Monday, December 30, 2013

Getting Your Employees To Care

When you run a small business or franchise finding and keeping good employees is one of your greatest challenges.  Probably next on your list is, or should be, getting those employees to care about doing their job in a responsible and caring manner.

Many of us find ourselves with a very busy day and using a fast food restaurant to get our lunch or dinner rather than taking time to cook.  Most times the food is at least OK. I can truly say, but, not always.

One evening during the Christmas rush I stop at one of the large national chains and ordered two hamburger.  When I got home rather than finding well prepared and tasty food what I got was inedible. One sandwich rather than having a toasted bun what I got was a badly burned bun and two well dried out patties.  The other sandwich was two patties that seem to be from at least the week before.

I asked myself why would anybody put these sandwiches out to a customer?  Why?  Did they just not care.  Were they taught by a manager that the most important thing was to keep waste down in order to maximize profit? 

What incentive do I have to return to that restaurant? When no one buys from your location – profit is fully lost.  The first and most important job of a restaurant is to deliver quality food.  If you do that and run the restaurant in a well managed fashion profits will automatically follow.

I don’t know that the manager cared or didn’t care.  But, I am sure at least one of his employees doesn’t care about the quality of the food they deliver.

How do you get your employees to care? Proper training and follow-up is the real secret.  By follow-up you need to quality check their output on a continuing and random basis. Proper training will also lead to fewer mistakes which truly leads to increased profits. Try these guidelines;

Make every job the most important job in your company.

Build in daily reminders of the company mission. Make sure that mission is customer centric.

Make sure staff feels an ownership obligation to help your business deliver on its mission

Teach employees that mistakes are part of learning and correcting them is the expected part not a cover up.

In any business keeping customers satisfied has to be “Job One”!  Getting a new customer is always more expensive than keeping existing ones.

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs to prosper.

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Friday, December 27, 2013

MI Printing's Special: 10,000 #10 Business Envelopes

Business Envelopes, #10 White Envelopes 10,000 for just $450.00 Black Ink on front from customer supplied art (PDF Format) plus Sales tax if applicable. To receive discount please mention this ad. Offer expires January 15, 2014.

Many times the first impression a person will have with your company is to handle and open correspondence that arrives in your company envelope.  There’s something about receiving a custom printed business envelope. You can feel the importance and significance of any document with the help of logo, printing and the quality of the paper.  In fact, correct envelope printing adds greatly to the image and credibility of a company.

While your letterheads are standards for businesses and companies, the envelopes that carry that important document can not be a poor quality product.

Business envelope printing is crucial because it contributes to the image of professionalism and reliability that a company projects. The image of a company can be picked up from the documents that they produce and use in communications with the public.

Your company's formality and credibility is also reflected in your envelopes.  Envelopes in fact, have the power to affect a response from the recipients whether its favorable or not.  Depending on the look, appearance, color and quality, your envelope can greatly influence the way your recipients think about you and your company's message.

Contact Matt or Paula at MI Printing for help with your professional quality business envelopes. 623-582-1302

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ultimate Marketing Mayhem – After Christmas Returns

As this is written it is early morning on December the 26th and shops and stores all over the country are open early to help their customers deal with items that are not working, don’t fit, are the wrong color, aren’t wanted or don’t work with the expected or planned tech item.

Will your future shopping hinge on how a given store handles your returns?

Over the past few years stores have been tightening how they accept returns.  In the past some stores would take back items (that they carried) even when purchased elsewhere.  That free wheeling type of return has all but disappeared.

Electronics are a different story altogether.  Many stores have very short return windows for electronics or tech items in general. In some cases you have just seven days to do a return.  In some cases software returns are not even offered.  If items have been opened or packaging has been lost or damaged returns can carry a hefty restocking charge.

Clothing and shoes are still some of the items where stores offer exchanges or returns due to color, size or style that isn’t what the recipient needed or wanted. Stores realize that if this wasn’t the case shoppers might not buy them at all.

While size is always an issue (since manufacturers can’t seem to agree on what sizes mean) the new craze of “Gift Cards Fit All” has replaced the “One Size Fits All” gift buy.

Numbers of $30 Billion in Gift Card sales show the popularity of what many feel is the perfect gift.  Some folks, however, feel that using a gift card is a bit of a cop-out.  The act of choosing a gift is part of the holiday shopping mystic.  The time spent shows a certain caring that needs to go into choosing the perfect gift.

In general a gift card (especially the credit card types) is an item that will not have to be returned or exchanged. They do cover a whole ranges of “giving” worries.  No problem with compatibility, size or color.

Store owners hope that the returns will lead to even more sales. After all the most basic need is met, the potential customer is already in their store and in many cases has ready cash or credit that they can or must spend in the store.

This shopping year has had many challenges, a short shopping season, a weak economy and customers holding out for the very best possible price. Store profits were affect by these factors.  The trend of online shopping is affecting the brick and mortar only shops.

