Solutions: Building Signs

There are so many things involved in building signs – size, placement, design, permits, installation, and more. We had a monument sign (those are the ones that stand alone with the information closer to ground level) with our old logo, but decided with our new logo to add a sign to the building as well as replace the face of the old monument sign.

No matter where around your building you need signs – inside, outside, directional, etc – we can help!

5 Proven Ways to Stay Front and Center

telephones-stringThe world of commerce is shrinking every day. No longer are your customers or employees only people who live in your town. Now they’re all over the country and the globe. Your sales manager may be in Des Moines, your assistant in Phoenix, and your Web designer in the Philippines. Staying in front of your team and your clients can be a challenge. There is, however, a wealth of technology that will help you to remain front and center.

Video Conferencing

There are several popular sites that allow video conferencing on the internet. These sites allow you to chat in real time, using your webcam to have a real, face to face conversation. Applications like Google Hangouts let you conduct conferences with multiple people simultaneously. Video conferencing is one of the best ways to add a human presence to your interactions and collaborate in real time. This is an excellent way to connect to your clients and reassure them that they are working with real people.

Screen Sharing

Another way to stay in front of your client when not physically there is through screen sharing. Perhaps you want to show your client how to use your software. Or you may want to show them a mockup of the design you have created. Screen sharing allows you to share data while you engage in a phone conversation. This allows them to move step by step through your information and ask questions in real time. Screen sharing is great for working with one or multiple clients. Most screen sharing services are low cost, making them both convenient and cost effective.

Live Chat

Although they won’t be able to see your face or your screen, your clients can talk to you in real time through chat. With a live chat widget on your site, you can provide a transparent way for your clients to ask questions, give feedback, and become more engaged with your product. Live chat is a great time saver as well. Instead of sending emails back and forth all day, you can simply answer the question and move on. Clients like this because they get the answers they need quickly so that they can make the right decisions. Many companies are finding that live chat services provide an excellent solution to customer service and allow them to interact with their clients in an effective way.

Specialty Printed Products

Have you ever had a magnet stuck on your refrigerator with the name of a plumber or a locksmith? It’s likely that you ignored it for the most part. That is, until you needed that service. Then you knew right where to look and who to call. This is a great way to stay in front of your clients. Branded products that your clients will see every day—keychains, mugs, calendars, magnets—are a great way to make your name stick in their mind. You can even use specially printed folders like Tab Talker™ to make your company’s name stand out in their file drawer. Reinforcing your brand’s name in their minds as part of their regular routine is one of the best ways to stay front and center with your client.

When it comes to keeping your company’s name fresh in your clients’ minds, there are many solutions that work. A weekly check-in, a video chat, or a pre-printed folder can make all of the difference in building brand loyalty. Your clients are bombarded with information each day, so staying relevant and current is a challenge. Get creative and enjoy increased loyalty and sales for the life of your business.

Earth Day Print and Digital Facts

paper-recyclingEarth Day is always a good time to reflect on the relationship of the print industry to the environment. Often the first example people give about how to ‘save the environment’ involves limiting their use of paper. Emails will have messages at the bottom cautioning to save the environment by only printing if absolutely necessary. Recycling efforts historically have focused on paper. From these vantage points the print industry can really look like a villain bent on destroying the earth.

Make no mistake, at Porath we are all for sustainability and saving the earth – for every possible reason. We are also (obviously!) big fans of the print industry. Let’s look at some facts:

