Sears Canada Bankruptcy – What Happened?

 

Some people will say that Sears problem was having the perfume counter at the entrances of the stores, effectively and automatically excluding anyone sensitive to perfume as they didn’t want to walk past the fragrances to reach the rest of the merchandise.

 

However that’s not it, part of the problem is simply that Sears’ clientele is generally older and less interested in online shopping. “The reality is, when your top line falls as significantly as it has and your customer base doesn’t buy online — they are middle-aged to older, and they shop the store — as much as you try to shift channels to online, it’s just not happening,” one former executive said.

 

Centered on the hashtag “#wevechanged,” the brand launched a marketing campaign and had opened a pop-up in Toronto designed to bring attention to its new product lines, which are aimed largely at a younger demographic.

 

It should have been a simple transition from catalogue to the internet – but what happened? Sears didn’t evolve quick enough and the company got stuck in a prior decade and didn’t cater enough to the new generation of spenders. They fell behind in being modern and welcoming the Gen X and Gen Y customers, who are the main spenders these days. The window of opportunity to transition from paper to online closed quicker than they thought.

 

“Assess the potential of your company assets and pay attention to your competitors’ growth strategies.” Business owners need to stay on top of their company’s assets and keep an eye on their competition, changes in the marketplace and your consumer’s expectations. They just launched a new rewards program to boost its already prime service. Always stay up to date with retail trends whenever possible as they are always changing.

 

“Your business must be mindful of how to add value for your customers.” In comparison, a company like Amazon, has been able to provide value for customers by perfecting the challenge of online retailers, which is the supply chain. They shorten wait times and have hassle-free returns addressing the two biggest pain points of the online experience.  By doing so they have opened a new channel for external partners. Consider what kind of value can your business add.  Perhaps special services for online customers, buy online and pick up in store. Your customers will love these because it’ll make their overall experience shopping with you easier.

 

With the growth of technology over the last decade, the ability for businesses to quickly adapt and accommodate for changing customer expectations will only become more important as technology becomes more advanced.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

 

Digital Analyst

Bullfrog Insurance – Canada’s first online brokerage where you can get a quote and buy small business insurance online in 90 seconds — is looking for the best and brightest!  We are growing at a staggering pace and need ambitious, intelligent team members like you!  Are you an energetic, tech savvy individual with a background in digital marketing who enjoys innovation and looks for ways to continually improve?

Are you a self-starter, who wants to join a rapidly growing company with tremendous potential for career growth?  Are you looking for an opportunity to be part of a brilliant team driving disruptive changes in the insurance industry?  If these attributes describe you, we’d love to speak with you!

We are looking for a Digital Marketing Analyst to help us keep our online marketing precise and ensure that we remain targeted as we go into our biggest year yet!

 

Why Join Bullfrog Insurance?

Bullfrog Insurance employees get to use the latest technology, enjoy a generous salary, flex hours, have the ability to work from home and get to be part of a team that shapes the future and growth of the enterprise.  In addition we support staff members who wish to further their skills through courses and education.

 

Bullfrog Insurance is also a member of the Canadian Broker Network.  The Canadian Broker Network (CBN) is Canada’s leading network of independent insurance brokers. Together, CBN members represent more than $1 billion in property casualty premiums as well employee benefits, life and financial services with over 50 offices across Canada and more than 1,500 employees.

 

What Will You Be Doing?

We are currently cleaning up our analytics to ensure we have precision and clarity.  We need a resource to oversee, manage and deliver timely insights and recommendations.  This is a critical role so we are looking for a digital analyst who will be responsible for taking on the following:

