Creating Small Biz DIY Shop Signs On A Budget

laminating signs for business

While in-store marketing is essential for your retail business, it doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor.  You can personalize your retail environment with laminated signs you make yourself.

Why Signs?

  • 68% of customers believe that signage reflects the quality of a business and their product
  • On average, one additional on-premise sign results in an increase in annual sales revenue of 4.75%
  • 68% of American consumers have made a purchase because a sign caught their interest
  • At-retail advertising drives additional sales 70% of the time

 

Advantages of DIY Signs for Small Business

  • Laminated signs are easy to make: a computer, a printer, a laminator, and scissors is all you really need
  • Save money- no costly sign shops or generic store-bought signs
  • Go customizable and creative- create signs that are unique to your shop’s look and feel

What Kind of Signs You May Need

Directional

Directional signage leads customers through your store and guides them to key locations

Branded

Branding your unique product offerings with a distinctive sign sets your products apart. Also, use branded signs to promote well-known brands you offer in your store.

Informational

Along with knowledgeable salespeople, easy to read signs that help customers make purchasing decisions keeps patrons engaged.

Sales

Announcing sales with window signage brings customers in. Make sale signs clear and simple with specific dollar-off or percentage off statements.

New Items

New arrivals in the store need to be promoted. Words like “fresh”, “just in” and “new” get the attention of customers.

Themes

Keeping your store environment in sync with seasons and annual events harmonizes your product offering with customer expectations. Holiday store signs remind customers of gift purchases they need to make and seasonal signs for spring and summer sales put customers in the right mood for buying.

Five Steps To Making Your Own Signs

Design

Word processing software or art software on your computer allows you create any customized sign to fit your promotional purposes. Think creatively and put yourself in the shoes of your customer when writing and designing the sign.

Print

Print the sign on your computer printer. You don’t need to use heavy stock paper, as laminating the sign will make it durable.

Laminate

Laminate the sign so it lasts. If you have frequent or seasonal sales that are similar, laminating keeps your most heavily used signs in good condition, so you don’t have to create new ones. Also, laminating is ideal for creating weather-resistant signs displayed outdoors.

Use a laminator with at least a 9″ wide entry for laminating larger documents

Cut

Trim the edges of the sign after laminating so you have a clean, crisp edge.

Display

Decide where and how you will display your sign. Dangle it from the ceiling, tape it up in your store window or display along with a grouping of products. For shelf displays, use card size laminating pouches and fasten to the edge of the shelf just beneath a special product offer.

Pouch Thickness To Use For Signs

3 mil laminating pouches are rigid and durable enough for signs. Any signs that may encounter frequent handling should be laminated with 5 mil pouches. If displayed outdoors, a more durable 10 mil pouch is best. Select from a variety of pouches.

Choosing a Laminator for Making Retail Signs

How many signs you make determines the laminator you need. Heavier usage laminators are more expensive but hold up under frequent use. For moderate laminating, the Saturn 3i 95 has received good reviews from business owners who make their own signs.

Great purchase for my business!

“Out of the box to first finished laminated sign in under 10 minutes! Easy instructions and very easy operation! I would recommend this product to anyone who needs a laminator for small-business use!”

 

Sources: Point of Purchase Advertising International

 

A Homeschooling Tool for Personalized Teaching

homeschool laminating

In his 2015 book “Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education,” veteran teacher Ken Robinson emphasizes that students learn best at their preferred speeds and in their preferred manner. Engaging them as individuals is the heart of raising achievement.”

The personalization of education is limited in the classroom setting, yet in homeschool scenarios it allows learning to thrive.

According to a 2009 study of standardized testing, homeschoolers scored in the 86th percentile, regardless of  parents’ income, amount of education, teaching credentials, and level of state regulation. Research also suggests that homeschooled kids get into college more often and do better at the university level.

