Maximize Your Profit Potential

On May 23, 2011, in business, sales, Thank you cards, by Kevron Printing

How would you like to make more money this year and actually SAVE cash in the process? Sure you would… who wouldn’t. However, each year most businesses find that they overspend their budgets on accumulating new customers. At a seminar we recently attended put on by Canon (from which we recently purchased an ImageProGraf large-format […]

How would you like to make more money this year and actually SAVE cash in the process?

Sure you would… who wouldn’t. However, each year most businesses find that they overspend their budgets on accumulating new customers.

At a seminar we recently attended put on by Canon (from which we recently purchased an ImageProGraf large-format digital printer) and the National Association of Print Leadership, a message from the speaker really struck a chord, and was worth sharing.

The most expensive customer is a new customer. We’re not saying that you need to stop trying to accumulate new customers. However, you should make your existing database your main focus in your marketing. Spend more time and energy with your best clients, and you will find that you will be selling more, working less, spending less, and maximizing your profit potential. Make sure you thank them, let them know how much you appreciate them, and remain consistent with them.

 

The Basics

On May 5, 2011, in business, business cards, mailing, marketing, printing, by Kevron Printing

In this period of economic downturn and with the slump in the employment market, we see more and more people starting their own businesses. Whether they are independent consultants, creating crafts, or starting a franchise, we are always approached with oftentimes the same question, “What do I need to get into business?” Here is a […]

In this period of economic downturn and with the slump in the employment market, we see more and more people starting their own businesses. Whether they are independent consultants, creating crafts, or starting a franchise, we are always approached with oftentimes the same question, “What do I need to get into business?” Here is a list of just some of the bare necessities to getting your shining new enterprise off the ground:

1. Business Cards

This may go without saying, but how many times have you met someone at a networking event and they are “fresh out of cards”. Don’t be caught in that situation.

Also, if you really want to stand a chance to make an impression, make sure you have a unique card. There are so many “nubie” business owners out there running around with template-based cards, it’s hard to tell what it is that they do, much less who they are. For the ultimate in branding yourself, include a great headshot of yourself on the card… you’ll be amazed at what that can do for you

2. Letterhead and envelopes

You may be starting your business in your basement, but that doesn’t mean you want your clients to think you live there. If you are running you’re mailing using stickers you bought at one of the local office supply stores, think just how you would feel if you received something like that yourself.

At the very least, invest in a good set of 1-color #10 white wove envelopes with your information printed on them. Include your logo for that extra bit of branding.

3. Invoices

If you are using stock receipts and invoice pads, you are missing out on a great way to keep your brand in front of your clients. After all, they need to see that invoice several times before it gets paid and filed in its own special folder. You can also keep track of invoices using your own numbering system which is an incredibly helpful tool for your accounting.

4. Name badge

What a statement you make when you enter a room full of people with crumpled paper name tags and you are wearing a stylish, durable, and attractive name badge. It immediately makes you approachable in any situation, and you’ll soon be collecting the names and phone numbers of new clients in no time!

5. Website, blog and social media

Websites are great, and if yours is a blog, even better for you. And we all know that Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (among others) are indispensable. Just make sure that you put your blog, website, and social media URLs on your business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and invoices. Internet marketing in the local area isn’t always just about cyberspace… getting the word out in the real world with a great conversion system helps to grow your business incredibly.

Check back to this blog for more helpful tips on how to effectively grow your business with affordable and effective printed items.

 

A Story of Perserverance…

On May 2, 2011, in business, mailing, marketing, printing, sales, signs, Uncategorized, by Kevron Printing

I’d like to share a personal story of heroism from a personal hero of mine. She is a teacher who leads a choir of angelic voices every Tuesday and Thursday at the crack of dawn before school starts. Every day she hustles and bustles about taking care of her kids in the morning, leaving for […]

I’d like to share a personal story of heroism from a personal hero of mine. She is a teacher who leads a choir of angelic voices every Tuesday and Thursday at the crack of dawn before school starts. Every day she hustles and bustles about taking care of her kids in the morning, leaving for work oftentimes before the sun rises, returning from work late due to volunteerism and taking care of students, and finally returning home to prepare dinner and resume taking care of the kids in the evening. On occasion, she readies her students for special performances, oftentimes scheduled at the last minute. Each day poses a new challenge for her, and she always takes it on headlong.

