Awards & Engraving

June '19

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26 • A&E JUNE 2019 Laser Engraving features that just a year or two ago only programmers could use. I host my site at Pressable, which specializes in Wordpress sites and has fantastic service and fast quality servers. I host my email at another company called Rackspace. My website is secure, is backed up automatically daily, and requires almost no maintenance on my part. Don't make the mistake I see many small businesses make, which is to purchase a web address that gives you an email address with the same name and then never use it. A sure way to tell potential customers that you are a small business is by using a Gmail or other generic email account. The extra few dollars it costs to have my email hosted and secure is worth it. My web address is and my email is They both act to brand my company name and indicate we are professionals. ONLINE STORE If you want an online store, there are industry solutions available to create a web store for your own website. They are excellent and a big time saver as industry products are already available without the many hours of your time to post them. If the retail consumer is your market, you can also use a service such as Etsy, Amazon, or eBay. Before going this route, do plenty of research on costs and rules you must follow. Contact other store owners if pos- sible. Get their feedback and learn the key lessons from them. Service is the best way to stand out using these options. STOREFRONT AND SHOWROOM If you have a storefront with a show- room, invest in some quality displays. This alone can set your showroom apart from your local competitors. Clean and com- fortable is key. We custom-built a counter with stools for customers to sit at, look at catalogs, and ask advice. Our customers are our friends — many come by occasionally to just visit. They sometimes bring new customers with them. They enjoy looking at all our displays to get ideas for future events and gifts. We have also built custom display boards for signs, plaques, and name tags. The sign and plaque boards have carpeting on them to allow us to place industrial Velcro on the back of the plaques and signs. Customers can easily take them down to look at. Our name tag board is magnetic with small mag- nets on the back of our samples. We show off color varieties, different sizes, custom shapes, and name tag frames. SERVICE The best way to stand out is service. In our business, that means: looking out for our customers' best interests; having them shine at their events when recipi- ents are appreciative and proud of what they received; flexibility to roll with the punches; never miss a deadline; save a new customer from someone else missing a deadline; catching their errors by double checking wording and spelling; and bailing out as many customers who have failed to plan ahead as possible. The bottom line is they can count on us. We have obtained many significant good customers because we were willing to help out someone rejected by all our competitors. We stood out by stepping forward. It's not easy; however, it does work. Great, flexible service is the best way to stand out! Retail product displays should provide a modern and professional look. As we are in wine country, a local- oriented display adds to the overall shop theme. A&E

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