Mobile Security Tips for Business

Mobile devices play important roles in all our daily lives, they’ve become a part of our everyday routine. Even thinking about going a day without using your phone you’re probably cringing. Because these useful gadgets have become so reliant, it’s opened the door of hackers and security vulnerabilities. Your cell phone might be more threatening than you think, so you need to know how to keep it secure.  

Specifically, business owners may use their phones to keep confidential information about work or clients, do transactions, send important emails or messages, the list could go on. Business owners need to be concerned about how secure their phones are.

 

Passcode Lock

No brainer. Having a passcode locks could be a specific word, a number code or probably the most secure one to have is the user’s fingerprint to unlock the device.

 

VPN

Using a Virtual Private Network can help encrypt your connection so that you’re left with no worries when going online on a public network. Without having it, your personal information could be sniffed out from someone else using the same public network.

 

Encrypt Your Storage

When you are concerned about data confidentiality, encryption comes in handy. If your phone were to be stolen or gone missing, you can be assured that a third party won’t be able to gain access to all your data and information.

  

Downloading from Trusted Sources Only

Downloading files or applications from secure and trusted sources should already be something you do, if not, you need to start.

 

Password Your Wi-Fi

By securing a strong password for your Wi-Fi network, it will protect you from attempts at gaining access to your network without permission.

 

Have a Reliable Anti-Virus Software

With virus attacks being a lot more common now than ever, mobile devices are just as prone to virus attacks. Making sure you have a good anti-virus software is a great way to stay safe.

 

Back Up Your Phone

You should be doing this on a regular basis already. At least once every week or two.

 

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

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.

 

 

Business Lessons from the Easter Bunny

Easter is just around the corner, but small businesses all over the country are hard at work making sure their customers are happy. Happy customers are the keystone of success for many businesses. Poor customer service can quickly bite you where it hurts most: your profits. The Easter Bunny has several valuable lessons about customer service that small businesses may benefit from learning.

 

Hiding “Goods” Isn’t Always Good

The Easter Bunny sneaks in and hides Easter eggs all over houses, yards, parks and other areas. While this might make for some good treasure-hunting fun, your customers will not appreciate going on a hunt to get answers about your business. You can’t hide your answers as a business. Having a well-developed knowledge base is a good start. With quality content from which to draw, your customers may be able to trust that you understand your business and can provide them with the goods and services they desire.

 

Visiting in the Night Limits Availability

Have you ever caught a glimpse of the Easter Bunny? Probably not. He only seems to visit in the middle of the night, much like Santa Claus, he’s not around when you’re awake. As a business, it’s important to be available when your customers are. If most of your business happens at night, then you need to be available at night. If your customers are working from 9-5, that’s when you need to be available.

 

A Mysterious Myth

We all know the Easter Bunny sneaks around, leaves candies and hides eggs. What else? He’s mysterious and, according to some people, a myth. This is intriguing for a figure that leaves candy for children, but no one appreciates such mysteriousness in business. People want to speak to people. Mystery makes many customers and clients feel uncomfortable. Don’t tiptoe around; be real and upfront with your customers.

 

Everyone Loves the Easter Bunny

Who doesn’t love the Easter Bunny? We’re not saying you should give out baskets of chocolates and hide eggs everywhere but going above and beyond for your customers is likely to bring you the same type of love and loyalty.

 

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

 

Business Communication Mistakes

 

Are You Making Communication Mistakes?

Communication with your customers is the key factor in determining whether they will have a positive buying experience and if they’ll come back to purchase again. Technology is a tremendous competitive weapon that small businesses can leverage.  Unfortunately, there are many common mistakes among small businesses.  Here’s how you can address a few of them:

 

Phone Communication System

Don’t get stuck with old PBX switches or just using cell phones for company business. By getting a central business number and an automated receptionist with an auto attendant menu, customers will become more comfortable with your credibility and more likely to conduct business with you.

 

Call Data

Analytics are critical for small businesses to understand their customers. By knowing who is calling, how often, and how long they are on the line, you can get significant insights into what is working and what is not working.

 

Team Collaboration

One of the most important things in a company’s productivity is how easily your team can collaborate even when they are not physically in the same place. Having a system where all your team members can collaborate on documents in a secured environment facilitates the exchange of ideas and increases efficiency.

 

Social Media Management

Being able to easily manage a company’s social media presence needs to have a strategy and process to it. Customers need to be responded to on social media, as it’s a huge form of customer and business relationship building. Instead of being only reactive on social media, content can be scheduled strategically weeks in advance using various online tools.

 

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

 

Reduce Financial Risk

Reducing Financial Risk As An Entrepreneur

There’s no doubt that starting a new business has risks. If you’re an entrepreneur considering starting a new business, you’re probably already thinking what can be done to make sure you survive the first few years? Specifically, how can you reduce any potential financial risks? Here are some things to consider:

 

Develop a Solid Business Plan

This must be the first step to help entrepreneurs reduce financial risks. Before jumping in with both feet, you should know how much time and capital you are going to be investing in your new business. Market research must be done; this gives you an idea of whether your business has a chance at success or if it may fail.

 

Keep Good Records

Establish an organized record keeping system that works from the very beginning. This can save you both time and money when it comes time to pay your bills or file taxes.

 

Limit Your Loan Amount

If you must start out with a business loan, try to make it as low as you can comfortably manage. If it is possible to fund your business without loans, that would be ideal to reduce your financial risk as much as possible.

 

Buy Insurance

Be sure to purchase insurance against the unforeseen.  Disaster, accidents, lawsuits, and any other thing you can think of that could potentially jeopardize your business. The peace of mind of knowing that you have protected your business from such risks, is well worth the money spent.

 

Save Money

When you can, save as much as you can. Build up some cushion as a “safety net” in case of a turn in the economy or other circumstances beyond your control. To do this, you may have to focus on improving your personal finances and having your own personal emergency fund before starting a business.

 

You can’t 100% guarantee that your own success will succeed, however, you can take the proper steps ahead of time to help reduce the financial risks of starting your new business, giving it a greater chance of being a success!

 

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

 

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.