Simple ways to get organized for vacation

Almost everyone has taken a vacation.  Whether it’s a short or a long one, it helps to plan ahead.  Knowing where you’re going and what you’ll be doing will be the reasoning for what you pack.

Step #1 Buy a planner

Like me, if you always feel like you’re forgetting to pack something, you can start off with writing everything in a pocket planner or a journal.  I would start by writing down the most important items that you can first think of, then write anything else that comes to mind.  Always double check the items on the list against the items you are packing.

Step #2 Pack to your own needs

If you usually carry a wallet, it would probably be best not to pack that into the travel bag so you have all of your most important information with you.  While you’re on vacation you may need something a bit smaller to carry around with you and keep your personal items together.  How about a tote bag, they are big enough to fit many things into but small enough to not get in the way.  Don’t forget to take your sunscreen! I hate going on vacations and turning red.

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3 “Aha” Moments to Think About For Your Next Promotional Plan

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day discussing some of the more difficult aspects of his job.  My friend works for a professional sports team and is responsible for ALL of the promotional products, giveaways, and half-time events.  During our chat I had a few “A-Ha!” moments about finding the right promotional goods for the right clients; I thought I might share them with you today:

Start at the end and work your way back

Sometimes we forget to think like an end user, and end up buying things that can quickly find their way to the trash.  Before your next event, giveaway, retreat, or any other thing that would benefit from things with your logo on it, spend some time considering how the product will be used and who will use it.  Notepad holders are great for conferences, water bottles for sporting events, and reusable grocery bags would be great for green folks.

Be unique and stand outDon't be another pencil or pen

Pencils, pens, and foamy balls may be inexpensive when preparing for a mass giveaway, but I can’t begin to count the writing utensils I have amassed over the years that have gotten lost or lent without ever even being looked at.  When planning your next move try to come up with a few ideas the might help you stand out from the rest.  Don’t be bland and boring just because of cost.

Stay on target with the environment

It seems off to me when people give out USB drives at sporting events – sure everybody at some point can use a USB drive, but that isn’t the right crowd; perhaps a warm knit cap for a football game this Fall would be a wiser choice.  Plan ahead and remember where you are going to be distributing your promotional goods.

By the end of the conversation we had come up with some unique, useful, and valuable solutions for him and his clients.  Surely this fall should have some surprises for the fans of this team.  RushIMPRINT can be your one stop shop for promotional goods – let’s find some solutions together.

rushIMPRINT and the return of Fantasy Football

If your office is anything like ours, the month of August is a lot more boisterous then previous months. It brings the start of fantasy football and the hope for redemption, at least in my case. This will be the company’s 3rd season of fantasy football and each season has evolved. Competition gets better and talk gets louder, but it’s all in good fun. Our first season started innocent enough, no one really talked too much. Which would have been fine if we started a book club but half of the fantasy fun is talking smack, win or lose. That was a role I was happy to get behind. It kind of loosened the mood a bit and the smack talk started to build especially around playoff time. Anthony from the IT department had the best team on paper and in the regular season but I was feeling good about my chances. My dreams were crumbled when I lost to Dan, our CEO. He was riding the Cinderella story, and my Wide Receiver threw a pick. You read that right, I lost by hundredths of a point. Anthony ended up with the crown the first season and ended Dan’s Cinderella story. Considering the dramatic fashion and narrow margin of defeat, I was chomping at the bit for our 2nd season. (more…)

Meet the rushBLOGGERS!

We’ve made many changes and what better place to make another change than our blog! We want our readers to feel a part of the rushIMPRINT community and so we’ve pulled in our talent – and by talent, we mean our team members! Meet our fantastic new blog authors here to share their stories, thoughts, and experiences. They will write about everything and anything from office culture (including an intense office fantasy football competition), movie reviews, to industry news!

We’re your one-stop-shop during your morning prep, lunch surfing, or mid-afternoon coffee break … stop by the blog @rushIMPRINT to see what is happening and join in on the conversation. Now, without further delay, meet our bloggers!

DanDan - Author Picture
aka: “The Chairman”

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite movie: Goodfellas

Last book I read: Delivering Happiness

Favorite Quote: “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any one thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

Kathy - Author PhotoKathy

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

My dream job: Personal Trainer

Something Unique About Me: “I have a heart of gold! …. well that’s what Robin said when I asked her.” (we all agree with Robin!)

