Leverage Postcards

Leverage Postcards To Build Business Relationships

By | Business Strategy, Postcards

Most businesses have become accustomed to digital marketing campaigns designed to promote a new service, ask for new business or even maintain a strong relationship. Emails, social media campaigns and updated websites are generally expected these days from the businesses you work with. Try shaking things up by incorporating a strategically designed postcard to use in a direct mail campaign. Read More

Postcards With a Social Edge

Postcards With a Social Edge

By | Postcards, Uncategorized

“My neighbor in Khayelitsha, South Africa,” by Busisiwe Dalingozi

Postcards can be used as more than just a means of communication. Just ask Andrea Rees of Toronto, Canada, the woman behind South Africa’s new empowerment project. Rees is a professional photographer and  the creator of The Heart of a Woman Project, a mobile photography initiative designed to provide a source of economic relief and encouragement to women in poverty. After traveling to Makhaza, Khayelitsha, and connecting with the artwork created by the local women there, Rees decide she had to help.

Specifically, Rees created a two-week boot camp training session on photography and social networking for a select number of women in that area. Today, seven of these women are putting what Rees taught them to use, and making a living out of it. Equipped with iPhones, the women take to the streets to capture whatever they find beautiful or interesting. Then, they sell their pictures as postcards. Money from the sale of these postcards help the women provide for their families. It is both art and income.

While you may not have the photography skills of these women, you can still create one-of-a-kind postcards of your very own. Challenge yourself to create a unique design or employ our local design team to do it for you. Let The HeART of a Woman Project inspire you both on an artistic level and a social level. Who knows what kind of wonderful things you’ll end up creating!

Postcards For All Mankind

Postcards For All Mankind

By | Postcards, Uncategorized
Postcards can be an effective direct mail marketing tool. Despite their small size, they can pack a powerful branding and marketing punch. Here are a few reasons that you should consider including postcard advertising as part of your 2014 budget.

1. Full-color postcards have a low cost to produce including design, printing and mailing services.
2. They are versatile enough to use to solicit repeat business or to generate new sales during the same campaign.
3. Their small size allows them to be easily carried in customers’ pocketbooks, day planners or even displayed on a refrigerator or bulletin board.
4. Since no envelopes are required for their distribution, a great design makes it easier to grab the audience attention.
5. Results can be tracked more efficiently by enticing customers to present the postcards for prizes or discounts.

Before you begin your postcard advertising campaign, you will need to think about several things so that you can maximize the effectiveness of your project. First and foremost, you will need to determine who you will target for your mailing.

– Will it be your own mailing list of prospects and customers?
– Customers of non-competing businesses with similar demographics.
– A purchased list of prospects that are interested in the services you offer.
– Or simply those that live in a geographic area that you’d like to sell to.

Once your target audience is determined, there are a couple of different approaches that you can follow when designing the postcard itself. Some experts recommend a postcard that looks like a personal card from a friend is the best way to get the recipients’ interest. A friendly message will produce a positive emotional reaction instead of the negative one that many people feel regarding advertising in general. Others suggest thinking of your postcard as a mini-billboard that grabs attention and would even be saved and stuck on a bulletin board or fridge is the ideal method. Some prospects will follow up right away, while others may hang onto the card for a while and call when they need your product or service. In either scenario, using an obvious, easy to follow “Call to Action” is essential.

Since postcards have limited space, it’s best to highlight your strongest selling points. Get right to the point quickly. If the message is brief and concise, it is more likely to be read at a glance. It is best not to provide a detailed sales pitch, but rather give an overview of the benefits of doing business with you instead. Once you have their attention, then use the remainder of the card to provide motivation for the reader to get more information – for example your website or business phone number. This will encourage inquiries from interested recipients who will want more information on your business. Make sure your message can be seen and read quickly – you have a limited time to engage the reader as they flip through their mail.

