Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Tonight

Looking for that special Halloween Adventure tonight? This list is of some places you may want to visit tonight. 

Chris Birkett’s Haunted Graveyard. (28 years) Scottsdale – Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Haunted-Graveyard-Arizona/128189337278173?ref=hl
8414 E Valley Vista Dr, Scottsdale, Arizona 85250 • (480) 607-6422

Chambers of Fear Haunted House
An intense dark attraction, filled with amazing actors, terrifying scares, incredible special effects and spine chilling entertainment. Arizona’s Scariest Haunted House features 3 Haunted Attractions all at 1 location. 114th Ave and Bell Road on the North East corner, across from QT
http://chambersoffear.com/  Arizona’s #1 Ranked, TOP HAUNT by The Arizona Republic

World famous 13th Floor Haunted House has come to Phoenix! Created by nationally recognized and award winning haunted house designers the 13th Floor will transport you to new levels of horror. Prepare to be terrified by two epic haunted attraction walkthroughs for one price. The 13th Floor is an intense, graphic, theatrical show that will take you on a gut wrenching ride of visceral thrills and psychological horror. 60,000 square feet of shocking twists and horrifying turns. Featuring the legendary 13th Floor Haunted House, and the new innovation of fear, Zombieland.
http://www.13thflooraz.com/ 2814 W. Bell Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85053

Fear Farm Haunted House and Corn Maze is the creepiest experience this Halloween. Don't settle for scary this year! Fear Farm is the most terrifying experience in Phoenix! All You Fear Is Here! They are celebrating their 14th year of fear, where an idyllic evening will turn into a never ending nightmare! And if you thought that Fear Farm was scary before, you ain't seen nothing yet! This year there are 5 horrific haunts...Descent, Condemned, Tremmor's & Flinch's Funhouse, Twisted Fairytales, and Chainsaw Mayhem. For your gruesome pleasure they also have an extreme in your face haunts, Some people never make it out alive...Will You?
http://www.fearfarm.com/ 2209 N. 99th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85037 • 623-936-9545

Your adrenaline infused experience inside the Crypt Haunted Attractions will give you spine tingling thrills! 2013 marks the return of Nightmare Edition "Even Evil Has Bad Dreams" 3-Attractions 1-Location-- The Crypt, The Asylum, and all new Chaos Maze.
Conveniently located just off US 60 and Alma School in the Fiesta Mall parking lot.
http://hauntedaz.com/
Fiesta Mall is located at 1445 W. Southern Ave, Mesa AZ 85202.

If you need help with your scary business printing needs make sure MI Printing is the printer to consider for your next haunted printing job.  We can start with a quick phone call to 623.582.1302.  We want to say “Thanks In Advance”!

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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Made in the U.S.A. Distortions Unlimited Greely Colorado

As you know Wednesday is our normal Made in the USA day.  Keeping with that that tomorrow is Halloween we are visiting a shop in Greely CO that is world renown for creating the very best in Halloween scare ware museum displays and other things that go bump in the night.

Discover Distortions
Hidden in an industrial warehouse in Greeley, Colorado, Distortions Unlimited’s owners, Ed and Marsha Edmunds, make monsters. Their quality props, masks and creations have been a mainstay of the dark amusement industry since 1978. Long creative hours are spent in gray-walled offices with brain-eating hunchbacks, wall-scaling zombies and docile 3-foot tall aliens. The working environment looks more like a nightmare manufactory than a place of business.

As a child and fan of television shows such as The Outer Limits, The Time Machine and the original Star Trek, Ed enjoyed creating masks and putting on performances as monster characters. Continued experimentations with makeup turned his artistic hobby into a true talent at a young age, and among other stage makeup and prop work, he started his mask-making operation, Distortions Unlimited, while still in high school.

Through college, Ed developed his company’s products, sculpting a severed finger, molding bloody hands and becoming one of the first in the industry to sculpt cut-off arms. After college, Ed met Marsha Taub, a biology student from the University of Northern Colorado. Sharing a workplace, dedication to a faith in Christ, artistic passion and creative yearning, they became a team – one so strong, they exchanged marriage vows in 1992!

In its infancy Distortions was a diamond in the rough, making its first home in one bedroom of a two-bedroom apartment. Pumping out strictly masks, Ed worked to bridge the gap between the cheap masks he had previously painted and their high-priced American counterparts. Now in a Greeley, CO industrial-zoned 24,000 square-foot facility, Distortions has a year-round tight-knit staff of designers, artists, carpenters, sculptors, painters, pourers, patchers, seamers, welders, woodworkers, mold makers, sprayers, shippers, seamstresses, cutters, electricians, assemblers, managers and office personnel.

