Window Stickers

Why Window Stickers Work

With most marketing collaterals now digitized, you’re probably wondering about the effectiveness and relevance of window stickers – those small, colorful, graphic items that get distributed at marketing events and promotional activities. The answer is yes, indeed, they are. Customers use stickers of brands they’re proud to be associated with. They also love to help with the marketing if they support or they’re satisfied with the company’s product and services.

If you have an upcoming marketing campaign, don’t forget to include window stickers. These marketing collaterals can do wonders for your business, especially because of the following reasons:

Window stickers are widely used

Whatever industry your business is in, you can be sure there will always be someone who’d love to use your stickers. And it all boils down to the design. If you want people to use your sticker, put yourself in their shoes. Think what would convince you to stick it on your car window. These days, blatant promotion is a no-no. Unless you have a really cool logo or a highly reputable brand, the best thing you can do is come up with a creative design and just make your logo or brand elements more prominent.

Window stickers offer flexibility

Who says window stickers are only used on glass surfaces or cars? These days, people will use it on whatever surface they see fit. This is especially true if you’re targeting the younger demographic. You will see them using the sticker on their bags, notebooks, or even on their laptops. Again, it all boils down to design. If you play to their tastes and interests, you won’t have a hard time eliciting the action you want.

Window stickers are cost-effective

Custom marketing collaterals can be costly despite the technology available these days. Still, window stickers remain one of the most cost-effective. The savings go up when you get them in bulk. The materials available these days are also more durable. You can be sure these stickers are great investments, as they’re built to last for a very long time.

Coupons

Designing Coupons for Success

Everybody loves coupons. Everyone loves getting big discounts, enjoying great deals, and getting huge savings from their favorite products and services. In these hard economic times, getting a coupon is almost like winning the lottery. You can only imagine how some people feel upon seeing those small pieces of paper attached at the back of the newspaper.

While you probably spend a lot of time brainstorming for promotional ideas for your coupons, you must not forget that its design is just as important. Coupons are still marketing collaterals that need to be well thought of and appropriately produced. These small pieces of paper also carry your brand and act like business cards helping you generate leads and sales.

If you think coupons are not worth the effort and not as important as other marketing collaterals, you clearly haven’t seen what companies are doing with them. These days, coupons can come in a wide range of paper materials. You can have virtually any design you want and in the shape you want.

Coupons these days also come in digital form because of the predominance of internet use. So while you have coupons attached on print materials, you can also have some inserted on your website or on your social media profiles. What you must always remember, though, when distributing coupons through both mediums is effectiveness and consistency. While using designs that suit both traditional and digital forms, you must not forget to make sure that they’re still uniform and consistent with your brand.

Coupons are very much used these days for both delivering value and promoting a business’s brand. They’re still essential in every marketing campaign and contribute a lot to a company’s quest for success.

Lifestyle Entrepreneur

What is A Lifestyle Entrepreneur?

The word ‘lifestyle entrepreneur’ is all over the web – so much that it almost sounds like a trend. Several of my clients actually asked me if I was one, but I didn’t reply. I simply didn’t know what it meant at the time. And so I did a little bit of researching and after reading a few articles, I must say that I’m not sure. I don’t think there’s a need for such a term and truthfully, I am quite satisfied by being who I am: someone who owns a business and consults with clients.

Purpose, Not Profit

According to the websites I’ve looked into, lifestyle entrepreneurs are focused more on altering their personal lifestyle than just making profits. These people work at hours and locations that are convenient to them. They’re also actively pursuing their passion, thereby increasing their chances of succeeding. And because they do what they love, they want others to do the same. Their love for their lifestyle makes them respectful of others’, thereby inspiring them to do the same to their clients. These people are seen to provide more value to their clients and have a deeper sense of purpose when it comes to their work.