Planning For Success

Planning For Success With Printing

By | Brochures, Business Cards, Door Hangers, Postcards, Print Marketing Advice

As another year passes by, we wish 2013 a fine farewell. Money was tight and there is no doubt that economic factors played a key role in limiting company spending. However, one of the great things about starting a New Year is that marketing budgets have been reset and companies are oftentimes eager to move forward with renewed vigor and an eye toward success. Making money is the ultimate goal for any business and everyone knows that to make money, you have to spend money. By setting up an effective budget plan that outlines how to spend that money is therefore essential to achieving your business goals in 2014.

Market & Build Your Brand

Marketing and building your business brand are key components to any company’s success. Whether you’re just introducing a new business or continuing an established one, it is imperative that your ads, promotions and company presence are displayed properly and for the right price. They need to reach the desired target market and provide the high-impact that will make customers choose you instead of the competition. The key is to find out what kind of marketing works best for your target audience. There are many advertising options available in today’s increasingly paperless world. The internet has made life easier and more accessible for marketers and advertisers.

One great way to save some money and get more bang for your buck is to look for value based specials on some of the print products you would normally purchase anyway. Timing is key to finding those deals. That’s why Printing Solutions is offering several such specials to help make your decision just a little easier. For the month of January we are combining some of our top products. These products include custom business cards, full color postcards, dynamic brochures and the always popular door hangers. Get $25 off packages when purchased together. These packages represent a great way for you to rejuvenate your branding efforts early in the year and maximize your potential to capitalize on the market.

Keep Up With Marketing & Design Trends

Another big factor in achieving company success is keeping up with market trends. It’s true that business cards, postcards and door hangers may represent the “tried and true” methods of print marketing. Many experts are now predicting that “Print is dead”. This is due to the rise of other tech savvy ways of spreading your message. At Printing Solutions, we would like to assure you that this is absolutely not the case. While it’s true that mobile marketing is on the rise and it has become a necessity to have a Facebook, Twitter and web presence. The most important facet of communication still remains the one that ultimately connects with the customer.

We believe that a printed brochure with a great design that actually says something relevant and helps to create a customized, personal interaction can be just as effective as social media. In other words it’s the content of the message that is most important, not the medium in which it is displayed. Remember, the simple business card is still one of the most powerful marketing tools. Therefore, your budget for 2014 should allow for a reprint of your business cards to make a subtle change to the appearance or feel of your card. It just may be exactly what the doctor ordered to make that perfect first impression.

Include Print & Referrals

Be sure to include a variety of traditional printed materials into your spending plan. You will gain the ability to promote your business on many levels. One should never underestimate the power of a well designed, custom door hanger, a full-color postcard or a dynamic, silk laminated business card. In fact, many companies focusing their marketing online. In addition to including online marketing in your advertising budget, you should also allocate a significant amount for print advertising as well. We offer many high quality products that will fit nicely into any budget. We also have the know-how to help you achieve your goal to ensure that your name reaches the market quickly and efficiently.

Word of mouth is always going to be your best advertising tool. Don’t be afraid to invest in some amazing design. That will get people to notice, remember and talk your company. And then tell them where you found that design. Every business loves a referral.

Need Help Achieving Success?

The combination of design and product will help you create a brand for your company. This is a crucial step to constructing the credibility, value, and personality associated with your business. The team at Printing Solutions can offer all of the above and more. From our great printing packages to valuable marketing advice and creative design skills.

The Holidays

The Holidays and Your Pets

By | Door Hangers, Friendly Advice, Postcards

This friendly advice article was provided to us courtesy of Tim Heise and Absolute Pet Care. Providing fully insured, bonded pet care service, Tim works hard to ensure your pet will have the proper care that it needs when you’re away on business or vacation, working long hours, or needing that mid-day dog walk. As a small business operating in Scottsdale, Absolute Pet Care came to Printing Solutions with a need for an affordable marketing solution to help grow their business. Our answer was custom door hangers and great looking full color postcards to help Tim spread his message and expose his business to a larger market.

The full version of this blog post can be found on the AbsolutePetCareAz blog

The Holidays can be an amazing time of year. Many people have their own holiday traditions which can be fun for everyone. It can also be a very busy time of year. People are usually coming and going. Holiday shopping, grocery shopping for Holiday meals, getting together with friends, booking travel arrangements to visit friends and family … Sometimes it may seem like your head spins until mid-January.

