Using the Binding Machine as a Realtor Marketing Tool

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With spring the housing market goes into full bloom, houses for sale, and buyers house hunting at a frenzied pace. With this competitive environment and limited resources, realtors struggle to create a distinctive point of difference with customers.

Thinking strategically, realtors on a budget can create remarkable property listings using low-cost, easy-to-use binding equipment.

Choosing The Look of Your Property Listing Design

Along with high-quality photography and a professional layout, the impression a good property listing booklet makes also comes from the quality of the binding. Selecting comb or wire binding may be adequate for some listings, but others may require the sleek look and feel of thermal binding. This is especially true for commercial property listings.

Advantages for Different Types of Binding

Comb Binding

  • Offers the flexibility to switch out pages after the document is bound
  • Ideal for bigger presentations—up to 500 pages
  • Lies flat when open for easy presentation

Wire

  • Offers a more secure, permanently bound document at a low cost
  • Lies flat when open
  • Bound pages rotate 360 degrees

 

Thermal

  • The highest quality binding, offering a book-like finish
  • The square binding edge makes it ideal for on-shelf storage
  • Lies flat for mailing. Great as a direct mail piece!

For many realtors, thermal binding is the best choice if you can incur a slightly additional cost in equipment and materials. In a review for the Helios 60 Thermal Binding Machine this realtor explains the value:

“We own a small real estate company in Park Slope Brooklyn. We purchased the thermal binder because we wanted to be able to create wire free and punch free property pitch books. The binder heats up fast and does a thorough job of adhering the glue to the pages of books. It’s quick, easy and very effective.”

 

Best Binding Machine for a Small Business

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In the digital age, small businesses still need bound documents. Brochures that promote your company, handouts for trade shows and a well-crafted business plan all require a clean, professional look on high quality stock with a durable binding. By creating these collateral pieces DIY, you can save money. Here are some tips for selecting a binding machine that will work best for your business needs.

Don’t Skimp on Binding Capacity

When shopping for your binding machine, your frugal self may lean to a smaller, personal machine. These types of machines are typically used for household projects and may not meet your professional binding demands. True, these types of machines are less expensive, but ultimately you lose time (which is money) considering the number of documents you may need to bind for a project in the future.

Choose a binding machine with a binding capacity of 120-150 pages or more for business applications. Your initial binding project may not require that many pages,  but a binding machine, like all your office equipment, is an investment in the future of your business. Anticipate bigger binding projects that will require thicker documents. While the average presentations for client meetings with numerous pages.  Though the  average length of a business plan is only about 20 pages, there will still be company brochures, product catalogs or legal service agreements in your company’s future that will definitely exceed the capacity of smaller machines. Be sure your machine has the versatility to scale with your business, handling both small and large binding projects as your business grows.

Upgrade Your Punch Capacity

Like increased binding capacity, higher punch capacity makes binding more productive. Punching more pages at once, eliminates the need to punch documents in sections, which will need to be collated later for binding. Look for a binding machine with a capacity of 20 sheets or more. Though there will be instances when you may need to produce smaller documents, you need to invest in a machine that is capable to ramp up to greater demands. You don’t want to be slowed down as you approach a critical deadline.

Centering and Alignment Guides Save Time and Frustration

Ensuring each punched document is centered can be difficult without a guide. Be sure to select a binding machine with an enhanced accuracy edge guide so you minimize the waste of mis-punched decks.

Selecting A Versatile Binding Type

Comb binding is the most commonly used for most small businesses. Combs are both affordable and durable and come in a variety of colors to make an impressive presentation. Comb binding is also extremely versatile, as the comb can be opened up after binding is complete, so pages in a report can be removed, added or switched up–a great feature that helps with last minute changes to a client-facing doc.

Utilizing Binding Cover Colors for Organization

Defining certain color themes for certain documents you present helps keep your most commonly used bound documents easily organized. When your sales reports are always represented by olive covers and your leave behinds are always blue,  your access to essential collateral pieces becomes faster and easier. Also consider matching the color of the comb binding with the cover for a completely color-coordinated look to key company show pieces.

Learn more about binding for your business.

Last Minute Deductions for Your Business

 

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As the new year approaches, it’s a good time to review any office needs so you can add those deductions as business expenses. Here are some suggestions to improve productivity for your workplace while saving money during tax season.

