Thoughts from Down Range

BullsEye Printing's monthly blog.
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Sometimes, your business challenges are mostly day-to-day. You talk to a customer about their challenging order. You work through a busy afternoon. However, as 2019 approaches—and faster than we think—it’s important to start the challenging process of making plans for the new year, especially the first few months. Planning challenges can be daunting, but starting early can help.

Here are three planning challenges you’re sure to face—and some tips on how to conquer them.

Planning Meetings
Planning usually involves at least one meeting—if not more than that. Planning meetings can be a great change from the norm, but they can also get off track easily or run into challenges with making those ideas a reality. So, before you head to a planning meeting, plan for your meeting (even if it sounds silly). Set your agenda and stick to it. Then, while you’re sending important files to the other meeting attendees, also send that agenda so that everyone is on the same page.

Setting Goals
Setting goals can be a huge planning challenge—after all, you don’t want those yearly or quarterly goals to be either too easy or too hard. However, with some thought and some effort, you can create goals that push your business toward success. Brainstorming is a great way to get started, because it allows you to think about what you want from the next few years—more customers, more profit, or something else entirely. Once you’ve figured out where you’re going, you will have a better idea of how to get there.

More importantly, make sure you create milestones along the way to those bigger goals. Reaching out to new customers can be a daunting task, for example, but breaking that down into smaller milestones can help. You could create an advertising campaign, sign up to be an exhibitor at a tradeshow or local fair (depending on your clientele), or create a campaign to encourage word-of-mouth advertising—whatever you choose, each of these smaller projects can act as a milestone.

Project Planning
Planning for the new year isn’t just about big ideas. It’s also about planning the little details—an editorial calendar for your emails, advertising campaigns, product launches, and more. Just like the milestones for your year-long goals, breaking down these big projects can help ensure that everything gets done.

It’s also important to break down who is going to be involved with each project. Not only will this ensure that everyone knows who needs to deliver on which tasks, but it will also help ensure that future kickoff meetings will include everyone who needs to be there.
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Autumn chill is  in the air, but you are still probably looking forward to taking time off for the holidays. Whether you are spending a day creating a large meal or driving out of state to visit the people you care about, taking time off is a great way to recharge and enjoy the holiday season. Taking time off during this busy season can also be a challenge.

How can you make your out-of-office time easier? Prepare! With a few simple steps, you’ll feel more prepared for your vacation and be able to pick work back up more easily when you return.

1. Plan Ahead
It’s good to plan ahead as much as you are able. Not only does this give you a chance to give your coworkers or customers a heads up about your vacation time, but it also gives you a chance to work ahead so you won’t return to a desk full of work.

2. Don’t Book Anything Important the Day Before or the Day After Your Vacation
Sometimes scheduling issues are unavoidable. However, if you have the option it can be helpful to block off the day before and the day after your vacation time so that you can ensure that everything is ready for you to leave and so that you have a dedicated time to complete any tasks that came up while you were away.

3. Make a Checklist
Can you make a list of all the things you need to do before you leave for vacation? Make that list! Not only will it give you a visual record of all the things you have to do and how much progress you’ve made, the simple act of making the list will help you ensure that you’ve thought through all the tasks you need to have done before heading out.

4. Touch Base With Customers and Business Connections
One of the best ways to ensure that your checklist is complete is to touch base with the people you will be working with between now and your vacation. If you can give them advance notice, they might be able to talk to you about the things that they’ll need from your business during your absence. With those requests ready to go, you can be even more prepared.

5. Clean Up Before You Leave
Want to really get started on the right foot when you come back from your time away? Take a moment to neaten up your workspace before you go. Wash your coffee mug, take out the trash, and put things back where they belong on your bookshelf. This doesn’t mean you should pack away your ongoing projects, though, but take a moment to put those papers back into their folders so you don’t have to go digging to pick up the project again. This will ensure that you come back to a fresh slate and well-organized resources.
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What’s Better Than a New Customer? A Returning Customer!

