5 Ways Being a Former Athlete Translates Into Your Professional Life


Growing up, sports were always a major part of my everyday life.  From playing t-ball as a six year-old, to playing collegiate volleyball, my days revolved around practices, scrimmages, tournaments; all of the above.  Reflecting back at my past world, I realize that being involved in sports not only helped me transition into to the professional world, they taught me valuable skills I currently utilize and will continue to develop long into my career.  Here are five ways being a former athlete translates into your professional life:

1. You know the importance of being on time… all too well. 

I remember one morning waking up late for a volleyball practice in college because I set my alarm for PM instead of AM.  I woke up in a panic at 6:05 am when practice started promptly at 6:00am.  I jumped sky-high out of bed, threw on my glasses and sped to the gym.  When I got there, I knew exactly what was waiting for me: sprints.  I ran those sprints and promised myself from that day on to always double-check my alarm clock before going to bed.

This same principle goes into effect when you are in the professional world.  You may not have to run sprints if you are late for a meeting, but it throws off the entire team.  Your punishment may come in missing out on important details or even losing a sale.  Punctuality showcases respect for your own time, and more importantly, other people’s time.

2. You are competitive.

You know that practice makes perfect, and that it was all worth it when game time came.  Your desire to win was evident and you wanted to be the best athlete you could be.  The same goes for your professional life.  Being competitive is a fundamental part of growing in your position and career.   It shows that you have drive, ambition, goals, and tenacity.  Employers want to see this side of you, and being in sports previously fosters this skill.

3. You know how to win, and you know how to lose.

You have lost the big game in regionals, you have messed up on a play, and you have had your good and bad days.  The best part about it is that you know how to use those experiences as opportunities to learn, and grow for the next challenge.  You keep trying and never give up on the things that matter most.  You also know that there will more opportunities to get yourself a win, if you do lose.

4. You are a team player.

You have been on a team all of your life and know that if your teammate does well, the whole team does well.  Same principle applies in the workforce.  If there is a large project that has to be worked on as a unit, you know how to extend your hand and offer support.  You know that if the project goes well, then the whole entire company does well.

5. You communicate.

In volleyball, you have to call “mine” when the ball is coming towards you to let the other players know you are going to take it.  When there was no communication between me and my other teammates while on the court, the ball dropped right in the middle of us.  Speaking up and allowing a fluid transmittal of communication not only helps make the play, but also leads the team to success.  Same rule applies in a company.

What if you assumed your co-worker finished the project you were working on together, when he/she didn’t?  The figurative ball was dropped and the project didn’t get finished.  Now you have an unhappy boss. You know that simple updates, the effective flow of communication leads to better results.

Here at Sharn, we know the value of the above skills.  We strive to be on time, be competitive with our prices, be team players, and communicate with our customers and clients.  We design custom point-of-purchase displays for retail, so our communication is vital.  We want to win your business, and being a company with former athletes as employees, we stop at nothing to earn it!

Interested in our products or services?  Visit http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715!

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Father’s Day 2015: 8 Gift Ideas for Dad


Back on July 10th, 1910, the governor of Washington decided to proclaim the first ever “Father’s Day.”  However, it was not until Mother’s Day became a nationally recognized holiday that Father’s Day became official 58 years later.  Every third Sunday in June, families celebrate that special guy in their life and show their appreciation through actions as well as gifts.  Most fathers claim that they are easy to please, but on the inside, they would love a thoughtful present.  That’s why we here at Sharn Enterprises have come up with a list of possible gift ideas for dad that will make his day special, while showing you some of our exceptional POP custom displays.

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1. Golf Gear

Do you have a dad that loves to relax on the weekends by heading to the green?  Any dad who loves golf would appreciate a specialty club, some new golf balls, gloves, golf shirt, or even a golf towel.  These gifts would be a great idea for any dad who is active and has been itching to take a weekend getaway to the nearest golf course.

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2. Leather Goods

Do you have a dad that double as a businessman?  Does he like the finer things in life?  Then maybe your pops will like a new leather wallet or belt.  More practical than flashy, a fresh, new accessory will allow your dad to practice the saying, “out with the old, in with the new.”