  • Adwords PPC Opportunity / Campaign Management
  • Campaign strategy
  • Identify objectives and advise on suitable measurement strategies
  • Benchmark performance across all online channels and advising on KPIs
  • Create, manage, and optimize PPC campaigns
  • Stay up to date on current digital marketing trends and best practices
  • Reporting and Analysis
  • Analyze the effect of different online and offline channels on each other and developing and implementing innovative strategies for improvement and growth
  • Analyze online user behavior, conversion data, funnel analysis and multi-channel attribution
  • Analyze data to translate multi-channel digital marketing program (web traffic, advertising, SEM, SEO, email marketing, chat, social media etc) KPIs using analytics platforms
  • Report on key metrics, analyzing and interpreting trends and providing actionable insights based on available analytics data
  • Develop, audit and publish various tagging through the use of Google Tag Manager
  • Perform market and customer research to identify new opportunities
  • Perform ad-hoc analytics and conversion optimization and influencing conversion optimization strategies with solid analytical data
  • Analytical and technical
  • Perform comprehensive keyword and competitor research
  • Providing feedback on campaign tagging and additional on-site tracking
  • Spotting potential to implement innovative new methodologies and improve analytical procedure
  • Using available data sources to deep dive and troubleshoot campaigns and overall performance issues to propose optimization for site and campaigns
  • Collaborating with the Marketing team to enhance reporting and performance measurement and conduct detailed analysis work when required
  • Supporting and consulting to other Canadian Broker Network (CBN) members in providing insights and recommendations related to deploying and analyzing digital strategies

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience analyzing web or digital marketing metrics
  • Experience developing and managing Digital Marketing campaigns
  • Strong understanding on-page search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Google AdWords and/or Analytics Certifications for Search, Display, Mobile and Video are a plus
  • Strong analytical skills. Must be able to gather, test, analyze, summarize and present data clearly and concisely
  • Strong proficiency working with Google AdWords, Facebook Ads Manager, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, MailChimp, LiveChat and Google Tag Manager
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment with frequent changes in priorities
  • Self-motivated, creative thinker with strong problem solving skills
  • Team player willing to roll up his/her sleeves to execute against set goals
  • Meticulous attention to detail, with an overall passion for continual improvement
  • Credible and articulate, with excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Wants to get in at the start of a growing organization

 

About Bullfrog Insurance:

Based out of Mississauga Ontario, Bullfrog Insurance is a licensed Canadian brokerage launched to help small businesses by providing rich knowledge content, educating them about their insurance needs and serving those clients in a manner that is convenient and efficient.  Bullfrog Insurance allows business owners to obtain a quote and buy insurance online in 90 seconds anytime and anywhere.  Customers simply fill out a short questionnaire, obtain up to 4 quotes from reputable insurers, pay by credit card and get their insurance documents in their email instantly.  Clients get the best coverage for the best rate possible without having to spend hours searching and contacting brokers and insurers.

 


 

Things to Watch for In a Small Business Loan

 

A reliable way to get some extra capital for your business is a small business loan. Whether it’s for covering your startup costs, or it’s to fuel a new initiative, getting a small business loan is both exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s important to pay attention to the type of loan you’re getting into, if you aren’t careful, you could end up with something that’s almost impossible to pay back.

 

Interest Rates

Obviously, you want the lowest interest rate possible, but the interest rate you get will depend on a few factors. Your credit history and the terms of the loan you’re seeking to get are the main ones. If you want a lower interest rate, you may have to sacrifice some other preferences to compensate for it.

 

Terms of the Loan

If you’re thinking long-term, or if you don’t have an existing stream of revenue to help you with the monthly payments, you might consider the longest term possible, ranging many years into the future. However, do be aware that paying off your loan early can result in a prepayment penalty – so remember to pay attention to that in the conditions of the loan.

 

Expansion

If you’re looking to invest in expansion, you may me tempted to get the most amount of money you qualify for; after all, having access to more capital gives you more flexibility, and will save you time if you need to borrow more down the road. Always start by outlining the fundamental costs that you’ll need to cover for your business. Don’t just guess, do your research, talk to your peers and calculate your best guess for what these needs will cost you.

 

Financial Institution

Of course, you’ll want to go with the provider that can offer your business the best deal, but the working relationship you’ll have with the loan provider also matters. If you already have a history with one institution, it may increase your likelihood of getting a better deal with them in the future, so be sure to take that into consideration when deciding your line of credit, loans, and checking accounts.

 

After these steps, you should start meeting with different lenders in your area and see what they have to offer. Just remember to read the fine print carefully, and only move forward when you’re confident about the long-term benefits of your decision.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

 

Grenfell Tower Fire: Do You Have a Fire Safety Plan?

