Friday, January 31, 2014

MI Printing Special: Notepads

20% Off  Custom printed notepads: 4:25 x 5.5  padded in 50 sheets.  All of our notepads come with a very sturdy chipboard backing, and the pages are compiled of 60LB uncoated text. 

 Please mention this ad when calling to order.  Offer expires February 15, 2014

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

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Super Bowl Ads the Ultimate Marketing Mayhem
The largest TV audience is set to watch… the Super Bowl commercials.  Yes, many of the viewers are looking forward to seeing the best part of the game, the paid television advertisements.  Yes, part of the television audience makes the claim that their favorite part of the game is the advertisements.

Super Bowl XLVIII will air February 2nd on Fox television from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Fox Sports will be paid around $4 million for 30 seconds worth of air time during the game, media buyers have said.

Some of the most memorable (even iconic) television ads have come from the Super Bowl.  Perhaps the most iconic was in 1994 (Super Bowl XVIII) when Apple Computers introduced their new Macintosh model the takeoff was based on George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984" and filmed on the outskirts of London.

The big two of Super Bowl ads are Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) which often are the winners when the votes are in.  

Here is the list of advertisers who will run spots during this year’s Super Bowl;
Audi of America (Volkswagen), Axe (Unilever body care products), Bank of America, Beats Music, Budweiser, Butterfinger (Nestle), Carmax (pre-owned cars), Cheerios (General Mills), Chevrolet (General Motors), Chobani (Fruit Yogurt), Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Doritos (PepsiCo's Frito-Lay), GoDaddy, H&M (Clothing), H.J. Heinz Co., Hyundai Motor America, Intuit (TurboTax), Jaguar, Kia, M&M's (Mars), Oikos (Dannon Yogurt), Paramount Pictures (Viacom "Transformers: Age of Extinction), PepsiCo Beverage, SodaStream (make you own sodas), Squarespace (Internet websites), Toyota (Toyota), Volkswagen, WeatherTech (fitted Floormats), Wonderful Pistachios (Roll International).

Like many folks we have been previewing some of the ads that have been released before the big game and so far here are some of our favorites.

Budweiser (Puppy Love)
Chobani (How Matters - Bear)
Doritos (One Million dollar – contest – winner shown during Super Bowl)
Jaguar (British Villains 'Rendezvous')

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupon or brochure?  Call MI Printing at 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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Made In The USA – Thomas Lures

In the earliest days of America, rods reels and assorted paraphernalia were imported from Europe as indicated in the letter of August 1737 when William Penn's daughter Margaret Penn Freame wrote to her brother in London, "my chief Amusement this summer has been fishing. I therefore request the favor of you when a Leisure Hour will admit, you will buy for me a Rod and Reel with strong good Lines and assortment of hooks the best sort"

While some very early Thomas Lures were fashioned after successful European designs, all Thomas Lures have always been manufactured in the United States. 

They are proud of their traditions, and they are sure that you will not find a better crafted fishing lure manufactured abroad or in America.

In 1938 an apprentice tool and die maker from Czechoslovakia, Richard Shubert, came to America with a dream of producing fishing lures.  Needing to communicate in the country of his birth, Richard’s American-born mother sent him to a relative in Montana to be tutored in the English language.  The rivers and lakes of Montana and the surrounding Rocky Mountain region provided the perfect setting to test his prototypes and market his innovative new lures to customers.  

During the mid-1940’s he returned to family in New York City and the young entrepreneur began producing Thomas Spinning Lures in a small shop on Manhattan’s lower east side.  For the next fifteen years, with the popularity of spin-fishing growing rapidly, so did the popularity of Thomas’ unique line of spoons and spinners, with sales eventually expanding into many other famous trout fishing areas of the United States.  While vacationing at Lake Wallenpaupack in the late 1950’s, Richard discovered the tranquil beauty of the Pocono Mountains region and decided to move his thriving business to northeastern Pennsylvania.  

In 1961 Thomas Lures began manufacturing fishing lures in Hawley, Pennsylvania, where they continue to operate to this day.  In fact, they are still in the same buildings for over fifty years!  They are a small, privately-owned company with a handful of employees dedicated to providing American made, high-quality fishing lures at reasonable prices.  

