Euby returns to an inbox full of price increase letters

Yes….Euby has returned from the Islands sales trip!  It was quite the adventure….including bites, missed flights, and a Wednesday morning car accident!  It was one for the Euby record book!  It is great to be back!

When I return from traveling………. the first thing task at work is always clearing up a mountain of emails….and as usual, they were waiting for me.  One thing certainly caught my eye….there were many letters of

material price increases covering just about every product we sell.  Paper stocks are increasing approximately 5%,  most label stocks are also going up around 5% and there continues to be constant increases on the

cotton and cloth products used for corporate wear…… and yes…memory fo the USB’s has started to rise again.  Based on my inbox I would suggest that just about everything is seeing upward pressures on pricing.

Hang in there…update your budgets if you did not forecast for increases…..it looks like there are more to come!      Euby

Can your small business compete in the Social Media Market place?

How can your small business compete in the Social Media Market place against the “big boys”?

Great question right?  Many small business owners are tossing around that question!  I just read an article by Phil Marshon that shared some very interesting statistics,

The 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report had great news for the “small business marketeers”!   They…the small business marketers are seeing the greatest results form social media marketing moves.  In 3 short years, Social Media has moved from an “uncertain strategy” to a “permanent marketing fixture” !

A full 90% of small business marketers surveyed said Social Media is important to their successful marketing campaigns.  ( just for the record that is now 88% FOR all marketers.    59% reported new partnerships as a direct result of their social media efforts.  48% reported improved sales volume from Social Media marketing and 60% reported REDUCED costs in marketing as a result !

But…it takes time….invest the time to  ensure the fuller results.  25% of the small business marketers reported increased sales the first year of implementation….but that number swelled to 80% by the third year.

One more suggestion…. use the Social Media that works….they are not all “business beneficial”….

Facebook has taken the number one position among small business social media with over 80% involved.  It is followed closely by Twitter and LinkedIn…..and then Blogs! Others like “my space” etc…are not proving to be as business relevent.

Some come on in….the Social Media Marketing water is warm!

Euby

Let’s talk labels…they do a lot…..

Labels do a great deal…yet they are usually only thought of and designed at the very end of a products development and production.  That is really not a great time to determine what a label will look like…or convey…since it will be the PRIMARY COMMUNICATION MEDIA for your product.

Labels do a great deal…and as such…as great deal of thought and development time should be invested in them.

They convey the message of your product.  They convey the message of your company.  Between these two vital pieces of information, they become the “face” of your product and company.

They specify quantity, strength, shelf life, warnings etc…. so now that you think about it…they are quite important …right?

Here are  a few suggestions for developing that “label” as the product is developed… keep notes…and add thoughts as the product is developed…

Dont “over complicate”  simple and sweet….

Be “clear and concise”….

Don’t create a “complicated” ( and expensive to produce ) design.  Get your label print partner involved early !

and choose that partner wisely.    It will save you $’s!

Consider various cultures

Avoid “over” or “under” simplification

Seek your “sales departments” input…THEY TALK TO AND SEE your customers

Get input and approval from senior management along the way ( avoids re-do’s )

Produce a prototype…and obtain input!   Then produce….

If you follow these quick tips…your project will be completed more timely, more accurately

and most cost effectively.   Good labeling and good selling !

Euby

Paying it forward…..

Over the past week many of the Suncoast staff, clients and friends purchased and donated various “Home Depot, Target and Walgreen’s” gift cards for the fine folks of Tuscaloosa Alabama who were devastated by the recent tornados.  The cards were gathered and sent FedEx on Friday to be distributed to the hardest hit over the weekend.  We have already received an email of Thanks for the cards ….however, the very best “thank you” is really from the opportunity to “play it forward …or back” as the case may be…..Ironically it has already been five years since the “Wilma Storm” affected so many of the Suncoast staff….and our friends in the industry came to our aid with cash and supplies during that most difficult period.  What a great way for “Suncoast” to say “thank you” paying it forward to the folks in Alabama!  Congratulations on another job….pleasure…. well done Suncoast !   Euby

continued price increases in materials

May has started off where April had set the pace….continued price increases on most raw materials.  We have received additional notices of increases pending for cotton and ribbon films….and in the last 24 hours price increases on Copy Bond in the range of 6% and MOCR ( check ) bond and Carbonless papers in the 4% range.  The old 30 day notices have shrunken to 15 day notices ( they have to as they are announcing increases more than every 30 days it appears )  recently.  Hang on as the forecasts appear to show many more on the foreseeable horizon.   Euby will keep you updated!