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from MI Printing

Matt and Paula want to take this opportunity to wish our customers and friends Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.



Another Day, another Month, another Year,
another Smile, another Tear, another Winter,
a Summer too, But there will never be another You!

May Lovely, Happy Times
Decorate this Time of the Season.
May Warm, Special Memories brighten
the Wonder of Christmas
and may it be with You Forever.

Do you need help with your new print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Thoughts and Holiday Songs

What Christmas song gets you in the Holiday spirit? Here are just a few that work for us.

"The Christmas Song"

Commonly subtitled "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" or, as it was originally subtitled, "Merry Christmas to You" is a classic Christmas song written in 1944 by musician, composer, and vocalist Mel Tormé and Bob Wells.

“White Christmas”

An Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide. All other versions of the song, along with Bing Crosby's, has estimated sales over 100 million copies.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” 

By Andy Williams finds people singing it in the shower, the car, and sometimes the mall.

“Angels We Have Heard On High”

A Christmas carol in the public domain. The song commemorates the story of the birth of Jesus Christ found in the Gospel of Luke, in which shepherds outside Bethlehem encounter a multitude of angels singing and praising the newborn child.

“Little Drummer Boy”

Originally known as "Carol of the Drum" is a popular Christmas song written by the American classical music composer and teacher Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. It was recorded in 1955 by the Trapp Family Singers and further popularized by a 1958 recording by the Harry Simeone Chorale. This version was re-released successfully for several years and the song has been recorded many times since. In the lyrics the singer relates how, as a poor young boy, he was summoned by the Magi to the nativity where, without a gift for the infant Jesus, he played his drum with the Virgin Mary's approval, remembering "I played my best for Him" and "He smiled at me".

“Run, Run Rudolph.”

Kelly Clarkson of American Idol fame included her version of that fun Christmas song on her latest album, and featured it in her recent Christmas special on TV. It’s probably one of the songs that has been on almost every rock- or pop-oriented Christmas album through the years.

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Friday, December 20, 2013

MI Printing: Business Card Magnets

Make your advertising message STICK!

Business Card Magnets... 500 2 X 3.5  4/0 (Full Color One Side), 17pt UV coated stock.   From customer supplied art. Just $98.00 plus sales tax if applicable. Expires December 31, 2013.

At MI Printing we can take care of all of your specialty printing needs.  Learn about the many options we offer for your business printing needs.  Questions... Please give us a call at 623-582-1302.

Please ask about money saving larger quantity print runs.  For best results a high quality PDF file is required for the customer supplied artwork.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: 
sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Coca-Cola A Legend Of Christmas Marketing Mayhem

When most of us think of Santa the image we think of is often an iconic Coca-Cola Santa.  They have been using Santa as part of their marketing since 1920, over ninety years.

The Coca-Cola Company began its Christmas advertising with shopping-related ads in magazines like The Saturday Evening Post. The first Santa ads used a strict-looking Claus, in the vein of Thomas Nast.

In 1930, artist Fred Mizen painted a department-store Santa in a crowd drinking a bottle of Coke. The ad featured the world's largest soda fountain, which was located in the department store Famous Barr Co. in St. Louis, Mo. Mizen's painting was used in print ads that Christmas season, appearing in The Saturday Evening Post in December 1930.

In 1931 the company began placing Coca-Cola ads in popular magazines. Archie Lee, the D'Arcy Advertising Agency executive working with The Coca-Cola Company, wanted the campaign to show a wholesome Santa who was both realistic and symbolic. So Coca-Cola commissioned Michigan-born illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus — showing Santa himself, not a man dressed as Santa.

Coca-Cola’s first polar bear print advertisement appeared in France in 1922, and for the next seventy years, polar bears appeared sporadically in print advertising. In 1993, The Coca-Cola Company made a dramatic shift in its advertising by introducing the "Always Coca-Cola" campaign. The campaign by Creative Artists Agency and later Edge Creative was diverse in nature, with an initial run of twenty-seven commercials designed to appeal to specific audiences. The ads ran around the world and included a variety of innovative technical approaches, such as computer animation.

One such commercial, "Northern Lights," introduced what would become one of the most popular symbols of Coca-Cola advertising, the animated polar bear.

Coca-Cola on YouTube

1993 “Northern Lights”: http://youtu.be/SfIbBNuORHU

2012 “Catch”: http://youtu.be/S2nBBMbjS8w

2013 by Ridley Scott 7 Minutes: http://youtu.be/I6zK7I2OocI

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Made In The USA – Amana Woolen Mills

Willkommen!

In the 1850s a group of German immigrants settled in a lush river valley in east-central Iowa. They called their new home "Amana" after a passage in the Song of Solomon meaning "to remain faithful." They established seven villages known as the Amana Colonies and lived communally, embracing a pure and simple way of life...including pride in workmanship, a home in the heartland, and sharing good food with good friends.