Make Sure You Have an Emergency Response Plan 

 

A deadly overnight fire raced through a 24-storey apartment building in London last Wednesday. While details regarding the cause of the fire are beginning to come in, it is an unfortunate reminder that a fire can break out anywhere, at any time with no warning signs.

 

When it comes to your small business, it is important to remember that it is also susceptible to fires and numerous potential hazards. Whether it is an overloaded circuit, over used and deteriorating electrical cords, heat producing equipment or electrical appliances left plugged in at the end of the day, there are a host of factors that can cause a fire in the workplace. The first step in protecting your employees from injury, and your small business from property loss, is to ensure an emergency response plan is in place.

 

Not sure where to start or what to include in your small business’ emergency response plan? Click Here or on the image below to download a basic version of an emergency response outline.

 

Emergency Response Plan Outline

Emergency-Response-Plan--Link

 

It’s important to modify and fill in the document to reflect your business and how it is conducted. As some industries may face more risks than others, there are additional sections that may need to be added to your small business’ emergency response plan.

 

In addition to your emergency response plan, the items below should also be completed/indicated and reviewed on a regular basis:

  • Exit locations are clearly marked
  • Emergency procedures should be posted on each floor
  • Review emergency procedures on a regular basis with all employees
  • Conduct fire drills on a regular basis with all employees

 

Keep in mind that all aspects of your emergency planning should take into account the type of business you run and the nature of your workplace/worksite. For example, assembly area procedures will differ between a contracting business that works on different job sites, versus a retail business where the location is constant.

As the owner/employer you should be ensuring that a properly tailored emergency response plan is in place and up to date, whether it is run by you or an appointed member of management.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation. 

Fidget Spinners – Latest Viral Product?

Can You Get Your Products To Go Viral?

If you haven’t heard of or seen someone playing with a Fidget spinner, where have you been? These small metal or plastic designs rotate around a small bearing in the middle to achieve a satisfying spin that can go on for minutes on end. They were originally positioned to help children channel their nervous energy, but then turned into the hottest new trend that has taken over the internet and playgrounds across the country.

 

We’ve all seen this before, with “Trashies” – little rubber characters that resemble garbage items with eyeballs, Shopkins – cute rubber grocery items with faces and now its Fidget spinners.  As an entrepreneur these products all raise the question of how you can you get your products to go viral as well? There are some common traits across all of these items.

 

Accessible Pricing

They are all available at an accessible price point.  Most of these products are available for under $10.  That means they are the sort of thing any retailer — whether they are WalMart, The Dollar Store or the local smoke shop — can feature by the checkout or cash register where they are unavoidable for parents hopping with kids.

 

Simple Catchy Value Proposition

People like having hobbies and like to collect things.  This is applicable to things ranging from hockey cards to antiques to vehicles.  Products such as Trashies, Shopkins and Fidget spinners offer kids a unique way to collect according to their tastes while enabling them to negotiate with their peers.  Kids love to collect and exchange all sorts of collectibles on the playground and in the classroom.  Also all of these have the common trait of being portable so you can take them anywhere as well as being uncomplicated and virtually unbreakable.

 

Easy Concept and Name

If you want your product to go viral, it should not require a PhD or a user manual for people to understand what it does.  If you can assign a catchy explanatory name to it, that is definitely a step in the right direction.  Because of their terrific names, its easy to get a sense of what a Trashy or Fidget spinner is and what it does.

 

Eventually, like most viral trends, the fidget spinner will fizzle out and be a fond memory for most.  Entrepreneurs however should learn from the success of such products and always be on the watch for the next big trend.  By grasping key of the elements of the fidget spinner sensation and incorporating them into your own business ideas or marketing strategies, you’re bound to have a viral success eventually.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Small Business Survey Favors Bullfrog

Over 80% of Small Businesses Would Buy Insurance Online

 

Earlier this year Bullfrog Insurance took the opportunity to survey thousands of small businesses to better understand how these customers perceive insurance, how knowledgeable they are about business risks and how receptive they are to the concept of a digital brokerage.  The results of this endeavour were exceptionally eye-opening.

