6900 Hamilton Blvd, Unit 285 • Trexlertown, PA 18087 • 610.841.0786

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Pulp Fiction - Print Industry Not Killing Our Forests

November 2019

It's a common misconception that printing kills trees when, in fact, the printing industry is reinventing itself to be quite sustainable.

Did you know that more than half of the U.S. forestland is owned and operated by private forest owners who are paid to produce wood solely for paper-making purposes? In fact, private forest lands provided over 90% of the domestically produced wood and paper products in 2017.

It's a big boost to the economy. Private forest landowners are able to manage their forests and make a profit, rather than selling it for commercial purposes. The income made helps to maintain their forests, allowing wood to remain a very valuable resource.

What's more is that today's printers are greener than ever. They are sourcing more environmentally-friendly products and using more energy-efficient machines.

Sourcing recycled paper and using ink that is vegetable or soy-based is just some of the ways that printers are reducing their carbon footprint. Plus, newer, energy-efficient technology allows for less risk to the environment. With the introduction of energy-efficient printers, less ink is used per page which stretches the life of a single cartridge much longer. Also, the introduction of digital print processes have allowed printers to print smaller jobs on-demand, rather than printing larger orders which left a great deal of paper waste sitting in storage.

Recycling is key. After a print job, their paper waste is then recycled, in one form or another. If leftover paper is not used in-house or donated elsewhere, it recycled where it the paper can be broken back down into pulp and made into more paper.

You see, the print industry is not killing our environment but rather helping it thrive!

Meaningful Marketing Messages Makes for Perfect Promotional Products

October 2019

Rather than creating promotional products that feature just your logo, including a meaningful message can help your company stand out from competitors.

A meaningful message may include a company tagline but it doesn't have to. Some firms choose to simply use a message that portray's the company's values and beliefs.

Think about it - some of the top most well-known companies use mindful marketing in their advertising: Nike - Just Do It; Wawa -Got to Have a Wawa. Live Better; Subway - Eat Fresh. It's no coincidence that these companies have become the top in their industries.

Using a creative catch-phrase that evokes emotion in the customer can really go a long way. When a customer connects with the message a business is promoting, they are more likely to remember the company. When that same message is included on company branding, such as on a promotional product, the customer is more likely to carry the product than if it just included a company logo.

Think of how your company can incorporate this technique as you plan for your 2020 promotional products. People love items that serve a purpose and businesses are more-likely to stand out when they venture outside of promotional pens and notepads. Fan-favorites include the Under Armor and Nike brands. Other popular choices are mugs, which can be designed with a company logo on one side and the meaningful message on the other, as well as lunch bags and insulated totes.

Whatever message you wish to portray, remember that short and simple messaging makes the largest impact!

The Faces Behind EBC

September 2019

Brothers Murtaza and Mustafa Jaffer are first generation Americans who teamed up to open EBC Printing in 2002. Together, they work hard to bring a positive impact in the lives of the people and businesses that work with them.

"We strongly believe in helping others as best as possible through our small business and we sponsor and support many events in the Lehigh Valley and in Carbon and Monroe counties," said Mustafa.

Express Business Center Inc., located in Trexlertown, PA, offers a one stop solution for everyone’s business services needs. The company has expanded its operations under three divisions.

•Division 1: The Commercial Printing and Signs Division offers all aspects of commercial printing services including but not limited to Design, Print, Finish/Bindery and Mailing services.  
•Division 2: The Promotional Products Division offers a wide array of Ad Specialty Products with numerous amounts of products including but not limited to promo items, apparel, tradeshow displays and much more.
•Division 3: The Business Services Division is a walk-in storefront service offering services including but not limited to copy/print, pack & ship, notary services, large format printing and mailbox services.

Practice your work-life balance...starting now! While summer is winding down, there are still a few weeks left to enjoy with family and friends.

Mustafa said it's no secret that EBC strives to provide exceptional customer service to its customers and clients.

"We show honesty and commitment to every client who walks through our door! In fact, we don't just want to print one project - we hope to gain a long-term relationship to help business leaders achieve their marketing goals. In addition, we spend a great amount of time supporting the community through events and attend networking events to connect with other business leaders in the area as we believe in partnership. Our team members help to support our mission by remaining knowledgable in their areas and providing our customers with the best customer service possible."

The great feedback from their clients have led them to make a decision to expand operations with a new and larger facility, opening in Spring of 2020. The new facility is just a few minutes away from their current site, located at 6034 Hamilton Boulevard in Allentown.

"We are looking forward to finessing our small business and continue to grow the services that make a positive difference for all our clients, supporters and the community at large," said Mustafa.

Finding Work-Life Balance

August 2019

August is National Family Fun Month, so there's no better time than now to focus on your work-life balance.

Employees are balanced are more motivated and less stressed at work, which increases productivity. However, according to a recent study published by the American Sociological Review, 70% of American workers struggle with finding a work-life balance that works for them.

So, what can you do to achieve the coveted work-life balance?

At Work:

•Set achievable goals - Set goals that are achievable. When one goal is achieved, set your next goal. 
•Take breaks - Getting up from your desk a few times throughout the day to stretch your legs and taking a lunch break can help refresh your mind and body. 
•Be efficient with your time - Prioritize your tasks and complete the most timely/important ones first. Scrambling to finish a project can cause unwarranted stress.
•Ask for flexibility when needed - Did something come up? Is your child sick? Do you have a doctor's appointment? Ask for flexibility when needed. If you aren't taking advantage, your employer is likely to be understanding and accommodating to your needs.
•Communicate - When issues arise among coworkers, communicating effectively can reduce additional conflict and stress.
•Take advantage of paid time off - Companies give paid time off for a reason, so take advantage of it! Time away from the office gives employees time to refresh.

At Home:

•Unplug - With technology always at our fingertips, it's easier than ever to stay connected; however, it's important to take time to unplug.
•Put your phone in a drawer, tucked away from eyesight, and allow yourself to really be there.
•Share responsibilities - Don't be afraid to ask your family for help. Sharing responsibilities allows everyone to have balance.
•Set time aside for family and friends - Sure, there may be responsibilities to take care of at home but be sure to set aside time for loved ones. Having fun with the company of others is extremely important to one's happiness.
Don't overbook - While it's important to spend time with family and friends, be careful not to overbook. Having too many plans can be stressful.
•Have a support system - Sometimes just venting to someone else can really help the mindset so call your mom or your best friend and blow off some steam! 
•Exercise - Get up and get going! Exercise reduces stress and releases endorphins which helps trigger a positive feeling in the body.
•Do what you love - Set aside time for you to do the things you love. Perhaps you have a golfing hobby; maybe you enjoy reading. Whatever it is, save some time for it!

Practice your work-life balance...starting now! While summer is winding down, there are still a few weeks left to enjoy with family and friends.

The Importance of Career Development for Employees New and Old

August 2019

Career Development is an essential part of retaining skillful employees. As employees enhance their skills, employers can retain top talent.

Regardless of age or seniority in the company, workers of all ages not only benefit from training and development, but they care about it, too! 

