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The 5 P’s of Business

Lately, I have had the opportunity to start networking again after a long hiatus.

Lately, I have had the opportunity to start networking again after a long hiatus. I thought I would share some of the things I have had the opportunity to be reminded of through this process.

  • Be Prompt

Respect other people’s time.  When we are late, it shows up as disrespect of others.  I know you have heard the saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” Being really transparent, at one point in life I had to ask myself, why am I always late to everything? I think in some ways we are afraid of either success or failure, so we do what we can to self-sabotage. But that is another topic for another day! When we are on time with time to spare, our stress levels go way down and we are respected as professionals.

Another issue in being prompt is following up with people immediately.  When I have been in the market for certain services, I have noticed with myself that in many cases, I have patronized the business owner who has followed up with me promptly before anyone else could call. I have noticed also when the shoe has been on the other foot as a business owner, when I have been slow to follow up, the business is gone. So, I have made it my business to follow up promptly, even if the person who inquired does not respond, I have done my part, and the ball is no longer in my court.

  • Be Professional

There are certain things we should and should not do as professionals. We don’t need to take every phone call or text while in meetings, barring emergencies or calls that we know we absolutely have to take. We should do what we can to keep ourselves present. It is so difficult in this day to do this with the multitude of distractions available, namely the phone, but when we are present, we are able to get the most out of a situation, as opposed to bits and pieces! I was at a Lunch and Learn recently and while everyone was talking to each other, there was a man on his cellphone talking quite loudly. Without turning around, I was trying to figure out why I was just hearing one part of the conversation. Then it dawned on me that he is on the phone – not only that – why am I hearing all of your conversation in a public place? At any rate, let’s be present.

Another thing that I have been reminded of is to do what you say you are going to do.  As a business owner, people ask me for quotes, or ask me to get in contact with them all the time. And I have noticed that a lot of people will waste your time getting quotes, and they know they are not ready or able to buy. But guess what? If I promised the person that I would get back to them within a certain time frame, I need to do that, and my word needs to be my bond, regardless of what they do. We just have to do it in such a way that we are not spending a lot of time on tire-kickers!

  • Be Prepared

Preparation is essential. When you are going to a meeting, it is good to know something about that client or prospective customer. With the amount of information on the internet about people and companies, there really is no reason not to have done your homework or research about the client or the company and not to be able to speak intelligently or ask intelligent questions regarding their business.   There is always going to be some question out of left field, but I have learned the more prepared I am to go into a meeting, the less the left field questions throws me off. Also, if showing products, the more I know about the products I am showing, the more confident I will feel when presenting.

  • Be Presentable

Ladies, have you ever been in a rush and gone to a meeting or had to go out of the house and your nail polish is chipped or you have a run in your stocking? It is not the worst thing that can happen in life, but it does not feel good. On the contrary, when your hair is together, your shoes are shiny, your outfit is cute, and you know you look good, your confidence level soars.  The same goes for men as well.  Not only that, whether good or bad, our society is a looks-based society and first impressions count. We don’t have to be the prettiest or the most handsome to succeed, but being neat and kempt goes a long way in how we present ourselves to others and in how we feel about ourselves.

  • Be Prayerful

Being prayerful should really be first on the list, but I wanted to save the best for last.  As a Christian business owner, I am beginning to understand the importance of praying about EVERYTHING! Praying about meetings, praying about divine connections, praying about maintaining integrity in business and making a profit at the same time, praying for protection and safety on the way to and from and during meetings. I know this is a business article, so I will not preach to you, but I would like to leave you with this Scripture to encourage and remind us all, “In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy path. Prov. 3:5

Blessings to you, and I wish you much success in your business endeavors!

Alisa Coleman(2) (1)

Decorating Trends That Will Make Your Garments Stand Out, Part 2

Today we continue with decorating trends that will make your branded apparel stand out. If you think embroidery and screen-printing are both great, but you want something a little different and more eye-catching than the norm, this article is for you! We’ve highlighted five more decorating trends below:

  • Reverse Appliqué

With reverse appliqué, a piece of appliqué is placed on the back side of the garment. The design is laser cut into the top layer of the garment. The cut pieces are then removed allowing the appliqué to be shown underneath.

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  • Heat Transfer
    With heat transfer, your logo or design is transferred to a garment using heat or pressure. It is a good alternative to embroidery for thin garments and is good for small quantities or large logos.

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  • Mixed Media

With mixed media, decorating techniques are combined on one garment for a custom look. Two of the most popular combinations are screen-printing and embroidery or appliqué and screen-printing.

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  • Infusion

Your logo is infused into garments producing a permanent image and a retail fashion look. It is great for logos where fine detail is needed.

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This technique combines heat transfer with the texture of embroidery. It is highly durable and will add dimension to the look of your logo.

