Oh Hiya, Meg here! I think bringing a new client to our company is one of the most exciting times to be a part of the team. Of course it takes an awful lot of work and planning, but it’s one of the most rewarding parts of a job. Here are a few of my best tips for meeting with a prospective client and how to get them hooked on your business:
· DO Listen: Pay attention to exactly what it is that the client is looking for from your company. Each client will be looking for something unique, which means that you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of what your company has to offer. Listen for the issues, take notes, and provide solutions! I can always count on my trusty notepad and BIC Ballpoint Pen for keeping notes during prospective client meetings.
· DON’T Generalize: A quick way to turn a client away from your company is preparing a one-size-fits-all solution. Be sure that you’ve taken the time to fully assess what you can offer the client for their unique needs and tailor your proposal to them as much as possible.
· DO Problem Solve: Take time to meet with your team and plan a detailed solution for your client that fits your skill sets. Keep your team, and yourself, in check when it comes to providing solutions and be sure that you can deliver work you’re proud of. I’ve found that our clients appreciate having a solution in-hand, so my team puts together our proposals with our Swingline Manual Binding Machine. It allows us to organize a professional outline and our clients always leave the meeting impressed.
· DON’T Promise the Moon: On the other side of creating a thorough solution is over-promising. When bringing on a new client, it’s easy to promise the moon from your team. Be sure that your solutions are realistic in both the end goal and the timeline.
· DO Communicate: Do your best to make yourself open to client communication during onboarding. Your future client wants to know that even after they’ve signed on with you, you’ll be open to answering any questions or concerns. Stay in contact and you’ll have a lifelong client!
· DON’T Overwhelm: While open communication is wonderful, it can easily overwhelm a client when you offer up a daily email or phone call. Stay open and available, but keep yourself in check when it comes to checking in.
Of course, these tips aren’t a complete guide to onboarding a prospective client! One of the best guides that I’ve found for this process is from Hubspot. It’s full of wonderful tips for staying on track with a client throughout onboarding. Take a look here.
Until next time,
Oh Hiya, Meg here! Have you noticed that there are so many more offsite meetings during this time of year? I find myself always needing to be prepared for a meeting over lunch or for an offsite client presentation. In the rush of leaving for a meeting, it’s so easy to forget the essentials. To help, I’ve put together a little list of off-site must-haves to make any meeting or presentation run smoothly.
1. Pack a Bag- Just like keeping a bag ready for a weekend away, I find that having a bag ready for offsite meetings helps me stay prepared for anything. Be sure that the bag has plenty of space for a laptop, charger cord, and all other meeting essentials. When it comes to preparing for a meeting, I find that it’s better to be over stocked with supplies than to go without.
2. Bring Extra Energy- Technology is a wonderful thing when it comes to meetings but there are so many times when a little glitch can throw off the whole system. Make sure you’re prepared with extra power cords and of course, a spare set of batteries. I always keep a pack of Energizer Batteries in my bag for unexpected energy outages. Don’t forget a travel mug of coffee to keep your own energy levels high, as well!
3. Powerless Planning- Of course there are times when even a spare set of batteries may not solve a technology hang up. When tech fails, it pays to have a backup plan. I pack a spare set of notepads and pens in my travel bag for meeting note taking. When it comes to tech-free presentations, I rely on my Post-it Self Stick Dry Erase Film. I can’t always count on a venue to supply a dry-erase board, and this film certainly gets the job done without leaving behind a mess when the meeting is done.
4. Check It Twice- Before leaving for your off-site meeting, be sure that you’ve double and triple checked the items you’ll need. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your meeting only to find that your notebook is still at your desk!
For a few more helpful tips on organizing the perfect offsite meeting, take a look at what Meeting Tomorrow has to say. Happy planning!
Until next time,
Oh Hiya, Meg here, and I’ve been thinking a lot about multitasking. I’m sure that when you think of multi-tasking creativity, your everyday office supplies aren’t the first thought in your head. I’ve found some new, amazing ways to put those supplies to use.
