Small Business Payroll Solutions

Payroll-Solutions

Here at Bullfrog, we are always hard at work trying come up with new products and solutions that can help you and your small business grow. With that being said, we are very excited to share with you our new Payroll Solutions – a fast and easy way to set-up your company’s payroll and payments system.

Our new Payment Solutions product provides you and your small business with a variety of solutions depending on the type of payroll service you require. From an online portal for your employees to access their payslips, to affordable benefit plans for your staff, we can provide you with the solutions you need.

Here are the Payroll Solutions now offered through Bullfrog:

 

Payroll.

Take advantage of a dedicated online portal that securely and accurately allows you to pay your staff and contractors. It’s safe and fast!

 

Business Payments.

Quickly and easily make direct electronic payments to your suppliers and vendors. It’s that simple!

 

Paychequer – Staff Hub.

Equip your staff with a self-service option that allows them to retrieve their payslips and tax forms through a secure online portal.

 

Benefits.

Obtain affordable benefit plans for you and your staff. From health to dental, we have a plan that suits your needs!

 

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss getting the right payroll solutions for your small business, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!

5 Resolutions for Your Business to Adopt in 2016

Resolutions

As we wave goodbye to 2015 and welcome 2016 with open arms, this time of year presents small business owners, such as yourself, with a great opportunity to set New Year’s resolutions for your business. What important decisions should you make to propel your business forward onto the route of success? Now is a great time to make these decisions and an action plan to support them.

Here are some potential resolutions to make in 2016 to aid in your business’ growth and success:

 

1. Review and Assess Your Brands Online Image.

Has it been many years since your company’s last website facelift and/or are your customers not interacting with your website as intended? If the answer is yes, to either of those points, you may want to refresh your brands image and/or your site to make it easier for your customers to navigate and utilize. Your website should always be updated with promotions, news, and important insights for it to reflect your current offerings and to create a great first impressions for potential new customers.

 

2. Let Go of Employee’s That Bring down You and Your Team.

Do you have an employees on your team that make team-work extremely difficult and who bring an overwhelming cloud of negativity towards the business’s environment and objectives? If yes, then it may be time to let them go. By holding on to employees that emit such a negative influence and vibe in the office, you put your business on the brink of losing extremely valuable employees who drive your businesses success.

 

3. Can Clients and Potential Customers Find Your Business Online?

Depending on the services and/or products your business sells, potential customers who may be  interested in your offerings will search for your business online to read available reviews and to just get a sense of the value that your business offers. If your company doesn’t have an online presence in this day and age, it is as if your company doesn’t exist.  Without knowing, you may be turning away many potential customers by not having an a foot in the online sphere.

 

4. Focus on Making Your Existing Customers Happy.

As a small business owner, a lot of your focus and time is placed upon ways to attract new clients and how to offer them exceptional value. While this is great, it’s very important to remember to keep your current client base happy and satisfied in order to keep retention rates high. Although you strive to make new customers happy, the benefit of having a strong group of loyal customers will help your business soar for years.

 

5. Look at Expanding Your Business.

Gaining a lot of business and ongoing success? If things are in the positive and you see potential for expansion, now would be a great time to investigate your options and see what would work best for your business to continue its growth. Whether it be an additional physical location, additional staff or even opening an online version of your store, the options are endless. Be sure to keep your target market in mind when making such important decisions.

 

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss getting the right insurance for your business or for personal risk management, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!

5 Tips: Protect Your Business & Grow Sales During the Holiday Rush

Holiday_Rush

It’s the holiday season once again and your small business is most likely knee deep in the hustle and bustle of the season. As this is a very busy time of year for small businesses in Canada, like yours, it’s important to remember some important best business practices and to be cautious while taking advantage of the holiday rush.

Here are some tips to protect your business’ bottom-line this holiday season and increase sales in the process:

 

1. Be Sure to Not Over-Order Inventory yet Have Enough to Satisfy Demand.

A good way to estimate how much inventory you will need for the holiday season is to review your sales from the previous year and look at the various products you had available for sale and examine the quantities that were purchased. This will offer you a good starting point for planning your inventory numbers and allows you to estimate sales numbers.