From haunted houses and electric chairs to Alien’s homicidal alien queen and Alice Cooper’s Brutal Planet Tour, child-like enthusiasm and imagination has always reigned supreme at the office. With a new focus on cutting edge animations, developing technology and materials for props and molds, there are no worries of creative stagnation, and plans at Distortions are in fact ‘Unlimited.’
For the future, “higher impact” and “more intense” animations are the key phrases. Ed and Marsha now spend their days in a warehouse akin to a cannibal’s buffet. Hands and feet top a line of metal spikes, a row of glassy-eyed zombies peer from behind a rail of severed heads. They are still making monsters, but now they make them by the thousands.

DU is now featured on Travel Channel's Making Monstershttp://www.distortionsonline.com/
http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/making-monsters

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Communications Can Be Difficult

Considering we practice communication everyday with our clients, customers, co-workers, family and friends, is it not somewhat surprising that we still struggle with communication at all levels? Perhaps it is because the skill set is so vast incorporating writing, speaking, listening, promoting and counselling into the mastery of communication skills, making it difficult to achieve excellence in all areas.

The first step in successful communications is learning to be a good (make that great) listener.  Or in the case of written communications learn to become a great reader. You need to read and then re-read the communication. It is a good practice before sending any written communication to read and re-read it very carefully, you need to treat all incoming messages the same way.

Take whatever time necessary to understand that incoming message.  If there is any question about meaning perhaps it would be best to ask the writer to restate their comment or question rather than make a mistake in your answer due to a misunderstanding of the original message.

When you look at how complex the human communication process actually is, it is surprising we get along as well as we do. That is why it is very important to check back for understanding - three-way communication techniques and feedback give us that final check.

So, what are some of the tools we can use to be an effective communicator?

• Know your audience - what tools will work best with different groups;

• Never make assumptions;

• Make sure you understand the context;

• Observe others communication techniques;

• Apply KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle - make your message clear and concise;

• Make sure you understand your customer’s WITFM (what’s in it for me);

• Take the time to analyze when you have been an effective communicator;

• Use stories and examples to get your message across - keep it personal;

• Pick the right medium for your audience;
 
• Close the loop - obtain feedback and practice effective follow-up.

If you need help with your business printing needs make sure MI Printing is the printer to consider for your next printing job.  We can start with a quick phone call to 623.582.1302.  We want to say “Thanks In Advance”!

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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Is Anybody Doing Follow-up These Days?

Maybe it is just me?  I mean that, maybe it is just happening to me. Little to no follow-up, is what I mean.

Just to give you a run-down for the last three weeks or so. I called my car insurance company and wanted to talk about how an upgrade to my vehicles security system should lower my car insurance cost.  The policy service person promised to call me back on a certain day.  That day has come and gone. No call!

My car dealer’s service center was to call me and set a time for a safety related warranty repair. Almost a week beyond the promised call date and you guessed it, no call.

For the first time in many years a purchase from a trusted company didn’t make it to my post office box.  Yes, it was shipped with tracking.  Yes, it was shipped and we can track it to the Phoenix sorting center.  There the tracking ends.  The package made it to Phoenix, but not to my post office box.  We have made two attempts to find out from our local Post Office what has happened to the package.  The last time the Post Office took more information and promised to call us back.  Sure enough we are still waiting to hear from the United States Postal Service.

These are the main offenders but it is not the totality of the lack of follow-up.  It seems like the lack of follow-up is reaching epidemic proportions. How about you? Are you on the receiving end of this type of service? Or should I say, lack of service?

Since this blog is aimed at businesses and business owners, can I ask how your organization is doing, follow-up wise that is?

How are you and your employees doing when it comes to customer follow-up?  Follow-up comes in two general forms… short term and long term. A restaurant has contact with the diners and their requests for additional items, changes, corrections and last but not least the sincere “Thank You” for their business.

This may be a bit more in the forefront from a recent purchase at a restaurant.  The food delivered had a glaring flaw. I asked for a manger to come to the table and asked if it was normal to deliver a bun to the table that was rock hard and made a great noise when banged against the plate.  The manager promised to remake the food and bring me a replacement.  About a half an hour later a different server stopped by to see if I still wanted my replacement.  I might mention the thought of giving me a refund never entered the conversation.

My payback here is very simple, I need never return to that restaurant.

How good is your business follow-up?

Have you visited MI Printing Promotions yet?  You can find thousands of items that will help you promote your business.  Have a need for quality business printing? Call MI Printing at 623.582.1302 and let us be your local business printing and promotion resource.

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

Friday, October 25, 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 November 15, 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, October 24, 2013

Could Your Business Use A Character

Could your business use a character to help potential customers respond in greater numbers to your promotions and marketing.

