Memorial Day 2016


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Many people in the workforce think of the Memorial Day holiday as a three day weekend. Most go on a short weekend vacation with their family, have a barbecue, and depending on the weather, may even enjoy a day at the pool. There is just one issue with this… That’s not what Memorial Day is all about. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the fallen soldiers in our armed forces. It’s a day to say thank you to those who fight for our country, and a day to look at the American Flag in a much different way than we normally do.

In 1971, Congress passed the National Holiday Act of 1971 to ensure a three-day weekend for federal holidays. Memorial Day is now celebrated by almost every state on the last Monday in May. Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who served—in wartime or peacetime—and whether they died or survived.

Red-poppies

The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day (not Veterans Day). The origin of the red poppy as a modern-day symbol of this day was actually the idea of Moina Michael. (Read more about the inspiration for the poppy.)

In war-torn battlefields, the red field poppy  was one of the first plants to grow. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground is disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting during World War 1.

Today, poppies are both the symbol of loss of life as a symbol of recovery and new life, especially in support of those servicemen who were damaged physically or emotionally.

 Because we are a veteran-run business, Sharn Enterprises, Inc., we would like to encourage everyone to take some time out during their barbecues, boating trips, and day at the pool to remember those who have given their lives fighting for us so that we have the opportunity to pursue all the wonderful things life in America has to offer.

In observance of Memorial Day, Sharn Enterprises will be closed on Monday, May 30, 2016.

To learn more about our Company, its products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com

“A proud American manufacturer”

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13 Things You Should Know About B2B Marketing


On October 1st, 2014, I had the pleasure of attending the small business seminar entitled, “It’s not about you, it’s about Bacon!”  Hosted by Old Plank Trail Bank in Frankfort, IL, the keynote speaker was Brian Basilico.

Not only is Brian a college professor, he runs his own B2B marketing business and attends over 20 networking events every month.   Why does he do it?  Because Brian loves to learn.  Although a teacher, he takes everything he does and learns from it.

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Brian offered great advice on B2B marketing as well entertained us by keeping things real.  Here are some of the key points I learned from this event that may be beneficial to your business’s marketing efforts:

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  1. Relationships are the currency of business.
    1. People do business with people they know, like, and trust.
  2. The most shared items on the internet involve Kittens and Bacon.
  3. Flipboard is an application you can use to turn your social media postings into a digital magazine.
  4. Listen to people twice as much as you talk (you have two ears and one mouth, for a reason!)
  5. Take pictures of others and share them on your own social media platforms.
  6. Edu-tain and info-tain on social media- Be active and responsive.
    1. Pictures increase engagement by 70%.
    2. Don’t post just about your business.
    3. Have fun.
    4. Be authentic.
  7. Social media is the medium, social networking is the relationship.
  8. Gaining Trust: Give 100% of yourself 100% of the time and expect nothing in return.
  9. Recommend someone else on LinkedIn out of the blue- Just because!
  10. LinkedIn is wide open property, unlike Yelp. You can copy and paste reviews about your business or yourself on flyers, brochures, etc.
  11. Great content is KING!
  12. On a website, a person spends on average 3 clicks and 2 minutes.
  13. Differentiate yourself from others and find what makes you more “connectable.”

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We thank Old Plank Trail Bank in Frankfort, IL for hosting this event.  With advice from Brian Basilico and as well as my own experiences, I am excited to delve deeper into the world of B2B marketing!

-Stephanie Shostok, Designer/Account Representative at Sharn Enterprises, Inc

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A Sense of Humor


First of all, managing a business is not funny — It’s hard work!

We have orders to ship, vendors to pay, employee issues, time constraints, and so it goes, on and on. We worry about whether or not we are profitable or just digging a bigger financial hole to climb out of. We wonder if we are keeping all of our customers happy, and if they will keep coming back to us.

Yeah – that’s a lot to worry about, and I have observed over the years that the temperament of the “boss” can make a bad situation worse, or it can often turn things around and make them better.