 

2. Prepare Your Business for an Increase in Online Sales.

Does your business run predominantly online or does your physical store location also have a web purchasing option? As more and more Canadians are turning to online stores to do the majority of their purchasing during the holiday season, it’s important to expect and prepare for an increase of sales. Whether it be having enough inventory on hand or enough staff members available for preparing orders, don’t forget about having enough essentials on hand; shipping labels, bubble wrap, and even boxes.

 

3. Be Active on Social Media and Promote Your Sales.

Utilizing your social media platforms this time of year is a great way to boost your marketing efforts and highlight any sales you may be offering. As customers or members of your online communities post and interact with you on these platforms, take it as an opportunity to boost your customer service and build loyalty with them. From quirky contests to humorous holiday images, the options for utilizing your social accounts are endless. Remember to keep things tasteful!

 

4. Keep an Eye out for Potential Fraudsters.

This is a very important area of caution to keep in mind this time of year. As your business experiences an influx of customers coming through its doors, your employees are doing their best to juggle both their usual tasks and trying to provide great customer service to everyone who comes through your business’ doors. Fraudsters take advantage of these busy and hectic situations by intentionally confusing employees at the cash register for their own gain (financially). Here are some things you might want to implement with staff members who may be managing the cash registers on their shifts:

  • If a customer is making a very large and expensive purchase on credit card and doesn’t appear to ask any questions regarding their purchase, it doesn’t hurt to ask them for ID just to verify that the name on the credit card matches the name on their ID. Be sure to match the image on the card with the individual making the purchase.
  • If a customer is asking a lot of questions and seems flustered when making a payment, be sure to focus and double check the amount of cash handed to you before you enter it into the till. The customer may claim they provided you with more cash in order to fool you into giving them more change than required. If you find yourself confused by such a situation and questioning how much money the customer actually gave you, count you’re till to be sure.

 

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss getting the right insurance for your business or for personal risk management, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!

Tips to Make Your Website More Reputable and Trustworthy

reputable_website

Consumers love the convenience of shopping online but they’re also savvier than ever before.  They are also likely to have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of websites that they can pick from to purchase their goods and/or services from. If you want consumers to purchase from your site they need to feel confident that their personal information including payment details will be secure. They need to trust in what they’re buying, what kind of quality it will be, and what the experience will be like if they have a problem along the way. Trust is important because people tend to do business with those that they know, like and trust. If someone trusts your brand, they are more likely to purchase from you.

Here are some tips to help make your website more reputable and trustworthy:

 

Build a Professional Website.

Make sure that your site is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Also, make sure that the design elements fit your dedicated target market. Audit your site regularly to update content, fix broken links, and make regular improvements.  If you have a blog, try to keep it updated with new content. If the last post on your blog was 2 years ago, people will wonder if your business is still active.

 

Tell People Who You Are and What to Expect.

Have an About Us page that gives the story of your business; remember that people like to do business with those they know and like. Have a Privacy Policy that tells people how you handle their personal information and a Return Policy so they know what to expect in the event their purchase doesn’t meet their expectations. You can implement a FAQ page for any miscellaneous info specific to your site that consumers should know.

 

Legitimate and Easy to Find Contact Details.

The Contact Us page deserves its own category because it’s very important. If consumers don’t think there are real people behind the site then they are definitely less likely to trust it. The page should display contact information including a phone number, email address, mailing address and physical address (if applicable). Don’t be afraid to get personal by listing specific contact people rather than generic contact details. Most importantly, reply to all inquiries in a timely manner. Not replying is the easiest way to an unhappy or lost customer or both.

 

Get a Trust Mark or Certified Seal.

This reassures people that your website is safe and reputable. Check out Trust Guard or the Better Business Bureau (among others) to see what you need to obtain this type of third party endorsement. You will likely have to meet some guidelines for approval, which only helps improve your site in the long run.

 

Use a Secure Checkout.

By partnering with a reputable payment vendor you will help ensure that you don’t lose a customer at the very last stage of the purchase process. PayPal is one that most consumers know and trust, but you can also do your research and pick one that you think is best for your site. Make sure to use SSL encryption to prevent unauthorized access to client information and don’t be afraid to advertise this to clients in the checkout area.