Studies show that workers with access to resources and tools are much more engaged. These employees tend to be more motivated and productive overall.

It’s not just new employees who need career development and training. Older workers need training just as much and as often as new employees.

Older individuals make up a large percentage of the workforce in the U.S., since they are not retiring at the typical “retirement age”. Many seniors continue working in either a full time or part time capacity after reaching the retirement age, which makes the need for training even more crucial.

In order to keep their skills sharp and to remain employable, experienced workers are eager for more training. In fact, according to a 2013 study from AARP, 8 in 10 workers say that the opportunity to learn something new is an essential element of their ideal job.

But it’s important for managers to understand that training is not the same for all employees. The need is the same, but the subject of the training may be different. For example, millennial employees may need more training on phone etiquette, whereas senior employees may need more training related to new technology.

Once the development needs are accessed for each employee, there are various types of training that can be provided including Coaching/Mentoring, Online Learning, On-the-Job Training, and Formal Training Classes.

Employers and employees who work together in developing skills can help build a better workforce and improve the economy overall.

What Can We Learn from Target's Recent Power Outage?

July 2019

There is a lot to be learned from Target, which recently underwent a huge register outage that caused the company to lose out on nearly 100 million dollars in sales over a two day period.

On a Saturday afternoon, for roughly two hours, Target cash registers across the country stopped working, preventing customers from making purchases in stores. The next day, a similar outage occurred, causing registers to go down for 90 minutes. The problem, they said, was not caused by Target's software but by a third-party who provides their POS system.

Disgruntled customers, who were not notified of the issue until they got in line to checkout, left the store and shared their dissatisfaction across social media.

This is a prime example of how businesses are largely impacted by business downtime. Not only does it affect the hard sales from customers unable to make their purchases, but also lost productivity of employees standing around unable to work, brand damage, and data loss.

Downtime can cause more than an inconvenience, it could drive a company out of business all together; especially the smaller businesses who have less money to gamble with. In fact, according to the 2016 Cost of Data Center Outages report, unplanned downtime costs $8,851 per minute, up from $7,908 in 2013.

So what can we learn from Target's recent mishap?
• Don't panic if an issue occurs! Document everything and work towards a solution.
• Know who to contact if technology fails.
• Notify customers of the issue right away. Be upfront with what's going on and provide a timetable for fixing the problem (but don't lie if you are not sure!) Apologize and sympathize!
• Offer coupons, snacks, beverages to customers for the inconvenience.
• Once the problem is resolved, examine your system for internal and external weaknesses and find out where the problem originated. (Did someone trip over a power cord or was it a more widespread failure?)
• Moving forward, monitor your IT system so that you know about an issue before your customer does.
• If you are using a lower-grade hardware system, upgrade to an enterprise-level network infrastructure. Higher grade equipment helps maintain reliability so that productivity will not be lost.
• Have a Plan B/backup system in place, as well as a backup power supply in case weather is the culprit. Businesses can invest in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). A UPS provides backup battery power to your IT systems which kicks in the moment regular power goes offline. Through a UPS, any loss of power will immediately transfer to the battery supply, without any noticeable interruption from the user.
• Consider using a cloud server, which are housed in colocation centers. They are more convenient and reliable due to their easy accessibility, but they’re also safer since they create automatic backups to prevent in data loss for the client.

Follow these tips and don't let downtime take your business down!

Social Media for Small Business

June 2019

Establishing a social media presence is no longer optional for small businesses in the twenty-first century.

It has been found that finding customers on social media has a direct impact on sales and the bottom line, although less than half of small businesses are currently using it to market their brands.

Business owners who are not using this tool are missing out on a great opportunity to connect to potential customers and understand those customers and their buying needs. Don’t be one of them! Use the tips below to create a great social media presence:

Set goals

Creating a successful social media marketing strategy starts with determining top marketing goals and setting a plan into action. Goals may not only include generating sales, but increasing brand awareness, community engagement, and website traffic. For businesses where increasing web traffic is a top goal, linking social media content back to their website would be key.

Plan Ahead and Create a Content Calendar

Creating content for social media is a lot easier once goals are determined. Creating a content calendar can help businesses stay on track with their posting schedule. Business owners may choose to post similar-themed posts during the same day each week. For example, #motivantionalmonday, #tiptuesday, #throwbackthursday are just a few ideas.

Give customers a reason to follow you by posting helpful and informational content. Even though the end goal may be to generate sales, posts should not be too sales-based, as it can be a turn off for the customer. Customers who receive help now are more likely to make a purchase in the future.

Don’t forget to sprinkle in some fun posts, such as polls and trivia questions, which ups the engagement from followers.

Stay Active

Keep accounts active by posting a few times per week on each platform. Don’t let social media accounts fall inactive. Creating a social media team can help significantly with this. Business owners should be encouraged to add their staff as admins to their pages so that everyone can help with posting content. Another option would be to hire a social media marketing consultant to handle the accounts.

Post at the Right Time

Posting at the right time will help posts to be seen. On average, the best time to post is around 9 a.m., when people are just getting to their computers for the first time. There is another increase from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. when people are taking their lunch breaks; and again later in the evening after dinner time.

Create Great Visuals

Text-heavy posts will go nowhere. The use of great visuals is key to being seen on social media. No posts should be created without a graphic and luckily, there are free resources available (such as Canva.com) that allows the easy creation of graphics with no design experience needed. While images are great, the future of social media is video. In a few years, businesses who are not using video in their social media are going to fall off the grid. Don’t worry -videos don’t have to be professionally-produced with a high end budget to be successful on social media. Going live a few times a week is a great alternative.

Share Posts

Be sure to share posts from trade/industry-specific organizations, community partners, and clients to help feed content and share the love!

Build Relationships Through Engagement

Generating posts that generate engagement will help business owners build relationships with follows of the page and allow them to learn about the customer as a person. For example, the business may post three new products and ask their followers which is their favorite and why. This helps the business to know and understand the customer, and helps to better provide products and services they are looking for.

Boost Posts

Boosting posts can not only help businesses reach more people, but helps them reach the right people! Since these posts can be targeted to uses among all of social media and not just followers of the page, businesses can reach more people and at a low price!

Follow Competitors

Following competitors on social media is a great way to see what others in the industry are up to. Stay ahead of the competition by being in the know of what they are doing, so that you can adjust your practices if needed.

Track Results and Adjust as Needed

It’s important to track results on social media to see what posts are performing best. With this information, it’s easy to adjust content to meet the needs of those following the page. Simply post more of what did well, and less or none of the posts that performed poorly.

Businesses who follow these social media best practices will build better brand recognition in no time!

Celebrating Small Business Week

May 2019

Annually during the first week of May (May 5-11), we celebrate National Small Business Week, which recognizes the contributions of small business owners and entrepreneurs.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, “more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.”

Small businesses are making a big impact on the local economy. We are a vital part of what keeps America running — and we couldn’t do what we do it without our staff!

“Our employees are our family,” said Murtaza Jaffer, who co-owns the business with his brother Mustafa.

