What do we do?

What do we do?
We DO custom caps!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

To talk or not to talk....


Sometimes it pays to keep your mouth shut.  Listening to what someone else has to say can be more powerful than saying anything at all.  We all want to be heard, and if you give others the opportunity to speak they will love you for it.  Nobody likes people who dominate the conversation with their jokes or opinions or is thining about their own agenda as you talk.   I see salesmen do that quite often - rather than listening to their customer, they are thinking about how they will sell their product.  In doing that, you miss subtle but very important information on what your customer is actually feeling.

Saying less can also make what you say more powerful when you actually do speak.  I tend to be someone who talks a lot, and makes dozens of jokes in any given conversation.  This leads me to say something dumb or embarrassing pretty regularly.  Or I might ask a question that they have already answered, but my focus was somewhere else.   If I am an active listener, I tend to put my foot in my mouth less and less.    Listening is a skill and I am working on it.  I just haven't mastered it yet!

The biggest thing I have learned about listening is to actually care about the conversation and not be thinking ahead on how I will answer or joke about the subject matter.   Instead of waiting until it is my turn to talk, I try to take sincere interest in what the other person is saying.  If you are genuinely interested in what someone has to say it comes across and they notice.  It may seem like common sense, but if you think back to your recent conversations I bet you paid attention less than you realize.  So stop talking and start listening - you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.
 
 
eStyle Drew
805-363-9700

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tolerance - too much or too little?

Are we more tolerant as a society these days? I’ve been thinking about this question over the past few days and honestly do not have an answer. We are definitely more aware than we were in the past. The dos and don’ts of social behavior are pretty well known. In media, I can think of dozens of people who have negatively affected their careers because of something they have said or done via the social network. Due to social media, everyone is under the microscope on a smaller scale.


I can’t tell if we are actually more tolerant of things or just scared of being in a confrontation.  Perhaps we are just indifferent to what is happening. It seems like any time a serious issue comes up in conversation we seem to be walking on egg shells around the other person hoping not to offend anyone. As we become more accepting of people (and poor service and quality), we have engaged less in the conversation. This doesn’t just go for social issues it happens in our personal and work lives as well. Are we going soft or is this tolerance at work? On the other hand, has indifference crept into our lives in so many areas that we automatically block out unacceptable behavior?

In particular, look at customers and quality of service. How often do we ignore poor service from companies and individuals because we have come to expect poor performance and are not surprised when we get it? We actually seem to be more surprised at outstanding service than at horrific experiences! Well, the more we tolerate the bad the more bad we seem to find.

Perhaps it's time to demand a higher standard in all we do and expect to receive it as well.  When we don't - COMPLAIN!  Sometimes tolerance can be seen as complacency - and complacency is not our friend!

eStyleDrew - 815-363-9700

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Email hide-a-way

It used to be that people relied upon voice mail to screen out unwanted conversations. While still in use, it is both primitive and limiting.

Technology has provided an even more limiting filter for unwanted communication in the form of email. While there are substantial benefits in compressing and accelerating communication with the proper use of email, more and more users have constructed a barrier with email and are limiting direct contact through the email stream. Despite the many advantages of emails (and I am an incorrigible user) I find myself having numerous back and forth emails to cover a simple point that could be more effectively completed with one phone call. You know, actually talking person to person.

It might help us to remember that each email should have a point and it is ok to decide its purpose and whether actually talking with someone might better accomplish your goal.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Compromise.....

"It doesn't matter if it is a black cat or a white cat, as long as it catches the mouse." Deng Xiao Ping

As I read through my morning reading in the little book "It's Never Too Late" (by patrick lindsey), I learn today about the power of compromise.  All too often, I feel like it is either my way or the highway, and I fail to see the benefit of listening to another opinion and then compromising my position.   As long as I have an end goal in mind, it pays to adapt and try different ways to achieve that goal.  As stated in the book, things are rarely black or white, most lie somewhere in the grey center. 

Today, my eyes will be open to different opportunities and different ways to reach my goals.  Perhaps today, it will pay to be different!

Faye Haber  815-861-2967

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Drew's Olympic Dream - to be or not to be.....

