It's only a 30 second dream, but a multi-million dollar dream. Twist OP is hoping to win a 30 second commercial to be aired during the Super Bowl game on February 2nd, 2014. We entered a contest hosted by Intuit and we need your help. It's a simple request, one click and you can help us win a commercial spot during the big game. Go to http://intuit.me/15gYHfg and help us score the biggest touchdown for our small business. Thanks for the vote!
With the unofficial end of summer just a week away, the weather sure is making some of us melt away with the heat.. WE have fans, and plates and napkins ready to be delivered to you just in time for the end of summer heat wave and the holiday week. The Maine Famer's Almanac for 2014 came out today and they are promising us a frigid winter. Can you feel C-O-L-D? Nope, I can't at all. But it's coming. So enjoy this late summer heat wave and get everything you need for the heat and the coming cold at www.twistop.com
The following article was written by Twist OP's very own Julie E. Degnan. This is Julie's first guest blog and she wants you to know that if you have any comments, let her know. She is hoping to make your day a little more TWISTED in regards to office supplies. You can follow Julie on Twitter at @OPTornado and Facebook at http://facebook.com/terriers
When people ask me, "How long have you been selling office products?" I tend to pause, awaiting the response I might receive when I say. "Oh, about two decades." Generally, there is a mix of replies and subsequent questions depending on the age of the person asking.
My love of the industry doesn't necessarily come from the products themselves, although I do get excited about an occasional new product here and there. I also mourn the death of "old" products that have become obsolete, like the Bates List Finder and I always enjoy a puzzling question like, "Just what the heck is a Jamlea clip and what is it's purpose?"
The reason I love the industry so much is because I can help solve problems that run peoples' businesses. It's what I do, and the challenges keep me motivated.
When the shock and awe wears off from my explanation of my tenure, I explain that my experience has been invaluable. It's valuable to me, but it's also valuable to you - the potential customer. With the diversity of my industry skills, I have a unique perspective. Not only am I a salesperson, I'm also an advocate. I understand the full circle of this industry from a customers perspective and also from the perspective of running a locally owned, independent dealership.
In January, after transitioning into Twist OP, I had my first exposure to the Business Source brand. Business Source is your local, go to brand for everyday products like paper and binder clips, 3-ring binders, legal pads, sticky notes and more. Many of these products used to be sold under the Sparco brand name - the generic branding of SP Richards Company.
The equivalent generic brand that I used to work with was Universal ( a familiar brand in Minnesota). Business source was created to further drive value with attractive pricing, an updated name and image - along with a creative plan to develop a solid brand identity in the growing generic business essentials market. Although the name may seem new, the quality products are still the same.
During the move of my customers to the Twist platform, I will admit that one of my biggest concerns was shifting my customers from the Universal brand to the Business Source brand. I'm not sure what caused this personal fear...was it because this is always what they were used to? Or, was it just the "change is hard" factor? To my surprise, my customers were unfazed with the conversion to Business Source. The conversion sites are out there on our dealer site and with a strong in-house customer service team that is versed on this process, the changeover was seamless. Later on, I began to see more in this chronicle. Not only was the conversion easy, the quality that I expected was there - and first rate. I virtually had zero complaints...and having experience in this industry, I understand that sometimes quality can be irrelevant when a brand name changes...sometimes a perception can create a false reality that the substitution will always be inferior, but in this case that negative perception was never cultivated.
I continued to learn more and the "other" side of my industry experiences came into play. I started looking at prices between brands. When you are a dealer and you are creating a pricing structure for your customers, you want to make sure you consider all factors when settling on a consumer price. This is something I know, this is a project that I was part of for more than a decade.
When you go online and check on the Big-Box competition, what do you see for their pricing on "their" name brand office essentials? And by Big-Box, I mean as compared to Staples and Office Depot and Office Max. The pricing I found at the Big-Box competition was clearly higher when compared to local dealers offering the Business Source brand. Sometimes, their pricing was very off base. It's high, because our competition expects consumers to do a couple of things. First, they expect that consumers believe that because they have fancy commercials, stadiums and massive mass mailings, that they are going to be the authority on office products. Sorry, Pandora, but that isn't true. Second, they expect you to believe that everyday business essentials will be the cheapest from them. The facts are, however, that the general everyday consumer when purchasing from the Big Boxes will be paying too much for their private label brands. At times, the over-pricing is significant.
At Twist OP, we understand these concepts. And the Business Source brand wants you to also think B and think value. Look a little further when purchasing your top ten everyday items...whether it's Universal or the Staples, Depot or Quill brand. You may be surprised at what you can save. The Business Source brand is value. The quality is there. The new Think B format of thinking outside the box will drive the savings into your business' bottom line. So, Think B. Think value. Think local and think Twist OP.
Remember your first day on the job? Your anxiousness the night before and the
pains you went to deciding what to wear? You probably wondered if anyone would
invite you to lunch and if you'd fit in.
Those are exactly the same
fears and anxieties that your grade schooler may be feeling starting the new
They are wondering, just like you, if they will fit in.
Specifically, they are wondering if they'll get on the right bus and if they do,
if anyone will sit with them. They are worried about their classes-will they
measure up? And, they may be worried about the bully who ridiculed them last
Given the opportunity, few, if any of us would want to relive our
school days. Kids can be a handful and protecting yours from hurt isn't easy.