Upgrading Your Office Shredder

Have you noticed that you can’t make a phone call while shredding because it’s so noisy, or perhaps you are constantly tearing jammed paper from the shredder’s jaws. Or when emptying the shredder bin, you notice that the paper isn’t quite shredded, more half-eaten? These are all signs that it is time for a new office shredder.  Upgrade to an office shredder that is jam proof, quiet and sure to turn documents to dust before 2017 starts. Shredder tax deductions.

best size paper shredder

 

Adding New Business Machines to the Office

Every time there is an important presentation and you need fifty bound PowerPoints, your first thought is usually that this is an occasional need so you might as well just take the project to your local print shop for binding. If you find yourself saying this often, then you may be throwing money away on expensive outsourced binding costs when you can do it quickly and easily yourself.

Pick out a reasonably priced binding machine and create impressive presentations for every big meeting. Plus, it’s an easy business write-off. Binding Machine tax deductions.

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The same goes for those pesky laminating tasks you sometimes need. If you calculated all the costs accrued every time when you needed laminated handouts for an event or laminated badges for a trade show, you would realize how much you would save with the minor cost of an office laminating machine, which is tax deductible. Laminating Machine tax deductions.

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Flexible Storage Solutions

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As your business grows, so does the amount of paper records you may have to store. Your initial consideration may be metal filing cabinets, which are bulky and take up a lot of space. But more importantly steel cabinets aren’t flexible, offering solid but rigid records storage.

With Bankers Box file boxes, you can easily add more boxes as your business grows, move them to back rooms or easily take them to outside storage units without a lot of fuss. As some of your files get outdated, you can easily discard unneeded boxes. The perfect storage solution for any small business and an ideal deductible business cost: Bankers Box Tax Deductions.

Creating a 2017 New Year’s Resolution Journal

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The typical New Year’s resolution lasts roughly one to two months, leading to 60% in unused annual gym memberships, among other good intentions that fall to the wayside. This phenomenon is due in part that very few people can change their habits overnight. That doesn’t mean change is impossible. Taking small steps with realistic goals is attainable with a conscious, regulated modification of behavior. Try a New Year’s Resolution Journal to keep your goals on track.

A Bound Resolution Journal Records Gradual Change

Creating a resolution journal helps you be aware of gradual change. Record daily successes. Reinforce positive emotions that come with maintaining success, and if you slip, don’t beat yourself up. Forgive yourself and record in your journal how you will get back on track the following day.

Customizing Your Journal

The advantage of creating a customized journal you bind yourself, is that you can add personal comments that work specifically for you. Having a “Slip-Ups” Section on every page of your journal reminds you when you didn’t have any slip-ups, and compels you to record what feelings or events caused you to fall back on bad habits when you do.

A Rewards Page

Only with a customized bound journal can you create a rewards page for yourself. Every 14th page of your journal (every two weeks) you don’t have to record an entry. It’s a day-off to reward yourself for your long-term success. Of course, the reward shouldn’t relate to the habits you are trying to break, rather an alternative, healthy choice that helps remind you it’s not all about sacrifice.

Whether it’s weight loss or the desire to quit smoking, change shouldn’t come once a year. Your everyday resolution journal takes the pressure from overnight change and helps you gradually and effectively make improvements in your life.

Organizing a Christmas Scrapbook

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A scrapbook made with a binding machine is a fun way to remember the holiday season creatively. You can make a new scrapbook each year and store them away as keepsakes when the kids get older.  Print all the photos you take at Christmas-time and set them aside along with other mementos such as greeting cards and even the holiday crafts the kids make in school. Tell a story with your scrapbook, designating sections of your memory book with different events throughout the holiday.

Christmas Decorating

Take photos while you decorate the inside and outside of the house. Get snapshots while picking out your Christmas tree and decorating it. Also, after Christmas, rather than putting away those  homemade ornaments the kids hung on the tree, glue them into the decorating section of your scrapbook as a lasting memory.

Holiday Parties

Whether you host Christmas dinner or invite the neighbors to an informal get-together, photos of the festivities make for laughs years later. Also include party invites and even a guest list of signatures to create an impressive artifact of the event.  These items, along with recipes you served up,  create a collage that will stir fond memories when you turn to these pages in the future.

Snow Fun

Though some Christmas seasons may be a little light on snowfall, that one white Christmas makes an inviting section of your scrapbook. Snap photos of the kids building a snowman, everyone having a snowball fight in the park or the kids sledding. Don’t forget photos of those snow angels in the yard.

Opening Presents On Christmas Day

Set aside a section when the kids dig into their gifts on Christmas morning, snapping shots of piles of wrapping paper on the floor and photos of all the gifts everyone received. Include gift tags and scraps of gift paper on the pages of this section as well.

