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Four Reasons Solid Design Should Be a Priority for your Small Business

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We’ve all heard it said – It takes less than a second for someone to form an opinion of you. So when it comes to your business, this means your website and marketing collateral are a huge determinant in whether you’ll land the account, customer, or investor you’ve been vying for.

As a small business owner, you’re often pulled in multiple directions on a daily basis.  It’s tempting to ignore the need for clean, aesthetically pleasing designs; however, recognizing the value can be an integral step in establishing and growing your brand. Below, you’ll learn just four of the many reasons solid graphic design pieces deserve attention when it comes to your small business or startup brand.

  1. Good Design Tells Your Brand’s Story.
    Your brand should tell the story of your business: who you are and why you are passionate about what you do. This goes beyond a logo and a website. Tell your clients why they should purchase a product or service from you versus the. We all have a story that makes them unique, just as each business has a story that speaks to their integrity, passion and credibility. Your story should make someone have an emotional reaction to your brand. It should create an experience for customers. Let good design do the talking; words can only say so much.
  1. Good Design Promotes Team Unity.
    Establishing your brand with your customers cannot happen until your employees become brand ambassadors. Your creative space, website, and stationery should all serve as a reminder to your employees of what you do and why you are doing it. These are the people who are communicating your values and story to your customers through phone calls, emails, the checkout line, or meetings. Get your team on board with a firm understanding of who you are through good design. They are your greatest cheerleaders.
  1. Good Design Gives you Street Cred.
    Okay, so maybe it doesn’t give you street cred, but it does establish a sense of credibility among your customers and clients. Consider how many times you’ve looked at bad design and instantly decided the company didn’t quite have it all together. Your goal should be to look professional and effortless. Your customers and clients want to feel like they can tell you exactly what they want and you will have the know-how to tackle it correctly the first time, ultimately saving them time and money.
  1. Good Design is Memorable.
    Good design strategically uses colors, fonts, imagery, and mood across all communication platforms to reiterate a message. The more they hear from you, the more your prospects and customers will remember you and think to recommend your product or service to others. Consistency will ensure a clear message is shared every time, without fail.

Clean, attractive design shouldn’t be placed on the back burner when it comes to your small business.  Former CEO of IBM, Thomas Watson Jr. is known (among other successes) for his statement, “good design is good business.”  We couldn’t agree with him more.


Small Business Week is a special week for Outreach Promotional Solutions. Supporting small business owners and giving back to our communities is a commitment we’ve kept since the day we opened our doors.
Enter the code NOSALESTAX when you place your next print, promo, or apparel order and receive your next batch of branded items tax free. Orders must be placed by May 5 to receive this offer.

Holidays

5 Things To Do During the Holidays to Improve your Business

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5 Things To Do During The Holidays To Improve Your Business

For many companies, excluding retail, business slows down during the holidays as people take vacations and defer new decisions on purchases for the following year.   This downtime creates a wonderful opportunity to re-energize yourself and your business.

Here are some ideas on how to leverage your downtime this holiday season:

  1. Organize and refresh your space. Like many of you, I struggle to keep my business organized and clean.   Clutter builds up, files get disorganized and the environment gets stale.   The holidays are a great time to purge extra clutter, reorganize your files and update your décor.  By doing these activities, your team will be more productive and engaged.
  2. Evaluate opportunities. Whether its identifying process improvements, talent needs or new innovations, now is the time to look at your business and see what opportunities exist to improve your business.
  3. Plan for next year. The holidays are a great time to reflect on the past year’s goals and set new goals and plans for next year.   Your planning can include setting new sales targets, adding new products and services, and instituting new processes to improve efficiency.
  4. Conduct teambuilding and employee engagement activities. Teambuilding and engagement should be a year-round activity. However, the holidays create a unique opportunity to amplify efforts to improve your culture.  The spirit of the holidays means appreciation for others and creating a feeling of family.   Volunteering to serve food at a kitchen, having a holiday party and providing a gift to your team are great ways to show them how much you value them.
  5. Work on yourself. Many of us work long hours and wear many hats.  Our time is stretched.  As a result, we have less time to work on self-improvement.    With downtime during the holidays, you can read an extra leadership book, brush up on skills and work on areas that can help you more successful in business and life.

By doing one or all of these activities, not only have your business up for more success next year, but you have figured out how to gain personal value at a time when business is slow.   Keep in mind that above all else, it is important to take time to enjoy the holidays with family and friends.   That is what the holidays are all about!

