30 Jun

Continuing To Climb Out Of Crisis

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 30.06.10 by John Meloche

In yesterday's blog, we discussed some of the ways that small business owners can overcome the hardships they faced during the recent global financial crisis to succeed in the post-recession era. With the help of Paul Spiegelman, who offered his tips on Entrepreneur.com, we touched upon a variety of strategies that may prove very helpful if implemented correctly.

Picking up where we left off, Spiegelman also suggests that company owners do their best to maintain a fun environment. It's easy to get frustrated when times are tough. But a negative attitude is contagious and can only have adverse effects on your staff and inevitably, your customer base.

Instead, to boost employee satisfaction, and ultimately their job performance, owners should continue to sponsor work parties and other events to keep the atmosphere lively. This will encourage and foster a happy working environment and motivate your staff to strive for greater results. As Spiegelman writes, ?A consistent culture will encourage your staff to provide consistent service to your customers.?

He also insists that you ?celebrate being small?. Be thankful that you own a smaller firm and, as a result, do not have to worry about being bogged down by ?mulitple management layers and overlapping operating units or debt?. By contrast, smaller business owners are able to make decisions more quickly, allowing them to focus more on taking advantage of new opportunities.

?Don't leave room for doubt,? encourages Spiegelman. It is important to maintain strong relationships with your customers. So don't allow openings for your competitors to weasel their way into your clients' pockets!

Writes Spiegelman: ?Competitors will take advantage of any opening, and they will be more aggressive in making promises during the recession, even if it means filling in your silence with a few tales of their own.?

And while we at Synergy continue to advocate the practice of giving your customers promotional gifts, Spiegelman reminds business owners not to donate their products and services. A pen, knife, mouse pad, mug or keychain is a great gift to give away. Your company's product or service, however, should be worth charging for.

You may want to offer discounts on products, but remember that it will be difficult to charge for products in the future if you have given them away for free in the past. Getting over the recession is not impossible. It just takes a great deal of effort. Be confident, however, that all of your hard work will pay off in the long run and success may come quicker than you think.

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29 Jun

Recession Recovery Requires Resilience

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 29.06.10 by John Meloche

We are well aware that even though we consider ourselves to be in the ?post-recession? era, there still are a lot of companies who are recovering from tough economic times. And for some businesses, the recovery process is harder to go through than others.

Everyone thinks first about cutting costs, but there are a number of strategies that a business owner can utilize to ensure that his or her business can thrive following the recession. Paul Spiegelman is the CEO of The Beryl Comapanies and is a speaker and author on customer service, culture and workforce engagement.

Earlier this month, Spiegelman offered up a number of very helpful tips on Entrepreneur.com to business owners looking to recover from the financial hardships brought on by the recession.

Spiegelman's first tip is to ?become indispensable?. He advises that owners should advertise their products in such a way that shows that they are necessities. Explain to your client base that being without your product could have consequences.

As mentioned earlier, many entrepreneurs think first about saving their money. But when you own a business, it is important to always remember that spending money to make more money in return is a key to success. Doing it the right way, of course, is imperative.

Writes Spiegelman: ?Companies that fail to continually invest in business improvements, training and marketing are way behind when the economy recovers. In terms of training, consider how to cross-train your team members while business is slow. It may enable you to perform better later on.?

Seek out referrals, advises Spiegelman. Making contacts that will pay off for you in the future is one of the most effective ways to help grow your business during hard times. There's nothing like a strong recommendation to improve the impression that your business gives. It also helps for you to lessen your advertising budget when you have loyal customers spreading the good word about your brand.

Of course, it is important to never forget the customers who have supported your business in the past. Remaining loyal to them and never forgetting to work on customer retention will help your business succeed in the long run.

Says Spiegelman: ?When the recession is over, your employees will be more likely to stick with you. This may mean eliminating free coffee, for example, but have an honest conversation with your employees, and they will usually help you cut costs even further.?