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3. Power Tools

A good gift for the handyman in your life would be a brand new power tool or even tool chest, which would make any father feel useful as well as appreciated.  This gift will hit all the bases, but just make sure your dad knows how to use them safely!

10.7 Power Tool Display

4. Watches

Does your dad have trouble remembering schedules and being on time?  A new watch might be a good idea for a dad like likes to be on trend, but also might need extra help in the time department (Mom will thank you for this one!)

4-Piece Watch Display

5. Fishing Gear 

Does your dad love the outdoors?  Then a simple, go-to gift maybe some fishing and hunting gear.  Head to the nearest Bass Pro Shops (or another outdoorsy store like Cabela’s) and incorporate your dad’s personal style into your picks.  He will appreciate the thought as well as rock the coolest fishing pole of the bunch on his next big trip.

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6. Music Gear

Does your dad like to sing or have jam sessions?  A dad with an ear for music might enjoy a new guitar, picks for his current guitar, speakers, or new headphones.  Not only will you bring out his creative side, you can enjoy the tunes together!

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7. Electronics

Is your dad always on top of the electronics game?  Splurge on a HD big screen for his man cave, a new remote control, or even a speaker system.  Any of these options will definitely gain you the title of “favorite.”

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8.  Spirits 

Is your dad a connoisseur of fine wine and spirits?  Purchasing dad a nice bottle of his favorite alcoholic beverage might be a nice idea for the father who likes to take a load off and enjoy a drink on a night off.

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No matter what category your dad fits into, (sporty, classic, rugged, professional or musical) there is always a perfect gift out there for your father or grandfather.  We encourage you to spend time with your family, especially your dad.  The jack-of-all-trades in your life deserves something that will make him smile and feel appreciated on that third Sunday in June.  Father’s Day 2015 is officially June 21st, so start planning!

We hope you enjoyed seeing a few samples of our custom displays and hope we can serve you in the future.

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An Ode To Mom! Mother’s Day 2015


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This upcoming Sunday, May 10th, is a special day to women all over the world… Any guesses what it could be?

It’s Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is a celebration in which we honor mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.

Although, this day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, here in the United States, we know it to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Mother’s Day began in the United States in the early 20th century.  The holiday was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia.  She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States, which became successful in 1914. Anna Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and its now celebrated all over the world.

So, this Mother’s Day, be sure to tell your mother, grandmother, or maternal figure just how special they are to you.  From picking up our clothes off the floor, to being the shoulder we can lean on, Moms are the real deal (and make it look so easy!)

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us here at Sharn Enterprises.

Looking for a special gift? Check out our friends at Mavi Bandz for a unique headband that is functional, yet stylish!

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Website: http://www.mavibandz.com

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Sharn Hits the High Notes at GlobalShop 2015


GlobalShop is a one-of-a-kind retail trade show, and the Sharn Enterprises, Inc. team experienced that first hand while in Las Vegas exhibiting at the show last week.

Connecting the retail design industry every year since 1993, GlobalShop features an enormous show floor filled with innovations for visual merchandising, shopper marketing, and the newest products for store design and fixturing.  Thus, the decision to exhibit was a no-brainer.

But those who have arranged for a trade show know, the preparation involved is not an easy task.  From booking flights and hotels, to ordering booth materials, to actual shipping materials to the show booth, there’s a lot of detail and project management that goes into exhibiting.  But when it’s all said and done, the work involved is completely worth it, and Sharn is excited to reap those benefits.

GlobalShop as a whole is the premiere retail “place to be” and Stephanie Shostok, Designer and Account Representative at Sharn, knows that the show will help cultivate current and future business ventures.

“You might say four months of preparation for three days is crazy, but it has to be done to make sure all the puzzle pieces fit.  The best part is talking with people who have no idea about Sharn Enterprises, and then making them excited to work with us; it makes everything worth it.”

After three days of working the booth, connecting with potential new customers, and reconnecting with past customers, there’s obvious reasons why a B2B retail company attends a trade show of this magnitude.  The high-quality displays Sharn decided to bring to Globalshop really caught the eye of industry professionals, who noted the craftsmanship and American-made quality our displays translated to the consumer.

GlobalShop brings the retail design community under one roof and there is no doubt Sharn is looking ahead and excited to foster the relationships built at this annual trade show.  See you next year, Vegas!