Their time-tested baits have satisfied many generations of successful anglers.  Over sixty-five years in business is proof-positive Thomas lures catch fish - consistently, time after time.  You can always rely on a Thomas lure to bring you a lifetime of fishing success and enjoyment.

Location:  316 Wayne Ave Hawley PA 18428 • 800-724-6768


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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MI Printing’s Small Business Tips – Staying Top of Mind

With any business you want to have customers that buy your product or service.  Simple idea. But, the concept needs to be fully understood to have the end result be a purchase.

Do you know when and why a customer buys from your business?  What is the trigger that starts the process? Is the purchase planned or is it spur of the moment?

One very important aspect of any purchase is very basic.  The customer has to know that you sell the item or service they need or want. Yes, it really is that simple. Your store, site, brand or name must be part of the thought process when a customer is considering what to buy.  If they never think of you then they will never buy from you.

The definition of top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) is a brand or specific product coming first in customers' minds when thinking of a particular type of commerce. Companies attempt to build brand awareness through media exposure on channels such as internet, radio, newspapers, television, magazines, promotional items and social media.

Many sales are the result of one person telling another individual about a product or service. In some cases this may be a spontaneous recommendation or it can be an answer to a question. Where do you get your hair done? What restaurant do you think has the best ….? Where should I look for a …?

Do you want your business to be talked about or the one that is the recommendation?

So do you want your business to be TOM? The first brand that comes to mind when a customer is asked an unprompted question about a category. The greater percentage of customers for whom a given brand is top of mind can be measured.

What is your business doing to stay Top of Mind? When was the last time you handed out pens with your business name and slogan on them? When was the last time you used coupons to offer a special for a return purchase? When was the last time you reminded past customers to make a return visit?

With strategic, mindful actions, it’s possible to go from "who?" to a trusted and remembered resource. To be able to buy from you your customers have to first think of you, your business or your brand.

Your customers generally have many sources to buy from.  Stay Top of Mind to be the first source they think of. Learn to be on the tip of their tongue. You do remember the old saying “Out of sight, out of mind” don’t you?  Get in front of your potential buyer and existing customer as often as you can.

Did you give out 2014 calendars? When was the last time you handed out a business card?

Do you need help staying top of mind with your customers? – coupons, flyers or brochures?  Don’t forget to look over our business promotional items. Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective customer communication is what your business needs.

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302

Monday, January 27, 2014

Can Old Sayings Improve Your Business in 2014

We all know or use old sayings to help us deal with ideas and frustrations. You know the old wives tales and other sayings that are part of our up-brining. Often used to indicate that a supposed truth is actually a superstition or something untrue.  But we think they offer some very important lessons we can use to improve our business life.

Let’s start with “You can’t sell from an empty wagon.” How many times does a customer come to you to make a purchase and yet go away empty handed? Ask yourself what incentive do they have to think of you for a future purchase. What are your 2014 plans to make sure you know what your customer wants to purchase and what are you doing to make sure that can happen?

Next, how about “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." What you say and how you say it is very important when dealing with both customers and employees. How can you improve your attitude so that you can get more from your employees and in turn so they can treat your customers in a way that both improves sales and your customer’s favorable impress of your business?

What about “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." – that can help us remember the K.I.S.S. or Keep It Stupid Simple saying.  People can act more quickly if they are presented with a simple straightforward idea or concept. Never present a sales offer that isn’t clear and concise. The more complex the offer the less likely a potential customer can act on the offer and may begin to look for reasons to reject it. What are you trying to hide by making your sales offers complex? 

Change is something that many people fear. When you make a change it may even affect your customers.  How about making that affect a positive one. “Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have".  Don’t make the mistake of not changing your business to respond to the way the world is changing your customers.

One thing that can negatively affect your business is putting off improvements. “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting of until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday."

If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. In fact, many people procrastinate to some degree – but some are so chronically affected by procrastination that it stops them fulfilling their potential and disrupts their careers.

The key to controlling this destructive habit is to recognize when you start procrastinating, understand why it happens (even to the best of us), and take active steps to manage your time and outcomes better.

Don’t put off your next print advertising – coupons, flyers or brochures?  Call MI Printing 623.582.1302 and lets us be your local resource.  Effective customer communication is what your business needs.

