Tuesday, November 16, 2021

How to Flourish: Focus on Personal Growth

We don’t always talk about personal growth, but it should be the topic of conversation or at least the topic of thought. How do we flourish in such a busy world? Here are ten steps to encourage your growth.


10 Steps to Encourage Your Personal Growth


Volunteer.


We don’t always want to add another thing to our to-do list, but this is important to give you a different perspective. By volunteering, you will feel good about yourself and learn new skills and get different views of the world.


Experience new things and places.


Take a short day trip on your day off. This is the perfect time to break out of your comfort zone and try something new. Enjoy learning about new places, and don’t be afraid to take part in local activities. It will do your brain good.


Prioritize your health.


Take a health journey by starting to walk, joining a gym, or taking up a new sport that you can do regularly. Your health is an important part of personal growth.


Evaluate your life.


Use a private journal, or put it in your phone or on a computer. But take time to write down what you like and don’t like about your life. This is time for complete honesty. No one but you is looking. What makes you happy? What frustrates you? What would you like to change in your life? What steps do you need to take to improve?


Learn something new.


Read books that you never thought of reading. Take a class somewhere that will stretch you. Go on a retreat to expand your knowledge.


Set ambitious goals.


Research at the University of California-Riverside found that people with loftier goals were more satisfied than those who set mediocre goals, even if the outcome was similar. Reach for something you think is a bit unattainable but doable. Don’t be afraid to set long goals that take a while to achieve.


Be a good listener.


You might want to call up a friend and practice your listening skills. Or maybe it’s at work. Focus on listening instead of what you’re going to say next.


Stretch yourself creatively.


Do something that stretches you creatively. If it doesn’t come naturally, take a painting or pottery class from an adult education facility. Or watch YouTube to follow along with an artist. Or try Pinterest for ideas on what to do. 


Don’t try to impress people.


This leads only to disappointment. Set goals that are important to you, rather than a goal that will impress others. This is key to personal growth because it’s personal; it’s not what others think of you. 


Teach others.


The best way to learn something is to teach it to others. Evaluate your skills, interests, and hobbies. What can you teach others? This will help you improve as well as help out others. 


We all need reminders to grow on purpose. If we don’t take steps to grow in our personal and professional lives, we remain stagnant.


We are always learning new things at our printing firm, and we love helping you with your goals. If you desire a more creative banner or marketing materials, you know where to go. We’re your partner in personal growth.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Re-evaluate Your Time Management Skills

Time management is something we all strive to improve.


When you think you have it down to a science, a big project comes along and stretches us. But we all know that time management is the key to being successful.  


These tips will help you re-evaluate your time management skills in case you have been bombarded by stress.


Delegate. Okay, we said it. Delegation is key but make sure you give the job to the right person so you don’t feel like you have to micromanage them.


Don’t multitask. It feels like we are being more productive, and people often applaud it but don’t fall into the trap of multitasking. Studies show we are actually less productive when we spread our attention among several projects. Instead, make a list of things you need to do and cross them off as you go. That way, you won’t forget a project, but you can get it off your mind right away.


Deal with stress positively. We all get stressed out at times, but it’s how we handle it that counts. Exercise helps us deal with stress in a positive way. Other ways to deal with stress: meditate, call up a friend, listen to a podcast, get outside in nature, and write in a journal.


Set both short- and long-term goals. Your goals should be measurable, specific, relevant, and time-based. For example, if your goal is to get a raise in six months, figure out the specific steps you will need to achieve in order to do this. Then tackle it head-on.


Don’t overbook your calendar. Make sure that not every second of every day is taken. You will need some downtime, as well as time for phone calls and meetings that pop up. This will help you stay on track and not get discouraged when you can’t stick to the actual schedule.


Get up early. Most successful people start their day with a little extra time in the morning. Just getting up half an hour earlier will help you be more productive throughout your day.


