Monday, December 22, 2008

Year End Promotion

10% off for 8 days.

I'm starting to get catalogs for 2009 and noticing the inevitable price increases for companies trying to make up for increased transporation and production costs from the summers gas hike. Though I was pleased to find the prices lower than I thought they would be, I'm offering an ADDITIONAL discount to take advantage of 2008 pricing.

Please note the following promotions:

1. 10% off any item in the Newton Idea Catalog (which is a compilation of our best sellers in the industry) are an additional 10% off now through December 30th, 2008. If you have a copy of my 2008 idea catalog, the information is the same as the one found in the link provided.

2. 10% off any REPEAT order, even if it's not in the Newton Idea Catalog. Those who have placed any orders in 2008 can have 10% off a repeat of any published quantity of a previous order. If you intend to change artwork, artwork and order needs to be received by 12/30/08 at noon.

Orders must be placed by December 30th at NOON MST, 2008 to recieve this offer, order information and artwork due at the SAME TIME. Some restrictions apply. Call Michelle at 801.592.1101 for questions or to place your order.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What I've Done Right...Since the Startup Princess Retreat

I never got around to doing a worth while post about my amazing weekend at the Startup Princess Retreat at Zermatt - Midway, Utah.

Instead, I thought I would post about what I've done SINCE the retreat (and perhaps share a little of what I still need to do). Sometimes checking in after a few weeks is a good way to remind yourself of what you learned and see if you are putting the information to good use.  It's easy to be pumped sitting in a room full of 30 AMAZING women, but when I get back to the day-to-day it's easy to slip back into my old ways.  Do you find that too?

Here are a few things I've done right since November 8-9.

1. I updated my website with my new logo. Doesn't sound like it has much to do with marketing to women online, but I felt like that needed to be done first before I push people that direction.

2. I added my photo to my "About Us" page.  Holly Buchanan talked about how women want to shop online, but they like to see the personal side of who they are buying from.  My new headshot was taken at the retreat by Justin Hackworth.

3. I've fallen in love with twitter.  Thank you @gwenbell!  I still don't use it to promote my business as much as I should, but it's so fun to keep up with what everyone is doing.

4.  Finally, I've learned that there are some things that need to be adapted for my business.  Since Promotional Products is more of a "Business to Business" operation, I have a lot of male customers too, so not all of my marketing efforts can be focused on women.  

Now for some things I still need to do:

1. I need to make it easier to search for products on my website.  It's still hard to get to the full searchable database.

2. Though I've done a little better with my blog, I need to do A LOT better.  Some of the things I'm looking forward to doing in 2009 are: first, having a product spotlight every week, that would also be on a discount; second, more business related articles that provide value to those who check the site more often; finally, I need to figure out if I can incorporate giveaways as part of my business that would improve blog and site.

3. I need to wrap my arms around Kirtsy.  I've sent a few articles, but haven't figured out how to incorporate what I do on the blog to make it Kirtsy popular...Perhaps my business to business focused articles won't fit?  Still working through that.

4. I need to write my FULL marketing plan for 2009.  Where will I spend my money to promote my business, but more importantly, where will I spend my TIME?  I'm loving social media outlets, but need to focus my efforts and make sure I'm spending the right amount of time in the right places.
For those of you who missed out, here are a few shots that show how hands on and mentor focused this event was:

Above, Janet Meiners Thaeler consults with the team from You Can Make This

If you missed the Startup Princess Retreat - Marketing to Women Online, go to Startup Princess and sign up for the monthly emails.  They are doing 2 more retreats in 2009, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast for those who couldn't make it to Utah.  If you market to women, and since 85% of all purchases are influence by women, you can't affort to miss this valuable information.  Though my background and education are in Marketing, Advertising and PR, I know that the way I think about marketing has been forever altered.  Times have changed and the Internet has opened up new doors for spreading the word like never before.  If you haven't adjusted your marketing efforts, you may find yourself falling quickly behind.

