How to Introduce New Products and Services

When developing new ideas, services or products for your business, it can be hard when you have so many different ideas whirling around in your head! Introducing something new to your business is an investment – one that requires an organized plan if you want the launch to be successful.

There is always the possibility of the launch being unsuccessful, but you can minimize that potential risk by asking yourself the following questions:

 

  • Will this improve your overall current business performance?
  • Can this improve the lives of your current existing customers?
  • Does this fit your current business plan and strengths?
  • Is this going to benefit your long-term goals?

 

Host a brainstorming session with your team to develop new ideas and strategies or take the time to survey your current existing customers. Always remember to keep up with trends going on in your industry and scope out the competition.

 

Once you have your new product, service or idea – it’s time to evaluate. Be sure to take into consideration that if once this idea launches and it takes off fast, can you handle the fast growth and can you meet a sudden increased demand? If you’ve answered no to either of those questions, delay your launch date until you answer yes.

 

Test the product or service out again so that it’s continuously giving consistent results. You can work out any of the kinks later, but it must work well enough so that your customers won’t get angry. Then, it’s time to prepare for the launch. Which typically will involve conducting research on the main competitors, identifying the target market and developing your marketing strategy.

 

Think you’re done? Nope, now it’s time to PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE! Start getting people talking about your product through a rolling launch, promote sneak peaks of your product a few weeks early leading up to the launch date. If you have loyal customers, offer them an exclusive preview or test run of the product. Send out an email newsletter or post on your social media platforms about contests and giveaways to help market your product.

 

After all of this, be sure to pay attention to reviews on and offline. Figure out how your customers are using your product or service, what they like/dislike about it, any improvement areas, etc. You might be surprised by seeing a customer use the product or service differently then you had originally imagined. Embrace this and just update your marketing strategy to go with it.

 

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

Small Businesses: Avoid These Marketing Mistakes

Knowing when and how to invest in marketing for our business may be the key ingredient to your businesses’ success. Here are some common marketing mistakes that every business makes and how you can avoid them!

 

“Me” to “They”

One of the most common marketing mistakes is when business owners haven’t made the transition from “me” to “they.” Many small business owners start their businesses either because they are passionate about something or because they had a specific problem and found a solution that worked for them. You need to focus on providing products and services for your audience. So instead of thinking about what you want and what you want to promote, instead start thinking about what your audience wants and needs.

 

That’s Not Your Market

Sometimes business owners insist on going after a “broad” audience, when it’s just the wrong market. Whether they’re trying to sell equipment that’s worth thousands of dollars and going after clients that don’t have that kind of budget, or they’ve created something that would work with one type of market but insist on trying to sell to another as well. Business owners need to align their intentions and marketing with the correct marketing approach. Or else they’re going to keep spinning their wheels and losing money.

 

Putting Money Where They Shouldn’t

It’s no secret, a lot of marketing takes money, therefore it’s in your best interest to determine when to spend it and to make sure it’s on the right things. Whether you’re spending money on things you aren’t ready for yet or spending money without knowing how to properly measure the ROI. Instead, maybe spend those dollars on classes that can teach you things like how to use a website for sales and marketing.

 

Not Spending Money at All

Trying not to spend money on a business is a huge mistake. It can be scary to invest money yes, but you need to do it. There’s no way around this. Investing money isn’t the problem, investing in the wrong things is.

 

Even though there are plenty other marketing mistakes and there common, they are also avoidable.

 

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

 

 

Is Your Business’s Online Security at Risk?

One of your main priorities as a business owner needs to be your online security. If you don’t believe that your business could be a target for cyber-crime or cyber-attacks, think again. Statistics show 43% of cyber-attacks are focused on small businesses.*  Your business could lose assets, private information, lose revenue and develop an untrustworthy reputation – or you could go out of business. Knowing how you may be putting your business at risk could potentially save everything. But where should you start?

 

Employees

If you have careless or uninformed employees, this could be the main cause of security incidents or data breaches. Making sure that all of your employees, including yourself, are educated and trained on cybersecurity and cyber-attack basics. Closely monitor, control and manage all privileged credentials to stop any exploitation from happening. If an employee is let go, be sure that you terminate their accounts so they can no longer access inside your business networks.

 

Electronic Invoices

If you email your clients invoices, a hacker could easily intercept that email and alter the information so that instead of you being paid, the money is deposited into their account. So before sending an invoice, be sure to confirm that the client is legit and that you aren’t being scammed.  The security measures you take when sending information via email should be two-factor authentication and encryptions.

 

Personal vs. Work

Always remember to keep your personal devices and your work devices separate. Make sure you have dedicated accounts for your email and social media platforms for both professional and personal. If you keep private work information on your personal device and accidentally leave it somewhere, that data is now in jeopardy.

 

Third Party’s

Before you work with any third party provider, do your research and confirm that they’re reputable and know what they’re doing.  Verify that they use the best security practices and that they require unique credentials for each and every user.

 

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

 

 * “43% of Cyber Attacks Target Small Business”

Accounting Tips Business Owners Should Know

Accounting is often overlooked. Even if finance isn’t your strong suit, it’s absolutely necessary that you have basic accounting knowledge down pact so that you can keep your small business afloat when times get tough.  Starting a business requires diligence.

 

Payment Rewards and Incentives

Online and in-store payments be sure to mark-up your products slightly above your ideal margins so that you are able to offer discounts. Your customers will love getting more bang for their buck that way! When sending invoices to your clients, whether it’s digitally or on paper, you should offer some sort of incentive if they pay early. As long as you’re strategic with your incentives and discounts, it will surely boost your income margin rather than lose it.

 

Cash Reserve

Always have a contingency plan. A suggestion would be to have at least 4-6 months of runway cash on hands at all times. Every quarter you should be checking your reserves so that you know you can keep going for 6 more months. If you aren’t already doing this, I suggest you start now.