Favorite Time of Year: Summer

What you can expect to read from Kathy: Holiday topics, running & fitness, Shopping, Office tales.

BrianBrian - Author Photo

Hometown: White Oak, PA

Favorite Movie: The Hangover

Last book I read: Too Fat To Fish

What annoys you most: “Filling out these silly surveys.” (Too bad Brian. Too bad….)

Ashleigh - Author PhotoAshleigh

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite Time of Year: Fall / Halloween

What annoys you most: “My dogs.”
What makes you happiest: “My dogs.”

Last book I read: “….”

ChrisChris - Author Photo

Hometown: San Diego, CA

What did you want to be when you “grew up”? “I wanted to be a Jedi, when I found out that was a fictional occupation, I wanted to be a computer programmer.”

Favorite Quote: “There are 6.9×10^9 kinds of people in this world.” – Anon.

Last move I saw: Avatar in IMAX 3D

Chrissy - Author PhotoChrissy

Hometown: Latrobe, PA

Favorite Movie: Hoosiers

What annoys you most?: “People that drive slow in the fast lane.”

What makes you happiest?” “Spending time with my family and friends.”

PerryPerry - Author Photo
Nickname: “Warlock”

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

My dream job: Artist or Musician … mission accomplished?

Favorite Holiday: Christmas

Favorite Quote: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein

Brandi - Author PhotoBrandi

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Favorite time of year: “I love the 4th of July, my favorite thing about it are the cook-outs.”

Something unique about me: “I’ve played softball for 4 years … you may find some of my writings deal with softball/baseball because it’s a fun subject for me!”

What you can expect to read from Brandi: Memories, experiences, general interests.

ZachZach - Author Photo

Hometown: Latrobe, PA

my dream job: Talk show host

Favorite Movie: Big Fish

Currently reading: Pink Ribbons, Inc. and American Conspiracies

Favorite Quote: “The meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not intend to sit.” – Anon.

Todd - Author PhotoTodd

Hometown: Vandergrift, PA

Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving

My dream job: Actor

Something unique about me: “I am the youngest of 6 children.”

What you can expect to read from Todd: All about the customer experience, from beginning to end, and what we learn as a company and individuals from each purchase.

LoranLoran - Author Photo

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Last book I read: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Lost movie I saw: Knocked Up

What you can expect to read from Loran: Observations of daily life.

Linda - Author PhotoLinda

Hometown: PIttsburgh, PA

My dream job: Professional Dancer

Last book I read: Dear John

Something unique about me: “I make stain glass windows.”

ThomasThomas - Author Photo

Hometown: Pittsburgh PA

My dream job: Actor, Comedian or Football player

What annoys me most: “When there is no explanation for why something stops working.”

Something unique about me: “I’ve seen more movies than you.”

Last book I read: Me of Little Faith by Lewis Black

Mike - Autor PhotoMike

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Nickname: Daddy (says twin girls)

Favorite Quote: “Not all days are created equal.” – Anon.

Annoys me most: Negativity.

Makes me happiest: Family.

CrystalAuthor Photo - Crystal

Hometown: Loveland, CO

Favorite Quote: “If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.” -Author Unknown

Last Movie I Watched: Inception

Last Book I Read: The Twilight Series!

Now That You Got The Job: Tip #1

Linda says…. “Smile Over The Phone”

Photo of woman on phone smiling

Many people already do not enjoy talking on the phone, so make their experience delightful by following a few simple practices. A customer, client or business partner always want to speak with someone that is happy, energetic, enthusiastic and knowledgeable, if you keep a smile in your voice the customer will get that professional curiosity they deserve.

Happy Talking!

Back to School & Back to Basics: 5 Ideas for Marketing to Students

Summer is almost over and it’s time for the kids to start gearing up to go back to school!  For business owners in college towns this can be a magical time of year for promoting your business and raising brand awareness.  With so many young people mobilizing in preparation for fall classes, now is your perfect opportunity; the only real problem can be finding the right way to spread the good word of your business.  Here are 5 great ideas for reaching out to the campus community.

