EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH – November 2013

Meet Maria our new part-time puppy who has been working on special projects for the dogs. Besides working at ZippyDogs Maria is quite involved in the drama program at her high school. She has been in three productions so far and is head of the publicity crew. Maria-2

Maria is also passionate about dance and piano. She started ballet when she was three and has been dancing ever since. She also started playing the piano when she was just four years old. Both piano and dance are two things that she is passionate about and will always love. She hopes to continue dancing in college and when she is older, her goal is to buy her very first baby grand.

Maria says she is lucky to be working at a place like ZippyDogs! Maria says, “It is such a carefree but hardworking environment and I enjoy every moment I work for the dogs. Elise, Kelli, and Kristi turn work into play!”

Maria is also proud to be working at a place that supports Eco friendly and American made products. Her time at ZippyDogs has truly been a learning experience. She has gotten to see, first hand, how a small business works and how tape guns are a lot harder to work with than they seem. (Don’t we know it).

WOOF!

DOG OF THE MONTH – November 2013

 

 

George and Ava (aka Lucky Dogs)

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George is a Border Collie, rescue that we found at the Humane Society in Factoria. He was found running wild on a highway in eastern Washington, wearing a collar that was put on when he was much smaller. As he grew larger the collar become so much a part of him it had to be removed surgically. He’s a very affectionate, intelligent dog that is always more than ready to go on the next adventure. I once saw him herd one of the neighborhood toddlers away from an exterior stairway that he seemed to think was dangerous. On a separate occasion he put a shoulder in to a visiting Great Dane driving him on to his back for barking at one of the arriving neighbor kids. He’s a hero.

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Ava is a ninety two pound dog that is the gentle, humorous animal that Rottweilers tend to be. She came to us at eighteen months through Craig’s List from a family that had to re-home her due to health reasons. As our house is a neighborhood meeting place it was very important that she be trusted with the many kids that play in our yard. She has won the trust of all the parents. When she wants attention she’ll chase her tail. She sleeps on her back as often as not and after a year and a half that still makes me chuckle.

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DOG OF THE MONTH – SEPTEMBER 2013

Got Lap?

Name:  Dautch II (aka – Big Guy)

Dautch Dog o Month

 

Hobbies:

Sitting in laps, cleaning table tops, counter tops giving the sloppiest kisses imaginable, leaving slobber trails on walls, ceilings, coats, wherever. I’m 6’4” and guess who has weekly ceiling and wall slobber patrol? Walking his mom and dad and meeting friends on the trail. He is the first wet mouth Great Dane we’ve had (fifth Great Dane) and when folks come over to visit we tell them wear your slobber clothes and issue everyone slobber towels. He’s such a friendly dog.

Mom and Dad taught him how to sing when he was a puppy (o what a mistake) so now when he wants to go for a walk or needs attention, he’ll give us that hang dog look and start his song, it’s somewhere in between whining and howling. How can you resist such a cute little guy!

He also loves chasing the flashlight beam on the floor or ground. So fun to watch a “puppy” running/sliding around in the house on a Pergo floor chasing a light beam. Look out!!! I think we are both ready for knee replacements from collisions.

 

Favorite Food:

T-Bone dog treats, Pigs ears, chicken, and of course dog food with canned Pedigree beef or chicken. He eats 8 cups of dog food and a can of Pedigree a day plus treats. He weighs about 190 lbs.

Dautch is almost 5 years old and we’ve had him since a 14lb 7 week old puppy. He was one of 14 puppies. They were all so cute!!!

Top Dog and Chili expand their business knowledge!

Fearless ZippyDogs leaders Kelli Henderson and Elise Lindborg take growing their business seriously. Earlier this spring Kelli and Elise attended a six week business certificate program at the University Of Washington Foster School Of Business. Not only did they learn new nuggets of business building wisdom but they rocked their official graduation photo! Kelli Henderson claims they were trying to do the Zoolander “Blue Steel” pose but it looks like Elise is making monkey faces at the instructor! Way to class it up ladies!