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28 Jun

Super Summer Promo Ideas

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 28.06.10 by John Meloche

If you've been keeping up to date with your favourite blog ? the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog ? over the past several weeks, you know that we love summer around here. If you've been reading for the past several months, you also know that we love helping business owners grow their businesses by using our fantastic promotional gifts.

So what do you get when you combine summer with promo gifts? You get the best possible way to market your business! As Michael Lerner of EzineArticles.com describes, when discussing the creation of promotions during the spring, ?activity based items? work best when the weather is warm.

He mentions everything from beach balls to frisbees (he calls them ?flyer disks? though, that gave us a laugh!) as useful items that are a lot of fun for many people during the hot months of the year. He goes on to discuss the importance of water bottles to people when they are our enjoying the sun.

Writes Lerner: ?Water bottles are an active lifestyle promo that will be found on the bike and hiking trails, at walks and runs, all while carrying a custom logo. Available in a variety of sizes and materials, these are the kind of promotional items tradeshow attendees, job fair visitors and business customers will appreciate and use.?

We couldn't agree more. Especially now, with store-bought bottled water, there is an environmental concern as the often-unrecycled bottles create an abundance of pollution in our lakes and parks. Furthermore, the materials contained in these bottles are considered harmful as they contain carcinogenic compounds.

One of the most popular items we have now at Synergy is our reusable water bottles. Becoming more and more popular as an everyday item, these environmentally-friendly, refillable bottles are not only safe to use but, of course, do not add to the growing mounds of garbage often found in our ecosystem.

Place your company name, logo and contact info on some of these water bottles today and you'll soon discover how helpful you are being to both the environment and your company's growth.

Lerner also mentions that golf promos are among the most popular during the warm weather months. Check out the ?Golf? section of our website as you consider Lerner's advice: ?Prospective clients will appreciate the logo golf tees, the personalized divot tools, and custom golf balls. Why give out a business card when you can give out a business card tee packet. Your promotion will stand out from the rest when tied into this spring sport.?

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25 Jun

World Cup Fever Taking Over

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 25.06.10 by John Meloche

No wonder it?s called the World Cup. Of course, FIFA?s huge soccer event, which is played every four years features the best soccer ? excuse me futbol ? teams in the world. But it definitely also seems as if, unlike other sporting events, everyone in the world is watching.

World Cup fever is definitely rampant all over Toronto, which is a very multicultural city. So naturally, there are vehicles all over town sporting flags from all over the world. Toronto is home to people of all types of nationalities. The flags of such countries as Brazil, England, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Argentina and even Japan seem to be the most popular.

Today, the final games of the opening round were played and all of the match ups for the second round have been made official. Of note, is the clash between soccer powerhouses England and Germany. As well, two countries sharing a border in Spain and Portugal will square off next Tuesday.

Around the Synergy offices, there has already been a whole lot of smack talk going down. Apparently some bets have been placed that will see the loser of next week?s elimination match ups being forced to wear the jersey of his or her opposing team. The embarrassment, apparently, will never be lived down.

Now, it?s not that World Cup fever isn?t exciting enough as it is, but if you?re a business owner, you probably can?t help but think that the present is the perfect time to run a promotion. Think about it. All it takes is a few flags. Why not by a few ? they are relatively cheap ? and give them away as a free promotion in your store?

While you?re at, it would make perfect sense to add one of our exceptional promo products to go along with that free flag. See ?free? is always appreciated. But when it comes with something of major significance ? like a flag representing a customer?s country ? it will be greatly admired forever.

Now your promo gift, of course, should always have your company name and contact information included. So you not only want to make a friendly impact on your client by providing a free flag, you also want to make sure you are creating a loyal customer who will want to keep coming back. Make sure they know how to.

Next week, things are really going to heat up as it?s now ?win or go home? time in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Use this as an opportunity to help your business win as well.

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24 Jun

Ontario Hit By Earthquake

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 24.06.10 by John Meloche

Today, headline news in southern Ontario and in some parts of Quebec read more like something coming out of California. An earthquake? Did you feel it? Not all residents did…but many others were shockingly moved by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake that briefly shook the ground beneath the feet of those living in along the Ontario and Quebec border.

