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Updated: May 15, 2020

Most of us have experience in an underwhelming customer area–whether it's a waiting room, shopping area, or anywhere in-between. If the chill of the room didn't affect us–the unenthusiastic greeting upon entering definitely did.

The ushering in of Covid-19 hasn't helped matters, either. Stay home orders, quarantines, and general caution to not contract the novel coronavirus has affected nearly every business to some degree. Social distancing, masked faces, and sanitized hands create a whole new level of separation from the world of which we were just recently apart. That's why making your customer area as welcoming and as warm as you can is more important than ever.

In this article we'll highlight some things you can do to ensure your waiting area feels as warm and inviting as possible.

1. Keep Covid-Clean

More than ever you need to convey that your establishment is safe for your customers. Nobody wants to enter a store where no caution appears to have been heeded. The best place to start would be to follow the guidelines set forth by the FDA and CDC. Some helpful tips from their sites can be procured easily (using household bleach, making your own protective face mask, etc.)

Print out and prominently place a sign letting customers know the lengths your staff is going to in order to keep things sanitary for them.

2. Brand Consistency

If your business has a physical presence then you'll want to creatively maintain your brand's aesthetics while reopening in spite of the COVID-19 rules and regulations. Removing furniture and spacing walkways to maintain a 6-foot clearance for customers can easily leave your customer area looking sterile and uninviting. Many elements can make up your brand, from the way you interact with your customers, to the overall look, feel, sound, and even smell of your storefront or customer area.

Remain consistent with how you communicate your brand as you reopen after quarantine.

If you haven't established your brand well in times past, then now is the best time to start! Begin by considering how you want your business to be perceived by customers and launch from there. Here are a few more considerations when establishing your brand:

• How will you and your staff dress?

• How will they communicate/talk to each other? To customers?

• What overall tone are you communicating to the public?

• What values are most important to your business and how can they be expressed throughout your brand?

• Which dominant font(s) will you choose to align with your message tone on a textual level?

• How can you create an eye-catching logo that customers recognize as 'you'?

To further set your brand apart, there are many things your business can do, such as incorporate a genre of music playing in the background, a distinct pleasant fragrance (such as burning candles), or wall decorations.

3. Preserve Presentation

Be sure to keep presentation as tightly to your message as possible. Ultimately, this means to make sure your customer area is clean, tidy and organized, engaging, user-friendly, and helpful.

• If there is gray area on how to use a product, be there to help or include a poster nearby.

• Make sure the cash register area is free of unnecessary clutter, trash, and personal items such as beverages and phones.

• Check to make sure all furniture is tightly screwed, safe, and free of wobbling.

• Keep the temperature of the room comfortable–you want them to stay for as long as they'd like.

• Clean floors, windows, and mirrors before customers arrive.

• Ensure all employees are following the company's code of conduct and dress code.

4. Give Something To Everyone

Whether it's a donut, bookmark, custom sticker, beverage, or coupon that's good towards their next visit, give them something before they leave. Everyone likes gifts, so think of something in line with your brand that you can give that brings value to them and makes them think of you.

5. Create Dialogue

Some folks entering your establishment could be venturing out for the first time in months! What an honor that yours is one of the first they'll encounter since being quarantined. Such an honor deserves a worthy response, right?

In a typical retail or restaurant environment you'll start things off warm and welcoming by saying something along the lines of, "Well hey! Nice to see you! Thanks for stopping in today," and then something to help open dialogue a bit–"How does it feel to be getting closer to back to normal?" These kinds of conversations create warmth, let them know you're not just a salesperson but a person, will lead you and your team into more natural selling conversations, and create repeat customer relationships.

In a more professional atmosphere such as a waiting area, you may decide to greet patients with a "Hello–it's so nice to see you again" or "Hey there [name], how've you been the past couple of months?" before beginning routine medical questions. These types of greetings can generally mean all the difference in the world to patients who are used to mere stone-faced "greeters".

Whether this is a long-time returning customer or a first time discoverer of your business, dialogue with them in a way they'll remember for a while.