Launch Bash 2017

Join us for Launch Bash 2017

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We are joining with the United Schools Network for this year’s Launch Bash 2017

When: October 6th, 2017

Where: St. Charles Preparatory High School
2010 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43209

Hosted by: United Schools Network

Contact: Diana Wakim
Email – dwakim@unitedschoolsnetwork.org
Phone – (614) 557-5657

We are excited and delighted to be a sponsor for the 3rd annual Launch Bash 2017. Join us and help launch great futures for USN Students! On Friday October 6th, 2017, help us celebrate the LAUNCH of USN’s alumni into college and high school, as well as the tenth anniversary of the opening of USN’s first school!

Register and enjoy an exciting evening featuring Emmy-style seating, heavy hors d’oeuvres and dessert, raffle packages, and recognition of USN alumni high school seniors! You can receive the opportunity to win the chance to spend 7 nights in either Orlando, Las Vegas or Palm Springs with the Gold Star Raffle.

Become a sponsor and help USN reach their goal of $150,000 to support students and alumni in the 2017-18 school year.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful night! Register below!

 

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Raj

Thank You Raj!

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Today we say goodbye to our summer intern, Raj! He enjoyed the opportunity to gain vital insight, gather time management skills and explore our marketing & promotional business. During his time at Outreach Promotional Solutions, he shadowed employees, coordinated meetings with clients, learned administrative roles, gathered vital networking contacts and jumped into special marketing projects. He was essential for helping us integrate modern automation systems across our marketing platform.

Raj has had several different internship experiences early in his professional career. He spent time with both large and medium sized corporations before working for us. After completing his internship, he loved being able to work “behind the scenes” with a marketing agency and explore the process of completing a clients’ order. He was even able to introduce a new account into our database and support his local fraternity from his college.

Raj will be returning for his Junior year at The Ohio State University. Currently, he specializes in Marketing and may be adding a psychology minor onto his impressive early resume. Thank you, Raj, for all your hard-work, effort and expertise. We wish you the best of luck! Please contact Raj at raja@outreachpromos.com and wish him good luck for him as he continues onward with his future endeavors.

Client Services Specialist

Meet our new Client Services Specialist, Brittany!

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Meet Brittany Murphy, our client Services specialist at Outreach Promotional Solutions. She has over 6 years of customer service and graphic design experience. Brittany graduated from Bradford College with an Associate’s degree in graphic design. She is looking forward to learning more and getting more experience in marketing.

When Brittany is not working with our clients, she loves to spend time with her family and friends and express her creativity through arts and crafts!

We asked Brittany a few questions to get to know her a bit better:

  1. What three traits define you?
    Reliable, Honest, Respectful
  2. What are you most excited for in your new role?
    Learning as much as I can about the industry and marketing
  3. What is one thing you cannot resist?
    Babies, dogs and a good deal!
  4. Best place you have traveled to and why?
    Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Tennessee. There were some amazing views and food
  5. If you could be anyone who would you be?
    Jay
  6. Tell us something that might surprise us about you?
    Jack of all trades
    – Cake Decorator
    – Effects Make Up
    – Graphic Designer
    – Wrestling pro
    – Cashier

Best New Promo Products for 2016

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Retail-inspired Drinkware

    • 16 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Tumbler. Don’t want to bust your budget with a $40 tumbler bearing another company’s name? We’ve got you covered.  Keep hot stuff hot and cold stuff cold for hours with a vacuum tumbler that promotes YOUR brand…at a fraction of the price of retail competitors.  Want a sleek matte black finish or a slide lock lid in your company colors? We’ve got you covered there, too. INSIDER TIP: Jump on this one right away as we expect stock to move quickly due to the high demand!thermos
    • 13 oz Coffee Brewing Tumbler Brew, press and go for the perfect cup of coffee every time! The one cup coffee brewer combines immersion brewing and reverse flow filtration while the micro-filter prevents overbrewed bitterness and grit. Three-wall insulation keeps your coffee hot for hours. Eco-friendly design eliminates plastic pod & paper filter waste! Watch the video below to see how it works!

