Stay Fit While Running Your Business

Small business owners need to get creative when it comes to establishing times to work out and methods for staying fit. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but your business and everyone around you will thank you when you’re feeling more productive, active and excited about your company and your life.

The challenge is: how do you stay fit while running a small business?

 

Take Exercise Breaks
When you stimulate blood flow you refresh your mind by giving it oxygen and an escape from staring at a computer screen.  Every hour just stand up and stretch, go for a quick walk around the building, do some squats or jumping jacks. On a conference call, walk around rather than sit.  The key is to get up and do something!  If you pause frequently enough, you can get in a few hundred squats or jumping jacks a day!  Studies have shown that breaking up your work leads to a more productive work day. Time spent on exercise is made back in improved productivity.

 

Don’t Forget a Healthy Lunch
You’re hurting your business if you don’t refresh your mind with a nutritious lunch break.  Your body needs nutrition to function properly.  Many small business owners skip breakfast and even lunch sometimes, running mainly off coffee all day.  Doing so is a recipe for disaster.  Skipping meals makes you less healthy and leads to weight gain, since your body reads no food as a signal to store whatever calories it gets. You’ll be amazed how much more energy you can obtain from an apple, snack, salad or sandwich for lunch. Don’t skip meals!

 

Rest
Sleep is critical to your health and well being.  Entrepreneurs are the biggest violators of this because they have so much too do all the time. Get the proper amount of sleep and you’ll be sharper and more energetic.  Skimp on rest and you’ll risk high blood pressure, possible stroke and a variety of heart related issues as well. Bottom line – you’re not invincible, you need sleep!

 

By applying these healthy principles to your lifestyle, you’ll kick off 2018 with more energy to grow your business. You’ll be in better shape too!

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on productivity, marketing and risk mitigation. While you’re here, click below to get a quote!

Millennials and Small Business

Millennials at Work

Ah those tech savvy, free-spirited millennials. If you don’t have a millennial already working for you, then you probably will soon.  While generation Y, is inundated with student debt and the prospect of a recession strained economy, they are the backbone of many companies rising companies and present incredible potential for small businesses.  Millennials exhibit many traits that can be an asset to any small business plus they are attracted to many workplace features that small businesses can offer them.

 

Put Me In Coach

Millennials love to be coached. Millennials want to be guided, trained and know as much as they can about something. They’ve been receiving feedback and advice on everything they’ve been doing and have done since they could walk – the outcome is simple; they thrive on frequent communication and collaboration. A recent Microsoft survey says that 65% of millennials prefer to communicate face-to-face with their managers. This face-to-face preference and desire for personal interaction is a well liked facet of small business.

 

Customization is key

Not too surprising, millennials love customization in their personal life and workplace as well. The drive for personalization for millennials also manifests itself for their desire to use their own technology devices in the workplace. If you want to attract top talent, business owners need to think about the technology that will enable their employees to do their best work; not just get the work done. Small businesses can be a great fit for millennials as you can be agile and adjust their roles and responsibilities to suit each employee’s skills and interests.

 

Work-Life Integration

People talk about flexibility or unlimited vacation schedules, but its about much more than the sum of hours people work. Millennials want to bring their authentic selves to a workplace that reflects who they are. Today’s younger workforce has an independent mindset; they’re drawn to a company with a strong mission statement and even stronger values. Millennials gravitate to organizations that trust them to deliver – that’s where they thrive and put forth exceptional quality.  As small businesses continue to increase their hire of millennials, they will also need to adapt to the way this workforce operates in order to get the most out of them.

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

 

Simple CRM Solutions

It’s the first month of a New Year and – like many small business owners – you’re probably considering how you can make 2017 a year of explosive growth.  When it comes to growing your business one of the most important instruments is the management of your pipeline and your customer relationships.  CRM (customer relationship management) software is built for that exact purpose.  Unfortunately, despite the appeal of such technologies, the idea of implementing a CRM system can often be overwhelming for small business owners.  As well, the costs of many systems can be prohibitive.

