When Business Is Slow

 

Anyone who runs a business knows that there will inevitably be slowdowns that occur from time to time.  Whether it’s a seasonal slowdown or an overall economic decline: sometimes customers disappear, sales go down, and overall business drops. Don’t panic, it may be a blessing in disguise. It’s the perfect time to evaluate what’s working for your business and what isn’t. There are 3 key areas business owners should focus on when business slows down:

 

Networking

These events are often a great source for sales opportunities and you just never know what kind of relationships you can form with other like-minded people. While networking may not be what you want to do when you’re already stressed over business being slow, these events may be a great opportunity.  It’s not difficult, it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there, you never know who you might meet.

 

Marketing

This should always be high up on your priority list. Marketing doesn’t only keep your business visible to your consumers, but it forces you to constantly think about the benefits and positives associated with your business; something that can help any business owner through tough times!  It may not be possible at the time to allocate large funds to marketing, but there are always inexpensive and creative ways to stay in touch with your audience.

 

Social Media

This is the most inexpensive way to connect with a much larger audience than would normally be available through traditional media. Just like marketing and networking, social media is an excellent area to focus your attention. It’s all about engagement and content. Customers today want an interactive experience with the brands they’re supporting, by giving them unique and informative content; you can turn shoppers into loyal customers.

 

There are multiple things that you can do when business is slow to help raise brand awareness and keep your consumers engaged. These will ensure that when consumers are once again ready to part with their hard earned dollars, your business will be first in mind.

 

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

 

Tax Refund Opportunities

 

Tax Season Opportunities

Tax season is upon us and if your business played its cards right throughout the year you may have a big refund coming your way. Rather than waste it on short-term fun, think about how you can invest back into your business for a long-term gain. Here are a few ideas on how to use the money to benefit your business:

 

Improve Your Website

This is generally your first impression to consumers, if you’re trying to run a successful business, you need a website that looks the part. Think about your number one goal when someone lands on your website, then design your site’s user experience around that goal.

 

Attend a Conference

Conferences are a huge opportunity.  They can be pivotal to any business — especially entrepreneurs.  Hanging out with people in the same industry can be a big boon to your mental state, plus you can learn a lot to improve your business at the same time.

 

Upgrade Your Branding

Make your brand stand out.  First impressions mean a lot and research shows people derive an impression of you in as little as 1/10th of a second!  If you have never put thought into your branding, consider investing in a new logo design or branding package that you can use on your website, social media, business cards, and anywhere else you are working to get the word out.

 

Outsource Bottleneck Tasks

Are you a bottleneck?  If so, you’re probably causing inefficiencies and costing your business money.  It is important to recognize this and alleviate it. Create processes to improve your productivity, and outsource the where possible. There are many sites that can quickly send projects to remote workers, like UpWork and Freelancer.com.

 

You may be tempted to spend that refund on new shoes, a vacation, or something else but take a moment to consider how you can leverage those dollars to earn even more down the road. You only get a tax refund once a year so be sure to use it wisely!

 

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

 

St. Patrick’s Day 2017

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on March 17th, honoring the Irish patron saint, St. Patrick. This holiday was first celebrated in American in 1737, organized by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, including a feast and religious service. It is largely Irish culture themed and typically consists of wearing the colour green, big parades and of course, drinking green beer. Churches may also sometimes hold religious services.

 

All over the world people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially places with large Irish-American communities. Parades and wearing green have always been a traditional part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but if you’re looking to attend the biggest events on this day, these are the places you’ll want to be: Boston, New York, Scranton, Chicago, New Orleans and of course Ireland.

 

There are many legends associated with St. Patrick. The symbol of the shamrock (no, not the shamrock shake at McDonalds) comes from the story of St. Patrick using the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant coincided with the Pagen religion’s sanctity of the number 3 and is the root of the green color theme.

 

Feasting on the day features traditional Irish food, which can include corned beef, corned cabbage, coffee, soda bread, potatoes, and shepherd’s pie! But the Irish themed breakfast is the best part, sausage, black and white pudding, fried eggs, and fried tomatoes.  So today is the day everyone, put on your green t-shirt and go out and celebrate responsibly!