Presented By
MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302

Friday, January 24, 2014

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 February 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

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reduce Marketing Mayhem By Communicating Better

Many small business owners run promotions that seem to fall flat on their … you get the idea.  Often they swear off doing that type of promotion blaming the promotion type rather than looking for the real reason the promotion missed its goal.

Often the old phrase, The Devil Is In The Details, can be applied. We want to look at the communications side of small businesses.  It is not just between the customers and the staff.  Many times communication challenges occur between owner or manager and the staff.

The larger the small business the more likely communication errors can occur. Promotions should not just be a matter of cutting prices to move merchandise. Customer service standards and goals are often hard to standardize and put into place.

Communications go well beyond just how to interact with customers and clients. Difficulties arise in many aspects with employees.

Employers spend millions of dollars to offer a benefit and sometimes a surprisingly small amount to ensure that employees understand and appreciate it. Communications, what you say, how you say it, when you say it, who you say it to, can make a world of difference in how employees or members feel and think about their benefits, workplace, and employer.

In addition, what may seem like a minor change to an employer can be perceived as a major change by the employee. For instance, when you’re converting a vacation/sick leave program to a PTO program, it’s important to communicate all transition details. Is it clear what’s happening with the sick bank an employee has saved up? In such a situation, it’s best to create a personalized piece: Here’s what you have and where it goes.

Whenever an organization is undergoing change of any kind, the effectiveness of communication can greatly influence how the change is perceived by employees and how quickly they adapt to the new normal. 

Goals and metrics should always be in sync with the businesses’ objectives. When you do a new project, sit down with the employees to find out what they’re trying to achieve and make sure it matches the true goal. They may want to reduce call volume to the repair department. Once the objectives are clear, we can assign specific measures that need to be tracked to evaluate the success at the end of the campaign.

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Made In The USA – Magnepan Electrostatic Speakers

Do you enjoy music?  Do you want concert quality sound in your home? Would you rather buy loudspeakers that are made in the U.S.A.?  Here is a company to consider, Magnepan.

Magneplanar home theater and stereo speakers have one common attribute: high resolution. High resolution in home theater speakers creates the same “magic” for home theater as music lovers have experienced from Magneplanar stereo speakers for the past 44 years.

The Story Behind Magnepan

Magnepan has been manufacturing innovative, world class stereo speakers for 44 years. Jim Winey, the inventor of the Magneplanar loudspeaker, first owned electrostatic loudspeakers and began experimenting to design an improved electrostatic speaker. In 1969, Jim invented the Magneplanar, a thin-film magnetic equivalent to the electrostat and founded Magnepan.

Corporate and manufacturing facilities are located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, a small community north of the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Having outgrown its original facilities, Magnepan's current plant is over 50,000 square feet in addition to corporate and engineering offices. To date, over 200,000 pairs of Magneplanar loudspeakers have found their way into the homes of music lovers the world over. 

Magneplanars are American-made with virtually all American parts. And we are proud to say… they are sold in China.

The 4 MMG models they offer with a 60-day money back guarantee are the marketing equivalent of those tasty little morsels handed out in high-end grocery stores. You won't see many Magneplanar ads in audio magazines. They are expensive and they are not as effective as they were 40 years ago. And you won't see Magneplanars at "big box" stores.

Once a year, Inside Track publication conducts a confidential survey of dealers, who rank their manufacturers in key areas important to them and, consequently, to the people who buy from them.

The following are Magnepan's rankings among the Top 10 speaker manufacturers' individual categories.
#1-- Performance
#1-- Reliability
#1-- Technical Support
#1-- Service
#1-- Ease of Doing Business
#1-- Quality of Sales Reps
#2-- Dealer Training
#2-- Technical Innovation

Location:  1645 Ninth Street White Bear Lake MN 55110 • 651-426-1645


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

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MI Printing’s Small Business Tips – Be More Efficient

Number One Key to Success is Working Together
Work in teams; work with other people. There are some tasks that take an enormous amount of time for a single person to do but with a large group of people, each one specializing and doing part of the task, you can get a tremendous amount done.

At a builders show a home builder raffled off a new home and they said that whoever won the home they would build if for them in basically 48 hours. They used a series of crews and literally built the entire home in two days. Normally it would take at least six to eight weeks to build but they did it in forty-eight hours with everyone working harder, faster, longer, and specializing in their particular area.

