Dog Dislikes Printer Cat

Most people got a laugh out of the cat beating up the printer in my post from last week. This dog, however, seemed disturbed.

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Are Your Operations Manuals Secure?

One of the ironies of the ‘digital age’ is that we print more on paper than ever before.

One of the items that companies use and cling to, even when they have electronic versions, is the old fashioned Operations Manual.

I’m a digital native – I spend a ton of time on my iphone or laptop but I still carry around the 3-ring binder for our Printsmith software platform. The reasons are simple:

  • No WIFI needed for my binder
  • I can carry the binder with me anywhere
  • I can write notes in the margins
  • My computer is a crowded space – I know I can get info from my binder quickly

I find that this is true for most companies. We recently did an operations manual project for Showhomes, a franchised home staging company based here in Nashville. Like all franchise companies, they tightly guard their trade secrets and operations manuals. This is the essence of what a franchisee purchases when they buy a franchise so security for the manuals is something they think about a lot.

Like many companies, they have an online manual but saw that staff and owners needed a hard copy. Some people, like myself, just learn better with a hard copy handy. The problem is this: what is to stop someone from copying the binder?

The solution we came up with for them was: we printed a number of unique manuals. Each manual has an embedded watermark on each page and the watermark for each manual is different. Showhomes keeps a log of the manual they assign to staff and franchisees.

This way, if someone copied a page, they would know where the leak occurred. The unique watermarks keep most people honest and give Showhomes the ability to tell a judge that they took reasonable steps to protect their system.

If you work in a industry, like franchising, where you need paper copies and you need them to be secure, how safe are your trade secrets?

Angie Ryan, Reprographic Pro 615-509-3192

#Follow Friday

It’s Follow Friday!

If you are a twitter user, follow me: @reprographicpro

Part of using twitter is learning how to network and a really useful twitter tradition (as if twitter is old enough for traditions) is recommending people you follow. Usually this comes across twitter as a tweet that looks like this:

#FF or #Follow Friday: @reprographicpro @showhomesthomas @debce

Who understands what that means? There is not any information as to why you should follow these people. Who are they? What do they do?

I’m going to follow a blogging best practice and list interesting people I think you should follow and explain who they are and why you should follow them every week.  Here are the #follow Friday follows for today:

@debce – Deb Evans is the CEO of Computer Explorers a franchise company that teaches computer skills to children. We are both learning how to blog together and I appreciate that she likes to beat up on her printer.

@oakwoodcleaners – Surendra Kumar because he runs a green dry cleaning business that is good for the environment and he sits next to me in church!

@thefutureofjazz – Chris Nochowicz  an amazing photographer based here in Nashville and his radio show The Future Of Jazz is on the air. 1 – 3 pm Central Time USA at 91.1 WRVU Nashville or streaming the globe at

Have a great Friday!

NFL Fantasy Files: The Best Players

It may be an off year for Tennessee and and awful start for the Titans but it sure is nice to fantasize about players who actually have skillz:

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Once People Get to Know Me, They Like Me

“Once people get to know me, they like me.”  – Neil Postman

How often do you make a real connection with people you meet in your business day? When was the last time a client or vendor made eye contact, shook your hand and earned your trust?

I make a point to do this every day. It’s part of my philosophy about treating people the way I want to be treated. I’m not a salesperson and I don’t push people but I do help run a business and I have to ask for business all the time. How do you do this without scaring people away?

I think you build trust. In person, I do this by making eye contact, shaking hands, listening and asking lots of questions. I like people and I like helping the people I work with.

Online, though, this is a lot harder. How do you connect with someone if you can’t make eye contact with them? How do you build trust if you can’t sit down in their office and learn more about them?

Is it possible to build trust online in 140 characters or less???

What do you think?

Cat Beating up Printer

It’s not only humans that want to pound on printers…..

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Apology and Holes

Molly Ivans has a quote I really like: ‘The rule of holes is: when you are in one, stop digging.”

This is soooo true!

Often we make mistakes. In fact, part of being driven and customer focused is that you move fast with a high sense of urgency. Customers need this. Work teams need this too.

The down side is you make mistakes. Even the best of us.

Chris Brogan wrote something I’ve been thinking of in his Trust Agents book:

The Three A’s of Apology:

A #1 – Acknowelge: admit you made a mistake

A#2 – Apologize: Say you are sorry. Don’t rationalize or editorialize it, just say “I’m sorry.”

A#3 – Act: do something to make things right.

This works – like I say to my kids, being honest is always the best way to dig your way out of a hole and often, if you display honesty and work hard to fix a problem, you’ll end up with lifelong customers simply because they trust you.

Give it a try!