It can be very easy to focus your sales process on new customers. After all, bringing in new customers can be a great way to bring more orders into your business. However, the often-quoted statistic is true: it is much more expensive to bring in a new customer than it is to bring your existing customers back.

Building up a strong relationship with your customers is about showing that you know their needs and can speak directly to them. Here are just a few of the ways that you can help build that relationship and bring your customers back for another order.

Don’t Let Them Forget You

“Brand recall” is a term you’ve probably seen floating around, and your customer’s ability to recognize your branding is definitely something to consider. Make sure that they remember your name! Consider following up a few days after their order arrives to ensure that their order meets their expectations or sending periodic messages to announce new products or to highlight monthly favorites.

No matter what you choose, these reminders are a great way to ensure that your business is top of mind the next time your customers need to order.

Ask Your Customers What They Are Looking For

Everyone wants to feel heard, so asking about the products your customer is most interested in is a good way to keep them engaged in your business and to ensure that the products you offer are a great fit for them. If you put together a customer feedback survey, it could be a great addition to a customer appreciation week. If you’re looking for an ongoing way to gain customer feedback on your product selection, consider asking them at the end of sales meetings or having a comment box at your storefront.

Do Your Research
You know your customers—it’s time to put that information to use! Doing your research lets you know which products to recommend when upselling to your customers.

Remember the Power of a Good Referral
Returning customers aren’t just great customers—they’re also an invaluable marketing tool! Asking your existing customers for a referral, or even rewarding referrals with a discount, can make your existing customers feel like you value their business and can help bring in new business at the same time.
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Creative Mascots for the Back-to-School Season

Summer is almost over, and that means it’s time for you to create print for the new school year! While you’re creating fall sports schedules, homecoming banners, office essentials, and more, you should consider incorporating your school mascot into the print you order.

Most schools have an easy-to-identify mascot that makes an excellent alternative to the school logo, so incorporating these designs and your school colors is a great way to encourage school spirit. Here are just a few ways you can use mascots in the print you order for the back-to-school season.

Print Enthusiasm Starts in the Office
Most of the print you in education will order are going to be used in the school office. Temporary label name tags for guests and substitute teachers, badges for school employees, folders for orientation and school conferences, forms for students who missed class, and more are all great canvases for a great mascot design. And, of course, pencils and pens! Whether for college welcome packets or to get new students off on the right foot, a new writing utensil with the school mascot printed on it is a print piece students will use frequently.

If you are considering which products are perfect to pair with the image of your mascot, you should consider what your mascot looks like. Do you have a striking single-color image? A spot color print piece could be a great way to use that iconic image in your print. Do you want something more colorful or have a subtly-shaded image of your mascot? You should consider full color pieces.

School Spirit Takes the Field
Mascots are most commonly associated with sports teams, and that extends beyond the team uniforms. From banners on the gym walls to promotional pieces on fundraiser tables and in fan homes, print emblazoned with mascots can help fans get in the mood to cheer on their favorite team.

If you are looking for a practical and personalized option for your sports teams, for example, a wide variety of totes can be personalized with your mascot. These totes can be used as bags to tote team members’ belongings, lunch bags for away games, or fundraisers to help teams purchase new uniforms, equipment, and more.

If you want to make sure fans know when to be in the stands, magnets are a great choice and a great canvas for images of mascots. They make excellent alumni gifts and welcome gifts for new students, but, when printed with sports schedules, larger sized magnets will help ensure that fans, parents, and alumni are in the stands to cheer on the team.
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Are you working with a new customer? Has your customer come to you with a concern? Are your customers coming to you with a need that they don’t quite know how to solve? No matter who you talk to, listening well can help you fully understand the situation and have better answers.

Active listening is a great skill, and better, more active listening can help you make the sale, take care of customer concerns, and more with ease. Here are just a few tips.

1. Give Them Your Full Attention
Have you ever talked to someone who was visibly distracted? Especially when your customer has a pressing need or concern, your customer wants you to listen attentively to them. Put your phone on mute, look them in the eye, nod, and smile while they’re talking. Not only will it reassure your customer, but it will help ensure that you have a complete understanding of what they are asking of you.