6. Continue the Conversation

When your customer leaves satisfied, helped, and more engaged with your staff and brand, that is the best time to continue the momentum. By sending out a simple thank you message via text or email and asking them to share their experience with their friends, you can capitalize on all of the steps before this and minimize advertising costs in the future.

Here's how to do it:

• Ask if they would mind if you send them special offers or priority updates on items you get in stock

• Collect their email or phone number

• Send them a simple shoutout after they leave thanking them for the conversation, time spent with you, and of course the purchase. Then, ask if they would post a quick shoutout on their favorite social media platform and leave you a review on Google so that you can keep pushing your message to others. Since you have a good message–they will likely be very receptive and eager to help out.

Though there will be strict guidelines as we move forward with rolling out business openings, it doesn't mean our demeanor or brand has to also become sterile. Make the most out of the quarantine by making your businesses emergence wrought with new standards and excellences.

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If you're looking to sanitize your shop or business during this COVID-19 pandemic, you may find yourself without traditional options.

And, with some retail and other establishments looking to re-open in the near future, more and more are looking for resources on how to kill the coronavirus effectively while maintaining their business.

Simple ingredients such as Rubbing Alcohol, which is a great coronavirus killer, are extremely hard to find in the stores as many have procurred them as one of the key ingredients in producing hand sanitizer.

Thankfully, Isopropyl Alcohol and Ethanol aren't the only chemicals that can keep our workplace and home sanitary!

Once you begin probing around the CDC and FDA websites, you'll discover different ways to creatively sanitize your environment.

One item you may even have in the garage or cleaning closet is good, old, reliable household bleach. If you find you're out of bleach, you may find it here.

Bleach is extremely effective at eradicating the novel coronavirus. Properly diluted solutions of household bleach (provided the product is still within its expiration date) can be used on many hard surfaces you normally touch or come into contact with.

Some areas you may consider using a bleach solution are:

• doorknobs

• entryways

• water fountains

• desk tops (test for color-fastness)

• computers, keyboards, and other accessories

• other hard surfaces

So, remember when it comes time to sanitize the workplace or home, pull out your trustworthy household bleach and get back to work.

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Updated: May 14, 2020

In the Age of Digital, why would we ever go back to use a notebook, steno pad, or journal?

Here are some strong Pros for using Digital paper.

The Cloud


For starters, using the Cloud enables you to sync all of your information across your devices.

When you can type something out on one piece of digital paper and automatically pull it up on another device or send it to the printer with a couple taps on your phone–That’s HUGE. It screams of being efficient and immediately helpful.

What is the Cloud?

The cloud is similar to the term “internet”, but really it is the software or services that can be accessed and used via the internet rather than a standalone piece of software.

For instance, Google Docs is a cloud-based word processor offered by Google. You can type out and save a document using Google Docs without taking up that storage space on your own computer.

What’s more is that you have the ability to access that saved document anywhere you can access Google Docs, such as your smart phone, work computer, home laptop, smart tablet, and the list goes on and will likely be added to in the future.

What’s even MORE is that you can share that document to another co-worker for them to read over, edit, add comments to or share for their self all in real-time.

Without the Cloud

In contrast, in a non cloud-based word processor you would save that document to your computer’s storage. This would put some speed bumps in you and your co-worker’s neighborhood when you want to share that document quickly.

Instead of the recipient getting the document right away, you would save it in a format which the recipient can open, attach it in an email, send it, and wait for them to receive it.

From there, they could edit and comment but then they’ll need to email your edited document back to you, and you can begin to see how a cloud-based system works more seamlessly and efficiently.

Error Protection

Using digital paper helps create little receipts of everything you’ve done. So, when you are finished with the draft of a proposal and forward it (or if you’re using the Cloud–share it) with a co-worker to proofread, you won’t be in the wrong if you’re told that it never happened, because you have a proof of delivery or acceptance of a shared file right there.

You can go back and show where the email was sent or the Share request was sent. If you used physical paper, well–we all know it could get lost or damaged or never even make it into the hands and eyes of our recipient.