Binder Clips: They may not look like a multi-purpose tool, but these handy clips are incredible when it comes to organizing cords and wires around your desk. By clipping them to the side of your desk and threading your charger cords, headphones, or internet cables through the handles, you’re able to keep every cord and cable in place.
Scotch Tape: Got a messy keyboard? Clean out stubborn crumbs with Scotch Magic Tape. Sometimes you don’t have keyboard cleaner on hand, but a roll of scotch tape is always nearby. Simply pull off a section of tape and slide it between the rows of keys to remove any unwanted dust or crumbs. So easy!
Post-It Notes: Sticky Notes are the ultimate multi-purpose tool! One of my favorite uses for my Post-it Super Sticky Notes is as a customizable calendar. I’ll always keep an eye on my desk calendar but when I need a little more space, I’ll just use sticky notes as an “expanded view” calendar on my office wall. Not only does it give me a more room to keep notes, I can easily count down the days by removing a note when the day has passed. You can easily customize your sticky-note calendar with different colors to match your style or the season.
Stapler: This tip may be specific to my favorite stapler! I use a Swingline Stapler and I absolutely love how it folds out to allow for temporary staples. My paperclips can get tangled and sometimes I need to keep a stack of papers organized. All I need to do is rotate the anvil of my stapler and voilà, I have an easy way to get temporary staples!
When it comes to multitasking with office supplies, all you need is a little creativity! There are so many wonderful ideas for making everyday items work for you. Take a look at a few more ingenious tips from Tiny Home Tour.
Until next time,
Meg here! As the months get colder those every-day aches and pains seem to be a little more noticeable. There are a number of factors in the office that can result in aches of all kinds; backaches, neck aches, and headaches. Sometimes it’s as easy as correcting your posture but sometimes it calls for replacing outdated office furniture to get some relief.
First things first, be sure that your desk and posture match up. Here are a few quick changes that will make a big difference:
- Your monitor level should be directly across from your eyes or 5-7 degrees lower. You shouldn’t need to strain up or down to see your screen
- When sitting straight in a chair, your neck and shoulders should be relaxed
- Instead of using a traditional desk phone, use a Bluetooth headset to reduce strain on your neck or arm
- Keep your wrists in a neutral position
- For more great tips on how to keep your posture in ship shape, take a look at this article from Forbes
Start with those quick changes and see if you notice a difference in any aches and pains that you may be experiencing. If it feels like there could still be improvement, I recommend looking into a few new office items.
- One the best parts of my desk is the adjustable computer stand. Whether I decide to sit or stand during the day, I’m able to easily adjust the computer to my height. No matter how you work, I recommend this Sit-Stand Workstation to everyone!
- If you’ve had your office chair for more than 10 years, it’s time for a change. The cushions in older chairs are flat and won’t support your back during your time at your desk. I absolutely love my Executive High-Back Chair. Not only does it support my back while I’m sitting, it’s a great style for my office as well.
With 8 hours a day spent in your office, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking good care of yourself. Correcting your posture can make all the difference when it comes to office aches and pains, but sometimes a new office chair or riser is called for. Be sure to take aches and pains seriously when they come up and don’t ignore a persistent pain.
Until next time,
Meg here! A few years ago, the mailman was one of the sole carriers of information and documents for your office. But today, the rise of email has taken us further away from traditional snail mail. While technology has made quite a few things quicker and easier, snail mail still holds a strong place in our offices. So how can you juggle both forms of communication while staying neatly organized? I’m here to help!
- Start A Routine-Whether your mail carrier delivers directly to your office or you have a P.O. box, be sure that you know when and where the mail is delivered. With the immediacy and ease of email, it can be difficult to keep a schedule on direct mail. Once you make a note in your schedule to keep watch on the mail, you’ll never miss another bill or letter again!
- Organize a Mail Center– Be it on your desk or at a separate table in the office, a mail center is incredibly helpful. Depending on how much mail your office receives, it can be a quick five-minute job or it could take an hour or two out of your afternoon. When I’m sorting through mail, I like to keep this Writing Pad handy to jot down notes for any important payments or events that may be coming up. In the instance that something requires immediate attention, I also keep a stack of envelopes and Shipping Labels for quick turnaround. That way I can cross those items off the To-Do list as soon as possible!