Take regular breaks. Schedule these in so you are sure to take them. This ensures you don’t get distracted and helps you push on when you are tempted to look at your phone. Just 10 or 15 minutes is all it takes. You can get something to drink, go for a walk, check your phone, or talk with a coworker or friend.


Say no sometimes. When people ask you to do something, if possible, examine your schedule and workload first. Don’t just take on new assignments that you don’t have to. This also applies to get-togethers as well. If you are busy, don’t feel bad telling someone you are not able to go right now. But be sure to follow up with them later when you are free.


Don’t procrastinate. This is a good rule for both the office and in your personal life. Procrastination causes unneeded stress. We tend to procrastinate when we are overwhelmed or bored. Whatever the case, try to overcome it by making yourself start right away on a task.


Be realistic in how long a task takes. If you have a task to schedule, make sure you accurately estimate the time it takes to accomplish it. Will it take an hour to write that speech? Or will it take a week? Be realistic so you can stay on track.


Time management is something we can all work on daily. It’s important to keep honing those skills because we won’t be successful if we don’t. When you work with us, we will keep you on track with our on-time delivery and great products.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Be a Showstopper at Your Next Trade Show

Trade shows can be tricky. They can cause a lot of anxiety when you are preparing for the unknown. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to ensure you are successful. Here are a few to add to your to-do list.



Start early.


It should go without saying, but sometimes we procrastinate starting to plan for a trade show because it seems daunting. This is to encourage you to start as soon as possible so that you will be prepared for any problems that might arise.


Prepare your team.


Be sure to have team meetings regularly and at least a week before the trade show to discuss items such as dress code, hotel, transportation, duties, and responsibilities. Make sure everyone knows their schedules at the booth and contact information in case they get lost or have questions.


Be active on social media.


This is important to do before, during, and after the trade show. Include your booth number and hashtag so people can find you easily. Tweet about the upcoming show and give glimpses of giveaways or your excellent signage. 


Offer giveaways.


Everyone loves free things, and this is no exception.


And we aren’t talking about just pens and pencils. Offer food, drinks, games, or prizes. Have a coffee machine or offer cupcakes, or whatever might draw people in for more than a few seconds. Then be sure to utilize this opportunity to find out what the prospective customer might be looking for. Use anything that might break the ice.


Debrief and follow-up.


If you found a way to capture people’s information, send them a thank you note for coming to your booth. Talk with your staff to see what their opinions of the trade show were. This is critical for improving future booths.
 


Hand out bigger bags than the competition.


This will ensure that your bag will get used and that your message gets noticed. People tend to stuff items in the free bags, and whichever one is larger will hold the others. 


Have professional signage.


Big, bold messages and colors will capture people’s attention and make them remember you. Use your logo and catchphrases. Show people what you’ve accomplished by having professional, eye-catching signs.
 


Create a buzz.


It’s great to keep things on the upside and positive, but it’s even better to do something humorous to get people talking. Maybe you have a sign that is full of humor, or perhaps it’s a funny game. The funnier it is, the more people will talk...and others will gather around your booth.


Do your research.


If possible, find out what the large competitors will bring. And when you’re there, make sure you walk around and note what others are doing. This will help you in the future.


Be creative.


Show a short video on your business. Find a way to partner with another company to showcase their items with yours. Maybe it’s a big floral display or food, or perhaps it’s as crazy as bringing in animals from a local zoo or humane society and then tying it together with your message and other giveaways. 


The possibilities are endless when it comes to making your next trade show booth pop for whenever that next show may be. But it all starts with planning, preparing others, and getting the right signage. With professional signage, your message won’t get lost in the shuffle. Everyone is there to make an impression. What will you do? 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

5 Ways to Reconnect To Your Audience

The last year and a half with the COVID pandemic has been highly disruptive, breaking relationships and forcing distance between people in all facets of life.


Business hasn't been excluded from that effect.


That's why it's more important now to reintroduce your products and services to clients and remind them that you exist, you can help, and you're available for them.