Get Better at Your Key Tasks
Get better at the most important and most valuable things you do, and do them faster and work at them harder and get them done ASAP.

Now here is one of the greatest of all rules, and it comes from a study that found that 50% of all working time is wasted. Fifty percent of all working time is spent on things of little or no value. Fifty percent of working time is spent in idle chit-chat with coworkers, checking email, reading the paper, drinking coffee, going for breaks and lunches, coming in late, leaving early, going shopping, and personal business. So here is the way that you overcome this natural, habitual, comfort zone, path of least resistance tendency to waste time and work, and that is to “work all the time you work.”

Do More Important Things
This is a great leverage factor. The 80/20 rule; 20% of what you do accounts for 80% of your results. If you have a list of ten things to do, two of those items will be worth more than all the others put together. Discipline yourself to work on those items that are most important because you are producing 5 or 10 times as much working on your top tasks as working on your average tasks.

Cluster Your Tasks For More Effective Time Management
This is one of the great time management tools. Do all your reports at once; do all of your proposals at once, all of your prospecting calls at once. Whatever they are, do them together rather than one here and one there, and one at another time during the day. 

What happens is that when you do a whole series of similar tasks together you get onto what is called the learning curve. Whereas the first task may take ten minutes, the next one will take nine, the next one eight, and the next one only seven minutes. Pretty soon, you’ll be burning through the tasks at two to three minutes at a time. You’ll save 50 – 80% of the time on each subsequent task. You’ll get more done that you can possibly imagine. So do your similar tasks at the same time.

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

Presented By
MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302

Monday, January 20, 2014

P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon Marketing Event

PF Chang’s restaurant sure knows how to get tons of publicity and community good will. Thousands and thousands of runners and spectators were at this year’s P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon.  Direct exposure for the restaurant chain and weeks of press coverage to boot.

More than twenty-four thousand runners took part in the event. Spectators lined the courses and the crowd at the finish line and ending events was estimated at fifty thousand. Some runners hoped to meet personal goals while others were there for the experience. Other participants were world class and Olympic runners using the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon as a tune-up for future events and trials.

The event raised more than $335,000 for charity, and it is expected that the event brought about $35 million into the Valley with runners from all 50 states and 17 different countries in attendance.

This year’s event was on Sunday January the 20th. The overall full marathon winner was Solomon Kandie of Kenya. He crossed the finish line winning the Men's Full Marathon with a time of 02:21:00.

The women’s winner was Amy Cole, a former collegiate swimmer at Colgate who is a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, was the women’s marathon winner in 2:49:26, slowest in the 11-year event history. She hopes to lower her new personal record to sub 2:43 to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

The Men’s Half Marathon winner was Rob Watson, of Vancouver, Canada, at 1:05:03. Canada’s Rob Watson surprised few when he sprinted through the final straightaway all alone at the conclusion.

The Women’s Half Marathon winner was Jess Petersson, Denmark, at 1:13:47. Few  expected Denmark’s Jessica Draskau-Petersson, who hadn’t even tapered for the race, to take the women’s crown.

Petersson, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, clocked in at 1:13:47, just a few minutes faster than the 75-minute mark that determined prize money. The race winner received $500 but all female competitors that ran under 1:15:00 received an extra $1,000.

The Wheelchair marathon was won by James Senbeta, Champaign, IL at a time of 1:40:19.

On Friday and Saturday, January 17th and 18th a health and fitness expo was held at the Phoenix Convention Center. Runners and visitors saw more than fifty exhibitors with many free samples, the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information and more. Anyone participating in the races went to the expo to pick up their race number, swag bag and the event t-shirt.

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

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Marketing Mayhem and 5 Hour Energy’s Weekly Award

How do you break through the clutter and get noticed (in a good way) 5 Hour Energy has found a way.

5-Hour-ENERGY has started the 5-Hour-ENERGY Helps Amazing People program. The program was created to “recognize outstanding people who, despite their own challenges, give their time and energy to make the lives of others better.

The makers of 5-hour ENERGY® were brainstorming new ideas, and the concept of featuring real hard working heroes seemed like a winner, so we decided to take it a step further…. And the 5-hour ENERGY® Helps Amazing People project was born.

