Being a Prudent Business Leader

Being A Prudent Business Leader

If you’ve ever thought about quitting your job and starting your own business, money may be a major concern. When becoming self-employed, most forget about the out-of-pocket costs along with the fact that you need to focus on making a profit so you can support yourself and your family. On the plus side, when starting a business, it doesn’t have to cost you a few limbs. If you focus on setting a clear and concise budget, you can cut down the costs of launching and growing your business.

 

Go Digital and Go Paperless

Naturally, going digital with your business will allow you to go paperless too. While there are tremendous opportunities to run a digital business its remarkable how often we invite paper back into the equation.  By operating without paper and diligently keeping digital documentation, you will gain flexibility and freedom from the constraints and pitfalls of paper based solutions.

 

Designated Office Space at Home

When working from home, your couch is not a feasible office space. If you’re going to be serious about your business having an appropriate workspace is critical.  The couch isn’t going to cut it.  A desk, a designated space will go a long way towards your success.  If you have a spare room and can convert it into an office space, you may be able to write it off on your taxes.

 

Free Apps and Websites

When starting a business, you’ll eventually be faced with new expenses that include monthly subscriptions to websites with services that can help simplify your processes. Though you may have a list of your favorites that you’re happy to pay for, there are quite few ways to save here as well.

 

Organic Social Media

Yes, you could pay for advertising for your business, but you can also grow your reach by organically increasing your following on social media platforms. People will see your promotions via social media which can then increase your leads.

 

With a prudent and pragmatic approach, you’ll be able to stretch your dollars further and drive your business growth and profitability.  Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

 

Leadership Lessons from the CEO of Uber

Companies are opting for Less Drama and More Delivery

What is leadership? Such a simple question, and yet it continues to baffle the minds of some.  If you look up the term, you’ll see something along the lines of: “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.”

 

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s pushy and combative leadership style has been the focus of much news lately.  While both qualities can be credited for part of what’s driven Uber’s success, more recently they have emerged as the very attributes that are tarnishing the company’s reputation. Uber’s culture has been described has a “toe-stepping, and cut-throat meritocracy”, causing some employees to leave.

 

Entrepreneurship requires strong-headed, passionate leadership to push through the obstacles bureaucracy often stand in the way of success.  Many great leaders exude a sort of confidence bordering on arrogance — Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and others have often been cast in such a manner – but more and more in today’s era companies are opting for less drama and more delivery.  This is typically best achieved through joint efforts, inclusion and diversified thinking.  Leaders who opt for the “my way or the highway” approach often find themselves abandoned eventually.

 

In the case of Uber, the company’s response to its current crisis provides numerous leadership lessons. While it may have been forced on him, Kalanick’s decision was indicative of recognition that the current mode of operation was no longer viable.  Kalanick’s decision was one of the most mature things he has done in recent months and demonstrates he is smart enough to know when to put his ego aside and do what is best for the company.

 

All leaders need a certain amount of guile and toughness, but the recent changes at Uber offer an insightful illustration of the advantages and pitfalls of having a maverick at the helm.  Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

 

Canada Day Long Weekend – Small Business Marketing Musts

Canada 150 is an Amazing Opportunity To Create Awareness and Interest in Your Business

Canada Day is a great opportunity to connect with your patriotic spirit. It’s a chance for people to come together, unite and celebrate all that makes Canada extraordinary. It’s also a way for your businesses to serve clients and give them a reason to participate in special promotions. Often, businesses fail to connect with their audiences on a personal level, and hence, fail to get to know their potential prospects as human beings. Canada Day is the perfect way to build such relationships.  However, you must have the right approach. Otherwise, you may not get any visibility, or even worse, receive a negative response.

 

Do Something Creative

Automatically you’ll catch people’s attention with a creative design, idea or story.  Whether it’s an email, postcard or an image on social media you’re sure to establish a more personal connection. Be sure to include a greeting that’s relevant to the Canada Day spirit!

 

Go That Extra Mile

Instead of trying to push sales or sell your products/services, present your prospects and clients with something that is of value to them. Whether it is a prize, a gift, food or some sort of gift card or coupon the act of giving will go a long way!

 

Host an Event

There’s no better way to establish relationships than meeting in person. This will require time and planning on your part, and involve an early invitation. Again, relevancy is key! BBQ’s are perfect because the provide a comfortable setting to make introductions and initiate relationships.

 

Always Plan Ahead of Time

When you plan your campaigns in advance, you’re being proactive, instead of reactive. This way, you’ve integrated your Canada Day message within your campaigns. When you visualize your campaign calendar, it becomes much easier to plan for it. Not only is this helpful with saving you time, but the end recipient has a much more remarkable experience with your marketing.

 

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

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.

 

 

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. 

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