Not Much of a Difference

If you ask me, lifestyle entrepreneurs sound pretty much the same as regular entrepreneurs. They’re more in control of their working conditions and environment compared to others. They often pursue their goals and they get to address people’s needs through their products and services. I guess the difference lies in their motivation. While lifestyle entrepreneurs are stimulated by their personal interest and sense of purpose, regular entrepreneurs are driven by their need to take risks, pursue opportunities, and innovate. Ultimately, however, they’re both motivated to provide something that benefits people and rewards them at the same time.

No Need for Comparisons

There’s a tendency to make lifestyle entrepreneurs a better sounding job description – but the truth is, they’re no different than regular entrepreneurs. If anything, they’re probably less original. When you think about it, they can’t innovate because they’re not going out of their comfort zone and risking debt-incurring and emotionally-taxing failures. They’re also likely to just repackage old ideas and aim for stability. If this is so, then a lifestyle entrepreneur is no different than a business owner. But this isn’t possible because these two are completely different – albeit they complement each other.

Do What You Want

I think the term ‘lifestyle entrepreneur’ is created by professionals to make themselves sound more appealing and more purpose-driven than their original counterpart. Personally, though, I don’t think we should be preoccupied with titles, labels, and job descriptions. There’s no need to compare one position over another or become caught up with what you should and shouldn’t do. We should just do what we love to do, find a way for others to benefit from it, and admit the fact that we can and we want to make money from it. That’s what I do with Signs Now Mill Creek and the absence of labels certainly keeps me from limiting my functions and my attitude towards what I do.

Care to Start a Food Truck Business?

Food Trucks

This article is inspired by a friend taking his first step. Food trucks are not just trends – they are staple in every neighborhood. More often than not, however, business slows down and setbacks happen. This is why they disappear as easily as they turn up. Their owners tend to shut them indefinitely or close them down completely.

"Maximus Minimus", kitchen truck wit...

“Maximus Minimus”, kitchen truck with a pork theme, parked in front of a house on 22nd Avenue E, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington, where it was catering an event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Awakening Your Passion

Despite the difficulties of putting up this type of business, there are rewards which can make the experience definitely worth the effort. Starting a food truck business can awaken your entrepreneurial spirit or give you courage to pursue other passion, like food processing or franchising.

Ensuring Legitimacy

Mobile catering is difficult to set up – but you’ll gain a lot of insight if you’re really interested. You first start off by researching the legality of food truck business in your neighborhood. You may need to apply for a permit or look for specific areas where you can do business. Ensuring the legitimacy of your food truck is definitely important.

Conceptualizing and Customizing

After finding out that your business is viable, it’s time for the fun part: conceptualizing and coming up with creative themes. Will you serve Japanese, Mexican, or Italian? Pasta, pizza, or pastries? The possibilities are endless and you think of many ways to make your truck stand out. You can decorate your panels with decals or you can customize the truck itself.

Setting Expectations

Conceptualizing is one thing; actualizing is another. It’s easy to go crazy with the ideas but you have to set realistic expectations to come up with something that works. Other than checking the legality of food truck businesses, you need to study the costs. You also have to look for financing and maybe create a business plan for your prospective investors.

Finalizing Goals

Successful people will often tell you to decide what you want before working towards achieving it. No matter how great a plan is, it will simply be useless if you don’t have a clear goal. Whatever purpose you have for going into the business, make sure it’s not just about money and success. It’s a proven fact that failing is part of the whole enterprising and entrepreneurial experience. So if you’re not about taking risks, food trucks may not be the best venture for you. 

Mobile catering has been around for decades and many businessmen and entrepreneurs will continue venturing into this type of business in the coming years. If you think food trucks are your calling, don’t hesitate and go for it. When you’re old, you will most likely regret the things you didn’t do instead of the ones you did.

Go To The Mill Creek Garage Sale This Saturday

Mill Creek Garage Sale

Are you free this coming weekend? If your answer is yes, then come and join the Mill Creek Garage Sale this Saturday May 4th. Thousands of residents will put their personal items up for sale, hoping to finally get rid of them and make a bit of cash at the same time. Organizers expect an equal number of bargain hunters to come, some even arriving all the way from Canada.