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Now that we’ve highlighted some techniques to make your garments stand out, we hope this has given you some ideas to ponder for your next apparel project.  If you have any projects coming up and need assistance, please give us a call at (248) 720-1628. We’re here to help!

Decorating Trends That Will Make Your Garments Stand Out, Part 1

Are you looking for branded apparel that is a bit different from what you are accustomed to seeing? Perhaps you would like a uniform look for your employees, T-shirts for your cause, or outerwear for brand recognition. You think embroidery and screen-printing is nice, but you want to spruce it up a bit. Look no further – we are going to give you some ideas on decorating trends you may want to consider for your branded apparel.

  • Laser Etching

Laser etching is a decorating technique that uses a laser to etch a design into a fabric. It produces a clean, upscale look and is one of the only decoration methods that can be applied over zippers and seams.

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  • Sequin Embroidery

Sequin embroidery involves sewing individual sequin disks to a garment or cap with embroidery thread.  The sequins are machine-washable and embroidered to stay on.

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  • Laser Appliqué

Tech appliqué fabric is used in conjunction with a laser machine to outline simple logo designs or lettering. It is very flexible in that you have the ability to create a variety of looks and can turn a basic sweatshirt into a high value item.

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  • Laser Tech Patches

This technique uses a laser to etch a logo on tech fabric and is normally used for jackets, pullovers, and headwear. The tech fabric is sewn directly onto the garment to achieve a very upscale look.

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  • Unique Locations

Another technique that you can use to create a fashion forward look is having your logo or art placed in unique locations on your garment. Such locations as off the bottom, yoke, down the left or right side, bottom hem left or right are now possible. So, let’s get creative!

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Looking for more ways to make your garments stand out?  Check out our blog again tomorrow!

Happy New Year!

Happy-New-Year-Images-2018-HD-1-1Happy New Year to you! At this time of the year, many of us are reflective of the events of last year and what we would like to see in this new year.  Some of us would like to do things differently, and we want to see progress in our lives. We are full of hope and expectation for the new year because we view it is a time for a fresh start.

With that said, what are some of your goals for the new year and how do you plan to achieve them? One of our goals is to build better business by building better customer relationships. We are always striving to improve in this area. What would you like to accomplish this year?

 

Promoting Wellness in the Workplace

dumbbells-2465478_640Promoting health and wellness in the workplace is beneficial to employees and employers. It’s a simple concept that’s easy to implement. All it takes is encouraging employees to lead healthier lifestyles. Better health causes fewer sick days, increased productivity, and happier employees. Are you interested in creating a healthier work environment? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

– Provide Information about Living Well
The idea of living a healthier lifestyle is overwhelming for some people. Sharing information about health and wellness makes the idea less intimidating. Employees need to see that even small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in their lives. One way to inform employees is by inviting a health care expert to give a lecture. Give employees the opportunity to hear from a dietitian, personal trainer, or nutritionist. You could even start a monthly lecture series where a different expert visits each month.

– Encourage Preventative Care
Preventative care is an important part of living a healthier life. Group health insurance is probably available as a workplace benefit, and that’s great. But there’s more you can do. Offering flu vaccinations in the office will encourage more employees to get the shot. Providing small bottles of hand sanitizer will stop the spread of certain germs. If these ideas aren’t feasible, then at least encourage employees to get vaccinated and regularly wash their hands.

– Bring Exercise to the Job
Lack of time is a main reason for lack of exercise. Between work and household responsibilities, some people simply can’t find time to exercise. But exercise doesn’t always have to include making a trip to the gym. Other forms of exercise could easily be accomplished in an office building conference room. Yoga, Zumba, and pilates are exercises that don’t require much space or equipment. Perhaps a class before work, during a lunch break, or after work would benefit the employees. Another option is to have meetings outside, and walk to the park or other seating area. Make sure employees have a chance and place to freshen up after any activity.

– Improve Workplace Eating Choices
If your workplace has a cafeteria, then make sure fruits and vegetables are plentiful. Replace unhealthy food choices with healthier alternatives. For instance, offer baked chicken instead of fried chicken. And for beverages, water, milk, orange juice, and cranberry juice are better choices than soda. It would also help to stock vending machines with healthy snacks instead of candy and potato chips.

– Workplace Wellness Program
Implementing these suggestions costs money, but the positive results are worth it. Money spent on workplace health and wellness pays off in the end. Employees will have an easier time maintaining a healthier lifestyle and feel better overall. The company will also improve its reputation when people learn the well-being of employees is a company priority.

Tips on Networking as an Introvert

As an introvert, talking to people is usually a daunting task. Small talk for us is never easy; it is difficult being open with other people, and also building relationships with others. However, an introvert personality trait is just as important as an extrovert one, and it comes with many benefits when dealing with networking. Around 50% of people are introverts, so you do not have to feel like you are the only one that gets social anxiety just thinking about attending a conference and meeting new people for job prospects. Here are some helpful tips that will give you a newfound confidence when it comes to socializing with others for networking.

