Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tip #57: Get a Generator for Back-up Power

No electricity. It can happen to anyone, right? Whether it’s 100 degrees outside and the AC units get overheated, or it’s 10 degrees outside and you lose power due to a snow or ice storm, no power can be detrimental for chocolate and candy makers. So this week’s tip is to invest in a generator for your business so you have access to back-up power.

Generators are gas or diesel-powered devices, which provide temporary electrical power. Whether it means keeping your store cool so chocolates don’t melt or keeping the tempering machine running so your employees can keep making product to fill shelves at Christmas-time, having a back-up generator is sure to save you a potential headache.

So, how do you choose a generator for your business?

  1. The type of generator you want depends on the purpose. Portable generators are good for providing relatively small amounts of electricity for remote use or back-up systems. Learn some of the basics of generators at FindGenerators.net.
  2. Take your existing power availability into account for larger models of generators (tip: check your electricity bill to get an idea of the power you use). Consider things like power output, maintenance and fuel costs when deciding which generator is best for your business.
  3. View a video and in-depth buying guide covering generator types, features, and wattage requirements at Consumer Reports.
  4. Find generator usage tips here, and then check out safety and related generator information at Red Cross, including buying the right model for your utility restrictions, proper maintenance and refueling tips.
Now, if you lose power, you (and your chocolates) won’t be left out in the cold (or heat)!

If you have tips or experience with buying generators for your business, share them with fellow readers in the comments below.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tip #56: Join the Super Bowl Madness

Super Bowl is a week from this Sunday and according to this infographic on 2012 Super Bowl parties, more than $50 million will be spent on food for Super Bowl parties across the country. That’s why this week’s tip is to join the madness and incorporate a few Super Bowl themed items in your candy store.

While you can’t legally use the logos and likeness of the competing Super Bowl football teams, you can use their team colors to create beautifully themed hostess gifts and party platters. How about football shaped cookies using icing with team colors? Or, try football shaped chocolate moulds with a stick in them to make football pop bouquets. Since eight million pounds of popcorn were consumed at Super Bowl parties last year, consider making salty snacks such as popcorn and pretzels mixes. The product possibilities are endless!

Be sure to spread the word among your customers using your website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and whatever social media networks your customers are accustomed to, and encourage them to come to your store for their Super Bowl party treats. Remember, great pictures speak a thousand words so be sure to post beautiful pictures.

Do you have other ideas for joining Super Bowl madness and your candy store? Please share them in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tip #55: Incorporate Color Trends with Ribbons and Embellishments

Have you already set your packaging colors for Valentine’s Day and other spring holidays but want to incorporate the newest color trends and combos? Invest in a few spools of great ribbon or stylish embellishments and you’ll be on trend in no time!

We’ve gathered a few creative uses of emerald green, Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year, from Pinterest to inspire your 2013 packaging and design creativity. Let the creative juices flow!

Bright Ribbon:

Classy Embellishments (great for wrapping a classic 4-piece box!):
Source: etsy.com via Nadine on Pinterest

Bright Accents:
Source: houzz.com via Rochelle on Pinterest

Fresh Color Combo:

Fun Pattern:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tip #54: Check Out RCI’s New Website

At Retail Confectioners International, we’re excited to announce the launch of our new website, retailconfectioners.org!

Last week we officially launched the new RCI website. We’ve been hard at work over the last few months completely revamping our website to better meet the needs of our members and provide information to the confectionery industry. With the new drop-down navigation menu and search functions, it’s easier than ever to find the information you need. Plus, we’ve provided easy access to free industry resources, including:

  • Classified Ads – see what’s for sale or wanted by chocolate and candy makers
  • RCI Events & Education Courses – view a calendar of upcoming events and courses
  • Book Recommendations –  find a list of books recommended just for chocolate and candy makers
  • Chocolate Holidays – discover history and fun facts about popular candy holidays
  • Free Industry News – access a list of free industry news resources and links to sign up
  • How Chocolate is Made – access information about how chocolate is made, beginning from the bean

We hope you’ll take a minute to visit the RCI website and add it to your list of bookmarked sites to visit often. If you’re not an RCI member, we invite you to click on the Membership tab to learn more about how a membership in RCI can help your business by connecting you to relevant information and fellow confectioners across the globe!

RCI Members:  Sign in as a member to the new RCI website and access member-only resources, including an RCI Member Community to engage directly with fellow RCI members. Need your username and password? Just call RCI at 800-545-5381.  

P.S. Are you headed to the Philly Candy Show? Be sure to stop by the RCI booth (#512) to meet RCI staff and learn more about RCI membership, events and more.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tip #53: Begin the New Year with a Day of Rest

Happy New Year!!

We all know how important it is to rest, yet so few of us actually take the time to do it. So, this week’s tip is to take the day off from work, or at least a day this week, to rest and get rejuvenated for the coming year.

Whether resting for you means enjoying a day at the spa, spending a day at home watching movies with loved ones, or engaging in retail therapy (aka shopping), take some time to relax and prepare yourself for all that 2013 has to offer.

As Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.”