Hidden History #1 – Main Street USA

Hidden History #1

#1 – 1996 was the year we took our very first bulk mailing to the post office.

After attending an inspirational workshop at the Disney Institute (click here), we made numerous changes to our business. 

The most noticeable change was transforming our reception area to a faux Main Street USA. (click here).   

 Cleverly hidden within the decor are 30 elements relating to our business or family history.  Enjoy the reveal.

Click here for Hidden History #2

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service (click here)

Random me:  I enjoy getting up for work most days.

Advertisements

2nd oz is Free

Remember when?

Beginning January 2012, commercial mailers can now mail the 2nd ounce FREE on first class presorted mail.  (click here).

This is a huge savings for our customers.  You can now load up your envelopes with promotional or informational material, reply envelopes, surveys or use better quality paper  and only pay for the first oz.

This offer does not apply to single piece mail.

Bills and statements delivered via First-Class Mail are opened more than 95 percent of the time and, on average, the receiver spends two to three minutes with each piece. What a great way to get your message out.

If you are still paying 65 cents for your second oz, please give us a call to see if we can save you money.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I attended the Disney Institute 5 day business workshop in Orlando.  It was fantastic and as a result I changed so many things.

Take a Wish

I received one of the most memorable birthday presents for my 60th birthday.  As well as a surprise visit by my brother and sister-in-law, they bought me a beautiful bowl and filled it with 60 wishes for me to enjoy for the next 60 days.

Take A Wish
I am having so much fun everyone morning, starting my day with their wish, that I decided to adapt it for my business.  Why not have a wish bowl with a sign “Take A Wish”  for my customers?
 
I do wish good things for my customers, so why not tell them? 
 
If you would like to have a “Take A Wish” bowl for your customers, I will share mine with you, feel free to print and use them. 
 
