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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The 3 Costliest Mistakes Business Owners Make

January 20, 2016

At Quantum Creative Media, we have experienced the tendency of some business owners to let mere price drive all of their decisions when running a business. However, actual price is only one variable of overall cost. Cost is more than just physical money. Cost entails, time, efficiency, personal effort, reputation, emotional cost and lastly monetary cost. The 3 most costly mistakes a business owner can make are:

1) Buying Cheap vs Quality 
When contemplating a new piece of equipment or substantial purchase of any kind business owners need to do their due diligence. Price is only one variable in researching products and services.  The most important variable that will actually save the most money over time is quality.  Buy cheap now and pay double the cost later. Penny wise and pound foolish. Research the quality of the products and services that are being invested in. Yes, this is an investment. Like an investment, these products and services should not only assist with marketing or running a business more efficiently, but actually end up bringing in more capital -- paying for themselves and more! The old adage, "You get what you pay for" rings true 99% of the time.

2) Looking Cheap
© | Dreamstime Stock Photos
How many times have we heard from clients (who are business owners) state, "Joe over at such and such will do that job for me cheaper." Meanwhile, we're thinking, and I know why he is cheaper; quality is not his guarantee. Price matching only works when it is a price for the exact same product. Home Depot and Lowe's price match same products all the time. A box fan from a certain company is the SAME box fan whether one buys it from either place. The quality does not lie in the store, but with the company who produces the fan. This system does not equate with service-based businesses. If cheap is want the customer wants, then Quantum Creative Media is the wrong place for him/her. If one is looking for quality at a fair price -- BINGO! Meanwhile, the haggling business owner just looks cheap. In turn, how likely are we to become a customer of this person now that we are aware his products/services may be just as cheap as he is?

3) Accepting Cheap Customers
A service-based business owner should not want to accept everyone as their customer. These people have certain types of customers in mind who they would like to help and do business with. This is known as the Avatar Customer. Again, quality, even in a customer base goes a long way, saving money, time, personal effort and emotional cost in the long run. The most difficult customer is the person who doesn't have the funds to get what they really want and they expect the business to cut "deals" or throw in a ton of freebies.  Even should the business owner decide to take on this type of customer to "help them out", he/she soon regrets this decision as these folks are not only cheap but are very difficult to please and take up much valuable time.

We business owners are customers too. Sometimes it is difficult to remember to be the type of customer we want to draw to ourselves -- because in essence, that is what we do.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Do the Opposite ( a frightening read for Halloween)

Pueblo, CO. Oct. 20, 2015 -- Everyone wants their advertisement to stand out among the rest. Every advertiser wants to be seen. After all, what good is an ad if no one sees it? This is especially true when it comes to print ads. When your ad is surrounded by dozens of others, all screaming for attention, what real chance does your message stand of being seen, read and heard? 

Unfortunately, this is where some business owners go awry. Some will try to design the ad themselves (because there is so much at stake), with no real knowledge about ad design (and it does show), because they think their personal taste in art is adequate for the task. Ads are not about the aesthetic quality of art. Ads are about visual psychology. We are dealing with the public; thus, we are dealing with a entity much bigger than our own personal tastes. When having a graphic design company create your ad, make sure it is someone who has some real skin in the game. In other words, make sure the success of the ad also reflects on the designer's ability to create the eye-catching masterpiece. Your ad may indeed end up being a real work of art -- but does it STaND OuT? 

Most everyone has a tendency to follow trends in art, in clothing, in architecture and even thinking, but where does that get the person who needs to be SEEN in the jungle of sameness, even if the sameness is beautiful, fresh and aesthetically appealing?  Here is the secret to producing a print ad that will be seen --- it is so simple.