As small business owners, Mustafa and Murtaza Jaffer strive to create a pleasant work environment for their employees which includes listening to their employees ideas, making each team member feel valued, and having fun while at work!

Being a good listener is a very important of being a good leader. Not only does listening make employees feel valued and keep them around for the long run, great ideas often come from employees themselves.

Innovation and new ideas are part of what keeps a small business afloat, and statistics show that small businesses are leading the country in innovation!

Besides having a great team with great ideas, business leaders can learn and grow by working with mentors who are willing to teach what they know, as well as share ideas and expertise. Plus, they can provide encouragement when the going gets tough.

Business leaders who play an active part in the business community by attending networking and trade events may stumble upon a great mentor without even looking! And by attending these events, are more successful in the long run.

Being seen in the community and being available and reachable is highly desired as it allows customers to know the faces behind the business, as well as gives the business owners a chance to know and learn about their customers. This helps the business in providing products that core customers want and need.

We, at EBC Printing, strive to be visible in our communities and we thank all of our customers who help keep us in business!

Remember, today and every day, to choose to support small business whenever you can.


Attending and Exhibiting at Trade Shows

April 2019

Spring is here, and that means so is trade show season!

Trade Shows have been around for as long as we can remember, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the exhibition industry has grown steadily over the past four years.

While trade show expenses can add up quickly, it can be a worthy investment as they allow allow business professionals the chance to network, show off their work, and learn about new products and offerings.

It’s true - there can be a lot of competition when attending a trade show. That’s why it’s important to make your business stand out.

If you are exhibiting at the show, here are some items you shouldn’t leave home without:
• Business Cards - Of course, you never want to leave home without your business cards! There are various types of business cards available today, some more elaborate than others. Those with a unique and interesting design can set you and your company apart from competitors.
• Signage & Banners - Signs and banners representing your company’s brand and products offers a welcoming visual for booth visitors. Utilizing larger banners or multiple banners is a great way to create a cohesive look. Investing in a great display will pay off in the long run and can be used over and over again!
• Promotional Items - Company-branded promotional items are a great “takeaway” to offer your booth visitors. Whether it be a pen, lip balm, or notebook, it is a subtle reminder of your company’s presence after they head home.
• Table dressings - Even if a table is provided by the venue, be sure to come with your own table linens branded in your company’s colors and logo.
• Office Supplies - Don’t forget to pack your bag with extra paper clips, scissors, tape, rubber bands, stapler, and pens. (Trust us, you never know what you will need!)

Even if you are attending the conference without a booth, you can enhance your presence with items like as company-branded presentation folders. Fill them with informational handouts and let your work speak for itself!

We are a one stop shop for all of your trade show printing needs. Contact us today and let us help you stand out from the crowd!

Promotional Product Trends for 2019

March 2019

We’re just 3 months into 2019 and so far, we’ve seen lots of exciting new promo item trends. Branded merchandise is a fantastic way to promote your business and spread awareness of your brand. The trick is finding promo products that recipients will use time and time again. Here’s a list of some of our favorites!

Well-Designed Clothing
Rather than putting your logo front and center on a hat or t-shirt, focus your efforts on creating a great design that recipients will actually want to wear. Have your logo take a back seat to a fun, creative design that will get potential customers excited about your brand and happy to advertise for you every time they wear the item.

Color Trends
Brights & Pantone Living Coral
2019 is all about fun, bright colors. Pantone’s Color of the Year is beautiful Living Coral, given the name because the color is like a breath of life, evoking energy and liveliness. Try a pop of any bright color with your next promo item. It’s ideal for Spring & Summer!

Rose Gold
The rose gold bags we created for a client’s event recently were a huge hit! Everyone gravitates towards trendy rose gold. Plus, there’s so many options when it comes to size, texture and functionality.

Unique Finishes & Texture
There’s so many unique finishes and materials for promotional products. For example, matte is having a big moment right now. A matte finish lends a professional, sleek appearance to may products. Burlap is another great trends for those brands with more of a bohemian feel! Snakeskin is another great texture to experiment with your 2019 promotional merchandise.

Swag Bags
For trade shows or events, why not opt for a custom built swag bag or bundle? It’s a professional, upgraded version of a goodie bag! Try building a DIY gift set that makes sense for your brand. For example, a salon could put together a gift set with a small makeup bag, nail file, chap stick and mini brush. A gym or fitness studio could try a drawstring bag, water bottle and carabiner. A restaurant’s gift set could include a wine key or bottle opener, pint glass, coasters and mint tins. There are great options no matter what industry you’re in!

Eco-friendly Products
People feel good when they know they are using eco-friendly products. Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to brands that are sustainable and show regard for the environment. Promotional items such as seeds, planter sets, compostable cups and clothing made from organic materials are a fantastic way to show your brand is environmentally conscience.

To summarize:
• Be thoughtful about design
• Consider color trends
• Add texture & fun finishes
• The more the merrier - put together a bundle!
• Remember sustainability

These are just a few of the biggest trends in promotional merchandise this year. Which trend is your personal favorite? Follow us on Facebook and let us know! @ebcprinting

Visit ebcpromo.com to see a vast world of promotional products. Contact Andrea at andrea@ebclv.com when you’re ready to order!

Marketing Your Business With Pens

February 2019

Pens are kept an average of 6 months and are used 3-4 times a day, which means that they are a great investment in the marketing of your business and use of your marketing budget. They are tied with promotional bags for the lowest cost per impression of any other promotional product and are one of the most useful. And now there some new ideas in this niche of promotional products which put a new spin on this tried and true marketing tool.

Put logos on the pen clips. Typically, you see imprinting on just the barrel of the pen. A new spin on this is to add imprinting on the pen clip. This part of the pen is generally visible even when the pen isn’t being used and is a great opportunity to add even more advertising to the pen.

Add industry shapes to the pen clips. If you work in an industry with a “stock shape” related to it (such as a house for a real estate company), adding that shape to the pen clip is a great way to communicate with potential clients exactly what your business does … instantly.

Make the imprint extra-large. Some suppliers now offer imprint sizes that are larger than standard pen imprints. This allows you to fit more information on the barrel of the pen, allowing for photos, bigger logos, hashtags, motivational sayings, etc. This gives you even more bang for your advertising buck.

Make the pen multi-functional. Your promotional pen doesn’t have to be just a pen. You can have promotional pens made with your marketing message, logo, etc., that also include a highlighter on one end and/or a stylus. This makes the pen multi-functional, which extends the life of the promotional product you are using to extend your message to clients and prospective clients.

In addition to the new ways in which you can use the trusty pen as an effective marketing tool, you want to make sure your promotional pens are of good quality and write well. Who doesn’t like a pen that writes smoothly? If your promotional pens not only rock your marketing message, logo, picture, etc. but also are of good quality, it creates a brand loyalty and your customers/potential customers will seek out your pen to use. Not only that, but it creates a connection subconsciously between your business and quality. You can’t put a price tag on that.

Keen on Green: Shredding the Myths about Paper

January 2019

Q: Is paper is bad for the environment?
A: No! Paper is

• Natural
• Plant-based
• Recyclable

Paper comes from wood, which is natural and renewable. Growing trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, and because paper is made from wood, it actually continues to store carbon in its new state. In fact, the entire paper-making process is sustainable.