5-hour ENERGY® has always been about helping hard working people. 5-hour ENERGY® Helps takes this further by making a significant difference in the lives of those who are working through difficult circumstances.

5-hour ENERGY® Helps recognizes outstanding people who, despite their own challenges, give their time and energy to make the lives of others better.

5-hour ENERGY® Helps believes that by sharing these inspirational stories, others will be motivated to give their time and energy to a worthy cause.

Deanne Goodman and Roxanna Haynes are the hosts of the 5 Hour Energy Heps Amazing People videos. 

Deanne’s passion for helping others started at a young age. In high school, Deanne was featured in Teen People Magazine for designing and selling a necklace that raised $17,000 for babies with birth defects. In college at Vanderbilt University, Deanne was given a campus leadership award for launching a volunteer club that brought shelter puppies and kittens to local senior care homes for pet therapy. Deanne continues to volunteer in her community, mentors aspiring journalists, and served on the board of a non-profit that trained service dogs to help troops with PTSD.

Inspired to make a difference in the lives of others, and to be the voice for the voiceless, Roxanna chose to pursue a career in journalism. In 2009, Roxanna won an Associated Press Award for her story about homeless people living in the woods. She then volunteered with a local homeless outreach program to help find homes for the people featured in the story.

What “new” idea can your business start to put you above the clutter and get you and your business recognized and most importantly remembered.

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

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Made In The USA – Step2® Toys and Furniture

Many products are assembled in the US from parts purchased from around the world. It is great to find a company that is a leader in their field that takes steps to fully inform their customers.

With concern about toy manufacturing at an unprecedented level, Step2 believes they have a responsibility to clearly communicate the country of origin of their products. They understand that their customers want to make informed purchasing decisions.

According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, nearly all Step2 toys can be labeled "Made in U.S.A." Nevertheless, we set a higher standard, and it is our desire to clearly inform you about where our products are made. This includes noting when accessories or smaller toys are sourced from overseas manufacturing plants. We use a three-tiered labeling system on our retail packaging and on this web site:

"Made in U.S.A." will appear on all toys that are made and assembled in the U.S. and meet regulations as outlined by the FTC that "virtually all" of the product and components are U.S. made. Additionally, for a Step2 product to be labeled as "Made in U.S.A.," any imported parts must not be integral to the play of the toy and should be attached to the product. For example, hubcaps, cap nuts and doorbells are parts of a product but not integral to the play of the toy.

"Made in U.S.A. of U.S. and Imported Parts" will appear on toys made and assembled in the U.S. with mostly domestic-made components and some foreign-sourced smaller accessory components (such as pretend kitchen cookware and accessories). Under FTC guidelines, Step2 technically would be allowed to label these toys as "Made in U.S.A.," but the distinguishing factor for Step2 is that these accessories are integral to the play of the toy and should therefore be called out for consumers.

They are proud of their U.S. manufacturing heritage and feel that as the largest U.S. toy manufacturer, it is their responsibility to eliminate confusion. They hope that other toy companies follow their lead in providing consumers with the information they need to make informed choices.

To provide a variety of Step2 products for Moms and Dads with the convenience of ordering from and delivering to your home or office at a fair price with fair shipping.

The concept of Step2 Direct began in 1999 as an online website for the fulfillment of daycare orders. They realized that everyday Moms and Dads are tech savvy, ahead of the curve, and interested in ordering Step2 products and having them delivered directly to their home. Because of this realization, Step2 Direct has now morphed into a direct to consumer ecommerce website.

Location:  10010 Aurora-Hudson Road Streetsboro OH 44241 • 800-347-8372 (M-F, 8-5 ET)


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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MI Printing’s Success Tips For Small Businesses

It’s no secret that you don’t become successful in business by doing the same thing the others guys are doing. Being able to take risks is all part of the fun of being a small business owner — and understanding how to differentiate your business from the rest is a special skill most entrepreneurs spend their careers honing.

Work Toward Being Significant
If you want to have success, you can't make success your goal. The key is not to worry about being successful, but to instead work toward y9ur business being significant in the lives of your customers and success will follow. If you do work that you love, and work that fulfills you, the rest will come.

Focus On Quality and Execution
First hire exceptional people, make sure they feel valued and can work as a team. 

Work to achieve synergy (energy and alignment). 

