ASTRA Can Increase Sales

By sharing ideas and pooling business resources, independent retailers, manufacturers, and sales representatives who sell toys can help each other thrive in the marketplace, according to Kimberly Mosley, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). This is a fundamental principle that has guided the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) since its founding more than 25 years ago. The vision behind ASTRA’s founding was “we are mighty together.” Many ASTRA members extend thee same helpfulnews they offer their customers to their fellow store owners. The ways that ASTRA retailers share “what works” ranges from the online ASTRA Connects community …

5 Tips for Today’s Freelance Entrepreneur

(BPT) – From millennials who have been grinding away in the workplace for a few years to Gen Xers looking to move out of their cube, many have been intrigued by the possibility of freelancing. It means the freedom to set your own hours, to work closely with clients, to be your own boss and have greater control over your career. According to Forbes, there are 53 million freelancers in America today, and by 2020, it’s estimated that half of the workforce will be doing freelance work, whether full time, as a part-time gig or as their side hustle. Unlike …

Three Unexpected Freight Issues Facing American Companies

In today’s hyper-competitive shipping industry, even a small overhead reduction can mean the difference between profit and disaster, while a late or non-compliant delivery can keep supply chain managers popping antacids like candy. The bad news? Due to three different challenges, things are about to get even more hectic. As tracked by FTR, 2018 has already seen record market demand due to tight shipping capacities and limited driver supply. The new controversial ELD mandate is also likely to drive shipping rates even higher. And Walmart’s “no error” OTIF initiative is set to cause serious shipper stress. As of late 2017, only 10% …

Business travel on the rise for women: Road warrior gives 5 tips for traveling like a boss

(BPT) – When it comes to business travel, more women are taking to the road and sky to get to their destinations. In fact, women account for 47 percent of all business travel worldwide, reports the Global Business Travel Association. With female business travel on the rise, many brands are taking note of this growing consumer group. This year, Hertz is continuing its heritage of supporting the needs of female road warriors through award-winning customer service with its new “Her in Hertz” campaign. Before your next trip, take note of these savvy travel tips and expert advice from frequent traveler …

Retailers find purpose and share it with customers

(BPT) – Ninety-six percent of Americans are now shopping online, according to a recent study from CPC Strategy. Building meaningful connections with local communities is one way to captivate today’s consumer, says Etienne Veber, president of Field Trip Factory, a firm that helps design, schedule and promotes interactive learning experiences within retail environments. “Technology provides greater convenience and lower prices,” Veber says, “but it is not a replacement for human interactions.” The value of purpose When companies express a sense of purpose to their customers, it has a profound effect on confidence in the brand. Eighty-five percent of companies with …

Now that the taxes are files, give your small business a checkup

(BPT) – A challenge for any entrepreneur is getting access to capital. If you’re like many, you’re constantly looking for ways to reduce expenses and free up cash flow so you can be ready for anything, whether it’s a slow season or an opportunity to expand. When tax season rolls around, you’re already taking a deep dive into your expenses and income for the past year. Don’t stop when you file. With all that information at your fingertips (and fresh in your mind), it’s a great opportunity to take a big-picture look at the health of your business and make …

Why small businesses need to think big this summer hiring season

(BPT) – Finding great employees hasn’t been easy for small businesses lately. And this summer, the competition could heat up even more. Thanks to a healthy economy, unemployment levels are low across the country. Many companies will be adding even more jobs as the weather warms up — especially those in seasonal industries such as tourism and hospitality, and other professions that are weather-dependent. While some of these positions may be filled by new graduates, this year employers can expect a fight for top candidates in any role. Small businesses, in particular, will feel the brunt of the hiring squeeze, …

5 Important qualities to look for when purchasing paper

Which copy paper is best? (BPT) – Buying paper and office supplies can seem routine, however, these simple choices matter. Choosing the right paper can help save time and money, as well as ensure the quality of documents. So, what exactly should you look for in copy paper? “There are many different performance attributes and categories of paper,” said Sarah Yedlick, Boise Paper office expert. “It’s important to consider all factors of your paper before making a purchase to avoid unwanted paper jams, reprints, ink smears and just downright low-quality.” Here are the five qualities to look for in paper …