However, one thing we don’t want to take for granted or neglect, is our pets. One of the most important things in your life. People can easily become preoccupied with so many things during the holidays, making it easy to forget the daily responsibility of our most dependent family members, our pets.

One of the most important things for our pets is their daily routine. Dogs are creatures of habit. Most like to have their routine; regular scheduled times for feeding, walking, cuddling, playing, etc. Increased activity and visitors can easily upset your pet’s routine, so try to keep their schedule as consistent as possible. This can be a very trying time for them as well, so it’s important to give that extra love when you have a minute.

Not to dwell on the negative, but I will list a few of the dangers regarding your pets and the holidays. What is the saying? ”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I’m not sure that pertains to this subject, but we can never be too careful when it comes to our pets.

HolidayPets2

Your pets diet:

Your pet’s diet is extremely important to their health. Yes, we all enjoy the delicious food during the holidays. But please, don’t offer it to your pets. Our bodies can barely handle what we’re putting into them, and their little bodies aren’t made to digest all of the rich turkey, stuffing, and the seasonings commonly found in holiday foods. So please, DON’T. Especially refrain from giving the dogs bones. Poultry bones splinter easily. No one wants an emergency trip to the vet. Also, it’s important to communicate to everyone that your pet is not allowed to have any of the human food. While cooking, you may need to designate your pets to another area of the house to make sure they don’t find any dropped food.

Traveling with your pets:

Yes, our pets are dear family members, but not everyone welcomes them like we do. Traveling can add serious stress to their little bodies. Make sure that if you are traveling for the holidays, have a reputable pet sitter who will be caring for your pets and home while you are away. This is the busiest time of year for professional pet sitters, so please make sure you register and book your reservations as early as possible.

Plants:

Many plants associated with the holidays may be toxic to pets. I’ll just run through a list here:
– Ivy
– Holly
– Mistletoe
– Balsam
– Juniper
– Pine
– Fir
– Cedar
– Poinsettias

Holiday Dangers:

Tree ornaments should have metal hooks replaced with tightly knotted ribbons, yarn or twine.

Yes, bows and ribbons may look cute when tied around a pet’s neck, but please refrain from doing so. Pets can choke or even hang themselves if the ribbon is caught on an object.

Keep your pets from drinking tree water. If possible, immediately build a barrier using wrapped gifts in order to prevent your pets from drinking up the tree water.

Hang your tree ornaments higher to avoid being attracted by pets. Avoid tinsel. It isn’t toxic, but can become a problem if ingested by cats or kittens.

I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to add anything else I may have forgotten to mention.

The Holidays are one of my favorite times of year. I know the importance of making it safe for each and every pet, while ensuring we all have a great time.

Happy Holidays to you, your families, and of course – your pets!

Tim Heise
– Certified Pet Care Specialist
Absolute Pet Care LLC

Stress Affects Health

The Long and Short of How Stress Affects Your Health

By | Brochures, Business Cards, Friendly Advice, Postcards

Once again we turn to our friends at Elements Massage in Glendale for some friendly advice. This time we bring to light the harmful affects that stress can have on being healthy. The Elements therapists bring passion to each massage they provide and believe in the healing powers they hold in their fingertips. Stress comes in many forms and massage is a great way yo combat the affects it can have on your body. The Elements website is packed with excellent information about feeling good and being healthy. For many years Printing Solutions has been proud to be the print partner for Elements and their marketing promotions. We have provided them with high-quality, branded products such as business cards, brochures, gift cards, notepads, postcards and more. We have enjoyed our partnership and look forward to continuing our work with them in the future.

Are you often cranky, lethargic, irritable and unhappy? Do you have consistent headaches, neck pain, tense shoulders and tired back muscles? If this describes your normal disposition then you more than likely are feeling the effects of living an all-too-common stressed-out lifestyle. If you don’t start taking steps to break down the stress in your life soon, then it can ultimately lead to breaking you down both mentally and physically.