Work everyday focusing on getting a little bit better with the belief that over time outcomes become noteworthy. 

Work on expansion and set outcomes that are bold, passionate, measurable, written and positive. 

Work at worrying less about growth and more about quality and execution. When you take care of your customers and exceed their expectations, growth and opportunity always follow. 

Remember that success often comes to those who get in front of their problems and challenges.

Start Socializing.
No matter what your industry, almost any business can benefit from social media. If you aren’t currently using social media, resolve to try at least one social network in 2014. If you are active on social media, step it up a notch by learning more about your favorite social network, posting more often or adding more videos and photos to your mix.

Make Sure You Get Paid
In a service business make sure you collect twenty-five percent of your fee upfront. Your clients' reaction to that request will tell you a lot about whether they are capable of paying you when the project is finished.

Specify clearly what the deliverables are and what and when people will pay you -- and make the customer acknowledges it

Do you need help with your next print advertising – coupons, flyers or brochures?  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

Monday, January 13, 2014

Understanding Your Customer’s Buying Cycle

How often should you expect your customer to make a purchase? 

Your customer’s buying cycles may not be able to be affected.  Do you sell homes, automobiles, furniture, lawn care or perhaps a sandwich?

A real estate agent may sell a single home to a customer, perhaps two in an entire career. A car salesman might sell a new car every three years to the same customer. Depending on the car and the customer demographic it could be once every five to seven years.  If you sell furniture your customer purchases may come every seven to ten years. If we look at lawn care items it is possible that you could sell to the same customer several times per year. If we look at restaurants you could sell to the same average customer several times a month.

An additional aspect of the sales cycle is the quality of your product.  The higher the quality the less likely your customer will need to replace the product. For a car dealer quality may not be as important to the sales cycle as some buyers replace a car without regard to the “need” to replace, but rather a status factor of having a “new” car.

For a store selling very high quality furniture the quality may mean that the items can be passed on rather than a need to buy an item due to a product defect or age related failure.

In the case of a restaurant the quality actually relates to how often a customer “wants” rather than needs to return. A higher quality should lead to more frequent customer returns and larger dollar amount purchases.

In the case of groceries the customer return rate is affected by how fast the purchase is consumed. While product consumption is a major factor in many types of products it can’t be applied to many product categories.

How you treat a customer is directly related to keeping the customer for future purchases regardless of the length of time of your particular buying cycle. Many factors affect customer retention, but a bad buying experience surely results in the loss of a potential return purchase. 

Customer service at the time of purchase or anytime during a product life cycle is the opportunity to retain a customer for a future purchase. Poor customer service is a misfortune that may results in the loss of the customer and hence the likelihood of any future purchases.

Customer service is the lifeblood of your business regardless of the product or service or how often you could expect a buyer to return.

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

Friday, January 10, 2014

MI Printing: Special Custom Business Cards

1,000 Business Cards, Full Bleed. 4/4 (Full Color Both Sides), 14 pt UV Coated Just $57.00 from customer supplied art. For best results a PDF file is required for the customer supplied artwork. No one will mistake these cards for homemade ones!

At MI Printing we can take care of all of your business card needs far beyond just simple black on white.  They say you simply aren't in business without your business cards. Need to know more about all the uses for business cards?  Learn about the many options for your cards.  Please give us a call at 623-582-1302.

Sales tax, if necessary, not included.  Please mention this ad when calling to order. Offer expires January 15, 2014.  

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Marketing Mayhem For 2014 – Good and Bad Aspects

Business marketing for a small business is a vital part of their activities and they have to be careful that they stay current about what works and what doesn’t.  Some folks use the term Marketing Mayhem to describe the fractures that are occurring in the advertising world that makes it difficult to reach their target audience.  In our case “Marketing Mayhem” is the use of novel communications to break through the clutter so they can effectively reach their target audiences. Perhaps more importantly the “Mayhem” can make their messages very Sticky or memorable.

An ad that isn’t remembered is not at all effective. When your target audience isn’t truly reached by your marketing message it is a waste of both your time and money.

In 1950, there were about five marketing channels (think radio, early television, direct mail, billboards, and magazines). In 2014, there are more than 100 channels. This has caused many marketers to stay in a constant state of execution — and frustration. There is a silver lining to the madness, however, and it lies in increased engagement through social, mobile, and automated marketing. 

