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    Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Trade Show Experience

    Since trade show season begins right after summer and continues until the winter holidays, now is the best time to review your upcoming trade show schedule and consider your strategy and goals for these events. Here are the top 5 tips for improving your trade show experience: Train your staff on how to work the [...]

    By Lisa Chalker| May 30th, 2017 on Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Trade Show Experience

      How to Stay Healthy and Fit at Work

      Do you work a “desk job” or sit for long periods at work? Do you commute by car or train and arrive at your office in less than 1,000 steps? Do you go home at the end of the day, eat dinner, and afterwards engage in some sort of sedentary activity? Sadly, for tens of [...]

      By Lisa Chalker| May 30th, 2017 on How to Stay Healthy and Fit at Work

        How to Make Your Employees Feel Appreciated

        I think most business owners and managers would agree with me that good employees are difficult to find and that once you’ve found them, it’s important to make them feel appreciated. But what exactly does that mean for you? You may want to do the right thing but aren’t 100% certain on how to make [...]

        By Lisa Chalker| April 15th, 2017| on How to Make Your Employees Feel Appreciated

          A Break in the Routine Is Good For Your Work

          Everything is going great. You know what you’re supposed to do and how you are supposed to do it. Things are rolling along pretty smoothly without any stress or strain. You might even say you’re on “automatic pilot.” It’s a good thing, right, or is it? Sometimes we get just a little too comfortable and [...]

          By Lisa Chalker| April 1st, 2017 on A Break in the Routine Is Good For Your Work

            Are You Dependable?

            I know she’ll get here in time. She’s very reliable. Don’t worry about it. They’re very dependable.  They’ll be open. You can count on them. The definition of “dependable” is trustworthy and reliable and it’s a quality that is highly respected and admired, especially now, when most everyone is working harder than ever before and [...]

            By Lisa Chalker| March 22nd, 2017| on Are You Dependable?

              Top Tips for Selecting Your Vendors

              Most business owners turn to outside resources for their many different business needs. Printing, accounting services, marketing, web design and much more are provided by "vendors" (aka business resources; more on that later!) There are many different options and it can be difficult figuring out with whom to work. The competition for business in most [...]

              By Lisa Chalker| March 1st, 2017| on Top Tips for Selecting Your Vendors

                Best Practices to Handle Stress

                It seems that almost everywhere you go people have some degree of stress. The constant juggle of professional and family responsibilities, money and kids, health and more can be demanding, overwhelming and easily lead to feelings of tension and stress. Stress is known to undermine your physical and mental wellbeing and it is important to [...]

                By Lisa Chalker| February 22nd, 2017| on Best Practices to Handle Stress

                  Three Best Practices for Effective Negotiations

                  There are ways to have an effective negotiation and ways that get you nowhere: For example, here’s an ineffective negotiation: I want that. No, I want that too. I won’t give in. No, I won’t give in either. See what I mean. We recognize that type of exchange as something that could occur between two [...]

                  By Lisa Chalker| February 1st, 2017| on Three Best Practices for Effective Negotiations

                    How to Stay Healthy in the Winter

                    Winter is here and with the season comes an increased risk for the common cold, coughs and the flu. For most busy people that are juggling the demands of home and work, getting sick is simply not an option. The good news is that staying healthy during the winter is entirely within your reach. Here [...]

                    By Lisa Chalker| January 24th, 2017| on How to Stay Healthy in the Winter

                      It’s the New Year. So What!

                      Well here we are. We've turned over a calendar page and now find ourselves in a new year filled with big bold opportunities, new endeavors, big things to accomplish....or not. It always amazes me how there is such incredible “hoopla” about the New Year. What does it all mean anyway, for really, all that we've [...]

                      By Lisa Chalker| January 3rd, 2017| on It’s the New Year. So What!

                        Why Vacations Are Important to Your Business Success

                        Being in business is tough! Long days, many nights and even some weekends are required if you want to succeed. There are no shortcuts and for certain, sacrifices must be made. This kind of pace can be maintained for only so long before focus, enthusiasm and stamina start to fade and with diminished energy comes the [...]

