Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Inspiration from Acts of Courage

 As American actor and social icon John Wayne said, "Courage is being scared to death …and saddling up anyway." Observed acts of courage are nourishing to the spirit and inspiring to all of us. In business, this is just as true and important as it is anywhere else.

Three company leaders who went above and beyond the call with their courage, demonstrating the kind of direction that characterizes great leadership, are the CEOs of Bluebell Ice Cream, Canada's Maple Leaf Foods, and Southwest Airlines.

After many were taken ill, and three people died from a listeria bacteria contamination of Blue Bell ice cream products, the company voluntarily recalled some eight million gallons of their ice cream products from retail shelves. Once the severity of the situation was known, CEO Paul Kruse recalled the products and initiated a program of employee training and plant sanitization that would take four months to complete. Four facilities in three states had to be sanitized and thoroughly inspected and tested for the presence of the bacteria before production could resume. There was the distinct possibility that the company would be unable to financially survive this hiatus while 1,400 employees were laid off, and an equal number being partially furloughed. Kruse secured capital from an outside investor and saved the company.

A similar circumstance faced Maple Leaf Foods' CEO, Michael H. McCain, when numerous deaths were attributed to contaminated meat produced by his company. Meeting the obvious media interest, he stood resolutely in front of the cameras accepting responsibility for the problem. Not all leaders are cut out to handle this kind of pressure, or deliver a necessary and potentially disastrous response with this much courage. An old, Latin proverb tells us that fortune favors the bold, but abandons the timid. Maple Leaf Foods was saved because of McCain's bold resolve and dedication, which rested on the foundation of his courage.

The CEO of Southwest Airlines, James Parker, displayed a similar courage in the face of a different kind of threat. Deep in the shadow of the recent horrific events of 9/11, the trend for businesses was to cut workforces and pull back on expansion projects in the recognition that far less prosperous times may lay immediately ahead. But, while these fears gripped industries nationwide, and particularly the airline industry, one airline CEO made the brave choice to buck this trend. Only three days after 9/11, Parker announced that Southwest would not be cutting employees, and in fact, would be keeping them all, as well as initiating a new profit sharing program with them.

These CEOs are cut from a different cloth than some, such as those from some of the large Wall Street banks prior to the 2008 crash, as well as Enron and WorldCom, to name a few. These companies were unable to find the ethical internal compass to reject risky operating plans in the name of artificially elevated profit taking. The scandals that ensued in each case demonstrate a lack of courage and a lack of commitment to ethical standards in business. True courage in leadership is as valuable as any given asset for an organization, no matter how large or small.

Ernest Hemmingway said that courage is grace under pressure. The three CEOs of Maple Leaf, Blue Bell, and Southwest certainly had an element of grace under pressure, but they had more than that. Echoing what John Wayne said, author Arthur Koestler wrote, "Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears." These three men did not let either notions of greed, nor the fear of failure sidetrack what they knew they needed to do. They saddled up, anyway

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Every Door Direct Mail…
Is It Right For Your 

    Okay, so most of us have heard of every door direct mail, or as it is referred to in the industry, EDDM. If you haven’t, you’ve most likely received a piece of it in the mail at some point…That 20% off coupon from a big box store, or that advertisement announcing a local insurance agent… they are EDDM’s and you received them because you fit the area demographic of a consumer who would be most likely to use their services.

    The concept is simple, but the impact can be huge.  EDDM utilizes postal routes in order to mail your marketing material to every residence within a specific area for a flat rate without having the names and addresses of those you wish to target. What most people don’t know is EDDM isn’t just for mass mailings to entire zip codes.  EDDM gives you the ability to pick and choose specific neighborhoods or communities, giving you control over the demographic your marketing resources are reaching and in turn allows you to better monitor your marketing efforts.
This can be a highly advantages move for a small to medium size business owners looking to maximize their marketing budget.  The benefit of being able to hand select your targeted market will save you money by being able to limit the material waste cost of you printing and paying lower postage rates. With EDDM your marketing material goes straight to the consumer’s home and has a much higher rate of being viewed and utilized.  

    To best utilize EDDM you will want to use the help of a professional. The USPS has several guidelines for EDDM marketing materials and a professional printer can guide you on the sizing and paper requirements as well as help you design an ad that is unique and eye catching to the consumer. CR Print offers comprehensive EDDM services backed with extensive knowledge of area demographics for your business type, marketing material design and printing, as well as the ability execute your mailing services when you need them and on time.

Call us today or stop by for your free estimate!