At about 1pm on Saturday morning I found myself watching fencing. I had never watched it before and didn’t even know the rules. By 2pm I was standing up yelling at the referees. I love the Olympics. In fact I am borderline obsessed. I spent 3 hours on Saturday afternoon googling fencing equipment and rules to find out what it would take to become a world class fencer. By 4pm I was figuring out how to improve my breast stroke and power cleans. This completely irrational behavior happens to me once every two years, every time the Olympics come around. 2 years ago I was calling up friends looking for three other guys to make a four man bobsled team. Every two or three hours I change the sport I am going to medal in.

The sad part is I am 24 now, the prime of most Olympians careers, and I have yet to settle on my sport. I know I will never medal in anything. I am sure I will forget about my fencing dreams by the end of the closing ceremonies. However, isn’t that what sets me apart from great Olympians? They pick what they want to do when they are around 7 or 8 and they train unthinkable hours, move to different cities to get elite coaching, and in some cases sacrifice their entire childhood all for one chance at a medal.

By the time we see them it is in an Olympic final. All the sacrifices that have been made have been done behind closed doors and out of our sight. Win or lose you know your witnessing a moment these people will never forget, or rethink thousands of times for the rest of their lives. When you become an Olympian you open yourself up for the entire world, you have the weight of a country on your back. All your life’s work comes down to one ten minute stretch on a random summer night. The stakes just don’t get any higher than an Olympic final. That’s what makes it so great.

eStyleDrew    815-363-9700

Friday, July 20, 2012

Needless Violence

Just a short note to share a couple of thoughts I have regarding the escalating violence in America.  It is time for all of us to begin participating in making our country a better and safer place to live.  Less violent computer games, less TV watching, less racial profiling, less stress - more family time, more vacations, more random acts of kindness and more compassion to our fellow man (and woman).  We need to stop hopeing that someone else will fix our country (i.e. politicans, big business) and lean towards more ways that we can improve our own little piece of the pie.  It's frightening to see our children being taken, our schools on lockdown, workplace violence and a fear to go to some place as innocuous as a movie theatre.  Let's put a stop to violence in America one person at a time!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is a problem or is it an opportunity?

I am tired of listening to comments from people saying that a problem is just an opportunity waiting to happen.  It is true - a problem can be made into an opportunity.  However, sometimes the only result from a bad situation is to clean it up as neatly as you can and hope that it doesn't come back to haunt you in the future.  The goal there is to LEARN from that experience and not let it happen again.  At that point, you are doing damage control to avoid losing a customer and/or their business.

There IS an advantage to every adversity.  However; not necessarily for the person experiencing the adversity.  In addition, successful resolution of an adversity and creation of an opportunity both depend on action - not thought.  For some people, visualizing the outcome to be successful is the reason they will hang on to their problems.  Visualing and then ACTING on the steps necessary to turn the adversity to their advantage is the hallmark of successful people.

Faye Haber  815.861.2967

Monday, June 4, 2012

Are you EXCITED about your job?


Having a positive attitude and mindset is a good thing to cultivate in business!  I know it sounds cliché, but it is the truth. Recently I have been making a lot of cold calls for new business and I have come to realize that attitude is a huge part of success in this field. The mood you are in and how you sound is a big factor in how willing the person on the other end is to listen to you.  This principle can pretty much be applied to any job or task.

It can be hard to keep your energy up all day when hearing voicemail after voicemail with no returned calls, but it is important to remain positive.  Try not to take it personally - but do keep in mind that the person on the other end may be busy, may not be in the office or just might not have the same sense of urgency about the call.     

Attitude is one of the few things you can control about your workday. Nobody else can determine how you will respond to each situation.. So turn that frown upside down and be positive, it goes a long way!

eStyleDrew   815.363.9700

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Initiative...who me?

One of the best skills someone can have in business and, more importantly, in life, is taking initiative. People who do things without being asked are the ones who get ahead. It is such a simple skill to have but it saves an incredible amount of time. Employees who take initiative cut out the middle men of communication and are often highly trusted.


These people are often the most valuable in the workplace. As a manager, they are the people you want working for you. They often think outside the box, come up with new productive ways of doing business, and pay for themselves in the short and long-term with their ideas and work ethic.