 

Fortunately, the Bullfrog team has done some research and found ways to achieve all of this without breaking the bank or spending countless hours trying to figure it all out. Below are 3 simple CRM solutions that can help you augment the CRM capabilities of your small business.

 

 

Insightly

Used by approximately 350,000 small businesses in 100 countries, Insightly is a powerful but simple CRM solution specifically designed for small business use. You can promptly access information about a contact including their background, email history, and any specific dates you may be searching for. Offering integration with Gmail, Google Drive, Outlook, Office 365 and social media accounts, Insightly allows you to capture a screenshot of conversations with your customers. With prices ranging from $12 – $99, Insightly is easy to use, set up and navigate whether you’re a CRM novice or an expert.

 

Nimble

Just like their name states, Nimble is all about helping your small business find smart and easy ways to track and develop contacts with current and future customers. Like other CRM systems, Nimble provides all the functionality you’ll need to manage information and relationships across multiple touchpoints. Instead of searching through your contacts social media profiles, Nimble automatically identifies them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – so no more scrolling for hours. Nimble offers one plan at $25 per month per user with an unlimited number of customer contacts.

 

Zoho CRM

This CRM system gives you all the tools and applications needed to capture leads from your businesses website, tracking sales activity, managing email marketing and accessing customer information without having to scroll or manually search it. Just by dragging and dropping your customization means that you’ll be able to easily make changes which is huge if you’re not super tech savvy or don’t already have a dedicated IT employee. Zoho CRM works with Gmail, Google Docs, Contacts, Calendar and Tasks and has plans starting at $0 – $100 per user per month.

 

When used correctly a CRM system is a powerful business tool.  In just one location, you’ll be able to manage all your touchpoints with current and future customers, discover their unique preferences, and use that information to build customer loyalty and generate more business in 2017!

 

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

 

Your Business Winning Touchdown

Just because you can’t fork over $4.5 million dollars to get a 30-second ad in this year’s Super Bowl doesn’t mean you can’t piggyback on the huge popularity and the hype when the Super Bowl rolls around. Here are some ways to get your brand out them during this seasons game.

 

Offer Super Bowl-related Promotions

Come up with intriguing promotions and tie them to the big event. Restaurants and bars who want to draw in a crowd offer meal and drink specials – both in advance and on the actual game day.  The trick is to make your promotion stand out from the rest of them. Big ideas will generate free publicity and big results.  Come up with something unique and you’ll get customers talking and remembering you.

 

Use Social Media to Engage with Super Bowl Fans

Everyone knows platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even Pinterest offer limitless ways for businesses to gain exposure. Football fans across the country will be talking about what’s going on in the game using hashtags like “#Superbowl2017”.  You can capitalize on all the hype promoting game-related products and information on social media.  This will generate traffic leading up to the game and encourage people to follow your social channels.

 

Create Your Own Super Bowl Commercial

If you don’t have millions to spend on a Super Bowl ad, you can still create game-related amusing, eye-catching graphics and videos and run them on social media and your website to generate attention.  Whatever you do, make sure you’re spending your time and money on promotions that offer the best bang for buck. Even if you’re not a Super Bowl advertiser, the event is large enough to be a huge marketing opportunity any business can capitalize on!

 

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

 

Business Opportunities of Wearable Tech

Wearable technology is the next chapter in innovation and will have incredible effects on business and marketing.  When smartphones first emerged several years ago, there was without a doubt a monumental change in innovation that affected everyone.  Today life is centered around our tech devices.  While some may get irritated with how glued people can be to their tech tools there is little doubt that our lives have improved in many ways due to smart devices and the internet of things.  Wearable technology is about to create a second wave of innovation and change.