For more information about Sharn’s products and services, make sure to check out http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715.

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Presidents’ Day 2015


Presidents Day

With Presidents’ Day today, Monday, February 16th, we need to all take a step back and think what Presidents’ Day is all about.  Yes, most of us view it as a day off school or off work, but what is the real meaning behind Presidents’ Day?

Presidents’ Day was established back in 1885.  Surprisingly enough, it was not always known as “Presidents’ Day”.  This day was originally created to honor George Washington’s birthday and was celebrated on his exact birthday, February 22nd.  This became the first holiday to celebrate the life of an individual American that is classified as a national federal bank holiday.  The date did not become known as ‘Presidents’ Day until after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was an attempt to create more three-day weekend’s for the nation’s workers.  Although the third Monday in February is still listed as “Washington’s birthday” on official calendars, Presidents’ Day is now known as a day to celebrate all United States Presidents, past and present.  Presidents’ Day is used by many patriotic and historical groups as a date for staging celebrations, reenactments, and other such events.

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Many states require that their public schools spend the days leading up to Presidents’ Day teaching their students about the accomplishments of the presidents, often with the focus on the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who happen to be the most recognized leaders.  Abraham Lincoln is often named the number one most influential president due to his actions leading to the abolition of slavery.  Lincoln is then followed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with his recognition in leadership throughout World War II and his hard work to end the Great Depression.  The third most influential president known is, George Washington for becoming the first president of the United States, setting the precedents that would be later followed by other presidents.

So, from here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc, we encourage everyone to remember and celebrate the past and present presidents of the United States this Presidents’ Day.

After all, we are a proud American manufacturer!

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For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com

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Personal & Business Resolutions: 7 Ways To Reach Your Goal


Deciding what kind of resolution to make at the beginning of the New Year is not an easy task.   One might even decide not to make a resolution because they know they will break it right off the bat!  But this year…This year is going to be different.

You have to dive in head first, and the first step is to really reflect on what you want to achieve and not let yourself fall off the wagon.  Because what really is a resolution?  It’s a solution to a problem you are trying to fix.

Reach-goals

Your resolution may be to lose weight, get a promotion or maybe just to spend more time with your family.  But achieving a goal like any of the former isn’t an easy feat.  My mother always told me a good piece of advice when trying to reach a goal, “You can’t rise to the top of the ladder without hitting a few rungs.”

That’s why, whether a business or personal New Year’s resolution, take these things consideration.

Make a plan of success

Think about your resolution carefully and write down the steps you will need to take to reach your goal.  For example, if your goal is a promotion, maybe decide to stay later at work to complete a new project or  set a goal to finish your to-do list every single day.  Coming up with a plan will allow you to see the future and what is next in your professional and personal life.

Resolutions

Set realistic expectations

Let’s say you want to lose weight. You can’t set your goal to lose 100 pounds because you will not see results quick enough.  That is why making mini-goals for yourself is a must.  Try setting a goal for 2-3 pounds each week, which is healthy, and actually do-able.  You will be more likely stick to the program if you see the small results, rather than having that 100 pound huge number looming in the back of your mind.

Write down your resolution, EVERYWHERE!

Keep a reminder in your phone, write your resolution with a dry erase marker on your mirror, or keep a post-it note in your purse.  These constant reminders will keep you from forgetting the goal, especially during a time where you feel as though you need extra motivation.

Don’t look back

As easy as it may be, do not fall back into the same patterns you were in before. Success rarely comes from comfort zones!

But forgive yourself

If you fall off the wagon and are unmotivated one day, don’t let that discourage you from your success. Everyone has off days, but it’s the people that power through the hard times that reach their goal.

Celebrate

Once you hit your target or maintain your resolution, whether it happens in weeks or a year from now; treat yourself to something you love to do. Having a reward to look forward to gives you an extra boost of encouragement and keeps you on the right track.

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Sharn’s goal in 2015 is to grow our business by continuing to treat our customers, employees, and vendors fairly and with the respect they deserve.

For more information on our products and services, make sure to check out www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715 with inquiries.

