Stay Positive!

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October is Positivity Month.  Looking for some ways to stay on top and be more efficient?  Here are some ideas to manage energy and promote positivity:

The Power of a Good Night Sleep.  While days generally consist of long hours at work followed by trying to complete tasks afterwards, many people underestimate just how important sleep plays in the energy that we have.  According to the American Psychological Association, 40% of adults suffer from daytime sleepiness a few days a month, and another 20% suffer a few days a week as a result of their sleep habits.  This reduces energy, well-being, and ultimately causes daily activities to hinder as a result.  By aiming to average at least 8 hours of sleep a night, you will begin to feel better on a daily basis and operate at a higher level.

Develop Daily Plans.  Take time on a daily basis to map out what you need to accomplish.  By staying organized, you will begin to develop efficiency and identify tasks that are necessary for the utilization of your energy.  Think about the hours at work and home that are dedicated to tasks other than those that are necessary (surfing the web, telephone, social media, etc.).  Though we all want a little “me” time here and there, this leads to unproductive habits and drains our energy by not staying on task.  By keeping an organizer, schedule, or list, you can accomplish tasks quicker, save energy, and create more time for yourself to do things you want!

Create Time For You.  Half the battle with staying energetic and positive is that there seems to not be enough “me” time.  Whether work feels overwhelming or life becomes hectic, making sure that you set aside time for yourself is one of the most important aspects towards maintaining health and happiness.  On a weekly basis, find time in which you can perform something brings yourself happiness.  Whether it is catching a football game on television, going to the movies, meeting up with friends or family, and/or performing your favorite activity, find time for such.  By doing so, you will feel more relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on tasks and goals ahead.

Go For It.  Don’t be afraid and have a “can do” attitude.  One major obstacle to obtaining positivity is the fear of failure.  Set goals that you see yourself being able to reach and go for them.  By holding back, you are only promoting negativity and the possibility of failure.  Whether win, lose, or draw; knowing that you gave it your all will allow you to gain satisfaction, bring about positive energy, and affirm your actions as being successful endeavors.

Surround Yourself With Positive Energy.  Whether it is being around good people, extending a helping hand, or becoming more involved (activities, organizations, etc.), surrounding yourself with positive energy will help promote health, wealth, and happiness.  Positivity and energy are transferable sources that when shared create mutual satisfaction and happiness.  Immersing yourself into actions that promote personal and communal positivity will lead to greater satisfaction and success within your daily lives.

Do Your Part, Raise Awareness!

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Breast Cancer has touched and afflicted the lives of many, and it is during this month that we all should take time to acknowledge this devastating disease.  Whether you are a fighter, survivor, or somebody that has been touched by the disease, we should all take part in raising awareness to promote hope, further inform those around us, and seek advancement in medicine for a cure.

How can one become involved?  There are many ways this October to become involved in the fight against Breast Cancer.  Whether through charitable acts, joining a fundraiser, or simply donning the pink ribbon to show your support, anyone has the power to raise awareness.  The most important factor in becoming involved with the cause is to show your support with kindness of heart and dedication.  You can find further information about National Breast Cancer Month at the National Breast Cancer Foundation: (http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month?gclid=CPejhoy71rICFad7QgodgEwAJA).  The website gives in-depth information about what the month entails and highlights possible ways to raise awareness and get involved.

National Pen and Breast Cancer Awareness!  We at National Pen extend our thoughts and respect to all of those who have been touched by this dreaded disease.  During this month, National Pen is dedicated towards informing those who follow us about the importance and significance of spreading awareness.  We are taking a first-hand approach through the products we offer (Breast Cancer Inspired!) and our involvement with those who share in our business activities.  Our Breast Cancer inspired products allow you, your business, consumers, and others to show support through actively raising awareness.  Help combat this disease and raise awareness through our products!