Physical Stress Cramps Your Body

One of the most popular places for stress to set up camp is in the neck and back areas. Kym Northey, massage therapist at Elements Glendale, identifies that one of the biggest culprits for physical stress is constantly sitting in front of the computer and plugging in to electronic devices.

“Whether it’s for our jobs or not, we are horribly addicted to sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time,” Northey says. “I tell my clients to keep a timer by their desk and set it for the top of the hour. When the timer goes off, get up, walk around and take a much-needed break.”

By sitting too long with your neck and shoulders hunched toward a screen, stress solidifies in your neck and back muscles leading to headaches, pains and strains. Physical stress from sitting and staring at a computer also can show itself in your body in the short term by affecting your lower back, legs, feet and eyes. When ignored or prolonged, physical soreness and stiffness in these areas can lead to arthritis, loss of motion and muscle fatigue.

“You have to get blood flowing and moving throughout your body, but especially through your legs and feet if you sit all day for your job,” Northey advises.

After a long day of working in the office or the home, Northey also suggests relieving daily muscle strain and tension by incorporating the following at-home stress remedies to close out your day.

– Rub a frozen water bottle along the bottom of your feet. Releasing pressure points in your feet is a good way to help release stress.
– Massage the top and back of your legs to get circulation moving when you have your legs propped up to watch your favorite television show.
– Rub a tennis ball along your neck, shoulder blades and spine before bed to help loosen common tight and tense muscles due to stress.

Mental Stress Messes with your Mood and Body

Heated discussions with family or co-workers, long to-do lists and an overscheduled lifestyle might be business as usual in your daily life, but all of the individual pressures you face each day can quickly pile up into a huge heap of mental stress. Mental stress tends to show itself in your attitude toward yourself and others, as well as the way you communicate and interact with the people around you. It also can affect your body physically by flaring up muscle tension in your neck, shoulder blades and at the temples of your forehead. In the long term, mental stress can lead to insomnia, ulcers, internal organ issues, depression and anxiety.

“A lot of people depending on their lifestyle and job have a high-strung personality and their body can show it,” Northey says. “If you live a stressful lifestyle for a long time, your body will use up every natural resource it can until eventually you end up with severe internal issues.”

Healthy Lifestyles Stress the Importance of Taking Care of Yourself

Ultimately, it is up to you whether you are going to be a victim of stress or if you are going to take the proper steps to break its vicious cycle. The first step to winning the fight is to take responsibility for the stress in your life and become accountable for minimizing it. The simple act of taking time out for yourself on a regular basis can lead to making big strides toward living a healthy and stress-free lifestyle. By taking a break on a regular basis, you are making it a point to step away from your hectic life, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to relax and release built-up tension.

“Everybody is horrible at making time for themselves, even me,” shares Northey. “I have kids and I understand how you are busy taking care of everyone else. It’s important, though, for people to make time for themselves.”

Northey suggests implementing the following regular habits into your lifestyle to begin the process of taking care of and time out for yourself.

Get out and walk around the block each morning or night to move the muscles in your body and get away from the world. Turn off your phone and just tune into taking time for yourself both mentally and physically.
Leave stress from your job at the office by not bringing work home. At the end of each day, write a list of everything you want to focus on for the following day and leave it on your desk. This can help minimize worrying about work situations during your off hours.
Schedule regular massage therapy sessions to heal and repair your body by relaxing your muscles and mind. When the body is massaged, it stimulates the release of chemicals in the brain that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Get on a path to a healthier, happy lifestyle by breaking the pattern of a stressed-out existence. Replace the people and things that are stressing you out with activities and habits that support taking time out for yourself and regularly releasing the tension that builds up throughout your day.

Should Local Businesses Blog?

By | Business Cards, Friendly Advice, Postcards, Uncategorized

Local Businesses BlogThis blog post is supplied to us courtesy of our friends at Loud Rumor and was written by Micheal Arce, CEO of Loud Rumor. With a passion for helping their clients to convert website visitors into customers creating true company growth, Loud Rumor allows your business to adapt to the new generation of marketing. Printing Solutions has been a preferred printing partner for several months and has provided them with custom business cards and high quality postcards and event cards to help them promote their networking events.