It is commonly thought that taking initiative is a mindset; someone either has it or doesn’t have it. I tend to think that taking initiative has a lot to do with your level of interest in what you are doing. If you are passionate about your job it becomes second nature. When you are doing something that you are NOT passionate about,  you will have to take the first step by doing some extra research on your own time and finding things about what you are doing that you do like. Not everyone is going to love every aspect about their job and/or life. If you find something you do like and work a little harder in the areas you are not as strong in - you can still find success!

eStyle Drew - 815.363.9700

Thursday, May 3, 2012

LEADING Edge Customer Service - Empower

To be effective in customer service, the company must EMPOWER it's employees to be poised to serve and to immediately respond to the customers' issues.  Through proper training, each employee should be authorized to provide solutions.  CSR's salvage damaged relationships and protect your company's investment.  What matters more is your Customer Service Rep's personal ATTITUDE...

E = Empower

Stay turned for tomorrow's blog on

A = Attitude!!!!

excerp from my brochure on LEADing Edge Customer Service

Faye

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

LEADing Edge Customer Service

Earning the loyalty of your customers is the result of consistently offering quality service. Being there when they need help and making sure you help them should be your number one priority! It requires that you LISTEN with the intent to understand. In customer service situations, listening skills hold the key to satisfying customers. Before you can solve customers' problems, you must understand them. Listen for words and concepts; listen for facts and emotion; listen for problems and solutions - which are often embedded in the information the customer gives you.

 L=Listen

Stay tuned tomorrow for E = Empower!!!!

 (excerpts from my brochure on LEADing Edge Customer service) Send an email to faye@estylecaps.com if you would like a copy!

 Faye

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fun

Is there room for fun in building a business? Is it necessary to work 18 hour days and give up those nights and weekends? Personally, I think there is plenty of room for fun. Working more hours does not mean that you are a more dedicated employee - only that you are unorganized and your day has alot of wasted time (email, texting, meetings). Or, maybe your personal priorities are out of order. Zig Ziegler once asked what you would do if someone gave you a free vacation to where ever you want to go if you could leave tomorrow. Would you say "NO" I have work to do - or would you get it all done in the time allotted? Granted there are times when an 18 hour day is necessary - new product launches, business meetings and sales trips, to name a few... I would say that maybe you don't WANT to be doing something other than working. The alternatives might not be to your liking. If so, evaluate your life and see what you might want to change and fix it! I love my job, but I love my family and personal time too. While my customers are very important to me - family time needs to be scheduled as well. eStyle Caps is based on the premise that work is FUN, customers are a priority and adversity is a LESSON. Room for thought here. My opinion and my opinion ONLY! Faye Haber (President) 815-861-2967

Monday, April 2, 2012

GAPS

We all have gaps as people and there are some things we simply cannot do well. For me it’s spelling. I think I am on the Mt. Rushmore of bad spellers. I have at least one time a week where spell check does not even know the word is I am trying to spell. Everyone has a theory about why I am so bad, I’ve been accused of being dyslexic and lazy. To that I say, I am not dyslexic….. At my elementary school there were two spelling groups. Every week we had a pre-test to see if you would be in the good group or the bad group for the week. Every week I ended up in the bad group. The bad group, which consisted of the poor spellers, had a terrible stigma attached to it. Oh the politics of 2nd grade. One week I decided to cheat on the pre-test to get into the good spelling group. This was a great idea until Friday, when I had to take the hard spelling test. I learned my lesson the hard way in the form of a D-. There is a saying that “nobody’s perfect” and as overused as it is, it’s true. The important thing to know about your “gaps” is it’s not the end of the world. Despite my glaring spelling deficiency I graduated college. I’ve realized that my poor spelling is not going to stop me from achieving what I want to. Accepting your gaps and figuring out ways to fill them as best you can is all you can do. eStyleDrew - 815-363-9700

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tiger Woods

At some time in everyone’s life they have been counted out or doubted. Handling this adversity is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Many people are driven by the fear that is associated with doubt, and others let it rule them. Sometimes all that separates the great from the average is undying belief in themselves. A perfect example of this is Tiger Woods. In the last few years no one has received more criticism and doubt than Woods. His off the course transgressions caused sponsors to drop him, fans to hate him, and analysts to doubt his ability to win. His body started to fail him with a variety of nagging injuries that included a knee surgery that kept him out of action for months. Everything that could go wrong for Woods did. However, one thing remained the same, his undying belief in himself and his ability. Yesterday after a 3 year drought Tiger Woods won his first PGA tournament. It was his 72nd win in his career. At the start of the season Woods was the 50th ranked golfer in the world, now he is 6th. The betting odds for the Masters came out today and Woods is the early favorite to win. Woods’ marital transgressions and injuries could have been the end of one of the greatest careers in the history of golf. It seems however after yesterday’s win it was just a brief intermission in his pursuit to become the best. Anyone who has ever been wildly successful has faced long odds. Each step of the way there will be a different set of challenges and a different set of doubters. As Woods and many others have proved, believing in yourself is the most important tool you can have when trying to achieve your goals. eStyleDrew 815-363-9700

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

To do or not to do....obligations!