Show Your Support by Promoting Awareness:
http://www.pens.com/October-is-Breast-Cancer-Awareness
http://www.pens.com/site/products/CLX
http://www.pens.com/drinkware/11-oz-ceramic-mug/mug

Also Check Out Pink NFL Pens:
http://www.pens.com/pens-and-writing/nfl-squiggle-pen–low-minimum/nf2

Let us all remember to do our part the rest of this month in raising awareness.  Each day is another step forward, and through our support and recognition we can help raise hope to all!

Let Us Better Serve You!

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This week is National Customer Service Week, and we at National Pen are always looking for ways to better extend excellent customer service to those who do business with us.  Customer Service is highly important to our company because ensuring that our products fulfill your needs and wants is our top priority.

In any business, it is the company’s duty and responsibility to ensure satisfaction on all fronts.  The customer is the main determinant of business prosperity and without the customer, there can be no business.  Below are service highlights that have shaped National Pen Co. and our mission towards generating excellent customer service:

  • 100% Confidence and Full Year Guarantee: http://www.pens.com/guarantee-national-pen
  • Tried and True since 1966-over 46 years of business!
  • Consistently we rank in the Top 40 of promotional products
  • We are Top 5 in direct mailers of promotional products worldwide

Customer Care Center with many outlets for support: http://www.pens.com/customer-service-national-pen

These highlights have built the foundation for extending excellent customer service to all.  We take great pride in serving our customers and would like to hear from you as well to improve.  How can we better serve you?  What can we do to make our business more efficient?  What changes would you like to see us make?  During this week we want to hear from you, the customer, on ways we can better provide our services!  You can contact us via our Customer Care center (http://www.pens.com/customer-service-national-pen) or find us on Facebook and Twitter to contact us as well.  Have a great weekend!

What’s a QR Code?

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Do you know what a QR code is?  If you answered no, you’re not alone.  QR codes have become a popular advertising tool so let’s run through the basics.

What is a QR code?
A Quick Response (QR) code is a type of barcode.  Shaped like a square, the code contains a pattern of black square dots and stores information for users to access when they scan the code using a mobile device. 

Here’s an example of a QR code for an NFL promotion on Pens.com.

How do I read a QR code?
If your smartphone doesn’t already have a QR code reader installed, there are several free QR code readers that you can download. Check out the options in your AppStore or choose from this list.  Hover your reader over the code and you’ll see its contents in a few seconds.

Where can I get a QR code?
A search for “QR Code Generators” online or on your phone will bring up a number of free sites that let you create QR codes.  You can choose to link your QR code to a url, text, phone number, SMS or a vCard.  Once you enter your preferred link, you create a code which you can download, print or email.  It takes less than a minute to create your QR code.

How can I use a QR code to promote my business?
QR codes are a great way to connect your customers with your company, whether it’s to read content on your web site, receive a promotion via text message or to call you without having to dial your number.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Include a QR code that links to your email or phone number in your email signature.
  • Post a QR code that links to your company web site on signs outside your business so customers can get information even when you’re not open.  Restaurant owners, this is a great way to post your menu without having to re-print every time you make a change.
  • Add a QR code that links to a customer survey on your invoices to get valuable feedback on how you’re doing.
  • Print codes for special offers or complimentary services on materials you give out at tradeshows.
  • Put a QR code that links to your online bio or LinkedIn profile on the back of your business card.
  • Of course, we can’t forget to mention printing the codes on your promotional products!  National Pen can put a QR code on any of our full color products, but scanning a pen could be a little tricky!  We recommend choosing a flat product like the Full Color Magnet, Spiral Flip Pad or Sticky NotebookCalendars and planners are also good options.

The options for using QR codes are only limited by your creativity!  So give it a try.  If you have ideas to share about how you’re using QR codes, we’d love to hear them.

Catch Summer Games Fever!

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Are you as excited about the Summer Games as we are?  The amazing athletes in London are giving us something to cheer about as we head into the dog days of summer.  In case you’ve missed out on the fun, here are some our favorite moments so far:

Michael Phelps swimming his final race to win gold and retire as the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 22 medals, 18 gold.