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Retail 2014: A Look Back into the Year of the Consumer


2014

2014 was the year of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Pharrell’s “Happy”, Disney’s “Frozen”, and the infamous Oscar selfie featuring Ellen Degeneres, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and other famous celebs.  On the other hand, in the world of retail, 2014 could be labeled as the year of the consumer experience. 

No matter where, when, how and why a person purchased a product, it was all about the process being fast, easy, and simplified.  There is no doubt that consumers expect the best of the best when it comes to customer service and experts across the board say that currently, “the power has shifted from retailers to consumers,” and the customers are calling the shots.  They have won the battle of pricing, shipping, and overall satisfaction when it comes to a purchase decision (BWP Group).

And there’s no stopping this trend.  Americans are consistently shopping and the numbers are growing.  The amount of total spending has risen this year, around 0.7% in November despite feeble Black Friday sales (Census Retail Sales Report).

With the constant evolution of the consumer experience, there is no doubt that growth in technology, social media, customization, and more will continue.

Here’s a list of the top most memorable moments in retail for 2014:

Apple Pay

Who would have thought we would be reaching a time where a smartphone doubles as a wallet?  Officially introduced on September 9, 2014, Apple Pay could possibly become the norm within a few years span.  But some critics are uncommitted in the matter, stating, “The world today is still in an early adoption phase with regard to new payment methods and mobile wallets, and retailers still have to contend with EMV and mag-stripe data and advanced threats” (Gothard).

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Others suggest it will take much longer to become the standard way of pay.  Currently, only 220,000 stores have the point-of-sale terminals that can accept contact-less payments like Apply Pay.  Even though that may sound like a lot of stores, it is not as widespread as it could be, leaving out the other 6 million retail stores nationwide (Forbes).

The fact is, Apple pay is out there, and it’s a possible revolution in the world of the digital payment.

Job Stability

Retail is growing and so are the jobs in the industry.

In fact, statistics from 2014 show that there are 3,793,621 million retail establishments that provide 42 million jobs.  The industry also supports 5 million logistics jobs, 4 million management jobs, 2 million health care and service jobs, 2 million finance, insurance, and real estate jobs, and 800,000 technology jobs (NRF).

Chief Economist of the National Retail Federation, Jack Kleinhenz, said, “The economy is progressing toward sustainable growth with employment gains key to improved confidence and self-reinforcing economic growth.”  That growth can be seen this past October as well, with over 22,000 jobs added to the retail industry (NRF).

E-Commerce

Currently, 85% of people state that their mobile device is a central part of their lives.  That device along with other forms of online e-commerce is increasing.  According to Forrester’s May 2014 research, U.S. retail sales are expected to grow from $263 billion (2013) to $414 billion (2018), at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5%.

A recent survey also found 63% of consumers planned to use a laptop or home computer to make purchases or research items this past holiday 2014 season, up 16 percentage points from last year (Accenture).

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In strictly online sales this past Black Friday and Thanksgiving 2014, consumers set new online records with $1.33 billion and $2.4 billion in sales, respectively (MarketingLand.com).

Taking a look at e-commerce powerhouse, Amazon, you can purchase items with the utmost of ease.  With the Amazon Prime feature, consumers can purchase a single item with a click of a button.  If you have not heard about Amazon Prime, it is Amazon’s shipping service where for a yearly fee, as a member, you get free shipping on any item you buy within that year; no matter how many items you buy, big or small.   That’s a huge incentive to buy different products online without hassle.

Smart Service

The self-service theme was also huge in 2014.  According to RetailCustomerExperience.com, self-service kiosks empower customers, create opportunities to up-sell, increase time for staff to provide personal service, and simplify the supply chain (2014).  Just look at the current collection of self-service machines.  This includes express checkouts at grocery stores, the Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine, almost all frozen yogurt shops, DIY check-outs in hotels, and many more.  Smart service is an incentive for the consumer (saving time) and the retailers (saving money) and there is no doubt the self-service trend is here to stay.

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Technology Expansion

Have you seen more iPads in stores or sales associates holding them, ready and eager to help?   These iPads as well as your own mobile devices encourage interactivity, engagement and social sharing inside the store environment.