In the last few years, she has had some set backs in terms of her health. While nothing was life threatening, or so she has been told, she needed to take new and powerful medicine to help her cope. Each day was more challenging and draining, and yet she has always managed to keep her promises to her school, her students, and her children.

Then last week happened…

After suffering from one misdiagnosis to another enduring incredible pain and exhaustion beyond what any normal person would and should endure, the problem came to a head–she needed surgery. Her gall bladder was riddled with stones and needed to be removed immediately.

On the eve of her surgery, she was a bit of a nervous wreck. However, on the morn of her procedure, she was the epitome of calm. Like a soldier who knew that a job needed to be done, she marched through the halls of the familiar hospital, and bravely prepared herself for the operation.

The miracle of modern science, her laparoscopic gall bladder removal was a complete success, but left her bruised and scarred. Within two hours she was up and walking, and within another half hour, she was discharged from the hospital.

Not one to give in, after a little rest, she managed to continue to keep in contact with her school, ensure that the substitute teacher knew what to do, and by that Thursday, just a few days after the surgery, she managed to go back to school early in the morning to rehearse her choir.

You see, they had a title to defend. Last year was the first time in over 15 years that the school had received a first place in the state competition. This teacher was determined to not only make sure that the school took another award, but that the students would have the experience of making beautiful music and be recognized for it. That day, the principal sent her home because she came down with a fever of 102 degrees.

That Saturday, after attending her 5-year-old’s opening ceremony for tee-ball, she hastily, in her continued but dwindling pain, to ready herself for the competition. God smiled cheerfully down on her, because, amid that crazy morning, she remained cool, composed, and focused.

That afternoon, at 4 p.m., she conducted three pieces, giving the students every cue they needed to succeed in their song. The middle-schoolers sang amazingly with a sound altogether enjoyable and unique. A thunderous applause broke after the performance, and the judges continued speaking into their recorders feverishly.

The time between the performance and the results seemed an eternity. Anxiously the students fidgeted about, and the teacher, anxious and feverish herself (she became ill again directly after the performance with another low-grade temperature), made every attempt to calm her students, and they were the model of discipline and grace.

Across the room with a swagger of authority came the volunteer to post the results. All eyes were on this person, as if she was a celebrity. With a flip of the paper and a stab with the pin in the cork board, the results were posted.

THEY TOOK FIRST PLACE, and the kids reacted as if they had received the Grammy!

Those who know me may already have guessed that this teacher is my wife, Lisa. She over and over has taught me the meaning of grace through adversity. When you put out all your strength of heart, and mind, you can achieve the loftiest of goals.

Keep Moving Forward.

 

Kevron Printing At NAIFA Friday

On April 28, 2011, in business, mailing, marketing, printing, Thank you cards, by Kevron Printing

If you are in the insurance or financial services industry, come check out Kevron Printing and Mailing on Friday, April 29, 2011 at Al’s Steakhouse in Joliet, IL. We’ll be exhibiting at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Young Advisors Team Event! We’ll be offering some fantastic print products and services geared toward […]

If you are in the insurance or financial services industry, come check out Kevron Printing and Mailing on Friday, April 29, 2011 at Al’s Steakhouse in Joliet, IL. We’ll be exhibiting at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Young Advisors Team Event!

We’ll be offering some fantastic print products and services geared toward promoting members of NAIFA and keeping them at the top of the minds of their clients!

 

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

On April 25, 2011, in business, business cards, mailing, printing, sales, Thank you cards, by Kevron Printing

Oftentimes we take for granted our cherished clients. However, after all, it’s they who keep up in business. I know I’ve found myself being remiss to extend my warmest “thank you” to our clients. First of all, if any of you are out there in the blogosphere, I want to thank you for your trust […]

Thank You CardOftentimes we take for granted our cherished clients. However, after all, it’s they who keep up in business. I know I’ve found myself being remiss to extend my warmest “thank you” to our clients.

First of all, if any of you are out there in the blogosphere, I want to thank you for your trust and support throughout the years!