From their communal beginnings to today, the Amana products have attracted attention world-wide and the Amana name is universally recognized for superb quality. They know with today's busy lifestyles, you can't always plan a trip to Amana, so they have made their quality products available to customers 24-7 on their website. They hope you enjoy their products. If there is something Amana they may help with, please let them know!

Some of the products available through the Amana Woolen Mills are;

Wool Throw Blankets
Wool possesses numerous qualities that make it a popular choice in blankets. Wool acts as an insulator in the heat or the cold, making it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It takes up moisture in vapor form, making it naturally flame retardant. Their blankets, made with all natural wool fibers, will provide resiliency that will give you years of enjoyment!

Baby Blankets
Their soft and durable baby blankets make the perfect addition to any nursery. Each blanket is made from 100% cotton with coordinating nylon satin binding. Embroider the baby's name and birthdate on any blanket and make it an extra special keepsake! Machine wash, tumble dry.

Scarves
They are proud to offer a beautiful selection of Amana Scarves. Choose from classic neck scarves or our unique hood scarves. Both styles are available in wool and cotton.

Hawkeye Spirit
Show your University of Iowa pride with one of their custom embroidered blankets or scarves! Cheer on the Hawkeyes in style!

Location:  800 48th Avenue Amana IA 52203  • 800-373-6328

Website:  http://www.amanashops.com/category/amana-woolen-mill

Do you want your business printing made in the U.S.A.?  Then please contact MI Printing and tell us about your printing needs.  We are ready to listen and help.

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MI Printing, LLC
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Apply The 80 / 20 Rule To Your Business

No doubt you've heard something about the 80/20 rule.  The 80/20 rule means that if you can define your critical few customers and target marketing directly to their needs, it's likely to pay off big time. The cost of acquiring new customers, according to many surveys, runs eight to 10 times more than the cost of keeping existing ones. So you get a stronger return on your marketing dollars and better sales by focusing on 20% or so of your top-tier prospects. Usually, that requires two steps:

•    Identify and characterize your key customers.

•    Target messages in suitable media to hit nerves among the important customer segments.

Identify Your Best Customers

First, find out more about your customer. You need to learn details about their habits, profiles, and preferences before you can characterize them. Information most helpful to collect (with the customer's permission, of course) includes:

Name, full address, phone number and/or e-mail address, including the names of all family members or company title and department.

Date of birth, so you can send out cards or e-mail with birthday discount offers or gifts.

Annual amount spent with your company.

Products purchased and past history.

Special requests for products or service.

Use a Business Contact Manager that lets you go beyond simple contact information to consolidate all interactions for a given customer or account, including e-mails, tasks, appointments or sales calls, notes and other documents. Further, you can easily create customized reports with criteria of your own choosing or, if needed, export those reports to Excel for further analysis.

After a half-dozen interactions, you'll not only have an individual account's purchasing history and proprietary profile, you'll have it captured in a centralized location for every customer—no more outdated sticky notes or multiple folders with conflicting information. Plus, all the actionable information will be easily accessible.

Target Your Messages

When you're clear about the target customer and you can rely on smart, centralized customer information, you can send specialized offerings to selected customer segments. Use Publisher part of Office 2010, to create flyers, postcards or other mailings that send news of customized offers.

Cross-sell or up-sell additional offers and products.

Provide well-timed rewards or discounts.

Create insider or time-sensitive deals.

Do you need help with your next print advertisement?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Monday, December 16, 2013

Are Your Customers Happy?

Does that seem like a strange question?  We are talking about your customers’ life or marriage.  We are talking about how your customer feel about your business and how they are being treated during an interaction with your business.

As a first step you need to find out if your customers are happy. While a very robust business could make the assumption that their customers are happy with the interaction with your business.  But in some cases that may not be correct.

An exit survey questionnaire given to all customer can give you the feedback you need to give a quality snapshot of your customers’ feelings. You should never ask questions and then also ask for the customer to identify themselves.  A subject that is anonymous is more likely to give answers that are more honest and open.

If you tie a reward or prize that you think would increase the response rate would also skew the customer responses since they would also be identified.

Many times you will also find that a customer is more likely to complain than give praise. Americans are also more likely to complain in front of an audience with social the second most favorable complaints channel. Whereas UK consumers were shown to require higher levels of resourcefulness with the average complaint requiring four points of contact versus the three required by US consumers.

In most instances of consumer dissatisfaction, complaints are first taken to the place of purchase. Relatively few complaints are made directly to second or third parties such as Better Business Bureaus, consumer affairs departments, and small claims courts. However, persistent consumers will turn to these sources if satisfaction is not obtained from the retailer or manufacturer. Use of these sources also depends on the type of product/service, the nature of the problem, and the consumer's awareness of their existence and function.

Some surveys and studies found that of the five consumer protection agencies listed, a large percentage of respondents indicated awareness of the Better Business Bureau and the small claims court. Accurate knowledge of the functions of these two sources was positively related to education.

