April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 95 statements of goal achievements. Linking sustainability programs with incentives is one way to get employees and suppliers to work with the company's sustainability goals. As mentioned earlier, communica- tion of sustainability practices can also be useful for attracting new customers or re- taining a current customer base. Buy-in at all levels of the organization is also a key component in having a sustain- able business. Everyone who works for the business—from the owner to the person who packs and finishes the garments or sweeps the floor and takes out the trash— must be committed to the program and understand why it's necessary. Not all sustainable business practices will be easy, and sometimes the benefits may only appear after the practices have been in place for some time. The company can't simply make a commitment on paper or make a commitment that is only applicable to those who are directly impacted by the policies put in place. Sustainable business practices require buy-in from everyone and a resolution that the entire company is committed to pursuing sustainability for the long term. While there is no master template for creating a sustainable business, most busi- nesses, big or small, can benefit from hav- ing such a program in place. The good news is that programs can start small and have huge benefits. There is also increas- ing evidence that sustainable programs are attractive to many portions of the cus- tomer population, and that many people increasingly choose to spend their dollars with companies that are socially and en- vironmentally responsible. For decorators, there is also good news in the fact that more environmentally-friendly options are available when it comes to equipment or supplies like inks or stabilizers. Creating a sustainable business will take commitment and work, and will require change, which some employees or even business owners may not find comfortable, but the benefits are well worth the effort. continued from page 64 ed through the mobile app. Your content is published in a manner that allows users to get the full story without ever leaving the Facebook platform, which provides speed, mobile-friendliness, ease of use, and an improved method of getting your content consumed in full. OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS The strategies and good practices of post- ing to social media include a variety of ways to keep users engaged, encourage sharing, gather followers, and more. RSS can be beneficial in those efforts beyond the benefits of using your syndicated feed. For example, it is recommended that you post interesting content in between your promotional posts and maintain a good balance. Consider adding an RSS feed that can do that for you, such as a feed that publishes a joke of the day or inspira- tional quotes. You can find interesting and valuable sources for RSS feeds to use from directories and websites of interest by do- ing a little research; and use them to blend in with your regular social media activities. I am reminded of a Twitter account I created years ago for a website I developed which sold chef coats and uniform apparel to the culinary industry. The Twitter ac- count used the name Shirley Cooksalot (this gave the account a personality, who surely cooks a lot) and branded the profile with the chef coat business' logo, imagery, products, and relevant links. Naturally, the goal of the account was to gather followers and reach the culinary demographic, so I plugged in five RSS feeds that kept the Twitter account busy on auto pilot sharing recipes, restaurant business news, and other articles of culi- nary interest. That left the account sim- plified for the chef coat business to sim- ply post promotional content as they saw fit and engage with the followers as their schedule allowed. If you haven't explored the benefits of RSS, it is well worth a look. As the term implies, it is really simple syndication. continued from page 36 INTERNET STRATEGIES ately. Give ideas they can use. That's what preparation is all about. 8. Have simple slides. Make certain your slides are easy to follow, fun, and readable. There should only be one point per slide. 9. Make very little of the talk about you. When you do talk about yourself, don't talk about who you are, rather, what you do and how you can help them. 10. End with emotion. (Maybe even ask for the sale.) Focus on family or other concepts to which the audience can relate and identify. At the end of your presentation/perfor- mance, you want the audience to react and respond. Buy, do better, do new things, ap- plaud, or stand and applaud. The quality of your talk will be the determining factor. You want the audience, the prospect, or the customer to remember you and the mo- ment. The only way that happens is if you perform remarkably. You want outcome and buzz as a result of your words, ideas, value, and inspiration. You seek a favorable outcome. So does the person receiving your message. Was it ho- hum or worth talking about? Was it value driven to the point of taking action, or was it without punch or inspiration? The ultimate goal is to have an impact over time. If you can follow-up by getting people to subscribe to your blog or e-zine, you can document and measure the suc- cess of your ideas, product, or service. And that feedback can drive your success if you pay attention to it. Want a report card? Video your presen- tation and watch it twice. Once for the pain and once to take self-improvement notes. The best and toughest presentation skill lesson in the world is the one you give yourself. Want a path to success? Commit to personal presentation skills improvement. Take a Dale Carnegie course and join Toastmasters. Give talks at your local civic association. Not only are sales leads there, but it's also a relaxed, learning opportunity. Take it. continued from page 12 SELLING SMART SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

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