- Unsubscribe– Does it seem like your company receives more junk than mail? Just like you would unsubscribe from a bothersome email list, look into unsubscribing from unwanted mailing lists. Sometimes this is easier said than done, and in the cases of unavoidable junk mail, toss it in the recycling bin!
- Safety First- While junk mail can easily be recycled, there are some items that contain more detailed information about your company. When in doubt, shred! I couldn’t live without our Cross-Cut Shredder. It shreds paper into cross sections, which is much more secure than a strip-cut. I also love how I can load the tray with papers for automatic shredding. It saves so much time.
I sure hope these tips help you to stay organized and on task when sorting through your office mail! Email may be a bit faster but there will always be a need for snail mail and keeping organized is a useful skill no matter what your preferred method of communication. If you’d like a few other ideas for keeping your mail organized, take a look at what the folks at Level Money have to say.
Until next time,
Meg here and we’re on our way to some of the coldest months of the year. During these chilly days I’d love to curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and a good book, but there’s always work to be done at the office! When the winter winds start blowing, I like to make sure our office is well stocked with cold-weather supplies and I’m sharing a few of my winter essentials with you!
- Winter always seems to bring a case of the sniffles and there’s nothing worse than suffering through a runny nose without tissues. Be sure that your desk is supplied with a few boxes, just in case. I just love these Tissues from Kleenex. Not only are they soft enough to keep your nose from getting irritated, they’re also anti-viral to take care of any cold and flu germs.
- It may get dark sooner in the winter, but that doesn’t mean the work day is shorter! While I use my desk lamp throughout the year, I’ve found that it brightens my day most during the winter months. A nice warm light will turn any dreary workspace into a sunny spot. Be sure that you’ve got a replacement light bulb or two set aside for the winter. If you don’t already have a lamp at your desk, this is the perfect time to get one.
- There aren’t too many folks who will turn down a mug of hot cocoa on a chilly day, especially while working in the office. When the snow starts to fall you can keep your office mates in good spirits by keeping plenty of cocoa mix in supply. At our office we love this tasty Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa mix from Nestle. On the coldest days it can be quite popular, so we keep a few boxes in our breakroom to keep up with high demand.
Even the chilliest of days can make for a productive time in the office with these winter essentials. If you’re looking for other ways to keep your office cozy, take a look at these ideas from Pay Scale.
Until next time,
Meg here and you may not know this, but Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love all the festive decorations and, of course, the candy is a wonderful bonus as well. Whether you look forward to the tricks or treats, Halloween can be such a fun holiday to celebrate around the office. Here are a few of my favorite ways to spread a little spooky spirit at work.
- Decorating your cube with a few small trinkets is the perfect way to spread some Halloween smiles. I recommend keeping any desk decorations as simple as possible. There are so many great ways to decorate without your desk becoming a distraction.
- What would Halloween be without trick or treating? I like to keep a little bowl of candy on my desk for anyone that happens to stop by. Of course, you’ll need to stock up on treats before word gets around that you’re keeping sugary snacks. I recommend this bag of sweets: Assorted Candy. It has a little bit of everything to satisfy all kinds of sweet tooth.
- Another great idea is to have a spooky message board in your breakroom. A whiteboard like this Magnetic Whiteboard is a fun and festive way to keep your entire office caught up on events. We have one in our office and during the week of Halloween, our team will write little Halloween facts each day. A whiteboard is a great way to spread some cheer and communicate all year long.
- Of course, an office Halloween party is another wonderful idea. If you’re excited about the idea of a party but want to be certain that it’s a safe and fun environment for all team members, The Balance has some great tips.
There are so many great ways to celebrate Halloween in your office and I look forward to getting into the spirit this season. I hope you have a spooky and safe holiday!
Until next time,
Meg here! The new business quarter is here! The start of a new quarter is my favorite time to plan and organize for the end of the year, through both business and personal goals. Use these tips to finish strong throughout the end of the year!