The other day I was talking to a friend who was stressed about her day. It seemed like everything around her was going wrong. On top of everything she had a lunch commitment and a pile of work to catch up on. I would have just cancelled the lunch appointment and tried to do as much catch up work as possible. However, she followed through and some of the day's problems worked themselves out. For some reason this got me to thinking about the way I handle these kinds of days. Although I would have cancelled just to take one less thing off my plate, I realized it would not be the right thing to do. The more I thought about it the more I realized that going to that lunch appointment was more important than I thought, and it helped me come to a few conclusions. Regardless of how stressful your days are or how many different things you have going on, it is important to follow through with your commitments. Being a person people can count on to be on time and be where they are supposed to be is very important. This reliability is what helps build trust which is a strong foundation of all relationships, both personal and business related. eStyleDrew 815-363-9700

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Customization...!

Customers these days want to control their own experiences. Whether it is going on a vacation or buying clothes, if you can customize it, people want it! That is what we do here at eStyle Caps - we find out what our customer wants and design it to their specifications. The most gratifying part about customizing is taking an idea and making it into a creation. This is what sets up a part from other manufacturing companies - we don't manufacture, we conceptualize. We dream. We design. And then we manufacture....! We have lots of fun doing it. Understanding our customers is a big part of customization. Without a proper dialogue between the customer and us, there inevitably will be a problem and something will be lost in translation. Having a good reputation for fixing a problem when it occurs is invaluable in customization. Because a lot of what we do is unique and uncharted, problems do arise. But fixing it to the customer's satisfaction is key. And making sure the customer understands the pitfalls we may face is also important. We are constantly tweaking the shape, size and fit of our caps to fit our customer’s needs. If we did not have an open and honest back and forth, we would not have nearly the success we have had over the past six years. With the market changing so much these days, customization is going to be one of the few constants. Regardless of what technologies are invented there is always going to be a need for the customer to feel in control and to stand out from their competition. eStyleDrew! 815-363-9700

Monday, March 5, 2012

Time Management

In work and in life, time management is a very important part of being productive. Often times, the difference in getting a simple task done is leaving enough time in the day for it. Off the top of my head, I can think of numerous times a week I put something off because I haven’t left enough time in my day to do it. An important part of managing your time is prioritizing your daily tasks. I like to make a list every morning of all the things I have to do. The list keeps me focused and gets me in a daily routine. Every time I check something off the list I feel a sense of accomplishment. It also keeps me organized. I tend to start multiple things at once and never give my full attention to one project. This can be problematic because I lose focus and miss small details which can be very important. My approach may not work for you but coming up with your own way of managing your time is very important. At the end of the day if I have managed my time well I feel like I am closer to accomplishing my goals. eStyleDrew - 815-363-9700

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Accountability

In life and in business we are always making decisions and/or choices. Some are very easy to make, others are not. Regardless of the size or type of decision we make, there are going to be consequences. People today just don’t seem to be willing to accept those consequences. When faced with a decision that does not go their way, many people try and figure out a way to avoid the consequences either by making an excuse, avoiding the issue or pushing the blame off on something or someone else. The biggest way to stop this is to hold yourself accountable. You should hold yourself to the highest standard. Accountability for decisions and choices is something that is lost on a good majority of people. Some people have the idea that “as long as I don’t take the heat for the mistake I am ok”. Not good. Blaming others for bad decisions will get you nowhere. Everyone makes mistakes, but in my opinion, it seems like people are not willing to admit it. "It's not my job man" or "it's not my fault" are common retorts when confronted with the bad decision and/or choice. Nobody is perfect, and by not holding yourself accountable for your mistakes you are becoming part of a bigger problem and are not using the unfortunate choice as a reason to grow and learn from that mistake. eStyleDrew!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bigger is Not Necessarily Better!