Assembling Your Scrapbook

After the busyness of the holidays has come to a close you can settle down with all the items you have collected. Select different colored papers for each section of the book and begin gluing the photos in each section. Use glitter and other notions for page décor. Give titles to each page and cut out stenciled letters to give each page charm. When you have all of your pages completed, use your binding machine to punch holes in the organized scrapbook pages. Then bind the pages. Your holiday scrapbook is complete!

For tips on binding, refer to this helpful video:

Turn Your Child’s Artwork into Gift Calendars

Does your child love to create artwork? Here is a creative way to turn those paintings and drawings into a calendar for friends and family, or just for your home office.

artwork for laminating

All you need  is:

  1. Twelve pieces of your child’s artwork on 8″x11″ paper (scan and print duplicates depending on how many calendars you need to make)
  2. A personal laminator
  3. Letter size laminating pouches
  4. Home comb or wire binding machine
  5. Comb or wire bindings ( number depends on how many calendars you need to make)
  6. 2017 calendar printouts from CalendarLabs ( number of printouts depends on how many calendars you need to make)

 

Laminating Instructions

laminator for kid's artwork

1 Decide what artwork piece fits for each month of the calendar

  1. Print each month of 2017 on high quality paper
  2. Insert each piece of artwork into a laminating pouch
  3. Insert each calendar month printout into a laminating pouch
  4. Run all 24 sheets through your home laminator

Binding Instructions

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  1. Organize artwork and calendar month sheets
  2. Punch and bind with your home binding machine

 

Repeat the process as needed to produce as many colorful and creative calendars you want for grandparents, other family members or friends.

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Creating Hands-On Marketing in a Digital Age

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With the rise of SEO and digital advertising, your internet footprint, as valuable as it is for modern communication,  leaves customers with just a glimpse of who you are, a brief message that vaporizes with the next barrage of marketing headlines online. Handing your customers collateral, believe it or not, still works. This is especially true for small businesses where an emerging reach with new customers and clients becomes more solidified with a printed piece. Creating your own marketing materials is also easy and cost-effective, helps build customer relations and doesn’t require the costs incurred from a print shop.

Types of  Collateral

The Menu of Services

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Whether you are running a beauty salon or a cake decorating business, an elegant menu of services that customers can hold in their hands is an ideal way to pull in new business opportunities by stimulating questions and engaging customers with printed content. The Menu of Services can reside in your waiting area or be a piece customers can take home after an initial visit to your storefront.

Tips for Menu of Services

  • Use quality paper stock or laminate the pages
  • Use a font that fits your brand
  • Take time writing each menu item description. Make sure it is clear and not so fun that it fails to communicate anything. Be detailed and make distinctions between menu offerings

Bind your Menu of Services with a wire binding machine. This type of binding allows the menu to be laid out flat and also makes it easy to switch up pages in the document if menu offerings change.

The Professional Leave Behind

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For sales calls and new client meetings, a professional leave behind is the ideal way to tell your company story succinctly and without a lot of fluff. A leave behind that is kept, over one that ends up in the trash after you leave, is defined by a professional look from cover to cover. Use a thermal binding system to communicate the quality of your services and indelible permanence of your company. You want your client to see your brochure as too premium to be tossed. Be sure to communicate in pictures and words what you can do for your client and how you do it.

The Customized Proposal

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When it comes time to crunch numbers in a client proposal your presentation becomes a combination of clarity, accuracy and professional look. Whether you are quoting for a contracting opportunity or a closing on a service agreement, that customized proposal needs to have all the right info and look as good as its contents, but not too high end that it looks like you might be wasteful with budgets.   High quality thermal in this instance may imply excessive spending. Show you are conservative and mindful of the bottom line. Use a comb or wire binding system when putting together your presentation so information is clear and not cluttered behind jazzy graphics or a lot of copy. The other advantages to this binding system is that documents can be laid out flat on a desk to discuss details while meeting with your prospect.

What Binding Works Best?

If you need to bind documents for your business or hobby, you will discover that there are different binding types. How to choose? After all, once you invest in  a binding machine you are committed to that binding type. Here are some tips to follow for deciding what type of binding works best for you.

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Comb

Comb binding is less expensive that other types of binding and one of the most popular ways to bind documents.  It’s the right choice  if you need pages in your bound document to lay flat. For example, a sales presentation that you need to lay open on a desk top to show a potential client important details. Also comb binding lets you remove or add pages. For restaurants, this is a easy way to change a menu without having to start with a brand new document.

Wire

Wire binding on the other hand creates a tamper-resistant, permanently bound document. If you are creating a document that is destined to stay the same, than a wire binding machine is your best choice. Rely on wire binding for creating customized calendars, or family photo books. Wire binding is also great for creating internal office manuals that need to hold up to constant handling. Like comb, wire bound documents also display flat, making them equally useful for presentations. But wire binding is much stronger, so that lasting hold on pages ensures that the document you create will be around for awhile.