Foster Graduation Elise and Kelli

Next Level – soft fashion t-shirts

Next Level ZoomcatsNext Level

Affordable, fashion forward, soft, concert style t-shirts… look no further!

APPAREL, BAGS, CAPS

SanMarApparel, Bags, Caps

ZippyDogs has you covered from head to toe with the widest selection of fleece, headwear, jackets, sweatshirts, bags, scarves, beanies and more.

LEEDS

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Leeds

 

Bags, sportswear, writing instruments, journals, padfolios, iPad holders, electronics, memory, mobile technology and so much more. Working or traveling, indoor or outdoor – there is a little bit everything here to make life easier!

LOGOMARK

LogoMarkLogomark

This portfolio has product meant to impress.  This line carries bags, brand name writing instruments, umbrellas, watches, executive gifts and more.

VALUMARK

ValueMark

Valumark

This catalog has a lot of everything and helps you stay in your budget! Housewares, bags, pens, drinkware and so much more.

Norwood BritePix

Norwood - FULL COLOR

Norwood – BritePix

BritePix brings your message to life! Full color images – no problem. BritePix makes complicated four color process easy. Flip through this catalog to see comparisons of a 1 spot color imprint v.s. full color. Contact Kelli with questions.

 

 

NORWOOD

norwoodNorwood

Bags, Housewares, Drinkware, Outdoor and Leisure, Health & Safety, Wellness, Travel, Golf and Awards.

 

How Big is a Gig?

USB Flash Drives standard memory capacity can range from 128MB, all the way up to 64GB. The most common memory size sold for the promotional industry is 1, 2 and 4 gigabyte. Flash drives, also known as thumb drives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. But how Big is a Gig? What does that mean? How much do I need?

We think this graphic will help!

How-Big-is-a-Gig

 

Top Dog retrieves smart tips from Tuck School of Business

Last November, our fearless Top Dog Elise Lindborg attended the highly regarded Tuck Executive Education Minority Business Program at Dartmouth College to learn how to take ZippyDogs to a new level of performance and success. What she learned can be applied to your small business, too.

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All dogs must learn new tricks to stay competitive. It’s a given that a commitment to continuous improvement is key to growing success. Seems like a no-brainer—but living up to the commitment can be a real challenge. It takes regular monitoring of all aspects of your business, including strategy and implementation, analysis of financial statements, building strategic alliances and leadership skills. Not to mention delivering on the No. 1 strategy for all businesses: focus on the customer.

The week-long program presented the ideal opportunity to check the vital signs of our business, look for ways to improve and acknowledge the things we’re really good at. Our first “assessment” taught us we were all in the same boat:

The 8 most common small business weaknesses
1. Lack of customer focus
2. Lack of strategic direction
3. Employees not effectively empowered
4. Poor cash flow management
5. Underutilized control systems (budgets, goals, surveys)
6. Inefficient processes
7. Organizational structures that are “silos of inefficiency”
8. Putting all eggs in one basket (e.g., 30% revenues from one customer—not good)

 

More nuggets from Tuck:

Business strategy—serve your customers
Evaluate your overall business strategy. Exploit your strengths, and strengthen weaknesses. Above all, be customer-focused. Surprise and delight them! Be prepared to adapt to sudden changes in the market so you can maintain your customer focus throughout. Remember that customer satisfaction is the perception of your service minus their expectations.

Operations—avoid organizational charts that are ‘silos of inefficiency’
Make sure your systems are built to achieve your strategy, that is, to benefit your customers. Identify the tasks that others can do better or more cost-effectively and outsource; moving part of a project off your desk frees you to do what you do best.

Money—cash is king!
Know what your cash flow is up to at all times. Analyze your balance sheets and income statements. Just do it.

Marketing—finding and keeping customers
Conduct customer surveys to learn how you are doing and what customers expect from your company. On the flip side, audit your customer list to develop a profile of customers you like and who fit well with your company. That will give you a clearer picture of where to focus your marketing efforts.