In the early 2000’s it seemed that businesses were trending toward the moniker that “bigger is better”. With retailers selling items in bulk amounts and providing discounts for larger volumes, the consumer couldn’t help but fall into this trap. However, in today’s economy where so many businesses are struggling and people are being more cautious about where to spend their discretionary dollars - we are seeing a trend in quality over quantity. Bigger is not always better and that is what many successful companies have proved. As a consumer, I know I want the best product or the most convenient package - not the biggest. When I spend my hard earned money, I will get a brand I trust, not some generic package that has more content that I either won't use, or will go bad before I do use it. Consumers trend toward this way of thinking, forward-thinking companies are adjusting. More is not always better. As more and more consumers trend toward this way of thinking companies are adjusting. eStyle Drew 815-363-9700

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.....

Sometimes we are so driven that we forget to stop and "smell the roses". Life takes us in 100 different directions - customers are needy, employees need training and moral support, plus challenges and opportunities tend to pile up faster than we can handle them. But - in the grand scheme of things, what is most important about this day? Small daily crises, or the big picture - we are alive and well AND the sun is shining. We are doing the best we can given whatever situation arises. We tend to take our jobs so seriously, that we don't see the humor and beauty in every given day. Take time to "smell the roses", and life's little challenges will fall into perspective. Your family, customers and employees will appreciate it!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wow, I notice a TREND!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I notice a trend! I have been in my business for about 15 years. At the time I started, the push was for high volume, commodity aerosol over caps. Price was prime - there was no such thing as a purchasing agent willing to pay more than he/she had to. Products and molds were outsourced because the prices were much cheaper than the products made in the USA. Slowly but surely, that trend is changing. Now, more and more customers are looking for the unique and innovative products to accentuate their brand names. They would like to see their products made in America AND, the big and, they are willing to pay a bit more for the privilege. My company is young, but has grown in double digits over the last five years (yes, even during the "recession"). What we offer is service, speed to market and innovation. That, my friends, is the name of the game for the new millenium.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

You want what? When? WOW!

Recently I’ve noticed a very disturbing trend. That is, in this day of instant messaging and smart phones, response times are not getting any faster. As a matter of fact, as people are getting more and more overloaded with requests for their time, response times are getting a lot slower. Customer service is what makes businesses go from average to above average. With all the interconnectivity in the world today shouldn’t people be responding to questions faster and faster? It seems like in the smart phone age, customer service should be improving tenfold. I am not seeing that happen. "Leave your name and number, I'll get back to you as quickly as possible". That translates to NEVER. "I need a quote now" - that does not mean a week from now. Because of the reliance on expedited communications, companies have assumed that faster communication automatically increases productivity and have consequently reduced the number of people capable of providing customer service. The outcome is that more demand for customer service has arisen from this ease of communication and simultaneously the number of people capable of fulfillment has decreased. Moving forward, hopefully all companies improve their customer service, and excellent customer service becomes a standard not an exception. Drew and Faye

Friday, February 3, 2012

Too connected?

I was thinking, as I set up eStyle's Facebook page, LinkedIn business profile and Twitter, if it isn't possible that we are TOO connected. Because of the use of social media and smart phones, contact is just a text or email away. Everything, it seems, is important. Gone are the days where you kept an idea in your head until you actually had time to think about it and then talk about it. Nowadays, we tweet, text or facebook that thought immediately - without giving it time to set in our head and decide how we wanted to present that idea. Sometimes an instant reaction to something isn't necessary or even wise. As a matter of fact, sometimes you should let a day or two go by before you answer a problem, because in two days....it might not still be a problem! We are a society of instant gratification. Speed to market is a company's ace in the hole. But in going for speed, sometimes you lose sight of the total picture and get bogged down by answering tweets, comments, emails - etc. Take a few moments to really brainstorm and think your thoughts through. It WILL benefit you in the long run and save alot of angst from your partners (and/or team). Faye

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The times, they are a'changing....

Innovation is something all the best companies have. Companies like Apple and Nike are constantly updating their products and creating new ways to reach their customers. Not all companies are as big but they can still figure out ways to be innovative and creative on a smaller budget. Success comes when companies are thinking two and three moves ahead. Successful companies are always able to reinvent themselves and stay ahead of the times. There are many different ways to do so especially in today’s day and age. The big thing in today’s economy is social media. What if any value does it give us? Is there a dollar amount that each “likes”, “follower”, “friend”, gives us. Innovating new ways to reach customers and make new products is something each company must do in order to grow. How will you stay ahead of your competition? Drew H. Customer/Sales Support 815.363.9700