                        By Lisa Chalker| December 15th, 2016 on Why Vacations Are Important to Your Business Success

                          Three Things You Can Do to Make Your Job More Fulfilling

                          Most of us with a full-time job spend more of our waking hours at work than we do in pretty much any other activity. Eight hours per day at the office plus the time spent getting ready and commuting means that feeling fulfilled and satisfied with your work should be extremely important. Yet most surveys [...]

                          By Lisa Chalker| December 1st, 2016| on Three Things You Can Do to Make Your Job More Fulfilling

                          Staying Healthy In The Busy Holiday Season

                          The holidays are here and along with the season comes parties and celebrations, shopping and cooking and an over-filled schedule that can cause you to get run down and at risk for colds, coughs and even the flu. It's no wonder that many people find themselves getting sick at holiday time. While the festivities may [...]

                          By Lisa Chalker| November 27th, 2016| on Staying Healthy In The Busy Holiday Season

                            Why Giving Something “Extra” Can Often Win You the Deal

                            Winning new business is tough. Prospects can to be difficult to find, unwilling to commit, and often have a list of up-front demands that are just impossible to meet. Factor in the considerable competition in the market and, well, you may have a serious business development issue at hand! Time for “extraordinary” measures: giving something [...]

                            By Lisa Chalker| November 1st, 2016 on Why Giving Something “Extra” Can Often Win You the Deal

                              Maintaining a Good Reputation is Nothing to Mess With

                              Kanye West. Charlie Sheen. Lindsay Lohan – the list goes on and on. The entertainment world is teeming with celebrities who seem to thrive on bad publicity, their naughty words, and inappropriate actions, revealed in excruciating detail by the popular media. And despite all of the “negative press,” their stardom seems to burn even brighter, [...]

                              By Lisa Chalker| October 18th, 2016 on Maintaining a Good Reputation is Nothing to Mess With

                                Three Things You Can Do to Make Your Job More Fulfilling

                                Most of us with a full-time job spend more of our waking hours at work than we do in pretty much any other activity. Eight hours per day at the office plus the time spent getting ready and commuting means that feeling fulfilled and satisfied with your work should be extremely important. Yet most surveys [...]

                                By Lisa Chalker| October 1st, 2016 on Three Things You Can Do to Make Your Job More Fulfilling

                                  How to Motivate Employees When You Can’t Offer a Raise

                                  With bills to pay, food, clothing and other essentials to buy, and a (hopefully) prosperous future to dream of, your employees rely on their paycheck to help them take care of life's necessities. As professionals, they know if do their job well and contribute to the success of the company, they should be recognized for [...]

                                  By Lisa Chalker| September 26th, 2016| on How to Motivate Employees When You Can’t Offer a Raise

                                    You Never Have a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

                                    My mother always used to say, “You never have a second chance to make a great first impression.” I remember hearing this little lesson on many first days of school, when I started new jobs, even those times meeting people who I probably would never see again. She believed, as I do now, that positive [...]

                                    By Lisa Chalker| September 12th, 2016 on You Never Have a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

                                      Top Tips for Stress Management

                                      10-hour workdays and client deadlines. Soccer games, ballet lessons, and birthday barbeques. So much to do! That’s what we’re up against, right? The myth of doing it all. Most of us find ourselves juggling work, family, friends— and hopefully some fun, too!—and trying to make it all fit into a 24-hour day. No one ever [...]

                                      By Lisa Chalker| August 25th, 2016 on Top Tips for Stress Management

                                        The Value of Sending Handwritten Notes

                                        How many emails do you get per day? How about snail mail? Quite a difference between the two, isn’t there? I don't know about you, but most days it feels as if I am drowning in email. The chirps and pings that signal the arrival of new mail never seem to stop, and no matter [...]

                                        By Lisa Chalker| August 5th, 2016 on The Value of Sending Handwritten Notes

                                          Make it Easy for Your Customers to do Business With You

                                          In today’s highly competitive 24/7 world where with just a few keystrokes a customer can find anything, it makes good business sense to make it easy for your customers to do business with you. I must admit that I find it confusing when a company doesn’t quickly respond to calls and emails, where the policies [...]