This Saturday’s event is not just for Mill Creek residents and bargain hunters. If you’re a businessman or an entrepreneur, you can definitely look forward to the following aside from finding great bargains. 

Meeting New People

The Mill Creek Garage Sale will provide you with a great venue for socializing and networking. You may meet your next partner, affiliate, or client from the community. You have been networking too much on LinkedIn and spending too much time on Facebook and Twitter. Now it’s time to get some fresh air and meet real people for a change.

Getting Fresh Ideas

Whatever the nature of your business, community activities are great for meeting people and learning about the locale. You can gain new insights about the city, which you will never find in books or the Internet. If you’re looking for something that will inspire your or influence your next venture, why not drop by Mill Creek this weekend? You may come across a useful furniture piece or a trinket you’ll treasure for life.

Helping The Local Economy

Events like this help encourage the flow of goods and revitalize the local economy. Whether or not you can afford to buy brand new stuff, going for old ones certainly won’t hurt.  Aside from your patronage, your presence also means a lot. You can do a lot this coming Saturday, like helping people sell their items; aiding volunteers manage the crowds, or donating your own items to the Goodwill Trailer.

The Mill Creek Garage Sale has been running for over 30 years. It’s held bi-annually, with the next one scheduled in October. There’s actually an interesting story to how the garage sale started. If you want to know about it – and enjoy the abovementioned activities – then join the event!

Hope to see you there!

No Idea Is Too Small

SafetyTat is a waterproof, peel-and-stick temporary tattoo that allows parents to write their contact details to reconnect with their kids easily in case of separation. It may also be used to provide information about their kids, like food allergy or special needs.

Michele Welsh stumbled upon the idea during one Labor Day Weekend while she was out with her family at an amusement park. To ease her security concerns about her three small children, she wrote her mobile phone number on each of their arms. In case they get separated from one another, the person who finds them may easily get in touch with her.

The day turned out great and the whole family remained together until the end. Michele had to rewrite the number several times, though, because the information on their arms, written using a ballpoint pen, either smeared or washed off. Some parents who saw what she did loved the idea. Eventually, SafetyTat was born and ensuring a child’s safety has never been reassuring for parents and fun for kids.

The founding story of SafetyTat reminds aspiring businessmen and entrepreneurs out there that no idea is too small. Most of the time, it’s often the smallest, overlooked things that give rise to business empires or usher in new eras. Even though SafetyTat didn’t accomplish either, it certainly made a big difference in how parents address safety issues with their kids.

What’s interesting about the SafetyTat is it’s a simple idea. It didn’t involve any scientific breakthroughs or innovations in digital technology. It’s just a sticker – but a sticker that addressed a need and was backed by solid marketing and a strong sense of purpose for its target market.

In a world where it seems everything has been done, there’s always a place for simple ideas. We’re saturated with scientific and technological advancements that it’s sometimes better to go back to basics and bring back the fun in things. If you’re an aspiring businessman or entrepreneur looking for fresh ideas, try turning away from the ambitious ones and develop simple ones instead.

We work towards helping businesses achieve their goals and actualize their own vision for the world.

The Intricacies of Buying a Bankrupt Company

Patrick Dempsey’s purchase of Tully’s Coffee once again made headlines earlier this weekend.  This time, the reports are about his group running into ‘obstacles’ regarding the sale. Quite frankly, we expected this kind of scenario: The company in question filed for bankruptcy and one of the losing bidders is one of the biggest players in the industry.

What we’re witnessing, however, is part of the often intricate process of acquiring a bankrupt company. What Dempsey’s group Global Baristas is facing happens all the time. And if you look closely at the situation instead of simply listening to speculations, you may get an insight or two should you decide to purchase a bankrupt company soon.

Company’s previous dealings resurface

Global Baristas’ main ‘obstacle’ is about the coffee chain’s dealings with Boeing. Tully’s has branches in Boeing facilities and the aerospace company is offering coffee cards privileges through payroll deductions. Although Boeing explains that their deal is a ‘non-issue’ in the negotiation, it certainly makes the process a bit longer.