 

Include Reviews.
Post reviews and testimonials from real customers to help new customers feel more confident about their purchase. Build credibility for the reviews by including a picture and some background information on the person giving the review.

 

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss getting the right insurance for your business or for personal risk management, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!

Building Trust With Your Customers

bullfrog-blog

After spending a lot of time, effort, and money getting your new business off the ground, the next thing you’re likely to think about is how to get people to purchase your products and/or services. You can invest a lot of money into promotion and building awareness for your business; however, that doesn’t guarantee that someone will actually purchase from you or that they’ll become a loyal customer. In order to achieve a successful business, you need to establish customer trust and make them feel good about buying from you and your business.

Here are some key strategies to establish trust between your small business and your customer base:

 

Referrals & Testimonials. 
People are more likely to trust a business has been referred to them by someone else they trust. Essentially, trust builds trust. If you know that someone has had a good experience with your business, ask them to refer you to a friend in exchange for a set percentage off their next purchase. Ask for reviews in store, by email or through social media and use them in your marketing initiatives. Also, don’t be afraid of bad reviews or feedback as this gives you an opportunity to fix the situation and improve for next time.

 

Give Great & Genuine Service.
Great customer service is a no brainer, but it needs to be genuine. Be interested in your customers and ask questions. Talk to them and listen to them, don’t give a sales pitch. If you think that they would be better served somewhere else or that your product isn’t a fit for them, tell them that. They will be much more satisfied and more likely to speak highly of your business then if they purchased something insufficient for their needs. Most importantly, make sure you only make promises that you can deliver on. It’s better to exceed expectations then to fall short.

 

Be Consistent & Transparent.
Showing a customer that you will be consistent over time allows them to predict your behavior and are therefore more likely to trust you. This means consistency in customer experience, in supply and quality, and in handling issues. Tell the truth when customers ask questions about your products and services, and be clear with them about what they’re receiving. You will lose their trust if the reality of what they purchased does not live up to their expectations. Besides, we all know honesty is the best policy.

 

Get Involved.
Whether it’s a cause or a community activity, get out there and stand behind something. Getting involved in something you care about outside of your business allows people see a different side of you. It also allows them to relate to your business in a different and maybe more meaningful way, therefore building trust.

 

There are many other ways that you can build trust with potential and existing clientele, but these are some starting points. Start small and use people that you’ve already established some trust with to champion your business, whether that’s customers, employees or friends and family. The more trust you can create, the better relationships you’ll build and the more loyal customers you’ll have.

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss getting the right insurance for your business or for personal risk management, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!

Tips for Growing Your Small Business

business-growth


So you’ve finally got your small business off the ground (congratulations!) and things are positively moving ahead. The next item on your to-do list is to continue to invest in your small business to ensure its ongoing growth and success.

To help your business on its journey through the competitive marketplace, here are some tips to consider to boost your business further ahead:

 

Make Networking a Priority.

Whether it’s going to industry information sessions or introducing yourself to your fellow local businesses, make networking an integral part of your business plan. In order to grow and expand your operations, you will need to make connections. From creating awareness of what your small business offers to even creating an extension of a current offering via a corporate sponsorship, when it comes to expanding your network, the possibilities are endless.

 

Create and Maintain a Strategic Direction.

Developing a strategic plan and setting out clear objectives is key to your business’ success. Along with helping your business stay focused, a strategic plan will aid your business in finding its place within the competitive marketplace and will shed light on any changes that need to be made. As you follow through with your plan, various external and internal factors may come into play that will require you to re-assess your strategy and make adjustments. In order for your business to progress and adapt, these small changes are necessary.

 

Keep Your Website Updated.

In order for potential new customers to find your business and assess the services and/or products it offers, it is imperative that your website is kept up to date. Whether it be ensuring that your site is properly reflecting changes in your branding or promoting new product/service offerings, it is important to keep your site updated in order to keep your customer base informed.

 

Keep an Eye on the Competition.

Assessing your competition in the marketplace is very beneficial and a must when it comes to growing your business. From advertising initiatives, changes in services or products or the way in which businesses are interacting with their customers, your competition offers insight into what is working in regards to growth and what potential gaps may be presenting themselves.