                                          By Lisa Chalker| July 28th, 2016 on Make it Easy for Your Customers to do Business With You

                                            Don’t Make These Networking Blunders  

                                            More than ever being an excellent networker is an essential skill for every businessperson but unfortunately not everyone knows how to network effectively. What about you? Do you have finely honed networking skills or do you think there might be some room for improvement? Ask yourself the following questions: Do you forget to say thank [...]

                                            By Lisa Chalker| July 5th, 2016| on Don’t Make These Networking Blunders  

                                              Top Tips For Effective Emails  

                                                How many emails do you get each day? 50? 100? More? Email has become our primary method of communication with our clients and business contacts and with our friends and family too. In order to ensure that your emails get opened and read it’s important that you follow some simple best practices for email [...]

                                              By Lisa Chalker| July 5th, 2016| on Top Tips For Effective Emails  

                                                Showing the Love This Summer

                                                Summertime and the livin’ is easy or is it? Work goes on, you have client deadlines and a sales pipeline to maintain. It’s business as usual but I’d like to make a suggestion – why not “mix it up” just a little. Summer is a great time to show some love for your clients, prospects [...]

                                                By Lisa Chalker| May 31st, 2016 on Showing the Love This Summer

                                                  Getting Ready for Your Summer Vacation

                                                  Regardless if you’re traveling to some exotic land or exploring the sights in the gold old US of A or even indulging in a staycation where you get acquainted with your backyard and local beaches, it goes without saying that everyone looks forward to taking a well deserved vacation. Even just the anticipation of time [...]

                                                  By Lisa Chalker| May 1st, 2016 on Getting Ready for Your Summer Vacation

                                                    Having a Plan B Can Help You Sleep At Night

                                                    Are you one of the people that have their Plan A but doesn’t bother with a Plan B or even a Plan C? I don't get it. What are you going to do if Plan A doesn’t work out like you planned and falls apart? Am I the only person that feels that having a [...]

                                                    By Lisa Chalker| April 25th, 2016|Planning| on Having a Plan B Can Help You Sleep At Night

                                                      Questions Are Your Friends

                                                        The other day I was on the receiving end of a sales call and as luck would have it I was interested in the product and what they had to offer. Notice the operative word in the preceding sentence - was - interested.  What happened? What changed? Why did I go from "am" interested [...]

                                                      By Lisa Chalker| April 1st, 2016| on Questions Are Your Friends

                                                        First Quarter is Coming to a Close. Time to Make Some Adjustments?

                                                        Uh oh…March is here and you know what that means: the end of the first quarter 2016. How did you do? Are you satisfied with the results of the past three months? Did you meet or exceed—hopefully not fail to reach—the objectives you established three months ago? Sure, it seems like yesterday that we turned [...]

                                                        By Lisa Chalker| March 23rd, 2016 on First Quarter is Coming to a Close. Time to Make Some Adjustments?

                                                          Why Everyone Needs Quiet Time

                                                          Are you busy? I bet the answer is yes! For many people their day starts very early and continues until late at night. Our calendars are jam packed with things that we MUST do along with things that we LIKE to do however when you put both together we get buried under “schedule overload.” Couple [...]

                                                          By Lisa Chalker| February 29th, 2016 on Why Everyone Needs Quiet Time

                                                            Staying Visible in a Cluttered World

                                                            Let’s face it – we’re all bombarded with an overwhelming volume of sensory input each and every day, and the truth is that we rarely get to turn it off. Calls and messages come in 24/7 alerting us by the telltale chirping of our phones and tablets. There are endless options on the TV and [...]

                                                            By Lisa Chalker| February 1st, 2016| on Staying Visible in a Cluttered World

                                                              Know Your Competition

                                                              We all have competition. Sure, there’s always that unique company that is first to market with a new and incredibly great product or service but for how long do you think they will remain unique in the marketplace? The answer is “not very long.” The truth is that all successful companies have competition and the [...]