Communications—inspire your customers and your team
Empower employees to deliver on your strategy; make sure they are trained to address customer priorities. Likewise, work toward getting customers to do more or communicate clearly. It can be a matter of asking the right questions, as well as telling them what you need to serve them best. Call it client school, but only to yourselves. WOOF!

A great, big WOOF! goes out to the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) for providing Elise with a full scholarship to the Tuck Executive Education Minority Business Program at Dartmouth College. Learn more about NGLCC.

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH – APRIL 2013

Elise-EOM-March-2013

Top Dog Elise Lindborg crushed the competition for the bid to be crowned the 2012 Sales Person of the Year at ZippyDogs! It was a long three year dry spell for Elise as Chili Dog Kelli Henderson dominated sales in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

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ZippyDogs bookkeeper Stephanie Moore was overheard saying, “Well, 2012 turned out that it wasn’t really a competition as Elise pretty much kicked Kelli’s ass”. When asked what the secret to her success was Elise stated “It’s skill – it is simply skill”.

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Congratulations Elise! ZippyDogs salesperson of the year 2012! WOOF!

Dog of the Month – April 2013

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My name is Teddy and I am a very happy 9 year old Bichon/Yorkie mix.  I rescued my human when I was just 1 year old.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw him.  He was wet and hungry and needed a friend.  In fact, he was pitiful looking and I just knew I had to have him.

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It’s a pretty even tie between me and my human for who gets more irrationally excited about food. In fact, we no longer go for walks. We go for HUNTS! I so much enjoy the fact that people throw food out their windows while driving. Chicken legs, BBQ ribs, tacos: I call them TREATS!

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Teddy wrote his own bio – did we mention he is very smart too?

DOG OF THE MONTH – December 2012

Oinks and squeals – Meet Johnny Cash

Cash is a 40 lb, 4 month old potbelly pig that was rescued from the Taylor Bridge fires this summer. Dr. Erin Zamzow – a veterinarian in Ellensburg rescued Cash as his entire family perished in the fire. She thought Johnny Cash was an appropriate name based on the song “Ring of Fire”. Although Cash is cute and smart – Dr. Zamzow warns that pot belly pigs are a 20 year commitment. Do your research before you buy and be prepared for a strong willed, smart, 100 lb pet that needs a lot of outdoor time and stimulation.

Cash came to the ZippyDogs world headquarters to say hello. We spoiled him with his favorite mommy-approved  treats, a banana and oodles of love, pets and scratches. We were tickled to have this little visitor in our office and we got nothing done that day. If you want to see videos of him – visit our ZippyDogs Facebook page.

  

  

DOG OF THE MONTH – November 2012

Meet Lily, short for Lilikoi – our Dog of the Month!

Lily, a Lab/Sharpei/Pitbull mix, was adopted by a couple a few months after their senior dog passed away. They saw her photo online and something clicked, they just “had to see this dog!”

Here is Lily’s story as told by her lucky owner:

 

“What first drew me to her is that she has a split paw (meaning only 2 large toes) and my partner has the same thing on one of his hands (though his was from a car accident). The first moment we saw her she broke from her old owners and ran straight into my partner’s arms. It was love at first site. Since she has become part of our family she has shown herself to be the most loving and wonderful companion. She even likes CATS! She greatly enjoys hikes in the woods and playing in the river as well as cuddle time on the chaise lounge in our living room. One look at that face and everyone falls in love.”

    

 

What Does Eco-Friendly Mean?

By Daniel Holzer, Demand Media

Being eco-friendly includes recycling, but there are other ways to guard the planet’s health.
In recent years, terms like “going green” and “eco-friendly” have become buzz words on talk shows, commercials and product packaging. The term “eco-friendly” has been used for so many different products and practices, its meaning is in danger of being lost. By understanding the true meaning of eco-friendly, you can implement the practices that will lead to healthier living for the planet and its inhabitants, big and small.

Being eco-friendly includes recycling, but there are other ways to guard the planet's health.

Definition
Eco-friendly literally means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment (see References 1). This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution. You can engage in eco-friendly habits or practices by being more conscious of how you use resources.