What you can learn from this scenario is that previous dealings will resurface – sooner, if not later. When you purchase a company, its partners, affiliates, and other key players can affect the speed and smoothness of your negotiations. Whatever happens, you have to deal with them one way or another.

Competitors can strike back

Global Baristas made public about the obstacles it’s currently facing as part of the response to the status conference requested by its two rival bidders. AgriNurture Inc. and Earthright Holdings USA LLC (ANI), together with Starbucks, wants to know how the deal is going and when it will close. The rival bidders also want to know if Tully’s is still interested in the backup bid if the deal falls through.

In most business dealings, competitors refuse to give up the fight. They will always be there in the sidelines, ready to strike when the time is right. In Global Barista’s case, their competitors are using the slow negotiations to strengthen the possibility of getting the deal. So when you win a bid – especially over a global brand – such challenges are inevitable.

Costs can go beyond what you expected

According to reports, Dempsey’s group shelled out an additional $350,000 to keep the coffee chain operating while it negotiates the sale. Tully’s filed for bankruptcy after all and as a prospective new owner, Gobal Baristas has to take responsibility and keep the business running.

If you’re planning to be an investor, you have to be prepared to pay additional costs during the acquisition period. Most of the time, it’s necessary. You have to set a limit, though, or else you may end up paying more and become bankrupt yourself.

In times like these when many companies are up for sale, you will be tempted to invest. The company often increases in value once the economy and the company itself stabilizes. If you plan to invest anytime soon, remember the intricacies we have indicated above. These can help you secure success in your transaction and maximize the return for your investment.

Using Positive Thinking to Get Started on Your Startup

Getting started on your own business can be tough. This is especially true if you have no idea what to do. But when you think about it, owning a business involves taking risks on a regular basis. So when it comes to getting started, you should take it as your first step to becoming a success.

If you’ve been putting off your plans and struggling to get enough courage to do it, you know there’s only one person who can convince you to finally do so – yourself. So instead of giving you tips on what to do about your startup, we’re giving you a few insights on what to do with yourself instead.

It all starts with changing your mind and having a more positive outlook in life. If you think positive thinking is just one way to repress your emotions or run away from your worries, you are very much mistaken. Positive thinking can help you overcome what has been stopping you in the first place.

Dealing with Doubts

Self-doubt is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving your goals. The unpleasant feeling is especially strong if you have no knowledge about business and you have no one else to back you up.

In situations like these, remember that success is one of your birthrights. Believing in yourself will cause a dynamic shift with your relationship to your goals and life itself.

Although skeptics always point out how unhealthy it is to prop up one’s thoughts, you’ll be surprised with just how many of them actually need to be removed so you can have a clear perception of things.

Focusing on Opportunities

Have you seen those people who can’t seem to shake off their bad luck? Have you met those who keep on succeeding, who keep on getting what they want, and who keep on winning?

The truth is you hold the power to attract people, objects, and situations you want in your life. If you stop expecting the worst and start trusting the world, you will see that everything you need is right in front of you.

If you need help with your startup, think positive as this will open your eyes. This mindset will help you meet the right partners and clients. It will enable you to generate the idea, concept, or solution you need for any type of situation.

Taking Action

Thinking positive things is one thing – but taking the right actions is another. If you’re expecting certain results in your life, you must not forget to take action to bring yourself closer to it.

Whenever you want something to happen, it’s important that you know how to receive it. Sitting on the couch all day will not attract the investor you need – even if you sustain a high level of positive thinking. You must do your part by making calls and setting up appointment with the right people.

If you can’t seem to get started on your startup business, you must make the necessary changes in yourself first. Even if the opportunities and the help you need are right in front of you, they will simply be useless if you don’t know how to receive them.

Positive thinking is, therefore, letting go of the things that prevent you from reaching your goals. So if you truly want to work on your startup, be willing to change your mindset. You’ll be surprised at the difference it can make in yourself and in your life.