                                                              By Lisa Chalker| January 24th, 2016| on Know Your Competition

                                                              Family Affair Distributing Gets Certified as a WBE (Woman Business Enterprise)

                                                              Massapequa, N.Y.; January 20, 2016 - Lisa Chalker, President and Founder of Family Affair Distributing has announced that she has become certified as a Woman Business Enterprise. In business since 2003, Family Affair is a promotional products company that brings highly strategic marketing programs to its vast diversity of clients that includes companies in finance, [...]

                                                              By Lisa Chalker| January 20th, 2016| on Family Affair Distributing Gets Certified as a WBE (Woman Business Enterprise)

                                                                The Top Three Tips About Goal Setting

                                                                It's the time of year that you hear a lot about goal setting. There is something about turning over a page on the calendar that makes people step back and take stock of where they are and where they want to be. But setting goals isn't the difficult part. What's much more difficult is taking [...]

                                                                By Lisa Chalker| January 6th, 2016 on The Top Three Tips About Goal Setting

                                                                  Customer Service and Sales are a Match Made in Heaven

                                                                  There is an increasingly stronger interdependence between sales and customer service and smart companies are paying close attention. I’m not referring to the global behemoths that go to battle each day to win the hearts and minds of consumers. Nope, I’m referring to you and me and all of the smaller entities that must be [...]

                                                                  By Lisa Chalker| December 20th, 2015| on Customer Service and Sales are a Match Made in Heaven

                                                                    How to Pick Yourself Up When You Are Down

                                                                    Everyone has their good days and bad days too; days when they feel like they can take over the world and days when hiding under the blanket seems to be the only answer. I’m not referring to clinical depression because that’s a totally different situation. Rather, I’m referring to days when we’re just not happy. [...]

                                                                    By Lisa Chalker| December 2nd, 2015 on How to Pick Yourself Up When You Are Down

                                                                      When to Break the Email Volley and Pick Up the Phone

                                                                      Your email “conversation”: I can meet at 9:30 on Tuesday. How about you?             No, that won’t work. How about Thursday at 11? Does that work for you?                         Nope, I’m busy but I can meet at 3PM. How about you?                                     Sorry, I’m booked all afternoon. What else looks good for you? And on [...]

                                                                      By Lisa Chalker| November 21st, 2015 on When to Break the Email Volley and Pick Up the Phone

                                                                        How to Build Your Personal Brand

                                                                        When people think about brands they are usually thinking about big companies. Procter & Gamble. At&T. Fedex. Who doesn’t know these companies? But while folks readily agree that big companies have brands we should also recognize that small companies and even solopreneurs have brands as well. After all, what is a brand? Sure it has [...]

                                                                        By Lisa Chalker| November 7th, 2015 on How to Build Your Personal Brand

                                                                          How To Say “Thank You”

                                                                          When you were a little kid, do you remember how your parents, or a teacher, or someone older and wiser would say, "Don't forget to say thank you"? You may not have realized it then, but expressing thankfulness was an important life lesson. It didn’t much matter how cute you were as a child, showing [...]

                                                                          By Lisa Chalker| October 26th, 2015 on How To Say “Thank You”

                                                                            How to Stay Focused and Productive

                                                                            Staying focused is more difficult than ever before. Cell phones and electronic devices vibrate incessantly with incoming mail, text messages, and alarms, all while the Internet and its Youtube, Wikipedia, and Buzzfeed rabbit holes serve as an ever-present distraction. Even the “business-related” media like Facebook and LinkedIn have endless opportunities to draw your attention away [...]

                                                                            By Lisa Chalker| October 5th, 2015 on How to Stay Focused and Productive

                                                                              What Makes You Unique in the Marketplace?

                                                                              In an overwhelming sea of similarity and at a time in which everyone is receiving thousands of marketing messages every day how do YOU stand out from the competition? It's a tough question isn't it? Many of us are in highly competitive businesses with competition from companies right in our own back yards as well [...]

                                                                              By Lisa Chalker| September 17th, 2015 on What Makes You Unique in the Marketplace?

                                                                                Everyone is in Sales, Even You!