  • Our wish for you…..A fresh start when you need it most.
  • Our wish for you…..that your friends ask only for your time not your money.
  • Our wish for you…..A friend is a present you give yourself. We wish you many friends.
  • Our wish for you…..that you realize a hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
  • Our wish for you…..that a light heart carries you through all the hard times.
  • Our wish for you…..that a new perspective will come when and where you need it.
  • Our wish for you…..that a pleasant surprise is waiting for you.
  • Our wish for you…..that your journey is smooth and joyful.
  • Our wish for you…..a soft voice to guide you.
  • Our wish for you…..a truly rich life full of love and abundance.
  • Our wish for you…..that you can accept something that you cannot change.
  • Our wish for you…..an adventure that brings you real happiness.
  • Our wish for you…..that all your efforts will ultimately pay off.
  • Our wish for you…..that all your troubles will pass away very quickly.
  • Our wish for you…..that you allow compassion to guide your decisions.
  • Our wish for you…..that you have the support of an important person.
  • Our wish for you…..that you are deeply respected by many.
  • Our wish for you…..that you believe in yourself and others will too.
  • Our wish for you…..that you believe it can be done.
  • Our wish for you…..that joy surrounds you all day long.
  • Our wish for you…..that your curiosity kills your boredom. Nothing can kill curiosity.
  • Our wish for you…..a calm mind to tackle your day.
  • Our wish for you…..you find the path which fate has you assigned.
  • Our wish for you…..all the determination you need.
  • Our wish for you…..that believing creates your magic.
  • Our wish for you…..that you distance yourself from all things negative.
  • Our wish for you…..that you are not intimidated by the eloquence of others.
  • Our wish for you…..that ambition does not overshadow success.
  • Our wish for you…..the realization that all human beings have unlimited potential.
  • Our wish for you…..that every wrong decision discarded is another step forward.
  • Our wish for you…..that you don’t just spend time, that you invest it.
  • Our wish for you…..that you don’t just think, but act!
  • Our wish for you…..that you don’t let the past define your future.
  • Our wish for you…..that you don’t let your limitations overshadow your talents.
  • Our wish for you…..that when prosperity knocks at your door, that you open it.
  • Our wish for you…..that when opportunity knocks, you open the door.
  • Our wish for you…..that you emulate what you admired in your parents.
  • Our wish for you…..that you emulate what you respect in your friends.
  • Our wish for you…..that you believe everyday in your life is a special occasion.
  • Our wish for you…..that you realize failure is the chance to do better next time.
  • Our wish for you…..that your kindness will lead you to success.
  • Our wish for you…..that happiness begins with facing life with a smile and a wink.
  • Our wish for you…..that a true sense of value comes through service to others.
  • Our wish for you…..that your life is abundant.
  • Our wish for you…..that in the end all things will be perfect.
  • Our wish for you…..that you have the courage to fail and get back up.
  • Our wish for you…..that you keep your face to the sunshine and never see shadows.
  • Our wish for you…..that your world is filled with tranquility and goodwill.
  • Our wish for you…..that living with a commitment to excellence will take you far.
  • Our wish for you…..that your love lights up the world.
  • Our wish for you…..that your life will travel miles, one sweet step at a time.
  • Our wish for you…..that your favorite medicine is love, time and patience.
  • Our wish for you…..that you never fear, the end of 1 thing marks the start of something new.
  • Our wish for you…..the peace and tranquility to let your creativity flow through.
  • Our wish for you…..the courage to try something new.
  • Our wish for you…..that pennies from heaven find their way to your doorstep.
  • Our wish for you…..the vision to plan your future.
  • Our wish for you…..peaceful rest for your physical and emotional health.
  • Our wish for you…..the ability to savor your freedom — it is precious.
  • Our wish for you…..the ability to share your joys and sorrows with people you love.
  • Our wish for you…..that soon life will become more interesting.
  • Our wish for you…..that you stand tall and don’t look down upon yourself.  
  • Our wish for you…..that you stop searching because happiness is within.
  • Our wish for you…..the realization that success is a journey, not a destination.
  • Our wish for you…..that your travels are always on the high road.
  • Our wish for you…..that the changes you start have far-reaching effects. Be ready.
  • Our wish for you…..that you begin trusting your intuitions.
  • Our wish for you…..that you can predict the future, by inventing it.
  • Our wish for you…..that you generously share, even with the undeserving.
  • Our wish for you…..that you find joy in the accomplishment of others.
  • Our wish for you…..that many surprises await you!
  • Our wish for you…..that you can welcome change.
  • Our wish for you…..that your heart is pure, your mind is clear.
  • Our wish for you…..that you are busy AND happy.
  • Our wish for you…..that today you are generous to an extreme and it boomerangs back.
  • Our wish for you…..that you are in good hands always.
  • Our wish for you…..that you a generous with your advice and your help.
  • Our wish for you…..that your friends are generous with their help when needed.
  • Our wish for you…..that if you are offered the dream of a lifetime that you say YES!
  • Our wish for you…..that your friends are solid and dependable.
  • Our wish for you…..an active mind and a keen imagination.
  • Our wish for you…..that you exceed what was expected.
  • Our wish for you…..that you have the power to write your own future.
  • Our wish for you…..that you are able to make money and most importantly hold on to it.
  • Our wish for you…..that you are able to undertake and complete anything you want.
  • Our wish for you…..that you have fun with others and also enjoy your solitude.
  • Our wish for you…..that you will always be surrounded by true friends.
  • Our wish for you…..that you will always get what you want through believing.
  • Our wish for you…..that you will be blessed.
  • Our wish for you…..that you will work at a profession you love.
  • Our wish for you…..that you will enjoy good health.
  • Our wish for you…..that you will find great contentment in the daily, routine activities.
  • Our wish for you…..that you will find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
  • Our wish for you…..that when needed, you will make change for the better.
  • Our wish for you…..that you will be surrounded by good friends and laughter.
  • Our wish for you…..that your hard work is appreciated.
  • Our wish for you…..that your difficulties will strengthen you.
  • Our wish for you…..that your dreams will guide you.
  • Our wish for you…..that your happiness is before you, not behind you!
  • Our wish for you…..that your home is the center of great love.
  • Our wish for you…..that your ideals are well within your reach.
  • Our wish for you…..that your patience will be rewarded.
  • Our wish for you…..that your life will be happy and peaceful.
  • Our wish for you…..that your life will get more and more exciting.
  • Our wish for you…..that your success will astonish everyone.
  • Our wish for you…..A year of Monday’s that feel like Friday’s.
  • Our wish for you…..A cool breeze on a hot summer day.
  • Our wish for you…..A peaceful walk in nature.
  • Our wish for you…..A moment of silence when the world is too loud.
  • Our wish for you…..a flood of great childhood memories.
  • Our wish for you…..that each passing year brings you wisdom, peace and cheer.
  • Our wish for you…..that your day is as special as you.
  • Our wish for you…..that you measure your life by smiles, not tears.
  • Our wish for you…..that today brings you an extra dose of happiness.
  • Our wish for you…..that today brings you an extra dose of joy.
  • Our wish for you…..that your best years are still ahead of you.
  • Our wish for you…..that your dreams turn to reality.
  • Our wish for you…..miles of smiles today.
  • Our wish for you…..that lovely surprises are coming your way.
  • Our wish for you…..that your worries are far between.
  • Our wish for you…..A good book and the time to read it.
  • Our wish for you…..hugs when your spirit sags.
  • Our wish for you…..the perfect day.
  • Our wish for you…..a sense of humor when you need it most.
  • Our wish for you…..a luxurious bath and the time to enjoy it.
  • Our wish for you…..abundant blessings.
  • Our wish for you…..a feeling of calm in the storm.
  • Our wish for you…..that you can pay attention to life when it speaks.
  • Our wish for you…..

