Promotional Strategy Today

Promotional Strategy Today

Dogs in the Office; the Professional Pup

by Michelle Horstman on 04/19/13

In today's workplace, we have a lot of options that we didn't use to have. There's "Dress Down Friday", work from home days, flex time and more. Just last month on a visit to a client, their dog greeted me at the office door. I have two Yorkies who reside in my office every day.

The problem with dogs in the office, at least in mine, is when they decide to bark out the window at a jogger or freak out over the UPS delivery. Dogs apparently have no workplace skills (who knew?) and will often choose to do things like this right when you are on an important call with a client. I don't think the Dog Whisperer himself could train my dogs about phone etiquette and UPS deliveries.

At the same time, they say that dogs reduce stress, which is always a good thing during the work day.

Should you have your dog in the office? I was surprised to find many articles addressing this and many companies allowing it. If this is something you do or may plan to do, the ASPCA has a clever article HERE about doggy office etiquette with some things to consider, such as co-workers, food and more. Now that I have some guidelines, I need to get these little dogs into an office training program!

Great Sources for Family Reunion Planning

by Michelle Horstman on 03/06/13

Spring is almost here and those summer family reunions are right around the corner. Everyone is always enthused about the idea of a reunion, but there is a lot to consider. Here are a few great sources to help you eliminate time and missteps while planning a truly memorable event.

Key Reunion Planning Questions

This reunion planning site has listed some of the most important questions you'll need to ask when deciding on the perfect location for your reunion, such as when the final head count and payment will be due and much more. Having all of this information in advance will make everything go so much smoother.

Planning a Family Reunion Checklist

This reunion blog has a very basic checklist with a timeline, and they offer a free pdf download of it as well. When to choose a location, when to decorate and everything in-between.

Top Ten Family Reunion Games

The HowStuffWorks site features this post on lots of fun games for the reunion for all ages. "Hot Potato Camera" and "Family Trivia" are just a few of the simple and fun activities they suggest.

These posts will help get you on your way, but each family and each reunion is unique. After getting the basics in place, your family will undoubtedly come up with many of their own ideas, keepsakes and activities that will keep your special event as unique as you are. Hope you have a summer full of wonderful memories being made!

An Economy for Entrepreneurs

by Michelle Horstman on 03/04/13

“My son is now an "entrepreneur." That's what you're called when you don't have a job.”

- Ted Turner

Amusing as it may be, I couldn't disagree more. This country has been built on the spirit of the entrepreneur, where so many came from around the world to have a chance to realize their dreams on their own terms. Many of today's biggest IT companies started in just that way.

In today's economy, having that spirit could make all the difference. When people find there is no job out there for them, what better time to try out that idea you've always thought about and create your own opportunity? 

Indeed, that may be just the spirit that will pull us out of this economy and get us rolling once again. May we never lose the creativity and ingenuity that has made America what it is today.

How to Promote Your Product Even if You Are Low on Cash

by Michelle Horstman on 03/02/13

In this tough economy, many people think they don't have the cash it takes to promote their products. There are many creative things you can do to promote on a low or nonexistent budget, and here are just a few to get you started:

- Attend trade shows in related fields. Introduce your product/service and pass out your business cards.

- Use social media regularly, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. There are even lots of free resources on how to do this. Check out a free Kindle ebook and get started!

- Choose a product giveaway that's inexpensive yet will still be kept by your customer or potential customer for a long time, like business card magnets, plastic wallet cards, sticky note pads and many more economical choices.

- Pick up the phone. You can call existing customers to let them know about a new product you are carrying or cold call for an appointment.

- Network locally and online. Join local business and service groups, as well as online groups, where you can encourage and refer to each other.

- Gently remind your friends and neighbors about what you do. People often forget that their next door neighbor might sell the very thing they are looking for. Be sure they think of you first when the need arises.

Don't let the economy get you down. Try a new approach today, and if it doesn't work for you, try another. Take a day just to brainstorm on creative ways to get the word out, and you may surprise yourself with all you come up with.

7 Artwork Secrets Every Business Should Know

by Michelle Horstman on 03/01/13

Many businesses already have a logo that has been created for them at some point, but it can be very confusing to know how to submit it for various types of printing. A screen printer that needs your logo in one color will require something completely different than a mouse pad printer who is printing your logo in full color.

Here are our top 7 artwork secrets that should help businesses know a lot more about their artwork and how it is used:

1- Vector Art
Many print jobs will require that a file be submitted as "vector". For most business owners, this is like a foreign language, but basically, vector art is art that can be sized up and down with no quality loss or pixelation.

2- Fonts Outlined
When a graphic artist creates your artwork or logo, request that they "outline" any fonts used in the file. This will change the fonts into a graphic, so anyone receiving the file can view and print it properly, even if they don't have that particular font on their computer.

3- Resolution, Pixelation
It's important to have your artwork saved in high resolution for printing, so you'll get a clean, crisp result without pixelation. 600 DPI is recommended if possible.

4- PMS (Pantone) Colors
Many businesses have logos that have been created with very specific PMS colors. If you desire an exact color match on anything you have printed, keep in mind that you will likely pay extra for a PMS color match and you will need to know what your PMS colors are. Printers don't stock every conceivable color of ink, so the extra cost covers their cost of ordering that specific ink color to print with.

5- Have a One Color Alternative File
There are certain items that are not offered with a multicolor imprint, so it is always a good idea to have your logo or art created in a one color version as well.

6- A Simple Alternative for Small Print Area Jobs
Some items have very limited space for a custom print, such as pens, pencils, flash drives, and more. Depending on the size and complexity of your logo/artwork, it would be a good idea to have a basic alternative that will be legible and fit on very small items.

7- Graphic File Types and Versions
For full digital color printing, a crisp, high resolution .jpeg file should work. For your logo and other created artwork, most printers are happy to receive an .eps or .ai file, vector art with fonts outlined. This should be easy for your graphic artist to provide. Keep in mind that your artist may use a newer version of Adobe Illustrator than the printer, so it is also a good idea to ask your artist to save it down to an earlier Illustrator version.

Be sure that more than one person at your place of business has these files and that they are always backed up. Just knowing these basics should save your business time, eliminate headaches and produce the best quality printing.

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