                                                                                You're a receptionist and the first impressionist for the company.  You're in accounting and speak with clients about their invoices.  You're an account executive and work with clients to implement their projects.  You're the owner, President, chief of everything and you do all of the above and more. Yes, everyone is in sales. Clients are [...]

                                                                                By Lisa Chalker| September 1st, 2015 on Everyone is in Sales, Even You!

                                                                                  How to be a Good Client

                                                                                  If you’re in business at one point or another you have probably found yourself complaining about a client and saying something like this: They're difficult to work with They don’t pay on time They make too many changes to the project Their demands are unreasonable These are the clients that can make your life a [...]

                                                                                  By Lisa Chalker| August 20th, 2015 on How to be a Good Client

                                                                                    What to Do When You Hit a Sales Slump

                                                                                    We’ve all experienced it. Business is pretty darn good for quite awhile and things are rolling along nicely until all of a sudden, and seemingly out of the blue, along comes a sales slump. New clients are scarce and existing clients, well, they’ve gone dormant too. You see your revenue slowing down and predict a [...]

                                                                                    By Lisa Chalker| August 11th, 2015 on What to Do When You Hit a Sales Slump

                                                                                      5 Ways to Keep Your Staff Motivated

                                                                                      It's so difficult to get good employees. My employees always seem to run out of steam before the work is done. I wouldn't hire him again. He’s not a very good employee. Have you ever said these words? Take a good look around your office. Do your employees bolt for the door at 5PM? Is [...]

                                                                                      By Lisa Chalker| July 27th, 2015 on 5 Ways to Keep Your Staff Motivated

                                                                                        How One Big Client Can Ruin Your Business

                                                                                        Congratulations, you've finally done it. You've landed that whale of a client - the one that can make a substantial difference in your business. It's time to do the happy dance and celebrate. Or is it? One big client, especially one that takes up the majority of your time and your staff’s time as well [...]

                                                                                        By Lisa Chalker| July 8th, 2015 on How One Big Client Can Ruin Your Business

                                                                                          Three Easy Ways to Always be On Time

                                                                                          Timely…coming early or at the right time Are you timely ALL of the time?  How about MOST of the time? Most of us know if we are timely even if we don’t admit that timeliness is not something that we do well. Think about these situations: You’re in a meeting that has been running for [...]

                                                                                          By Lisa Chalker| June 15th, 2015 on Three Easy Ways to Always be On Time

                                                                                            Mistakes Happen. It’s What You Do Next That Counts.

                                                                                            One truth that can't be debated: we're all human and mistakes happen. Big mistakes and small, ones that can be rectified immediately and ones that require a bit more work to overcome – they’re all mistakes! If you've been in business for any length of time you’ve probably made a mistake or two yourself. Of [...]

                                                                                            By Lisa Chalker| June 1st, 2015 on Mistakes Happen. It’s What You Do Next That Counts.

                                                                                              Five Things You Must Do Before You Head Out on Vacation

                                                                                              It's getting to be that time. The flowers are starting to bloom, the temperatures are warmer and yes, many of us are making our vacation plans. Whether you head to the beach, travel to a new state or country or simply have a relaxing and enjoyable “stay-cation” if you’re in business there are things that [...]

                                                                                              By Lisa Chalker| May 20th, 2015

                                                                                                A Monthly Thank You…Yes, Monthly!

                                                                                                I think that we can all agree that saying thank you is an important component in business. You send a thank you, it’s received and sometimes acknowledged and then the business beat goes on. Back to business as usual and the daily grind and that thank you, well I’m sorry to say that the memory [...]

                                                                                                By Lisa Chalker| May 1st, 2015

                                                                                                  It’s Spring. Grow Your Business.

                                                                                                  Can you believe it? Spring is finally here. The days are longer, the weather warmer, the birds are singing and you are busy at work building your business, right? Right? I sure hope so. Second quarter can play a big part in helping you to grow your business. The winter doldrums have passed and everyone [...]

                                                                                                  By Lisa Chalker| April 21st, 2015

                                                                                                    Handwritten Notes? Yes, Handwritten Notes!

