Newsletter Blogs

11 Keys to Great Success in Life and Business: Key 8: Major in the Majors
December 4, 2015 at 5:28 pm

All work is not created equal. There are really two types of work. The first type is the work that can make you wealthy. The second type is the work that might make you crazy and certainly won’t make you wealthy. In our business, there are only four types of activities that will make a…

Scary Stuff: Innovate or Die
November 20, 2015 at 6:36 pm

What are you going to do in 2016 that is going to make you even more relevant in 2017? What are you going to do to create the customer experience needed to ensure that you can compete and flourish long term? Are you going to curse the online challengers who are driving you crazy? Or,…

When I Say 'Swag,' People Smile
November 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm

I just attended a conference (outside the promotional products industry) where I had the chance to speak to business leaders from information technology, sales and marketing. In several roundtables, and of course over cocktails, people would ask what my company does. With some I said, “We sell promotional products, items with logos, such as the…

Can I Run a Report on Amount of Sales from Customer Groups in QuickBooks?
November 13, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Question: Is there some way in QuickBooks to run a report showing the amount of sales from a particular group of customers? Answer: Yes. QuickBooks allows you to define "Types of Customers." When you open a customer in the Customer Center, click on "Additional Info" on the left side of the screen. There you can…

The Industry “Disruptors"—How Do They Affect You?
November 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect of on all the things we are thankful for. I'm thankful for my family, my health, my business and the opportunity to have a positive impact on the community around me. Recently, I was blessed to be able to attend the ASI Power Summit, which is a gathering of…

Can't Wait for Tomorrow
November 11, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Paul Bellantone and I walked to dinner after the first day of PPAI’s 2015 Product Responsibility Summit and talked about the same thing

How Well Do You Know Your Customer's Business?
November 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Your job is to solve your customers’ problems. Period. That’s all. You need to become a part of their organizations. This is vital if you want to earn the right to charge a little more and be compensated for your expertise. Think of your job as earning a job at your target prospects' companies. This…

3 Reasons to Encourage Fun at Work
November 3, 2015 at 4:39 pm

My team laughs often during a typical day, and I love being around my team. I love working from home as well, but I miss the "fun" at the office. I wasn’t in the office the day before Halloween when my colleagues all dressed like Dan, a colleague who has a bit of a Steve…

11 Keys to Great Success in Life and Business: Key 7: Be Accountable
November 2, 2015 at 6:27 pm

The key difference between big businesses and small businesses is that big businesses are driven by timely accountability. Big businesses have boards of directors/advisers to whom management needs to report. If you want to maximize your results, you need to be accountable. Most small-business owners started their businesses because they wanted independence. I get it.…

How Much Can I Charge a Customer for Using a Credit Card?
October 30, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Answer: The safe and easy answer is “nothing.” Some states prohibit surcharges for credit card use, period. Some states permit it but with some complicated qualifiers, like no surcharge on debit cards, surcharge limited to what you actually paid and other such language buried in your merchant service agreement. The regulations are too many, making…