Pen

Local businesses are constantly trying to find ways to increase their web presence. The internet is the number one lead generating tool that’s ever been created, and business owners are becoming focused on getting in on that action.

Blogging has always been something that most people know they should do, but don’t do. Whether it’s because they don’t know how, don’t like to do it, or feel like they can’t provide quality content all the time… it’s not being done as it should to get the amount of business that most people don’t even know they’re missing out on! So, let’s answer the question: Should Local Businesses Blog? – Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How:

“WHO” SHOULD WRITE A BLOG

If you’re a local business that provides a product or service (especially a service), blogging can be very beneficial. This goes for dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists, carpet cleaners, hair salons, caterers, landscapers, attorneys, doctors, web designers, printers, etc. The list really does go on and on.

“WHAT” SHOULD I BLOG ABOUT?

What is your expertise? You need to ask yourself “If I was in the same room with 10 other people that do what I do, would I be able to have an intelligent conversation about my industry and the changes that occur within it?” If the answer is yes, then what information can you share with me (someone that doesn’t do what you do) to teach me what you know a little at a time? When you sell yourself on the phone, in person, on the website, in print ads, social media, etc., what are some of the selling points you use to position your company as the best around? Use those points in a blog to demonstrate how important they are.

For example: If you’re a carpet cleaner that uses green products that are low moisture and dry in an hour, that’s a good selling point. In your blog, don’t write about how YOU do it. Write about the benefits of choosing a company that cleans this way, or the benefits of attempting to clean this way if you’re going to try it yourself (don’t worry, most won’t try it themselves). Include tricks on how to get wine stains out of carpet, or how to make the carpet smell fresher. You can even write another blog about best ways to keep the stains from coming back or the top 5 reasons carpets get dirty in the first place and how you can prevent that from happening. If you take a few minutes to think, you’ll always find something great to write about. Most business owners can’t shut up about all the information they know about their industry when at a barbeque, party or get together. Just do that… in writing!

“WHERE” SHOULD I WRITE A BLOG?

The best and most popular blogging platforms to use are WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and Weebly.com. I personally prefer WordPress. I like it the best and I own all the content on it, as it’s stored on my hosting. It’s clean and there are a ton of great plugins to make your blog even better! Your website should have an icon or button that’s very visible and links to your blog (and visa versa). If your website is in WordPress, then your web designer can even make it interactive with your site. Every time you write a blog, you should share it with the appropriate audience. Maybe some blogs are good for your customers/clients. Some may be good for prospects, affiliates or partners. And some are great for anybody and everybody! If that’s the case, send a mass email with a short intro to the blog, with an enticing and relevant subject line.

Also, use those wonderful social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc) that you’ve attracted so many people to. Post the link to your blog in groups within social media platforms like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn or add hash tags through Twitter. LinkedIn Groups is supposedly the most productive place. It’s also good to submit your blog to sites like Digg, Reddit, Tumblr, Best of the Web Blogs, Technorati and Blog Catalog to name a few.

“WHEN” SHOULD I BLOG?

Most local businesses write 1 blog per month. I’m here to tell you that’s not often enough. Set a goal of at least once per week. If you can do it that way for a few weeks, try bumping it up to twice a week and so on. The more often the better. If you have enough great content and material to write about every business day, even better!

“HOW” SHOULD I BLOG?

Make your content useful to the readers that you’ve attracted. Almost all of my readers are local business owners. My goal is to find relevant content that can help them improve and grow their business through the internet (my expertise). You should try use keywords throughout the content that Google Users may search to find your article. You’ll notice the word “blog” and the questions that most people may ask about blogging are spread throughout this page strategically, while making sense to the reader. Use hyperlinks to help readers find answers to questions that your content may create. Don’t worry about writing a ton. I know in this “Should Local Businesses Blog” article, I have a ton of content ,but if your information only needs a paragraph or two, that’s fine.