 

Utilize Social Media Platforms.

Depending on what industry your small business belongs to or what products/services it offers, utilizing social media platforms can be an important tool for interacting with your customer base and developing a community following. It is important to stress that just because you create a social media account on a specific platform doesn’t mean that your business will grow ten-fold over night. Make it routine to post useful and engaging content that your customer base will find appealing and resourceful.

 

Protect Your Business.

As your small business grows, it is imperative that you ensure it is properly protected with the right insurance policy. Whether your small business is a home business consisting of two employees or a niche advertising agency consisting of 15 employees, your risks will be unique and your insurance policy should reflect that.

 

Have any questions on the information above or want to speak to one of our licensed insurance brokers about getting the right liability insurance for your small business? Give us a shout today!

Avoid the Burnout by Making Work-Life Balance a Priority

work-life-balance

As a small business owner and/or entrepreneur, you most likely find yourself working 24/7 and the idea of having a work-life balance is a mystical concept that doesn’t fit within modern day society. Although it can be difficult to implement and maintain, developing a work-life balance is possible and essential when it comes to avoiding the dreaded burnout.

It’s important to understand that everyone is different and so are our responsibilities, which is why there is no cookie cutter plan to ensuring an effective work-life balance approach and strategy . Between organizing effective growth strategies for your small business and ensuring your clients are effectively being taken care of and valued, do your best to make your personal life outside of the office a priority.

Here are some tips on how to incorporate a work-life balance into your schedule:

 

Unplug at the End of the Day.

Working 7 days a week and having your phone always within arms reach 24 hours a day will ultimately make you feel drained and pushed to your limits. Being on call 24/7 will ultimately lead to a burn out and will hinder your ability to focus 100% on your small business. Make it a priority to turn off all your devices at a specific time in the evening in order to re-energize and take a fresh approach to your tasks the following day.

 

Create a Schedule and Prioritize Items on a Daily Basis.

Whether the night before or the day of, make it an effort to put together a schedule for each day so that you can prioritize your tasks and tackle them effectively. Creating a list  will also allow you the opportunity to analyze what items are urgent, what items can be dealt with within the day, and/or what items may need further follow-up.

 

Make Time for Family and Friends.

Although this can seem impossible at times, your family and friends should always be a top priority because at the end of the day, these individuals are most likely your support system and deserve your time and attention. The key to ensuring you spend quality time with your family and friends is to pre-plan and book time off accordingly. By pre-planning, it refrains you from reverting back to the famous line of ‘If I have time after work.”

 

Delegate Work Off Your Plate.

Sometimes you have to give up the control and hand over some of your workload to your employees to handle. They are there for the common goal of seeing the business grow and succeed so let them aid in seeing those goals achieved. By trying to juggle everything at once, you risk not being able to effectively tackle tasks efficiently and with focus.

 

Invest in Your Well-being and Take Care of Your Health.

By getting a full nights rest, eating right, and making an effort to exercise when possible, you are making an investment in your health and your businesses success. By taking care of yourself, you are ensuring that you are always tackling your work as the most productive version of yourself. By investing in yourself you are investing in your business.

 

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss getting the right insurance for your business, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!

6 Tips for Taking Advantage of the Summer Slow Down

summer-small-business

Time goes by so fast! It’s now August and the summer is almost coming to an end. As your staff are finishing off their summer vacations and the business has slowed down, it’s a great time to take a breather and plan ahead for the coming months or catch up on some items.

Here are a few tips that you and your small business can implement and take advantage of before business begins to pick up again in the fall:

 

Review Invoices.

Make sure invoices are paid on time so that clients are happy and that there is no negative financial impact to your business. Instead of having only one individual who can sign off on cheques and authorize them, include another individual on this team so that there is always someone on staff with this responsibility.

 

Mid-Year Review.

The year is now halfway over and even though your fiscal year may not be in tandem with the calendar year, the summer provides an opportunity to review business objectives to see what is on track and/or what requires more attention.

 

Team Building.