Sponsor a club

Whether it’s a Greek Letter Organization, a sports team, a campus ministry club, or the AV club, they all need places to meet, t-shirts purchased, or donations to host events!  A simple call to the campus life department should render you with some kind of organization that could use any amount of donation or sponsorship.

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Beach Vacations Make Great Promotional Opportunities!

Summer is by far my favorite time of year. There’s nothing better than taking a beach vacation during the summer months. One of my favorite beaches to visit is St. Petersburg, Florida. There’s so much to do on those white sandy beaches surrounded by crystal clear water.

Beach Photo

Image Courtesy from About.com

Vacation time for me is not just lounging around and relaxing; as I am always on the go. Because I enjoy staying active I spend a lot of time outdoors. Some of my favorite outdoor beach activities include taking long walks along the shore, swimming, bike riding, volleyball and bocce ball.

 Because so many of us travel to the beach (or pools) every year, there are many products that you can give out for your prospective customers, event attendees, or employees that are not only promotional, but functional for them to enjoy!

To shop our full selection of beach products, click here!

Business Strategies Made Simple

Businesses that thrive need to have a powerful strategy in order to help growth everyday. Check out these  5 straightforward ways to getting your company on board for business.

Positioning

This is the bridge that connects everything together. It is one of the most important components in any business strategy as it creates brand equity which is crucial for the growth and success of almost any business in this world.

Publicity

Items such as press releases, contacting local editors, writing articles and getting in front of media professionals is a fantastic way to get your companies name out there. This way, you will be able to drive customers to your locations, call centers and website, and also encourage your customers to purchase your products or services.

Be memorable

You want to stand out in the minds of your customers, so put yourself out there to stand apart from your competition. Your marketing strategy should include all forms of marketing including direct marketing, online marketing, email marketing, article and event marketing and non-traditional as well as traditional methods of marketing.

Promotions

Not only should you hold special events and coupons to drive sales and customers up, but by creating promotional products to get your name out there is one of the most important and passive ways of making money.

Business Strategies Made Simple

Strategic Partnerships

Many successful business owners have developed partnerships that either increase their client list or add extra products or services to their product line.

Beyond Customer Service

Bringing customers back and keeping your current customers happy is one of the most important and at times, most difficult things to accomplish in the life of your business. The steps go beyond simple customer service. The items below are ones that will lead you to distinguishing yourself from the competition. Stick to these steps to pave your road to success.

Answer the phone.

This sounds simple, maybe even stupid because of its obvious nature. But as simple and straightforward as it is, it’s truer than most other things in business. If you aren’t the phone answering type, get someone to do it for you. Hire an answering service, forward your calls, hire an assistant or a team to answer the calls. Don’t have a recording; people want to talk to a live real person. This is the first step to good business is answering the call that’s going to bring in revenue.

Commit what you can do, no more, no less.

When you think of commitment, don’t only think of a relationship with a loved one. Think of committing to your customers individually. This will bring value and a certain level of distinctness from other companies. However it is worse when you can’t deliver what you have committed. Make sure what you say is what you do. Simple as that!

Be a listener.

Every business owner is also someone else’s customer. Then they also know like the rest of the world how frustrating it is when someone is not listening to you. This is your customer’s money, make them feel comfortable with the money that they are spending with you and your venture. This way they are more likely to pass on the good news that your company is of good value and that you are good listeners.

Deal with complaints.
Walking away from a complaint helps no one. It frustrates your customer and may lead to the badmouthing of your business for the future. Assume that every customer is the most important and even if you are just listening (as many customers want, only) it is important to let them know you want to resolve it.

Be helpful, even when you don’t profit.
Not only does this concept help the world go round, it also helps business make names for them. When you go out of your way to help a client and not charge them for every bit and bop available, they feel special, valued and are likely to remember your kindness in many ways, for many moons.

Walk them there.

That extra step is what keeps people going to their favorite stores and companies. When someone asks for the best fertilizer in the store walk them there, don’t just let them know what aisle it resides. If you are on the phone and someone has a computer question, take them there, let them have the comfort of your knowledge on the other end.

A bit extra for you.

Give away things for those loyal or even tough customers. Keeping and saving face is important in business. Obviously you won’t be giving away the farm. But if you are selling a couch for $3000, why not throw in a couple of throw pillows? When we extend ourselves, people’s brain cells tend to grow memory in accordance to your act of kindness.