No, really -- we mean it. Scary thought, right?
Just try it.
Same principle can be applied to success in your business... even more terrifying.
Just try it. YOU may just be the next trend-setter!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

QCM and The Insane Asylum

by: Lu Velazquez, QCM

Bob and Nell Mitchell
Pueblo CO. October 3, 2015 -- Quantum Creative Media would like to introduce one of our favorite clients, the folks who run the Museum at the Colorado Mental Health Institution at Pueblo -- Bob and Nell Mitchell. The Mitchell's have made the up-keep of the museum at The Insane Asylum (formally known as) a mission of love. Each time they come in with their latest project, we are constantly amazed with their ideas for furthering the awareness and education about the artifacts and life of former patients.
Straight Jacket

One of the first projects they brought to us was developing a presentation where Nell wrote the narrative and we recorded both Bob and Nell doing the narration. There was also a map of the extensive tunnel system under the Asylum campus that they wanted to have made into a nice display. We developed a rather instructional graphic design, highlighting all the tunnels and adding old photos in the margins so the reader can capture the feel of these underground rivers of activity. Nell has also has written a book about the history of the Colorado Mental Health Institution at Pueblo (as it is now called).

Patrick Cottage
Miles of service tunnels under the campus

The Colorado Mental Health Institution at Pueblo was founded in 1879. This institution has been through many changes over the years and has seen the development of mental healthcare to the paradigm we know today. This facility first began as simple "housing" of the mentally ill to a more institutional setting. From the institutional setting it moved into a "cottage" paradigm. The cottage paradigm suffered from over crowing and necessitated a shift to a much more structured model as reflected by the architecture in the newer buildings. Food and goods were transported through the extensive tunnel system under the acreage where upon this institution sits.
This is just a taste of what you will find at the museum. We let Bob and Nell take you on a tour of a time long ago at the Insane Asylum.
If you ever find yourself in Pueblo, Colorado - stop by this fascinating museum and meet Bob and Nell. They will make the history of this institution come alive.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

From Ambulance to Mobile Dog Training Unit

by: Lu Velazquez, QCM

Douglas and Jaymes applying graphics
Pueblo, CO Sept. 23, 2015 -- Quantum Creative Media has a new vehicle graphics project! This project entails decking out an ambulance that was purchased by Jori Pollard, with the vision of converting it into a mobile, dog training unit.

Jori stated that she had been eyeing this ambulance on a used car lot. She said she thought is was being repaired but it sat there for weeks. Finally, she inquired about the ambulance and it was for sale! "I had to do it." she stated.

Jori invested some time and money, installing an AC unit and an awning to make her clients and their pets much more comfortable. The only thing left
Completed and ready to roll!
to add were the graphics. The graphic design was a little tricky due to the color of the vehicle being red and dodging all the lights and such. We really wanted her message to pop.

Jori came to pick up her new vehicle today. She walked around it slowly as a very big smile lit up her face. "I'm stoked! I really love it. It's bad looking!" As she cranked up the big diesel engine and pulled out, already we could see people turning their heads to take a gander at this statement piece. 

We, at Quantum Creative Media, wish Jori and Sit Means Sit the best of luck in her business ventures! Quite a lady with a very unique vision.

Friday, September 11, 2015

An Addendum to the Blog Follow the Follower

by: Lu Velazquez

Pueblo, Colorado - Sept. 11, 2015 - I recommend that you read the Sept. 3rd blog on "Following the Follower". What is needed now is --  those who have taken the initiative to read the Sept. 3rd blog, now will be totally edified by listening to this:

This is our gift to you. The Strangest Secret. This is the philosophy of QCM.
Wishing you and yours great success and happiness,
Quantum Creative Media

Domino's Goes Emissions Free with Custom Wrapped, Electric Delivery Cars

by Lu Velazquez

PUEBLO, Colorado. - Sept. 15, 2015 - Domino’s is going electric! Tony Mand has had the innovative insight to reduce the carbon monoxide emissions in the towns where his pizza delivery facilities reside. Not only did he purchase a fleet of Nissan, no emissions, Leaf vehicles he is having them wrapped by Quantum Wraps in the eye-catching red, white and blue Domino’s logo.