 

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

 

Quick Tips For Starting A Business


What is the most important technique or approach most small business owners use for success? There isn’t one! There are some essential key skills that go into building almost every successful business however.  Here are just a few

 

You Don’t Know What People Can Do, Till You Let Them Try
Empowerment is the key to running a successful business
. Whatever your business, you need to find ways to empower yourself and your team.  Make sure you are as informed as possible when making decisions and delegate to your team — groom them and grow them.  You’ll appreciate the extra seconds and they’ll appreciate the experience and career growth.

 

YOU Own Marketing
Remember – it’s your business.  It’s all too easy and tempting to outsource marketing to an agency, but never forget who owns marketing.  No one knows your value proposition or brand better than you, so nobody is in a better position to channel that and tell your story in a clear and vibrant manner.  Marketing can be a lot of fun, but effective marketing requires a deep understanding of the customer and the most effective tactics.

 

Have A Mobile Strategy
In 2017, having a mobile strategy is not optional. From having a mobile friendly-site to having a mobile app, it is key to always consider how you can make it easier for customers to be made aware of you and access you from a smartphone or tablet.

 

Plan the Work & Work the Plan
Deadlines are essential for businesses to function properly.
You can’t expect your business to grow if you haven’t figured out a RoadMap for at least 3 – 5 years.  It’s like heading out to the airport for a vacation without a planned destination.  Help your team stay on track with deadlines by setting up tasks, tracking progress and measuring against plan.

 

Get Some Perspective

Challenges and dilemmas are going to be a part of running any small business. With some networking however you will often find you are not alone.  Participating in CEO or Entrepreneur peer groups is a great way to get some mentorship and occasionally some comforting perspective – regardless of how tough the day has been, the sun will rise tomorrow!

 

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

 

Women’s Day 2017

 

Today is International Women’s Day! This global celebration of women began more than 100 years ago, per the United Nations. It started to build support for the women’s rights movements in the early 1900s. It played a part in women gaining the right to vote, and as you may know, it continues to support women in political and economic endeavors today.

 

So, what can you do to show your support for other women, as the UN says, “without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political’? So much!

 

Hang with The Girls

It’s Wednesday, a.k.a a perfect day for a happy hour with your girlfriends. Get together and talk about all your amazing accomplishments in all areas of your life. That’s what today is all about.

 

Donate

It can be easy to feel like we don’t make a difference or aren’t being heard. But donating to organizations that can put your dollars to good use is a great way to get involved and make your mark.

 

Take Action

When was the last time you called your government representatives and told them how much women’s rights matter to you? Today is a great day to tell someone in a position of authority how much you care. No time to call? Emails are good, too!

 

Be the Change

All you have to do all day to celebrate women is to be the amazing woman you are. By simply being yourself, getting through your surely crazy day, appreciating the challenges you have overcome as well as those other amazing women have overcome, you are celebrating in the best way possible. Show your support however you want on the outside, but don’t forget to show your support on the inside, too. Take time to appreciate yourself. And take time to appreciate the women who have come before us and how far we’ve all come as a group. Because that’s what we are — a group. We’re all in this together.

 

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

 

Business Skills for The Digital Age


In 2017 it’s essential for entrepreneurs to have technical knowledge and skills as well.  At times it can be a bit intimidating, but the great thing about these times is that there is an abundance of information and assistance available at your finger tips.  Here are just a few examples:

 

Project Management

While project management still requires you to oversee and manage activities, there are numerous online apps and programs available to help you manage projects.  Many offer free trial copies of their software.  Often simply testing them out is the best method to find which one works best for you.

 

Social Media

Every business needs to have social media accounts because it helps you grow your business reach to an audience that wouldn’t have known you otherwise. You don’t have to be knowledgeable about every platform, but it is helpful to at least have an account and presence with the major ones. Find where your target audience is, and build your accounts on the site they are using.

 

Website Development

You don’t have to be a programmer or know how to write HTML or JavaScript. However, you should know how to put a basic website together, even if it’s as simple as a drag-and-drop template. Having a website shows you are serious about your business in the digital world. The potential possibilities are endless.

 

Email Marketing

Keeping your audience coming back is important as a business owner. Having email marketing skills means that you’ll have a platform you can use to connect with your readers or customers and tell them about your sales, news, and updates. Platforms such MailChimp and Constant Contact are excellent tools to help you manage email subscribers and your campaigns.

 

Ultimately, it’s important to continuously learn new skills as a business owner, and setting a goal every few months to learn a new skill and grow your business can help keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

 

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

 

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