The unofficial start to summer and a day full of BBQ’s and get-togethers, many forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. It’s a day meant to commemorate the lives of U.S. soldiers who have died in military service. Traditionally, Veteran’s Day is the time to honor war veterans, but Memorial Day offers another occasion to show respect for those involved in military service. If you own or work for a small business there are quite a few ways you can honor our fallen service members on Memorial Day. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Offer special discounts or free items to military members or veterans. Promote a special offer like a 20 percent discount on all purchases.
- Send out a Memorial Day card with a special offer included. Customers can bring the postcard to your store to receive a special discount or a free promotional gift on or around Memorial Day.
- Sponsor a float in your local Memorial Day parade. Many towns and cities host annual Memorial Day parades to honor service members, and they seek local businesses as sponsors for their floats to support the cost of the ceremony. Check in with your local community leaders to find out what’s going on in your area, and how your small business can get involved.
- There are many resources for our military, and they’re always in need of funding. Pick an organization, and collect donations at your place of business.
Having trouble keeping your workforce motivated, autonomous, and with high morale? The following are some quick tips on how to help empower your workforce!
Make expectations clear. When employees are given a standard with which to measure their success, they are more likely to meet or exceed that standard. Creating smaller goals along the way encourages employees to reflect on their own performances and asses if they are meeting these smaller, more attainable milestones.
Keep your employees accountable. When you properly reprimand or appropriately acknowledge poor performance, you are increasing the accountability in your workforce. You want employees to know that substandard work will not be tolerated. This keeps employees from trying to take advantage of the company and helps encourage employees keep each other on task, as there are consequences.
Give them a say. Ask for your employee’s opinions and encourage frequent feedback on every aspect of their day at work. Find ways to improve and resolve any concerns. This will make your employees feel included and will make them more likely to come to you with issues or suggestions in the future. Having an open line of communication with your employees is imperative to achieving higher levels of success.
How can working moms go about balancing career and parenting successfully? I won’t say it’s easy because who would really believe that anyway, but I will say that it’s completely doable. Like anything else that is successful in your life, you just need a plan of action. Here’s how to get there:
Decide What’s Important
First and foremost, you have to decide what’s important to you. The key word in that last sentence is YOU. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. Determine what your must-haves are and work from there. If breast-feeding your newborn is non-negotiable, make sure that your career somehow gives you the flexibility to do that. I was able to work part-time during the first 6 months after my daughter was born and was able to nurse her at home most of the time while pumping some during work hours. Maybe your must have is that you want to see your children off to school in the morning or need to be home when they come home from school. Whatever it is decide what you absolute need while still keeping in mind that you will need to sacrifice something along the way.
Ask Your Village For Help
It does take a village to raise children so ask your village for help and be sure to offer your help in return.
Exchanging baby-sitting services, rides or any other parenting duties is a great way to fit it all in. Perhaps you can call on a stay-at-home mom to drop your children off at karate in the afternoon and you’ll do the pick-up in the evening. Be careful to not abuse your friends and contribute when you are able to. If you have older children, get them involved in helping. Depending on their age, they should be able to take care of themselves and some household duties so it doesn’t all fall on you. It helps your children have a sense of responsibility and helps you out in the process. My children started doing their own laundry (from start to finish if you get my drift) at age 10 along with other daily and weekly chores. If you have a life partner, ask for their assistance if possible. Get your co-workers and boss on board to. Explain to them how important your family is and how they might be able to help you achieve the balance you are seeking. Many companies now offer flexible schedules, job sharing, work-from-home options and other perks that can make it easier for you.
It’s Okay to Say No
One of the things that has helped me the most as far as balancing career and parenting successfully is accepting that sometimes the answer is no. If I really can’t fit something in at work or at home, I am honest and say no (nicely.) I no longer do things out of obligation. For example, fundraisers are abundant once children get to be school age. After stressing myself out selling stuff because I felt obligated, I decided I would ask if I could just write a check to make a “donation” which would result in the same amount of money going to the school. It really made my life easier in so many ways. Figure out which things you can easily so no to that would help lighten your load. Sometimes you have to get creative.