Vehicle wraps are becoming a popular and cost effective way to advertise one’s business, hobby or interest. Wrapping a vehicle increases your R.O.I. (return on investment). In a recent Trucking Association’s study of vehicle occupants and pedestrians, 98% said vehicle graphics created a positive image for the company. 96% said vehicle graphics had more impact than billboards. 75% of people developed an impression about a company and its products. 29% would base a buying decision on that impression.

Quantum Creative Media owner, Douglas Howard, stated, “We need to do something to thank business owners like Tony Mand who show community responsibility by doing what they can. Domino’s is improving the lives of their employees by reducing the wear and tear on their personal vehicles while contributing to the air quality of the community as a whole.”

Quantum Wraps (a division of Quantum Creative Media) at 1401 1/2 W 4th. St. is hosting an evening outdoor photo shoot of the Domino’s fleet of Nissan Leaf cars that have been wrapped in the Domino’s logo. The photo shoot time and date will soon be announced at Quantum Creative Media.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Follow the Follower

by: Lu Velazquez QCM
copywriter/ photographer

I have a teenage daughter. The perpetual quest for teenagers is to be unique - original. However, it is the "forest for the trees" scenario. In the great search for uniqueness, I find that teenagers all look astoundingly similar (for the most part). They dress  alike, talk alike, music interests are very similar, watch the same shows and roll their eyes up in their heads when this observation is pointed out. What is even more disturbing is that we carry this behavior into adulthood. Worse yet, we steep our business practices in this philosophy of keeping the status quo, not venturing too far from the norm and relying on trends to give us an illusion of being unique.  As Earl Nightingale once said, "We play the game of follow the follower." He goes on to say, "If everyone is doing it, then do the opposite and you will be successful." (from the short film The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale, 1970)

What does being original mean?
Are you playing the game of follow the follower? In his short film The Greatest Secret, Earl Nightingale tells a story of a man who who used to stop in front of a jewelry store and set his watch by the large timepiece hanging outside. One day, the owner of the shop was sweeping outside his shop when he noticed this man adjusting his watch. The owner asked him, "I have seen you stop and set your watch by my clock for years. May I ask why?" The man replied, "I am the foreman at the plant down the street and part of my job is to sound the whistle when work ends for the day." "Well," said the jeweler with a puzzled look, "I set my clock by the factory whistle I hear every day." This little tales holds a double whammy. First, it is a prime example of following the follower but even more detrimental is that neither one of the gentlemen stopped to check their source of information! Delve deep into where you are getting your information from and you may just be surprised to find out that the man who gives you all your financial advice has had his office in a little hole on the poorest side of town for years.

Following Trends Creates an Illusion of Uniqueness 
Another follow the follower trend is to have a Life-Coach. I had a friend who was a Life Coach. I used to rib her a bit about it because her life was a mess! " And people pay you to give them advice?" I used to ask her incredulously.  She stated, "Well, I have you to keep me grounded." I promptly replied, "So where is my money?" If your Life Coach lives in your neighborhood, you might want to up-grade to a person who lives in a part of town that you would like to live in one day. Another bit of advice; make sure they ran a very successful business before they became a Life Coach. Research your sources or you are no better than the man Earl Nightingale made reference to who set his watch by another man's mistaken source of time accuracy .

Douglas Howard, Owner of QCM
Quantum Creative Media started operations in the basement of Douglas Howard's home. Douglas graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas and held a corporate position as a graphic designer for a very large operation in Denver, Colorado.  He observed, first hand, the following of the follower. The situation became so disturbing that he did something about it. He quit his position with all the comforts of a steady "job" and ventured to create something unique -- a place where art and creativity is only limited by his customers' imagination. As the old saying goes, "If it were easy, everyone would do it." It has only been two and a half years since he jumped off that cliff and Quantum Creative Media has gone from the basement of his home to a comfortable facility with clean bays, employees for who art is a passion and customer service that is truly amazing. The growth has been steady and there are dreams yet to be fulfilled. Douglas broke away from following the followers and is now leading a company that has a unique vision of art and customer service; beautifying towns and cities one sign, vehicle, business and website at a time.