EBC Printing abides by several third-party certification standards, including the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFCTM). This is to ensure that the paper we use is obtained from a sustainable forest source.

What’s one of the most recycled products on the planet? Paper. In 1999, the recovery rate for paper measured about 44%. In 2017, it measured over 65%. That means that 65% of paper used in the United States was recovered to be recycled. That number only continues to grow.

*source: paperrecycles.org/statistics/paper-paperboard-recovery

Many people assume that electronic or digital methods is inherently “greener” than paper. That’s really not the case. It’s commonplace for organizations to push consumers to “go paperless” in order to save the environment, but this claim is misleading. It doesn’t take into consideration the sustainable forest practices that the modern printing industry adheres to. Paper that is responsibly sourced and properly recycled has minimal environmental impact. Truthfully, we don’t yet know the full impact of electronic devices on the environment. And until we have that information, we can’t say one is “greener” than the other.

As a continuously growing, local business with focus placed on the long term, EBC takes pride in sustainable practices that minimize environmental impact. We’re committed to sustainable practices that minimize environmental impact. Recycled Paper is used whenever possible and paper materials are always recycled.

More Important Sustainability Facts:

• Paper is made from wood, a truly renewable and sustainable resource
• Forest certification ensures wood comes from well-managed forests
• Responsible wood, pulp and paper production ensures healthy growing forests
• Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by an area the size of Switzerland
• In 2013, 74.7% of pulp delivered to paper and board mills in Europe was forest management certified by independent forest certification schemes, up from 71.1% in 20102
• The potential supply of certified forest products increased by about 30% between 2007 and 2013

*Statistic source: twosides.info/sustainable-products/

More sources: theguardian.com/sustainable-business/digital-really-greener-paper-marketing

Better Client Retention, Year after Year

January 2019

At EBC Printing, customer satisfaction and client retention are a top priority. Every organization should be keenly focused on client retention, as repeat business is a huge factor on your company’s bottom line. We’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite tips on how to keep your clients coming back, year after year.

1. Listen To (& Apply) Feedback
Don’t shy away from customer criticism. Ask for feedback and then genuinely think about how you can use it to make a positive change in your business. It’s much better to ask for feedback regularly, then to have a negative comment or review seemingly come out of nowhere. Use customer feedback to think deeply about how you can improve your practices, products or services.

Some ideas on how to collect this data is through surveys sent by email, posted on social media platforms, or on their receipts. Or, you can always ask in person, of course. Furthermore, if you have the time and resources, focus groups are a great way to get lots of valuable feedback all at once.

2. Loyalty & Referral Programs
Do you have some kind of loyalty or referral programs in place? If not, consider it. Customers always appreciate a thank you in the form of savings for their ongoing patronage. Even a shout out on social media can prove to be extremely meaningful to clients.

3. Train Staff to Put Customers First
Your employees are the face of your business. Make sure they are trained to be service oriented and to put the needs of the client first. Customers should always be greeted with a smile and treated with respect. This may seen like common sense, but sometimes staff allow their emotions to get the best of them in the event of a problem. Training is the key to avoiding this. Issues sometimes can’t be controlled, but the way employees react can- with proper training.

Likewise, it’s important for management to treat employees with the same respect they expect them to bestow upon clients. Staff will often treat customers in the same manner that they are being treated. A happier staff = happier customers. For you, this means repeat business, and unlocking the door to growing your company.

4. Be Present on Social Media
Utilizing social media is a fantastic way to keep in touch with customers, get their feedback and stay at the forefront of their minds. Consistent posting is key to social media success. Choosing the right social media for your business is important, too. For example, B2B companies should be present on LinkedIn, while more creative companies or those with appealing photography should be active on Instagram.

5. Rise to the Occassion
Going above and beyond the customer’s expectations is a sure fire way to keep them coming back. Seek to impress the customer and show them they aren't just a number to you. Send a personal note, a small gift basket during the holiday season or a thoughtful birthday card. These simple gestures can make a huge difference in client retention. A member of your staff can be dedicated tracking important dates and milestones in your client relationship. This can help ensure nothing falls into the cracks when you get busy.

Take the time to make a plan on how you can better serve and retain your clients. Then, put it into action! As always, we welcome your feedback. Please send any comments or concerns to info@ebclv.com

Importance of Employee Outfitting: How Uniforms Benefit Your Business

November 2018

How important do you believe quality, professional employee outfits to be? The advantages of uniforms extend to employees, customers, management and the organization overall. Regardless of the industry your in or the type of business, uniforms can help improve safety, productivity, increase brand awareness, unify your staff and much more. If you haven’t implemented employee outfitting for your staff yet, here’s an in depth look at some of the key reasons why you should!

Brand Awareness & Events
Consistent use of your logo and company colors are critical in building your brand. With uniforms, your employees will be advertising your brand. This includes outside the workplace, as well. Take advantage of this by providing fun branded extras your employees can enjoy wearing anytime, such as stylish, comfortable fleeces. Custom uniforms are excellent for company events, as well. Your entire team will look cohesive unit at the community fundraiser, trade show or any other special event you take part in.

Enhanced Showroom Presence & Customers
Custom branded employee apparel really sets the standard for your customers. Customers will feel at ease in the hands of a polished, professional staff. They’ll be able to easily distinguish who is a team member. They’ll know without question who is there to help them. This can be the difference between a positive and negative customer experience. No one likes to have to search for staff, or feel unsure when they are approaching someone to ask for assistance.

Practical, Cost-Effective & Functional
Uniforms take the guess work out of deciding what is appropriate for staff to wear to the workplace. When employees don’t need to worry about their attire, they can focus on what’s truly important- the work and the client. Employees and management alike will be able to enjoy the benefits of saving money on their work wardrobe.

Equality & A Sense of Unity Among Staff
Another major benefit of uniforms directly impacts employees. When all staff are wearing the same clothing, it promote equality. Some employees may find it financially difficult to purchase professional business attire on their own, while others may not have that issue. Employee outfitting is a perfect solution for this. Visually, everyone is on the same level, which improves the confidence of all workers. Uniforms take the worry, stress and anxiety out of what to wear to work.

Employees will also feel an improved sense of unity. Whether it’s a restaurant, car dealership, manufacturing facility, accounting firm or any other type of organization, staff will benefit immensely from this. A strong team is critical to the success of any type of business. Uniformed employees are also more likely to act in accordance with company policy. It also makes it easier for management, because they will have much less to consider in the way of dress code.

Improves Safety & Security
When employees are in their uniforms, it improves upon the safety and security of the workplace overall. When everyone is dressed alike, it’s simple to spot who belongs in certain, secure areas, and who doesn’t.

There’s no shortage of compelling advantages to employee uniforms. With custom, branded apparel, you’ll present a professional, unified team to your customers or clients. Management can focus on what matters most. The benefits are truly exponential!