Remember, out of sight is out of mind; clients forget why they used a service when there's a lack of contact and frequency. And that leaves room for your market to erode and someone else to fill the gap if they happen to be present.


5 Ways to Reconnect To Your Audience


1. Be Proactive


Part of reconnecting means being proactive and reaching out again, even without an invite.


A client will be fine with communication most of the time, noting they forgot how much they relied on your service. Use that opener to remind them how valuable your support was for their needs. Even if they don't need an order right away, get your presence and recognition back on their radar with a simple meet and greet through direct mail or an office visit.


2. Take the Blame for the Disconnect


Blame yourself for not staying in touch instead of letting the client feel guilty.


With so much happening, the last thing anyone wants is to feel criticized for not staying in contact. Instead, carry the blame and let them feel better about the disconnect, as well as note that you're making amends and reaching out again.


It reframes the discussion, making the client feel comfortable and noting you want their attention and communication. You want them to feel valued.


3. Reposition Your Value


Clients can begin to forget why partnerships and support relationships existed.


As clients come back into the office again, you want them to remember why they used your service in the first place. Don't let them guess, show them and reinform again.


4. Make Sure Contact Info is Updated


Most reconnects are not about a sale; they are about re-establishing a relationship.


Ideally, you want the client to have the latest means and contact info to reach out when their need is realized, and they have to act on it. People are more prone to work with a tried and true path. Make sure they have your current information, and it's readily available to them.


5. Remind Your Clients Why You Appreciate Them


If one of your clients generated a referral over the last year, let them know you appreciated the help and support.


By communicating your gratitude for a referral or past sales, clients will likely do business with you again and send new referrals, both activities positively affecting your bottom line.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Are You the Best Leader You Can Be? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

Are you a new manager? Or an old pro? Or somewhere in between? It really doesn’t matter because there’s always room for sharpening your edge as a leader.


Here are ten things you should ask yourself to determine if your leadership needs to be honed.


10 Leadership Questions to Ask Yourself


1. Do I treat my employees like friends or employees?


When it comes to employees, you may have once been a part of their team, but as a manager, you are a part of the management team.


This means you should not treat your employees as friends in an informal way. You can have fun with them, but maintain your leadership role and keep things professional.


2. Do I use situational leadership?


There is no cookie-cutter answer for dealing with people.


Employees need to be handled individually. Each one has different strengths and weaknesses, and your leadership should involve a tailor-made interaction with each of them. You will need to coach some people in one area, and other people may be strong in that area, and vice versa.


3. How well do I know my employees?


Do you know how many children your employees have? Do you know what their career goals are? Do you know what they do for fun?


Getting to know them on a personal level will make all the difference. Make sure you do this for all employees, so that there’s no favoritism. Take time to truly know them as people because it will build loyalty and trust.


4. Am I an active listener?


When employees come to you with a problem, whether it’s work-related or personal, do you truly listen? Or do you try to give advice without hearing the whole story?


Practice actively listening to your employees. This could be the most important attribute of a great leader.


5. Do I focus on the big picture?


Sometimes it’s hard for a leader, or manager, to step back from the daily tasks at hand.


Rather than trying to do a job for your employees, focus on their improvements and overall accomplishments. Sometimes the details of how a job gets done are not as important as the fact that it gets done. Your employees may have a different way of accomplishing a task that is even better than the original way they were taught.


6. Do I deal with problems right away?


Even if the former boss was used to ignoring issues in hopes they would disappear, your job as an effective leader requires you to deal with issues as they come up.


If there are performance issues, you need to address them with that employee and work on steps to improve.


7. Do I ask employees for their opinions?


Sometimes the best way to help an employee is to encourage them to take ownership of a situation.


If they constantly come to you with issues, ask them, “What do you think?” This is a great tool for an effective leader. Get the employees to think for themselves and provide solutions. Then, empower them to make some changes if it’s appropriate.