  • Paper is recycled more than any other material in North America (66.8%) and is made with a high percentage of renewable energy.
  • Electronic devices are complex and expensive to recycle, recover, or reuse due to the toxicity of many of the components.
  • ‘Go Paperless, Go Green’ campaigns may sound environmentally friendly. The environmental impact is debatable, but the financial savings to the companies promoting this is not.
  • Digital devices – and networks and cloud-based servers – require a great deal of energy to run and to be produced. Chances are that the coal needed to power your digital life is causing massive deforestation and environmental devastation through a coal mining process in Appalachia called ‘mountain-top removal.’
  • The majority of trees harvested in the US and Canada (>64%) are used for lumber, not paper.
  • As long as there is a demand for wood, forests will be sustained and expanded. If the demand decreases, there is no longer a financial incentive to protect them, leading the way to deforestation and conversion of that land to other uses. Once they are paved over, reforestation is almost impossible.
  • According to PrintIsBig.com:
    • Spam email wastes 33 billion kilowatt hours annually, which is the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from 3.1 million cars and 2 billion gallons of fuel
    • The average person wastes 2.4 times more energy powering a single computer than the energy used to produce the paper they use each year

There is no doubt the print industry can do better in managing sustainability and environmental costs. There are new fast growing plants and trees that show promise and processing materials that produce less contaminants.

In the meantime, we are committed to doing our part for sustainability and a healthy environment.

Solutions: Gate Fold

Powerful graphics are important for bringing attention to your printed project and adding a fold or two can be just what it needs to add that extra punch to make it memorable. Some folds require die cutting because of their size or shape – but the Gate Fold can be integrated into a piece very simply and economically.

As you can see in the examples, the gate fold looks just like what its name intends. Two edges are folded in to meet each other so when it is opened it literally looks like gates opening up. In these examples, the two ‘gates’ are the same size, but that isn’t necessary – making this a very versatile option. One of the examples was die cut to look like a plate while the other was simply folded in an interesting way that highlighted the graphics.

5 Things You Should Know About Fundraising

grants-fundraisingFundraising is an important part of the development process for many companies. Without fundraising, it would be tough for many companies to reach their goals. However, before starting the fundraising process, there are some factors that companies must take into consideration. With that said, here are 5 things that you should be aware of before starting the fundraising process.

Look At Your Market

There are questions that you should look at before starting the fundraising process. Think about what the benefits of your product are. Look at the size of the market that you are trying to get into. Think about your customers and who your product will primarily appeal to. A critical part of every business is finding a problem and thinking of a way to solve it. This is something that investors look at. Your product or service should be in demand; if not, no one will support it. That’s why it is important that your business enter a market where it can succeed.

Audience is Important

Know the people to whom you are pitching your investment opportunity. If you can get a clear understanding of the audience, you will know how to structure your presentation to keep the audience excited and interested. Impact investors are looking for organizations, entities, or ventures that will make a social impact. These investors are looking for a high social return on investment. Financial investors are looking at capital returns. Then there is also a mixture of the two, known as the hybrid investor. This type of investor believes that it is possible to make a social impact and also secure financial gains. Analyze these investors, and have three different versions of your presentation ready depending on what type of investors you are meeting with.

Know The Numbers

Have all of the key performance indicators of your company memorized. You should be able to explain what affects and drives them. If you are not aware of your company’s key performance indicators, then it will be difficult for anyone to invest in your company. You have to understand the numbers around your business, market, industry, customers, products and operations. This will help you develop a strategy that can interest investors. If you can quickly simplify complex information, that will really get the attention of investors, especially because you don’t have a lot of time in a meeting to impress them.

Know Your Product Inside and Out

You have to be able to communicate your idea during the meeting in a clear manner. Do not make things more complicated than they need to be.

Learn How To Pitch

You cannot make a bad impression. Practice your technique through emails, do research, and manage your reputation. If a potential investor says no, do not get discouraged – just use it as an opportunity to improve. Constructive feedback is necessary for you and your company to develop and grow. Eventually you will make that perfect pitch to an investor.

Remember to relax and be prepared. As long as you are prepared and you have a great presentation that thoroughly outlines the company and its goals, you will be successful.

