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.

 

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.

 

Make 2017 Your Best Year!

Succeed Like Never Before 

It’s the beginning of 2017 — a great time to reflect on last year and plan for the year ahead.  January is a terrific time to get a head start by really making those early days of the New Year count.  Here are some recommendations to help you increase your business success, while maintaining a work-life balance.

 

Consistent and Regular Promotion

Make the promotion of your business one of the top priorities. Usually landing at the bottom of the to-do list is the consistency and regularity of promoting your small business. To attract new customers, promotion is key. A New Year’s resolution could be to hire a marketing expert, or to take some time to create a marketing plan on your own that you’ll follow through with.

 

Learn to Delegate

You can’t do it all.  When running a small business, it’s easy to lose focus when there are so many things to be doing.  Then you’re stuck wondering why you never have enough time! It’s key delegate by assigning some tasks to others.

 

Learn from your failures

Taking review and planning is crucial to growing a healthy business. It allows you to assess what worked and what didn’t, then recalibrate and set new goals. Instead of doing it once a year or once a quarter, set aside time each week to review, adjust, and look forward.  You’ll not only be avoiding costly mistakes; you’ll be more focused and relaxed.

 

Be Realistic

Goal setting is a valuable habit, only if the goals lead to success rather than distress. Determine goals that will be achievable, rather than unrealistic pipe dreams that are too far out of reach that you’ll just be frustrated in trying to achieve them.

 

Make Time for You

Maintain a healthy work-life balance by taking time to refresh and recharge yourself! When your life is all work and no play, it’s a recipe for mental and physical disaster. If you’re having trouble finding free time block off time in your schedule to “meet with yourself” and stick to it!  By applying these New Year’s resolutions throughout the year, you’ll not only feel better but have more energy to put into your business and make it the successful business you deserve!

 

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