First of all, I always find that my organizational skills tend to slip a bit when the leaves start changing. For me, some fresh office supplies are a great way to get back into an organized mindset. I’ve already put an order in for this amazing 2-in-1 Binder Organizer. Not only will it keep my files organized for meetings around the office, I can keep track of all my meeting notes and to-do lists with the built-in binder. Better yet, the organizer is much easier to carry around than a stack of notepads and files.
Of course, the start of a new quarter is the perfect time to reflect back on the past quarter goals. Did you and your team achieve what you were working toward? How will those achievements carry over into new goals in the next quarter? As you set new goals and milestones for your team, make sure that you’re setting professional goals for yourself as well. Every opportunity you have to better yourself in the workplace is an opportunity you should take!
With all these goals set in place, it’s important that you and your team stay healthy throughout cold and flu season! Nothing puts a stop to momentum in the office quite like a runny nose or persistent cough. One quick way to put a stop to germs in the office is a rubber mat at the front door. While we can’t stop all the outdoor germs from getting in, scraping excess dirt and water off your shoes when entering the office can go a long way in contributing to office wellness. We recommend this Outdoor Rubber Scraper Mat. It works wonders for keeping water and dirt outdoors where they belong!
The start of the new quarter is one of my favorite times to begin anew. I hope these tips are a great help for keeping you and your teammates on track (and healthy) this quarter. Good Luck!
Until next time,
Meg here, wishing you a happy fall! October is here and as you may know, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Showing support for the research and fundraising for breast cancer is incredibly important, and your office is a wonderful place to “go pink.” These are some of my favorite ways to spread awareness for the cause and support finding a cure.
- Organize a team for a Breast Cancer Awareness walk in your community. Not only will you bring together folks from your office for the event, it’s a great opportunity for you to spread some philanthropy inside your office. If you’re not able to put together a full team for the event, put together a group of team members to volunteer. Volunteering and participating in your community walk can become a tradition for your office.
- Adding a few accessories to your desk is a great way to start a conversation, as well. During October, I always make sure that I have my Pink Ribbon Retractable Gel Ink Pen for taking notes during meetings. It may be a simple thing but it’s a small way to show support daily. If you’re looking to raise awareness and keep the conversation going throughout the year, this Breast Cancer Awareness Desk Pad Calendar is a great addition to your desk. You may be surprised at the difference these items can make.
- Another great way to make an impact is through a month long, in-office fundraiser. Whether you decide to hold an event or keep a donation bowl in the office throughout October, every bit counts! Incentivizing coworkers to raise a set amount is sure to lead to be success. It’s also a good idea to be clear that donating isn’t mandatory, just encouraged.
While there have been some wonderful breakthroughs in research, there is still a long way to go and every bit of support counts toward Breast Cancer Awareness. There are quite a few ways to show support and spread awareness within your office and these ideas are just a few of the great options out there. For more ways to go Pink this October take a look at these ideas from the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Meg here and it seems that every other weekend has a new trade show on the schedule. Whether you’re a veteran of these shows or you’re new to the experience, this guide will help you be as prepared as possible.
- Pre Show Prep- Take some time to meet with your trade show team and work out what you’d like to accomplish during your time at the show. Are you planning on introducing a new product or service? Are you trying to keep attendees up to date and knowledgeable about your company? Maybe you’re looking to scoop up a few new clients and bring your service to a new region. Be sure that you and your team have a clear understanding of your goals before you begin your time at the show.
- Keep a List- There are some trade show supplies that you just can’t do without! I always make sure to place an order of some key items before the show so I can make sure our team is stocked and ready. On my list are Avery Address Labels to keep everything organized and clearly labeled. I also keep plenty Pilot Gel Ink Pens on hand throughout the show. There’s nothing worse than trying to take notes with a pen that’s nearly out of ink! Finally, I always make sure each team member has a Deflect-o Desktop Business Card Holder. Trade Shows are key for networking and it’s so important to be prepared with plenty of business cards!
- Keep a Schedule- Are there certain speakers or events that your team can’t miss? Keep a clear itinerary of all the events that you need to attend. It also helps to keep a few time slots open for flexibility and down time. Trade shows can be a busy time and it’s important to put aside a little time for a break.
Need a little more inspiration for trade show season? Take a look at these tips from the Huffington Post.
Until next time, Meg