Tools for Home School Personalized Teaching

Laminating Customized Flashcards

Flashcards of been a standard for teaching for many years. They engage active recall and help students self-evaluate personal progress.  On the subject of languages, 93% of teachers say that flashcards help students learn more effectively.  Yet due to costs and limited classroom budgets, flashcards provided for schools tend toward more generic subjects and the most common lesson plans.  Offering customized flash cards in a homeschool setting, allows the teacher to “learn” what engages the student most in different subjects  and create customized flashcards that fit the student’s learning path. For example, creating alphabet printables that incorporate a child’s love of animals makes the lesson more accessible. Similar free printables can be found online or created for math, science and other subjects.

Personalizing Worksheets

A creative homeschool teacher can also craft an assignment that fits a student’s daily experiences with personalized worksheets. For example, play time, crafts and other school activities can become a lesson in telling time. Laminate this telling time printable (which is dry erase, so it can be reused every day) so that activities help a student learn scheduling and  time.

By laminating the personal projects you create for your student, you provide durable learning tools that align with the student’s aspirations and interests and make learning more than just fun–they make it personal!

Select one of these personal laminators  for your homeschool teaching tools.

How Restaurants Save Money by Laminating Menus

laminating menus

Laminating menus reduces costs.

 

Running a restaurant has its share of hurdles, including the cost of supplies. The endless re-ordering of soda straws and napkins are part of doing business. Certainly, no restaurant owner wants to reduce quality by cutting costs. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize waste in the restaurant business such as paper menu reproduction. Assuming your menu remains fairly consistent, you can reduce your costs of reprinting menus by laminating them. And there are other benefits as well.

Benefits of a Laminated Menu

Durability

Overall, your paper menus, once laminated, are now completely waterproof, protecting them from customer drink spills. Also, they are resistant to stains and greasy fingerprints, tears, and wrinkles. If you analyze the cost of reordering paper menus due to this daily loss, you will soon realize the value of laminated menus. They last longer and remain durable until you change the contents.

Easy to Clean

Yes, laminated menus can be sanitized. Simply spritz with disinfectant and wipe clean. These simple measure keeps your laminated menus pristine and protects against germs transferred through contact.

Impressive Presentation

Laminated menus also enhance the vibrancy of food images with their shining surface, creating a more appealing marketing tool for your business.A nice-looking photo of an entrée or appetizer increases sales by 30%! Why not protect and enhance those succulent images with laminating?

Low Cost and Easy to Do Yourself

Lamination is DIY, which saves on print shop costs and ends the constant reordering of paper menus.

How to Create Laminated Menus

After printing your menus, enclose each one in a  3 mil menu laminating pouch. The 3 mil thickness will protect the menu from all the hazards of a messy customer or busboy including moisture and grease.

Pass each menu through your laminator. If you have a lot of menus to produce, select a laminator that heats up quickly and laminates quickly so you can get the job done. Good laminator for menu-making.  Show off your new menus to customers and enjoy the savings.

Last Minute Deductions for Your Business

 

office tax deductions

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.

comb binding for business

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.

2015 Starlet2_Plus_P_R

Flexible Storage Solutions

Bankers Box tax deduction

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.

Holiday Home Office Buying Guide: Four Unique Gifts

For those on your gift list who take their home office seriously, here are some great ideas to provide comfort and productivity.

Home office

Upgrade to an Automatic Shredder

automatic shredder for home office

Enhance productivity in the home office by automating  everyday shredding needs. The AutoMax 200C Auto Feed Shredder gives that special someone on your gift list  versatile shredding performance with 200 sheet automatic shredding and 10 sheet manual shredding. The AccuFeed Technology lets them shred hands free with a 12 minute run time. They can also shred paper clips, staples, credit cards and junk mail. A great gift for anyone who needs a better shredder.

Add Professionalism and Save Money with Personal Laminating

versatile home office laminator

End the days of expensive laminated projects at the local office center. The Saturn 3i 125 Laminator is a simple DIY laminating machine that makes durable handouts, laminated business cards and dry erase charts that bring productivity to the home office for less money. This home office laminator is the ideal gift for someone who needs occasional laminating projects and also needs to save money for their home business. The Saturn 3i 125 provides rapid one minute warm-up and  a 12/1/2″ entry for versatile document size, as well as a supply kit to get them started.