The important thing to remember in all of this is that you need to take time for yourself and time with your children. Granted you may not want your career to suffer but your children are only children once and trust me, the time flies by.
During this technological day and age, everyone is always messaging you or contacting you through social media. That’s definitely a quick and easy way to reach out to people, but there comes a time when you want to show someone you are thinking of them…for example, on special occasions. Digitally, you tend to lose the beauty of the personal feel of opening up a card and reading it. There’s something to say about opening up a piece of paper, reading the handwritten message on it … and this is why people still appreciate greeting cards.
Not to say that sending an email to show best wishes for an occasion is wrong, it just tends to feel impersonal. Sure you can send a “Happy Birthday” text message, or a “Congratulations” email, but then what? The person deletes it, reads it in a hurry and goes on to the thing they were doing, or doesn’t even get it right away because they’re just too busy to check their email or personal messages until later. With greeting cards, someone can actually take the time to read how much you care. They can display your card on their desk at work or on their end table at home, and will be reminded of you every time they look at it! There’s an element of surprise and joy when you open up the envelope, and see what kind of card someone has chosen to send you.
Greeting cards take your well wishes and thoughts to another level, a tangible level. To me, this goes above and beyond a quick text message. I know someone took the time to think of me, pick out a card they think I’ll enjoy and go out of their way to put their thoughts on paper. Even if the note is simply stated, receiving a greeting card beats reading digital thoughts any day!
You went through the search for a new job, showed up dressed well and aced the interviews. Good news you have landed the job you wanted. The hardest part of a new job is that you are the new kid on the block and you have no clue who everyone is and what is expected of you. So let’s use your 1st day in the office Survival Guide.
- Dress the part for the job. If it is a casual office, don’t be too casual your first day. Most businesses have a dress code. If you dress as you did for the interview you can’t go wrong.
- Remember the company thought you would be a good fit, so take a deep breath and walk in with confidence, but don’t appear to be too cocky.
- Pack a lunch. Until you know the ins and outs of the lunch schedule you want to be prepared. You don’t know if people order lunch, go out or if there is a kitchen where you can store your lunch. Pack something that does not require refrigeration.
- Ask questions. It is important for you to know the culture of the office and what is expected of you. Knowing what is expected of you will go a long way to boosting your confidence.
- Smile and be friendly with the people you meet, but above all do not get involved in office gossip. If someone wants to gossip, you can just politely say,” I don’t really know her/him”. You don’t want to feel pulled into one group or another. You are better served to remain neutral. You don’t want to be seen as someone who gossips.
- Be punctual when taking breaks or lunch. If you have one hour for lunch do not take 1 hour and 5 minutes.
Just as preparing for an interview, preparing for your first day is important. The first impression you present to others is likely the one they will remember. You were hired to do a job, so do it to the best of your ability right from the first day on. Good luck!
It seems like everywhere we turn we are being asked to reuse and recycle and for a good reason. Everywhere we look there are plastic bottles, shredded paper, and cans. Small changes can make all the difference in the world. It is not just about separating your garbage but think about the different areas that can expand to. For example, the mail we receive is normally printed on one side; why not use the backside as scrap paper? The cans of which we have already occupied its contents can be used for several different things, pencil holders, clip holders, for separating your utensils.
Now, let’s take it a step further and buy items we normally use from companies that take the extra step to make our world more environmentally friendly. In saying that, we normally send birthday cards and greeting cards during the holidays; why not purchase them from The Gallery Collection? Their envelopes are made from 100% recycled paper and even some of their cards as well. The paper that these cards were made from is manufactured at a mill that uses wind-generated, renewable energy. I don’t know about you, but I already feel good about buying my cards from The Gallery Collection.
I don’t know about you, but I love the Christmas season. There’s so much to celebrate, so much to anticipate, so much to enjoy. Of course it’s also a very hectic time of year that sometimes gets under our skin, but nonetheless, it is a great time of year. I love the look on my children’s faces as they open up their presents under the tree. I love counting down until the big day with all my employees at work. I love the feeling of making my yearly Christmas donation to our favorite local charity. I also love hearing my customers rave about how perfect, elegant and classy my business Christmas cards are every year. Every year I take pride in picking out a design I know my customers will love even more than the one they loved the year before. It’s a personal goal of mine to keep them in awe with the quality that our company is all about. And for a professional company, we need the best cards out there. The Gallery Collection is all that and more. And for the price they are truly a steal. I usually buy in bulk, so the cards end up being a great deal, especially considering the amazing quality of the cards themselves.
