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How to Set Up an Ecommerce Platform for Your Shop, and More Business Tips for July

Plus, a way to make better use of the last 15 minutes of your work day.

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AUTOMATION
Explore Web-to-Print

More and more print shops are turning to ecommerce options to broaden their customer base, expedite turn time, and implement automation. BPI Media Group uses Pageflex to help drive sales on a digital platform through customized “storefronts” for each client to place orders on their own branded page, bypassing a traditional ordering process via email or phone call.
The print order is sent to BPI; the client receives an order (and, later, shipping) confirmation via email; artwork and any associated color profiles for that customer are pulled from the server and dropped into the appropriate department files where it enters a queue for the press operator. The entire process is automated up until the operator sends the project to the appropriate printer. The order continues to be tracked in the system until the graphics arrive at their destination.

ORGANIZATION
Launch “Operation Inbox”

Let’s get your inbox organized, with some help from productivity guru Dave Allen. From now on, view your inbox as a repository solely for “Active” tasks, meaning things that need addressing. Everything else should be deleted or viewed as a “Reference” matter (receipts, photos, thank-you notes from customers – and archived; you can find them when you need them). Get this done, and your life will be less stressful, and you’ll get more done. Promise.

ONLINE
Blogging Made Easy

Can’t figure out where to start blogging? Business blogger Marcus Sheridan, whose relatively small Georgia-based pool and spa company is rated No. 1 on Google for pool manufacturers in his region, can tell you. Says Sheridan: “Start with the questions you get every day. Take those 100 questions and turn them into 100 blog posts with those questions transformed into the titles.” Even if you only hear the same 10 questions, blog posts answering those will get you started. Aim for one “frequent question answered” post each week, and supplement with posts about new products, events, and promotions.

PRODUCTIVITY
Do Tomorrow’s To-Do Today

What do you do with the last 15 minutes of the day? Answer emails, schedule meetings, linger in the office before closing? Here’s a better way to spend the time: Draw up a to-do list for tomorrow. Be specific. It’s a great way to end the day and start the next productively.

STAFF
Hire Slowly

You’re probably on the lookout for staff right now. As you search, keep in mind this simple reminder from Jim Collins, author of Good To Great: “When in doubt, keep looking.” (This is absolutely true of full-time staff … for temporary staff, you can get away with bending a little.)

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CUSTOMER SERVICE
Make Your Toilet Stand Out

Looking for an artistic extra touch to differentiate your design-focused business? Try colored toilet paper. Author Jonah Berger (Contagious) featured black rolls of toilet paper in all the bathrooms at a party he hosted, and they somehow became the talk of the party. Get your own colored toilet papers at myrenova.com, or print your own.

SALES
An Unfortunate Turn of Phrase

An anecdote from Doug Stephens’ book Retail Revival reveals how Apple store employees were instructed to never use the word “unfortunately” because it’s a negative word that causes pain by making people feel a sense of loss. Instead, staff were instructed to use the words as it turns out, as in “As it turns out, we don’t have that item in stock.”

Big Picture magazine has been serving wide-format printing professionals for more than 25 years, providing business-specific content to help boost bottom lines through its industry-leading magazine, website, email bulletins, Brain Squad and social media channels.

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