What have you done since the retreat to change the way you promote your business?  If you didn't go to the retreat, what changes have you made to your marketing plan that are making a difference to your bottom line?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why Calendars are the 2nd Most Popular Promotional Product

Did you know that calendars are the 2nd most popular promotional product in the industry?  Why you ask?  Good promotional products should be Useful, Long Lasting and Appreciated.  Calendars definitely fit the bill.    Here is the top reason you should include calendars in your promotional product mix:

Price Per View.  Calendars are relatively inexpensive already, but when you calculate the "Price Per View", they become even cheaper.  If your calendar is selected, your customer will be looking at your calendar often daily (or for office calendars, Monday through Friday).  Say you spend $2.35 per calendar, and your customer looks at your calendar only 100 days in a year, that's only 2 cents per day (NOT TO MENTION PER VIEW)!  Can you afford NOT to have your name in front of your customers EVERY DAY?

There are a number of calendar options.  In addition to the classic appointment wall calendar you can choose pocket planner calendars, large desk calendars, magnet calendars and more.  

So, how do you pick a calendar that's right for you?  Let me tell you about some calendars orders from the past:

1. I had a home medical company buy large desk calendars to give to doctors offices and insurance offices.  That way their name, logo and contact information is in front of people who will potentially recommend their business to customers.  

2. A local insurance agency picked the magnet calendar with their picture at the top to not only keep their number handy for their customers, but they also included a picture of the employees so that customers can see them and know who they are talking to when they are on the phone.

Give me a call, I can help you select the right calendar for your business.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BIC Wide Body Pens - Buy One Get One FREE!

This is a spectacular deal from BIC. One of their most popular pens, the BIC Wide Body pen, is on a promotion for buy one get one free on quantities of 500 all the way to 10,000. (So if you want 2,500 pens, you get 2,500 FREE during this limited time offer!)

Here are the per unit costs:
500 Quanity = $1.04 each (You'll get 1,000!)
1,000 Quantity = $1.03 each (You'll get 2,000!)
2,500 Quantity = $.92 each (You'll get 5,000!)
5,000 Quantity = $.90 each (You'll get 10,000!)
10,000 Quantity = $.81 each (You'll get 20,000!)

There are a number of color options for barrels, trims and ink! See me for details!

Pricing includes a one color imprint (additional colors available for additional charge). BIC never charges for screen charges! Shipping and tax not included.

If you are intersted, call me, or email me at michelle at doodadspromotional dot com or you can phone me by going to my website and clicking on "contact us".

Don't let this deal pass you by. Offer ends December 30th, 2008!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

In Today's Economy Companies Are Choosing Holiday Cards Over Holiday Gifts

I can't believe the holidays are here.  I mean, it's November.  Where did the time go?  

I'm starting to work with customers on putting together the perfect holiday gift for clients and employees.  Already I've helped a Salt Lake City based media company finalize a USB Drive where they can put their portfolio on the drive and also give a very classy gift as well.

But, as I'm sure you know, times are tough.  They are tough for homes and companies too.  So we're finding a trend that businesses are turning to Holiday Cards to let customers know that they are thinking of them during the season.  They are sometimes cheaper, but still send the message that I care about the business relationship we've grown over the year.

The important thing is that you do something.  You don't have to spend a lot of money to say thank you at this time of year.  

According to Hallmark, customers are 66% more likely to buy from a company or vendor that sent them a holiday card.  Can you afford to loose on this business?

If I can help you find a way to celebrate and thank your clients, customers and employees for the holidays, give me a call!

I'm on Twitter

I'm on twitter...I'm always way behind on these social media networks, but thanks to gwenbell and designmom that I met at the Startup Princess retreat, I'm now Twittering.  You can find me at michelledoodads

Come see me and see for yourself what twitter can do for you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Holiday Gift Ideas

If you are looking for holiday gifts for employees and customers, take a look at these suppliers who have put together a holiday catalog with their best gift ideas.  Click on the name to see the holiday catalog.