“WHY” SHOULD I BLOG?

Simple – to get more customers. Blogging allows you to add fresh content to your company brand on the internet (where most people spend a good portion of their day). The more content you produce, the more Google sees you as an expert and a good resource to their users. Blogging helps your current customers stay in touch with you, while their perspective of you is a leader in your industry and the go-to place. This is great when hoping to generate repeat business and referrals. Blogging gives you something great to mass email and post on social media platforms.

Building your mass email list, fans and followers is great, but doing something productive with them is even better. Blogging also increases website traffic. It’s interesting content that we draw ourselves to. They’ll spend a good amount of time on the page and probably go to another. Amount of traffic, time spent on site, and pages per vist are all variables in the Google Algorithm when Google determines who should be ranked highest for their industry/market.

So, when asking “Should Local Businesses Blog”. The answer is yes. Blogging is important to the growth of a local business. I highly encourage you get on board with it, or hire a company that can help you with this.

Elements Logo 2013

Bringing Wellness Into Your Company

By | Brochures, Business Cards, Friendly Advice, Notepads, Postcards, Uncategorized

This article was provided to us with permission from the good folks at Elements Massage in Glendale. They truly bring a passion to the art of massage and believe in the healing powers it brings. Their website is packed with excellent information about feeling good and being healthy. Through the years we have been their print partner on many occasions and have provided them with high-quality, branded products such as business cards, brochures, gift cards, notepads, postcards and more. We are proud to have them as our clients and we look forward to continuing our work with them in the future.

corporatewellness article

Day in and day out Americans spend the majority of their lives at work either behind a desk, on the phone, in a car, on their feet or running equipment. Regardless of the occupation, your job is more than likely taking a toll on your physical and mental health.

Staying on course to achieving your overall health and wellness goals initially takes personal dedication and perseverance. But another leading factor to your success is whether your company values and supports a culture of healthy and active employees.

To bring physical and mental wellness into the country’s companies, an emphasis on total mind and body wellness needs to start with company management leading by example and employees feeling valued and appreciated for their efforts. Efforts also should be made to reduce the ever-present stress that hangs over the majority of companies in the United States.

The Cause: Stressful Work Environments

Workplace stress continues to rise as employees experience burnout in their jobs, feel that they aren’t compensated appropriately for their work and face increasing workloads as the economy cycles through its dips and rebounds. In fact, the 2013 Work Stress Survey released earlier this year found that 83 percent of Americans reported being stressed at work, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year. The survey also pointed to poor compensation and unreasonable workloads as the top factors leading to a stressful work environment.

“Stress is such a huge piece of many of the medical problems in our society,” explains Aimee Matchette, studio owner at Elements Whitefish Bay. “Massage can help relieve stress and tension in the workplace, while making people more present in their jobs.”

While massage is only one element to living a healthy, stress-free lifestyle, Matchette says adding on-site chair massages or partnering with a local studio to provide employee massage discounts is a good start for companies who are interested in reducing the costs and negative effects of a stressful work environment.

The Solution: Corporate Wellness Programs

As you are reviewing your company’s benefits packages and signing up for open enrollment between now and the end of the year, you might be wishing that your employer was more invested in your health and wellness. If this is the case at your company and you’re like most employees who are stressed out about their work environment, then you may be interested in bringing a corporate wellness program into your company.

“There are so many things that small- and medium-sized businesses can do to adopt a healthy culture,” Matchette said. “People shouldn’t get overwhelmed and it doesn’t have to be expensive. No step is too small.”

Corporate wellness programs are all about taking care of employees. For starters, wellness begins with changing the culture of a company to become more aware of their employees’ needs and support healthier lifestyles at home and work. Some common elements for a basic corporate wellness program may include:

– Conducting health risk assessments.
– Running team-building contests such as using pedometers to track steps or hosting healthy recipe competitions.
– Replacing donuts at a company meeting with fresh fruits and vegetables.
– Creating walking groups at lunch for accountability and team building.
– Bringing exercise programs like yoga or boot camps into conference rooms during break times or the lunch hour.
– Offering nutritional counseling.
– Providing on-site chair massages or employee discounts at a local massage studio.

