How Productive Can You Be In 15 Minutes?

Here’s the dillema…I need to write this blog post, but I have to leave in 15 minutes.  So I’l just procrastinate- send out some proofs and tracking instead and work on the blog tomorrow.    But, I just read this blog post earlier today and decided to put it to the test.

The premise is to set a 15 minute block of time to work on a task.  For me, I feel like this will work best on those things I want to put off, dread tackling or just have a hard time getting started on.  Maybe it’s putting together ideas for a client’s project- I’m still not sure where to start, so spending 15 minutes reviewing their goals and looking through my “idea basket” (which is a fancy name for a large tote in the corner of the office full of cool swag samples that I occasionally go through to generate ideas), and adding some starting point ideas I can send them for feedback fills that 15 minutes and I have a great starting point.

Or on a personal note, the still-packed suitcase sitting in the floor from last week’s business trip- 15 minutes to sort out the laundry, business items and to put the bluetooth headphones back on to recharge seems much less overwhelming that feeling like all the laundry has to be sorted, washed and put away all at once.

Tomorrow I’ll take a  15 minute block to order spec samples for a client, another block to follow up on a few orders- thinking about doing a task in 15 minutes seems way less overwhelming, or even like a challenge.  “I only have 15 minutes to get this done”.  It’s like a race against the clock.  A little bit of a mind game.

And look…15 minutes have passed and I have to get out the door.  But the blog is done AND I have a plan for tomorrow.  Do you work in 15 minute blocks?  If not, would you try it?   I’ll follow up in a couple weeks and let you know if this has made me more productive.

In the meantime- give us a call for all your swag needs.  We’ll give you all the time you need!

http://www.barefootswag.com

866-247-4320   sales@barefootswag.com

 

 

Four Ways To Keep Your Business Alive, Part 2

On Thursday we posted part 1 of this article borrowed from Promotional Consultant Today, which you can read here.    These are some core factors that are important to keep in mind when you start a business, but also to revisit often as your business grows. Because we all know how easy it is to lose site of these elements as we get busy!

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.”

Colin R. Davis

Four Ways To Keep Your Business Alive, Part 2Starting a business is tough enough, but keeping it going is even tougher. The first few years after launch are typically years of investment and growth, with little to no profit. The key is to have a strong plan, streamline resources and get beyond the tough times to a point where you can build momentum and scale your ability to deliver to your customers.

In yesterday’s issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we shared two critical success factors for a new business, as identified by Janice Janssen, a business consultant and co-founder of Global Team Solutions. These factors included a) having processes in place and b) knowing your numbers. Today, we’re passing along two more key success factors to ensure your business survives beyond the first five years.

1. The Art of Marketing. The purpose of marketing is to let people know the value of your product or service. You have something that they need, that could make life easier, faster, better. It’s not enough to just open your doors and expect the masses to come flooding inside. You must create and communicate the need. Business that fail do not understand the role of marketing—both internal and external—in supporting the growth and success of the business.

Internal Marketing. It is often said that a client or customer loves the storeowner but can’t stand dealing with staff, or vice versa. The look of the office from the moment a customer gets out of their car, is marketing. Perception is everything. Take time to look through the eyes of the customer and what they experience when they first walk into your facility. How are they greeted? What do they see? What first impression are you making? Do you need to make adjustments here?

External Marketing. Next, take time to understand how you project your business through external, market-facing channels. Advertising, websites, billboards, Facebook and other social media channels and even community events are all forms of external marketing. Customer attraction and retention must be a constant focus for the health of a business. You need to be aware of how you are getting your new customers based upon what you are doing and determine the return on investment for everything you do. At the same time, have a method for customers to let you know if their experience in your office did not meet their expectations. A feedback loop is important for longevity.

2. Communication. We all know how to talk, but do we all know how to communicate? Effective communication is much more than merely transferring information, and whether in written, verbal or visual form, it’s critical to the success of your business.

Written communication includes not only formal contracts or return policies, but also, offer letters for hiring, performance reviews and counseling memos. Additionally, the written processes mentioned above have a strong value in their ability to thwart any barriers from providing excellent customer service. Anything that is discussed outside of the normal business processes should be documented to protect the business owner and the employee or customer.

Verbal communication helps the team understand the vision of the business and what the owner expects of their participation as an employee. Team meetings are the time to review processes to ensure that everyone is completing tasks the same way. This keeps everyone on the same page.

Communications with customers are just as important to document to avoid a “he said/ she said” type of situation. If a promise is made, it should be written down. The No. 1 one frustration in most businesses is the lack of communication. This frustration can lead to good employees leaving or poor performance due to not understanding the role.

Source: Janice Janssen, RDH, CFE, is the co-founder of Global Team Solutions (GTS), business consultant and a highly-regarded professional speaker. Her expertise in office management solutions makes her an asset to her clients across the country. Janssen is the current treasurer of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC), and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

Building A Consistent Look

Building a brand and creating a program or promotion with a consistent look is often difficult.  Finding a variety of products in different price points to coordinate with logo colors, events and even your print marketing is downright impossible sometimes.  And if those items need to have options for both men and ladies the choices dwindle down even further.