EBC Printing can create custom apparel for any occasion; whether its employee outfitting, company events, promotional opportunities, or showroom presence, our printers have you covered. We can print on t-shirts, button down shirts, sweaters, polos, jackets and much more. Designs can be text only or include graphics.

Options include:
• Screen Printing
• Direct to garment
• Dye Sublimation
• Embroidery
• Rhinestones
• Heat Transfer
• Cut Vinyl Decorating

Contact EBC Printing to learn more about our custom apparel service!
P: (610) 841-0786
E: info@ebclv.com

PACKAGING MATTERS: Why Consumers Judge a Book by it’s Cover

August 2018

We’re taught as children to never judge a book by it’s cover. Still, studies show that when it comes to product packaging, we do just that. When browsing in a store, the packaging is the first interaction a potential consumer has with a product. First impressions are extremely important, and consumers will often decide whether they are interested in a product or not within the first few seconds of looking at its packaging. Effective packaging can cause a consumer to be more interested in learning more about or even purchasing the product, while poor packaging can cause a potential customer to not give a product a second glance.

Many aspects of packaging work together to help reinforce a brand’s identity and evoke emotions in a buyer. Why do some people gravitate towards certain packaging, while others toward another? Smart companies know how to create a package designed to appeal to their target market. Color, typography, structure and shape, size and texture all come into play.

Various colors have been shown to evoke certain emotions. For example:
green – health, eco-friendly, natural
red- stimulating, may lead to increased appetite
black- high end, luxury
yellow- positivity, happiness
white- cleanliness, purity, calmness
blue – reliable, trustworthy
purple – imagination, feminine, youthfulness
orange – youth, adventure, fun, energetic

There’s a known science behind typography. Here are some of their typical connotations:
Scripty – elegance, femininity
Handwritten – playful, casual
Serif Fonts – class, trust, maturity
Sans-Serif Fonts – modern, clean, simple
Headline/ Capital Letters– bold, truth, commanding
Decorative – unique, whimsical, youthful

While many focus on the color of the packaging, the shape of the packaging can often be just as important. The shape of packaging can have a strong influence, usually subconsciously, on the consumer viewing it. Here’s a couple of examples of shape connotation:
Thicker, angular shapes are perceived as more masculine.
Circular, curvy shapes have a more feminine appeal.
Texture is also used to create a desired emotional association/response.

When color, typography and shape all work together successfully, your product packaging will strongly reinforce your brand identity. Remember to keep it cohesive with the aesthetic of your other marketing and advertising. Furthermore, consider your competition. Stand out by using different colors, sizes and shapes. Forbes states that “standing out” should be a top priority in product packaging, and changing the shape of the packaging is one effective way to accomplish this.

Packaging also has an enormous effect on perceived value. Consumers instinctively believe a product to be higher quality, or visa versa, based on the container it comes in. This is not the place you want to cut corners. Great product packaging can make the difference between a purchase, and a pass up! Give it the thought and effort it deserves and you’ll surely see a considerate ROI.

Choosing a Compatible Vendor

July 2018

Vendor relationships are some of the most important you’ll have in business. Choosing a supplier can be an overwhelming process at times. Before you start your search, consider these important criteria.

First and Foremost, Know Your Needs
Before you begin the vendor selection process, you must understand your needs. Take the time to write down your needs in detail.

Common Understanding
Your vendor should take the time to get a true understanding of your business and it’s unique needs. This requires frequent visits and communication, especially at first. Make sure you choose a vendor who believes in the importance of this.

Cost is obviously a significant factor when it comes to selecting a compatible supplier. Determine the maximum amount your comfortable spending on the project. In your discussions with potential vendors, be clear firm about your budget. The right vendor will be straightforward and upfront about if they can work within that budget.

Knowledge & Know-How
Select a supplier who has a proven record for success. You’ll be relying on them to provide you with the best service, advice and expertise. Your vendor should be confident in their skill level and industry knowledge, and exude professionalism.

The length of time you’ll be working together is a huge factor in vendor selection. If the relationship will be a short one, simply due to the nature of the need, then the process will be much simpler. However, the goal of most vendor relationships is to be able to work together long-term. Switching suppliers is costly and time consuming. Take your time choosing a vendor you feel you can stick with through the years. Also, consider a vendor that can still meet your needs as your business grows.

This is critical in your relationship with vendors. Honesty, integrity and trust are the cornerstone of a successful, mutually beneficial relationship. Choose a vendor who is as open as possible and don’t be afraid to ask them a lot of questions. They should be prepared (and happy) to answer all of them.

One last note -you’ll want to choose a vendor with a similar mentality for business as yours. They should share a similar outlook on customer service, ethics and communication. Most importantly, take your time, do your research, and ask for referrals from colleagues you trust.

Express Business Center is Hiring!

July 2018

Job Description:
Part Time: Business Services Associate

Express Business Center located in Trexlertown, PA is a one stop business solutions provider related to Shipping, Copy, Notary and Business Services. We are an aggressive company with a highly unique understanding of how to take care of customers, and how to produce the highest quality work. Currently, we are seeking driven individuals to join our team. The right candidate will be a team player who can help us achieve excellence.

Duties and responsibilities include, but not limited to:
Operating cash register
Generating shipping labels
Packing items for shipment
Receive and manifest incoming packages for mailbox customers
Full knowledge in operations of copiers, fax machines, and all other printing equipment

General Requirements
Reliable and flexible person with long term commitment
Strong customer service and computer skills necessary
Must cross-sell and up-sell all products and services
Continued growth through self-induced training
Must complete all tasks assigned by the manger or supervisor
Always be proactive, not reactive

Store hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 5:30pm, Saturday 9-3

Part time days and every other weekends

Compensation is based on proficiency and experience.

Compensation will be discussed during your interview.

If you are looking for and would thrive in a fast paced challenging work environment, then we invite you to consider being a part of our team.

Send your resume to andrea@ebclv.com

Easy Tips for Difficult Situations

May 2018

Every now and then, every business, large and small alike, will have to deal with unhappy customers. Even the best companies know there is truth to the old adage, ‘You can’t please everyone”. While you can strive for 100% customer satisfaction (and you should!) most likely you’ll come across difficult, unpleasant customer.

Every case is different, but there are a few key things to keep in mind. Your primary goal is to diffuse the tense situation and attempt to appease the customer, while sticking to your company’s policy as much as possible.

First things first-
1. Remain calm and never argue back with a customer.
Don’t take the situation personally, even though it may feel that way. Keep your voice low, and keep speech at a slow, even rate. This will help you remain control of how you are expressing yourself. Demonstrating control is key with dealing with a demanding, difficult person. Be strong but respectful in the manner in which you speak.

2. Genuinely & actively listen.
It’s natural to want to tune out a difficult customer. No one likes to be scolded, argued with or yelled at. It’s critical to remain professional and keep your composure, regardless of how unreasonable the customer is behaving. Hear them out fully before responding and resist interjecting and interrupting them.

3. Offer support & sympathy.
Odds are the customer has at least a somewhat valid reason for being upset. Don’t disregard the issue altogether because they aren’t presenting it in a reasonable manner. Start by offer a sincere apology that they are unsatisfied with the service or product. Express to them that it’s not your company’s standard.