As Raveena Aulakh of The Toronto Star reported today, a 30 second earthquake hit the region yesterday sending many citizens into a frenzy. Very unused to such an occurrence in the region, the epicentre of the quake was about 45 kilometres north of Gatineau, Quebec. Tremors could be felt as far as New York, Vermont, Michigan and Illinois in the United States.

Aulakh reports that there was no damage in Toronto however many workers were sent home early. Employers at Foresters, an insurance company in Toronto, were evacuated from their Don Mills and Eglinton building after it shook around them. No injuries were reported, although scared employers were forced to exit the building down numerous flights of steps instead of using the elevators.

Aulakh writes however, that a small bridge in Quebec known as Barrage-McLaren wasn't so lucky. A church and a restaurant in Gracefield, just 40 kilometres west of the epicentre at Echo Lake were also damaged.

Susan Ashley felt the quake at her Victoria Park and Danforth apartment in Toronto. ?It was unbelievable,? she remarked, ?Everything was swaying and shaking … I felt like I was in my car. I didn?t think it was the end of the world…but it was scary.?

An earthquake of any magnitude in this region of Canada is extremely uncommon. While California residents may be used to them, Southern Ontarians are most certainly not.

Said Sylvia Hayek, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada: ?Magnitude 5.0 is considered a moderate earthquake in global terms. For us, it?s a very large earthquake here in the east. It?s a great reminder to people that yes, earthquakes do happen here in the east.?

Aulakh noted that ?the last time an earthquake of such magnitude hit southern Ontario was in October 1998?. The richter scale registered it at 5.4. In Quebec, there have only been six quakes hitting 6.0 or higher in the past 350 years. We're sure that residents in both provinces hope it's an even longer time than that before the next one hits.

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23 Jun

Toiling Towards New Heights

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 23.06.10 by John Meloche

In yesterday's blog, we gave our version of a pep talk to entrepreneurs who may have fallen into the rut of complacency. Our roughing up of the shoulders and pat on the back ? so to speak ? was to encourage business owners to look at the big picture. Too often, owners do not realize the heights they may be able to take their businesses to.

Entrepreneur mentor, Mitch York blogged about this topic on MSPMentor.net last year and offered up a few strategies that a business owner should implement in order to take his or her business to higher levels of success.

Firstly, York insists that you be incredibly selfish. He believes that unless you can meet your own needs, you will never be able to meet anyone else's. In other words, be sure to look out for number one! Says York: ?You need to know what you want and not be afraid to let other people know. When you know how to make requests of people and get what you need, you can be generous to others.?

Secondly, he strongly recommends that a business owner ?over responds? to everything right away. By that, York encourages entrepreneurs to focus on solving a problem permanently instead of finding a quick-fix solution to a problem that may arise again in the future.

Most often, when one is in ?crisis management mode?, he or she tends to want to solve the problem quickly. York advises that you ?come up with five alternatives and solve the problem permanently. Turn every problem into a non-recurring event.?

Third: ?Build a Super-Reserve in Every Area of Your Life?. York writes that ?when you have more than you need of important things, you can be creative, generous and more successful.? Therefore, you should pick an area of your life that may be depleting a reserve you have. Such things as money and time often need a reserve so that you don't run out of them!

Finally, ?tolerate nothing? says York. Too often, people allow for things that irriate them them to build up. Everything from a leaky faucet to an unreliable business associate can bring down your mood on any given day. The bottom line is that these irriatations need to be eliminated in order for you to effectively move on to more important tasks.

?Understand that the things you tolerate are giving you some sort of payoff ? you tolerate these things for a reason,? writes York. So don't tolerate complacency. Take these tips. Utilize them. Then take your business to new heights!

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22 Jun

Take It To The Next Level

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 22.06.10 by John Meloche

Promoting your business is a very important part of being successful. Perhaps, there has never been a more obvious sentence written in the history of the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog, but it must be written nonetheless.