Some business use simple means of renting (hiring) a person to use a twirled sign and dance moves to grab attention from passersby. This is a single point of interest rather than a character that stays with and is used in other marketing and promotions.

Human Billboard

A human billboard is someone who applies an advertisement on his or her person. Most commonly, this means holding or wearing a sign of some sort, but also may include wearing advertising as clothing or in extreme cases, having advertising tattooed on the body. Sign holders are known as human directionals in the advertising industry, or colloquially as sign walkers, sign wavers, sign twirlers or (in British territories) sandwich men. Frequently, they will spin or dance or wear costumes with the promotional sign in order to attract attention.

Mascot

The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially (informally) includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name. Mascots are also used as fictional, representative spokespeople for consumer products, such as the rabbit used in advertising and marketing for the General Mills brand of breakfast cereal, Trix.

Many small business use mascots to help relate an image or slogan to their business.

Kermit’s Original Key West Key Lime Shoppe

Kermit Carpenter began selling smoothies from a small stand in front of Papa’s Restaurant in Key West during his tenure as Papa’s bookkeeper. When the head chef suddenly drove off into the proverbial sunset one night, Kermit was left looking for a new adventure. Having been brainstorming with his sister Anita and her husband John, they decided that whatever they decided to do, it needed to be high quality and say “Key West”… gourmet food and Key Lime fit the bill, and so began Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.

The Kermit Key Lime character is famous through-out the area and allows a consistent image to market the business around.

Do you need help with your next business printing job?  Call MI Printing at 623.582.1302 and let us be your local business printing resource.

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Made In The USA – Columbine Cycle Works



Columbine Cycle Works began as many small businesses do. An idea became a hobby, the hobby became an obsession, the obsession a way of life. John and Richard Murphy founded Columbine in 1979 with the goal of producing one of the finest bicycles in the world. To build a good frame was not enough. It would be durable, handle superbly and look spectacular. For this ideal, the rugged mountain wildflower, the Columbine was chosen to be the name. The Columbine is distinctive among the high alpine flowers. Its color, stature and unique beauty are stunning to behold. This striking flower became the symbol for the quality, beauty and special character found in every Columbine frame produced. In a world of cookie-cutter styling, Columbine bicycles stand out as a statement of individuality, personal expression and a passionate pursuit of the craft.

Columbine frames are built with multi-heat treated Chrome-Molybdenum Steel tubing with Niobium(Ni) and Vanadium(Va), Columbus calls theirs NivaChrome), important alloying agents for grain refinement. For the first time, Columbine will be using a mixture of brand names of tubing most of the time. Each manufacture r is producing sets with what I consider to be inconsistencies of gauging or material strength, anomalies that can produce strange material distribution in the finished frame. I never mix tubing because of price, only the best from each manufacturer: Prestige, True Temper, Columbus, and the new Reynolds 953 Stainless. Metal distribution is at least as important as material strength. More gauges and butting options will give better distribution for optimum behavior, strength and longevity. Also, straightness is critical, so shopping for that is of primary importance. The idea is to put the metal only where necessary to enhance the hill climbing, handling, stability, and comfort properties and match those to the purpose of the frame.

Since all Columbine frames are 100% custom, we would ask that you suspend any previously limiting conventions that you may have held concerning bicycle frames and cycle fit. While we would like to say that the sky is the limit in these areas, there are limits to the degree to which we can go in design and fit. If we believe that a design request may be dangerous or embarrassing, we may as k that you rethink those parameters.

The finish of a Columbine also is seen on a continuum from the most basic carbon steel lugwork to the fanciest. For the sake of simplicity, starting points have been chosen by the monikers; Custom and Ultra mostly for the purpose of outlining pricing schedules for the additional artwork options. You can add any art to the basic frames.

Location:  P.O. Box 339 • Mendocino, California 95460-0339 • 707-937-2080

Website:  http://www.columbinecycle.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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Secrets To Success In Business

The Secrets To Business Success. Wait a minute, are you familiar with the follow quote?

“There are no secrets to success. Success is the end result of preparation, hard work, and learning from the results or failures.” ~ Colin Powell

That statement sure seems to make a lot of sense. I know we all tend to look for the secrets, the short cuts, the easy path or the quick fix. The hard work ethic is what tends to have the best long term results.

It tends to remind me of the following; “God, please grant me patience and give it to me NOW!

Here is another quote that says a lot about business success. “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” ~ Sam Walton

Do you treat your customers as if they are “your” boss? Putting the customer’s needs first is always a good idea. That idea sure isn’t much of a secret.