Duet Collection

That is why we love the Duet Collection of products. These items are stunning and absolutely impressive (don’t let the PVC material deter you).   With a variety of colors and styles to choose from, we add your debossed logo for a subtle message and elegant look.  Either the  rectangular tote or the more casual tote make beautiful, upscale swag bags, meeting gifts or speaker gifts.  The business card holders and stash tray are reasonably priced gift items that work for both men and women, yet still have a high perceived value.  My personal favorite is the large carryall tote which has so many uses- from carry on bag to business bag to giant purse, this bag is awesome.

The wine tote makes an elegant table favor, room drop gift or closing gift for Real Estate Agents- fill it with a favorite bottle of wine or other beverage of choice.  An excellent choice for gift with purchase, room drop gift or swag bag option is the cosmetic bag.  The luggage tag is small enough to use in a direct mail piece to convention attendees, travel agents or as a swag item at trade shows.

While any of these items can stand alone, the coordinating colors and styles make it possible to combine multiple items for a truly impactful promotion, giveaway or gift.  Or for a long term promotion, select a few items in the same colors to use over a period of time, building on the theme and colors to create a matching set.  And if you need gift boxes or other packaging we can add that as well to really add the wow factor to your swag.

If you want to create an item (or set) to match your corporate colors, let us know- we can discuss what will be necessary to turn your exact colors into stunning promotional swag.

sales@barefootswag.com       866-247-4320

http://www.barefootswag.com

How To Select the Right T-Shirt For Your Promotion

Having the perfect design or logo to print on t-shirts is only part of the battle when it comes to imprinted T’s.  With all the t-shirt options out there, it can be really challenging to figure out which styles & options are best to achieve your marketing goals.  You don’t want to select a shirt, only to find out it doesn’t fit the image you want to present or that no one will wear it- no matter how great the imprint is.

To help you make the best decision, we teamed up with one of our vendors to develop a “Better Basics” guide, which lists the ‘Top 3’ styles within the most popular t-shirt categories (Cotton, Blends and Triblends).

Let’s take a look at the “Cotton” styles. If you are looking for a tee that has a “soft feel” and resembles a higher-end “retail” quality shirt, then we recommend the Bella+Canvas OZPJG-ISQKE, which is labeled as being the “BEST” option in this category.  This style is going to be the choice for shirts you will resale, give to employees or for a higher end promotional T with a hip vibe.  This shirt also comes in a coordinating youth style, UZPHG-ISQKY and an adult V-neck, WZPHC-ISQKU.  For a T that still has that soft feel, is comfortable and still stylish, check out the  KXPOF-DFJMB in the “better” category.  If you are looking for a good option at the lowest price point possible, then we recommend the Fruit of the Loom KZNOI-KBIKE.  Although not as soft as the others, it is still considered a “Good” option in this category and is a durable shirt for employees that need the moisture wicking of 100% cotton or for a give away shirt for events.

 

Cotton/Poly blend T’s are a popular choice for comfort, style and durability and are generally lighter weight than cotton T’s.  A fashionable, hip and youthful “Best” option is the Alternative Apparel vintage T, UXULA-LOEIS.  With retail inspired details and color options, this shirt is a popular choice.  A more budget conscious option is actually a favorite brand of ours, Next Level. This CVC crew, KATKC-KBHWC, is really comfortable and will quickly become a favorite T of everyone who owns it- this shirt is a favorite for event giveaways and shirts for vounteers.  Our choice for a “Good” option is the Anvil lightweight T shirt, UXTII-EUJGE.  With over 50 colors to choose from, this shirt is a great fit for events, promotions and employee giveaways.

A category that has gained a tremendous amount of popularity in the last few years is the Tri-Blend.  With cotton/poly/rayon, these shirts are extremely soft, lightweight and comfortable.  For the “Best”, we go with the Bella + Canvas Unisex tri-blend, OTTFA-GHHCS.  This shirt has a more fitted, retail look and a wide variety of colors.  The Anvil tri blend crewneck in our “better” t in the category and offers some really nice heathered color options, LAVFF-KBIFV.  A solid choice for the “good” option is the Jerzees triblend, JCPII-LOLBG, the color choices stick with the basic colors and offers a budget conscious option with comfort of a tri blend.

While all of the styles are available in the unisex style listed, many have companion styles in ladies, youth, V-neck, pocket T’s and other styles.  By letting us know what shirt style options you need, we can recommend the right shirt to fit everyone and every style.

So what are you waiting for? Use this guide as inspiration and direction in selecting the shirt that best fits your marketing goals and we can add your logo in a variety of imprint methods- screen print, embroidery, embellishments, foil imprint and more.

Need more information, options or additional help selecting the perfect t-shirt for your event, promotion, employees or to fit your budget?  Give us a call or email- we are happy to help.

sales@barefootswag.com      866-247-4320

www.barefootswag.com