Are you GDPR ready?

There have been a number of articles in the business press about GDPR in recent months but, you may like us have been feeling confused as to what it is exactly and how it will effect your business.  We have therefore put together this basic guide to help make you understand the implications.

What is GDPR

General Data Protection Regulation is bringing data protection throughout the EU more or less in line with each other.  The UK’s Data Protection Act of 1998 will now be superseded by this new legislation.  If not compliant, businesses could face tough fines.

This new legislation comes into force throughout all EU member states on 25th May 2018.

How will it affect you?

Data controllers (the company or person stating how and why personal data is processed) and processors (IT firms for example, processing the actual data) now need to abide by these new rules.

Controllers will need to ensure that personal data is processed in a lawful, transparent manner and disposed of once the purpose has been fulfilled and the data no longer required.

Consent must now be given in an active manner rather than pre-ticked boxes or opt outs.  Controllers need to keep a record of how and when individuals gave consent and be aware that individuals can withdraw their consent at any time.

What constitutes personal data

  • Name, address, date of birth etc
  • IP addresses
  • Economic, cultural and mental health info

GDPRUnder the new rules:

  • People can ask at reasonable intervals to view the information stored about them
  • Individuals can request the “right to be forgotten” which means that they can demand their data to be deleted if no longer needed

How to be prepared

You will need to think about the types of information you hold on file.  Do you hold payroll information? HR information? Send out newsletters?

Once you’ve determined this you need to make an action plan to list where you hold the data, the types of data, how it is used (is it passed onto others) and when could it be disposed of.  Once you have done this, you need to action your plan.  It could be as simple as setting up a diary reminder to check through this information once a quarter/once a year or something more in depth.

Sphere Data Protection

This is such a vast subject, so this is why we are partnering with a GDPR expert.  Kim of Sphere Data Protection has produced this factsheet which should answer your initial questions in detail.  Kim would welcome an initial chat on the phone to discuss your data protection requirements and preparation so far. Sphere Data Protection have devised a series of DIY tools and support interventions for small businesses for carrying out the necessary steps and stages to GDPR compliance. 

They also offer half or full-day group training, which can be delivered to key data users within a Practice, or to multiple representatives within and across a group of companies to come together and collectively explore their GDPR requirements (this has the advantage of providing cost efficiencies for the small businesses involved and enables co-working for best practise going forward). 

You can book a call with them and also access free information about GDPR on their website

We do suggest you take this seriously otherwise you could land a fine of 20 million euros!

Our Virtual Assistant Nuria, has been very hard at work helping Kim with producing the GDPR toolkits so if you need some help implementing your GDPR processes, do email for assistance.

How to Utilise your Google Local Entry

How your Google Local entry is ranked in a search is not all about distance. Google algorithms may decide that a business further away is more likely to have what the searcher is looking for and therefore rank it higher.  Google will also consider the relevance of your listing to the search and how prominent your Google Listing is.   

With this in mind it is therefore important that you:

Enter Complete Data

Google will look at how well your listing matches what someone is searching for therefore completing all the elements of your profile will help match your listing to relevant searches.

Improve your Prominence

Google looks at how well known a business when deciding how to rank it in relevant searches, therefore well know shops and brands will appear higher in the ranking, but Google will also looks at the prominence of a business across the web such as articles, directories and links.  You can improve your online prominence by writing a blog and linking articles to other sites, and by writing guest blogs for other websites linking back to your own.  You can also make sure you are added to any relevant listing and directory sites. 

Manage your Reviews

Google also considers your reviews and positive ratings when deciding on your prominence,  so make sure you ask your customers add a review to your Google Local Entry and respond to any reviews.  You may want to read our article on how to deal with negative reviews.

Google LocalEnsure you have Verified your location

Google will send a postcard with a verification code to the address added for your business & once that card arrives you can add the code to your entry.  Verifying your business will ensure that your entry shows up on Google Searches and Google Maps.  It is simple to change the address at anytime if you move location.

Add accurate hours

Make sure you have entered your opening hours. This will make your entry complete and therefore be seen in a favourable light by Google. It will also let your customers know exactly when you are available.

Add Appealing Photos

Good images are going to add colour and story to your Google Local entry.  They will entice a customer to look further and help your Google entry rank higher.

Posting to Google Local

Posting through to your Google Local Entry lets you publish your events, products and services directly to Google Search and Maps. Posts can place your timely content in front of customers when they find your business listing on Google.

If you need help with your Google Local Entry contact for further support.

You may also wish to read the following related articles:

Google Local, Google +, Google My Business: What’s it all about?

Make sure Personal Recommendations are part of your Marketing Plan

How to Manage Your Online Reputation



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