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In my opinion, a boss with a good sense of humor goes a long way to minimizing many of these problems.  He or she tends to set the tone for the entire work force.  Remember, being the “boss” doesn’t mean that you are the only one who cares about these things.  Unless you have done just a miserable job of hiring your employees, you can rest assured that your employees also care about sales, the customers, vendors, and especially a stable work environment. After all, unless they plan to win the lottery, they need their jobs, and you need their labor, their skill and their trust.

So my advice to you is — be serious about your business, just don’t take yourself too seriously!

Roger Wandersee, President of Sharn Enterprises, Inc

For more information on our products and services, make sure to check out our website, http://www.sharndisplays.com

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Going back to school as a returning adult…..and the value of an internship


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Making the conscious decision to go back to school as an adult was never a hard decision for me.  What can make it difficult are all the outside factors that always seemed to get in the way.  There always seemed to be an excuse such as:  children, summer, sports, vacation, finances, work, family obligations…life!  You name it, and I found a reason not to take that initial step.  You see, I was one of those girls who graduated from High School (number nine in my class), who got a job working in downtown Chicago because that’s what everyone in my neighborhood did, and at that time jobs were plentiful.  I managed to get myself to college for the first year, and I loved it. But then that thing called “life” happened; my Dad had passed away, and I ended up coming home to help out with the family.  With all that being said, I never made it back to school.imagesCACFSI79

Fast forward 20 years, I’m a Mother of 2 teenage girls, and the economy is pretty awful.  Let’s be brutally honest, it’s hard to get a decent paying job without some type of higher education.  The competition is stiff, and age was not on my side.  I almost had no choice, and I figured if I’m going to do this, I’m going to choose what I want to study…. especially if I’m paying for it!

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A couple of years later, here I am writing my last blog for Sharn Enterprises.  I’m their Marketing intern and within a couple of weeks I will receive my Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Summa Cum Laude.  It has been quite the juggling act going back to school. I learned very fast how to delegate, and balance my time because as we all know; the world doesn’t stop just because I need to do a research paper.  I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve typed a paper in the middle of five baskets of laundry, prepared dinner on the fly, or missed a family obligation because of a group study, or presentation that was due.   It seemed that to me, my house was always in disarray, but this is where my family came in.  I won’t lie; I had a great support system. My family not only understood the importance of higher learning, they encouraged it.  After all the hard work, and yes, even some tears, I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.  In the end, I want my children to know that even though Mom went to school and worked, she can still be a good Mom.  I can’t wait for my two daughters to see me walk across that stage.   It will be an emotional day for me, in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

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My name is Lynne Donegan, and I’m a Marketing Intern for Sharn Enterprises.  Sharn is a manufacturer of POP displays.    Some of you might ask ….well what is a POP display?  I thought the same thing when I applied for this internship.  I actually “Googled” it before I went on the interview.  A POP display is a specialized form of sales promotion that is found in all retail stores. They are intended to draw the customers’ attention to a particular product.  Sharn is American small business at its finest.  They have been in business for over 38 years and all of their displays are manufactured in their shop in Frankfort, IL.   Yes…Made in America! 

I would love to obtain a position as a marketing/communications coordinator.  Thank you Sharn Enterprises for giving me the opportunity to learn about your business and strengthening my skills in marketing and social media.  The knowledge I’ve gained, well, you just can’t put a price tag on it.

Sharn Enterprises

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www.sharndisplays.com

815-464-9715

Hope is not a plan…….


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Hope is not a plan

As this year is quickly coming to a close, we look forward to a terrific 2013 for Sharn Enterprises!

We are not just “hoping” for a good year in 2013, we have been planning for that good year for a number of months now.  You see, if you’re just kind of crossing your fingers, hoping that the economy picks up, that your existing customers will still buy from you, that Washington doesn’t do anything destructive to the economy, or small business, you’re off to a bad start.   And, if you’re just wishing for good luck, then I remind you about this famous quotation:

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity

Strategic-Planning[1]

Here are just a couple of important points that we have been thinking about, and would like to share with you.