And, if they’re not asking their question in person or over the phone…

2. Interacting in Text? Read Carefully
With an increasing number of customer interactions happening on social media, it’s essential to read carefully. Read the messages you receive twice—or even three times—to ensure that you have all the information you need to respond.

3. Ask Questions
Having a full understanding of the task at hand is important, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Was something unclear? Do you need more detail? Take a moment to ask questions of your customer to ensure that they have articulated everything clearly.

4. Ready to Respond? Take a Pause
Whether you’re talking to a customer in person, over the phone, or via chat, taking a moment to respond helps ensure that your customer is actually done speaking. This gives them a chance to finish their thought without being interrupted and give you a chance to decide what is most important to discuss. Did your customer raise an important question, or was there anything that confused you or needed clarification? Taking the time to pause, even for a moment, can help you collect your thought and choose the next step in the conversation.

If you’re talking to your customer online, It’s just as important to pause. Take a moment to re-read your response to ensure that it addresses any questions you might have and says everything that needs saying.

5. Paraphrase
When you think you’ve understood, be sure to repeat what your customer has said. However, don’t try to quote them directly—say it in your own words to ensure that what you think they need is actually what they need.
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I know it feels like we’re barely into summer, but this is the perfect time to start planning an Independence Day marketing campaign! Whether you want to host a sale or simply want to get into the patriotic spirit to attract passers-by, here are our tips for creating a marketing campaign that really sparks your customers’ imaginations.

1. Create Something New
If your business connects with customers on social media, the Fourth of July is a great chance to create something new for the special occasion! Taking a photograph for the occasion is a good option, whether that photograph is of your staff decked out in patriotic colors or a group of your favorite red, white and blue samples.

You can also use this idea to create window or desktop displays for your business! Bring together samples in a red, white  and blue color scheme and arrange them on your desktop to create a small design. You can also use samples alongside colored bandanas, paper pennant banners, and other colorful pieces to create a window display with flair.

2. Get Your Workplace in the Spirit
While you’re working on decorating your workplace and your social media presence, don’t be afraid to get your workplace into the spirit of the day! Consider encouraging your staff to dress up the day before the holiday. While this might not immediately spark orders, it can be a great way to make a friendlier atmosphere in your business. It also gives you an opportunity to take a seasonal staff photo, which is a great way to put a personal face to your social media presence.

3. Create a Sale
Nothing brings people in quite like a summer sale, and the Fourth of July is an excellent occasion for a sale. Send out a coupon to your top customers or have a general sale to make a bigger impact. If you’re looking for a way to offer your customers a promotion without impacting your bottom line, keep an eye on upcoming promotions from your suppliers for product ideas.

4. Reach Out to the Community
If you do a lot of business in your local community, reaching out to that community for the holiday is a great opportunity to connect with prospective customers. Consider donating to the community’s fireworks fund or having a float in a Fourth of July parade. This goes double for community charity events. Not only are these events a great chance to connect with consumers they’re also a chance to show off your company’s friendly, charitable side.
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If you operate a business,  you need checks to run a normal day to day operation.

When ordering your business checks with BullsEye Printing, we will make the transition from your current supplier seamless and hassle free.  For added convenience, we can also set your company up for an auto order, and ship them directly to your front door!

Business Checks on Top
These checks are the most common ordered by businesses. They are compatible with many of the payroll software available. This is the most common and popular choice due to the fact they do provide multipurpose voucher checks including two stubs. This way you can keep a copy for your records and give one to the employee, vendor, etc.

Business Checks in Middle
As you probably have guessed, these business checks print the check portion in the middle of the document. Peachtree is the main software that uses this check style. The top portion of the printout is for book keeping and the bottom printout portion is for the payee.

Business Checks 3 On Page
This style is laser printed and used predominately by QuickBooks software. It is exceptional in the fact that it saves on extra vouchers by printing 3 checks on one page, hence the name.