Leave a comment of your favorite wishes and I will add them to my list and bowl.

Have a wish-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I am making it a pajama day today.   Usually one per winter 🙂

 

 
 
 
 

It all started innocently

Click here  for an awesome article about our Main Street USA in NWI Times  today.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I believe music can change your mood.

Disney Inspired – Main Street

Before

Have you ever had a construction project that seemed to take on a life of it’s own? You know, the small easy little project that blossoms into a major overhaul and all of a sudden there is no turning back.

After attending a Disney Institute workshop, one of my “take aways” was that it would be a good idea to separate our reception area from our production area. A place to greet our customers that was clean, quiet and inviting.  Before I take you on a tour,  I want to give you just a little background about our business.  We are a small bulk mail business in Valparaiso Indiana. Although we had a very nice place, our space was limited and so was our budget.

The goal was to build one wall with two windows.  How hard could that be?

one wall - two windows - done

Well, that was easy!  One wall, two windows, project done.

Not so fast…the window awnings gave it an unexpected outdoor feel, so now wouldn’t a lamppost be perfect to complete the whole outdoor thing?  Oh, now wouldn’t a park bench be cute too.  And so the saga begins…..

A lamppost and park bench - done!

Next came the 1890’s post office complete with the ink well and fountain pens.  How fitting , a post office inside a bulk mail business!

First - the 1890's post office

With the help of my very talented daughter and carpenter extraordinaire, Erica George… Flanagin’s  Main Street USA was born.

Erica George - carpenter extraordinaire

Then came the Swedish Bakery.

The Swedish Bakery

Then the Barber Shop

The Barber Shop.

Next the Seamstress Shop.

The General Store

The Confectionery

The Railway Station

and the Cinema.

Bye 😉 Come back soon.

From the bakery smells and ragtime music to the cinema lights and hidden bird’s nest, we have had so much fun thinking and creating  “outside the (bulk mail) box.”