Second, I want to share with you a very important bit of advice: send a “thank you” card. You don’t have to put a call-to-action in it, just a nice card that says how much you appreciate your client. “People don’t are what you know until they know how much you care.” You may just be surprised at the response and referrals you receive when you make someone feel like they matter.

Keep Moving Forward.

 

The Money Is In The Relationship

On April 15, 2011, in business, mailing, marketing, printing, sales, signs, by Kevron Printing

Sure, we know that people do business with people that they “know, like, and trust.” Of course, we’ve heard and read over and over again that relationship selling is “where it’s at” in terms of creating and keeping clients. However, relationships go much further, much deeper, and much more impactful on our businesses than we […]

Collaboration and ComaraderieSure, we know that people do business with people that they “know, like, and trust.” Of course, we’ve heard and read over and over again that relationship selling is “where it’s at” in terms of creating and keeping clients. However, relationships go much further, much deeper, and much more impactful on our businesses than we may realize.

Relationships in the sales process

“Nothing happens without a sale.” But a sale doesn’t happen without a relationship… at least typically. My coach, Alex Livieratos of Business Power Coach introduced me to a powerfully effective sales strategy called READ. READ stands for:

  • Relate–develop a strong rapport with your prospect. Find some common ground, and build from there
  • Establish the need–using empathy, unearth what “pain” your prospect may be experiencing. Keep your ears open for opportunities for your company and for referral partners
  • Advance the solution–be creative, and, if you are able, with a servant’s heart, advise your prospect on what can be done. Sometimes, you and your company may not yet be able to help. However, if you can offer a path to take, you’ll be remembered as a much trusted advisor.
  • Determine the next step–Here is the real opportunity to be able to monetize your relationship. Whether you can help the person directly or not, ensure that you outline the follow-up. Contact the person again, find out how they are doing, and don’t be afraid to set up the expectation that you’d like to keep the relationship going, and that you may want to get to know others within your new friend’s network.

Relationships in the buying process

Using the READ formula when you are on the procurement side of the fence also comes in handy. Better relationships lead to better service, better deals, and, very often, to better referrals even from your vendors.

Relationships in the referral process

Like both of the above instances, your relationships are directly proportional to the amount of referral business you can generate. After all, no one (except your competition) will want to refer “bad prospects” to you. When there is a relationship, there is a genuine sense of community. Communities thrive when people look out for the best interests of the other community members.

Relationships in the joint-venture process

Finally, I’ve recently discovered that even if you aren’t currently sharing referrals, even if you don’t have a client-vendor relationship, and even if you have businesses that are polar opposites, there are opportunities to strategically align yourself with other companies. For instance, I’ve had the pleasure in the past of hosting events with other B2B businesses. Currently, I’m in the process of developing a very powerful series of webinars aimed to help small business owners and professionals leverage the internet, their personality, and their talents to better brand and market themselves in their local marketplace. Without the strategic partners I have who were gained by relationship building, this amazing opportunity would never have happened. Don’t discount those seemingly less obvious relationship-building opportunities… as we anticipate this venture will be a boon for all of our businesses, you may just find that your greatest wealth will be that you share with others.

Keep Moving Forward.

 

It’s All About the “Why’s”…

On April 15, 2011, in business, mailing, marketing, printing, sales, signs, by Kevron Printing

Today has been quite a day. I’ve had three very profound conversations with three influential business people who have asked me about how to improve the effectiveness of their blogs. In the past, each person wrote the “nuts and bolts” about their business and industry, spewing regurgitated facts and figures about markets and health care […]

Today has been quite a day. I’ve had three very profound conversations with three influential business people who have asked me about how to improve the effectiveness of their blogs. In the past, each person wrote the “nuts and bolts” about their business and industry, spewing regurgitated facts and figures about markets and health care and insurance.

I’m sure there are analysts and bean counters out there who may find that to be interesting. However, I’ve learned over the course of the last two days that what really grabs people’s attention is the story. Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with a former journalist-turned-memoir-writer. Her articles were riveting because they told a story which conjured images in my head and compelled me to continue to read. One of the three with whom I spoke today mentioned this to me: business sales people often talk about the “What” of what they sell. Then they sell the “How.” Really, who the heck cares.

What people want is the, “Why.” Why were you in business? Why is your product the right choice? Why are people raving about the product? Why does it work to meet the customer’s requirements. It’s in the story telling–the parable of the product (or service) and the characters surrounding it–that compels people to continue reading.