  1. Obviously, try to set realistic goals.  Recognize that any business has both strengths and weaknesses.  Most businesses also have their particular product and sales niches.  So consider how to emphasize your company’s strengths to get more sales, and work on improving any negatives. Drop what’s not working for you and move on.
  2. Sales are the most important part of any business, so begin the planning there.  Consider your overall marketing strategy for 2013.  What approaches will you take? Here are just a few to consider:  internet marketing, traditional print media, snail mail, telemarketing, or even a face to face meeting.     
  3. Make business planning a weekly event.  You just can’t establish plans in January and try to stick with them throughout the entire year.  Your plans need to be reviewed each week to see how you’re doing, and then “tweaked” as circumstances change.  We find that two of the most important things to review each, and every week are the amount of  your incoming sales compared to your forecast, as well as a weekly cash flow analysis.  We suggest you start there.
  4. Don’t just make do; if there is a piece of equipment in your plant (or office) that’s not running properly, bite the bullet and get it repaired or replaced.  The overall inefficiency and irritation of just making do isn’t worth the aggravation and expense.
  5. Finally… Network! Network! Network!  Get out and talk to your existing customers.  Visit or join other organizations where you can meet new people.  Go to industry trade shows.  That very next person that you meet might just become your biggest customer!

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There certainly are a lot of other planning ideas to consider that I have not listed here, but these are among the most important ones to begin with.  Perhaps you have some unique ideas that you would like to pass on for the benefit of everyone else.  Please feel free to do that.       

We at Sharn Enterprises want to wish you a very happy New Year!

http://www.sharndisplays.com

815-464-9715

 

The Sharn Advantage


Why you should choose Sharn for your product display needs

Because of our 35 years of experience in the POP  industry, we can provide your business with more economical ways to manufacture displays.  This results in lower costs to you, while giving you exactly what you want to promote to your brand.

While we realize that cost is an important factor, so is maximizing the space that your retailer allows you to have.  Because your display will be custom-made for your specific product, it will allow for the maximum amount of items in the smallest space possible, which in turn will yield a positive return on investment (ROI).   

Sharn offers free design assistance as well as nominally priced prototyping services.  We offer a wide array of materials, and eye-popping colors, in every size imaginable.  All displays are manufactured in our plant, and custom-made specifically for you.  Obviously, you won’t get that with “standard” stock displays.

Your display will arrive in as little as 3 to 4 weeks.   You can also order smaller quantities of what you need, resulting in less investment, and less time on your part.

We are a proud U.S. manufacturer, and a “privately owned” company who can offer you unique flexibility regarding lead times, pricing and terms.  Sharn is “Made in the USA” at its finest.

To get an idea of what we can do for you, please visit our website at http://www.SharnDisplays.com or call us at (815) 464-9715.

Give us a try, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Halloween and its History


THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN

Some Interesting Facts About Halloween

BOO!  Halloween, also known as “all hallows eve” is just around the corner.

Did you know that Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”).  The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter.

The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops (Halloween History).  This festival would frequently involve bonfires.  It is also believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which then attracted the bats.      Masks and costumes were also worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.  So, you can probably envision how this is all came together.

Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century.  It wasn’t until 1947, after the war had ended, that things really took off, especially in the 70s, 80s and 90s.  In the new millennium, marketing for Halloween is only second behind Christmas, with Halloween shops popping up, as fast as the July 4th holiday is over.

Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving pumpkins.

Over the years we’ve gained some knowledge that I would like to share with you when it comes to trick or treating:

  • Young children should always go trick-or-treating with an adult.
  • Never have your children trick-or-treat alone. Have at least 2 buddies go with them.
  • Be very cautious of strangers.
  • Accept treats only in the doorway. Never go inside a house.
  • Be sure and say thank you for your treats.
  • Visit only houses where the lights are on.
  • Cross the street at the corner or in a cross walk.
  • Take a cellular phone with you if possible.
  • Carry a flashlight.

So, on behalf of all the employees at Sharn Enterprises, we would like to wish you a safe, fun, and Happy Halloween

The Monster Mash-Enjoy!

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