The start of a new year always brings an opportunity for new beginnings. It’s a great time to ditch your company’s bad print and promo habits to the curb. Our team assembled a list of a few things you can do to make print & promo easier for your company in 2018.
Here are our Top 10 Print and Promo Resolutions:
1. I will create a brand style guide for my team.
Building a strong brand is all about consistency. But not all of your team members may understand the importance of branding. Establishing a brand style guide helps your team know exactly how your company’s logo, colors, and fonts should be used across all platforms. Communicating your company’s design standards ensures that each project has a consistent look that is in line with your branding.
Also, don’t be afraid of a brand redesign! As your company grows the look and design of your company should too. Not sure where to start? Here is an easy, step-by-step guide on how to create one. Make sure that all of your departments and stakeholders are included in the process. Open communication helps eliminate confusion on what is acceptable use of company assets and empowers others to use your logo correctly! Once you’re done, ensure that the brand style guide is easily accessible and available company-wide on a website or shared drive.
2. I will create a shared drive with approved logo files and important documents.
On-site or in the all-powerful cloud, make sure there is shared drive where approved logo files are stored for all content creators. Sharing files means shared creativity – when knowledge of company policy becomes universal.
3. I will set up templates for common print pieces.
Setting up templates ensures that you won’t waste your, or your client’s, time. A standard job you’ve million times can send you into what we like to call “zombie clicks” – monotonous clicking in familiar paths only to achieve something you’ve done before. Streamline your workflow and maximize your time at the office by creating templates for brochures, social media posts, business cards, etc. Keep them vague enough to be easily adaptable to any request. This will allow for visual consistency – which is key when doing repeat projects. Need help creating templates that can be utilized by your team? Tactive can help! We’ll be happy to connect you with a designer who can do this for you if you don’t have the skills or time.
4. I will schedule order deadlines and reminders in my calendar.
It can be easy to let communication falter, especially during a busy time like the holidays. Creating a system for reminders and tasks can help your jobs transition smoothly from one phase to the next without missing deadlines! You can invest in a project management tool, but your existing calendar is an easy place to start. Find a calendar application that allows you to collaborate with team members. Then, schedule time with your team each quarter to map out upcoming events, promotions, and priorities for the next quarter. Make sure you leave at least two weeks between your delivery date and your order date to ensure on-time delivery of your print & promo. And don’t forget to leave time for other steps in the process, like design!
5. I will integrate technology into my current business practices.
Technology can help you streamline your business and help your company progress faster than your competition. It can be hard to break away from the way you’ve “always done it”. While upgrading your systems and integrating new technologies may be difficult in the beginning, in the long run, it may give you the competitive edge! Never let your location stop you from working on a project by utilizing the cloud for file storage. Harness the power of social media, the biggest growing market online, to grow your market or fill your lead funnel. In 2017, Tactive integrated a program called XML to automate orders into our new system, allowing us to process online orders faster than ever before! Make 2018 the year you invest in the technology that will help your company grow.
6. I will ask for help when I need it.
Sometimes, “I can do it myself”, turns out to be much longer, more expensive, and much more frustrating than just asking for help! When you need to fix your car you take it to a mechanic rather than try and figure out how to fix it yourself. Let 2018 be the year that you acknowledge your DIY limits and hire experts to do the work for you.
Reach out to another department, an internal team, or even our experts here at Tactive! We talk to many customers who have spent hours shopping for a promotional product online only to find out that the item they really wanted is out of stock. Our team works and meets with promo vendors every day. We know what is popular, who to trust, and how to get you the best deal. Save yourself time, money and frustration in 2018 and hire an expert!
7. I will eliminate silos within our departments.
Print and promo aren’t just for marketing. Sales, HR, and even IT all have different needs when it comes to their communication tools. Print & promo may be just the right solution. But if you’re not speaking with them, how will you know? Make 2018 the year you kick over those cubicle walls and involve all the stakeholders in your project. Even the best-laid plans have hiccups. Keep everyone involved as things change. Utilize tools like email, face-to-face meetings, or even messaging applications to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Don’t let your project turn out to be meaningless simply because you didn’t get another team involved!
8. I will create “cheat sheets” for commonly used phrasing.
PMS. ASI. Spot UV. A2. Even in our small company there are countless acronyms and phrases that are thrown around daily. During the fast-paced day at a print & promo company, it can be easy to misinterpret a request or order. That’s why we keep a “cheat sheet” for all of our terminologies. Programs like Mac’s Notepad and PC’s Note application work great for keeping track of important phrases – saving you time when drafting emails or creating orders. Consider adding a reference guide to your shared drive so employees can look up any phrase they aren’t sure about. Make precision and clarity a priority in 2018!
9. I will keep file naming conventions consistent.
We’re pretty sure there is a layer of Dante’s Inferno that is just one, big, never-ending file folder and you spend eternity looking for that ONE file. Save your team some time in 2018 with consistent naming conventions on files. Organize by client, by project, by date, or all three! Collaborate with your team to figure out what works best for your company, and then stick to it.
And while we’re on the topic, don’t forget to regularly backup your important files. This will save you time when looking for files as well as keep your server organized. And don’t be afraid to delete! Set an expiration date for non-essential files. If they are not used in 6 months… say goodbye!
10. I will create a healthy work environment for me and my teammates.
Everyone can name the company Grinch – and if you cant… it might be you!
Make a resolution to change your company alphabet to 25 letters, and eliminate “I” from your vocabulary. “I” can be incredibly detrimental to a healthy work environment. As a small company, our employees can sometimes be asked to wear different hats just to meet a client deadline. We’re proud to be a team of helpers. Make 2018 the year that you make respect, collaboration, and positive communication a priority for your team.
Need help making your resolutions a reality in 2018? Contact Us and our experts will help you set attainable print & promo goals for your company.