Thermal

If you need to produce the most professional-looking documents, thermal binding may be your best choice. Thermal, or perfect binding, produces that book-like finish, free of punch holes. This approach is great for high end presentations. If you are making annual reports or a brochure that represents your company, a thermal bound document can deliver an impactful impression.

Unlike comb, the pages of thermal bound documents cannot be changed. So the document you create is permanent. Also both comb and wire offer a flat display advantage that thermal bound documents do not have. Essentially, high quality and a lasting impressive look is what will draw you to thermal binding.

 

A  Makerspace Guide for Librarians

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What is a makerspace? Simply put, a central location for creative endeavors. As public libraries have changed from becoming archival resource centers to interactive learning and community centers, the makerspace concept has become an important development.

Maker spaces essentially promote learning through play. In a typical makerspace you will find simple hand tools and materials to work with metal and wood.  But a makerspace is not just for tech tinkerers. Promoting artwork, a makerspace may offer drawing materials or sculpting materials from clay to crayons.

Crafts are encouraged with laminators and paper cutters for creating paper projects, or even a bevy of craft odds and ends from buttons to string for inspiration.

In the end, it’s not the equipment that is important, but rather what the overall space promotes.

If you are a librarian looking to create a makerspace, start with this list of objectives:

  • Foster play and exploration
  • Facilitate informal learning opportunities
  • Nurture peer-to-peer training
  • Work with community members as true partners, not as users or patrons
  • Develop a culture of creating as opposed to consuming.

Whatever space you develop within the library, it should encourage all of the above.

Bringing  Kids Back to Paper in the Makerspace

Crafts with paper re-engage kids with  the tactile aspects of art. An inexpensive laminator can help kids (and even adults) create fun and interesting crafts.

Make sure you get a laminator that is safe around kids and that has the versatility for lots of users.

Other Laminator Options for a Makerspace

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Callisto 125

  • Advanced system allows users to change between different pouch and document thicknesses without waiting-Great for varying pouch projects
  • Hot lamination for 3- or 5-mil pouches as well as cold pouches
  • Reverse mode disengages pouch for re-centering or removal
  • Unique HeatGuard Technology™ keeps heat inside so laminator is comfortable to touch-Keeps kids safe around the laminator
  • 12-1/2” entry width accommodates multiple document sizes
  • Ready in 5 minutes, laminates in one minute
  • Auto shut-off prevents overheating when not in use

 

Need inspiration for laminating projects? Offer these fun and free laminating templates at your Makerspace.

Reintroducing kids to paper books

A makerspace in a library also gives children the opportunity to write and illustrate their own books outside the classroom. Provide an easy to use binding machine as part of your makerspace so kids can be literary creative.

The best binding machine for a makerspace should be easy to use.

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Starlet 2 Plus

  • Light duty comb binding machine for personal use
  • Manually punches up to 12 sheets at a time
  • Binds up to 120 sheets with a 5/8” comb
  • Enhanced accuracy edge guide for pinpoint punch alignment
  • Document thickness / comb guide helps user select proper comb width

Reaching Goals in 2015 with Customized Calendars

If you have plans for 2015, goals you want to achieve, then a customized calendar becomes more than just a place to write down  appointments, it becomes an outlook of goals you are striving to reach.

Fitness Calendar

Create a custom fitness calendar to stay on track with exercise regiment. Make weight loss objectives clearly defined—boost that New Year’s Resolution!

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Finance Calendar

Getting your finances in order can be a daunting task. By determining your goals for paying down debt and mapping them out in a custom calendar, you create a discipline that helps you achieve financial freedom.

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Creating Your Custom Calendar

1. Use a program such as Microsoft Publisher which already had calendar templates in place. You can customize them to fit any of your goals.

2. Bind the calendar. Use either a comb binding or wire binding to create a flexible calendar that can go on your refrigerator ( for fitness) or over your desk ( for finance) .

What Other Custom Calendars Can You Create?

1. A Bucket List Calendar-things you want to achieve in a year, places you want to go. Make them more than just wishes. Put them in writing!

2 Sales Goal Calendar- if you are running a business, giving your sales force obtainable goals with strong incentives can be a daily reminder of what they can achieve. Clarify those sales objectives in a calendar that hangs in their cubicle or on their office wall.

3. A Personal Best Calendar-If you are an athlete than reaching new benchmarks in your performance can be very gratifying. Creating a custom calendar that gives you new personal best goals can help you reach the performance level you need for a marathon!

Need Help Choosing a Binder?

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