8. Do I spend time with other leaders?


As a manager, you will benefit from spending time with other managers.


These relationships are just as important as managing your employees. Take time to meet with other managers, whether in your building or a business network situation. Build friendships, and ask for advice. Give advice as well, if it’s requested.


9. Am I available?


Do I hide in my office, or am I accessible?


Be visible to employees, so they know you are around to help should they need it. It also allows employees to feel like they are a part of something larger and are important, and it builds morale.


10. Do I schedule individual meetings as well as group meetings?


We all have a busy schedule filled with things that need to get done right away.


But don’t forget that meeting with individuals is just as important as holding group meetings. Employees need to know how to improve, and they need to know what you expect of them. Meet one-on-one with them on a monthly basis if possible, or at least on a regular schedule, so they have a deadline to use as a guide for improvement.


No matter if you manage like a well-oiled machine or you need to tweak a few things, remember that no one is perfect. There’s always room for improvement. Being a good leader takes practice and is hard work.


A Better Leader


And being a leader in the business world takes practice and teamwork too.


That’s why our printing firm is ready to answer your questions on how to make sure you stand out as a leader in the sea of businesses in town. We offer graphic design and high-quality printing that will help you lead the way to success. Call or stop in today. We’re here to help.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Business Writing Made Easy

When it comes to business writing overall, how do you measure up?  


Overall, businesses spend $3.1 billion on remedial writing training for their employees annually. We’re not offering a class, but we have compiled a list of professional writing tips to aid you in your business communication.


Even if English wasn’t your favorite subject in school, using these tips will make you look like a pro.


Writing Like a Pro with These Tips


Know your audience.


Think about who you are writing to.


Is it a customer? A potential customer? A coworker? Your boss? There are different ways to communicate with all of these people. Keep the audience in the forefront of your mind when you start your composition.


Think about your tone.


Think about how formal you want to appear.


Do you want to sound like a corporate store or a friend? Do you want to be lighthearted or more serious? Think about this as you write; then, keep your tone consistent.


Watch your punctuation and grammar.


Some people in your audience care a lot about grammar and punctuation.


If you make a lot of mistakes, it will cost you your professionalism, causing your audience not to trust you. Use spellcheck for sure, even if you won all the spelling bees in school. Sometimes when we write quickly, we make tiny mistakes.


If you’re not sure about grammar, there are programs that will help you with this, too. If you are lucky enough to have a trusted coworker who is good at writing, have them look it over for you. They might find something you missed. 


Focus on your point.


Many people ramble on about things that are not pertinent to their goal in writing.


Think about if you want to sell something, tell your customers about a new technology you have, or promote a particular service. Then, focus on that. Review your writing when you are done so that you can edit out unnecessary information that doesn’t directly relate to your point.


Don’t use jargon or buzzwords.


Your audience may not be familiar with jargon or buzzwords.


Make sure you use clear language that anyone can understand. Don’t assume they understand what you are saying. Make it clear, and leave nothing to chance.


Be organized.


If it helps, outline your business writing before sitting down with pen and paper (or finger and computer).


If you can organize your thoughts in an outline, you will be more effective in your composition. Then be sure to stick to your outline by referring to it constantly.


Watch your font usage.


You may think it’s fun to experiment with fonts, and it can be.


But when you are writing a business letter or advertising copy, make sure not to use too many different fonts. Stick with one or two.


Be concise.


Some people think that by adding a lot of words to their writing, it makes them appear more educated.


Actually, the contrary is true. A good writer can edit their copy so that it’s concise and to the point. This will help your audience remember what your point is.


Wait a day to proofread if possible.


If you can, give yourself a day to proofread. By waiting a day, you will catch more mistakes.


Research the competition.


If you are writing advertising copy, or a letter to promote an event or product at your business, be sure to research what the competition is offering.


You shouldn’t mention the competition, but keep it in mind so that your offer stands out. Be sure you have a better offer or are offering something totally different that will be even more appealing to your audience.