Your business is better served by fair and prompt interaction with customers than a brick wall approach. Nothing should get in the way of a customer needing (or feeling the need) to register either a complaint or a simple at-a-boy with your business and personnel.

Do you need help with your next print advertisement?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Friday, December 13, 2013

MI Printing: Special : Retractable Banners

Advertising that stands up and stands out! Our retractable banners provide mobile presentation solutions for trade show display booths, retail stores, restaurants, and hotels. Our affordable banner display stands and trade show banners are lightweight and easy to use so you will look like a pro wherever you show.

Cal Paula for your special price on a 33.5 x 78 Retractable Banner from customer supplied art.

We are ready to help just give us a call at 623.582.1302

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Marketing Mayhem What Is The Right Price?

We are all familiar with the television game show called the Price Is Right where the contestants were rewarded when they guessed or knew the correct price of a given item or even a group of items. Know the price and win the item.

During the holiday shopping season it is the goal of every shopper to find the “Right Price”. That is the price where you pay the lowest possible price for the item you want.  While many folks think that the best price is always found online, nothing could be further from the truth.

Keep in mind that many brick and mortar stores offer a policy to match or beat the price of any item that is found online.  Then the only trade-off is the comparison between sales taxes and shipping cost.

As we are buying or at least trying to find that very special gift at the best possible price we send time online and even making our fingers do the shopping by calling local stores to find out the price and in-stock status of your special item.  You do shop local stores as well?

Perhaps the most amazing thing you will find about the items you are shopping for is the wide variety of prices you find for the very same item.  The surprise is from the dame manufacturer and the same item number can vary by more than 100%.  A real case of buyer beware if the price is your bottom line in making the purchase.

I can give you a perfect example while shopping for a Christmas gift for a Keurig accessory.  I wanted a storage solution that held the K-cups and was also a place for the brewer to sit.  There are a wide variety of those to choose from.  Many different materials (wood, plastic or metal), storage capacities, style and what appears to be vastly different quality levels.

After much searching both online and at local stores I found a model from a line of products called Mind Reader. The real shock was the wide span of prices.  The very same item and model number was listed from $19.99 to $55.00.

The lowest price was at a local store and the very highest price was online. If you compare large heavy items (think furniture and large appliances) the online stores are at real disadvantage.  They end up paying more for shipping a single item than the stores who get their items in bulk on a common freight carrier (semi-loads).

If you are shopping for a flat screen television this season you will find the very best prices at your local stores.  The big box stores are using the price as the reason to buy or upgrade to the latest size and technology. In this case size truly matters.  They range from a couple of hundred dollars for a smaller one to many thousands of dollars for eighty incher.

Do you need help with your next print advertisement?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Made In The USA – Uncle Goose Wooden Blocks

The Cosmogony of Uncle Goose: Uncle Goose sometimes feels like that eccentric yet eloquent friend of yours that seems to have stepped out of an O. Henry short story from the late 19th century. After all, theirs is a company that stepped back over one hundred years in time to hand-manufacture classic wood alphabet blocks in an era of computer games and digital toys.

They labor over their products with the work ethic and artistry of midwestern elves from the 1800’s. Other than Santa, very few people you know personally still hand manufacture wood toys. They seem to be pressing against an invisible boundary that lies between what is possible and what is practical.

As modern business people, they realize that hand-manufacturing toy blocks is seen as an unlikely and maybe even unfashionable thing to do. It’s passé. It’s outmoded. It’s out of step with our fast-paced, high-tech world. But as artists, not creating blocks seems completely unreasonable... and maybe even dangerous.

They can’t even imagine living in a world without alphabet blocks.  If Uncle Goose didn’t bother to craft them, this iconic toy might very well become extinct.

They simply couldn’t stand to live in that world. Blocks inspire. In particular, their blocks are fascinating to those who long to feel inspired by sensual participation in the physical realm.

They are really in love with learning, design, and creativity. And they love blocks. So this is what they do, and how they approach their craft. It’s simple, creative, old-fashioned, and maybe a little quirky; but that’s the essence of Uncle Goose Toys.

Uncle Goose Blocks are a timeless classic. Generations have thrived by playing with wood blocks. So, yeah, of course they’re safe. If you’re concerned about the paint, don’t be. They buy their inks from an American manufacturer that doesn’t use lead or heavy metals. To keep them honest, they test every gallon of ink before they put it on their blocks. They are fanatic about quality and safety.

And if you don’t trust them, you can trust the government, right? Check out CPSIA (Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act) Certificates online. They have earned government safety certificates for every last one of their products.

Location: 1048 Ken-O-Sha Ind Dr, Grand Rapids, MI, 49508 • 888.774.2046

Website:  http://unclegoose.com

Do you want your business printing made in the U.S.A.?  Then please contact MI Printing and tell us about your printing needs.  We are ready to listen and help.

Presented By
MI Printing, LLC
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Saving Money Improves Your Bottom Line!

