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On Crane and Bucket Truck Tire Safety, Listing ‘To-Don’ts’ and More Tips for April

Plus: How long does it take someone to find your business hours online?

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ONLINEPublicize Your Hours

Challenge: call friends and tell them to go to your website to see how quickly they can find your business hours. Did it take 10 seconds? Awesome, you’re doing great. Twenty seconds? OK, not bad, but you might improve visibility of this important information. Thirty seconds or more? You should definitely make a change in your design to ensure that business hours (and key contact information) are super-easy to find. Because that’s one of the key things that people are looking for when they visit your website.

EQUIPMENTWhen the Rubber Hits the Road

Buying tires for your crane, bucket and pickup truck? It’s quite possible that you’ve been ripped off for years. Really. Because, you may have been buying old tires you thought were new. Tire experts say new tires, even while chilling on the tire-shop rack, will age, crack and harden. On tire safety, the Atlanta-based Tire Safety Group presents four critical points. First, tires begin to weaken and fall apart as they age. Second, the tire aging process happens regardless of whether a tire is on a vehicle or in a temperature-controlled room. Next, most tires begin to significantly degrade around five years from the date of manufacture. Finally, six years from the date of manufacture, most tires are no longer safe for use on a vehicle.

MANAGEMENTList Your To-Don’ts

OK, just about everybody regularly creates “to-do” or “start doing” lists. But Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, wonders whether you have a “stop doing” list. Think of all the harmful, unproductive (or even less productive) behaviors you engage in … and put them on your list. Let your “stop doing” list help you focus on the things you need to do to make your business great.

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Try a MoonshotReserve an Hour a Day For Your Big Dream Project

In 2015, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin handed over day-to-day operations to a subordinate so they could focus on “moonshots”. They had realized something that confronts all business owners: The demand to be efficient means that what’s most exciting to you doesn’t get done. Writer Oliver Burkeman thinks many of us would be wise to make it a life philosophy: “If you’re going to spend at least some of your time on the planet doing what matters to you most, you’d better actually start doing what matters most,” he writes in his column for The Guardian newspaper. If you can’t fully pass over responsibilities, a la Page and Brin, at least save the first (or best) hour of every day for your big dream project. “Ironically, you may have to tolerate feeling less productive, as the tasks on those uncleared decks start to pile up. Yet you’ll still find that, if those tasks need doing, they get done. And if they don’t get done? Well, perhaps they didn’t need doing.”

TECHNOLOGYSneak an Ad

If your free Wi-Fi network isn’t already called “xyz-sign-works-amazing-vehicle-wraps” or “xyz-sign-works-refer-a-friend-get-a-10-percent-discount,” it ought to be.

MARKETINGTry Writing Your Uncle Hank

Want to liven up your overly formal direct mail letters or email bulletins? Michael Corbett, author of The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising, says that you need to stop thinking about the thousands of serious business clients who will be reading your message. That will inevitably make your prose stiff as a redwood tree. Instead, imagine that you’re writing all of your messages to your cool Uncle Hank, as Corbett suggests, who loves building stuff and is always excited to hear about new developments in signage.

VISIBILITYGo with the Flow

Do you have traffic that goes behind your business? You do? So, do you have signage behind your business designed to draw that traffic? If not, marketing expert Mary Gillen suggests that it’s time for you to get busy. Check out the traffic flow around your location and place signs strategically to attract the attention of vehicles in the busiest traffic flow. And, obviously, this process is something that you should always be sure to suggest for your customers.

CUSTOMER SERVICEYessify Your Yesses

There is always a better answer than a mere “yes,” says author Dale Dauten, author of The Gifted Boss. He gives the example of asking a number of auto repair shops if they repair Lotuses. Most say “no,” a few say “yes,” but then one says, “Absolutely, we specialize in imports and the shop’s owner drives a Lotus.” Which of the shops do you think got the business? So the next time somebody asks you if you offer company logo design as part of a signage project, find a better answer than a simple “yes.”

Signs of the Times has been the world leader in sign information since 1906. Contact Signs of the Times' editors at [email protected].

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