Business Made Easy, Keep in Touch

Some people make the mistake of thinking in business you only need to talk to your clients when there is something wrong or when they need something from you. That is the biggest mistake you can make. There are always reasons to keep your brand in the forefront of your client’s minds.

Send a greeting card for all the right occasions. If it is Thanksgiving send out a card, if it is Christmas send out a holiday card…never take these moments for granted. You get to show your clients that you appreciate their business and they will end up putting your cards on a desk or on a cubicle wall where your company name can live for a while.

There are other methods of communication that are a must in business. Sending emails to stay in touch is a good way to keep your brand out there. Also, make sure to send a personalized gift to your clients once in a while. Remember, you want to have your clients remember your name but also getting your brand out in front of more people can now happen if people can see your logo. If you follow these simple steps expect great things to come!

Top 3 Bad Work Habits You Need To Overcome


We all want to do our best at work. But even the best intentions are sometimes met with bad habits. Here are 3 bad work habits you need to overcome today!

Being late for work or meetings
Unless your role at the company doesn’t require you to be at your desk and ready to face the day at a set time every day, start times are implemented for a reason. If you know that traffic can be unreasonable, allot yourself some extra commute time in the morning.

Being late for meetings is another bad work habit. If a meeting is set for an hour and you’re five minutes late, you’ve set the hour off and that can bleed into other commitments later in the day. Being on time is a sign that you respect other people’s time – and your own! It also goes a long way towards showing that you’re dependable.

Answering emails as they come in.

You may think that answering emails as soon as you see new ones in your inbox is a good idea. It’s not; in fact, it’s counterproductive. As email’s role in our work lives becomes more and more prominent, the number of messages you receive increases. If you spend all of your time checking your inbox, you’ll find little time for your other responsibilities!

Instead, schedule email processing time into your calendar. Spend some time with your inbox over your morning coffee when you arrive at the office, then schedule an afternoon session after lunch. If an email is informational and doesn’t need further action, move it to a reference folder or delete it. If an email can be responded to at that time, do so. If an email needs a bit more time to respond to, flag it for a future time.

Scheduling in your email time frees up the rest of the day for you to work on projects and tasks without an added distraction.

Not practicing proper hygiene

If you’re guilty of flossing your teeth or clipping your finger (or, please, no, toe) nails at your desk, stop this behavior immediately! Your boss and your coworkers will appreciate your well-groomed hands and your free-from-food mouth a lot more if you take care of that stuff in the privacy of your own home before you get to the office.

These top 3 work habits you need to overcome are just the tip of the iceberg. What other bad habits have you noticed in your office or overcome yourself?

Tips On Helping Empower Your Workforce

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.

Guide to Performing an Effective Job Search

Searching for a job can be a stressful activity. How can you be sure you are doing enough to land the job of your dreams? Follow these tips and you are sure to perform an effective job search.

You should start by taking a look inward and ask yourself tough questions about what you are looking for in a new position and what your priorities are. Do you want fulfilling, meaningful work and are less worried about income, perks, and prestige? Are you willing to start at the bottom of a field that is new to you, or do you want to stay in the field you are experienced in and apply for a higher-level position? Do you have a stable position now and thus have time to really look around and be picky, or have you been laid off and are scrambling to find something, anything, quickly? Only once you answer these types of questions can you truly begin your job search.

Once you have established what you are looking for, you can begin to do research on fields, industries, and specific companies. Use websites such as Glassdoor to read reviews about companies from their current and former employees. LinkedIn is a valuable resource not only to research industries and companies but also to search for jobs once you are ready to start looking. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and is an honest reflection of your knowledge, skills, and experience. Upload a professional photo to your profile, as studies show that profiles with photos are clicked on more consistently when they come up in recruiter searches than those without photos. You can join groups on LinkedIn; the groups are mostly comprised of people in a particular industry or members of professional associations. Joining and following these groups will give you valuable information about fields you may be interested in.

Once you have zeroed in on a field (or if you already have one) you can use LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other job websites such as Indeed to search for jobs. You can also search the websites of your local and regional newspapers, or even scan the classifieds of the print versions-sometimes people just look online and you never know what you might find in the old-fashioned classifieds.

If there is a company that you are interested in working at, don’t wait to see a job posting for an open position there. Conduct online research to find an email address for the Human Resources department. Or look on a LinkedIn to find people who already work at the company (either in HR or in a department you are interested in) and reach out to them. It may at first sound like pushy or aggressive move but, if done cordially and professionally, will actually reflect very well on you. Companies like to be liked; they want to find people who are interested in working for them and generally will appreciate when you reach out to them to express that interest. HR departments in particular are happy when you can ease some of the financial burden and leg work required in recruitment. Be sure to be specific in your communication with the company; tell them what specifically interests you about their company and how you see yourself as being able to contribute to their continued success. If you don’t receive a response from the company, you could perhaps follow up in a few weeks’ time. However, it is probably better to instead just directly apply to open positions at that point. You want to seem interested, but you don’t want to become an annoyance. Keep following them on LinkedIn and Twitter, and respond favorably to their social media posts. That will keep you in their sights without being obnoxious.

Perhaps the most important job search tip is also the simplest. Once you find a job to apply to, follow the stated application directions! So many otherwise qualified candidates ruin their chances of even getting an interview by not following the directions. If they ask that you upload your resume, don’t email it! If they tell you to put the position number in the subject of an email, please do so. Companies specify these details for a reason; ignoring them will make you stand out for all the wrong reasons.

Greeting Cards and Great Decisions Lead to Success in Business

There is a book out by John McCain along with Mark Salter entitled “Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them,” which relates inspirational stories about people in different walks of life who made tough decisions in order to achieve success. One of the more interesting chapters is about businessman Marshall Field who developed innovative ideas and, through hard work as well, established his own department store, which to this day is still in business.

Working for a long-established and most successful greeting cards company, The Gallery Collection, I found quite a few similarities between Field’s business practices and the one’s used by our longtime owner, Arnold S. For instance, the book talks about how Field gave wide responsibilities to his customer service employees to make decisions normally made by supervisors or top executives. In our company, our employees also have the freedom to decide on account credits or whether a customer deserves a new order of greeting cards free of charge.

Field also felt that practicing conservative techniques – taking the time before deciding if an idea will be successful before discounting it – was sound for business. The Gallery Collection, having already established a successful line of all occasion cards decades before, spent quite a few years deciding whether to enter the business Christmas cards arena. Ultimately, the Christmas cards sales have exceeded all expectations and have become a major part of the company’s success story.

To promote employee loyalty, Field made it his credo to treat his employees with courtesy and respect at all times. Our owner and CEO, Mr. S, has done the same, which is one reason why so many employees are still with the company after 20 and 30 years of employment.

This particular chapter in McCain’s book illustrates only some of the attributes Marshall Field used to become the successful owner of the “largest department store in the world,” and which other businesspeople can subscribe to in order to become successful as well.