As a small business it is important to save money on your business expenses.  Businesses are required to carry insurance on many aspects of their business life.  Car insurance is just one of them.

You see many insurance companies running television advertisements that claim by switching from your company to them you will save money.  Most of the time I felt these savings claims were just advertising puffery.  At best the savings would come from a change in coverages rather than a true one to one comparison.’

We recently purchased a new car and expected that we would see an increase in our insurance premiums. Bottom line we did.  The six month premium went from $852 to $1,578. Ouch! Same full coverage, just a newer car.  We spoke with our agent to make sure this was the very best we could do. We asked if the $500 dollar vehicle GPS recovery system we had added would help reduce our rate, we told no with an amused laugh.

Needless to say that increase did send us on a search to compare current insurance rates.  We had been with our current provider for years. We will call them company “A”.  We had mentioned several times over the years that due to some common interests we should consider another insurance company and we will call them company “N”.

We used the Internet to do our comparison shopping using quotes generated by the companies’ website. When the quote came back from company N we knew it had to be a mistake.  The coverage was substantially increased and the premium rate was lowered.  The online quote was $780 for six months. That was less than our old rate for the older car.  That had to be wrong.

We followed up with a call to an agent for company N.  After some back and forth questions he said indeed the quote was wrong.  We did qualify for other discounts.  The correct price for the increased coverage for the new car was $609 for a six month period. 

Since we have never had a claim with company A and of course in the last two months we haven’t had a claim with company N we have no comparison to how a claim would be handled by either. Both are well known national companies, so we expect that experience will be similar.

The savings will be nearly $1,800 per year.  Seems like those savings claims are valid at least for us.  Compared to the different ads we see, we are about three times more than the save three or four hundred dollars that are bandied about.

Are there areas of your companies’ expenses where you could save money and improve your bottom line?

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Monday, December 9, 2013

Selling Amounts Have A Competitive Limit!

We all know that a business must run on its profits.  We also are familiar with the following phrase’ “Buy Low – Sell High”!  With very few exceptions there is always an upper limit to the selling price for any product or service. That limit will generally come from how little your competition is willing to accept as a profit margin.

When selling the very same item; the profit margin is usually by the competition and not by yourself. People are very price conscious these days and will go out of their way to hunt for the lowest price on any item.

Not every product or service is created equal.  You have to make sure the potential buyer know why yours is better than the competition so they can make an informed purchase. Otherwise “Price Is King” will rule their buying decision.

In order to make yourself as profitable as possible you need to find ways that reduce the overall cost of selling your items. If you buy a larger, but sane, quantity will you get a better price? If you pick up rather than shipping your items will you save money?

Restaurants are faced with the difference between prepackaged foods and working with fresh ingredients. Which one is truly cheaper in the long run?  Of course, there may be a quality difference as well.

Some merchants tend to sell from a warehouse location rather than a fancy showroom in an attempt to save overhead (and very real) costs.  What type of location and amenities does your customer base expect or even demand?

You need to factor in all of your businesses expenses. How does your energy costs and usages effect your bottom line? Does it make sense to have the power company do an energy audit?

Does what you sell have “legs”? Is your product line affected by new technology? When was the last time you saw a pager company? Have your tried to find a Pay Phone lately?  Seen a TV repairman recently? How many people do you know (nurses and some doctors excluded) who still wear a wrist watch?

As you know many magazines and newspaper have faded into the era of the buggy whip. News and entertainment is now routinely delivered to the millions and millions of smartphones that have invaded the demographics of all age groups.

Do you need to have true savings on your next printing job – coupon, flyer or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Friday, December 6, 2013

MI Printing Weekly Special: 9X12 Presentation Folders

9X12 Presentation Folders with 2 - 4 inch pockets 14 pt stock with uv coating - printed on one side in full color. Regular price - $1176 Sale price 25% Off Now Just $881.00  For best results a PDF file is required for the customer supplied artwork. Please refer to this ad when calling. Offer expires December 31, 2013.

Something as slim and unobtrusive as an imprinted folder can really add subconscious value to your brand!
Present organized and professional materials
Give customers presentations they’ll remember
Insert 8.5” x 11” handouts in two folder pockets

At MI Printing we can take care of all of your specialty printing needs.  Learn about the many options we offer for your business printing needs.  Questions... Please give us a call at 623-582-1302.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Your Business Marketing Mayhem Story?

We have covered the many aspects of Marketing Mayhem and have shown examples of uses that have caught our attention. But, what is your businesses’ marketing mayhem story?

Are you doing marketing that would qualify as mayhem marketing and if not, why aren’t you?

In order to do marketing well you have to get the attention of your target audience and them you need to tell a good story.  We can all agree that those two basic principles are necessary for good communication of your advertising message.

In general mayhem marketing takes that concept one step further by adding a twist that helps captivate your audience to a greater degree and have something that makes your story or message even more memorable.

