Cartridge World Bloomingdale/Wheaton/Downers Grove Asks: Is Your Business Focus Getting Blurry?

Cartridge World Bloomingdale/Wheaton/Downers Grove Asks: Is Your Business Focus Getting Blurry?

In the world of small business ownership, one of the biggest challenges business owners face today is the ability to stay focused.  Fully understanding how detrimental lack-of-focus can be for their business, business owners and managers often struggle with this issue.

In our on-going efforts to help our customers, Cartridge World Bloomingdale/Wheaton/Downers Grove would like to offer 5 tips for keeping your business in focus.

  1. Do the task at hand – When it comes to time management issues, it is easy to fall into the mistaken belief that you can multi-task, thereby using your time more efficiently.  Time management experts and business coaches all seem to agree that this is the best way to ensure that nothing gets done well.  You may be able to do more than one task at a time, but sharing your attention with many projects, can result in low-quality work.
  2. Prioritize your tasks – There are several good matrixes available to help you prioritize your tasks.  Here is one  by Stephen Covey from his first book “First Things First.”  Mr. Covey suggests putting together your priority list using a matrix to categorize each of your tasks and then numbering them on a list to keep you organized.  For items that require clear fresh thinking, make sure to schedule them at your peak operating times.  If you are a night owl that might be after lunch, whereas a morning person would probably prefer to do these tasks in the morning.  Whatever time you schedule them for, be sure to focus on the task alone and not allow non-emergency interruptions.
  3. Take a break – It may seem a counterproductive notion, especially when you have so much to do; but working for short periods of time, 45 to 60 minutes, can actually increase your productivity.  Set a timer or alarm and schedule breaks throughout your day.  Get up and walk around, get a glass of water, talk to a friend or colleague about a non-work item.  You will come back refreshed and better able to concentrate on the next task on your list.
  4. Deal with it the first time – In the day of the overrun email box, it is a good habit to treat emails like you used to treat postal mail. It can be overwhelming to sit down at your computer and see 7000+ emails waiting for you.  Go through your emails with a ‘read it once’ attitude.  If it is unimportant trash/delete it at once.  If you will need to follow up on it star it or otherwise mark it as important.  Set a time reminder for when you need to follow up on it.  If it is something that you need to keep as a reference for a later time file it.  All email programs allow you to make folders.  Use this key feature as a way to keep your inbox empty.  By the time you have gone through your emails in the morning, your email box should be empty or only have the items you plan on dealing with immediately.
  5. Plan your week based on tasks – Group like-tasks for specific days.  If a particular weekly-task seems to take up most of a day, then schedule a specific day for that task.  Schedule other tasks that require less time but are similar in focus around the main task for that day.  This will also help your clients know when they can count on reaching you or hearing from you.  If you schedule your non-emergency follow-ups for a certain day of the week, you will find your clients adjusting their communication with you to fit that schedule whether you inform them of it or not.

Organizing your day, week and tasks is one of the best ways to keep your business flowing smoothly.  At Cartridge World Bloomingdale/Wheaton/Downers Grove, we want to help you with running your business more efficiently.  Remember to check out our special services for small businesses such as product delivery and services for your printer.  Come in to one of our stores and let us help you with your printing needs by providing re-manufactured and refilled printer cartridges.

You can also find us on the web at our blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter pages.

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Cartridge World Bloomingdale Asks: Are You Recycling Your E-Waste?

Cartridge World Bloomingdale Asks: Are You Recycling Your E-Waste?

In the new frontiers of recycling, one of the most important ones is E-Waste.  E-Waste is the shortened version of “electronic waste,” and although it mainly refers to computers, it also includes cell phones, TVs, stereos, gaming systems and anything electronic.

International Greenpeace reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that over 4.6 million tons of e-waste ended up in landfills in the year 2000.  The ensuing problem is the contamination of the ground, ground water, and air being polluted by toxins as these items break-down or are burned.  So what is the solution?

Re-Use—In the waste hierarchy of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle the first to be approached in E-Waste is the reusing of old electronics.  This is appears to be the most practiced methods, as most families will put the old computer in the kids’ room and or pass the old cell phone down to the pre-teen for their first phone.  While it makes sense to extend the use of these items, it does not deal with the eventual problem of where to put it after it is beyond being used. Many of these items will eventually be shipped to third world countries to be used in their schools– which although admirable–then leaves the items to be disposed of in a country that does not have the necessary technology to do so in an environmentally-sound way.

Re-Cycle – The next step in the waste hierarchy also brings its own problems. The main problem with recycling e-waste is that if it is not done in an appropriate facility, the workers can be exposed to the harmful chemicals found in the plastics.  The plastics need to be cared for in a location that does not incinerate them, thereby releasing the chemicals into the air.  Again, when these items end up in developing countries the workers being exposed to these chemicals are usually children.