                                                                                                    Do you remember when email first came on the scene? I do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email Backs then (in 1993) our inboxes were rather sparsely filled and there was an almost palpable sense of excitement when we heard the little email ping with the associated “you’ve got mail.” Ah yes, the good old days. Fast forward 22 years [...]

                                                                                                    By Lisa Chalker| April 1st, 2015

                                                                                                      Seems Apparent But Here’s Why You Must Network  

                                                                                                      Networking. It’s what we small businesses do or most of us anyway. Love it or hate it, it’s part of our business landscape and for my part, I think that it is really a “must-do.” Here’s why: Networking provides you with one of the most personal, direct and immediate ways to build your business whether [...]

                                                                                                      By Lisa Chalker| March 18th, 2015

                                                                                                        5 Ways to Mend A Business Relationship

                                                                                                        You messed up. It happens. It happens to everyone because nobody is perfect. We also know that some mess-ups are really rather small and others a bit more serious; regardless, it doesn’t matter much at all because the only thing that does matter is what you do when a mess-up occurs. Yes mess-ups are a [...]

                                                                                                        By Lisa Chalker| March 2nd, 2015

                                                                                                          Marketing and Sales: A Match Made in Heaven

                                                                                                          Love and marriage, love and marriage Go together like a horse and carriage This I tell you brother You can't have one without the other Are you humming yet? And while I might be stretching the analogy just a wee bit I do feel very much the same about marketing and sales or even more [...]

                                                                                                          By Lisa Chalker| February 22nd, 2015

                                                                                                            Five Ways to Save Time

                                                                                                            Crazy isn't it. We all have these supposed time saving devices, apps and the like and now more than ever it seems that we are critically in need of more time. Perhaps it's because the Internet has made us a global community that never sleeps and with business churning 24/7 we feel as if we [...]

                                                                                                            By Lisa Chalker| February 1st, 2015

                                                                                                              It’s Almost Valentine’s Day. How Can You Show Your Clients That You LOVE Them?  

                                                                                                              It’s almost Valentine’s Day and visions of hearts and cupids, chocolate and other sweet confections fill our heads as we mull over the perfect gift to get our sweetheart. It’s a day to show our love in ways big and small and don’t forget about the cards either. Valentine’s Day provides a huge revenue bump [...]

                                                                                                              By Lisa Chalker| January 20th, 2015

                                                                                                                What to Do When You Mess Up

                                                                                                                Ooops. While none of us want to make mistakes the fact is that we humans are simply not perfect. (Don’t try to give your Mom the news. Moms think we’re perfect, don’t they:) Sometimes we’re late, don’t understand the project and do it incorrectly, send our client the incorrect materials and so on. The simple [...]

                                                                                                                By Lisa Chalker| January 2nd, 2015

                                                                                                                  Treat Your Vendors Like Your Customers

                                                                                                                  Have you ever had any of these internal conversations? I hope not but at some point or another, you quite possibly have: Gee I’m having some cash flow problems? Well, it’s okay, I can just pay ________later. I messed up and now I need the work done sooner. Well, it’s okay. If they want to [...]

                                                                                                                  By Lisa Chalker| December 2nd, 2014

                                                                                                                    Showing Gratitude is Often the Best Way to Retain Clients

                                                                                                                    We live in a fast paced world with events happening at warp speed, connected electronically 24/7 and facing stiff competition from around the world courtesy of our new BFF, the Internet. It’s enough to make your head spin. But step back for a moment, take a deep breath and relax. Close your eyes and reflect [...]

                                                                                                                    By Lisa Chalker| November 3rd, 2014

                                                                                                                      When Late is TOO Late

                                                                                                                      I always start to feel a wee bit stressed as it starts to come around to the holiday season. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays with all of their fun and festivities. What gets me stressed is the never ending need to “convince” people that NOW is the time to place their [...]

                                                                                                                      By Lisa Chalker| October 5th, 2014

                                                                                                                        Building Your Brand at Trade Shows

                                                                                                                        Yep, trade show season is upon us and the next few months will be filled with all sorts of business shows and expos, large and small, highly specialized or extremely broad but one thing is true for all of them, if you are exhibiting at a show you must make it count. This isn’t a [...]