The holy grail of marketing is a message that sticks. As you plan your next marketing message what will you do to achieve that marketing mayhem goal, to have your message be very sticky.  People have tried to reach the viewer’s emotions many different ways, shock, humor, sadness, joy and childhood delights.  While that list only covers a few emotional messages advertisers have tried them all.  Results have varied and the skill at delivering your message is always what can make or break the results of an ad or advertising campaign.

There are many more unsuccessful ads that have tried to break all the rules than those that have achieved fame and fortune.  The reason that successful marketing mayhem commercials are so memorable is that there are very few of them that work really well.

To put your business on top you must stand out from the crowd.

Your businesses’ marketing mayhem story needs to show why your business (or service) can fill their need, solve their problem or make them the envy of their neighborhood. Sounds rather simple when it is put that way.  But, the devil is in the details. Doing that ad better than your competition is the real key to success.

Learn to tell a great story. Your advertisement needs to a have single clear goal. After your viewer sees your story what is it you want them to do? Pick up the phone and call? Visit your business? Find and buy your product?  For most local small businesses you want them to physically come to your business.

Once you have given the buyer the “Why To Buy” then you must make sure they know the real “Where To By”.  It does no good to accidentally allow them or send your customers to a competitor’s place of business.

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Made In The USA – Everspin Technologies

Unless you are a major “Computer Geek” you probably don’t know that your current computer uses a product called DRAM to store its basic instruction set.  This is the memory that is involved in starting your computer.

You probably also don’t know that DRAM’s days are numbered.  Not only a USA company is one of the leaders in the manufacture of its replacement called MRAM. But Everspin Technologies, Inc. is located right here in the Valley or the Sun.

With MRAM, data is stored by means of magnetic storage elements instead of as electric charges or current flows.

More than 20 Japanese and US chip-related companies are joining forces to develop mass-production techniques for a next-generation chip technology called magnetoresistive random access memory, or MRAM, according to a report in Nikkei's Asian Review. Players in the new research push include Tokyo Electron, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Renesas Electronics, Hitachi, and US memory giant Micron Technology.

The companies "will dispatch a few dozen researchers" to Tohoku University in northern Japan, according to Nikkei. The effort at Tohoku University will be led by professor Tetsuo Endoh. Development will begin in February.

While most companies are just in the process of getting ready to prototype MRAM Everspin is already manufacturing MRAM>

Everspin Technologies is the leading developer and manufacturer of magnetic RAM (MRAM)...Everspin's MRAM is the industry's fastest non-volatile memory [MRAM has] SRAM read/write cycle time, unlimited read/write endurance, [and is] non-volatile for greater than 20-years... Everspin has established an MRAM intellectual property portfolio of more than 600 active patents and applications, many of which are fundamental and essential for MRAM technologies.

The short non-technical version is that MRAM is a better, faster more stable and longer lasting product when compared to the ubiquitous DRAM.

Comany:  Everspin Technologies, Inc.

Location: 1347 N. Alma School Road, Suite 220 Chandler, AZ 85224 • 480-347-1111

Website: http://www.everspin.com/

Do you want your business printing made in the U.S.A.?  Then please contact MI Printing and tell us about your printing needs.  We are ready to listen and help.

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MI Printing, LLC
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email:
sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Supporting Local Businesses

Local First Arizona
We have written about patronizing local businesses in passed blogs. Here is an organization that promotes local business in Arizona.

Local First Arizona's goal is simple: Make Arizona a better place by supporting local businesses and building vibrant communities that residents are proud to call home.

Local First Arizona (LFA) is a statewide non-profit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through growing, supporting, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona. LFA is currently the largest organization of its kind in the country with nearly 2,500 members and is a proud member of the Business Alliance of Local Living Economies (BALLE), where our director, Kimber Lanning, serves on the Board of Directors.

Founded in 2003, Stinkweeds owner, Kimber Lanning, along with Cindy Dach of Changing Hands Bookstore and Michael Monti of Monti’s La Casa Vieja began meeting to formulate a strategy to level the playing field for locally owned businesses, and to find a better way to link the locals together.

Lanning emerged as the Executive Director in late 2005. A board of directors was formed with several local business owners and leaders including Dach, Tod Mettler of Duck and Decanter, Howard Fleishmann of Community Tire and Auto, Stacy Bertinelli of NPR Radio, Jeff Williamson of the Phoenix Zoo, and Clint Hickman of Hickman’s Family Farms. This group met monthly at the Duck and Decanter on 16th Street and began to build a following.

They educate consumers, stakeholders, business leaders, and policymakers about the significant economic, civic, and cultural benefits of strong local economies. WThey build vibrant communities that make residents proud to call Arizona home. And when people are proud of their hometown, they tend to care more, to volunteer more, to vote more, and give more. They even cheer a little louder when the home team wins!