You cover yourself for errors better when you’re using a digital footprint that can be tracked. I use sticky notes to take phone call messages for folks around the office, but as soon as I’m done with that phone call I immediately transpose it into an email to send to the recipient. That way the message has every chance of making it to the recipient, and I don’t goof up by misplacing it or thinking I gave it to the correct person when in fact I did not.

Easily Organized

Another pro for using digital versus physical paper is the ability to stay neat and organized.

The fact is, I can type out a paragraph and make it perfect, even if it takes me 50 backspaces or I’m using autocorrect. But if I’m making those types of mistakes on physical paper, then I’ve created a real messy layout.

When you cross out, erase or whiten out inked words on physical paper, then it can get pretty messy looking really fast.

The fact is–you can waste time, resources, and energy by using physical paper.

Paper–Why Bother?

With this argument for digital paper why would anyone even consider the use of physical paper?

You can’t electronically send it, you can’t sync it, you can’t neatly fix it.

Before we throw it all into the Recycling Bin, let’s look at the question from a different perspective.

Before you set out to write a piece of content, do you consider the end goal?

What I mean is–

  • Are you attempting to get the most out of the lecture or speaker you’re listening to by retaining the information?

  • Are you attempting to unlock some creativity from writing?

  • Perhaps the document you write serves to help you think a little deeper and more intentionally?

Well, guess what–all of these efforts are strengthened by physically writing rather than digitally writing.

Think Deeper

It is well known that writing something out by hand increases your critical thinking skills. Your brain becomes sharper if you’re taking notes by hand, because you’re actually thinking of the most valuable information to write out rather than merely copying word for word every single thing you hear onto a device.

Writing it out enhances your brain’s ability to lock in on all the valuable nuggets of information you’re hearing!

Create More

Creative juices start flowing more, too.

The physical properties of writing can amp up your creative game. Notice when you are in the middle of writing an essay, taking notes, or jotting a grocery list that every now and then you begin to doodle?

Yeah–that’s part of your brain helping you connect with what you’re writing! You’re so smart.

Remember More

These properties help with memory retention, as well.

Next time you make a grocery list try drawing a quick picture of the bottle of ketchup you need rather than write it and see if you can remember better when you’re at the store.

On the safe side though, you better keep the list with you and double check before you leave.

Physical + Digital = Better

Though digital can be convenient, user-friendly and even enjoyable, it works best combined with it's physical counterpart (especially for the workplace.)

It always pays to have a backup copy on copy paper ( and vice-versa) just in case.

They say if it's not on paper it never happened. But you might as well use the smartest and fastest way possible to get it to the paper–Cloud system software!

Copier paper is part of the chemical makeup of most workplaces–even the "paperless" ones, and combined with Cloud-based or other digital software it's perfectly complemented.

Don’t Ditch the Paper

So, while we love the ease, functionality and user-friendliness of the digital world we can keep paper, notebooks, sticky notes, and doodle pads close by for thinking deeper, remembering better, allowing ourselves to be more creative and of course–printing.


Personal Office Hack 🤔

Would we benefit from a creative-filled, memory-enhanced, thought-boosted day?

Here’s a personal office hack I think you will love.

This is what you’ll need: a journal, diary, notebook or jr. legal pad of some sort and the best pen you own (here's my personal favorite.)

  1. In the morning before you get started on your routine, pull out your notebook and pen and then put your thoughts on paper. They may be good, they may be negative. Write them down. Ask yourself, what’s been on my mind as I woke up or the past couple of days. Begin writing it out and let your brain continue thinking as you do.

  2. If you’re into doodling, let it happen. Let the creative juices begin working to warm up your brain for the tasks at hand that day. If you get in a routine of writing, it can truly enhance your productivity–what do you have to lose?

One way I do this is by combining it with my morning routine of reading through the Bible in a year (not doing well so far.) I write out notes in my journal area which happens to be in my Bible and it begins to sharpen my brain for the day!

Try doing a few minutes of writing in the morning and find the differences it makes in your day!


Listen to this blog on Free Shipping! The Podcast, S1:E1 “Power Lines

How using a notebook can boost your productivity"

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