When you talk about a business model that seems to do most things correctly the Disney name comes up sooner or later. “Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.” ~ Walt Disney

Doing your work and running your business isn’t about putting money first, but rather, putting the customer first and making sure they are happy and even having fun.

What are your customers saying about your business?  Let’s close out with a few more ideas that may help motivate you toward your business success.

“Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.” ~ David Rockefeller

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches.” ~ Napoleon Hill

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” ~ Vidal Sassoon

“Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.” ~ Ronald Reagan

At MI Printing we look forward to working on your business printing needs.  We look forward to working with your businesses’ needs.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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

Friday, October 18, 2013

MI Printing Special: 15% Off Custom Carbonless Forms

15% Off Custom Carbonless Forms. Please let us know what type of padding you expect for your forms. For best results a PDF file is required for the customer supplied artwork. Please refer to this ad when calling. Offer expires October 31, 2013.

At MI Printing we can take care of all of your carbonless needs far beyond just carbonless forms.  These can be used for employment applications, order forms, job tickets, invoices, estimates or proposals. If needed, backside printing is available.

Need to know more about all the uses for carbonless forms contact us at MI Printing. 

We are ready to help just give us a call at 623.582.1302 for our current special pricing on carbonless forms.

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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Now That I Have Your Attention!

You need to make sure you understand the base concrete rule of marketing. You can’t get your message across if no one is listening. In other words you first need to get their attention. There are many ways to get your audience’s attention.

How you get attention varies depending on who you are trying to reach and the method you are using to market or advertise.  But make no mistake you first need to get their attention.

This is the basis for the old adage that sex sells.  While the image and message may vary depending on the gender of the target audience it is a way to get “their” attention.  The recent television commercial by Gevalia Coffee using a clearly sensual “Johan” character doing a dramatic reading of the roasting process is just a recent example for the female coffee buyers. What advertisers do for the male buyers is of course both effective and controversial at the same time.

We have all seen the loud and obnoxious local car sales ads that use pure volume to try and get our attention. Thankfully that type of ads are on the decline. But loud ads and advertisements that use burst of noise to get your attention are being used in many other cases.

Billboards that are done correctly use few words but a catchy message to grab attentions.  This falls into the same area as a great headline or ad that grabs attention with a short phrase. A really famous example is, A Diamond Is Forever.

Does “Good To The Last Drop” or “Got Milk?” ring a bell or remind you of a brand or product? Leaving the potential consumer with a memorable message is the goal after you have gotten their attention.

Singers, actors and athletes know their public personas are directly tied to their revenues and opportunities. But what about the rest of us? Even if you are the best manager at your business, the financial analyst with the most accurate projections or the creative ad director who has won the most awards, talent alone doesn’t ensure recognition.

Professional speakers and authors both know that getting and keeping your audience is vital to your success. An often used phrase that is used is that of a single idea “the hook.”  You need to have a hook to catch them right up front.

How big is the signage you use on your business? What colors do you use on your brochures? What is your business’ tag line or slogan? When did you last consider how effective your marketing is? When was the last time you gave your customer a gift with your logo or contact information?

Do you need help with your next print advertisement or promotional items?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us help.

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Made In The USA – The Slinky

The Slinky toy that is known by nearly everyone and most of us have played with one as a child.  Did you know that they are still made in the USA and in the same factory as the originals were made.

POOF-Slinky is the manufacturer of the world famous Slinky® and POOF, a line of the bestselling foam sport balls in North America.

The Slinky was developed in 1943 by naval engineer Richard James as part of work with cushioning devices for warships, it was his wife, Betty who gave it the “slinky” name. The toy debuted at Gimbel’s Department Store in Philadelphia in 1945. Since then, more than 300 million Slinky’s have been sold. The Slinky is still manufactured in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, with the original equipment Richard James built.

POOF®-Slinky® is the manufacturer of the world famous Slinky®, and the ever popular POOF® foam balls that add a wide scope of game and educational play to their line of recognizable brands.

For seventy years, Slinky® has been a household name. That slinkity sound, the famous Slinky® song, and the Slinky® name summon childhood memories, nostalgia for a simpler time, and hours of independent, creative play. A child with a Slinky? Magic!

POOF® toys off¬er great ideas for both active outdoor and quiet indoor play. Teaching and encouraging motor skills and cognitive creativity, POOF® continues to be a front-runner in toy design for children of all ages… with lots of fun built in!

Every piece of every POOF®-Slinky® product has passed strict in-house and government testing. Each product goes through rigorous testing at an accredited laboratory, and meets or exceeds all regulatory US and Canadian standards.

Slinky® and POOF® brands are made in their original hometowns of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and Plymouth, Michigan.