4. Give them as many options as possible.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a compromise and satisfy the customer by offering a couple of different solutions. However, don’t make empty promises. If you can’t help the customer or solve their problem yourself, find someone who can.

5. Let them “win”.
When all else fails, it’s best to surrender. Sometimes, this is the only way to put an end to the confrontation. But, it’s still a calculated move on your part. What tends to happen is the customer will begin to relax and even take some blame for what went wrong. That’s a typical human reaction when we are allowed to “win”.

Bottom line, never treat any customer as expendable. Their satisfaction and repeat business is critical to the success of any business. Do all you can to make the best of an unpleasant situation. It’s what separates a good business, from a great business!

For Small Business Growth, Focus on Customer Experience

April 2018

Small businesses must focus on customer experience in order to grow and reach their greatest potential. There are many ways to improve the customer experience, whether you own a restaurant, boutique, print shop or any other type of business. How do you begin to refocus on the customer experience? Key areas include – employees, social media, feedback, and environment. Here’s a few simple, yet effective ideas to refresh your focus on customer experience.

Thoroughly trained employees are your number one asset in customer experience; they are your best investment. Making sure customers are satisfied should be their number 1 priority, and they must be trained to think this way. When hiring, make this clear, and be sure managers get this message as well.

How do customers feel when they enter your establishment? A clean, organized environment is one where customers will feel comfortable. They appreciate the effort you put into making them feel that way and will show it through repeat business and referrals.

Are you hearing your customers? Social media gives you an opportunity to personally connect with existing and future customers. You can reach current customers, their local friends, and your community simultaneously. An advantage of being a smaller company is personally connecting with customers and the community at an intimate level.

Ask for feedback, reviews, and opinions; always thank customers for a great review. If an unpleasant review comes in, address it. View it as an opportunity to make things right. Without social media, you may have never had that chance. Be sincere, polite, and genuine, people will recognize that.

Social media should be used to connect with customers, engage them, and get feedback. It’s also a fantastic way to get them excited about your business and products. There are many ways to use social media as a tool. Just be sure to remain consistent and present regularly.

Social media is a great way to get customer feedback, but it’s not the only avenue available to you. Ask for reviews on your site and promote it in store as well. Offering incentives for reviews is always a good idea! There are many opportunities to learn what your customers want, and how they feel about your business. If you want to grow and improve, you need this valuable input!

Make the effort to build and nurture customer relationships. And remember, if you open lines of communication, don’t forget about them. Regularly post to social media platforms and monitor notifications and messages you receive through them. If you provide a phone number with a voicemail, monitor it. Overall, communication is key. Customers should be heard, appreciated and valued. Focus on making their experience with your business as positive as possible, each and every time!

Fighting Porch Pirates

February 2018

With Express Business Center’s Mailbox Services

According to a recent study, 31% of people surveyed have been the victim of porch pirates. ‘Porch pirate’ is the term given to thieves who are stealing delivered packages from doorsteps. It’s becoming more and more of an issue, unfortunately, with the rise of e-commerce. As e-commerce continues to grow, so will this issue.

With the busy lives we lead today, the convenience of shopping and ordering online is extremely appealing. We can order from home, at work, or even on the go with our smart phones and mobile devices.

Judging by the most recent holiday season, e-commerce shows no signs of slowing down. 5 years ago, UPS delivered about 500 million packages during the holidays. In 2017, they delivered upwards of 750 million. For porch pirates, that’s easy access to a gold mine. What could be easier than walking up to a doorstep and swiping a package?

Porch Pirates can strike anywhere, no matter if you live in a rural, suburban or urban area. Especially for those that do a lot of online shopping, this is a rising problem that can’t be ignored.

Packages are delivered while we are at work, at our children’s basketball games, out to dinner, etc. We have busy lives, and no one should have to sit at home waiting for their package to arrive for fear it will be stolen. For many, a security system with surveillance cameras is simply not in the budget. So, what can you do to protect your packages, and the hard earned money you spent purchasing them?

Luckily, Express Business Center’s Mailbox Services are the answer. This is the solution you’re searching for! Sign up for our Mailbox Services, and all of your mail and deliveries will be sent safely to your personal mailbox at Express Business Center. We accept all mail and packages delivered by UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL. Even certified letters will be signed on your behalf by one of our team members and securely held at Express Business Center until you are able to pick it up. You won’t have to worry about missing important letters anymore, or having your deliveries stolen off of your doorstep.

Contact us to find out how affordable our Mailbox Services are! You’ll love having the peace of mind that your deliveries are safe.
Call: (610) 366-1970 • Email: info@ebclv.com • Visit: 6900 Hamilton Blvd., Trexlertown, PA

Cultivating Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

January 2018

Cultivating diversity and inclusion in the workplace doesn’t have to be a challenge. It starts with a simple shift of perspective. Take on the mindset of inclusion, throwing out any preconceived notions and subconscious stereotypes based on any of the following:

• Race
• Ethnicity
• Gender
• Sexual orientation
• Religious affiliation
• Generation
• Disability
• Personality type
• Thinking style

To cultivate an environment of inclusion, start with the following:
1. Make it a priority
Start by making diversity a priority. In job descriptions, use gender neutral language rather than choosing a specific gender. Be sure to include a commitment to gender neutrality prior to your mission statement, on your website, job postings, etc.

2. Achievement based job descriptions
Here’s an interesting statistic to consider:
“Studies have found, men apply for a job when they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications, but women will only apply when they meet 100 percent of them.” Focus on what candidates will be expected to achieve rather than a comprehensive list of skills.

3. Adopt “Blind Screenings”
Don’t read the name on the resume first. Instead, go through the resume and review it with no assumption of the applicant’s gender or ethnic background. Often times, those with ethnic names, as well as female names, face discrimination when applying for jobs. Reading the name last will remove some of the ‘unconscious bias’s you may possess – the bias you don’t even realize you have.

4. Shift focus from ‘Culture Fit’ when hiring
Stop hiring candidates based on how well they integrate into your company culture. If you want a diverse workforce, you have to hire various types of people with different cultures, thoughts, and ideas.

5. Offer flexible work hours
Flexibility affords all employees healthier lives where they can succeed and grow in their careers.

6. Ask for your employees’ feedback & then LISTEN
Always promote free speaking. Encourage your employees to express if they feel discriminated against in any way. They should feel comfortable approaching you regarding these matters without fear of repercussions.

7. Train your managers
Key areas your managers should be trained in are cultural competence, generation diversity, and unconscious bias. It’s always a good idea to bring in diverse speakers for team seminars.

Building a workplace that celebrates diversity and inclusion is not only right, it’s good for business. Inclusion breeds innovation. Everyone must work together to identify bias, judgment, and discrimination. You’ve already taken the first step by reading this and showing that diversity and inclusion matter to you. Try implementing some of the strategies in your workplace today.