 

Many Businesses Are At Risk

As many of our customers are first-time buyers, we had anticipated that a fair amount of the people who filled out the survey would confess to not having insurance.  We were taken aback slightly when the numbers came in however.  A disturbing 35% of small businesses who filled out the survey confirmed that they did not have insurance coverage. To put that into perspective, consider all the products and services you make contact with in a given day – now consider the idea that more than 1 in 3 of them may not have business insurance.

 

 

 

Reasons and Realities

Small business owners are busy people stretched in a thousand directions, so the idea of taking up precious time to deal with a broker and file forms during business hours is something they are inherently averse to.  This was confirmed by results that said 22% of them viewed the process of obtaining insurance as “too complicated”.  Many were also under the somewhat unfounded impression that insurance is “too costly”.  Each day clients are stunned to find out Bullfrog Insurance has General Liability policies available from as little as $350 a year.

 

 

Ready for Digital

Bullfrog Insurance specializes in selling business insurance online because we believe business owners are busy people who want to get coverage when they want, not when brokers are available.  Therefore we asked small business owners how they felt about the idea of buying insurance online.  We were pleased to find a very decisive number of respondents confirming they were willing to buy insurance online.  Over 80% of respondents confirmed they would buy insurance online. Beyond those there were 4% who confirmed they were not even aware you could buy coverage online.  What a pleasant surprise!

 

 

Conclusions

While the Bullfrog Insurance survey made it apparent that there are still a large number of business owners who do not understand or see the value of obtaining coverage to mitigate against unforeseen risks, it did confirm that the majority of business owners do appreciate the importance of insurance.  It was also clear that the industry still has a fair amount of work to do to further educate customers, reduce complexity and dispel myths about the costs of insurance and the difficulty of obtaining coverage.  Beyond this, it was encouraging to see that customers do want to have the option to shop and buy insurance online and will take steps to get coverage online whenever possible.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Small Business Call Center Technology

Call Centre Technology You Need To Stay Ahead

 

Being able to offer exceptional customer service is the primary goal for call centers, whether they are focused on inbound calls, outbound calls, SMS, chat or social interactions. Depending on organizational needs, call centers can implement an array of different technologies. These technologies can help businesses rethink the way they serve clients, so that they are providing better service and utilizing resources more effectively.

 

CTI – Computer Telephony Integration

CTI is a type of technology that enables computer and telephone systems to interact together. When agents using, CTI receive incoming calls, a screen pop up is displayed, showing the caller’s account information on the agent’s computer screen. This saves time for both parties by giving the agent the customer info they need to lead the call and solve the problem.

 

ACD – Automatic Call Distributer

This telephony system recognizes, answers and routes incoming calls to the terminal or agent that is best suited to handle the caller’s needs. Knowing where to send incoming calls before they are answered is a huge help for companies receiving a large volume of calls. It also helps meet the customer’s needs more efficiently.

 

CRM / Call Center Serving Application

CRM software gives agents all the customer info they need to solve a customer’s needs as quickly as possible. Agents can also use the servicing application to document customer interactions that can be brought up if the caller needs more help in the future. These systems enable an organization to provide insight to all customer interactions across business units.

 

Call Recording Systems

This is helpful should an agent or manager need to review what happened on a call. More advanced recording systems can record calls, as well as any other interactions associated with the call, such as emails and chat sessions. Call recording can be historical or in real-time, allowing call center supervisor to intercept an off-script or out of the norm call and provide on demand coaching.

 

Having all the technology in place, so that your businesses’ call center can run smoothly is crucial if you want to give your customers an experience worth repeating. Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

How To Avoid Summer Burnout

Summer is coming – here’s how to avoid getting “burnt out”.

 

Summers are hard for a lot of businesses. Business slows down and the calls of the beach and BBQs make it mentally difficult to stay inside and focus on growing your business. Even though you love your business and want to see it grow, you can start to feel a little burnt out and less productive than you should be. We’ve all been there! Here are some tips to help avoid that summer burnout, so you can enjoy your business and the nice weather.

 

Put more focus on the things you value: Go grab a pen and paper and write down everything that you did last week. How many times you tweeted, wrote an article, time spent on emails, etc. Then cross off everything that you did that didn’t provide value to your business. By doing that you’re likely to find that you waste a lot of hours doing work that you don’t really have to do, stuff you just picked up along the way. Use the summer months to rid yourself of these “extra: tasks to help you re-focus your effort on the things that do provide to your business.