 

Improve the Air of the Home Office

home-office-air-purifier

With the winter months, the home office can get stuffy and with cold and flu season, germs circulate throughout the heating system. Time spent in the home office can make anyone sick, even when they try to sanitize surfaces and wash hands. After all, cold and flu germs linger in the air for a long time, making a home office air purifier a thoughtful gift. The AeraMax DX95 Air Purifier provides hospital type filtration, effectively cleaning the air in large rooms 300-600 square feet. Also the AeraSmart™ Sensor monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep air purified all the time. Look for the certified asthma and allergy friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America stamp of approval if someone on your Christmas list needs extra protection from allergies and asthma.

 

Toast Toes in a Chilly Home Office

8030901_climatecontrol-footrest

 

Sometimes a home office can be too warm or too cold, or both depending on the weather. If you have someone on your Christmas list with complaints of cold feet, this Climate Control Footrest will be deeply appreciated. This comfy footrest fits easily under the desk and features three temperature settings: cool fan, low heat, and high heat-so it also works great on sultry summer afternoons. The fan lets you adjust workspace airflow to suit your preference and the auto-off feature prevents overheating. They will also enjoy the surface massage bumps to help soothe their feet while they work.

Six Essential Laminating Supplies For the Office

When laminating is a regular part of your business, you certainly stock up on specific pouch sizes and thicknesses you use constantly. However there  are certain supplies that should be kept at the ready for unexpected projects.

office laminator

Business Card Pouches

Creating durable business cards to display at a service desk may not be a weekly laminating project, but when you suddenly and unexpectedly run out, a pack of glossy pouches in the supply room will come in handy.

ID Tags

Trimming down letter size laminating pouches can be a hassle, and paper tags peel and tear too easily. Keep ID tag pouches in your desk drawer to create a badge for a new employee or a visitor to a secure location of your company where proper identification is required. They come pre-punched so it is easy to attach a lanyard.

Laminating Cleaning Sheets

We often forget that the laminator needs regular cleaning. Keep cleaning sheets to extend the life of your laminator and maintain quality results for your documents.

Legal Size Laminating Pouches

That odd-sized document that needs to be laminated will not work with letter size pouches. Keep legal size laminating pouches for creating in-office signage or heavily used reference sheets that need to hold up under regular handling.

Self-Adhesive Laminating Roll

For extra large documents that won’t fit in the laminator, use self-adhesive laminating roll. No laminator is required and you can quickly and easily create laminating infographics or posters that you can cut to size.

5 mil Letter Size Pouches

Occasionally you will need extra laminated protection for a document. Three mil is good for everyday jobs, but have a pack of 5 mil available for a more durable, thicker cover. Documents like maps and spec sheets used outdoors or in dirty conditions like a factory or construction site ideally should use 5 mil thickness.

 

Creating Lasting Thanksgiving Traditions with a Home Laminator

Though it certainly doesn’t belong in the kitchen, your laminator can still help you prepare for Thanksgiving Day with easy, homemade  laminated projects. Rather than creating new disposable projects each year, laminated crafts can be cleaned up and reused year after year. A perfect way to create holiday traditions! Get the best home laminator for holiday planning. Also, stock up on laminating pouches.

Curate Family Recipes with Laminated Recipe Cards

Favorite Thanksgiving recipes can last through generations with proper care. Laminate your family recipes on these template recipe cards. Laminated, they can last through many a messy Thanksgiving kitchen prep. Keep them organized in a binder to pass on to the kids. Bring them out every year to share past holiday memories.

Thanksgiving Recipe Card

Download the Free Thanksgiving Recipe Printable

Decorate the Kid’s Table with Festive Placemats

 

Until that day when one of the kids gets to sit at the adult’s table, they will have fond memories of the kid’s table decorations and activities. Laminating place mats keeps them reusable year after year and easy to clean. Also have a coloring template handy to keep the little kids occupied.  Kids can draw, erase and draw again with the dry erase laminated coloring page.