E-Cycle – An environmentally-conscious method of recycling commonly known as “e-cycling,” is rapidly gaining ground: People recycle their electronics by taking them to centers that will properly dispose of or recycle them.  Most communities have designated dates for people to take their electronics to a certified e-cycling facility. All three communities that we serve, BloomingdaleWheaton and Downers Grove have e-cycling programs in place.

Additionally, following the entrepreneurial spirit of our country, private companies are sprouting offering incentives for people to turn in their used electronics.  One such company is  ECO-ATM,  with kiosks in shopping malls around Chicago, that offers cash for your used or broken electronics.  We recommend, however, if choosing a private company, that you do your due diligence to ensure that your electronics will be properly disposed of or recycled.

At Cartridge World Bloomingdale, Downers Grove and Wheaton, we pride ourselves in helping our customers find new ways to recycle.  Come in one of our stores and let us help you with your printing needs by providing re-manufactured and refilled printer cartridges.  You can also find us on the web at our blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter pages.

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It’s Tax Season 2013 And Cartridge World Bloomingdale Is Here to Help

Cartridge World Bloomingdale Helps with the 2013 Tax SeasonWe didn’t fall off the Fiscal Cliff but the 2013 Tax Season is still approaching and giving many people nightmares over what they should expect.  On January 8th, 2013 the IRS announced that it would delay the filing season by 8 days, allowing paper returns to begin being filed on January 30, 2013.  This along with the new tax rates passed by Congress with the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 will mean that tax accountants and individual preparers will need to make some changes this year.  A concise synopsis of the new tax rates can be found here.

With all of the above changes we at Cartridge World Bloomingdale would like to remind you of some of the services we offer during this time.

  1. Free Delivery – If you purchase over $100 in supplies we are happy to deliver it to you.
  2. Refill Service – Remember we refill ink and Laser toner cartridges for the following brands: HP, Brother, Epson, Cannon, Kodak, Lexmark, Dell, OKI Data, Dell, Samsung, and Xerox.  We also offer a replacement option where you drop off your empty cartridge and replace it with one we have already refilled.
  3. Printer Repair – The last thing you need is to worry about your printer during tax season, call us if you need a repair.  We service all brands and models.
  4. Paper Supplies – We carry paper products as well as printer cartridges.  Be sure to stock up when you come in to refill your ink and toner cartridges.
  5. Same Day Service – We offer same day service on most products.  Check with us about your particular needs.

At Cartridge World Bloomingdale we strive to meet all your printer, ink, toner and printing needs.  Call us at 630-893-6300, or visit website/Facebook page to see our services. We are now on Pinterest.  Come by and check out our boards.

You can also visit our two other locations:

Cartridge World Wheaton                                            Cartridge World Downers Grove
97 Danada Square East                                                  7341 Lemont Rd.
Wheaton, IL  60189                                                          Downers Grove, IL  60516
(630) 653-5500                                                                   (630) 353-1113

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Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to Raise Prices on Printer Consumables

OEM's to Raise Prices on Printer ConsumablesOn December 19, 2012 HP announced its intention to raise prices on 49 printer consumables by February 1st 2013.  For CPAs and other small businesses that are entering the tax season with the need to print out copious amounts of documents, this is not good news.  Cartridge World Bloomingdale would like to share 5 tips for cutting printing costs:

  1. Buy Green – At Cartridge World Bloomingdale we recycle and refill printer cartridges for all major manufactures.  Our prices are up to 50% of the cost of the OEM cartridges.  Bring in your empty cartridge and we can either re-fill it or sell you one that has already been re-filled
  2. Preview First – Most mistakes can be caught before printing by previewing the document in your word processor software.  Previewing takes little time but can save you the cost of reprinting the document.
  3. Buy in Bulk – We are running a special promotion. Buy 7 ink cartridge refills, get the 8th free.
  4. Ask for Free Delivery – We can save you time and money with our free delivery service. Get the details here.
  5. Use Coupons – We have several specials we run throughout the year and coupons that give you even more incentive to buy your Printer Consumables from us.  Check out our current offers here.

At Cartridge World Bloomingdale our motto is “Go Green and Save Big.”  With the coming price increases by HP and more being hinted at by Lexmark and Ricoh, we are here to help you save money while saving the environment.

Best wishes for a successful 2013!  We, at Cartridge World, want to be your ink and toner partner to contribute to your success!

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Cartridge World Bloomingdale Offers 4 Tips for Designing and Printing Your Holiday Greeting Cards

Holiday Greeting CardsYou open your mailbox to discover that once again there are Holiday cards waiting for you from family and friends—a personal reminder that they are thinking about you at this time of cheer.  You notice, however, that nothing says that you matter to them more than a card that was personally designed and printed.  With little time to go, you embark in a mission to create a meaningful Holiday card to share with your friends and family, to not only show them that you are thinking about them, but that you also care about them.