Thanks for visiting and have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I am learning more about life every day. What an awesome journey.

Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence Coming to Valpo

Countdown 51 days.  Looking forward to spending the day with some friends at the Disney Institute here in Valpo.

Click here for more details in the NWI Times.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Just finished reading “Poke the Box” by Seth Godin.  Good stuff, will be passing the book around.

Positive Disney Institute Comments

As part of WordPress site stats you can see the “terms people used to find your site”.

To my surprise someone typed a search “negative Disney Institute comments” and reached me.

Really, they landed on my site by looking for negative Disney Institute comments???  How did this happen, I love the Disney Institute.

So I decided to do the search myself.

Sure enough, 5th from the top in a google search, my post appeared.

There it was, the word negative in my blog about the Disney Institute. Read the comments section at the bottom (click here).

I wonder what would happen if you search the words “positive Disney Institute comments”?

How is it possible to search negative and positive and get similar results?

What a huge testament to the Disney Institute Program.

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me: I’m excited about the Disney Institute coming to Valparaiso IN on Aug 16th 2011. 

How much is a customer worth?

It's only money

How much is a loyal customer worth?

The following is a true story.

A dear friend of mine was having a luncheon at her apartment after a funeral.  She ran into a local family owned grocery store to pick up a few items, and to her dismay when she got home realized that she had handed the cashier $100 bill and had forgotten to get her change. (the change was approx $74.00)

She immediately drove back, went to the cashier and told her what happened and  the cashier said there was nothing she could do.  She ask my friend if she could prove she left without the change?  The cashier said if her drawer was over at the end of the day they would call her.

No one called her.

She finally called the store and they told her the drawer was just fine.

I encouraged her to ask for a meeting with the owner and explain the situation and if he didn’t want to return the money that he at least needed to keep his radar up because either the cashier or the person that balances the drawers might be stealing money.

She did meet with him and he said it was her own fault for leaving the store without the money and that this is their policy.  She explained that she was upset and that she has been shopping with his store for 40 years.  He said, “Sorry”.

She said she was sorry too and told him she will never shop in his store again.

I understand the need for store policy, I understand the owner needs to stand behind his employees and I understand they need to be careful in these hard time of people trying to scam, but was there a better resolution?

What is a 40 year loyal customer worth?

Is it worth sacrificing one customer to uphold policy? Maybe so.

Was there a compromise the store owner could or even should  have worked out?  Maybe not.

Tell me what you think?

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Spring is my favorite time of year and spring is near !!!!

Employee Appreciation Contest

W.A.Y. = We Appreciate You

 

We were looking for something fun for the employees that would also benefit the company and be fair to everyone.  We designed a contest called the “W.A.Y. To Go” contest.  (W.A.Y. = We Appreciate You).

This contest was inspired by Disney’s “Great Service Fanatic” card.

There were 12 items on the list.  If an employee did any one of these they could enter their name in the drawing.  In fact, they could enter as many times as they actually completed that item.  They also could enter a co-workers name for them, if they felt they deserved it.

There were two ways to win.  The person that had the most entries won a prize and then there was a random drawing of all the rest of the entries for the second prize.  Both prizes had the same value, so everyone had a fair chance.

It was a huge success.

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  Sometimes I have so many creative ideas floating in my head that I get frustrated because I want to do them all.

Every Business Has One

Celebrate

Every business has one. Your business has one, my business has one and  even Disney has one.

That one question they hear over and over in their business that really isn’t the question at all.

For Disney, the question is “What time is the 3:00 parade?”  How do you answer this?   Hint, the answer is not 3:00.

The proper answer lies in understanding the guest.

For our company, the question is, “How much does it cost to mail to all Porter Co?”

This question is rarely what they actually want to know.  The underlying question is how do I get started, how much will it cost to mail to some people in my area?

What is your company’s 3:00 parade question?  How have you trained your staff to handle it?

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I started outside my comfort zone with blogging.

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