Product Qualifications
Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and human safety in mind. At a minimum, the product is non-toxic. Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem. Organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides. Products with “made from recycled materials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products and made into something new. Biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole. (See References 3)

Practice Examples
You can develop eco-friendly habits to help you use less and make the most of what you have. Turn off lights in empty rooms and use a programmable thermostat so you’re only heating or cooling your home when it’s occupied (see References 2). Businesses can also institute such practices, in addition to bigger initiatives, such as company-wide recycling programs to conserve natural resources and telecommuting for employees, which decreases air pollution and fuel consumption by eliminating daily travel to work.

Greenwashing
Companies sometimes label their products “eco-friendly” or “environmentally friendly” without them truly being so. Called “greenwashing,” marketing campaigns perpetuate this practice, aimed at helping companies increase their product sales by appealing to ecologically conscious buyers. To avoid purchasing “greenwashed” products, look for products approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star program or an ecologically conscious consumer-advocacy group such as the Green Good Housekeeping Seal (see References 4, 5).

References

  1. Dictionary.com: Eco-Friendly (adj.)
  2. Ecology Fund.com: Eco-Friendly Tips
  3. University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension News; What Is Eco-friendly?; Margaret Hagen; January 2009
  4. Energy Star: Qualified Products
  5. Good Housekeeping: Green Good Housekeeping Seal Frequently Asked Questions

Nifty Tips For Networking

Source: Becky Gaylord of Gaylord LLC a consulting practice.

The time-tested adage that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” has never been more true than today. In this age of instant communication and social media, business moves fast and having the right resource accessible in a jiffy can make the difference between taking the lead or working from behind. Although technology is making networking a 24/7 activity, it’s still the in-person networking that forges the deepest connections. In order to help keep your networking skills sharp, Promotional Consultant Today offers five select tips offered by Becky Gaylord in her post titled “12 Most Nifty Tips for Networking.”

1. Set a modest goal ahead of time. Rather than going into the event as a blank slate, Gaylord suggests you set a few specific goals for the kind of information you will be looking get from your interactions.

2. Listen more than you talk. Often easier said than done, really listening will allow you to extend the conversation and start building the relationship by finding additional questions to ask. As Gaylord puts it, the people you interact with are “opening the door and letting you in by telling you about something then matters to them.”

3. Present yourself as someone you would like to meet. We’re not all cheery at all times and extended networking can be exhausting, but people like to be around others who are warm and cheery. It’s only a few hours of your life, so make the effort to be the kind of person with whom you would enjoy chatting.

4. Ask questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. It may take some practice, but by asking questions that probe a little deeper than a “yes” or “no” answer, you will increase the likelihood that you will hit on a shared topic that can naturally extend the conversation and build a deep bond.

5. Pursue possibilities promptly. Whether the person you spoke with appears to be an immediate lead or not, follow up promptly with an e-mail or note to make an impression that sets you apart from all the others that person met during the event.

Source: Becky Gaylord worked as a reporter for major publications—the New York Times, Salon.com, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal—for more than 15 years in Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; and Cleveland, Ohio. She was associate editor for the editorial page at the Cleveland Plain Dealer before she launched her consulting practice, Gaylord LLC. The company helps clients improve their external relations and communication, and increase their influence and impact. Gaylord blogs about that (and a few other things) at Framing What Works.

DOG OF THE MONTH – October 2012

I’m Lenny, the dog formerly known as Isaac.

Seven years ago my first set of humans dropped my sister and me off at the Seattle Humane Society because the didn’t want us anymore.

A family came and put a hold on me. A really nice guy came to see my sister but his female dog and my sister did not like each other. A volunteer suggested they meet me. We hit it off! A day later, the family decided they didn’t want me and I went home with the kind man and his dog Lilly.

He didn’t think the name Isaac really fit me and he named me Lenny. I’ve been happy ever since. He calls me the lover dog because I like to snuggle with him. He also affectionately calls me the Bastard since I came from the Humane Society. He calls my step-sister the Bitch so we are the Bitch and the Bastard.