You need to make sure that your message (what your business does, service or products, to meet your customer wants and needs) is in front of as many people as possible. Your base marketing should always be your business cards, flyers and brochures.

Then you can create additional marketing through both conventional, radio, television, direct mail, billboards, and magazines as well as the social media and “mayhem” based endeavors. 

Can you learn from the Allstate’s Mayhem style television ads and apply that process (thinking) to the marketing of your products or services?  These ads capture the audience attention and they certainly are memorable.  These are advertising two most important goals.

Many people feel that the “Mayhem” style of ads go back to the ad that ran during Super Bowl XVIII‎ in 1984 by Apple computers about the new Macintosh model. It is considered to be one of the most memorable television ads ever run.

Breaking new ground is a dangerous place to do business but if done well it will set you apart from the herd (most important from your competition). Sometimes car manufactures or architects move too far ahead of the general public and a model or building won’t be accepted by enough people to be successful.

Be careful that you lead from the front, but not so far ahead as to be out of sight.

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

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Made In The USA – Does It Really Matter To Consumers?

From a recent report by Consumer Reports it really does matter. Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78 percent of Americans would rather buy the American product, according to a new nationally representative survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

More than 80 percent of those people cited retaining manufacturing jobs and keeping American manufacturing strong in the global economy as very important reasons for buying American. About 60 percent cited concern about the use of child workers or other cheap labor overseas, or stated that American-made goods were of higher quality.

And people would pay extra to buy American. More than 60 percent of all respondents indicated they’d buy American-made clothes and appliances even if those cost 10 percent more than imported versions; more than 25 percent said they’d pay at least an extra 20 percent. (Perhaps more surprising: According to a new survey of consumers in the U.S. and abroad by the Boston Consulting Group, more than 60 percent of Chinese respondents said they’d buy the American-made version over the Chinese even if it were to cost more.)

Clearly, most Americans want to know where products are made and want to buy those that will help create or keep jobs in the U.S. — an attempt applauded by economists like Jeff Faux, a distinguished fellow of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C. “Consumers need to understand that all jobs and wages are interconnected,” Faux told us. “When you buy foreign goods — and sometimes there’s no choice — it means that fewer U.S. workers will have the money to buy the goods and services you sell.”

But what does “made in the USA” even mean? And how can you identify what’s made where? Few products except cars, textiles, furs, and woolens are required by law to reveal their American heritage. But when any manufacturer chooses to boast of an American connection, it must comply with federal rules designed to keep consumers from being misled.

Readers flood Consumer Reports with letters and e-mail seeking explanations as to why, for example, frozen blueberries from Oregon are identified as a product of Chile; why a company named Florida’s Natural sells apple juice with concentrate from Brazil; why pants made in Vietnam are labeled “authentic, active, outdoor, American”; or why a T-shirt with the words “Made in the” above the U.S. flag comes from Mexico.

Bottom Line: If you want to buy U.S. made products, these tips may help:
Read labels carefully.
Consult websites that name companies making products in the U.S.
Contact the manufacturer directly.
Check Consumer Reports listing of the companies still manufacturing in America.

Contents excerpted from Consumer Reports

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Effective Customer Communications Advice

All of us in business want to make sure our customer communications are as effective as possible.  Here are some tips that we find to be very effective.

First You Need To Listen
it's just as important that people be aware that you're listening as it is that you're actually listening. Did you ever get the feeling, when talking to someone, that they just weren't listening or were very distracted. Make eye contact and be involved in their story.

Be Sympathetic To Differences In Product Knowledge
More than likely, your customers have less technical or product knowledge than you do. Be careful, therefore, when explaining things to them. If you use acronyms, be sure you identify what the acronym means. Be careful that you don't make two opposite mistakes: either talking over their head or talking down to them. Keep your eyes on customers when you talk to them and be alert to cues indicating that they don't understand. Ask them whether they understand what you're saying, if necessary.

Make Positive Rather Than Negative Comments
Your customers are more interested in what you can do for them, rather than what you can't do. The way you say things to them influences how they perceive you and your department. So, for example, instead of saying, "I can't help you unless you log off," consider saying, "Please log off so that I can help you." Your statements often will be easier to understand as well.