– The Fab 5 taking gold in gymnastics for the first time since 1996.

Usain Bolt sprinting 100m to gold in just 9.63 seconds.  Wow, that’s fast!

Gabby Douglas aka “The Flying squirrel” becoming the first black Olympic gold medalist in the all-around gymnastics competition.

It’s not all about winning.  Double amputee Oscar Pistorius was an inspiration for millions even when he did not make the finals for the 400-meter race.  The world watched as Grenada’s Kirani James asked to exchange bib numbers with Pistorius as a gesture of admiration and respect.

We still have another week of games to go!  Because we’re so excited about the summer games, we’ve extended our summer savings offer.  In honor of the 30th Summer Games, save up to $30 on National Pen brand products, now through August 8.  Enter MEDAL at checkout.

http://www.pens.com/site/category/npc-products

 

Are you keeping those New Year’s Resolutions?

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Remember those elaborate plans you made for 2012 just a month or so ago?  Right about now is when many plans are forgotten.  Fortunately, February is National Time Management Month.  This is the time to revisit your goals and get organized so you stay on track all year. 

Did you resolve to spend more time with your family, get to the gym more than once a month, or finish up a home project? The best way to stay committed to your goal is by making time for it.

Here are some tips for how to manage your time better:

1) Have a plan.  Whether you use an online scheduler, a smart phone app, or a “black book” planner, you’ll do better if you plan your day in advance.  The simple act of writing down a task makes you more committed to completing it.  Schedule more time than you think you’ll need in case you get interrupted or run into an unexpected issue.

2) Set aside a few minutes every day to prep for tomorrow.  Take a look at your calendar to see what’s on deck.  Do you need to organize your files for an early meeting?  Going to the gym after work?  Pack your bag so you can just grab it in the morning.  Check the weather so you can decide what to wear. 

3) Break big projects into smaller pieces.  Projects seem less daunting when you break them down into steps and tackle them one at a time.  You’ll feel good crossing one task off your list and will be motivated to move on to the next step.

4) Make the most of idle time.  Keep a pad or notebook with you wherever you go. While you’re sitting in the waiting room at the dentist or are early for a lunch date, you can jot down errands that you need to add to your schedule or ideas about that work project you’re close to finishing.

Take time this month to renew your plans and optimize your time. In a few weeks, you’ll have developed a routine that you can stick with all year. 

 

Lighten Up!

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We have six more weeks until Daylight Savings Time starts and the days slowly get longer.  There are many benefits to getting that extra hour of light.  Retailers get more traffic in their stores in the evening hours, you can get outside and enjoy a longer stroll with your pet, and for most of us, it just feels better to leave work when the sun is still out. 

Until then, we have an array of great light products that will keep you and your customers out of the dark. 

The Light Up Lumina Pen

With a sleek brass barrel and triangle grip, this pen is one of my favorites. I have taken it on vacation, on hikes and keep one in my glovebox.  With one click, the gripper turns on a bright light.  I love that it’s dual purpose – you never know when you’ll need a pen or a light!

Another dual purpose gift, this elegant keychain with lacquer finish contains a brilliant white LED light.  This product is consistently a top-seller and we get rave reviews from both customers and recipients. 

New to our family of light products, this flashlight started selling like hotcakes as soon as we introduced it.  The crisp white barrel really draws the eye to your imprint, and the bright-colored trim make this a fun gift. 

Flexi-Light

This high intensity LED light with a flexible coil neck is great for lighting up tight spots. 

9 LED Flashlight

You can’t have enough of these ultra-bright flashlight at your home or office.  The wrist strap makes it easy to carry and the powerful light will come in handy in any emergency. 

Like all National Pen products, these light-up products can be customized with your personal message.  Laser engraving will ensure that your name stands out. 