Statistic Source: Forbes

Cross Media Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide for Small Business

December 2017

Cross Media Marketing is a cohesive strategy where your business is advertised through multiple marketing channels. The mix of channels will depend on your business and what goals the marketing effort is striving toward. All cross-media marketing strategies will include forms of print and digital components. Through utilization of such strategies, you will be able to take advantage of each platform’s strengths while mitigating their weaknesses.

There are many avenues to consider when choosing which marketing channels to utilize. Here’s a brief, comprehensive guide to a few of the most popular:

1. Social Media
Social Media allows connection to existing and potential costumers simultaneously. Having a strong social media presence across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter will help improve search engine visibility and rankings. This is also an opportunity to showcase your company’s personality, values, and benefits to your audience. Videos and other interactive media typically increase engagement.

With an extremely saturated market, it’s imperative for your business to have access to audiences as large as possible, however, keep in mind your target market. Facebook users vary in ages significantly. If your target audience is younger, you may want to consider media like Snapchat, which typically has a younger demographic. If your target consumer is a professional, or if your company is B2B, consider LinkedIn.

2. Mobile & Email
Mobile Marketing may be the fastest growing marketing medium. Reaching users on their mobile device is an integral piece of your comprehensive marketing strategy.

Within email marketing, make sure the campaigns are mobile friendly and don’t lose readability; ensure mobile effectiveness. Studies have shown most people open email on their smartphones rather than desktop computers.

3. Print
Digital marketing has one significant drawback, we are constantly bombarded with online advertising. The result conditions individuals to filter out digital noise, where they ignore the majority of advertising. This is one reason print remains strong as a relevant, effective and necessary marketing channel. There are vast options with print marketing, from direct mail campaigns, signage, and promotional items. When combined with digital efforts, thoughtful print campaigns can produce amazing results.

QR Codes in print is a great way to tie your print and digital campaign together. EBC Printing offers QR code generation and development. Interactive advertising leads to better engagement from your audience. There are many creative ways to utilize QR codes. Contact us to learn more!

The benefits of an effective cross-media campaign are exponential. A great benefit of cross-media marketing is being able to utilize strengths of each marketing channel. Through cross-media campaigns, accessibility to existing customers and new prospects, as well as enhanced customer service become seamless. Take the opportunity to improve customer communication and engagement with your brand. This will ultimately help boost brand loyalty and recognition.

Another benefit is better data. Through cross-media campaigns, you will be able to more easily analyze statistics and make choices for both your business and audience. Remember to keep messaging across mediums consistent. Your audience from channel to channel may vary, so tailor content to the best fit.

Trade Show Success

October 2017

Exhibiting at a trade show is an excellent way to advertise directly to your target market and spread awareness of your brand. It’s an opportunity to showcase your unique strengths and demonstrate the benefits of your products and services. Do it right, and you’ll make connections that lead to sales and long-term client relationships. Whether it’s your first or your hundredth, there’s always room for improving trade show presence and success. Here are a few tips for setting yourself up for a successful trade show.

Prepare Your Staff: Begin with the basics—professional attire, welcoming attitudes, and a smile. Carefully choose your most outgoing staff to successfully spread your influence outside of the workplace. Ensure that your staff understands their role and what your expectations of them are.

Have Specific Goals in Mind: Derive your main goal for attending the trade show before getting resources together, and plan accordingly. Do you want to generate leads, sell products, or perhaps add contacts to your mailing list? Each will require a different set-up and planning; setting a goal and working around the idea will allow for a more concise and polished presence. Trade shows are an investment for your business, so make sure you are aware of what your ROI must be.

Plan and Research: Thoughtfully choose which trade shows to attend; aim for those that will provide the best opportunity for promotion. Carefully consider the atmosphere both in terms of the crowd attending and other companies that will be present. It may be in your best interest to avoid trade shows where you will be competing against companies with similar services. It’s also a great idea to get to know the space beforehand. Take advantage of early sign-up opportunities for your chance at prime locations. You will most likely be able to pick the ideal space with higher traffic, and there are often savings when you sign up early.

Engage and Excite: Take advantage of social media. Post beforehand, during, and even after events to engage with your base and further promote yourself. Include any hash-tags created and promoted by the trade show to further expand the audience you’re speaking to, and be sure to tag the organization funding the event in your posts. Promotion of this level will extend the audience you’re speaking to beyond that of current followers. These simple steps get your brand recognition with a larger audience, and free publicity is always good.

Make Your Display Engaging with Prizes or Contests: Make your trade show display entertaining and engaging. The more appeal you can convey with graphics from a distance, the larger the potential crowd you can draw in. Aim to engage booth visitors; don’t simply hand out information pamphlets, engage your audience. This is the time to show off your company and set yourself above the competition. Advise staff to be friendly and outgoing with booth visitors without being too pushy or forceful.

For example, your booth can provide:
Free promo items
Raffles for prizes

Useful Promo Items: There are endless options of promotional merchandise to provide at your booth. Provide items that visitors will find useful both during and outside of the event. Putting forethought into these items will help to further expand your brand even outside of the vent and social media. Be thoughtful about choosing your promotional merchandise, brand recognition goes a long way through useful promo items. Think beyond pens and magnets, It doesn’t have to break the bank to be great, either. Try one of these:
• USBs
• lip balm
• drawstring ‘cinch’ bags
• coffee mugs
• water bottles
• notepads

Check out ebcpromo.com to see the huge variety of promotional merchandise we have to offer!

Have a Stand-Out Display: Keep colors and logos consistent with branding, be creative and think outside the box, while still maintaining a clear message. Use bullet points when you can, and keep it brief as possible. Remove technical jargon, and create a compelling display. Images should be bold but not too over the top or cluttered. Make sure to include your website address visible as well as social media pages.

How EBC Printing can help set you up for Trade Show Success: EBC Printing has everything you need to create eye-catching, branded displays, including-
• Table covers
• Retractable banners
• Tabletop displays
• Banners and flags
• Tents and event products
• Signage
• Floor displays
• Branded tailgate products

We have total trade show packages available! The package includes:
• 6′ wide backdrop
• 6′ table throw
• Economy retractable banner stand
Only $995 when you purchase all 3!

Proper & Prompt Follow up: Follow up on any leads you’ve generated without delay, a few days is a good rule of thumb. Hand-written notes are a nice, personal way to follow up on leads. Thank visitors for their time and invite them to stop by your store or set up a meeting. Don’t miss this opportunity for new business! Making the connection was half the battle, now you just need to see it through.

EBC’s Top 7 Customer Service Tips

September 2017

Indeed, great customer service is both a science and an art. Businesses that effectively understand it as a science and an aft form will be find the most success in retaining customers. Some clients will be easier to communicate, understand and appease than others. For more complicated customers, you’ll need think outside the box to find creative solutions to their problems. There are a few key rules to live by when dealing with customers of all kinds.

Our Top 7 Customer Service Tips!

Tip 1: Know your customers names
It’s important that customers feel valued and appreciated. Addressing your customer by name is the first step in doing this. It’s often the simplest thing that hold the most weight!

Tip 2: Always personalize the experience.
Know your customers greatest challenges. What current business struggles does the customer have? How can your services help them with the problem?

