September Speed

September Speed …  August starts off slow, but by mid August you are staying a bit longer or need to meet a customer a bit earlier.

Our other businesses have a cycle, but their organizational layout for management solved that “cycle” years ago.

I am determined to organize BT, to even out the lull or vacation thru the lull which ever makes sense.

This is where preemptive management to the cycle wins.  When there are enough supplies to get a project done faster, or a piece of equipment that raises quality, it should be considered.

Inevitably the cycle gets rolling and you could not stop it if you tried.  It is always wiser to spend the extra 5 minutes today, get further ahead, so when the natural slowdown occurs … you are ready to actually enjoy it.

Enjoy the fall.  The holidays are almost here.

It is almost August…

It is almost August…  The summer slowdown has ended, the restocking of paper, forms, shirts and sweatshirts has begun.  The level of activity has always slowed in July at BT, the history shows it.  We have diversified a bit making it a little less frustrating.

You cannot take vacations away from people, everyone deserves time away.   We do a mid year inventory, see what is selling the most, see who hasn’t been in the shop for awhile, make some additional calls .. etc.

Those additional calls, really just a reminder, to customers who know us, that we are here, we have product and we want to help !   It is not a complicated story or hard work, just a little effort.   It always pays dividend’s to us and the customer.

From the first week of August to the first week of September, the momentum will be remarkable, production and value will race.  That will not stop until the yearly Calendars, Christmas cards and we run out sweatshirts every week.

On your mark, get set … Go.


Mid June …. spring to summer mode.

Mid June …. spring to summer mode.

The planning of December and early January paid off nicely in February, March and April.  We  rarely fell  behind, the flaws came when items were needed last minute by customers who do not prepare, and they were a bit of a mess.

Most small businesses have all the best intentions of product or service, rarely is the complaint there, the complaint is usually around timing and execution, parts or materials are missing, someone is spread too thin on time.

People often forget that inevitably ..  there is something that will not work quite right, but when there is a plan, all you do is adjust the plan a little and then move forward.

Our first lull of 2014 is right around the corner, July 4th, our plan …  is Cape Cod !

December planning works again…

It is now late February and the groundwork of November and December started to pay off in January.  Firstly we had Quick Books under control, we knew where the money was being spent and more importantly where it was being earned.  The second thing we watched was the customer base from historical perspective; “who did what projects, when”  – this allowed for customer service / sales calls to get ahead of certain projects.  Late January work was completed in mid-January, Feb. work in January.


By staying a little bit ahead on the sales and service side, all small businesses can move forward in a controlled fashion.  That way when a snowstorm hits or someone has an emergency, the issues can be absorbed more easily. 


Daylight is reaching around 12 hours, the golf courses we print for are selling memberships, the landscapers we create billing forms and Post Cards are getting the mailers ready, the restaurants we print Menus for are making their changes, The Real Estate Book and Community Values are easily discussed. 


T shirts – Golf Shirts – Hats – Team sports wear – Little League – Basket Ball Camp sweats - is hopping !!  


Spring is almost here.     H

From Thanksgiving to Christmas

BT has been very busy getting ready for 2014.  It all began in Early November doing some preliminary tax planning.  Our busiest months were behind us giving some breathing room.

From the printing front – the most entertaining project this time of year is our “Family Calendars”.  There are a handful of templates we use, people bring in old historical, travel family pictures, other times we  get dogs and horses…. it is always great fun.

From the T shirt and Embroidery front – customizable shirts for certain groups has kept us busy – aka – sports teams, town leagues, the bowling teams, motorcycle clubs, Sewing and Quilting groups.  The list is long.

From the Marketing front – Our Community Values Mailer has been great – some people see junk mail, others see expense – we see branding, name recognition and continued growth – not only from BT members and – but BNI members – the restaurant group and seasonal specialties etc.. Marketing is everything and everything is marketing.

We love the shop, we are thankful for the 28 yr foundation that was built by Helene and Bob Doucette, we are thankful for Gail and Dennis Craig, who seem to make most graphic design work better and the machines sing and dance, we are thankful to Jim Stearns and his T shirt enterprise and to Josh Elliott who took over and grew the business handsomely.