Tech Gear

  • Phonesoap. Did you know your cell phone has 18 times more bacteria than a public restroom? Yep, that’s gross. The good news is that there is now a phone charger that actually sanitizes your phone while it charges. Seriously, we’re not making this stuff up. Featured on Shark Tank and proven by Mythbusters, Phonesoap actually bathes your phone (or credit card, keys, jewelry, etc.) in ultraviolet light, getting rid of those pesky germs in about five minutes. This item is a great fit for hospitals, healthcare facilities or any other location where you need to reduce the risk of spreading germs and infection. Add your logo and place one unit on each floor or wing for easy access. Take a look at this demo to see it in action!

  • Jabba Bluetooth Speaker. Need a thank you gift for a client or an employee? Look no further than this  lightweight, pocket-sized portable speaker with a built-in subwoofer and speakerphone. It delivers exceptional sound quality!

jabba

Fitness Gear

  • Resistor Strip. At 3.5′ long and 3″ high, you’ve got room for multiple logos, expanded messaging and photo quality images.  There’s even an end-user friendly YouTube Channel dedicated to workout videos using the band. This is perfect for the health and fitness industry or your corporate wellness program.

20893205Tools & Gadgets

    • The Urban Super Tool. (As seen on the Today Show, Dragons’ Den and The Oprah Magazine.) The Kelvin 23 promises to “put an entire toolbox in the palm of your hand.”  (Watch the video below…it’s tough enough to withstand being run over by a car. Seriously.) Want even more functionality? Upgrade to the Kelvin 36 to get 10 more screwdriver bits for just a few bucks more.

    • Pocket Worklight. This compact flashlight with a magnetic clip is super handy for quick projects where you need to be hands free. Just clip it onto your shirt or stick it to a metal surface and you’ve got 125 lumens of light to get the job done. This item also features the option to add a full color logo.

22625131Tradeshow Giveaways

  • The Slip Clip. Perfect for the beach, boat or pool, this patented clip holds towels, lightweight bags and other items in place with ease. This makes a great giveaway for spring and summer tradeshows as everyone gears up for spring break and vacation! Contact us if you’d like more info.

21257852New Looks for Ladies

  • Feminine Blazers. Good news, ladies. We now have a professional alternative to polos and dress shirts! We like the modern tailoring of this wrinkle-resistant blazer in red (Hello, power color!) and the soft fleece version with a classic shawl collar looks fantastic layered with a woven shirt or graphic tee. Wondering where to put your logo? We favor a tone on tone look on the lower sleeve or the hip.

LM2000

 

Post inspired by: http://goo.gl/fK4M4L

Promotional Partnerships

Promotional Partnerships

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Our team believes in the power of trade shows and event marketing.   They provide a great platform to build awareness, generate new leads, and increase opportunities.

Over the next month, we are proud to be a partner on several Ohio business conventions and expos, providing education to exhibitors as well as a resource in helping exhibitors make the most of their expo investment.

 

October 21st   and 22nd – Small Business Convention presented by COSE – Cleveland Ohio

Now in its 10th year, the COSE Small Business Convention is the premier event for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Midwest. Partners from across the region come together to produce the ultimate experience for small business professionals, complete with nationally-recognized keynote speakers, a business-to-business trade show, special events and unforgettable networking experiences.

 Learn More 

November 9th – Family Business Awards & Expo presented by The Conway Center – Columbus Ohio

The Conway Center for Family Business Awards Program was established in 1999 to recognize excellence in family business.   The Family Business Expo is a great way to showcase your business, products or services to more than 400 family business leaders and advisers who will attend the Awards Program.

 Learn More 

November 10th – Grow Your Business Expo presented by Columbus Business First – Columbus Ohio

Buy local! Meet with dozens of Columbus-area business owners, service providers and professionals who are motivated to do business with you. Expand your network and generate new business leads at the Grow Your Business Expo

 Learn More 

 

Columbus Coffee Trail

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Have you heard about the Columbus Coffee Trail? Here at Outreach, we want to support local business as much as possible, and what better way than taking a stroll through the Short North to a local coffee shop? Participating in the Coffee Trail is easy and fun, and you get a free t-shirt!  I stopped by Impero Coffee for a latte, and it was delicious!  Learn more about how the program works below.

How it works: Pick up a card at any of the participating coffee houses or at Experience Columbus’ downtown visitors centers inside the Arena District Visitor Center or the Greater Columbus Convention Center. View the map. 