Location:  POOF®-Slinky®, LLC, 4280 S Haggerty Road Canton, MI 48188
Website:  http://poof-slinky.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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Build A Business Coalition

What can you do to expand your business without spending a bunch of money?  You can do it by helping another business expand their reach.  In fact you can speed up the process by getting together a group of businesses and all work together to expand your business reach.

Put together a working group using cooperative interactions among, non-competitive businesses in your area and cross-promote each others businesses. You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions or social media platforms. By collaborating with each other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching many new people.

In simplest terms, a coalition is a group of individuals and/or organizations with a common interest who agree to work together toward a common goal. That goal could be as narrow as better sales results at a specific shopping mall, or as broad as trying to improve permanently the overall quality of businesses in the local area. By the same token, the individuals and organizations involved might be drawn from a narrow area of interest, or might include increased sales in nearly every segment of their products or services, depending upon the breadth of the business needs.

When used in a business application, a coalition means that teamwork will produce an overall better result than if each person within the group were working toward the same goal individually. However, the concept of group cohesion needs to be considered. Group cohesion is that property that is inferred from the number and strength of mutual positive attitudes among members of the group. As the group becomes more cohesive, its functioning is affected in a number of ways. First, the interactions and communication between members increase. Common goals, interests and small size all contribute to this. In addition, group member satisfaction increases as the group provides friendship and support against outside threats.

Business synergy occurs when local businesses interact congruently. A sales synergy refers to a financial benefit that a corporation expects to realize when it works with or cooperates in marketing and sales. This type of synergy is a nearly ubiquitous feature of a business coalitions and is a negotiating point between the buyer and seller that impacts the final price both parties agree to.

A marketing synergy refers to the use of information campaigns, studies, and scientific discovery or experimentation for research or development. This promotes the sale of products for varied use or off-market sales as well as development of marketing tools and in several cases exaggeration of effects. It is also often a meaningless buzzword used by corporate leaders.

A cost synergy refers to the opportunity of a combined corporate entity to reduce or eliminate expenses associated with running a business. Cost synergies are realized by eliminating positions that are viewed as duplicate within the merged entity. Examples include the headquarters office of one of the predecessor companies, certain executives, the human resources department, or other employees of the predecessor companies. This is related to the economic concept of economies of scale.

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

Learn To Set Your Business Apart!

We have mentioned the “Me Too” business practices of many businesses when it comes to promotions. Setting yourself apart or even above other businesses makes more sense to us here at MI Printing.

You would never think of saying that your competition is just as good as your business, would you?  If you constantly “follow” marketing trends that is the effect of what you are doing.  If you sell donuts you want your buyer to feel that they are buying the best tasting donuts in the whole wide world. Well at least the best donuts in your town.

You need to celebrate what makes your business special or different. You want people to buy from you because you have what they want and need.

“You are always better off having a point of difference in your product or service, instead of just coming out with a me-too and relying on your merchandising and advertising ability. Businesses in all industries as competitive as any who say ‘we are better marketers than our competitors that’s why we will win,’ are just fooling themselves.” It is what you offer not how you offer it that sets you apart.

Selling something that doesn’t live up to its hype illustrates the old saying, “You can fool some of the people all of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Remember the other marketing adage, “Tell a good story and then remember you have to live up to it!”

Do you run your business like a major corporation or like a traditional “Mom & Pop”? There is great strength in size, but there is also great weakness. The strength is that people tend to believe that larger companies may know more, but with that positive perception comes a burden of inaccessibility. Coldness. Institutional. Not friendly. Not human. Not real. How do you want your customers to feel about your business?

Many types the choice may be between a big-box store and your small business.  What do you offer that will set your business apart.  The service you offer, the education you offer, the flexibility you offer is something they may not be able to offer.  Perhaps a visit to your competition will help you discover their weaknesses and allow you to play on your strengths in comparison to your competition.

No matter how great the products or services are, customers will not beat down the door in numbers needed to stay in business if their view of the business is not positive. Sometimes, it only takes unsubstantiated negative publicity, or poor ethical choices to make a business start to flounder. Therefore, CEO’s and Small Business Owners need to establish sound goals, make ethical choices and keep a positive perception, of their business among most audiences. Poor perceptions are next to impossible to overcome and years may not necessarily cause the public to forget or change the poor perceptions.

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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

Friday, October 11, 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 October 15, 2013.

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

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

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Do You Market Your Business?

Marketing your business is a very basic requirement for any business. Yet exactly what that means and how you do it are questions that most small business struggle with. 

You are not alone. Marketing is the greatest challenge and biggest concern for small and mid-sized businesses. Marketing is the least understood business function and the most mysterious. Money pit, black art, expense and necessary evil are common perceptions of marketing.