So… what’s your story?

Keep Moving Forward.

 

Five Take-Aways from This Week…

On April 15, 2011, in business, mailing, marketing, printing, sales, signs, by Kevron Printing

Dear reader, I realize that I’ve been somewhat more sporadic in my posts lately than normal. My sincerest apologies for that. I’ve received several comments asking what’s going on, and, so, I thought today I would wrap up this week in five neatly packaged points. I have been seeing for the last six weeks an […]

Dear reader,

I realize that I’ve been somewhat more sporadic in my posts lately than normal. My sincerest apologies for that. I’ve received several comments asking what’s going on, and, so, I thought today I would wrap up this week in five neatly packaged points.

I have been seeing for the last six weeks an amazing coach and mentor, Renee Perry. We’ve worked through some amazing lessons and exercises that I’ve not previously experienced. Some of what I’ve taken away are:

1. Stop listening to others and follow your heart

I can’t tell you how freeing it is when I was able to tell even some of my closest family and advisers this week that I needed to do things the way that I do them. I will be quite honest with you: I have found that I have not been following my own heart. I’ve, more often than not, found myself doing what others told me to do. It was quite freeing when I stood up for one of my own beliefs, and told everyone who told me contrarily that I was going to do it my way.

2. Take some time to be with the ones who matter most

Honestly, the last few weeks have found me spending less and less quality time with my wife and kids, and spending zero time with the rest of my family and friends. I made two albeit too short social visits this week that had nothing to do with business. While one was an absolute bust because I was the target of a sale of something I didn’t need, the other left me recharged. Moreover, taking a little time this week to talk with and listen to my mother was just what the doctor ordered. The most blissful times this week have been when I have been able to shut off the business, not worry about the state of affairs of anything external, and just be with Lisa and the kids.

3. Follow your passion

While I am being completely blunt and honest here, I must admit that I have not been following my passion completely. At least, I’ve not been doing anything to make a wholly satisfying life by doing about what I am truly passionate. However, this week, I did something so amazingly different and something that felt so incredibly “right”, that it has rocked my world.

On Wednesday, I gave a musical presentation about the music of Australia to a group of about 60 2-to-6-year-olds at a local day care center. I drew a cartoon for the kids, played the didgeridoo for them, and helped them to make music with me through the power of the drum. It was absolutely incredible, and a rush like I hadn’t had in years!

My quest has become to find that golden opportunity to blend my love of business and branding with my love of art and music!

4. Know thyself and thy purpose

One of the things that Renee and I did was go through a module on the power of purpose. In several exercises, we probed into the recesses of exactly who and what I am and what makes me tick. I was able to isolate three core values that have been helping me to better define my purpose in life: Creativity, Education, Accomplishment, and Family. My purpose in life, a mission I am still working on to define in its most powerful and simplest form, is to live my life fullest by fully exercising the God-given talents and gifts I have, melding each of these “TruValues” into something that impacts the lives of many people.

5. Prioritize

One of the most powerful things we did this week was something that my friend, Jim, and I have attempted to do for a long time–to help me to prioritize all of the “balls in the air” in terms of choices which can be made. Everything we do is a result of a choice. When I mapped out all of the choices that could be made with regard to all of the opportunities going on in my life right now, I was able to best visualize how I wanted my life to look.

It was a staggeringly overwhelming yet freeing exercise. We took all of the possible choices that could be made about my personal life and career, prioritized them, and placed them into a calendar. It became more and more clear how little I was, indeed, following my passion, purpose, and my heart currently. It also, however, showed that it is possible to fill my day with the proper balance of a purpose-and-passion-driven career, a healthy and family-oriented life, and the rest that is required to be energized to begin anew.

I’d love to go on sharing, but I must close this blog entry. I leave you with two thoughts, though:

  1. When is the last time you sat, reflected on what was most important, and looked deep within?
  2. If you need help taking yourself to the next level in your business, career, and life, I highly recommend speaking with Renee Perry.

Keep Moving Forward.