Business Checks on Bottom
The actual check portion is printed on the bottom of the document with this style. It is used by multiple types of software for payroll and accounts payable needs.

All of these business checks can be ordered quickly online at, or you are welcome to stop by our office.  We have many different styles, colors, and backgrounds to choose from and can even add your company's custom logo!  The main thing you need to know is what software you use.

As you can see, ordering your checks with BullsEye Printing is a breeze!
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Many small businesses choose advertising flyers when they need an easy, low-cost marketing piece. For the best results, full color flyer printing is the way to attract the most attention.

Flyers can be used for attracting attention to events such as store grand openings, fundraisers, local charity events, political rallies, offering discount coupons or providing information. Effective, eye-catching advertising flyers do not have to be expensive.

Commercial printers offer more sophisticated design options and even flyers specific to different industries and occasions. They also provide a higher quality printing than that you can obtain from a home ink jet printer.

Here are just a few of the advantages that full color flyer printing offers:

Advantage No. 1: Full color advertising flyers catch the eye much more easily than black and white flyers. With full color flyer printing, your images will draw a viewer’s eye like a child to candy. Using printing techniques such as full bleed and printing on a gloss coated paper will make your advertising flyers look that much more enticing.

Advantage No. 2: Branding is easy when you use full color flyer printing. Without your brand stamped on every marketing tool you use, your company will go unnoticed.  Incorporate your brand colors into your flyer, being careful not to use too many colors. Stick with two to four at the most so as not to overwhelm readers with too much activity. Never forget your logo. Place this in a spot where it can be easily noticed so that consumers have a symbol with which to associate your company.

Advantage No. 3: Contrary to popular belief, professional full color flyer printing is comparable in price to black and white printing on your office ink jet or laser printer.  Businesses forget about those hidden costs such as the toner, the drum, and paper when using their inkjet to print black and white advertising flyers. And then there’s the time spent loading the printer with paper, printing, and folding each flyer.

At BullsEye Printing, you can get many more options for the same or even lower costs as in-office printing. We offer valuable timesaving services, and the more you order, the less you pay per flyer. 

We can even offer you mailing services!

Contact us today for a quote!
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Business cards play a MAJOR role in first impressions, especially in the business world.  Our entire team has been in the printing business for a long time, so we’ve compiled our own list of Do’s and Don’ts that will make your business cards the center of attention.

1) Quality Paper Stock Only
The paper stock that you use illustrates your commitment to quality. A card that bends and feels flimsy isn’t going to let you put your best foot forward. You don’t have to settle for sub-par paper.  Instead, try out a thick, coated stock.  Using a textured stock, such as linen or laid, is always a classy move.  BullsEye Printing offers a vast selection of quality card stock to choose from.

2) Have Fun with Your Logo
If you don’t have a logo already, we encourage you to design one or let us design one for you. If you want to get creative, add touches of bright color (when appropriate) to help bring out the logo even more.

Yes, use color. Black and white cards just don’t create the same type of impact as cards with color. Don’t get too carried away just yet though. Try to stick with one particular color scheme. If you just want to add a bit of color but want to keep things simple and sleek, consider using navy blue or gray instead of black ink for the text.

5) Utilize the Back of your Card
This last tip is pretty straight forward. If you can, you might want to consider using the back of the business card. One of the main reasons you would leave it blank is if you plan to write personal notes on the business cards. Otherwise, add an interesting graphic, photograph or design. This is also a great spot for that new logo!

•Clip Art - Printing has indeed come a long way from the days of picking out a picture in a book.  Let us walk you through our selection of high quality images.
•Too many fonts - Stick with no more than 2 fonts unless absolutely necessary.
•Too much information - Your Business Card is not meant to be your resume or a complete list of services you and your business supply.  Avoid putting too much information. Stick to the basics.

In closing, remember that your business card is a reflection of you!

Our highly skilled team here at BullsEye Printing will guide you through every step.  Contact us today for a quote! 

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