CR Print
31115 Via Colinas Suite 301
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How do your Business Cards Add 

up? ...    

Many of us out there think of a business card simply as a way to exchange contact information…little more than a fancy note card for someone to remember your contact info by and having little weight to bare in the networking process. So we invite you to ask yourself… “how do my cards add up?”  
 In a world saturated with options, our business cards are sometimes the very first impression of our business to potential consumers and are almost always the most lasting.  We will give you the insider scoop on what makes a business card great, share some common misconceptions about quality, and tell you how you can turn your business card into a powerful networking tool sure to make a positive (and lasting) Impact!

    What makes a great card great?
     A lot goes into a great business card, and a professionally designed and printed one vs. something you order from a popular online website will put you in a class above your peers, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult, or as expensive as you may think. That being said, the old adage “You get what you pay for” can ring true when it comes to how you choose to represent your business.  It’s good to keep in mind that a business card is a marketing tool just like an ad in a magazine or a direct mail marketing postcard and should be looked at as such when it comes to deciding on a budget.  
   Design is key.
    There are a couple of main components to a great business card. One of them being design. Design can make or break your card’s appeal and if you’re are looking to make a distinguished impression, this should not be left to a common template. The right design can create a lasting impression and determine whether or not your card gets noticed. The difference is truly in the details.
Think of your business card as a continuous ad. They are the longest standing marketing tool you will have and it is important that they make the right impression to consumers. A common misconception about having a business card professionally designed are the costs associated with it, leaving many business owners choosing predesigned card layouts online…the same layouts being used by countless other businesses. You are one of a kind and your business card should be too!  
The reality is, a standard card design and layout can be accomplished exactly as you envision it for less than the cost of the average lunch meeting and that initial investment can greatly affect the impact your cards have on consumers.   
    Next up…paper.
    The second aspect of a noteworthy business card is the paper type. It greatly impacts both the look and the feel of your card, two major aspects of it being memorable. Although they may seem like a quick and convenient option, when ordering cards from an online printer you are given the same handful of standard card stock options as everyone else.  The benefit of having you cards designed and printed through a professional printer is that you can be professionally guided through your options and can choose a unique paper type that best suits you, not the bottom line of the company you are ordering from.
   What's the next step?...

    If you are looking to set yourself apart from the crowd and take your business cards to the next level, you should strongly consider having them designed and printed at CR Print. You may be surprised to find how fast, easy and affordable designing your cards can be while having the added benefit of a friendly and knowledgeable professional working with you personally to achieve the best possible outcome. Put your card at the top of the                                                       stack! Call us or stop by today for a free quote! 

CR Print
31115 Via Colinas
Westlake Village, Ca 91362
818. 879.6050



Wednesday, November 4, 2015


How does your marketing add up?  Current trends that are making waves and getting noticed!

   When it comes to marketing your business it can be difficult to navigate through  the best options for you and your company. With so many marketing platforms to choose from it is no wonder so many businesses are getting lost in the vast sea of ads. Consumers are bombarded with dozens of ads on a daily basis, most of which get overlooked. We can help you change that! Below are two of the top current marketing trends that are sure to set you apart from the crowd and make your marketing investment a profitable one.

1) Brand Ambassadors…they’re not just for the big guys… and they aren’t necessarily what you think. When most of us think brand ambassadors we think of an athlete in a sports drink commercial or a celebrity promoting the latest fragrance. But times are changing and marketing is making a turn back to a localization. Many large brands are reinventing their marketing strategies back to a more grass roots approach and you can get in on it too, no matter what size your company is!

    Brand ambassadors don’t have to be famous, they just have to recommend your product or service to people they meet. This is typically done by using a referral system. Your ambassador would simply give a potential new client a referral card that provides a discount or other promotion for trying your services. When that new client redeems the card the ambassador either gets paid or earns points towards products or services. Whether you own a hair salon, a bar or a juice shop. Having clients who personally refer you is a trendy (and cost effective) way to build your clientele base. 

2) A brand to believe in…  Studies are showing that in the midst of the wide spread digital marketing craze, consumers are looking to balance consumption with more ethical concerns such as buying local and supporting the companies that are a part of their community.  By centering your marketing and promotional materials around being a local business, and supporting your local economy you will pique the interest of those in your community looking to build lasting relationships and strengthen the community. This can be a great way to build a solid foundation for your company to grow on.    
     Let us print your customized materials for you! Contact us today  at (818) 879.6050 or stop by our office for a fast, friendly no obligation consultation and estimate! There's no Job too big or too small!