4 Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Donation Campaign

p_fundraisers1How to Run a Successful Donation Campaign

On the surface, starting and running a donation campaign sounds rather simple. However, most of those who have run successful donation campaigns will tell you it is anything but easy. Developing a solid plan for running a successful donation campaign takes time, and there are multiple steps involved in pre-campaign planning. Four key steps to building a successful donation campaign include having a campaign brand that stands out, putting out a brief but urgent call to action, acquiring and utilizing physical campaign tools (such as donation cards and informational brochures), and putting your mission into a visual format.

Have your brand stand out

Your campaign brand should visually be front and center on all campaign tools and items. Any logo you use should be bright and creative enough to catch the eye of someone unfamiliar with your campaign. Your branding should be consistent with and reflective of your campaign’s mission and goals.

Establish a concise and urgent call to action

Your donation campaign’s call to action should be tightly-worded and establish a sense of urgency. With a relatively short timeline for meeting your donation campaign’s goals, you will be less at risk for losing momentum. Also, those who are wishing to contribute will not feel as though they are justified in putting off doing so.

This call can be put out through a variety of mediums (for example, donation packets, posters, videos, and websites) but should always get straight to the point. Describe your goals and how you intend to meet them, and be sure to list any relevant research data and statistics that support your cause’s necessity.

Utilize donation cards and informational brochures

Do not merely rely on word-of-mouth or even online campaigning websites to garner donations. Your donation campaign toolbox should include tangible, readable items, such as informational brochures detailing your mission and time-frame goals as well as donation cards, invitation cards, and envelopes. These should all reflect your brand and provide ways for donors to contact you.

Make your vision visual

Here is where you can best unleash your creativity when seeking donations. Your campaign should be visual. Create unique posters that aesthetically describe your call to action, and also consider producing a short video that carries your message. In these advertising mediums, you can create emotional connections with your audience to establish why, and not merely how, they should consider donating to your cause. Images leave lasting impressions, and your campaign’s story, though emotionally-based, should reflect positive outcomes.

While running a successful donation campaign is not exactly easy, with proper planning and tools, a campaign can be much more effective. A little creative ingenuity, as well as time and goal management, can go a long way in demonstrating the importance of your campaign’s mission and how and why people should donate to it.

Solutions: Gratitude bags

Like any business, we rely on other businesses to keep ours running smoothly. After all, on a most basic level, if it wasn’t for companies that sell ink or paper or presses, where would we be?! There is a village supporting each one of us and a village supporting each business.

Now some might say that paying for those services is thanks enough. But just as we see ourselves in partnership with our customers, we also see ourselves in partnership with our suppliers – and we wanted to let them know. We knew we didn’t want to compete with all the gifts and cards given out over the winter holidays. Last year we made fun St. Patrick’s Day baskets in leprechaun hats. This year we decided on Valentine’s Day. Lots of fun Valentine’s themed and unthemed goodies – and a tag we designed and printed specifically to convey our gratitude.

Who helps to support your business?

Your Businesses Printing Partner

social-media-coffee-cup2The single biggest mistake startup companies make is failing to maintain sufficient cash flow. However, an often unrecognized villain in this mix is failure to restrain overhead expenses.

In other words, spending too much on the wrong things can cut your business off at the knees. But the good news is, spending just enough on the right things can help you compete successfully to grow your business!

Your printing partner can help! Here are five ways print management services can help you achieve your business goals.

Achieve and Maintain Consistency in Print Marketing

With so many avenues (online and offline) to promote and market a business today, consistency is a key aspect of developing brand loyalty and trust.

No matter where you promote and market your products or services, you want customers to quickly recognize your logo and brand. This can only happen when all of your marketing materials are consistent.

By working with a print management company, you won’t have to order test prints every time you run a new job. You won’t worry that your colors won’t look right or your logo will be distorted. By running all your print marketing with one vendor, you will achieve consistency in your marketing materials that produces greater brand trust and loyalty.

Sustainability

Print marketing has gotten a bad rap as unsustainable when compared to digital marketing. But no one stops to consider all the fossil fuels it takes to keep all those internet servers up and running.

