Balancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business ServicesBalancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business Services

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Balancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business Services

My company is now over a decade old and I still outsource several key functions. It isn't that I can't afford to keep them in house. It is just that outsourcing is the most financially responsible decision I can make. I outsource all sorts of support services. One company manages my IT needs. Another partner takes care of the payroll and remitting taxes. I even have a cleaning service that comes in at night, does the windows, and in general keeps everything spotless. If you think outsourcing might benefit your business, let's talk. I'll tell you what I outsource and why. From there, you can decide if my strategy would also work for you.

Five Tips For Designing Labels For Your Jams And Jellies

If you run a small business that sells homemade jams and jellies, designing custom labels for those jams and jellies is a great way to make them more attractive to customers and do a little advertising. When working with a custom label manufacturer to design your labels, here are a few tips you'll want to keep in mind.

Include a picture of the fruit(s) in the product on the label.

Once fruits are made into jams or jellies, they are not always distinguishable at a glance. For example, raspberry and strawberry jelly look quite similar. To help customers quickly identify which products contain which fruits, include a picture of the fruit each item contains on its label. If a jam include more than one fruit, include an image of each fruit it contains. For instance, if you make a strawberry-rhubarb jam, the label for it should contain an image showing both strawberries and rhubarb. This will not only assist customers in choosing their purchases, but will also convey the idea that your products are made from real, fresh fruit -- something that many of today's health-conscious consumers are looking for.

Include a list of ingredients.

Homemade jams and jellies are a far cry from the overly processed, corn syrup-based jellies sold in grocery stores. You'll do well to use that as a selling point for your products. Nothing drives the difference home more than including a list of ingredients on your products. This will make it obvious to your customers that your products are made with ingredients they feel safe consuming, rather than questionable additives.

If you have "secret" ingredients that you don't want to share with your customers, you can always be a little vague about them when listing them. For example, if you include lemon juice in your strawberry jam as a secret ingredient, you can list it as "citrus juices." Your ingredient lists will also be helpful to those with food sensitivities who are trying to avoid certain items.

Use the right colors.

Another way to convey that your products are natural and homemade is by using a natural color scheme. A cream-colored label with dark brown text and a pop of color from the image of the fruit generally looks a lot more appealing than one with neon green, electric blue, and other bright hues. Keep color meanings in mind when choosing your labels, too. Green evokes feelings of happiness and relaxation. Red evokes feelings of energy and warmth, and brown stands for security and vitality. These are all good feelings for your jams and jellies to promote.

Don't forget your contact information.

Once your customers try your jams and jellies and realize how delicious they are, they will want to buy more. By including your contact information on the label, you make that easy for them. Include your website, social media pages, and Etsy store name (if you have one) so that customers have options when it comes to getting in touch or ordering again.

If you have space, include a brief synopsis of your "story."

Customers like to feel connected to the people who make their products. If you have space left on your label, a brief synopsis of how you got started making jams and jellies can make your products feel more personal. This could be something as simple as "Mary has been making jellies since she was a teenager in 4H." or "Kelly learned to make homemade jellies from her grandmother." will suffice.

If this is your first time ordering custom labels for your jams and jellies, start with a small order. That way, if you find anything about the label that you do not like and want to change, you won't have that many to use up before you can make the change. For more information, contact a company like Northwest Label