As times change and businesses grow, every company reaches a point where marketing becomes a critical business issue. For some, this happens when revenues stall or dip. For others, it becomes an important factor in taking the business to the next level. Either way, the questions of, "What is marketing, what do we do and how do we do it?" arise.

What tools should you use to market your business? Do you use conventional advertising only in the form of television, radio and print advertising? Do you use online tools like Google AdWords, social media and direct email approaches? Do you use promotional gifts to introduce new customers and reward existing buyers?

Wikipedia defines "Marketing" as the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of selling the product or service. It is a critical business function for attracting customers.

Marketing should be a high-level business function that is strategic and long-term. Marketing should have more in common with a company’s business plan than it does with its monthly sales goals. In fact, much of a company’s business plan should be the actual marketing plan. Deciding what products to offer, at what price and to which market segments are functions of both business planning and marketing.

"Marketing mix" is a general phrase used to describe the different kinds of choices organizations have to make in the whole process of bringing a product or service to market. The 4Ps is one way – probably the best-known way – of defining the marketing mix, and was first expressed in 1960 by E J McCarthy.

The 4Ps of Marketing are:
    Product (or Service)
    Place
    Price
    Promotion


A good way to understand the 4Ps is by the questions that you need to ask to define your marketing mix. What does the customer want from the product or service? What needs does it satisfy?

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Made In The USA – Master Lock Company

The Master Lock Company was founded by Harry Soref in 1921 located in Milwaukee, Wiscousin.

If Bank Vault Doors and battle ships were built in laminated layers of steel for greater strength, why not make padlocks the same way? The first Laminated Steel padlock was invented and patented on April 22nd 1924. Master Lock’s laminated padlocks began production in a single room in a small commercial building in Milwaukee, WI. The room consisted of a drill press, grinder, punch press, and five employees.

In 1931 Soref receives a gold medal from the American Association of Master Locksmiths. Harry Soref received the only gold medal ever given by the American Association of Master Locksmiths for the greatest development in locks over the past 50 years.

In 1935 Master Lock introduces its first combination lock, the 1500D
By 1939 Master Lock moved in to its current production facilities located at 2600 N. 32nd Street, Milwaukee, WI.

During World War II Master Lock employees worked around the clock, seven days a week, to meet the high priority war-related orders for Master Lock Padlocks.

In 1967 along with print and radio advertising, Master Lock branched into television. The first commercial, in which a Master Lock padlock foils a bullet fired from a .44 Magnum pistol, was shown in 1967 on the NBC Today show with Hugh Downs, and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

(n 1971 Master Lock introduced its first gun lock, number 90

In 2004 Master Lock moved its corporate headquarters to Oak Creek, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee.

Jan. 24, 2012 — President Obama highlighted Master Lock in his State of the Union address Tuesday night for moving jobs back to the U.S. from China. Since mid-2010, Master Lock has brought back approximately 100 union jobs to its Milwaukee factory. Master Lock currently manufacturers in several locations around the globe.

Location:  137 W. Forest Hill Avenue Oak Creek, WI 53154
Website:  http://www.masterlock.com/index.jsp

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What Are Your Customers Spending This Halloween?

According to the National Retail Federation a record 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to NRF’s 2013 Halloween consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight.

Seven in 10 Americans (71.5%) will get into the haunting Halloween mood, up from 68.6 percent last year and the most in NRF’s 10-year survey history. Consumers are expecting to spend more too; the average person will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, with total Halloween spending expected to reach $8.0 billion.

“By the time Halloween rolls around each year it’s safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely-loved holidays of the year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers know that when it comes to Halloween, new costume ideas for children, adults and pets, and the latest in home and yard décor top people’s shopping lists. We expect retailers to stock their shelves well ahead of time to capture the attention of eager holiday shoppers.”

When it comes to looking for Halloween costume ideas, consumers say their biggest source of inspiration is what they see in a retail store or costume shop. More than one-third (35.7 percent) will look for new ideas in a store and nearly one-quarter (23.7%) will turn to their friends and family.

Nearly half (49.5%) said they would decorate their home or yard. In fact, spending on Halloween decor ($19.79 per person) was second only to that spent for Christmas. Almost as many (47.8%) said they would carve a pumpkin. Nearly a third (32.9%) planned to take their children out trick-or-treating.

Social media will also play a role in choosing costumes: 15.2 percent will check out Facebook for inspiration and 7.1 percent will scour the visually-appealing Pinterest. Online searches will also be popular with celebrants: 33.3 percent say they will get their inspiration online. Of those buying or making costumes, the average person will spend $28.65 on costumes this year, up slightly from $26.52.