                                                                                                                        By Lisa Chalker| September 1st, 2014

                                                                                                                          The Importance of An Apology

                                                                                                                          Let's face it. Stuff happens. You can try as hard as possible, work diligently and have all of the best intentions but there are times when despite your very best efforts, things go wrong. Sometimes it can be little things and sometimes the situation is much more problematic but yes, stuff happens even when we [...]

                                                                                                                          By Lisa Chalker| August 1st, 2014

                                                                                                                            Yes, I’m a Trusted Advisor

                                                                                                                            When we speak of “trusted advisors” we are often referring to accountants, lawyers and financial advisors and don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that’s the role that they play for many businesses. But the truth is I don’t think that these professionals are the ONLY business resources that can or should assume the moniker [...]

                                                                                                                            By Lisa Chalker| July 1st, 2014

                                                                                                                              Help, I Can’t Find My Smart Phone

                                                                                                                              Let’s face it, for better or worse, our smart phones now play a critical role in our lives. Personal or business, it hardly matters because if you look around in a restaurant or even while walking on the street, many (most!) people are staring at their tiny little screens or feverishly pecking away on their [...]

                                                                                                                              By Lisa Chalker| June 16th, 2014

                                                                                                                                Marketing and Sales ARE NOT the Same Thing

                                                                                                                                I'm a marketing professional and a firm believer that all businesses need to engage in some sort of marketing to generate recognition and visibility. And although I am very partial to promotional products (!) I appreciate the fact that there are a myriad of marketing strategies that can be deployed to help build a business. [...]

                                                                                                                                By Lisa Chalker| June 1st, 2014

                                                                                                                                  Let There Be Light

                                                                                                                                  I went to a great restaurant the other night. Really beautiful room, comfortable seating, great ambiance and well, not enough light. Sure some of us had the flashlight app on our mobile devices and yes, we could have turned the menu this way and that in order to catch the candlelight. But we didn’t have [...]

                                                                                                                                  By Lisa Chalker| May 15th, 2014

                                                                                                                                    Saying Thank You to Your BEST Customers

                                                                                                                                    I think the majority of companies would say something like this: Sure ALL of our customers are important. We treat all of them well and provide excellent customer service to each and every one of them.  At the very same time I think that most companies would agree they have customers that if not more [...]

                                                                                                                                    By Lisa Chalker| May 1st, 2014

                                                                                                                                      Can Ya Hear Me Now

                                                                                                                                      The longer that I am in business the more apparent it is to me that good listening skills, no make that EXCELLENT listening skills, is one of the most important qualities anyone in any business or profession can have. Listening. Seems simple doesn’t it but we all know that it isn’t. We know people that [...]

                                                                                                                                      By Lisa Chalker| April 4th, 2014

                                                                                                                                        It’s the Little Things

                                                                                                                                        When are the little things not so little? When they show your appreciation and gratitude When they say “thanks” and the “thanks” was truly unexpected When it comes “out of the blue” When the gesture (item, invitation, etc.) so totally “matches” the person to whom it is sent that they are “tickled pink” Little things, [...]

                                                                                                                                        By Lisa Chalker| March 16th, 2014

                                                                                                                                          What My Family Has Taught Me About Business

                                                                                                                                          I love my company, clients and the business resources with whom I network on a frequent basis.  But let me tell you whom I love more and that’s my family because truly, without their love and support I feel as if I would be lost. I know that’s a bold statement but really, it’s how [...]

                                                                                                                                          By Lisa Chalker| March 3rd, 2014

                                                                                                                                            3 Business Basics That You Can Take to the Bank

                                                                                                                                            I’ve run Family Affair Distributing for a long time and in good times and in times that are not-so-good too, there are some business basics that are fundamental to how we interact with our clients and do our business.  Here are just a few: Do the right thing. Sounds pretty self-evident, doesn’t it but you [...]

