How About Some Business Trivia

May 10, 2012

From time to time we post business-related trivia on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We thought we’d change the pace and offer some up here, too.  Some of it’s interestimg, some of it a little bizarre.

Compete, a book published in 1935, advised that women business travelers not traipse through a train car in a peach negligee. Ha, yes indeed

In Latin the word Lego means “I put together” or “I assemble.” Interestingly, that wasn’t discovered until after the organization was named using a combination of the founders’ surnames.

Hudson Bay Company is the world’s oldest continuously incorporated organization.

Non-drinker Andy Warhol et al created a series of print ads for Absolut Vodka. Warhol later claimed he used it as perfume.

And speaking of perfume, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel introduced Chanel No. 5, which later became the world’s best-selling fragrance, in 1921. She later shared that she considered 5 her lucky number and, as a consequence, she introduced the product on May 5th, the fifth day of the fifth month of the year.  There may have been something to that because it remains a popular product to this day!

Coca-Cola was invented by John Styth Pemberton.  It contains 34 mg of caffeine per 12 oz. serving. The source of caffeine is coffee beans. The average number of bottles sold per day in 1886 was 8. A bit more than that is sold these days!

In 1873 Colgate began mass-producing toothpaste in jars.  Tubes similar to modern renditions of the product were introduced in the 1890s.

It’s believed that Charles Darwin was the first to put wheels on his office chair to facilitate movement in his work space. The office chair became popular in the 19th century and Otto von Bismarck is credited with that.

Bring the Outside In

March 22, 2010

For many of us it was a long (okay, LONG) winter. If you’re lamenting that spring is in full bloom outside while you’re spending most of your time in your office, why not bring a little of that new growth and color inside with you?

Some plants and flowers thrive better indoors than others so it’s wise to do your homework before deciding which to add to your office space. You’ll also need to know how to keep the plant happy in its new home so that it will provide once a year or even continuous color.

Proper care of a flowering house plant is not time-consuming or complicated but a few basic details warrant attention.

  • Place your plant in the brightest spot in your office. Most flowering plants appreciate several hours of direct sun each day. If you don’t have a window or skylight in your office, no problem. Most plants do well in artificial light and, in fact, some actually seem to prefer it.
  • Water the plants regularly, making sure that the soil is evenly saturated. It’s also important to verify that excess water can drain unimpeded from the soil.
  • Plants that flower year-round tend to prefer cooler environments so, to the extent that you can, remember to open windows and /or set the thermostat at a lower temperature.

Flowering plants that do well indoors include begonias, geraniums, gerbera daisies, peace lilies, and small cacti.

Good luck and may you find the green thumb that presumably has been granted to all of us!

Home is Where the Office Is

March 8, 2010


It’s estimated that over 30 million workers in this country have established home offices, no doubt at least somewhat enticed by the thought of comfy clothes, steaming cups of coffee or other beverages of choice, and the elimination of the need to commute anywhere beyond one’s bedroom in the morning. And, in some cases, not even that far, depending on where one has chosen to  set up shop!

Office placement is one of the pivotal aspects of working at home but, for some, deciding upon the best location is not an easy task. In the absence of a room that’s been designed or reserved as an office, or a spare room that doesn’t have a specific purpose, it’s necessary to decide the most logical place, taking into account factors that could significantly influence productivity and contentment.

The first consideration is also the most evident:  available space.  If a room in the  home, be it living room, family room, bedroom, dining room, or even kitchen is sufficiently large enough to accommodate the furniture and tools of your trade, you might want to consider landing there. If no such corner or other area exists, one option is to set up a portable office in a storage or clothes closet, an arrangement that’s especially popular with apartment dwellers. It’s relatively inexpensive to retrofit storage space with shelving and a work surface and you can design it to meet your requirements.

Another alternative is a Murphy bed or drop-down work surface that can be built into a banks of books cases or shelving. Again, the advantage here is that the desk can be hidden away when not in use, freeing up space for other purposes.

An additional positive element of both options is that the office can literally disappear when your work day has ended. Simply move your office or task chair to an adjoining area, close the doors, and you’ve officially gone home for the day!

That can actually have value in more ways than one!

One of the most commonly cited difficulties of maintaining a home office is the lack of a clear delineation of the time when one is and isn’t at work. When one’s office co-exists in the space that also houses forms of recreation and leisure, days can easily become a blur of work activity that extends well beyond traditional business hours.

If space is at a premium and you also prefer more privacy,  how about taking up residence in an attic?  Adding skylights can brighten the space, make it asethetically pleasing, and afford inspiring views, transforming it into a top floor office that you can look forward to returning to each day.

Home office placement can significantly influence a work at home experience, contributing to one’s overall attitude about each work day. We wish you luck in choosing the best option for you!

We’re Grateful

November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Day is once again upon us and we find ourselves grateful for health, family, good friends and Tweeps and Fans, and for all of the other great folks we’ve met along the way.

Some of us are also thankful for easy “The Office” triva questions, or any easy trivia questions about any subject for that matter. “Easy,” of course, being the operative word there.

And we’re grateful for You Tube videos that makes us smile.


We hope you smiled, too.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Customer Satisfaction in Four Easy Steps

October 26, 2009

Every organization strives to have a customer base that’s satisfied, prompting continued interaction and return business that contributes to overall success.  But how do you accomplish that?

It’s easier than you might think.

Customer Service

Personalize Sales and Service

Establishing a personal relationship with your customers is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re communicating that your organization is dedicated to satisfying their needs and wants. It’s important that sales and service personnel not only offer pertinent and useful information but also solicit questions and input from the customer. If a dialogue is achieved, you’re well on your way to not only a sale but to establishing a relationship that’s based on mutual trust and regard.

Be Responsive

Communicating timelines, offering progress reports, and promptly responding to questions and concerns all lessen the potential for customer dissatisfaction. It only takes a few minutes to make a phone call or write an e-mail and doing so in a timely manner is well worth the effort and time it takes.

Provide Quality Products

It’s said that outstanding products and services practically sell themselves and it’s inherently true. Periodically examine your products and/or service to ensure that you are delivering what’s promised. Make comparisons between your business and that of your closest competitors to verify that you’re meeting or exceeding a standard that’s deserving of long-term customer loyalty.

Reward Continued Business

Once an ongoing relationship with a client is established, move beyond what’s expected. Make an effort to anticipate your customers’ needs, if possible, and take the extra steps necessary to accommodate them. In addition, consider cost-saving plans, priority service, and / or other special features that prompt your long-term customers to feel valued and appreciated, hopefully sending other customers your way!