Also, if you need holiday cards, click on the holiday cards link on the left.  And, as always, call me if you have any questions, or if you don't find what you are looking for.  I'm happy to help!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What I Learned My First Year In Business

I was asked to be a presenter at Touchpoint presented by Startup Princess. The topic I was given is "What I Learned My First Year In Business." I came up with eight items I think are essential for new business owners, though I have to say, that some of these things have been helpful in every year that I've been in business. (Doodads has been operational and running profitably for 9 years.)

Though these have been simplified for presentation and article format, each one could be a topic in an of themselves. You'll see more information on these topics in the future, but for now here are the eight things I have found to be a good place to start: (In no particular order)

1. Business Plans are Non-Negotiable: If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you plan to get there? Resources are available online, check out a book at the library, or ask an experienced friend for help.

2. Include Money for Marketing in Your First Years Budget: How do you expect people to buy your product or service if they don’t know you? I don’t know why, but many companies think of marketing and advertising as “optional” or think they will just use whatever money they have leftover. When you’re running a startup, what do you have left over?

3. Surround Yourself with Good People: Hire good people, pay money for good people, find mentors. It doesn’t just have to be one person. If you don’t know very much about finances and accounting, get good people who do. If you don’t know very much about operations and processes, find good people who do. If you don’t know very much about marketing, find good people who do.

4. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK: Be active in online groups (like and, but don’t give up on face to face networking. Go to trade shows and expos that match your product or service, join your local chamber of commerce, find networking groups. This will help you find good people, mentors and friends along your journey. It can also be an easy way to get some cheap local advertising and exposure.

5. Set Goals and Check In on Them Weekly:
a. Be realistic. If you can’t sell a million pieces in one year, then don’t make that your goal. If you can, set that as your goal. But often in your first year you’ll have goals like: find a good solid manufacturer, get my social networking going, don’t loose the house, and so much more.
b. Be specific. I use some generic examples above, but really break down your goals.
Work backwards to create your action item list. If you want to sell 500 orders in a year, what steps do you have to take to get there? Use this list to drive your daily activities, and don’t spend time on things that won’t help you reach your goals!

6. Keep Up: Keep reading, keep learning, keep up on marketing trends, keep up on business trends, subscribe to magazines that inspire you and keep you informed on your industry and your competitors.

7. Don’t give up! Believe in your passion, remember why you got into this business and remember your dreams. Times will get hard, I guarantee that, but keep track of all the good things that work, write them on a white board or keep them in a file on your computer so that you can remember the good things that happen when you feel like you are swimming in only things going wrong.

8. Prioritize: If you have a family, decide now how many hours a week you will spend on your business dreams. Are your goals in line with your priorities? Ask yourself these questions every week! Spend time in the most important areas of your business and outsource the rest.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Touchpoint: The Annual Event for Women Entreprenuers presented by Startup Princess

On Friday, September 26th, I attended Touchpoint, the annual event for women entreprenuers. I was there as an exhibitor, promoting Doodads, but I also helped founder Kelly King Anderson with the back end event coordination. This was a great event, and I was super thrilled to be involved and to attend.

Keynote speaker, Heather Madder was inspirational, and so were the other workshop presenters and panelist. The content was fantastic!

There was also an Elevator Pitch Competition, and Sarah Jane Write, of Sarah Jane Studios was the winner. She has a promising business plan, I can't wait to see what she does!
My favorite part of the day was networking with wonderful and powerful women, and I made friendships that will hopefully be mutually beneficial for the long run.

If you are feeling bummed that you missed Touchpoint, you can attend the Startup Princess Academy Retreat in November. It's a two day event discussing Marketing to Women Online. The event will be held at Zermatt resort in Midway, Utah. Gabrielle Blair of DesignMom, and Holly Buchanan, Author of The Soccer Mom Myth are being flown in for the event. It will be a top notch event, don't miss it! If you'd like to know more, leave a comment and I'll get back with you.