Columbus Coffee Experience Card

Buy a drink at four or more of these local shops and get your card stamped: Boston Stoker  Stauf’s Cafe Brioso  Cup O’ Joe  Impero Coffee The Roosevelt Coffee House Mission Coffee Co.  One Line Coffee  Turn in your stamped Coffee Trail card at Experience Columbus’ downtown visitors centers to get your free Columbus Coffee T-Shirt! Experience Columbus has created an easy, fun way to experience local shops that you may not have tried before!

Finish the Year on a Strong Note

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As the first half of 2015 comes to a close, now is a great time to evaluate first half results and see if you are on track to achieve your growth goals for 2015.  If you are like many, you probably did not achieve all of your first half goals that you set for your business. You might also feel that you are not on track to meet your year-end goals.   While this can be disheartening, now is the time to review and adjust your plan in order to achieve success as you finish 2015.

The following marketing tips can help you finish the year strong and make 2015 a success.

 Review & Connect with Your Prospect List

Hopefully you made new connections in the first half of 2015.   It is not uncommon to see connections that seemed promising lead to nothing.   Now is a great time to reestablish contact with those promising prospects.   Go through your list of prospects and identify the ones that have a high potential for future business.   Determine what you can give them that might spark their interest in reconnecting with you.  It could be information on new services you offer.  It could be a promotional item that shows your appreciation.  The key here is to be proactive and creative in reconnecting.

 Reevaluate Your Brand and Visual Identity

Is your identity fresh, clean and welcoming for your target market? If not, it may be time for a redesign of your marketing materials or website.  For many potential customers, a website is their first impression of your company.  If it is poorly designed, doesn’t generate leads, and not user and mobile friendly, you may repel customers instead of attracting them.  Now more than ever, creative branding and attractive design of all marketing communications is necessary to compete and draw in potential customers.

Identify Cross-Marketing Opportunities to Increase Reach

Creativity is the key when you have a relatively small marketing budget.  Teaming up with other businesses to cross-promote your business creates opportunities to extend your reach. If possible, pursue partnerships that could help customers and increase sales for both parties making you look like a hero!  It’s important to identify partners that have the values, brand image and customer experience that fit your business identity.  Some opportunities include: developing co-branded collateral, co-sponsoring an event, and posting content on each other’s blog or social media platforms.

Utilizing an Outside Marketing Partner

If you are not a marketing expert or don’t have the internal resources to effectively promote your company, secure an outside marketing company that has the knowledge, experience and tools to achieve your goals.   Many small business owners try to take on design, marketing, and sales in addition to operations, finances, HR, and so on.  Doing this creates sub-optimal results across the board and puts your business at a disadvantage when competing against larger companies with significant marketing resources.

Do your homework on the marketing company to understand what services they offer and why their clients value them as a marketing partner.   Develop your budget for marketing and work with an expert to identify what tactics will maximize results.  Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable that the money you are spending on marketing creates a solid return on investment.

Build a Marketing Plan and Track Results

Those companies with a marketing plan perform better than those without a plan.  So, if you have a marketing plan, great!  Now is a great time to review the tactics and results from the first half of the year and see what adjustments you need to make in the 2nd half.   For example, if you ran a direct mail campaign that didn’t achieve results, identify the underlying cause and determine whether it makes sense to run another campaign or scrap direct mail altogether.

Giving yourself time to do this mid-way through the year can give you clarity to adjust your plans and finish out the second half of the year with a bang.

If you would like to discuss your marketing plan or need help building your plan, please contact us today!

 

 

Dress for Success Chosen as 2015 Tailgate for Charity Fundraising Recipient! 

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Dress for Success is a global not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. 

Our 4th annual Tailgate for Charity event will once again strive to raise support and awareness for a local charity organization, which was chosen from a pool of outstanding applicants.

“While the decision was difficult, we feel that the mission and organizational values of Dress for Success are a strong match to our own”, says Nevin Bansal, President and CEO of Outreach Promotional Solutions.

The event will be in partnership with Y.E.S! Columbus, a volunteer branch of Dress for Success Columbus that provides its members with volunteer, fundraising and networking opportunities to champion the mission of Dress for Success Columbus. To learn more about their global initiative, as well as what they are doing right here in Central Ohio, visit their website and social media pages at the links provided below. Thank you to all who applied! We encourage you to apply again next year and to join us at the event on October 3rd at Flannagan’s Dublin.

Learn more about the event.   DFS_Columbus-Web

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