“When you have a physical job that requires a lot of heavy lifting or a desk job that promotes poor body mechanics from sitting too much, massage can help employees lead healthier lifestyles,” explains Matchette. “We make it really convenient for companies to have us come in and offer chair massages. It encourages employees to take a quick break for themselves and come back to their job feeling refreshed and ready to work.”

The Bottom Line: Increase in Company Morale, Health

Investing in corporate wellness programs is not only good for helping reduce employee stress levels and increase loyalty, but well-run programs also can be beneficial to the company’s bottom line. The Wellness Council of America has reported that a company gains an average of $5.81 for every $1 invested in wellness programs. Additional financially focused benefits for companies also include a reduction in sick-leave absenteeism by 26.8 percent, healthcare costs by 26 percent, and workers’ compensation/disability management claims costs by 32 percent.

“We are trying to lead by example at Elements,” explains Matchette. “As a business owner, I try to lead a healthy lifestyle and I think it helps to encourage my staff to do so too.”

Bringing wellness into your company can be infectious for breeding higher team morale, employee loyalty and engagement in healthy lifestyle choices that can ultimately reduce stress and enhance productivity. When you know that your business cares about you and management is taking steps to make your work environment healthier, you are more inclined to work harder and feel better about the responsibilities associated with your job. It’s time for American companies and their employees to get well.

To view this article in it’s entirety along with many more health related tips, visit the Wellness News section of the Elements website.

Why Team Building Is Important

Why Team Building Is Important

By | Friendly Advice, Postcards

This post comes to us courtesy of our friends at Endless Entertainment. They are the high-energy event entertainment experts and know a thing or two about bringing groups of people together. They believe that their events serve a higher purpose and can be used as a force for good. To serve that purpose, they take care of the entertainment, the production, and even help you with the planning of your event, so the client experience is as stress-free as possible. As their partner, Printing Solutions has provided high-quality, custom postcards to help promote events for their clients, many of whom are local high schools celebrating graduations and proms. In addition, we have helped them with their own marketing products such as brochures, business cards and more to help build their business.

endless-logo

Team building is essential if you want better team relations, because it is all about the most important asset of your business – your employees.

In these tough economic times, you might think that a whole day away from the office for yourself and staff is unthinkable. It might seem like a lavish expense and one that you can do without. However, a team that does not get on and one that does not work together could cost your business.

When tasks are done within your company, perhaps they are carried out by individuals working alone – so don’t require much team work. However, it is important that you understand that whatever your company and no matter how big or small, your business will be more productive when your team is happy.

A company that has good team work means that there is better communication and it will strive better. If people in your team don’t get on and there are many frictions this can create an atmosphere that is hard to work in. It will ultimately mean that your staff members won’t be working to their potential. That’s why team building activities are aimed to improve communication and collaboration between those working together.

There are many indoor and outdoor team building activities to choose from – including cookery classes, music events and trips to adventure parks. Whatever your company and no matter the ages of your team, you will be able to find an activity that suits your company.

During a team building day teams will be forged for a specific purpose of achieving goals that are bigger than an individual could take on alone.

Individual personalities

Most of your time is spent at work, but because you and your team work so hard it can be hard to get to know your staff and hard to know what they are really like.

At a team building event you will learn more about your team and you will also get a chance to see what members of your team have leadership skills.

It will also give you a chance to find out their strengths and weaknesses. This could be useful information, particularly when promotion time comes around.

Getting to know each other

Team building allows those who may not work together on a daily basis to communicate and interact with one another. They will enjoy the interaction and will get to know their colleagues more. The bond will be different (better) when they return to the office.

Those who previously may not have got on in the past will forget their differences and will work together in order to reach the goal.

Fun and motivation

Not only does team building do all of the above, it all also allows your team to take some time out of the office and from behind their desk; allowing them to tackle something different.