Too often, business owners get complacent with their financial situations, even if they are in a position where they are ?just getting by?. Our amazing reps have often spoken to business owners who use remarks like ?things are fine? to describe the success of their businesses.

With further probing, our reps come to understand that ? of course ? when business owners first opened their businesses, their expectations were that they would be making a lot more money than they are now. They say this, in spite of saying that ?things are fine?.

Unfortunately, in today's marketplace, one cannot just simply go through the motions without attempting to increase business if he or she wants to survive. In fact, an entrepreneur should never wish to simply survive, but instead should work to thrive.

Getting by might be fine for some people. But truly succeeding means that not only are bills paid but there is room to make more money on a continuous basis. Why else would you want to be in business? Someone who starts his or her own business clearly has personal aspirations that exceed paying the bills, right?

So ask yourself the questions that you may have forgotten that you once wanted to answer. What are you trying to achieve? How much money are you truly looking to make? How can you separate your company from its competition? What makes you stand out? What makes you different?

The best answers generally come from the impression you leave with your customers. Most often, what comes before a great product is a great feeling. Our blog has discussed the issue of branding many times before. So what is truly your brand?

Are your customers the type of people who would ONLY come to you for the product or service you offer? Would they recommend you to others? Do they feel they have a personal connection to your company? Would they miss you if you were gone?

Answer some of these questions and get thinking about how to take your business to the next level. Put some thought into how you would promote your company so that things can be more than just ?fine?. Isn't that a fine idea?

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21 Jun

Welcome Summer

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 21.06.10 by John Meloche

Welcome back to the Synergy Marketing Consultants Blog! Today is the first official day of summer even though a number of record-setting hot days going back into May, has made it feel like the summer has already hit many parts of Canada.

As always, we're here to help you and your business continue to promote year round. But there's no time like the summer to get your name out there. In previous blogs, we've suggested everything from outdoor events and barbeques to contests and special giveaways as methods that business owners can use if they are looking to make a mark this summer season.

Now, it's up to you. Take advantage of the awesome weather that the summer has to offer you and get cracking on those new ideas you have to grow your businesses. Here, at Synergy we are always excited to talk to business owners about their ideas about how to use their promotional gifts in the summer time to expand their reaches.

Golf tournaments. This is one of the biggest and best ideas that we've come across. Even if you don't plan on hosting one yourself, business owners love gathering at these events to mix and mingle…and, of course, play a few rounds with fellow associates in their line of work.

Of course, Synergy has a wide range of golf-related promotional gifts that work amazingly at these tournaments. Our happy clients often comment about how much more effective a leather fanny pack or gold divot repair tool is than a standard business card at these special events. Looking to leave a lasting impression at golf tournaments this summer? Be sure to check out the ?Golf? section on our products page.

Naturally, the summer is a great time to get acquainted with the great outdoors. Often, people take the opportunity to workout by going for a run when the weather is warm. Those who enjoy excersizing are pretty much guaranteed to have a water bottle nearby to keep themselves hydrated.

One of our most popular items, as of late, has been our resuable water bottles. These gifts are not only useful and well crafted but also work towards saving the environment from the pollution caused by the non-recycled bottles of water commonly sold in stores.

Promote your business while saving the environment. These bottles come with your company name and contact info in addition to a special slogan to let your clients know you care. Give us a call to get yours. And have a great start to your summer!

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11 Jun

Taking Advantage Of Awesome Offers

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 11.06.10 by John Meloche

We would like to take this time to thank all of our amazing clients for participating in The Great 2011 Calendar Giveaway. Of course, there is plently of time until 2011 gets here so that still leaves you with the opportunity to cash in on this great deal, if you haven't already. To remind you, business owners are eligible to receive 50 free calendars when you order $400 worth of product, not including shipping and handling.

There are a number of awesome calendar designs to choose from including Homes, Food & Recipes, Exotic Cars, Gold Medal Inspirations and the always popular Swimsuits edition. Remember that your company name, logo and contact information will be clearly displayed on your favourite calendar to keep your customers thinking about you all year round.