Insights from MSU’s Misspelling Gaffe

The Missouri State University (MSU) made headlines last week – but not for the right reasons. Earlier this year, the institution handed out 6,000 free book bags with the word ‘university’ misspelled not on the text but the logo itself.

Although making mistakes is human nature, it’s not acceptable if an institution’s reputation is at stake. No one would also put up with any type of excuse when thousands of dollars are budgeted for the project.

Mistakes happen all the time – but the probability of their occurrence can be decreased. If you take a look at MSU’s mistake, there are actually a few insights worth remembering. These will not just help you prevent mistakes, but help ensure overall success for your business.

Getting a professional graphic artist

MSU’s book bag logo was reportedly designed by its marketing manager. Although we’re not privy to the guy’s graphic design skills, we’re pretty sure marketing and designing are two different things.

When it comes to logo design, short-changing has its consequences. So instead of settling for a second-rate designer or employing a DIY approach, hiring a professional graphic artist is safer. The best ones take ownership of their work and will never let mistakes like this see the light of day.

Hiring a reputable printing vendor

Although MSU is the one getting flak from this gaffe, the vendor is partly responsible for the mistake. Again, we don’t have all the details about the issue. But the folks over the printing company should have noticed something as glaring as a misspell on the logo.

Hiring a reputable printing company definitely prevents mistakes like this from happening. Having the communication lines open between you and your vendor is also important. This will facilitate the completion of the project and ensure in getting the best quality for the results.

Setting up an accountability strategy

The past few months has been rough for MSU, especially in August after the bookstore’s former manager was forced to resign after half a million went missing. In the institution’s most recent embarrassment, the bookstore reportedly handed out about 6,000 bags despite the misspelled name and destroyed the remaining 2,500.

When asked who is accountable for the mistake, reps said that the former manager had nothing to do with it. Yet the mistakes happened before the new one took office. As for the other gaffes, the blame was pointed to the bookstore staff.

Although the mistake could always be dismissed as a negative effect of the transition or lack of turnover from the outgoing and incoming managers, someone should still be held accountable. The project is worth $70,844 after all.

Setting up an accountability strategy is always helpful in this case. The goal is not to find someone to blame when something bad happens. But to make sure someone dedicated and dependable is overseeing things and upholding the reputation of the business or institution.

Dry Erase Boards: Why They’re Still Useful

In spite of the digital visual technologies available these days, dry erase boards remain a necessity in the workplace. The conveniences they offer can’t be easily replaced by any device. They may not show flashy animations like digital boards or other similar devices, but they certainly do a great job at doing what they do. And that is displaying valuable information for everyone in the office to see.

If you think dry erase boards have become mere wall ornaments, you’ll be surprised at how much they can help you accomplish. They have changed enormously through the years and have successfully made themselves essential to many businesses.

Making Presentations Possible

Dry erase boards primarily offer a writing space for instruction and presentation. This is why they have become a fixture in schools, offices, and other work environment. Although you may have digital devices for your business meetings and presentations, dry erase boards are very much useful. They can complement your overhead and video projectors by providing a viewing surface. You can also write down important information during your presentation without worrying about technical problems.

Facilitating Processes and Communications

Other than making presentations possible, dry erase boards can keep track and take note of changes in processes. Your sales team, for instance, can use these boards to keep track of their performance and see if the members are reaching their sales target. Your operations team, on the other hand, can use it to cascade progress updates about a crucial project. Whatever line of work or type of projects you have, you can count on dry erase boards to facilitate processes and communications.

Enabling Brand Consistency

Dry erase boards are highly customizable. From the materials, to the colors, to the shapes, you can actually use them to decorate your office. You can even use them for marketing your company and establishing your brand.  In fact, dry erase boards may enable brand consistency. Whether you want to display your logo or provide information about your products, you can effectively do so with the help of these tools.

Dry erase boards are included in our specialty services. Call us at 425-481-4900 if you need custom boards for your office. Our company is one of the top providers of graphic design and printing services in the city and we are completely committed to the success of our clients.

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