In addition, Walmart’s new smartphone apps made a splash in the world of technology and retail this year.  According to the mega-retailer, its “app-wielding customers make twice the shopping trips per month and spend 40% more than non-app users” (Fast Company).  With those types of numbers, it’s certain that Walmart’s smartphone efforts are effective.  Other ideas and improvements the area of shopping marketing at Walmart in the future include, “the ability to guide customers (via GPS) directly to products in its cavernous stores, and even let them skip the checkout line and scan and pay for items with their smartphones” (2014).  Sounds appealing, right?

Another technological advantage is a retail store knowing that a consumer is currently at their location and texting a promotion right to his/her smartphone.  Does this take it too far?  In our opinion, it is scary but satisfying.  Having a store know you are inside it and showing promotions takes the guess-work out of looking up the sales on one’s own.  The downside for consumers?  You spend money you might have not spent.  The upside for retailers?  More sales.

Social Media Madness

This year, Target launched “Awesome Shop” which is a site that showcases the store’s best reviewed and most pinned items.  The “Awesome Shop” idea was formulated with Pinterest in the back of the developer’s minds.  Target sent out a press release with their clearly stated goal.

“This curated crop of trending items is a shoppable visual catalog that inspires gift ideas and helps you discover cool stuff that everyone currently loves” (Target).

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Going onto “Awesome Shop” gives the consumer the feel of a bulletin board, with the functionality of an online store.   Similarly to Pinterest, those people who visit “Awesome Shop” can see what is the most sought after and trending gifts, helping shoppers feel more connected in more than one space (VendHQ).

Speaking of Pinterest, the social media platform is leading the pack when it comes to influencing purchase decisions.  In fashion and retail, 18% of content engagement on the site is driven by brands.  Pinterest shoppers also spend significantly more per checkout, averaging between $140-$180 per order.  They also own America’s trust; 81% of US consumers trust information and advice from Pinterest (DigiDay).

Mass Customization

People loved their custom-made products in 2014.  Whether it was etching a name into a drinking glass or a cutting board (check out our friends at Words With Boards), we saw the rise in custom-for-you sales.  DIY e-commerce and custom-made website, Etsy, surpassed $1 billion in sales in 2013, and we are still waiting to hear the stats for 2014.  2014 was the year we moved out of the era of the “mass and the cheap,” and into the age of “luxury and made for me” (Now and Next).

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About Sharn Enterprises, Inc:

Sharn Enterprises, Inc is no stranger to the lover of a custom product.  Since 1974, we have been designing and manufacturing custom displays for retail environments.  Our clients and customers realize that a stock display just doesn’t cut it when it comes to selling products in brick and mortar stores.  If you are looking for a custom permanent or semi-permanent point-of-purchase display for your products or retail store, check us out at www.sharndisplays.com!

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Sources:

http://www.vendhq.com/retail-trends-and-predictions

https://nrf.com/advocacy/retails-impact

http://useconomy.about.com/od/demand/f/Retail-sales-statistics.htm

http://multichannelmerchant.com/marketing/channel-integration/5-retail-customer-experience-predictions-2014-05022014/#_

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/409194316117812688/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2014/12/16/apple-pay-gets-more-bank-support-but-it-still-needs-a-lot-more-stores-to-succeed/

http://m.computing.nqlnginx.incbase.net/ctg/news/2364439/will-apple-pay-finally-make-digital-payments-the-norm

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/10-surprising-facts-about-modern-consumers

http://marketingland.com/black-cyber-weekend-boom-much-109474

http://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/static_media/filer_public/98/1e/981e019a-d765-4708-8450-bcb2f94461fc/four-benefits-for-retailers-and-customers-from-self-service-kiosks_to-launch.pdf

http://www.eater.com/2014/10/30/7131597/technology-restaurant-increase-diners-approve-apps-tablets

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/10/26/Retailers-use-smartphones-and-other-smart-devices-to-upgrade-shopping/stories/201410260062

https://nrf.com/news/retail-industry-adds-22100-jobs-october

http://www.exacttarget.com/sites/exacttarget/files/deliverables/etmc-2014mobilebehaviorreport.pdf

http://marketingland.com/pew-72-percent-of-smartphone-owners-used-devices-while-shopping-in-stores-32195

http://footwearblog.magiconline.com/content/offering-product-customization-right-your-business