Consumers have grown leery of the false sense of savings promised by national chain stores and are becoming acutely aware of the homogenization of our communities. As a result, an explosion of sorts is occurring in Arizona and elsewhere as people look to define a sense of place, community, and quality of life for their families and their futures.

Studies have shown that money stays and re-circulates more often when spent at locally owned businesses. In addition, local businesses help increase home town pride which makes folks more connected to the place they live. And a recent Knight Foundation study showed “connection to place” as the single most leading indicator in places experiencing prosperity across a broad spectrum. At Local First Arizona, they want to build prosperity for all.

MI Printing is a proud member of Local First Arizona.

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource. 

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email:
sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Monday, December 2, 2013

Is Cyber Monday Affecting Your Business?

The first Monday after Thanksgiving is called Cyber Monday.  This means that many folks are online doing their Holiday shopping.  The idea is that merchants will have their best prices online rather than inviting shoppers to their brick and mortar stores with low prices there.

Google is reporting (via the NBC Today Show) that up to seventy-five percent of shoppers are using their smartphones and tablets to do at least part of their online research and shopping this year.

Many local service business are not directly affected by the Cyber Monday shopping but if they are online shopping they aren’t using or even thinking about your business.

Did you plan a coupon special to remind them to visit your restaurant and take advantage of your WiFi to do their shopping.  Did you have a coupon special to get a discount on an oil change (or whatever you offer as a product or service) that was good just for Cyber Monday? You could also feature a tear-off coupon sheet for a special every week this month.  You know it is still not too late to work in a special for at least the last three weeks or begin to plan for the New Year’s Eve specials.

The Christmas holiday sales bonanza is really special if you make it that way for your business.  Your specials and promotions need not be expensive.  You can take on the big box retailers with planning and service.  Use your market niche to nibble away at their sales.  Your Christmas shoppers won’t be buried or overrun by the crush they will find at the mall.

Even if you are located at the mall or large shopping center a small business will typically be less busy than your national competitors.

What special coupons or offers is your business placing in every bag, package or handing to every shopper you have? If you aren’t, why aren’t you?  Are your competitors out promoting your business?

This Christmas season you can be the leader in local promotions without ever being on air.  Tell your business story in a flyer or brochure. Hit the highlights and not try to tell everything at once.  What does your business do best?  What can a Christmas shopper get from your business and nowhere else?

Consider giving away custom note pads to your customers that remind them to shop your business.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, your business, family and friends from MI Printing.

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email:
sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Friday, November 29, 2013

MI Printing: Black Friday Special

25% Off Any Printing item Today Only. New Orders Must be made today.

Now is the time to order all those things that keeps your business going all year long. Get your brochures, business cards, flyers, letterhead, envelopes and multi-part forms.

Do you need help with your next print advertisement?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sears Deserves A Huge Ata-Boy

As we shop for Christmas this year you have a huge number of places where you can spend your money.  If you wish to purchase something for yourself or as a gift and the choice is Sears or another retailer please stop and consider the Sears policy that relates to US Service men and women.

What is that policy you may ask? Well, I’m glad you did.

First here is the link to the actual Sears page that goes over all of their military benefits and accomplishments. http://www.searsholdings.com/communityrelations/hero/military.htm

We hope that you have all seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist and National Guard employees who are called to duty? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, those serving take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of their active duty service.

Sears (company-wide) is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all company benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all active duty reservist and National Guard employees.

Sears is indeed one of the employers who take additional steps to show support for workers involved in serving their country (either in the Reserves or the National Guard) by guaranteeing the continuance of their civilian pay (for up to 60 months) and allowing continued participation in life insurance, medical and dental programs.

Although Sears is singled out in this example, many other American businesses, large and small, do the same for their Reserve and National Guard employees. . I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

Sears is indeed one of the employers who take additional steps to show support for workers involved in serving their country and allowing continued participation in life insurance, medical and dental programs. Although Sears is singled out in this example, many other American businesses, large and small, do the same for their Reserve and National Guard employees. Reports of such businesses can be found on the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve web site. http://www.esgr.mil/

At MI Printing we wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. If possible please support Sears this Holiday season.

Do you need help with your next print advertisement?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who Moved Black Friday?

In the past Black Friday was the day after Thanksgiving when stores put some of their items at special prices to kick off the holiday shopping season. Then they decided that Friday started at midnight and to get the jump on competition they would open at 12:00 a.m. so they would be the very first to offer their shoppers these special item prices.

Well 2013 rolls around and it is one of those years where Thanksgiving happens much later in the month and there is less than thirty days till Christmas.  So the thought process is to move Black Friday back into Thursday.  Major retailers are going to open sometime on Thursday to start their Black Friday sales.

The thinking is that no one really celebrates Thanksgiving anymore so we might as well shop.  What? One thing is for sure the sales people aren’t given a chance to spend quality time with their families this Thanksgiving.  Do Mega Corporations really need these precious family hours to make a few more bucks?