Being stuck indoors and sometimes doing the same thing can being monotonous, so to boost work productivity take them on a team building day. Team building doesn’t have to be something you do every month, but aim for once a year; giving your staff something to look forward to.

To view this article in it’s entirety as part of the Endless Entertainment blog – click here!!

Concerned about Your Child’s Handwriting? Try These Helpful Tips

By | Brochures, Business Cards, Postcards, Print Marketing Advice

Arizona Orthopedic Physical Therapy is in the business of making people feel better, function better and live better. They rely on a hands-on, individualized approach to treatment and provide the dedicated, qualified care you need. You can then get back to your job, your family, your life, faster. In order to help them promote their healing services, AZOPT has chosen Printing Solutions on several occasions to print marketing materials including business cards, flyers, postcards, notepads and greeting cards. We are proud to be their partner.

This guest post was provided by Josh MacDonald, OTR/L – and provides some timely help to parenting just in time for the kids to return to school. We have reprinted it here with permission of AZPOT and hope you find the advice helpful.

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Increasing expectations in pre-school and kindergarten can mean children are learning to write much earlier than before. This has the potential to create multiple issues with your child’s handwriting. Gripping the pencil tightly, wrapping the thumb completely around the pencil, the hand becoming tired out easily, or letters appearing choppy without any smooth lines can all indicate your child has fine-motor coordination delay or weakness.

‘Fine motor’ refers to the development of small muscle movements of the hands which develop as your child’s whole body gains mobility, stability, cognitive, and emotional/social development. Unfortunately, the hands of 3 to 5 year old kids are often not developed enough to manage the accurate fine motor requirements of handwriting without specific warm-up and training. The in-hand manipulation skills required to make the small, smooth circles and straight lines are often more challenging than many kids are ready for at this stage. Nevertheless, schools have increased writing in the curriculum resulting in many kids who are struggling to keep pace.

There are solutions that can be effective for many of these kids. If the challenges are minimal and the child is motivated, some of the following suggestions may bridge the gap and improve their performance:

Play with Play-Doh!

Improving overall hand strength, including the smaller muscles in the hand, will help prevent fatigue and increase muscular endurance. Have your child play with Play-Doh or 3 to 4 containers of silly putty at the same time. Making large and small balls, rolling out snakes, and using tools to ‘work’ the Play-Doh will all help strengthen the hands.

Count Your Pennies

Coordination of the fingers plays a big part in handwriting. The ability to manipulate objects with coordination and accuracy will greatly improve the accuracy of letter formation. Try playing with pennies and nickels, picking them up from the table and transferring them from the palm to the finger within the hand. Using a small coin bank with a slim slot will encourage the use of finger tips for accuracy of placement.

Arts and Crafts

Cutting small items, beading or working to glue small items will all help to develop awareness and coordination of the hands and fingers. Whether it is cutting out shapes from paper plates, or coloring in small spaces, craft time is a great way to help kids with hand skills.

Tools Make a Difference

Minor equipment changes can also help with handwriting. Using crayons broken into 3 smaller pieces or very small pencils prevents ‘over gripping,’ and will encourage use of fingertips and result in more accuracy. You can also try one of the many different pencil grips available on the market. There is no one magical grip that works for everyone. Try several of them and stick with one of it makes a noticeable difference. You don’t want your child becoming dependent on this grip, so limit it to either only homework time, or only school time.

Each of these is offered as suggestions and may not, independently solve the problem. Your child may need more involved help. If this is the case, occupational therapy may be necessary.

If you are concerned with the overall development of your child, contact Kid’s Place for a Complimentary Developmental Assessment. Our complimentary developmental assessment is a 15 – 30 minute exam performed by a licensed physical, occupational, or speech therapist. They will assess developmental concerns with respect to gross motor, fine motor, or speech. Based on these results, our therapists will make recommendations for your next steps. This may include following up with a medical doctor. Additionally, they may show you simple exercises for the home to improve physical development.

To schedule a Complimentary Injury and Performance Screen or for more information, simply call (623) 229-7808. Appointments are a requirement.

You can view the complete article as well as many others with helpful advice by visiting the AZOPT blog