 

Delegate

Some business owners just aren’t meant to handle their own accounting. That still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know the basics, but it may be best for both you and your business to hire or delegate this task to someone to handle your everyday finances.

 

Options

In almost every start-up life cycle, you’ll need to raise money some how and timing is everything. But when is the time right? Instead of looking angel investors or tradition venture capital that could take months, explore financing options. Always explore every option possible and do your research so your business never becomes stagnant.

 

As a small business owner, you carry the weight of your entire business on your shoulders. Your businesses financial health and stability is one of the main factors. Use these tips to better position you and your business for the path of success.

 

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

Generation Z: Why Businesses Need to Adapt to Them

As the Millennial’s are approaching towards middle age and obsolescence, but businesses need to make way for Generation Z. Understanding this generation will be critical to companies wanting to succeed in the next decade and beyond, because by the year 2020, Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers.

 

This generation has grown up in a world where their options are limitless but their time is not. Making them learn to adapt and quickly sort through and assess large amounts of information. By doing research and heavily relying on trusted curators and trending pages within apps, this allows them to shrink their potential option set down to a more manageable size. Once something has demonstrated attention-worthiness, they can become intensely committed and focused.

 

Generation Z has a very carefully tuned mind for being sold to and a limited amount of time and energy to spend assessing whether something’s worth their time or not. Once your business has made it past these filters and you’ve won their attention, it will mean you’ve provided them with engaging and immediately beneficial experiences.

 

Older generations will forever struggle to understand why Generation Z – and some Millennials – spend so much time online. But they are under immense pressure to simultaneously manage both their professional and personal brands to help them fit in while also standing out. They need social media to build their personal brands but must resist being defined by it. They seek social validation and inclusion but are looking to differentiate themselves professionally. Businesses and companies who understand this, will be able to provide Generation Z with the proper tools they need to reconcile and better manage their personal and professional brands.

 

Society and other generations seem to either romanticize youth or criticize the things they’re doing differently. But the reality of Generation Z is somewhere in between that. They’re going through many of the same challenges that everyone faces in that stage of life, but they’re doing it in a very ultra-connected, fast-paced technological age. Companies need to meet them in the middle and where they are, rather than try a change them to where they want them to be.

 

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

A Better Marketing Plan Can Increase Your Profits

If you’re a small business owner, then you already know that you have to fight daily to get your business message out and across to consumers. Some suggest that to increase profit you just need a better marketing plan, well that’s easier said than done. You know you must reach new people outside of your initial circle for your business to grow and succeed. But what’s the best marketing plan that will help you get paid better and faster?

 

With there being more content than ever before now, and multiple ways to consume products – it can be cutthroat sometimes. A marketing plan is non-optional; you need to cut through all the noise and get your business in front of your ideal customer. If you have a clear, thought out plan and have done your research then your business will grow. Growth means more profit.

 

Create a Plan

Once you know which direction you want your business to go in, you need to create a clear and concise plan. Find time in your day to sit down and map out a business plan for the next 5 years, and break down each year with specific goals such as; income, growth, target markets/demographics, different paths, the list goes on. Once you have these questions answered, it will make it much easier for you to begin to lay out a marketing plan for your business.

 

Know Your Target Market

If you don’t know your markets, you’re going to have a problem. Your businesses success will take hard work, and it starts by doing your research. Whether you’re selling yourself, your services or a physical product, you need to know why people are going to want to buy it from you. Ask yourself, what makes you stand out over your competitors?

 

Do Your Research

Turning all your planning and research into a business that regularly gets paid more than you’re making now, you need to start by focusing on your businesses current income. The first step to increasing your income is by increasing your customer base, from there you’ll reach the next income level, and so on and so forth.

 

Easy Payment System

If you have an easy to use payment system, it’ll make it easier for your customers to give you their money – you won’t want to make that one hard or they may not have the patience and go elsewhere.

 

Set up a proper marketing plan, make it clear and concise, do your research and watch your business grow.

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

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.

Shop Insurance And Save

Shop Like A Pro and Save Big!

Many business owners need to insurance their business vehicle, but often find it difficult to understand what the options are. Multiple car insurance companies may be vying for business in your area, including nationwide players and local insurers. Each of them offers an eye-glazing variety of policy options, making it hard to compare policies and figure out what is the best and cheapest option. The cost of an auto insurance premium can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the type of car you own and who insures it. Nevertheless, if you know how to shop for insurance you can save a ton by comparing your options.  Here are some great tips which may get you big savings.

 

Do Your Research and Compare

When shopping around for car insurance, it’s important to make sure that you are comparing like-for-like coverage. Some policies may seem cheaper, but you may find you don’t have the same level of coverage when you must make a claim. By using an online comparison service to do the work for you, you can alter the excess that you are willing to pay and the mileage you will drive and get new quotes to choose from.

 

Don’t Put the Whole Family on Your Policy

Make sure that only regular drivers are named on the policy. You can always add someone for a few days when they need to drive the car.

 

Maintain a Good Credit History

By establishing a good credit history, it’ll open many benefits for you, including lower insurance costs. Most insurers use credit information to price auto insurance policies. To be sure you’re getting the good credit you deserve, it’s a good idea to check your credit score/record often to be sure all information is accurate and up-to-date.

 

Low Mileage Discounts

Some insurers offer discounts to people who drive less than the average number of miles per year. Low mileage discounts can also apply to those drivers who car pool to and from work.

 

Other Discounts

Insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who haven’t had any accidents or moving violations, drive few miles, have taken a defensive driving course.

 

The final point to keep in mind that is very important to saving money when looking for auto insurance is not always getting the best discount, but the best final price. 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.

 

 

Page 1 of 41234