However, to help you navigate these turbulent times, here are some strategies to
Encourage communication. Whether it is around the dinner table or
while driving in the car, encourage your child to talk about his concerns and
worries. You can set an example by gently relating your own past fears: "When I
was in school, I used to worry that no one would sit next to me at
Don't minimize feelings. It's natural to want to
comfort your child by saying, "Don't worry, you'll make lots of friends."
Instead, let him or her know that you sympathize. "It's scary to start something
new, isn't it?? you might say. "How could we make it easier?"
examples. Avoid telling your child what to do. Instead, convey your
suggestion by telling or your example or experience: "I remember when I changed
schools. I decided I'd make it through the day by looking forward to a special
reward when I got home-a cup of hot chocolate."
"What if I get
lost?" Starting a new school is scary, and even the change from one
classroom to another can be intimidating for kids this age. Luckily, concerns
about the physical aspects of school are relatively easy to remedy. Before
school starts, take your child to the school if it offers an orientation. Take
full advantage of this time to introduce your child to her teacher and explore
"How will I get there?" Unless you're able to walk
or drive your child to school and back every day, getting there will likely
entail riding the school bus or being part of a neighborhood carpool. For some
kids, these arrangements are scary simply because they are new.
child will be riding a bus for the first time, personally see him or her off and
promise to be waiting when the school bus returns at the end of the day. If
possible, see if you can hook your child up with another child in the
neighborhood who also rides the bus. Knowing someone to sit with can make all
"What if nobody likes me?" Just like your first
day on the job, your child, too, wants to fit in and be liked. Age doesn't
matter in this situation. Be careful not to unknowingly minimize such fears.
Instead, let your child know you understand how he or she feels: "It's hard when
you don't know too many kids in your class, isn't it?" or "I used to worry that
I wouldn't get invited to the other kids' birthday parties." Then ask your
child, "What can we do so you'll feel better?"
Hopefully, as time goes on, kids will ease into their new schedule, just like easing
into the first few weeks of a new job.
Parents Spend How Much??? All the Back-to-School Stats You
Although it seems like summer's just begun, August has
already arrived and that raises one thought in the minds of millions of kids
(and lots of adults, too) going back to school. Each new school year gives
you an opportunity to make friends, strengthen skills and expand your knowledge.
Now's the time to get a jumpstart on your education by learning more about
education! The U.S. Census bureau and other agencies keep track of thousands of
fascinating and surprising facts. Here's a rundown on the latest back-to-school
On average for 2012-2013 it's
estimated that $11,467 was spent per student, per year attending public
elementary and secondary schools. Among the states, New York spent the most
($17,173), followed by New Jersey and Alaska. The least? Arizona and Idaho
How many schools?
For the school year 2009-2010,
there were 98,817 public elementary and secondary schools and 33,366 private.
For the school year 2010-2011, the average
tuition, room and board for a four-year public institution was $15,918; private
was $32,617. Both are more than double the rate from 1990.
For the 2012-2013, about 3.4 million
students graduated from public or private high school. The good news is dropout
rates declined from 11.8 percent in 1998 to 7.4 percent in 2010. Colleges and
universities awarded 937,000 associate's degrees; 1.8 million bachelor's
degrees; 756,000 master's degrees and 174,700 doctorate degrees.
It pays to stay in school
For the year 2008, the average annual earning of
a worker with an advanced degree was $83,144. Adults with a bachelor's degree
earned an average of $58,613. Compare that to $31,283 for individuals with a
high school diploma and $21,023 for those without a high school diploma.
In 2010, 16 percent of all college students
were aged 35 and older. An impressive 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled
in college, which now includes more women than men. And, if you include all
students from nursery school through college, it's more than 79 million people
heading back to school.
More than 11.8 million school-aged children aged
5 to 17 speak a language other than English at home; 8.5 million of these
children spoke Spanish.
In 2009, August clothing sales were $7.2 billion ? that's a lot of school uniforms,
shirts, pants and shoes! Only for the month of December do clothing sales rank
higher. Bookstore sales totaled $2.5 billion. According to the National Retail
Federation this averages out to $700 per student in kindergarten through 12th
In preparation for returning to the classroom, parents and students
scan newspapers and the internet looking for great deals for their
back-to-school needs. Looking for a better way to save time and money? Shop
first at your Twist OP. There you can find the latest
electronics, notebooks, pens, highlighters, organizers and more, everything you
need to start the new school year off right, and at great prices too. Check
them out today at www.twistop.com
1. Public Education Finances: 2008. 2. SU.S. Department
of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Digest of
Education Statistics, 2011 (NCES 2012-001) 3. U.S. Department of Education,
National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Digest of Education
Statistics, 2011 (NCES 2012-001). 4. U.S. National Center for Education
Statistics. 5. Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009 6. U.S. Census
Bureau, School Enrollment ? Social and Economic Characteristics of Students 7.
U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey 8. Monthly Retail Trade and
How many creations can you make with paperclips? We hope you're up for a challenge because we are having fun putting paper clips to the test. Start creating, email your creations to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Paper Clip Challenge". You have till the end of the month, your creation will be shared on our Facebook page, and you'll have a little dough (Starbucks Gift Card) for a few cups of joe.