 

Revamp your business: It’s not the amount of work that causes us to feel burnt out; it’s the type of work.  When you’re working smart and being innovative, you feel like you can go all night. Your body isn’t tired, your mind is. Take the summer to jump-start things and get a little daring. Doing so will help you come up with exciting new marketing plays for your business and it will also help you mentally reinvest in what you’re doing.

 

Re-adjust expectations: Our lives tend to get a little busier in the summer. If you’re starting to feel a little burnt out trying to squeeze in the same amount of work in a shortened amount of time, it may be time to readjust your expectations. Shorten your “To Do” list and allow yourself some extra slack. Your sanity will thank you later. So will your children.

 

Treat yourself: Put the fire back into your business by taking some time to invest in it and in yourself. The summer months are often chock-filled with networking opportunities. There’s an increased number of conferences, seminars, webinars and networking events – take advantage of them. However, you decide to do it, the best way to feel inspired is to arm yourself with new information and techniques for growing your business.

 

It’s okay to feel a little less excited about working during the summer months. However, by changing things up a bit, realigning your expectations and finding new ways to fuel your flames, you’ll find that this summer may be the most exciting one you have yet.

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Fraud Protection For Small Business

Fraud Management Tools for Every Small Business

 

If you’re a small business owner that accepts payments, both in-person and online, protecting your customer’s sensitive data is crucial. It not only saves you money from having to pay for any chargeback fees, but it also builds trust among your customers for future purchases.

 

Even if your business has never experience fraud before, it’s important to know that the threat is there. It’s better to play it safe then lose everything, check out the following fraud management tools that could help your small business.

 

Fraud.net

If your small business already has a fraud management program, this tool can work with it or as a full-service solution on its own. It’s capable of targeting fraudsters, predicting their behaviour and containing data breaches. All of which can save your business from a PR nightmare.

 

Simility

Like Fraud.net, Simility uses machine learning to discover any fraudulent behaviour before anything serious is done. The data is presented in a clear and actionable manner and is very simple to install. It can also be customized for a wide range of industries.

 

Chargeback

This tool integrates with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net and Shopify and provides insights and reports so that you can make more informed decisions. It will give you a notification when a card has been deceived so that you can take the appropriate actions, like cancelling recurring billing. Also, notifying the customers so that you can resolve any disputes before they escalate.

 

There are plenty of different methods and programs your small business can use to help prevent fraud, even though these tools can help reduce the risk of fraud, you also need to educate your team and customers to be vigilant, learn from other breaches and audit your point-of-sale-systems consistently.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Business Website Checklist

A checklist to help you build a terrific business website

 

The greatest part about being online, it that it technically never closes. With that being said, it’s definitely worth your while to build a website for your small business. If your customer can’t find what they came for or your site is too complex to navigate, you’ve just lost a customer.

 

FAQ

Your frequently asked questions page should be the one-stop shop for any potential questions. Most websites will have an FAQ section, but will often fail to provide a detailed and complete set of answers. Your goal is to get your customer’s questions answered as quickly as possible. The more detailed your FAQ section is, the less work you’ll create for your customer service department.

 

Clear Description of Product and Service Offerings

This may seem like a no-brainer. The truth is, many websites fail to provide a clear description of their products or services offered. They often focus too much on the marketing and sales jargon which may actually turn away prospective buyers. Listing out your products and services clearly will also help boost your overall SEO as well.

 

Meet the Team or About Us Page

People like to do business with people. By providing an ‘About Us’ page that will give your potential customers insight on the faces behind the business and what your purpose is. Your ‘About Us’ page should have the following:

  • How the business was formed and what guides your business philosophy.
  • What your business provides based on your customer’s needs.
  • How your business differentiates from your competition and how you plan to tackle your specific niche.
  • Who are your core team members and include a brief background.

Optimized Payments

If your small business website also serves as an online store, then it’s important that you provide your customers an optimized payment experience. Look to integrate with a payments platform that best fits your small business needs. Payment fees and pricing will vary quite a bit across providers, solely because each business has different payment needs.

Think about what’s required to attract and retain your customers. For starters, implement these four essential items if you haven’t done so already.  Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

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