1) Prepare
Before going into a conference, write down questions you want to ask others. What do you want to get out of the relationships you are trying to build? What questions do you want to ask them about themselves personally or their job? Practicing ahead of time is perfectly fine and can make the conversations go more smoothly. You can also practice what you might want the other person to know about yourself. This is about making a connection between two people.

2) Focus on Your Goal
It is easy to become overwhelmed when the time comes for making job connections with others during a conference; however, setting a goal for yourself can make that task much more manageable. Before going into the conference, write down a goal of how many people you want to make connections with, such as three. Once those three connections are made, you are probably already socially exhausted and burnt out, so it is best to leave.

3) Contact Beforehand
With the world of internet, it has become easier to socialize with others because we can communicate what we want without having to see the other person. If there is someone who is going to be at the conference that you might want to meet up with, it would be good to email them and show your interest in meeting them. You can set up a lunch meeting with them; this creates another layer of being extra prepared to ease your nerves.

4) Take Someone
If going by yourself to a network conference gives you too much anxiety, having a friend show up with you can give you more confidence when talking with others. Having that support is a safety net and encourager if you feel yourself retreating into yourself.

5) Discuss Ideas
It is good when meeting someone to talk about certain goals or ideas you may have based on your industry to get the conversation rolling. You can ask them about their goals and ideas as well, and start building relationships right then and there.

6) Maintain Relationships 
Making and keeping strong relationships is the number one goal when it comes to networking. Having this relationship can open many other doors for other connections, and they can put in an extra good word about your strengths and why it would be good to work with you.

7) Notes
Taking notes about the people you know have met can help you remember who they are. You can send them a “nice meeting you” email and proceed on the next steps with that relationship. Also, setting up future meetings with this person shows your initiative and genuine interest in working alongside them.

As an introvert, we are natural listeners and good at maintaining the strong relationships we already have. Taking these simple steps to getting out and socializing with others can give you a sense of relief and confidence when it is over.smartphone-1445489_640

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Even as the year is winding down and Thanksgiving is upon us, I thought we would take a little time to talk about gratitude.  Gratitude is defined as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.  The holiday time can be wonderful for some, but it can also be devastating for others.  By the time we get to this time of year, many are reflective of what happened in this year and oftentimes hopeful of what they would like to see happen in the next. Sometimes, if you have had some negative things happen, such as the loss of a loved one, or you have experienced an illness, your finances are not where you would like them, or something not so positive is happening or has happened with one of your  family members or friends, it can be a stressful time. One of the ways we can combat that stress and sadness is cultivating an attitude of gratitude – finding something to be grateful for.

It has been proven in many studies that having gratitude has several benefits such as improved sleep quality, improved physical and psychological health, and improved self-esteem.  Another great benefit is increased resilience – the ability to recover from difficult situations. And we all know very well that life can present us with some difficult situations.  So, I just want to encourage you that if you are having a hard time around the holidays, and even if you aren’t, try finding something you are thankful for.  Here are some practical suggestions to do that:

  • Get a journal and take the time to write down three things you are grateful for that happened during your day when you are about to retire for the evening. You will go to sleep with something positive on your mind, and sleep quality is so very important. Do this for as long as it takes for your spirits to be lifted.
  • Love on someone else and take the time to be a blessing to them and look out for their well-being. When we take the time to help others, we are often blessed ourselves. It has been scientifically proven that helping others triggers a release of oxytocin, the “love hormone” which counteracts depressive feelings and also combats the “stress hormone” cortisol.
  • Express gratitude to others, whether it is for something little or something big. It will be a big boost all around for you, the giver, and the recipient as well.
  • Spend quality time with people who build you up and whose company you enjoy, especially during the holidays. If you are separated by distance and you can’t spend time with them physically, call them or Skype or FaceTime them. You will definitely feel grateful that you have them in your life.
  • Lastly, if you have a memento of something that you are grateful for, something that was so spectacular that it brings a smile across your face when you think about it, try putting it where you can see it. Recently, I was cleaning up and ran across one such something. I had been walking at a shopping plaza and unknowingly dropped my wallet. When I figured out what happened and went to retrieve it that same afternoon, it was already gone. After a couple days of worry, calling credit card companies, going to the police because everything was in there – license, credit cards, debit cards, and some Christmas money I had been given, I had done all I could do. Lo and behold, when my family and I got home from church on Sunday, someone (may God bless them) had put my name, address, and WALLET IN MAILBOX on a piece of paper on our doorstep. The wallet was in the mailbox, and not one thing was missing, and not one credit or debit card had been tampered with. So, I keep that slip of paper as a reminder of God’s faithfulness, and also to remind me that things may look crazy temporarily, but they will work out.

Hopefully, these are some tips that you can employ this holiday season if you need to.  I wish you a prosperous, happy, healthy, bountiful, and stress-free Thanksgiving!

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