In 2012, 15% put a costume on their pet. This was more than the 14.7% who did the year before, spending $310 million in the process. The most popular pet costume was a pumpkin (12.7%), devil (6.9%) or hot dog (5.7%). Oddly enough, some pet owners wanted to confuse their animal by dressing their dog up like a cat (3.7%) or their cat like a dog (3.3%).

What are your business’ plans for turning this Halloween customer sales “wants” into sales for your business?

Are you decorating for Halloween?  Do you have themed sales, coupons or promotional items ready for Halloween?

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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

Monday, October 7, 2013

Girl Talk From Your Business?

Like nervous teenage boys at their first junior high dance, many marketers are struggling to figure out how to talk to their female audience, who comprise 51% of the U.S. population. True, not all people struggle when it comes to marketing to the fairer gender.  But, many do!

Those that are used to going after the female checkbook and credit cards, like clothing, make-up and groceries have mastered, or at least very good at reaching the feminine market.

Is your business truly reaching both sides of the gender market? Do you do better by means of communications with men better than women.

Some companies are making strides. Instead of merely putting men's products in pretty pink packages with frilly bows, marketers have begun to create products with real points of difference or are adapting existing products to benefit women.

Looking back in 1996 no products specifically aimed at women were launched, compared with 32 specific products in 2000, 40 in 2001 and 42 during 2010, according to Mintel International Group, a new-product tracking company.

Recent female-specific product launches include PepsiCo's Aquafina Essentials, a slightly sweetened, fruit-flavored bottled water spiked with minerals and vitamins; PepsiCo's Quaker Foods & Beverages' Nutrition for Women cereal line, with ingredients such as calcium, soy and folic acid; and Brown Forman Corp.'s Southern Twist, a sweet, fruity derivation of Southern Comfort designed for the female palate. Procter & Gamble Co. is in the process of launching Crest Rejuvenating Effects, a toothpaste line featuring flavoring and packaging to appeal to the softer sex, and shepherded by a trio of marketing managers internally dubbed "Chicks in Charge."

Female-specific marketing does not make sense for every category. Beer is one. 

Brewers have done little to cultivate women, largely because men down exponentially more of their products than do women. Even light beer, the largest segment of the market, primarily is consumed by men. 

In the beer business, said Randy Stone, CEO of consultant Marketing Management Analytics, marketing to women "ain't ever gonna be the path to glory."

Are the experts always right? Some brew-pubs have had excellent results with specific girls night outs on their slower nights.

What is your business doing to reach your female market?

Do you need help with your next business printing job?  Call MI Printing at 623.582.1302 and let us be your local business printing resource.

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

Friday, October 4, 2013

Free Business Cards

That right! 1000 free business cards with the purchase of 1000 letterheads and envelopes.

To receive discount please mention this ad. Offer expires October 15, 2013.

Letterheads are standards for businesses and companies. Letterhead 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.

The letterhead therefore speaks of a company's formality and credibility. Letterheads in fact, have the power to affect a response from the recipients whether its favorable or not. Depending on the look, appearance and quality, your letterhead 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 letterhead. 623-582-1302

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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Business Owner’s Big Question – Are You Ready For The Holidays?

I know that it is just a month or a bit more since you got the children through “back to school” and you might think that it is a bit early to start singing Holiday Songs, but from your marketing time-table, your calendar is winding down quickly! In fact I can hear the Monster Mash lyrics playing on the radio and TV advertisements.  The Haunted House attractions are going up all over town.  Fall décor is all over the stores.

Here in Arizona we are still walking around in flip flops and perspiring from the heat, you might not feel very motivated to plan for the holidays, but Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanza are just around the corner.  All of a sudden they will begin to feel like a locomotive bearing down on you and your business.

Or you could be thinking that summer flew by before you could take a breath, and while that may be true, you are about to enter the fastest four months for all businesses, no matter the size or type of product or service.

The last quarter of the year is often the biggest and busiest time of the year for all businesses, It really doesn’t matter for Business to Consumer or for Business to Business companies. Consumer serving companies get the most publicity but business-serving companies are busy as well.

Budget planning and deadlines need to be closed and tax credits taken advantage of with purchases that drive year-end sales. Contract renewals are at their height and keeping or winning an account will affect next year’s sales. Celebrations require event spaces and caterers or a restaurant. Early bookings could limit your options, and conversely if that is your business category then you should be reminding your customers to book before all the best dates are gone.

Should your business support consumer-facing companies, those clients are going to really need you during the holiday season. All businesses, large and small, serving consumers or serving businesses all have the opportunity to go into hyper mode in the last quarter of the year bringing you sales and profits that exceed previous year.