We thank our loyal customers from all over the area,  see you all in January.

Howard & Shelley

The clocks have been turned back.

At BT and I am T shirts we plan 50-60 days forward and work diligently now to complete our projects in a timely fashion.  We are not always perfect in either the planning or the completing … 

Somewhere between creation and execution – there are a lot of variables that can throw a wrench into the process.

Hence the 50 or 60 days … The changing of the clock, like the changing of the seasons is a good excuse to review, plan and execute.

– Buy your regular supplies in as much bulk as feasible.  (lower cost)

– Collect on your work as early as possible. (check book management)

– Always be willing to help someone with an idea or project.  (future relationship)

– Prepay debt whenever possible (lowers overhead)


We have a very good idea of  what January 1, 2014 looks like.

The BT project continues to grow.

BT copy was founded on the premise of fulfilling a need for small business owners.   We have added a new outlet for our customers who want to do more marketing and we have added a new print project for our machines, we are helping out the Brookfield community via the Brookfield Citizen.

The Brookfield Citizen is a B&W direct mailed piece currently operate by Phil and Linda Pearce –

We have discounted their printing cost, upgraded the look a bit and now can offer small business marketing to a wider group at a lower cost.

Everybody wins.

Paper – Forms – Business Cards – Hats – T Shirts – Community Values color mailer and now The Brookfield Citizen.

Thank You –  H


Middle of September already, leaves are changing, last quarter scramble ….

BT Copy and I am T shirts are in push mode.  We have 5 goals to meet for each business,  they include less waste and more sales.

Less waste is not only product, it also includes billing methods, collections and customers.  Some deserve and will get all we have to give, others will not be pursued.   There will be greater sales effort through personal contact management. Touch.

Saving time and energy in those areas and focusing on sales – helps twice.

August Shuffle–just enough time to adjust for fall.

Inevitably school starts in the late summer, vacations end, tomorrow is here.  A little effort now ordering some supplies you need, checking over the equipment you own  – you will be ready once people and your customers can begin to think about their homes, their own businesses’ needs and wants.

Last 2 weeks of July and the first week of August are always slow. Similarly the same happens in around Christmas.  Then bang …

This week alone  -  10k of envelopes for September 1st, then letter head …. then 20 hats  ….  then new sets of business cards …. then 5000 post cards …  rate cards…  band posters …. more t shirts …  and so on and so forth.


The BT Copy Consumer values now rotates every 10 days or so – Mailed to every homeowner in Charlton, Sturbridge, Oxford –  …  Spencer shortly ..  this is a cost effective way to market you and what you do.  Call Howard or Dennis.

We Skipped The June Blog, Too Darn Busy – Here is July and the plan.

In June BT does a fair amount of work for the different schools in the area, then we have the baseball and softball teams.   Then we were launching and growing the Community Values mailer.

Community Values was an idea hatched by Paul’s Garage Door company.  His budget was limited, but he still wanted to have us do something.  Then we took a poll, there were many others who wanted to market themselves more, but finances are always a consideration.

Direct mail is by far the best way to hit a certain marketplace.  We simply designed a flyer that mimics a post card.  It has logos, contact info and is printed on colored glossy paper.  Each piece is mailed directly to every home and business in a market.

The success rate of these “Mailer”  style of marketing, go up and become verifiable when you offer a discount or money back or a “free” something with coupon.

** Remember there is a major difference between advertising and marketing ….. Advertising is specific, an item or a seasonal type promotion, it has a 50/50 shot of working, but no one ever knows unless records are kept.

Marketing on the other hand is 80 to 90% successful.  It is branding and further push of the brand and what you can do and most importantly it is targeted. 


“Marketing is everything and everything is Marketing”     We just started on our next Sturbridge Mailer and announcing the start of the Oxford MA Edition.

Call Dennis or Howard at BT – 508-248-3377

We Love Print = paper, business cards, t shirts, hats