Obviously, there is a large variety of promotional products to choose from to make your $400 minimum order. As you can see from the home page of our website, some of our featured products make some of the greatest promo gifts you can give. Our knife collection has been acceptionally popular as of late.

As we've mentioned before, it's barbeque season. And many people are naturally using steak knives to cut up their favourite straight-of-the-grill treats. Imagine having your clients host a BBQ this summer only to have everyone's food sliced by a product with your company name and number on it. It certainly can't hurt your business, that's for sure.

The Cattlemans Kitchen&`copy; Knife set is one of our most sought-after products. These oversized steakhouse steak knives are elegantly furnished with stainless steel blades and triple rivited rosewood handles. They come in a two piece gift box which, as always, allows for laser engraving of your company information on each handle.

Starting at the incredible price of just $32.99 for each set, we offer reduced costs on larger orders. The Deluxe Wood Handle Fillet Knife is another one of our most popular promo gifts. Also featured on our home page, this stainless steel fillet knife features a party serrated blade, gutting tool and deluxe wood handle.

It comes in a leather-like sheath and also includes laser engraving for your company info. These very sleek and stylish knives begin at just $24.95 a piece and is also available at reduced costs on larger orders.

Cut into your own advertising budgets by doing what so many business owners are doing to advertise their businesses. The promo gifts is increasingly becoming one of the most popular tools of promoting business without spending a major budget. With a relatively small order of just $400, the promo gifts you receive, in addition to the 50 free 2011 calendars, are sure to keep your business name in the hands and minds of customers who will help take your company to the next level.

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10 Jun

Blackhawks Win Stanley Cup

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 10.06.10 by John Meloche

As has become a tradition at Synergy Marketing Consultants, each year we happily provide our clients with our uniquely designed Hockey Schedule Pen. This pen, created exclusively by Synergy, features a pull-out schedule for all six Canadian professional hockey teams. A huge hit with Canadian clients from all types of industries, these pens will be back by the end of the year.

Of course, that is because the National Hockey League's 2009/2010 season officially came to an end last night when the Chicago Blackhawks became the Stanley Cup Champions for the first time since 1961. Undoubtedly, hockey fans in Toronto are cringing knowing that their beloved Maple Leafs haven't come close since last winning Lord Stanley's cup in 1967.

As The Toronto Star's sports reporter, Paul Hunter reported last night, the Blackhawks were lead to the ultimate victory by a pair of young and fairly-new-to-the-league superstars. Both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have reached hockey's highest pinnacle in a very short time.

Both players have been NHLers for only three seasons, and already they have had the honour of raising the Stanley Cup over their heads. Like Sidney Crosby one year ago, Toews is one of the youngest players in NHL history to captain a team to the Stanley Cup Championship.

Last night, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime by a score of 4-3. Opponenets in the Olympics gold medal game, Canada's Toews and the American, Kane were able to celebrate together this time in winning hockey's greatest prize. As Hunter writes, ?Toews also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.?

It has been an amazing year for Toews as the Canadian can add Stanley Cup Champion and MVP to his Olympic gold medal as accomplishments that have taken place all in the span of five months. Needless to say, the young captain was estastic about his fortune and commented on his achievements while playing along his American counterpart, Kane.

Said Toews: ?Since the day we both came in as rookies, so much has gone well for us. And we understand that?the way the opportunities were given, the players we?re playing with, the guys in the locker room we?re surrounded with, everything was set up for us to have success and have fun playing hockey. You definitely don?t expect to be playing for a Stanley Cup in your third season as a pro. So we?ve been very lucky from day one. It?s one a heck of a ride.?

Winning the Stanley Cup also had to be especially sweet for Marian Hossa. His third straight year playing in the finals, Hossa missed out on becoming a champion for the past two years. In 2008, his Pittsburgh Penguins lost to the Detroit Red Wings. A year later, he switched teams only to have the Pens best the Wings in seven games. This year, Hossa, as a member of the Blackhawks can finally call himself a Stanley Cup Champion.

There's always next season, Leaf fans. (And the many seasons after that…).

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