Archive for the 'How To' Category

Feb 27 2014

Is your Company Lacking Inspiration? How to Inspire Employees and Stimulate Creativity

Published by under How To

In today’s world, competition is fierce in the business world when it comes to innovation and thought leadership. Companies are constantly trying to “one-up” each other and come up with the best, biggest, newest idea out there in order to grab consumers’ attention. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut where you lack inspiration and the new ideas just aren’t flowing within your business. Do you want your workplace to pop with excitement? Your employees excited to come to work and buzzing with ideas? If your company has been lacking inspiration,you can come up with the next big thing by promoting creativity in the office with these five easy strategies.

Create an Environment Where Creativity can Thrive

Provide an attractive and comfortable environment where ideas are free to flow. Jazz up the walls with colorful art and thought-provoking quotes. Place plants and flowers in prominent places, or allow employees to sit near a window. Encourage employees to personalize their work spaces in order to give them something to look at besides the walls to their cubical. People think better when surrounded by items that make them feel good, and covering the office with colors, patterns, and images will help stimulate creativity. However, you’ll need to change up the office environment to continually provide inspiration. Change up the furniture arrangements, hang different pieces of art on the walls, or even change up paint colors. When your employees can see their world in a new light, it will spur the type of creativity you need from them.

Host Mini Think-Tank Sessions

Use outside-the-box brainstorming sessions to allow your employees to throw out ideas and build off of eachother’s ideas. In most cases, the first couple of ideas people come up with are the safe and obvious. Have them write down their two immediate impressions, put them aside, and then throw out any ideas except those to the group. These initial thoughts can always be revisited later. Record all ideas without comment or criticism. Even ideas that seem silly at first can be tweaked and re-vamped, and eventually turned into brilliant ideas. If you create an environment where your employees aren’t embarrassed about their opinions, or afraid to throw out a dumb idea, these sessions can be very fruitful.

Create an “Idea Station”

When you aren’t having brainstorming sessions, provide a ways for employees to express and write down potential ideas. In between group sessions, turn a corner of the break room into Creativity Central. Mount a large white board and supply colorful makers. Every Monday put a new problem, situation or stimulating thought on the board for workers to respond to anonymously. Encourage workers to suggest topics for the creativity board. These topics can be work-related, or they can just be industry-related topics to get people thinking. People will look forward to a new challenge every week, and fostering a healthy competition between employees for the best idea will surely produce some good results.

Shake it Up with a Break

Regular breaks have been proven to foster creativity and prevent burn out. Designate a set time each day for everyone to stop work and gather to talk, drink coffee, walk laps around the building or halls, sit outside on nice days, or even engage in pool, basketball, air hockey, or one of many other desktop games available. If space permits, leave out an in-progress jigsaw puzzle. This kind of informal atmosphere promotes camaraderie and often results in employees bouncing ideas off one another. Depending on the size of your company, you can use retreats or special trainings as a time to really change up the scenery. Some businesses have used Atlanta conference facilities for retreats and conferences in order to get the employees out of the office. Changing up the flow of their regular work day will inspire new ideas and refresh the minds of your employees. Hosting a small retreat would give you the perfect opportunity to have a training, form brainstorming groups, and other activities that will inspire innovative thinking.

Listen to Your Employees

Trust, appreciation, and incentives go a long way when it comes to inspiring your employees. Implement as many of your workers’ ideas as is feasible. Some will need a trial period to judge the effectiveness, but if your employees make suggestions, show them that you’re open to trying them. Even if an idea is not taken to complete adoption, you have proven that you take your employees seriously and value their ideas. When someone’s idea becomes operational, give them an award or some kind of public recognition, a bonus, allow them to come to work late one day, let them use a reserved parking space, or whatever you deem appropriate. Sometimes a paycheck isn’t enough to get employees to do innovative work, they need a little extra incentive. Once your employees see how much you appreciate new ideas and forward thinking, they’ll strive a little bit harder to come up with the next big idea for the company.

Some of the best and most creative ideas come out of unexpected moments. Inspire your workers by providing a stimulating atmosphere where they can aspire to helping your company become better in every way. Making a few alterations to the company’s schedule, atmosphere, and meetings will help you generate innovative thinking. If you and your company are looking for the next big idea, don’t look to the competitors—use the brilliant brains you already have at your disposal.

This is a guest article submitted by Dixie Somers

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Jul 29 2013

Becoming A Supplier For The Promotional Industry

Published by under How To,Promotional Products

The sophisticated promotional industry is run by talented professionals with an eye on efficiency and quality customer care. In this article, we take a look at how you can become a supplier and excel in this industry:

1. Are you a manufacturer?: Do you create consumer items that can be of good use to end-users in the promotional industry? For example, gift items, apparel or stationery? If your answer is yes, then you are welcome to join the promotional industry!

2. Become members of PPAI, ASI or both: The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) are umbrella groups for distributors and suppliers in the promotional industry. These associations enforce stringent rules that should be followed by suppliers. Being members of these associations will lend you credibility and give distributors a reason to do business with you.

3. Create an effective team for your business: It is important that you have the best talent at your disposal to take your supplier business forward. Your sales team and customer representatives should be ready to take on an

4. Attend important trade shows: Make sure you visit significant trade shows held across America. For example, the PPAI Expo is hugely popular and attended by some of the most important figures in the promotional industry.