I don’t know about you but I have been buried in emails (since sometime last week) telling me I don’t have to wait for Black Friday.  I can shop online or at the stores now and still save big.

With all the Pre-Black Friday deals do we still need to open stores at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday?  Seems like that is the way of the big box retailers.  So, does this mean that next year we will have retailers that will open normal hours on Thanksgiving day?

I know that people are already camped out in front of many of the stores in preparation for the big Black Friday (or Thursday) sales. Those ringing cash register (OK, sliding card swipes) will be prove that If You Open They Will Come.

Many of our family and friends do have to work on Thanksgiving day.  They provide necessary services to the community and are truly needed to staff healthcare, power companies and first responder positions.  We all take for granted that our Police and Fire Departments never close. But the retailers just don’t fall into these types of services.

Do to lack of planning some of us will have to buy gas on this coming Thursday and we appreciate the service stations and convenience stores that do stay open.  Many of us have planned our menus well in advance and have carefully done our holiday shopping.  But, we still may find we have forgotten one essential item (maybe two) and hope that one grocery store or so will be open at least limited hours so we can recover from our oversight and put up that special holiday dinner.

To open or when to open is a concern for every business owner.  How do you decide what hours of service and products to you provide to the community?

Don’t forget to support your local businesses on Small Business Saturday (November 30th).

Do you need help with your next print advertisement?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email:
sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

McDonalds Setting A New Low For Fast Food

On Friday November 22nd we stopped for lunch at a local McDonalds store. What I found inside took me several looks to fully understand and comprehend what the sign said and meant.

First here is a photo of the sign. Take a moment and read the sign.  The way I read it this McDonalds limits the time you can spend eating your meal.  I cannot understand putting a time limit on a customer who has paid for their food and wants to consume it at your location.

Yes, the sign does say; Time Limit: 30 MINUTES While Consuming Food. No, this isn’t a PhotoShop alteration. The sign makes no mention of a time limit for folks who aren’t consuming food. I’m not sure how it is enforced or what the basis is for starting your visit.  Surely they wait until you have at least placed your order.

Now I can understand having a no loitering policy.  You don’t want people just taking up space when you are busy and stopping others from using your tables. After all the number of seats are a limited resource.

But the time limit while consuming food makes no sense at all.  I sure don’t want to be rushed while eating.  Now days it is common to take time and relax while eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. This McDonalds like most of them provides free WiFi.  Many folks even stop by a McDonalds so they can work during lunch.

Based on the sign I decided to time my lunch duration. Eating at a normal pace (for me) it took thirty-seven minutes.  That meal was a McRib, shared fries and a medium drink (with one self-serve refill).

Does it make any sense to set a tight time limit on the length of a customer visit?

What if, at this McDonalds, the customer found that he or she was still hungry and decided to purchase more food. Does their time limit reset and they get another half hour?  Does a single person who buys just a small coffee and a mother with four children and a twenty dollar purchase get the same time limit?

I don’t think that a time limit on your consuming food is what we have in mind when we think of FAST FOOD!

Do you or would you do something like this in your business?  Please take time to drop me an email and let me know what you think of this policy as it (or should it) applies to a restaurant or any other business.

Do you need help with your next commercial printing product?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email:
sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Friday, November 22, 2013

MI Printing New Customer Special

For new customers - 15% off any offset printing order of $100 or more. For best results a PDF file is required for the customer supplied artwork. Please refer to this ad when calling. Offer expires December 7, 2013.

At MI Printing we can take care of all of your offset printing needs. Offset printing is used because of its capacity to make commercial quantities of prints with high quality results and cheap production cost, offset printing is a good choice for large numbers of printing projects.

We are ready to help just give us a call at 623.582.1302 for a quote on your printing job.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Getting New Customers, Your Plan

Is it fair to say that adding more customers to your business is a day-to-day goal?  OK, you also want to keep the customers you already have, as well.

I won’t say that your goal is easy to achieve. But achievable it is.  What it takes is a plan, a workable plan.  Now the questions is in your court, what is your plan?  What are you doing on a day-to-day basis to attract those new customers and keep your existing ones?

What is your plan?

Do you run traditional print or media advertisements?

Do you send direct mail marketing pieces?

Do you have a website for your business?

Do you do any type of Social Media?

Do you use Coupons or Thank You Gifts to existing customers?

Do you reward existing customers for new customer referrals?

What promotional materials do you offer to customers or potential customers?

When was the last time you promoted your business at a community event?

Do use you collect email address from your customers?

When was the last time you sent an email marketing letter to your customer base?

When was the last time you read a book on marketing your business?

What organization do you belong to that promotes local businesses?

Does your company have a marketing brochure?

When was the last time you updated your company marketing brochure?

Are you using your business cards as handouts each and every day? Why Not?

Can I ask again, what is your goal and what is your plan to reach it?

Do you need help with your next print advertisement?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email:
sales@printinginaz.com
http://printinginaz.com
http://miprintingpromotions.com