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Doctor Fun is the name, and teaching is only part of the game. Debra Hansen is currently an entrepreneur as the founder and owner of Teacher’s Professional Resource. She was formerly a teacher turned corporate exec, more specifically the CFO for an international software firm. Debra found her way back into schools armed with years of high level managerial and financial experience as well as an in-depth knowledge of the school system and student learning patterns. That experience culminated into all the necessary business acumen to found her current effort.
An excerpt from the Teacher’s Professional Resource describes her as follows:
Debra is the head honcho and inspirational instigator of Teacher’s Professional Resource — the creator and heart of a fantastic company where laughter and creativity define the employees, the products, and most importantly, the boss.
Debra, even as “head honcho” is a delightfully pleasant personality. Her mission focuses on highlighting the fun in the traditionally neglected STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) for parents, students and teachers alike.
Early on, Debra discovered that using Amazon as a distributor was beneficial to her business, though it did come with somewhat of a drawback. Teacher’s Professional Resource was able to harness the benefit of a reliable and secure merchant which clients can trust. Conversely, leveraging website traffic and keeping those customers on the website through the transaction period yields a variety of benefits especially when the customer trusts the security of that transaction. The potential devastation when a client loses that trust can become significant and costly.
I was in business, in a pretty high executive level position for a long time and one of the things you know – when you first put on your baby shoes in business is that it is so much easier to keep a customer than it is to get a new customer. And when you get somebody who makes an attempt to become a new customer of yours and then that nasty red screen comes up and smacks them in the face, then you’ve really really lost. And, it’s really serious that you’ve lost them because it’s so hard to get each and everyone of them.
The Dollars Make Sense
The other piece of the Teacher’s Professional Resource business that is worth exploring is the profit margin on a direct to consumer sell versus a sell through Amazon. Amazon, of course, requires a portion of money, this could either be a flat fee or percentage depending on a few factors, with any item sold. The amount Amazon requests has gradually increased over the years which equates to Teacher’s Professional Resource receiving a smaller piece of the profit pie. The ability to sell direct to consumer, however, eliminates the additional fees and allows the business to capitalize on higher margins and experience greater profitability on in-website sales. An MBA is certainly not necessary to determine which sales process would be preferred.
The Challenge of Change
Even with the knowledge acquired in her high-level position with a software/technology firm, Debra was admittedly caught of guard by an event with her entrepreneurial venture. A big, violent, red, Google warning interrupted Debra’s workflow on one particular day and would go on to deal a sobering blow to the business. The results of the malicious hack persisted for a full week resulting in a 100% bounce rate, which in-turn resulted in 100% profit loss for that week. Not. Fun.
A proper plan and execution strategy can counteract the negative fallout of a security breach and work to reverse the damage of negative perception. Once the trust relationship with a customer is compromised by one of the various consequences of a hack, it becomes a struggle to rebuild. However, it is not impossible to re-establish the trust necessary for a client to make recurring visits to and direct purchases from your website.
In the case of Teacher’s Professional resources, Debra put on her executive management hat and decided to trust Sucuri Security as her partner rebuild those relationships.
Step one in the recovery plan was to repair the vulnerability. This can be a lengthy process; however, with Sucuri working the case, the compromise on the TeachersProfessionalResource.com site was resolved within 2.5 hours. This quick resolution allowed for an expedient recovery for the business and provide the necessary opportunities to capitalize on the fresh traffic received on the newly cleaned site.
Step two in the rebuilding strategy was the implementation of the Sucuri Web Application Firewall (WAF). This product provides a barrier that is resistant to malware and vulnerabilities and will also fortify TeachersProfessionalResource.com against future attacks. Successful implementation of the firewall will allow customers of Teacher’s Professional Resource to maintain confidence while accessing, reviewing and conducting information exchange on the site.
We had a brute force attack going on. It was ridiculous it was awful. It’s still going on-but once we got Sucuri, you cleaned up the mess for us. You told us what we needed to patch. You fixed everything up. And now-we keep getting the attack, but at least nothing is now happening.
With these solutions in place, Debra is now able to replace her executive hat with her much preferred “Dr. Fun” hat as she works to bring cool back to the classroom alongside her husband, a mechanical engineer -affectionately referred to as “Dr. Funner”.
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