This year, since things are going well for us and business is finally taking off again, we’ve decided to try Thanksgiving cards as well as Christmas cards. I’m sure our customers will be thrilled to receive their Thanksgiving cards in the mail and I’m anxious to hear what they think about them. We chose a lovely elegant design with leaves and gold foil on the front of the cards. Both of these holidays are excellent times to reach out to your customer base and let them know that you appreciate them, and furthermore, care about them and their family enough to extend some wishes and blessings. This is the season of sincerity; don’t leave room for people to speculate that you sincerely don’t care about them.
It was a really nice day out, and it was a Friday. Everyone in the office was anxious and excited. Finally, the end of a long work week! But just as everyone was settling down, we noticed our co-worker wasn’t at her desk. Then we got the horrible news. Her mother had sadly passed away the night before, suddenly and without warning. It seems like right in that instant, all our hearts broke for our beloved co-worker. I couldn’t help but want to run to her and give her a big hug. Then I realized that maybe she didn’t want to be around people at this moment and that maybe she needed some time to collect herself and bring herself together. We would of course respect her space during this difficult time, but we certainly wanted to let her know that we were all thinking of her and her family. That’s where sympathy cards come in. With a sympathy card, you can hand it to the person without getting emotional face to face, which some people are uncomfortable about. Naturally not everyone likes getting teary eyed in front of others. This way the person going through this hard time can keep the sentiment, read it in their own comfort and on their own time, and feel free to get emotional without the worry that someone may be looking. I like writing a paragraph of support and ending it with a good quote fitting for the situation. The one I chose for my co-workers sympathy card was: “For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” – William Penn.
Everyone in our office had something nice to say, and wanted to reach out to our friend, so it’s very convenient and smart that our company has business sympathy cards on hand all year round. We got one of our cards and all signed it, including our boss, who was equally devastated that our friend was going through this loss. It was a while before our co-worker was able to come back to the normal routine of life but when she did she expressed how much the card we sent meant to her. She said that even though she needed her space, our sympathy card made her feel like she wasn’t alone at all. And that’s the most important message we wanted to convey.
Whether it’s a hotel, a financial management firm, a gym, a restaurant, a lawyer’s office, or a grocery store – businesses know that reaching out to customers is what makes or breaks them. In today’s market, consumers have more than enough choices when it comes to where they take their business, which means they can be as picky as they want. Sure, some of us might not care much as to how friendly, genuine or in touch a business is, but believe me, the majority of people care about these things and more. People feel that purchasing something is an endorsement, a vote, as to who is worthy of their hard earned cash. So it’s very important to rise to these demands and meet the challenges of today’s market with ease and grace. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through corporate greeting cards, especially birthday cards. Everyone loves to be remembered on their birthday and what better way to advertise your business or to keep your business fresh in people’s minds? It’s genius I tell you. In the process of wishing your customer a Happy Birthday, you’re essentially advertising your business. Your customer will hang the card up along with all their other birthday cards, and people will see what a caring business you are. It certainly sets yourself apart from the competition.
Let me reiterate that: corporate greeting cards are a must in today’s business market. There really is no better way to make a subtle statement about your top rate services. Not only will you be happy to portray the right image, your customers will be satisfied knowing you keep them in your thoughts. Making someone smile is a great thing and if that smile means more success for your company, it makes it all the better.
I know I personally love it when the hotel I booked knows I’m there for an anniversary, and they leave a nice anniversary card for us on the pillow. It really gives the hotel experience that extra magical touch. Attention to detail is important for me. Or that time my gym noticed I hadn’t attended in a few days, found out from my sister that I was trying to get over the flu, and sent me a really thoughtful get well card in the mail. My stock broker has event sent me various cards, most recently, you guessed it, a birthday card. I still shop at these places who have taken the time to forge strong bonds with me and that makes me think that greeting cards are without a doubt the best thing you can do for your business.