5. Launch attractive brochures to showcase your inventory of products: It is important to prepare brochures that will showcase the products you have on offer to the world. If your brochure is good in quality, then interested customers will keep them for long, using them to refer products they would like to buy for their brand.

6. Launch an interactive website to showcase your inventory of products: Printing a brochure is not enough. You have to go further and create a website for maximum reach. Ensure that you have a strong SEO strategy in place to boost your website up in keyword rankings.

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Sep 16 2011

How Are Promotional Products Imprinted? Part Two

Published by under How To,Promotional Products

Embroidery—The logo is embroidered on the article and this is useful particularly for promotional products such as t-shirts, promotional sweatshirts, caps, and bags. To reproduce the logo or image on the substrate, a card is required. The rates for embroidery depend upon the stabbing number as well as the size of the logo

Laser engraving—A controlled beam of laser is used to literally burn the design into metal. The design turns out precise and clear. The color is obviously dependent on the color of the metal that is engraved. This method is specifically used on corporate gifts like executive promotional pens, drinkware, flashlights and other accessories.

Embossing—Utilizing a cliché or die, the design is pressed onto the article using high pressure. This method is particularly utilized with leather promotional items.

Digital printing—This technique utilizes a sticker with a layer of epoxy, which is a two-component resin. This layer enhances the product by giving a magnified look to the design that is under it while protecting the colors of the print from any wear and tear. This method is mostly used for USB drives and other expensive electrical promotional items.

 To view a large variety of promotional products for your business promotion and to enjoy low price and discounts  visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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Sep 15 2011

How Are Promotional Products Imprinted? Part One

Published by under How To,Promotional Products

Your corporate gifts have to be imprinted in a certain way. Which method is used depends upon which product you have chosen, the type of logo you mean to have on it, and also the substrate or printing surface.

Silkscreen printing—The technique uses a woven mesh to which the design is applied. The mesh has a light-sensitive layer. A design film, which contains both illuminating and non-illuminating parts, is applied to this mesh and the whole is exposed to UV light. The unexposed parts of the film are washed out of the mesh, so the ink can flow. The article to be printed is placed directly under the mesh and ink is then pressed through the mesh and onto the surface of the article.

With this method only promotional products flat surfaces can be printed and it is possible to print one or more colors. Nylon and textile products especially, like promotional t-shirts, umbrellas, caps, and mugs are printed using this method. Promotional calendars are also imprinted using this method.

Pad printing—This method uses a metal plate called “cliché” The design is fitted photographically to this. Utilizing the pad, which is the actual image carrier, the design of the cliché is transferred onto the article. Different forms of the pad can be used to print various forms. One or more colors can be printed on most articles. Usually plastic promotional items are printed using this method of printing.

Transfer printing—The image carrier here is paper onto which the design is printed by screen printing. Heat transfer press is used to transfer the desired pattern onto a surface/substrate. This method of printing is particularly useful for printing products like promotional t-shirts, banners, ceramic mugs, bags, mouse pads, and umbrellas. This technique of printing is utilized especially for multiple color printing.

To Be Continued…

 To view a large variety of promotional products for your business promotion and to enjoy low price and discounts  visit our website at www.promodirect.com

6 responses so far

Nov 06 2010

How to answer your customer’s complaints gently

Many feel that ‘positive criticism’ is a polite way to say ‘You suck! So better pull up your socks!’ In business, this reality check comes to us in the form of customer complaints. No one likes to be told ‘you are doing a bad job’ but isn’t it much better than dreaded ‘I told you so?’According to the Technical Assistance Research Program (TARP) study that was commissioned by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, 56 %-70 % of the customers who come up to you with complaints, will do business with you again if you resolve their issue.The bottom-line therefore to treat your customer complaints as a blessing in disguise, hear them out and resolve them on a priority basis. Swift and satisfactory complaint redressal can be a priority point in your marketing strategies as well. Read these simple tips that will help you win over even your most irate customer.

The complaint busters!

Designate employees specifically for troubleshooting customer complaints. A customer’s irritation will increase even more if he is calling to complain but is not given any avenues to vent.

Start with a ‘sorry’ and end with a smile!

Train those employees in the art of listening and the virtue of patience. Your pep talk can include…

  • Receive calls by saying – ‘How may I help you. Sorry for the trouble caused.’
  • Don’t cut the complainant short when he is mid-way through his complaint.
  • Don’t justify, argue, abuse or deny.
  • End the call with a cheery ‘thank you’ or ‘we will try to not give you a reason to call us again.’

Add a gift of appreciation to your apology!

An unexpected gift can wipe the frown your client’s face, and replace it with a smile. Order promotional items to gift your clients and imprint them with a ‘Sorry, won’t happen again’ or ‘Oops’. These promotional gifts act like a salve and your customers will believe you instead of being wary, when you say that their complaint is important to you.

Redress and remember!

No business is perfect and complaints will never cease. Keep a tab on the type of complaints you receive, how long it takes to address them, whether there are repeated complaints from a particular customer or repeated complaints about a particular issue, from different customers. Also request them for feedback after their complaint has been resolved.

Believe that the customer is always right and don’t let him out of your sight.

To view a large variety of promotional products for business promotion, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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