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Fight a Bad Habit with This Mental Hack, Set a Gold Standard for Shop Cleanliness, and More Business Boosters for Print Pros in October

Plus, a print manager explains the importance of receiving input from staff while at tradeshows.




HOLIDAYS Personalize Cards

If you’re sending holiday cards this year, do not send a greeting with nothing but your signature. Frankly, sending nothing works better, says Harry Beckwith, author of What Clients Love. Instead, write a short note, like “Thinking about one of my favorite customers as the holidays approach …” or even “Happy, happy holidays to you.”


When it’s too difficult to deny yourself that cigarette, donut, or new coat, tell yourself to instead wait just 10 minutes before you give in. This “mini” delay in gratification will help you build more self-control over time, says Kelly McGonigal in her book The Willpower Instinct. “Ten minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but with more practice, 10 minutes can turn into 20, 30, or 60 minutes, and soon you might be able to put off gratification for as long as you want.”


Your team meetings should be intensifying as you prepare for the rush in holiday graphics work. Alexi Venneri, author of Balls: 6 Rules For Winning Today’s Business Game, suggests lightening the mood by having a bit of fun. For one meeting, you might ask staff members to bring in high school yearbook photos. For another, bring in a guest speaker. Or have staff write down five or so of their favorite things … and let the others guess who created each list.

SANITATION Squeaky Clean

“If you have time to lean, you have time to clean,” says Jared Smith of bluemedia in Tempe, Arizona. “Having a ridiculously clean shop is not just a way to impress clients, it’s a better way to work.” Once it’s clean, it’s not hard to keep it that way. Expectations are set, plus you have quick access to what you need. “The gold standard here is an F1 race team pit garage. See how close you can get your shop to looking like that. It will make you money,” he says. Make a list of what can be cleaned or organized, and when you’re slow, even if it’s just 30 to 60 minutes, you can move straight to the work on that list.


According to a study cited in INC. magazine, 63 percent of employees reported they wasted time at work because they weren’t aware of what work was a priority. As a leader, make sure staff knows what your key goals are heading into the holiday season. Is it to reach new customers, take really good care of your VIPs, hit aggressive new sales targets? No one should have any doubts.

STAFF No I in Team

Instead of always imposing his own ideas from the top down, Tommy Melendez of Master Graphics NYC in The Bronx, New York, seeks input from his staff, specifically by taking them to industry tradeshows. “Employees are well aware of our operation,” he says. “Every expo, I try to take them all to see new equipment and walk the floor. They discuss among themselves to arrive at a decision. We just ordered a DTF system from Graphic Resource and are patiently waiting. Honesty, it makes our team stronger to know they have a say.”

PRODUCTIVITY Get Creative at Home

Do creative work at home and boring work at your business.

According to the Wall Street Journal, researchers found people were 11 to 20 percent more creatively productive at home. For repetitive tasks, they were 6 to 10 percent less productive.



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