When you work with a U.S.A.-based print management company like Porath Business Services, you are working with sustainable print marketing! In fact, out of the 4 million trees planted daily in the U.S.A., 1.7 million of those trees are planted by the print industry itself.

In other words, you CAN use print marketing without harming your company’s reputation as a sustainable business. In fact, by choosing the right print management company to work with, print marketing can even improve your commitment to sustainable business practices.

Strategize Print Marketing for Special Events

One of the perks of choosing a dedicated print management company like Porath Business Services is that you have a marketing partner to brainstorm with when you are planning marketing for special events.

You can have your logo, website, and slogan imprinted on any number of specialty items and all it takes is a quick phone call or email to place your order, because your print marketing partner already has all of your materials and color notes on site.

Support Both Print and Digital-Based Branding Efforts

Today’s print management vendors do more than just print business cards or postcards.

With a full range of design, editing, and production services to offer, your print partner can help you develop your unique brand and logo from scratch for digital and print use.

Make Marketing Your Business Fun Again!

In addition to staple print marketing materials such as business cards, post cards, brochures, flyers, and letterhead, today’s printing technology can brand all kinds of fun and affordable novelty items with your logo and website.

You can create custom branded decals, posters, magnets, door hangers, invitations, newsletters and even checks that make marketing your business in person fun again.

Solutions: Puzzled or Intrigued?!

Part of the goal of any mailing is to first inspire people to open it and second to get them to interact with it long enough to make an impact. This is generally done with things like a great message, creative graphics, and textured paper.

But imagine if you were holding an envelope that had a bunch of bumpy things in it. You’d probably be more likely to open it, wouldn’t you?

Sending an easy to put together puzzle is a great way to grab attention! People are more likely to open it because of the different feel of the envelope and they can’t help but put the puzzle together to see what it says. They have fun – which means they have a positive feeling about you and your organization – and they absorb your message because they are spending time with it.

3 Ways to Get Clients to Remember You

Getting clients is a crucial part of your success in business, but it’s only half the battle. One often overlooked aspect of business is making yourself memorable to clients, so they become repeat customers and even refer people to you. Although getting people to remember you and your business is no small feat, there are a few simple methods that can set you apart.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different

It’s always easier to join the crowd than to be bold and different, but no one remembers all the faces in the crowd. If your business is similar to five other businesses, clients have no reason to remember you. You have to find a unique quality that only your business has. That could be something as simple as going into a crowded marketplace and offering a higher end product for a higher price. Then, your business isn’t one of many, it’s the one with the more expensive product. While that may seem bad, people naturally perceive higher-priced items as more valuable. Since your business is the only one offering a high-end product, the people who want that have to come to you.

  1. Put Your Brand Everywhere

The more people see your business’s name and logo, the more they think of it. That’s why companies spend millions just to have their products featured in movies or television shows. It makes viewers subconsciously think of the product. Even if you don’t have a huge advertising budget, you can still spread your brand with customized products that your clients can use. You can have pens made with your company information on them, and include those as freebies to your clients. You could include a TabTalker when sending documents to a client, so they have a file folder they can use which also reminds them of your company every time they see it. The most beneficial part of branding products like this is that if your clients pass these items on later, future owners see your business’s information.

  1. Follow Up with Clients

Get some type of contact information from your clients, and follow up with them periodically. This is another way of keeping your business on the minds of your clients. It usually takes multiple interactions for people to remember another person, and the same is true when it comes to remembering businesses. For the best results, make your follow up communications with clients as personalized as possible. You could ask a client how the product they chose is working for them, or mention a sale you’re running on a product of interest to them. A personal touch makes clients feel special and appreciated, which in turn makes them more likely to remember you.

It’s not that difficult to get clients to remember you, it just takes a little effort. As you make yourself and your business more memorable to clients, it becomes a habit, and you can expect more and more clients to come back.