Category Archives: Success Stories

Is Handwriting Good for the Brain? Why Pens are Like the New Keyboard

Penmanship lessons have been replaced by typing classes. High schools and colleges now permit laptops in almost all classrooms. Those attending business meetings are hidden by the backs of their screens. While typing may appear to be more efficient and useful, studies show that traditional pen and paper writing is well worth the extra effort.

Writing by hand in children

People invest in baby Einstein and other programs to help their children’s learning process begin at such an early age. People care about the success of their children. But a simple pen and paper could be doing more than all of these computerized learning programs. Children who write by hand have better letter recognition which is the strongest predictor of reading ability.

Writing by hand in adolescence

As children reach the email, instant messaging, and social media age, they become much more comfortable with typing as opposed to writing. But studies show that students who actually wrote out their notes were able to better answer conceptual questions on the material than those who typed their notes.

Writing by hand in adults

As individuals progress out of college and into the full-time work life, desk jobs and meetings are full of computers. But have you ever found that you struggle with your ability to craft sentences or write really compelling work? Research shows adults are better at writing prose (both typing and hand written) when they are faster at handwriting.

All in all, it’s in your children’s best interest to encourage handwritten notes once in a while as they are also learning to type. As adults, stretch your brain a little and try hand-written notes or journaling. To give yourself or your child an extra push to reach for that writing instrument, try a personalized pencil or pen!

Also, did you know your handwriting can possibly tell you a little bit about yourself? Check out our infographic, What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

Test Your Business!

When developing a marketing and sales strategy for your business, there are many avenues, ideas and programs to follow. It’s overwhelming at times – Do I focus on message? Do I need a new design? Is my website performing? It’s enough to make your head spin! However, one of the key pieces of advice any consultant, marketing guru or successful businessperson can give is to test, Test, TEST!

Justin Premick published an article about his case study regarding his email efforts and how effective they were. The focus of the case study was comparing text links to html buttons in an email. He was trying to discover which type of presentation drove more sales and conversion. Not surprising, his initial results were that the colorful button drove more people to click. Rather than stopping there, Premick continued to test this in over 40 emails. His results showed that over time, these results were not true – in fact, the final results were that using “buttons” rather than tests was not the best long-run tactic to take.

So, why is this important? Premick stated it best:

  • What works today may not work tomorrow.
  • What works for someone else may not work for you.
Running a successful business takes testing and analysis to see what works for you and your business – so come up with a hypothesis and test it! Once you see what works for you, you can use those learnings to continue to refine your marketing strategy and get the most bang for your marketing dollar and time!

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Customers for Life

Identifying and reaching out to customers is a challenge that businesses face on a regular basis. But what about retaining customers — for life? Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, in Missouri, uses a “front of the line” program for their regular customers – meaning that in the dead of winter, if your pipes freeze, you won’t have to wonder how long it will take for the plumber to come out.

In a recent article on MSN’s Business on Main page, Keeping Customers for Life, companies like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing are used as a model for how to grow and retain your long-term customer base.
Here are some key steps used by companies such as Southwest Airlines, ED Foods and Crucial Technology:
- Deliver what you say you’re going to do
- Expect the best
- From there, go beyond the usual
- Watch your customer, not your bottom line
- Nurture lifelong employees
- Make customers want to stick around
- Be picky about your lifelong customers
Customers truly are the heart of any business – we simply wouldn’t exist without them, so remember: treat them well and your company will be treated well in return!
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Spend A Little, Make A Lot

We all know the adage, “you gotta spend money to make money.” So why do companies pretend they don’t need to advertise to get customers?

Margie Christman is the owner, designer and creator of a purse company called “Texas Bag Lady.” She serves as a great example as to why advertising a little can help your company a lot. When Margie started out, she promoted her business by including a pen displaying her company name with each purchase. Her husband discouraged her from ordering the pens, saying she couldn’t afford to spend money when she was just starting out.

Within no time, a customer called, proving the husband wrong. The woman told Margie that people kept asking where she got her purse. Though the customer forgot the phone number, she had it on the pen and shared it with everyone she spoke to.

That purse paired with an inexpensive advertising item, helped Margie sell eight more purses.

What could you do with a small increase in your marketing budget? It just might mean the difference between growing slowly or quickly!

Photo Courtesy of Texas Bag Lady

Learning Innovation From a Watermelon

Financial Hack has some great advice on being innovative. Using Japan’s square watermelon, they show why thinking outside of the box is one of the smartest things you can do in the business world.

There are some great lessons to take away from this article. I think the main things are to realize that nothing is impossible and to always to look for an easier way to do things. It is these two factors that have been behind all major technological advances. The same spirit that created square watermelon created cars and created the internet. Always keep your mind open and look for a better way!

Image Courtesy of rumpleteaser