 

Adding Character to Your Business

On April 15, 2011, in business, mailing, marketing, printing, sales, signs, by Kevron Printing

My 10-year-old son, Antonio, has become quite the prolific writer lately. What I found extraordinary is that he has a method to his writing style that is the formula for outstanding stories and marketing copy. Think back to your favorite books and movies. What were the most influential and powerful ones? Were they fairy tales, […]

Guy Little, the little guyMy 10-year-old son, Antonio, has become quite the prolific writer lately. What I found extraordinary is that he has a method to his writing style that is the formula for outstanding stories and marketing copy.

Think back to your favorite books and movies. What were the most influential and powerful ones? Were they fairy tales, comics, novels, heroic tales of non-fiction? Chances are there was a plot with a hero up against insurmountable odds.

This is the kind of stuff that burns an image into our minds. The “Greatest Story Ever Told” is full of heroes from which we learn how to live our lives to the fullest.

Now, think of the most memorable advertisements you’ve seen. What may pop into your mind are pictures of people, cartoons, or animated characters who either personify the customer or personify the company in a way that makes that character a hero with which you can relate.

So, why should we, when we talk or write about our business, stick with the same old boring formula of who we are and what we do? The fact is, without a story, quite honestly, NO ONE CARES!

I recently found a formula I’d like to share with how to create mindshare among your customers that you can take action on today.

The Formula

  1. There is a character–you MUST develop a character for your business: whether that character is you or something in the way of an actor or a cartoon or caricature.
  2. There are parables–there are stories that are surrounded by a lesson to be learned
  3. There are miracles–something amazing happens
  4. There is insider language–whatever you right must be written in the vernacular of your audience
  5. There is dogma–there are ABSOLUTE truths
  6. There is testimony–there is someone who, in awe, can verify the story

I want you to meet Guy Little, the little guy (pictured above). Guy is the protagonist of my upcoming book, and has been and will be featured in some of my company’s stories. If you’d like to see Guy’s latest appearance, sign up for our mailing list to receive your free copy of our FREE report entitled: “Funny Face.” If you are already a member of our mailing list, you can download this mini e-book through the March edition of our monthly newsletter.

Keep Moving Forward!

 

Defects You Should Want

On April 15, 2011, in business, mailing, marketing, printing, sales, signs, by Kevron Printing

I normally don’t write about spirituality in my business-oriented blog. However, oftentimes I wonder if I should because business, after all, is about who we are, what we do, and the use of the God-given talents we have on which we are to make our fortunes. So, today, I’ve decided to write about today’s homily […]

I normally don’t write about spirituality in my business-oriented blog. However, oftentimes I wonder if I should because business, after all, is about who we are, what we do, and the use of the God-given talents we have on which we are to make our fortunes. So, today, I’ve decided to write about today’s homily (the Catholic sermon after the Gospel) which profoundly touched my heart, especially as a business person.

Today’s Gospel was the “turn the other cheek” reading from Matthew 5:38-40. This stirred our priest to discuss a book by Cardinal Francois Nguyen Van Thuan, a former Vietnamese-government-held prisoner, entitled Testimony of Hope: The Spiritual Exercises of John Paul II.

In the prose of this text, the Cardinal outlines what he determines are the five defects of Jesus Christ. They are:

Jesus had a terrible memory

Jesus had a way of forgetting and forgiving the sins of people such as the thief on the cross next to his and the sinful woman who anointed his feet.

Jesus didn’t know math

As explained by Van Thuan, the parable of the one lost sheep out of 99 in which the shepherd leaves the flock for the one sheep because it is equal to the sum of the 99.

Jesus doesn’t know logic

He told a parable of the woman who lost one of her ten coins. She tore her place apart looking for the one coin and, upon finding it, she threw a party which likely cost more than all ten coins put together.

Jesus is a risk-taker

Entrepreneurs should love this: he took risks with his own life and the lives of others. He recruited disciples from all over with no guarantee of their success and the likelihood that they would be persecuted. He himself suffered persecution and led a mission that, in our mortal world and in our human eyes, was a recipe for disaster.

Jesus doesn’t understand finance or economics

In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, He tells of the story of workers who toil all day and those who toil for only a short while receiving the same wages. This practice would bankrupt most businesses today and would surely lead to the ruination of the business and its reputation.

And yet, wouldn’t you love to be as defective as He is?

Keep Moving Forward.

 
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