At Cartridge World Bloomingdale, we would like to offer you three tips for designing and printing your own Holiday greeting cards.

  1. Choose the right images – With the emphasis on copyright on images on the Internet, be sure and use images that are in public domain.  A good way to ensure this is to search for ‘free clipart’ or ‘free holiday images’.  If there is a watermark on the image, that is a sure sign that it is copyrighted and not available for use without purchasing it.
  2. Choose the right program – With all the free programs available on the Internet it is easy to be overwhelmed.  Be aware, however, that some sites are set up to infect your computer, so be sure and pay attention to any warnings from your virus software.  Some free programs you may want to check out are picmonkey.com, befunky.com, or fotoflexr.  You can also find others by searching for photo editing websites.
  3. Choose the right paper or card stock – Choosing the right paper makes all the difference in how your card will look.  Making sure that it is designed for you inkjet or laser printer is the first task.  You can then select a special finish, like linen finish or speckled paper.  At Cartridge World in Bloomingdale, we carry specialty papers, including magnets, image transfer paper, coasters that could make a Holiday greeting card to remember.
  4. Choose the right ink and don’t run out—At Cartridge World Bloomingdale, we are here seven days a week, making sure you don’t run out of ink in the middle of your holiday greeting card printing project.

Cartridge World Bloomingdale would like to wish you a Happy Holiday Season and remind you we are here to help with your printing needs.  If you need assistance with picking out the right paper and the right ink, remember we are here for you.  Visit our store at 358 W. Army Trail, Bloomingdale IL and we will give you our best advice.  You can also find us on the web at our website and Facebook page.

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Cartridge World Bloomingdale Invites You to Join Us for America Recycles Day

Cartridge World Bloomingdale Invites You to Celebrate America Recycles DayAmerica Recycles Day actually began as a state effort in 1994. Kevin Tuerff and Valerie Davis, two employees of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality started Texas Recycles Day to encourage the residents of their state to recycle.  They chose November 15th as the day, as they were trying to distinguish it from Earth Day in the spring, and yet have something before the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday season started.

Upon its launch, an immediate impact in the rates of recycling was noticed.  A few years later as Tuerff and Davis attended a national conference on recycling; they suggested designating a national holiday based on their model.  When they explained the success that they had seen in Texas from the Texas Recycles Day, the interest was immediate and the response to starting a national holiday was overwhelming.  1997 marked the first national observance of America Recycles Day on November 15, and it has been observed ever since.  Last year, President Obama issued a national proclamation for the observance of the day.

The purpose of this holiday is to remind people about the social, economic, and environmental benefits of recycling.  America Recycles Day has a website, and Facebook page to help people get involved with the efforts. Cartridge World North America reminds us of all the ways that we can help with recycle efforts nationally.

At Cartridge World Bloomingdale we invite you to join with us on November 15th as we celebrate America Recycles Day.  Let us help you with recycle programs for your business, organization, or school.  You can contact us on our Facebook page or by visiting our physical location at 358 W. Army Trail, Bloomingdale IL.  Let’s keep America beautiful by recycling.

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Cartridge World North America joins Operation Enduring Opportunity

Cartridge World North America Joins Opperation Enduring OpportunityLast year, in honor of Veterans Day, First Lady Michele Obama announced the creation of Operation Enduring Opportunity.  In cooperation with the International Franchise Association, the White House Joining Forces initiative invited franchise businesses to aid returning and retiring Veterans in the purchasing and running of franchise businesses.  Operation Enduring Opportunity is an industry-wide recruitment plan designed to help returning veterans find satisfying careers in franchise businesses as they re-enter civilian life. The goal of the program is to hire and recruit 75,000 veterans and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014.

Through the VetFran program of IFA, returning and retiring Veterans are offered incentives for purchasing franchises.  The International Franchise Association also offers support in training and business models.  Most in the franchise business arena feel that franchise ownership is tailor-made for the returning vet as it taps into the leadership skills learned in the military.

As the year has progressed, more and more national franchises have announced their participation in this program.  Cartridge World North America has joined in the initiative as well.  Cartridge World North America is offering a 10% discount in the franchise fee for military personnel.  Interested individuals are encouraged to contact FranchiseInfo@CartridgeWorld.com to find out more about this opportunity.

Cartridge World Bloomingdale is pleased to be a part of this reaching out to veterans by offering their own discount of 10% off on all Cartridge World-brand ink and toner printer cartridges.  Whether you are a returning or retired veteran, Cartridge World Bloomingdale joins with its North American headquarters to wish you a Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service to our country.

Call us at (630)893-6300 or visit our store at 358 W. Army Trail, Bloomingdale IL 60108 and let us help you with your printing needs. We can also be found on the web and on Facebook.

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