords or sensitive data. Most of the public wi-fi connections are not secure, and hackers can use specific software to connect to your web traffic, detecting your data (including passwords, credit cards or bank details..). If you absolutely need to access your bank account while away from home, try to use, whenever possible, your smartphone internet connection.

Don’t forget to protect your wi-fi connection at home, modifying the password given by the provider.

Update technology – always upgrade to the most recent operating system version your devices so that security measures are always up to date.

Use the latest antivirus software. It’s critical to protect your PC from viruses and malware that aim to invade our privacy and steal our data.

Let’s use antivirus software provided by well-known and reliable companies. Pay attention to “fake” antivirus applications that send you false notifications informing that your PC safety has been compromised. Never follow their links.

Social Networks – pay attention to what you share and who you share with..

Only accept friendship requests from people you trust. Delete connections you don’t know or trust. Don’t show your sensitive data (address, telephone number, etc.). Check your privacy settings regularly.

Inbox emails – Pay attention to the links and attachments included in the emails you receive, even if the sender is someone you know. Our friend’s account might have been infected, sending out infected messages to all his contacts.

Secure websites – when we make transactions or shop online, let’s do it on secure websites. We can recognize them by their URL. At the beginning, you’ll read HTTPS. It means the website is using an SSL system, a security protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site.

If we follow these basic guidelines and using common sense, we can do a lot to protect our privacy and identity online.

We won’t be 100% safe, but we can drastically reduce the risk to be targeted by hackers.

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01
Nov 2019
  • BY: italiancpafirms
  • TAG: Documents, Business, tax
  • 01 COMMENT

6 Steps To Be Successful in International Markets

If you have been thinking about expanding your business internationally, we would like to share some important thoughts and observations to ensure a successful business internationalization.

 

  1. Approach
    It is essential to be aware that you will very likely have to adapt to a considerable number of new situations, not only from a legal and fiscal point of view, but also from a cultural one.
    Establishing business relationships with customers who live thousands of miles away and who belong to a different culture, obviously, requires education and good manners, but above all, the right communication skills and cultural awareness.
    Getting to know the habits and traditions of another country helps understand its specific needs and improves communication for either party.
    The human factor is extremely important.
    Though it is possible to rely on great online tools like emails and Skype, we strongly recommend meeting in person whenever the opportunity arises: it will strengthen mutual trust and lay the foundations for solid long-term business relationships.
    Remember that customer care plays a crucial role not only in the negotiation phase. Ensure your goods are delivered as scheduled and in perfect conditions and consider providing post-sales support.
  2. Financial Resources
    Make sure you can cover all of the costs related to entering a new market. Assess all of your available resources (human, material and financial) to budget your company’s internationalization correctly. There is no point in weakening your financial structure only to succeed in selling your products overseas.
    We encourage to postpone the project at a later time if your budget turns out to be not solid enough.
  3. Employees’ Contribution to the Project
    Unless you, as the owner, are the only one working in the company, you need the support and collaboration of all of your employees. From the production and accounting departments to sales and marketing, everyone should be aware of and share your same vision.
  4. Choose the Right Market and Strategy
    Especially if is your first internationalization process, choose a market that is easy to access, where the Government is committed to promoting international trade by offering a whole set of specific policies and where, based on your prior research, you know you will find potential clients for your products or services. Develop an export strategy which also includes joint ventures and strategic alliances.
  5. Initial Research and Location
    Do all the necessary research to understand what your potential customers’ needs are and adapt your products/services accordingly.
    Make it a priority to hire only reliable international carriers which will be responsible for your goods from collection to delivery.
    We highly recommend gathering all the relevant information about customs duties and fiscal obligations for you and your future distributors. You might find out too late this kind of costs will set your prices to be too high compared with your local competitors thus cutting you out of the market before even starting.
    It is, as well, vital to become aware of the administrative procedure to protect the intellectual property of your products or services.
  6. Pricing and Payments
    Be competitive but, at the same time, focus on quality.
    Your clients will test many other different products. Your primary goal should always be to ensure they come back and buy from you because your quality is better, not because your prices are.
    Identify with your CPA and your banking institution what payment methods would best serve all of your international transactions.
    Request for additional support with all the payment documentation and instructions your customers might need during the negotiation phase.

Considering all of these aspects thoroughly will help you create a successful strategy and see tangible results.
As always, our firm is at your disposal for further inquire about this matter. Contact us. 

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01
Nov 2019
  • BY: italiancpafirms
  • TAG: Documents, Business, tax
  • 01 COMMENT

6 False Moves to Avoid for a Successful Business Internationalization Project

Going international with your company is always a great business opportunity.
To avoid any mistake before even starting, we would recommend paying particular attention to some delicate initial steps.

It is crucial to avoid:

1. Not Having a Strategic Plan
As in any other field, improvising a business internationalization will not end up being a winning strategy.
It is essential to set specific goals and to envision a strategic planning as detailed as possible, which takes into consideration all of the possible scenarios. Evaluating risks and benefits is the only way to put in place a process in that can actually give tangible results.

2. Not Estimating a Proper Budget
Enthusiasm and motivation are vital elements, but a realistic evaluation of all of your resources (material, financial and human) is just as necessary to support, implement and manage such complex projects.

3. Not Doing Appropriate Market Research
Your products or services might be of the best possible quality, but it is pointless to only rely on that. A successful company internationalization depends on lots of other variables. Thus, some prior market research is vital, to say the least.
You may also enquire for a consultant’s support to help you analyze your countries of interest.
Investigate what your international customers’ needs are and be ready to adapt your product/service for your new buyers, if necessary.
Do not expect your potential clients to adjust to what you and your company have to offer: indeed, it will have to be exactly the opposite.

4. Not Understanding Who Your Local Distributors Are
Local distributors with whom you intend to collaborate are of primary importance.
Get to know them in person whenever the chance arises and analyze their business thoroughly as well. Including the other products they are selling: some of their brands might be your direct competitors.
Spend the necessary time evaluating this matter and make sure your contract includes a termination clause. Just in case things play out differently.

5. Not Deepening the Cultural Aspect
Running a business abroad will highly unlikely turn out to be same as your home country. Besides all the legal and fiscal aspects, take into consideration the cultural one as well.
People who will decide to buy or not from you will base their decision on how good (or bad) your first impression has been for them: from how appealing your initial communication is and how professionally you conduct a negotiation to how efficient your shipment and after-sale services are.
Should they find themselves in the position of having to choose between you and another brand, they will never buy from someone whose company’s did not serve them in the most effective way.
Make sure all of your employees and collaborators possesses the right communication skills, education, and cultural awareness to interact properly with your prospect or clients.

6. Not Considering Your Online Presence Localization
A mere translation of your website and social accounts into your target language will not be enough. Needless to say: avoid using machine translators.
That is not it though. It is necessary to localize your website content by utilizing that cultural awareness we have just mentioned.
Some methodology and processes might differ considerably in your target market. A popular payment method in your home country might not be so well-known abroad.
Negotiations and administrative requirements may follow different procedures.
Therefore, it is essential to rely on external and experienced staff who can deal with these issues.

These are some of the most common mistakes we recommend avoiding for a successful company internationalization.

Most importantly: enquiring industry experts is the most effective way to see tangible results over time.

As always, our firm is at your complete disposal, just get in touch.

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