 

If you have doubts about this, consider that analysts expect wrist based devices alone to account for $14 billion in 2017 and the wearable tech industry to reach a staggering $34 Billion by 2020 [1].  With products like the Apple Watch, Google Glass and now Virtual Reality headsets, technology continues to move forward and evolve and it’s moving into the workplace as well.  Retailers are seeing wearable tech used to pay and checkout. Most iPhones now have applications like PayPal or Apple Pay, which are accessible on smart watches, making payment and checkout processes more efficient.  Wrist displays or wireless headsets are also helping workers to look up information about products without having to leave the customers side.  This all increases customer satisfaction, since they get the information they need as quickly as possible and they’re able to pay and checkout in seconds without taking out a wallet.

 

People will be safer and more informed.  SmartGlasses present tradesmen with hands-free instruction manuals or schematics, improving overall work safety and productivity. There is even a product called the SmartCap — a hat that can monitor and advise a person of his or her level of alertness. Helmets are also being manufactured with smart technology that provides a rear view, camera, Bluetooth, integration with smartphones, GPS and infrared night vision — all within the visor – to give greater safety and information to motorcyclists!

 

These all provide “touchpoint” opportunities for businesses to market their products and services to wearable tech users.  Smartphones already allow us to find information in seconds.  Wearable technology allows the user to be constantly connected and informed. With a constant stream of live data available, the marketing opportunities for businesses looking to drive sales through a growing new channel are limitless.

 

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

 

 

[1] “Wearable Tech to be worth $34 Billion by 2020”, Forbes Magazine

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.

 

Instagram – Hidden Business Opportunity?

Leverage one of social media’s fastest growing channels

Whether you’re trying to promote your brand, stay connected with the online world or trying to launch a new product or service, you need to be using social media.

 

When it comes to business, everyone thinks of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but Instagram remains a bit of an afterthought.  This leads to many  small businesses signing up, getting confused as to how to use Instagram and then giving up which is quite unfortunate given how well Instagram lends itself to image based communications and distribution across social media channels.

 

Here are 4 strategies on how to get the most out of Instagram as a small business:

 

Connect Your Company’s Social Accounts

Instagram allows you to connect your company’s social accounts. If your business already has other social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter, connect them! Write a quick and creative bio on your profile that explains what your company is all about, and by adding a clickable URL to your website in your bio it’ll draw potential new customers directly to your site!

 

Capitalize on Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads present a great opportunity for small businesses because it’s extremely affordable! Compared to LinkedIn and Google Ads, advertising on Instagram is an economical means of advertising. If you already have a Facebook Advertising account then this’ll be particularly simple because it’s all built into the same platform. How much it costs to advertise depends entirely on the amount of money you’re willing to spend.  As well, creating a custom image specifically for Instagram Ads instead of reusing the same ones you’ve used on other social platforms will generate a much better engagement.

 

Videos Are Better Than Photos

Fact:  A puppy chasing a ball on video is better than a picture of puppy with a ball.  Out of all the updates on Instagram, being able to publish videos has got to be the most beneficial for small businesses. Even though photos currently generate terrific engagement, video is on the rise and can grab the attention of consumers much quicker and keep them there longer. With Instagram Stories and live videos, the app is making a clear push toward video content and this is great because they don’t require a ton of production. You just need your phone and a creative idea!

 

Slide into Your Competitors Slipstream

Make a list of your top competitors who are active on Instagram, follow anywhere between 50-100 of their followers, you’ll gain new followers.  They’ve done the hard work of building credibility and a following – why repeat the effort?  Besides it will make for great stare downs at the next industry conference.  Beyond getting followers, you have to interact and keep them engaged with your profile. They’re already interested in your industry and they like the content you post, these are two of the most important characteristics of an engaged Instagram follower.

 

The beauty of Instagram is that it’s an openly creative platform. That said, if your business is looking to have an impact with it’s community, it’s important to leverage this app by actually being creative. Growing a dedicated Instagram won’t just happen overnight, but Instagram users love to engage and are always active. Once you get the ball rolling using these techniques, you’ll begin to realize how useful Instagram can be for your small business.  Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, sales and risk mitigation — and follow us on Instagram!