As things may be slower around the office, it’s a good time to bring your staff together to discuss how they feel they can improve professionally on an individual basis, as a team and as a small business. From discussing these topics over a fun activity, perhaps trendy axe throwing competitions or even a team dinner, it allows for all staff to be open-minded and willing to offer constructive insight.

 

Online Reviews.

Potential new clients may be looking online for a company that offers the services/products that your small business provides; grab their attention, and business, by ensuring you have customer reviews available online. By having reviews and testimonials from your customers available online, whether through your business’ Google Plus page or another site such as Glassdoor, it provides potential and future clients with a window into what your business offers and how successful it is at providing it. You can request reviews from past and present clients/customers.

 

Community Involvement.

Small businesses rely on their communities, whether online or offline, to support their business endeavour and allow it to flourish. As things may have slowed down at the office or store during these summer months, it’s a great opportunity to head out to local events to spread the word on your small business. From attending street festivals and handing out information, to being a sponsor for an event that hits your target base, to even ramping up conversation on your social streams, staying connected with your community is important and will render positive results.

 

Take a Break!

With only a few weeks of summer left, treat yourself to some rest and relaxation. Although as a business owner it may be difficult to take a step back from your small business for a few days, it will give you the recharge needed to come back to work with more energy and with fresh new ideas on how to grow your small business. Avoid the burn-out!

 

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss getting the right insurance for your business, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!

Theft Protection Tips for Your Retail Business

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Retail businesses are prime targets for theft as they often have cash on hand and store valuable inventory on their premises. Here are three areas you should focus on when trying to prevent the risk of theft to your business and minimize the impact if it does happen:

 

Protect Your Premises.
Installing and using a monitored alarm system, keeping entrances secured with deadbolts, and making sure the interior and exterior of the building are well lit (especially entry points) are just a few of the ways to physically discourage potential break-ins. You should also be conscious of items in your window displays or near the windows as these may attract theft do to their easy accessibility. Be sure to remove expensive items from window displays at night as well.

 

Protect Your Cash.
Keep only a small amount of cash on the premises and post signs advising of this to deter thieves. If your cash register is visible from the outside, empty it at closing time and leave the cash drawer open. Make sure you have a good quality safe that is fireproof and anchored to the floor, and be sure to empty the safe as often as possible.

 

Protect Your Paperwork.
Whether you keep hard copies or electronic copies, all business records and personal files should be kept current and always be backed up, with copies kept off premises. This will help you assess your loss more accurately, prove your loss, and will save the headache of having to re-create these items from scratch should you lose them.

 

In addition to the items above, it’s important to make sure you have proper insurance coverage in the event that something does happen. Read your existing policy to see exactly what it covers and make sure to check for any warranties or requirements such as a monitored alarm or class II safe; failing to comply with these requirements could void your coverage. If you have questions or need help determining what coverage you require, contact one of our Bullfrog Insurance agents today.

Distracted Driving and Your Business

Distracted Driving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether it’s texting, talking on the phone or using any type of hand held technology device, you know you shouldn’t be doing it while driving. Cell phones have been proven to be one of the most common distractions for drivers in recent years and in response, all provinces in Canada have some type of legislation regarding cell phone use while driving.  If you own or operate a business where employees do deliveries or operate a vehicle for business related purposes and they cause an accident while they were using a hand held device, you could be held vicariously liable.

Protect your business with a zero tolerance policy for using hand held devices while operating a vehicle. What steps can you take to achieve this? Here are some tips:

 

Tips for creating, and enforcing, a zero tolerance policy.

  • Take the time to write up an employee policy, outlining firm conditions for phone usage while driving and related consequences for not following the conditions. Based on the laws in your jurisdiction, you might want to institute a complete ban or allow only hands free usage.

 

  • Encourage employees to ensure they have all the information they need prior to leaving for their destination, such as proper directions and not feeling pressured to answer their phone or respond to a text message immediately during the trip.

 

  • Make sure any violations are documented and dealt with accordingly in order to establish that you are serious about implementing the policy.

 

Running the day to day operations of your company is complicated enough. Manage your risk ahead of time with the steps above and protect yourself from undue stress and potential financial consequences. If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss your current policy with a broker, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for more information.

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