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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From Beginning to End: How We Create Your Custom Display


Creating a custom display from start to finish is an exciting, yet difficult task for a designer and a manufacturer.  Unlike a stock display store, Sharn Enterprises, Inc. builds custom displays out of various American materials and is a one-stop shop, with everything made in-house and on-site.

That is where our American made promise comes in.  Everything manufactured in our plant is Made-in-America, which helps support the local economy and provide jobs here on U.S. soil rather than overseas.  Many people also feel that American made products are of the highest quality.

That’s why we here at Sharn wanted to give you a little bit more insight on how we handle a custom display project.

Although every experience with a new or current client is different, these are the usual steps taken in order to complete a custom point-of-purchase display made just for you and your products.

Consult

A customer might have a design in mind for their custom display, or have no idea at all!  And that’s quite alright, because our designers have the experience to come up with a design idea that reflects your brand. After an initial call, we usually schedule a meeting with you to get a better idea about what you are looking for.

Shaking Hands

Conceptualize

After a meeting (either in person, Skype, or on the phone), a designer will come up with a few different display concepts according to the client’s specifications. We know you have a budget, and the designer will keep that in mind when choosing types of material and the kinds of customization required.  We use the latest AutoCAD software to create your display and render it out to make it look like it will in-store.

CADD Drawing

Estimate

After a client decides which custom display they like for their brand, we will estimate the cost of the display based on the quantities he/she may be looking to order. More often than not, the more displays ordered, the more the price per display will go down.  Below is an example of a quote we will send for your approval.

 

Three tier adjustable travel display Estimate

Prototype

Now this is the fun part.  You actually get to see your display come to life!  We manufacture your prototype in-house and then ship it to you so you can see it in person.  Does it reflect your brand?  Does it catch your eye?  Is it everything you hoped for and dreamed of? If we don’t get it right the first time, we will revise.

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Re-Engineer & Build

Sometimes your prototype is exactly what you are looking for. Other times, it needs a few revisions.  And that’s okay.  We want your display to be perfect!   If you are looking for a nip there and a tuck there, we will redesign and re-prototype until both parties reach a mutual agreement.

As you can see here, three different designs were prototyped until an agreement was met.

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Make Decisions

You decide on the display concept and prototype and place your order with us.  You choose what quantity are you looking for and when the you need the project needs to be completed by.  Our manufacturing plant starts producing your parts and puzzle is almost finished.

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Ship

When we say we are a one-stop shop, we mean it!   We fabricate a custom box for your display along with an instruction sheet for whoever is putting together the display in-store.  Once you let us know your date, the display will be ready to be filled with your product.

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So what’s stopping you from your own custom display?  Contact Sharn today to get started.  We can’t wait to work with you!

For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com.  Also, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

 Sharn Enterprises, Inc.

“A Proud American Manufacturer”

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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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5 Ways to Avoid Becoming Stale in Business


What comes to mind when you think of the word “stale”? Probably old, moldy, gross, not fit for eating, the opposite of fresh, dry, etc.

No one likes a stale piece of bread, especially if you are craving a hearty, jam-packed, fresh sandwich. The same is true in business. Boring, tiresome, and stale ideas often lead to uninteresting results.

In both B2C and B2B business, keeping ideas new and fresh will keep the customers and businesses you handle coming back for more. This is why keeping up with trends, your competitors, keeping an open mind, and bringing in new employees with different backgrounds and experiences is important.

Stale is boring. Fresh is the way to go.

Here are 5 ways to avoid becoming stale in business:

Change What’s Not Working

The example that comes to mind is our automotive industry. For many years, cars were being “built in obsolescence,” meaning they seemed to last for 5-6 years and then things would go south. Around the 1970s, companies like Toyota and other foreign car manufacturers started to be imported into the USA on a more massive scale. Those cars were deemed more reliable, fuel efficient, and longer-lasting. Thus, the automotive industry began changing. Because they did not change fast enough with the growing imports, American automakers lost significant market share.

Don’t Change Your Core Values

If your company has a mission statement and core values that were established at the time of incorporation or that have been developed over the years, stay consistent with those values. Bring these positive values to the forefront and deliver your products, services, etc., with them in mind. Your values cannot become stale unless you no longer believe in them.

Recess

Children are given recess, which allows them to get away from a subject, refresh themselves, and come back ready to learn. This philosophy should be true when it comes to a business. You cannot expect your employees to thrive unless they have a time to disconnect from their desk or workplace. Kimberly Elsbach, Management Professor at UC-Davis, says, “Never taking a break from very careful thought actually reduces your ability to be creative. It sort of exhausts your cognitive capacity and you’re not able to make the creative connections you can if your brain is more rested.”

Explore

Let’s take a look at retail and shopping. Most retail purchases are done by impulse. This means you need to get your products noticed on the shelf. How are you going to get your products noticed? By exploring, that’s how! No matter what kind of business you are in, taking the time to research, observe, and study what your competitors and related businesses are doing will give you that competitive edge. If you are a company who is in the active wear business and you want to try to get people to buy your products, you are going to try to out-do Nike, Adidas, and other similar brands on the market. Being different and refreshing catches a customer’s eye and enhances your chances of getting noticed.

Hire People Who Are Different From You

Stability in the workplace is very important, but so is change. If no one ever changes, bad habits may continue. Age and diversity of employees is just as important. Taking it back to retail, the population you sell to is diversified with varying ethnic groups, male vs. female, and tastes. If you are the leader of an organization and don’t actively get out of your comfort zone and hire people that that are different from you, you’re destined to only make decisions that appeal to you, not other people.

Do you have any additional ideas on how to stay fresh in the business world?

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Sources:

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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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6 Steps to Creating & Marketing Your Custom Product


1. Be Creative- A dull, boring product or service gets lost in the shuffle.  Create, design, and refine something that distinguishes you from the crowd.  Brainstorm with people you know as well as with strangers.  Construct a plan of action and move forward once you have a clear concept that is ready for takeoff.

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2. Do your research- As an example, if you are creating a new type of custom t-shirt, go out to stores and check out the competition.  Make sure you are not infringing on designs or copyrights of what is already out there.  See what is trending in stores and online to check out what the market is buying and selling.

3. Decide what makes you different from the rest- This is key when you are coming up with a marketing strategy to get people to buy your custom product/service.  For example, focusing on the fact that you custom manufacture everything in-house is a great selling point.  It not only helps you control your costs, but it also allows for your customer to really interact with you and help make some final decisions.

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4. Don’t Rush- Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Your custom product probably can’t be either.  Take the extra time and energy to double, triple, and quadruple check the quality of the product or service you are putting out there.  Going the extra mile always gets noticed by customers.

clock5. Thrive- Go to trade shows, do some guerilla marketing tactics, find your target market, utilize social media and run with it.  If you believe in what you are selling, other people will too.

6. Fail- All successful people know that with success comes failure.  Even Steve Jobs once failed at Apple before he came back years later and made the company the success it is today.  If this is the first ever product or service you are trying to startup, don’t let an unsuccessful first try discourage you from chasing your dream.  It’s all about trial and error.  Keep trying until you create the right recipe for success.

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For more information about our products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com, follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook!

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