Not Your Grandmother’s Church

Music is a significant part of every worship service and a key aspect of every ministry. From first time attendees to longtime church supporters, what church members think and feel when they hear your audio creates a lasting impression. Congregants draw conclusions based upon a church’s audio system, including the professionalism of the church and financial health of the ministry.

When a church uses a patch work of solutions, this becomes a problem waiting to happen.  Nothing distracts from the message on the platform and the spirit in the songs then microphones which feedback during solos, music mixes which bury some instruments and overemphasize others and a sound system that fails to fill the church area so that everyone in attendance can hear both the music and the message.

A new issue that ministers, boards and volunteers now need to consider is interference from individual handheld electronics such as smart phones and tablets. These can compete with wireless microphones and instrument pickups when they  are all assembled into a relatively small space.  New equipment is now engineered to minimize interference.

One key to presenting the best audio possible is an evaluation from objective set of ears. Invite an experience audio technician to attend a service and listen live to the music team and the minister. His findings can serve as an objective evaluation to maximizing investments in equipment.  Quality results are important to assure buy-in from donors and tithers.  Since these will be made from donations, the key is to work from the best overall recommendation. Unlike other programs,  quality audio is a tangible item for a ministry. Investing in and maintaining reputable and well matched products insure that this will serve the church  for years to come.

Whether the music team is composed of volunteers from the congregation at large or professional musicians who play for a living, ministers and church boards must accept that quality audio is a necessary investment.  As part of the service, every vocalist, instrumentalist and speaker on the platform has to have ready access to microphones.  The sound system should fill the room with audio that sounds natural and inviting.


Marketing In A Different Way

Digital marketing has become a standard practice for business. It is important, but there are other ways to get your message out to the world and tell your story.

Think Big!

You can think big! Billboards, when used well, can be a great way to reach a lot of people within a region or major city. Mobile billboards with good call to action are useful at events. You can customize your own car or trailer.  You can even create specialty learning, display and demonstration centers within custom trailers to educate and share your message.

Think Small!

If you are looking for new ways to impress, try metal business cards.  Maybe heavy plastic cards will do the trick? If you are looking for quality cards or unique sizes, try moo cards. 

We all like free stuff, but it’s gotta be good. If you are going to print your logo on something, make sure it’s really a product people or potential clients will enjoy. Remember your company name is on it. You don’t want people to thing you are cheap or low quality because of the free gift you gave them.

It’s all marketing

Everything you do is marketing.  How you answer the phone, say hello to people, shake hands or say thank you. All things you do that touches your prospects or clients is marketing. Even people who tell you they don’t market are marketing. They are marketing by telling you they are not marketing.  In other words: Our company is so good and trustworthy that people refer us all the time, so we don’t have to pay anyone for additional promotion.

I may not agree that such a company shouldn’t invest in additional promotion, but I do say lets hope we get our companies to that point.  I don’t care if you are a photography company in Ferndale, Rental House  in Milwaukee or major car company. You need to get the word out about your business.  When you stop promoting, your company begins to decline.

Next steps

Test a few ideas.  Ask people in your company what has worked in the past.  Sometimes marketing and sales people get so wrapped up in the digital world they forget about what worked in the past.  Old school ideas may still work for you.

Don’t forget, business is about people. Finding new ways to shake a few hands, tell your story and finding new ways to help them remember you is not easy.  Once your find the winning combination, it will pay dividends for a long time.

5 Things To Do For Mom On Mother’s Day

woman_sleepingToday is Mother’s Day. The day in which we celebrate the woman who has scarified everything so we can live a healthy and fulfilling life. Where would we be without Mom? As a child she was always there whether it be putting a bandage on our knee or baking the birthday cake. Even as adults we rely on Mom in times of trouble. She always has good, sound advice. We try to live our lives as she has taught us – be kind, be smart and look sharp.
So now once again May comes up on the calendar and we do our best by taking her to brunch at a nice restaurant and flowers. Don’t forget the flowers. She’ll say she doesn’t want them but deep down she does. But what else can you do? Step away from the usual and surprise mom this Sunday (hint: this works great on your wife and mother-in-law, too!).

  1. Photo of the kids already framed. She can hang it anywhere she wants or even place it on her desk at work. Always a reminder that she is appreciated and loved.
  2. Cook her favorite meal. She may be expecting this one, but you can add in her favorite candy, desert or drink.
  3. A gift card to the spa or pedi. I know that this is what my wife wants and she’ll get out of the house and relax while someone pampers her.
  4. Nothing planned or perhaps something planned. Some Moms will like to get away from all the household chores and go somewhere special with the family, like the local park or zoo. Or she may just want to take a nap in the hammock with a cold drink and a cool breeze.
  5. A clean car. This is a no brainer as it probably needs a good vacuuming and wash anyway. But just don’t take it to the local car wash and pay to have it done. Get your hands dirty and clean it yourself. It’ll save you money and you’ll do a better and more thorough job.

But what she really wants, I mean really, really wants is to SLEEP IN!
No kids, no husband.
Just peace and quiet.
Let her wake up when she wants to and don’t bother her with breakfast in bed.
If you do that, then you should be golden.
Happy Mother’s Day!
…and don’t forget the flowers!

Understanding Vacuum Forming



Vacuum Forming, or Thermo Forming, is a cost saving solution that enables a company to bring a product from prototype to full production in a short amount of time. The process is not complicated and is easy to do if you have the right tools and know how. Vacuuming Forming is very common place among plastics engineering and the manufacturing industry because a variety of products can be made in several shapes and sizes.

In this example, think of forming a plastic toy train.

  1. To begin with a solid, usually wooden mold, called a “former” is created and is used as the template. It is made with the intent of being easily removable from the finished plastic mold.
  2. The former is placed in a vacuum and a plastic sheet is laid on top.
  3. The heater is turned on and the plastic begins to soften. It is then lowered onto the wooden mold.
  4. The vacuum is then turned on and the air is sucked out, thus encasing the mold with the plastic.
  5. The wooden train mold is removed and the plastic train mold remains.

The entire process is quick and simple and the wooden mold can be used over and over again. A well equipped manufacturing facility can produce hundreds, or even thousands, of products per day by using this method in an assembly line. If you need a prototype for a product you are thinking of bringing to market, you should be able to find a Vacuum Forming facility in a town or city near you.

Photo Anodizing Adds Extra Life To Nameplates

metalphoto1Most every industrial company has an assortment of important signage. It must be clearly readable to the employee or anyone to whom it may concern. That means it also must be durable and long-lasting. From the Enterprise company to small and medium manufactures, Photo Anodizing name plates is the way to go over cheaper and less durable plastic. These special photosensitive anodized aluminum name plates can be used as schematics and barcodes and are the most durable name plate on the market.

Photo Anodizing is a way to develop graphics or text into a crisp, clear black and silver image. Even photographs, logos and QR codes can be added with ease. The aluminum plate is sealed and thus protects the image beneath the anodic layer. This type of nameplate can be used in harsh industrial environments and due to its durability makes it ideal for extreme outdoor weather. The plate will not crack or be harmed due to sunlight, cold or wind. Life expectancy is at least 20 years.

The National Association of Graphic and Product Identification Manufacturers (GPI) states that photo anodizing and metal photo are the most durable aluminum substrate. The US Military uses these types of data plates it their fighter jets including the F22, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F-18 Super Hornet and NASA even uses photo anodized name plates on the International Space Station. Color can be added and it then can be used as an ascetically pleasing name plate in such places like a world renewed garden, museum or university.