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On-Boarding Do’s and Don’t’s

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:

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  •         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,

Meg

Unique Ways to Use Common Office Products

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.

office products

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!

Ways to Go “Back to School” in the Office

Oh Hiya,

Meg here! Fall will always hold a special back to school excitement for me; no matter how long it’s been since I walked through those hallways. Even if you’re no longer in school, fall can still bring the start of new things. These are some of my favorite ways to put a little joy into the back to school season.

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When was the last time you bought back to school supplies for yourself? Fall is the perfect time to update your supplies while taking advantage of some great sales. I’ve already started a list! This fall I’ll be stocking up on 3M Yellow Note Pads and a new Swingline Desk Stapler. Nothing like some new desk accessories and supplies to get you in the spirit!

One of my favorite things about starting a new school year was the opportunity to meet new friends. Grab a few office friends and join a club or pull together a team to play in a local sports league. It’s a great way to get to know your office-mates outside of work while exploring a new hobby or staying active.

I used to always look forward to decorating my locker for the new school year. Now I look forward to sprucing up my desk with a few new accessories! This season I’m brightening up my desk with a new HON task chair. I’ve also had my eye on a cute new desk plant to bring a little more color to my space. There are so many options to update your office and these ideas from Porch are just perfect.

Back to school excitement shouldn’t go away now that you’re out of school! There are so many ways to celebrate the season, big or small.

Until next time, Meg

Office Styles for the Girly Girl

Oh Hiya!

Meg here, and I want you to know that not all office design needs to be boring and plain! As the girly girl in our company, I have made it my mission to bring a splash of color and fun into our space. Here are some tips for adding a little stylish flair to your office, while still remaining professional.

office design

  • Add Some Shine- A glam office is all about a little glitz. An easy way to upgrade is by adding some metallic touches to your desk space. One of the great things about metallic accessories is that you can make a big statement or add some simple, subtle shine. A new, mirrored pencil cup or a metallic paper tray will add some quick glitz to your desk. If you’d like to make a bigger statement, I recommend a statement lamp or some glittery photo frames. They’re certain to be conversation starters!
  • Step up your Stapler- It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I love my high heels! One of my favorite desk accessories is my Swingline® High Heel Stapler. Of course I chose the red one; I just couldn’t pass up the chance to make my girly stapler even more eye catching. While high heels may not be your shoe (or stapler) of choice, there are so many fantastic options for bright, girly office accessories.
  • Take Note- I’m always taking notes during meetings but sometimes they get a little messy and need organizing. When that happens, I always reach for my BIC® Brite Liner Highlighter. I just love all the color options in a pack, instead of just plain yellow. Every notepad needs a pop of color and these highlighters certainly do the trick! If my notes won’t need to be highlighted I’ll always make sure to write with a bright pen. Notes in bright green, blue, or pink always look prettier than those written in black ink.
  • Add an Accent- Every desk needs a bright pop of color! Since your office space may not be a large area, choosing one or two accent colors works best. You can make a statement with a big piece, like a colorful chair, or smaller pops of color like themed sticky notes or desk accessories all in the same shade. No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to make sure your new accessories compliment your style without becoming too distracting.

Whether you follow one or all of these tips, your desk will be a beautiful reflection of your own personal style! There’s no better time to personalize your desk than today and I’m certain your newly decorated space will be the talk of the office. If you’d like some great photo inspiration, I found some wonderful ideas here.

Until next time,

Meg

No Bandwagon Fans in the Office

Untitled design (3)The 2015 NFL season is in full swing and it’s time to show your team spirit! Whether your team favorites make it to Superbowl or not, the players need your support.
Members of the Pack, Dawg Pound and 13 Man alike love to wave their Terrible Towels whenever they get the chance, and the office is no exception. It may be too far into the season to begin a fantasy league, but there are other ways to bring some friendly competition to the office!
1. Casual Friday/Game Day: Most offices already allow employees to take it easy on Fridays, but encourage them to wear their team’s colors. You’ll learn a little more about your coworkers and spur some light trash-talking! You might not have known John was a Patriots fan…
2. Guess Weekly Picks: A fantasy league is a long commitment that requires constant management. Instead, employees can just pick, week-by-week, who they think will win and earn office-wide bragging rights!
3. Start a Sports “Club”: Every office has that group of die-hard sports fanatics. Encourage them to find each other and start an email-thread, hosting all the stats and reviews they want to share! The club can even host a watch party and branch out to the rest of the office.
4. Deck Out of Office: Each office, cubicle or desk should be displaying team spirit! Flags, pictures, pennants, posters and customized office supplies can all be used as dedicated cheerleaders. We carry a variety of NFL branded items, like the Swingline NFL 747 Business Stapler, to show your team pride.
There are so many ways to show NFL support from the sidelines. Now it’s time to bring that pride into the office and have fun with your colleagues!

Tips for Teachers

teacher

Teachers have one of the most rewarding, as well as challenging, jobs out there. The job doesn’t stop when the teacher leaves the classroom, and because of this, we recognize the importance of not wasting a single minute of the work day. Through reaching out to a number of different teachers, we have come up with a list of the top five time savers for the busy classroom teacher!

1Borrow Good Ideas, Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: One of the best parts about having a community of fellow teachers, is having the opportunity to share what works and what doesn’t work. Reach out to some of the best teachers that you know and see what great activities and lesson plans they have used over the years. You can always change little details or make any adjustments that you see fit, but not having to start from scratch will save a considerable amount of time inside and outside of the classroom.

2Use a Daily Planner: At times, our heads seem to be filled with countless different projects, deadlines, activities, and thoughts that make our day seem extremely busy. By using a planner that allows you to detail out your schedule, and keep an active ‘to do’ list within it, your day will seem a lot more manageable.

3Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead: I like to think that this time saving trick is what you get when you combine trick one and trick two. By knowing what you will be doing, how you will be doing it, and how it’s expected to play out before even beginning, you won’t feel the rush and anxiousness of doing something last minute. Although some spontaneity is a good thing in life, it doesn’t need to be the case for the class schedule. Creating a syllabus for the year and determining which lessons will be taught on which days gives you some extra breathing room.

4. Assign Tasks to Students: A great trick to employ is delegation. As a teacher, you’re typically in a room filled with 20 to 30 other people, but more often than not, you try to do everything on your own. By assigning different jobs to students (ie: ‘supplies distributor’, ‘paper passer outter’, or ‘clean up crew’) you’re not only getting help with the days tasks and speeding up the process, but you’re also teaching your students the responsibility that they need to learn!

5. ‘Make Up Assignment’ Calendar: When a student is absent, they’re likely going to ask you for all the work they missed while they were out. This eats up a lot of your time as you try to explain the assignments, give a brief overview of the lesson, and basically catch them up to speed. Set aside a place in your classroom with a calendar that lists the assignments and chapters covered for each day. Also have a filing system with it that the student can go into and grab all the necessary papers from without bothering you to get them. Putting a system in place like this will save you time in the long run and reduce the amount of interruptions that may occur.

We are interested in any other time saving tricks that you have found useful in your years of teaching! Let us know of any helpful tips and tricks to employ in your classroom. Nominate your favorite teacher, or sign yourself up, for our Classroom Makeover Madness Sweepstakes for a chance to WIN some great prizes!

By: Emily K, Swingline Intern

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Stack and Shred

What Makes the Swingline Stack and Shred so impressive…?

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Swingline Guide to Picking a Shredder

Confused by the endless little choices to make when picking a shredder? Well Swingline has put together a video to make things a little clearer. Check it out!