Are you and your business ready to go the extra mile for your customers and your business itself? If you aren’t is your competition ready to take up your slack and your customers? Those very questions haunt many a business owner this time of year.

Do you need help with your next business printing job?  We can help you communicate your brand to your potential customers. Call MI Printing at 623.582.1302 and let us be your local business printing resource.

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

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Made In The USA – Homer Laughlin China Company

FIESTA®, America's favorite dinnerware, was introduced by The Homer Laughlin China Company with great fanfare at the Pittsburgh China & Glass Show in January, 1936.

FIESTA® was the creation of Frederick Hurten Rhead, a second generation Stoke-on-Trent potter who had become Homer Laughlin's design director in 1927. FIESTA® was an immediate hit with the public and, by it's second year of production, more than one million pieces were produced.
 
The original five colors were Red, Yellow, Cobalt Blue, Green and Ivory. Turquoise was added early in 1937. The shapes of FIESTA® were created in an Art Deco style with concentric circles highlighting the bright colors.

The first six colors were produced through the 1930's and 40's until a change in fashion direction dictated a change to a softer palette of pastel colors at the beginning of the 1950's. Color trends moved back to brighter colors in the early 1960's and FIESTA® moved with the trend. By the late 60's earthtones were in vogue and the dinnerware industry turned in that direction. Popularity of these colors proved to be short-lived and sales began to fall.

In 1985, officials of Bloomingdale's, the prestigious retailer in New York City approached Homer Laughlin about reproducing a dinnerware line from the past. Soon the two companies agreed that FIESTA® had the greatest chance for commercial success. In early 1986, Bloomingdale's introduced a new line of FIESTA® with a new color palette and with improvements to the body and glaze. Homer Laughlin was the country's leading producer of restaurant china and it was determined that the new FIESTA® should be made of the same durable, restaurant- quality china body as the company's other products. The ceramic glaze would be lead-free, a comparatively new innovation in the china industry.

Over the next twenty years, new colors have been introduced and FIESTA® has become a trendsetter of color for the housewares industry. In the seventy years since FIESTA® was first produced, there have been a total of 38 colors in the line.

Today, Homer Laughlin introduces one new color each year and FIESTA® has become the leading dinnerware brand in casual tabletop, as well as a consistent leader in bridal registries across America.
All the while, collectors have continued to add to the dinnerware to which they were first introduced by their mothers and grandmothers. Today, FIESTA® dinnerware is the most collected dinnerware in the history of the tabletop industry with well over one half billion pieces produced.
 
Location:  672 Fiesta Drive Newell, WV 26050 • 800-452-4462
Website: 
http://www.fiestafactorydirect.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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What Is Marketing?

What is the definition of marketing?  There are many, but here is one that makes a lot of sense; “Ensuring that you're selling the right products or services to the right customers and for the right price”. Consider that you could add “at the right time” to that message as well.

From that statement you might think that the basic technique of marketing would be to segment your customer base and deal with each segment differently, focusing most attention on the segments that produce the most profit. For marketing to be considered successful the results of your marketing  should be sales growth and increased profitability.

Do you think of your brand as though it were living, breathing and altering lives of people who utilize your product or service? Was your brand born, hatched or created like Frankenstein, but regardless, it come to life and hopefully develops an emotional connection with your brand. How is your brand supported by your current marketing?

Your brand's marketing shouldn’t communicate erratically or in an unpredictable manner.  Too many times marketing campaigns and communications can seem fractured, and/or budget constraints limit the execution of full campaigns and thus the impact we intended. The point is to stay the course, maintain a consistent message and presence in the market, and pursue brand goals with passion and persistence.

You should always want your brands to have meaningful relationships with customers? Don’t we always want our customers to have a “brand experience”?  This is only possible if we apply the concept of social skill and think of our brands as people, perhaps even as leaders that interact with and positively affect others. What could be more human than this!

It’s also critical for your marketing to be “in control,” so to speak. Ensure all of your marketing is accurate and avoid overpromising or harsh words. This is especially important in times of heated competition, try to ensure the brand stays true to itself, behaves properly and doesn’t overreact when the market gets stirred up.  Always respond to email and social media in a fair and measured manner. Public relation responses are as important as sales action upfront.

Shouldn’t your brand marketing know its mood and emotion and those effects on your market audience.  Every element of your brand’s communication, color, logo, tagline, copy, etc — should reflect the brand’s mood, tone and personality, and it’s imperative as good stewards to understand how this will impact our customers and most importantly compel them to actions you desire. For here your marketing should produce sales growth and increased profitability. We all agree that is the goal of your efforts.

Do you need help with your next business printing job?  We can help you communicate your brand to your potential customers. Call MI Printing at 623.582.1302 and let us be your local business printing resource.

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