Perfecting Your Writing


No matter how much you write, these are great tips to refer to when writing business correspondence.


Even expert writers need to be reminded of these simple steps from time to time. Since it’s easy to ramble on, we all need a reminder to edit ourselves. Not only will these tips help you improve your writing, but they will position you as a leader in your field.


At our printing firm, we want to help you be number one. That’s why we offer professional layout and design services with high-quality paper to help you finish off your perfect marketing materials. Call us today or stop in to see how we can help.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Boost Your Productivity in 10 Steps

Employees lose an average of 581 hours a year to distractions, such as cell phones, emails, and other social media, to name a few.


This is over 14 weeks, per person, spent not actually working. You might be wondering if there is anything you can do to become more focused. We’ve compiled a list of 10 steps you can take to ensure you’re working smarter, not harder.


10 Steps to Boost Your Productivity


1. Limit how often you check your email. 


According to The Economist Intelligence Unit report In Search of Lost Focus, 70% of critical-thinking employees disrupt their own progress in order to check email at least once an hour.


And 18% check their email every few minutes.


Try to use email as a reward for accomplishing a large task. Set a time limit so that you don’t get caught up in social media. Then, go ahead and turn it off until your task is done.  


2. Get up and move around. 


Getting a little exercise is shown to improve concentration.


So, get up and make a cup of coffee or get a glass of water. However, use this as a break after you’ve finished a task. 


3. Quit multi-tasking.


Research shows that productivity can be reduced by as much as 40% by the mental blocks created when people switch tasks.


Try to finish one task before starting something else, which can take discipline.


4. Make a to-do list at night. 


Not only will this will help you relax and be able to sleep better, but it will help you get right to work in the morning without having to figure out where to start the day.


A word of caution, though, is to make sure your list isn’t overwhelming. Make sure it’s attainable. Cross off items on your list that are repetitive and don’t need to be done tomorrow.


5. Delegate tasks to capable people. 


If you micromanage, you will waste more of your valuable time because you will be watching over the other person’s shoulder.


However, if you truly delegate, you will free up your time. Pick someone you trust, then let them handle the task.


6.  Plan your phone calls.


Even if you don’t have a secretary to hold your calls, you do have the ability to turn off your ringer.


Set aside a certain time each day in which you will make your phone calls. It’s okay to use voice mail as long as you return those calls later during your scheduled time.


7. Get enough sleep at night. 


It may sound crazy, but 70% of Americans admitted to sleeping on the job in a survey done by William A. Anthony, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and director of Boston University’s Center for Psychological Rehabilitation.


It should go without saying, but make sure you get enough sleep at night to be more productive during the day. Set a schedule for bedtime and stick to it, then your body will get used to it.


A lack of sleep decreases your concentration, working memory, mathematical capacity, and logical reasoning. Shoot for seven to nine hours of sleep per night for ages 27 to 64, according to the National Sleep Foundation.


8. Decorate your office area with aesthetically pleasing elements. 


Grab some plants, candles, pictures, and anything else that puts you at ease.


By doing this, it can increase productivity by up to 15 %. It will help put you in a positive mood, which helps boost productivity.


9. Minimize interruptions as much as possible. 


It may seem trivial, but when coworkers pop their heads into your office to chat, it takes away from your productivity.


Keep your office door shut when you are working on an important project. If that’s not an option, choose to work at home until you are finished.


10. Set a timer. 


Research says that only around 17% of people can accurately estimate the passage of time.


With this said, you should set a timer for about 25 minutes up to 90 minutes maximum, with a 5-minute break afterward. This should help keep you on track and be more productive.


Saving Time Matters


Saving time is important when it comes to business.


And we want to see you succeed. That’s why we offer so many services to take projects off your plate. Our professional staff understands that your time is precious, and we make it easy to get your printing done right the first time. Call us today so we can help boost your productivity.