Thanksgiving placemat   Thanksgiving Coloring Page.png

Download the Free Thanksgiving Placemats Printable

Download the Free Turkey Coloring Page Printable

Make Giving Thanks a Holiday Tradition

Set these decorative cards next to every place setting before dinner is served so each guest can reflect on why they are giving thanks this holiday. Family and friends will look forward to seeing the cards at the dinner table with each Thanksgiving. By laminating these cards, you can make them last for generations to come.

Why our you Thankful at Thanksgiving

Download the Free Giving Thanks Card Printable

In this digital age, when things come and go so quickly, it is even more important to maintain traditions that hold family together.

 

The Best Laminator for Printables

personal laminator

There is literally a free printable for everything.  Make organizing your life and home easier by using free templates and a personal laminator.

 

Get this personal laminator for printables. Then make these great printable projects!

Manage Meal Planning

free printable menu planner

Meal planning can keep dinner nutritious by ensuring you have all the food groups lined up for supper. It also ends the frustration of last-minute meal planning, which can usually lead to less healthy options. Just print and laminate this meal planner and dry erase for weekly dinner plans.

Keep Favorite Recipes Safe

free printable recipe card

Yes, the world has gone digital, so what happens to grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe? Some things need to stay on paper, so why not cherish your favorite recipes with laminated recipe cards. Pass them down to the next generation. A laminated card may be a novelty over a iPhone screen.

Organize Around the House

organizing tags

Adhesive tags tend to peel over time. But with laminated tags your info stays put so you can organize the basement or attic for fall or even the jars in your pantry.

Keep The Babysitter in the Loop

free printable info sheet

Sometimes, your cell phone number may not be enough when leaving the babysitter in charge. Provide a babysitter info sheet, so emergency numbers and your current location are always easily accessible. Just laminate so you can easily dry erase for the next night out.

 

Make Sure Everyone Shares in the Housework

printable chore chart

Teaching kids responsibility is much easier when you set a schedule and keep it.  A weekly chore chart lets everyone at home know what they need to do, no questions, no excuses. Duties can change easily, of course. Just dry erase and write in new chores and keep everyone up to date on their tasks.

Door Hangers Respect Privacy

free door hanger template

With preteens and teens, privacy becomes a priority. These fun door hangers give kids the option to let you know when they are busy with homework, just don’t feel like talking, or when they are ready to chat. Offer them door hangers to fit their mood (which changes quickly) so they know you know their privacy is important.

Create an Emergency Evacuation Map for Your Business

In the event of an emergency, a map to lead employees to safety is critical. It may be the most unnoticed sign in your office building on a day-to-day basis, but when catastrophe strikes it will become the most important. Here are some tips for creating an effective laminated map. Use general office laminators for creating evacuation maps and diagrams.

laminated evacuation map

  1. Sketch a basic layout of the office including walls and doors. You can use the drawing features on your Microsoft Office program to create a clear, illustrated document
  2. Identify a starting point. This is the “You Are Here” mark that helps the person reading the map know their bearings. The starting point is the one detail that will change, depending on how many maps you will need to post throughout the building. Every map should indicate the exact location where the person reading the map is standing.
  3. Add a compass. Show somewhere in the corner of the diagram a clearly marked four-point compass with North, South, West and East defined by bold initials.
  4. Define exit points. Emphasize the primary exits of the building in bold letters on the layout. When a person is unfamiliar with the building layout or is simply panicking in a crisis, confirming exit locations helps determine their next move.
  5. Defining a marshal area. A marshal area is a designated location well away from the building where all occupants can gather safely. This allows a head count to ensure everyone is out of the building. As not everyone will be familiar with the term “marshal area” you can simply draw a circle a distance from the diagram with the caption “safe area, go here when exiting.”
  6. Other designations. Also on your map, indicate the location of fire extinguishers using a fire extinguisher icon and first aid stations using a blue cross icon.

Laminate your map with quality laminating pouches for durability and display in heavily trafficked areas throughout the building.

How Teachers Can Deduct Classroom Supplies

How Teachers Can Deduct Classroom Supplies

Classroom organization deductions are important when teachers pay for supplies out of their own pocket. Here is a solution. Continue reading

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