How to Avoid Kissing Frogs

Sunday, 12 July 2015 17:04
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I have a confession to make: in my business, I've kissed a frog. And unlike the Katy Perry song, I really didn't like it. Unfortunately, frogs are an occupational risk in my business. Perhaps they are a risk in your job as well. If so, I have learned some practical ways to help minimize possible frog osculation. Hopefully, I can spare you as well.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

How to Avoid Kissing Frogs

Frogs, in the context of this discussion, are defined as small businesses and entrepreneurs whose value propositions are intriguing, but which lack substance. The label isn't necessarily intended to reflect their character as individuals, although it can. Rather, it refers more to the maturity and technical strength of their value proposition. I don't accept frogs as clients. You shouldn't either.

At first glance, a frog can appear to be a beautiful princess. She can be enthusiastic, energetic and have a good story to tell. So, if one is not too careful or overly discriminating, charm can be mistaken for substance. I will admit to having been duped by one particular frog several years ago. Take my word for it, once was plenty. This frog talked a great game and had me fooled. It wasn't that the frog wasn't technically astute. Quite the contrary. So, what was the rub? The frog was consistently unreliable and emotionally volatile. So, I fired my frog. To prevent this from recurring, I ask prospective clients probing questions about themselves and their value offerings. If their story lacks sufficient substance or their offering is light on compelling, concrete technical support, they're a frog. If they don't do what they promise, completely and on time, and in a professional manner, they are a frog.

A representative example: just last week, I received a contact from an enthusiastic entrepreneur with a proprietary product targeting a fairly narrow audience. He was seeking my help to shop his technology to various companies.

He has an appealing product concept that targets the needs of a relatively small, but expanding market. While his product has received testimonials from some professionals and has a reasonably sound technical rationale, his technology bundle is not sufficiently robust that I feel it would withstand the scrutiny of most corporate customers. Could it, with appropriate resources and testing? Possibly. However, at this time, this support doesn't exist. So ultimately, he's a frog (no disrespect intended). In this life, we get to decide how to spend our limited and valuable time. We can avoid spending it kissing frogs if we are sufficiently disciplined and do our due diligence.

"Connecting You With The Right Solutions" BFS Innovations, Inc.

Since 2005, BFS Innovations has helped its Fortune 500 clients with technology scouting, new business creation and development services. Contact Michael today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 614 937-2408 to discuss your company's needs.


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