Tip 3: Monitor all your communication channels.
There’s nothing worse than losing business due to a lack of response. If there channel is available, make sure you are monitoring it. This includes social media, emails, website quotes, voicemails, etc.

Tip 4: Always respond to customer inquiries in a timely fashion.
This goes hand in hand with the last rule. Customers should feel like a priority. Furthermore, one a time is promised or a deadline is agreed upon, follow through. Keep your timeline organized and notify customers immediately any possible delays.

Tip 5: “Mirror” your customer’s language.
Take inventory of certain words and phrases customers tend to use. Using language familiar to the customer makes them feel more comfortable. Beware of industry jargon or technical language; if customer’s don’t understand what you’re saying, it will only create more communication barriers.

Tip 6: Always perform a needs analysis on customers.
Here’s a common situation: A customer goes to a business for a service. They explain what they want. The business delivers. The client is unhappy with the result. Many times, listening to a customer is not enough. You have to ask the right questions in order to get the right answers, to ensure you’ll be able to produce what the customer truly wants. Often, clients don’t know how to properly convey what it is that they want. They are relying on you to tell them. After all, you are the expert! Trust yourself to know what will work best for the client, while taking into account their opinion and ideas. It’s when you can combine these two thing harmoniously that the outcome is best. It’s also the best way to build customer loyalty and guarantee repeat business. When a customer feels understood, they will come back.

Tip 7: Know which of your services are most valued!
Do you know which of your services are of most value to your clientele? Performing an internal analysis of this is extremely beneficial to you. On the other hand, not knowing can be detrimental to your business. You’ll learn how to best allocate your resources to best serve the customer.

Mail: For Both Business and Consumer

August 2017

In 2017, direct mail and print remain both relevant and necessary avenues of marketing. Digital advertising efforts are proving to be much less effective without the aid of print advertising supplements. Modern Direct Mail goes beyond the mass mailers of yesterday and is now utilized by businesses to reach their target markets. Direct Mail offers many benefits for both the business and the consumer.

We naturally gravitate to print.
Print materials and mail itself are a routine ingrained within many of us. Retrieving the mail is part of our daily lives, in spite of the technological age we live in. Simply put, print feels comfortable to us.

We pay better attention to print.
Consumers are highly likely to, at the very least, glance at each piece of mail they receive. Many times a mailer will be posted on the refrigerator or placed in a purse. Every time that direct mail is seen, they are further developing recognition for your brand. Emails will often go unread and banner ads may blend into the rest of the mass of ads. Print mail will at least be considered briefly. The most effective campaigns make a concentrated effort utilizing both digital and physical formats while keeping the message cohesive. Through the use of this practice, any business will almost certainly maintain higher response rates.

Print requires less cognitive effort.
Comprehending a message through print takes less mental strain. Therefore, consumers are typically able to retain information better from printed materials than through most digital mediums.

Direct mail takes the pressure off the customer.
Consumers are less likely to experience buyer’s guilt when exposed to direct mail. A physical format helps prevent consumers from making hasty purchasing decisions. With digital marketing, customers are faced with an immediate choice, buy or don’t buy. Moreover, through e-commerce, a buying decision can be made almost instantly. Direct mail allows people to more thoroughly process the information before making any decisions.

There’s less immediate competition.
Online, consumers are bombarded with advertisements, often simultaneously. Exposure to multiple ads at once can cause an overload of information. The rapid processing of information through online ads can, ultimately, be detrimental to your message. Digital marketing is critical, but it’s important to reinforce it through direct mail and other print marketing efforts.

You can get creative.
Die-cutting is a fun, creative option for direct mail. Create pop-ups and folding pieces to help engage your audience. Dimensional mailers have been shown to produce an even higher return on investment. These mailers tend to resonate more with consumers due to the production values creating a notion of high quality within the consumer. Such forms of direct mail are less likely to be discarded and more likely to be shared due to the quality physical format. EBC will work with you to design eye-catching and effective direct mail.

EBC offers a number of mailing services at our facility. Variable data and image printing are great options for sending out your direct mail pieces. You’ll love the convenience of having your direct mailers printed and sent from one location. It saves you time, which, as we all know, is incredibly important.

It’s time to kick-start your business – contact us to start planning your direct mail campaign today! Our knowledgeable, courteous staff are ready to assist you.

Check out these surprising statistics!
74% always or sometimes notice advertising in direct mail
51% prefer companies to use a combination of mail and email when communicating with them
70% are curious to find out what’s in their mailbox

Source: http://www.business2community.com/brandviews/marketo/even-in-the-digital-age-why-direct-mail-is-still-a-viable-marketing-tactic-01351656#2BYDeEgXCaYJR44k.97

Business Cards & Branding – For You & Your Business

July 2017

Business cards can be an extremely effective, useful marketing tool. These 3.5" x 2" cards hold more power than many realize. They help express your identity as it relates to your company. There are endless options when it comes to format, design, color, typography that can make your business card a great networking, marketing and branding tool for both yourself and your business.

Keep in mind these design principles:

• Leave some empty space. Don’t feel the need to fill up the entire card with text or images.
• Make sure text alignment is correct. Small errors like unintentionally off-centered text portray a lack of caring.
• Don’t use too many different typefaces or typefaces that are difficult to read.
• DO, however, add some contrast! 2 contrasting typefaces can be very aesthetically pleasing. For example: A bold sans serif with a lighter, thinner script or italicized font.

More Tips for A Ultra-Effective Business Card

Use High Quality Paper
• This is the first impression people will have of you and your company. You want them to associate you with terms like ‘high quality’ and ‘professional’.
• If you want to be able to write on the card when handing it out, stay away from a glossy paper.

Watch for Information Overload
• Don’t attempt to fit every bit of information on your business cards. You’ll likely lose the recipient’s attention this way.
• Encourage redirection to learn more about the business by including website, social media info, contact info, etc.

Color • Think carefully about your color choices. Be sure to keep them consistent with your brand.
• Make sure the color isn’t too light and therefore, difficult to read.
• The website colourlovers.com allows you to post your color palette and other’s comment on it.

Try an Eye-catching Finish
• Take advantage of some of your options for specialty effects.
• Embossing, foil stamping, die cutting and spot varnishing are all great finishing touches that add an interesting design element. Learn more about our finishing options here!

Proof Your Work
• Double check for any spelling or grammar mistakes.
• Ask others to proof your business card, as well. A fresh pairs of eyes can more easily spot a mistake.

Every individual in a company can make a huge impact. By successfully branding yourself, you’ll in turn help brand your company. People associate you with your company, so the impression you make on them is extremely important. Whether you work for your own small business or for a large corporation, it’s important to remember that the way you present yourself is a strong reflection on your company. You want to ensure you are representing the company (and yourself) in the best way possible.

Your brand is what sets you a part from the competition. Your professional identity and your company’s image go hand in hand. Many times, your business card is the first impression potential customers will have of you and your company. Make it count! Contact EBC Printing to learn how we can help you design and print your business cards. We were recently voted #1 Commercial Printer by readers of Lehigh Valley Business!

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