If you haven't yet checked out Startup Princess, I highly recommend you make it a stop on your daily website check list. The information is useful and powerful.

It's Holiday Gift Time!

It's that time of year when you want to thank friends, clients and employees for a successful year. Doodads Promotional Products can help. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting all kinds of holiday gift ideas. I also have holiday cards to choose from. If you are interested click on the banner above.

Here are some tips for choosing the right promotional product for your business during the holidays:
1. Choose something long lasting. The purpose of promotional products is to get your logo in front of clients and employees to secure your brand with your gift, don't waste your money on something people will throw away!

2. Choose something seasonal, like a sweatshirt or blanket. Or maybe a company mug. Seasonal gifts are fun and help celebrate the season!

3. Sometimes it's fun to pick a product that matches your business. Work with cars? Give an imprinted tool set. Work in education? Give imprinted dry erase markers or a memo board that can be used in a classroom or taken home.

4. Above all, choose something unique! They have lots of pens, give something that will mean something to the recipient that they will want to keep on their desks and think of you every time they see it!

Contact me today to request a catalog, or to set up a meeting to discuss your holiday gift-giving ideas!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Last Lecture

I saw the reprise on Oprah a while ago and I cried. If you haven't seen it, take 10 minutes and watch it here. (I know that there is a way to post it here, but haven't been able to do it after multiple efforts.) There is a full length version also available on YouTube.
I just finished reading the book. If you haven't, read it, even if you've seen it. I highly recommend it. It's available at, your local bookstore and you can probably check it out for free at your local library.

I loved the book. Not the best book of all time. Not the book to end all books, but a redemptive book that has helped me put my priorities together and and to motivate me to find balance in all the roles I play. I need to do that better.

Randy Pausch, the author, passed away this summer of pancreatic cancer. This book is his printed legacy, and a selection of turning points in his life. I'm sure we all have them and could write a similar book.

Anyway. I love things like this. I wish we all took advantage of the life that is ahead of each of us, however long that may be. Life was meant to be lived and my motto is "no regrets".
Have you read this book? Seen this lecture? Thoughts?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Life and Purpose

Meet Michelle. I'm an avid movie watcher, lover of 80's music, happy mother, happy wife, addicted to card making and scrapbooking, and I love business. I love it. From the time I was 11 and ran my own successfull babysitting business, I have always been interested in working for myself. That doesn't mean that I haven't been caught working for other people. It just means that being my own boss is where I thrive!

My current business venture is Doodads Promotional Products. You can find out more at I've been in business for the last 9 years helping organizations find tangible ways to advertise their business, event or cause. Promotional products are great for trade show giveaways, holiday gifts for clients and employees, incentive programs, fundraisers and more! So, if you or anyone you know are interested in taking your branding to the next level through long lasting, advertising you can touch, I'm your gal!

Startup Princess - A Hub for Women Entrepreneurs

Because I'm a business owner, and probably because I'm a member of the Provo/Orem Chamber of commerce, I receive the Utah Valley BusinessQ. It's a great publication that focuses on business related issues in the community. I was reading their summer issue when I found this article "The Basement: Startup Princess is at home home as startup queen". As a women business owner, I was immediately interested in what Startup Princess had to offer and checked the site that day. Since then, I have added it to the websites and blogs that I check daily. The information is good for my business, and even though I've been in business for 9 years, I still find some of the startup advice to be good for me. I especially appreciate the playful side of business and the positive vibe it sends to women business dreamers everywhere.

In June, I had the opportunity to be a guest blogger on the site. I quickly wrote an article that you can find here. Not my best literary work, but it got me started and I was very grateful for the exposure.

Since the article, I was given the honorary title of "Fairy Godmother", the playful term for mentors that have been in business for years.

Anyway, I'll stop blabbing about it, and let you check it out for yourself. If you are a women that owns a business or dreams of starting one, check it out today.

Do you have any sites that help you with your business that you can send my way?