While they are especially useful in the winter months, lights make a practical gift year-round.  For more options, check out our full selection of flashlights and light-up pens.  Just think of the goodwill you’ll generate when your customers are in a bind and pull out that emergency light with your name on it!

Knowledge is Power

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“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.” – Peter Drucker

January 19 is Get to Know Your Customer Day. It seems like we should spend more than a day learning
about our customers, right? Customers are the key to your success so it’s important to get to know them as well as you can. Learn about their interests, needs, and challenges so you can offer the products and services that are best suited for them.

What are the best ways to do this?

Surveys: An easy way to learn about your customers is to just ask. There are plenty of easy-to-use online survey tools that you can use to collect feedback. Ask about their satisfaction, where you can improve, what needs are not currently met. The benefit of doing this online is that customers will speak candidly and let you know the good and the not so good. Also include some questions that can help build your relationship. Do they like to travel or play sports? Do they have kids? You may find you have more in common than just your business relationship.

Personal Meetings: If you’re in the sales field, take your top customers out for lunch or coffee. Instead of just sticking to business, keep the conversation diverse so you learn as much as you can. If you have a retail or service location, consider providing refreshments for an hour or two when you can mingle and chat with customers.

Social Media: The Internet makes it possible to connect to your customers year-round. Set up accounts on Yelp, Facebook and/or Linked In for your business. Let customers know where to find you so you can keep an open dialog with them. The bonus to you is that new customers may find you online, especially when you get rave reviews!

The most important thing about getting to know your customers is taking the time to interpret what you learned. Listen to what they’re telling you, and read through their comments. Based on what you now know, think about what you can do to best meet their needs. Answer that succesfully and you’ll have more customers to get to know next time around! Happy customers tell their friends…

We value your support would love to know more about you and what you think about National Pen. Please let us know how we’re doing!

It’s National Thank Your Customers Week

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The first week of January is usually a busy week for everyone. We set business and personal goals, get excited about the promises of a new year, and are often just taking time to catch up after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. This week is also National Thank Your Customers Week. As you begin 2012, remember to take a moment to thank those who supported your business in 2011. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.

Showing your appreciation can be as simple as writing a personal note to your best customers. Include a favorite inspirational quote to help set the tone for a great year. If you didn’t get a chance to give thank you gifts last month, here’s your chance. Personalized calendars are a timely option. You can also give gifts that support your customer’s resolutions for the New Year – a lunch bag to pack healthy meals, a duffle bag to take to the gym, or a new padfolio or business card holder to get organized.

However you choose to thank your customers, make sure they know you value them. Keep your message personal and memorable, and you’ll be off to a great start!

Are you prepared for winter?

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Cold and wet weather is here. We recently received this note from a customer that reminded us that our LED Flashlight Keychain could come in handy right about now. If you’re looking for a practical gift that your customers will appreciate in the winter months, look no further. We can’t tell you how many times we hear about how this little flashlight has saved the day. Just imagine how much your customers would love you if your name was on it!

“Well, there I was. It was 10:30 last night, and my son called me saying he’d gone in the ditch about 10 miles from our house. We had 10 inches of snow yesterday and it was very slick out. So, I bundled up and drove out on the very dark windswept county road to pull him out with my truck. As I backed up to his van turned backwards in the ditch, I realized I had no flashlight with me. I had to crawl under his van which was packed with snow and try and find a place to hook up the tow strap without any light to see what I was doing. I was upset…… Then a thought came somewhere from the back of my head- “didn’t I get a sample flashlight from National Pen about a month ago- and didn’t I put that in the truck…..” Yes, I did have the flashlight with, and it worked great. The little tiny keychain flashlight was more than bright enough to illuminate the whole undercarriage and although I still had to belly through 10 inches of snow, at least I was able to see what I was doing, thanks to National Pen! Just thought I’d send a special thank you from me, and my son, who I hope will drive a little more carefully now on icy roads.”