                                                                                                                                            By Lisa Chalker| January 15th, 2014

                                                                                                                                              Appreciation is a Year Round Activity

                                                                                                                                              Okay the holidays are over. Gifts received…and some returned.  Cards exchanged and good wishes shared by phone, email and text.  Yes, the New Year has begun. The slate is wiped clean and starting on January 1st, it feels as if client relationships can be more easily improved, bad feelings wiped away, vendor and employee relationships [...]

                                                                                                                                              By Lisa Chalker| January 3rd, 2014

                                                                                                                                                Budgets Are Meant to be Kept

                                                                                                                                                Don't you just hate it when you blow your budget?  Of course you do....you set a budget for a reason right. So then why do you find yourself spending more than you want to? Well, it could be because you were talked into something that cost more. Or, you couldn't take the time to source [...]

                                                                                                                                                By Lisa Chalker| December 16th, 2013

                                                                                                                                                  That’s Right! No More Stress When Buying Gifts

                                                                                                                                                  It's the season you know. Time to be jolly, indulge in seasonal festivities AND yes, show appreciation and thanks to all those that have helped you to be successful. It seems like an easy thing doesn't it? Well it seems that way but it clearly isn't, and we know that there is often stress associated [...]

                                                                                                                                                  By Lisa Chalker| December 6th, 2013

                                                                                                                                                    How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

                                                                                                                                                    It all comes down to cost, doesn't it and it's brought up in a variety of ways: How much does that cost? It costs too much. We don't have the budget. We can't afford it. It's crazy but sometimes these words come out of the prospect's mouth BEFORE there is much of a chance to [...]

                                                                                                                                                    By Lisa Chalker| December 4th, 2013

                                                                                                                                                      Loving the Season

                                                                                                                                                      I have to admit that I love this season. Fall weather, colors, sights and sounds of impending holidays that are (hopefully) filled with good cheer.  I know many of my clients are busy with family oriented activities and diversions. Me too! But in the midst of finding the “perfect” gift for a family or friend, [...]

                                                                                                                                                      By Lisa Chalker| November 8th, 2013

                                                                                                                                                        Promotional Products For That Someone Special (Or Many "Someones")

                                                                                                                                                        You don't have to thank everyone! Okay, maybe you do (!), but think about it, don't you have one, five, ten, fifty individuals that have helped you in your business, with whom you just might not have been able to do without, that you respect and admire to the highest degree. These people, these very [...]

                                                                                                                                                        By Lisa Chalker| October 19th, 2013

                                                                                                                                                          Promotional Products that Add IMMEDIATE Value

                                                                                                                                                          A few weeks ago I went to dinner at a terrific Mexican restaurant. I heard that the food was awesome and the ambiance even more so and I was excited as I settled into my seat.   My husband and I opened our menus and realized that we couldn’t possibly make sense of what was [...]

                                                                                                                                                          By Lisa Chalker| September 16th, 2013

                                                                                                                                                            Cost is No Object

                                                                                                                                                            Wow, wouldn’t it be fabulous if our clients said these four little magic words, “cost is no object.” Repeat after me…cost is no object. There, now that you’ve said these words it’s also important to understand that you might not hear ever hear them being uttered by a client! For (most) clients, cost is ALWAYS [...]

                                                                                                                                                            By Lisa Chalker| September 13th, 2013

                                                                                                                                                              News Flash: Your Promotional Products Person Should Be A Business Resource

                                                                                                                                                              The promotional products industry is highly competitive and frankly, the competition has done as much to hurt the consumer as to help them. Here’s why. Sure the competition means that you can go online and shop around (endlessly actually) but really, who has the time and energy to troll the Internet and see picture after [...]

                                                                                                                                                              By Lisa Chalker| August 6th, 2013

                                                                                                                                                                Getting New Business Is So Darn Difficult, Shouldn’t Saying Thanks Be Part of the Equation

                                                                                                                                                                Everywhere that I go I keep hearing my fellow business owners complain about just how difficult it is to win new business. Everyone seems to be working harder yet it takes ever longer to bring in new projects and these projects are often smaller than desired. Lots of complaining but then I don’t hear much [...]

                                                                                                                                                                By Lisa Chalker| August 6th, 2013