Be Careful Of Words and Phrases That Can Be Misinterpreted
Sometimes we say something with innocent intent, but the other person misinterprets it. Be especially careful of the word "you." Overusing this word can make the person you're talking to feel defensive or threatened. Instead of saying, "You need to speak louder," try saying, "I'm having trouble hearing." Another issue involves the dual meaning of "you." Unlike other languages, English uses the same word to refer to an actual person (for example, the person you're talking to) as well as to a hypothetical person. 

Suppose you said to someone, "You never know what's going to happen next," and meant to equate "you" with "people in general." The other person might think you're referring to him or her specifically and take offense. A better alternative might be, "It's really unpredictable here."

Always Avoid Emotional or Heated Responses
No matter how open your communication is, someone won’t understand what you’re trying to do and send you some very heated, disparaging, and even degrading comments. Sometimes the harshest criticism, though, is the most effective.

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

Monday, January 6, 2014

Make Sure Your Customers Know Your Business

You have read that we recommend that every business “Tell a Good Story” when it comes to marketing their business.  When a customer buys from your business does that mean they will be back to buy again? No matter the business you generally don’t sell just one item.  Does your customers know all about your business?  Do they know all items you sell? If not you have only yourself to blame.

Do you or your staff make recommendations to a customer as they make their purchases? Do you offer additional items that will help your customer get better results?

Do you offer classes that help your customer get better results?  Does every customer get a brochure about your business? Do they get a coupon to help spur a future purchase? What information do you print on your receipts? If it is just simple contact information you are missing a huge opportunity.

At checkout do you have information sheets?  Do you place printed info into their sacks? Do you sell or provide custom printed bags that reduce post-consumer waste?

A customer will never make a purchase from you unless they know you offer the item or service as part of your business.  How many times will you let a sale go to a competitor by not letting your customer know your business could have met their need(s).

Just because “it” is on display won’t make sure your customer sees the item.

Do you ask your customers what you could carry or offer them that would make their life easier?

When you are offered a new item from a vendor, how do you decide if you should carry the item.  Do you do a test market? Do you poll your customers? Do you have a customer suggestion box?

Do your customers feel comfortable asking you or your staff for advice or even make a suggestion to your store that would improve your bottom line? If not, why not!

Is your customer always right? Is an item you customer needs in stock? Always?  Do you promote the idea that you will get any item your customer wants? When you carry a new item how do you make sure all of your customers know about the new item(s)?

Keep in mind a customer can walk by a product display and never even see the display or the items. Make sure you always take the time to ask your customers if they have seen (or understand the need to buy) you new item. 

What is the last thing your customers hear you say as they leave your 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

Friday, January 3, 2014

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 January 15, 2014.

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.

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What Are Your Marketing Plans For 2014?

Many businesses have been working on their 2014 marketing plans since early in 2013. But, if you are like many businesses, especially small businesses, your are into the second day of 2014 and thinking you need to start planning your marketing, promotion and advertising soon.

With many small business owners they are so busy running the day-to-day operations that future business planning is always being put onto the back burner. It is tough to find time to deal with all the aspects of your business.

In case you are struggling with the planning process for your marketing and social media, or need a few ideas about how to implement a plan going forward, here are a few important tips to keep in mind.

Where Do You Stand Now?
It really is true! In order for you to move forward, you have to figure out where you are right now. This means taking a serious look at the inner workings of your marketing and social media plan. Doing an internal audit of where your business really is, and not where you think it is, will give you a real picture of where you stand. 

Setting Goals?
Too often businesses think that if they advertise everywhere and post everything on social media, they will magically receive countless leads, more loyal customers and increase their bottom line. In order for you to craft the right messages to get concerted results, you must identify what outcome you are looking for and then proceed to target the right market with the right message through the right medium.

Choose Your Target Market
The best way to identify your target market is by investing the time to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is an example of a real person you need to influence crafted from information you retrieve from interviews you conduct with customers or potential customers, or website and social media analytics you collect from your website or social media business page. 

Understand Your Goals
Be specific about your objectives and goals. Do they align with your business’ mission and priorities? How will you get there? Which team members will be accountable for implementation? What are your competitors doing? 

You’re not done. You must evaluate. Put benchmarks in place (i.e. quarterly) to review what you’ve done, measure your success, research some more and evaluate your successes and failures.

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