In the Time magazine article, “Kmart Unleashes Season’s First Christmas Ad”  the airing of Kmart’s first Christmas commercial mere days within the Labor Day holiday, caused an uproar with consumers. The releasing of premature holiday ads kicked off in September of 2013 only mere days behind the NFL’s kick off date! This year K-Mart is at it again with a “Non-Christmas” ad which is more than a little reminiscent of the holiday. Meanwhile, consumers appalled by the premature marketing, took their frustrations to social media:

NBC-Clock-nightmare-before-christmas-17526564-2560-1714“What happened to Halloween and thanksgiving?” one commenter posted. “Stop with the Christmas commercials ALREADY!!” Another raged, “Why don’t you just start this on 1st each year! This is ridiculous and if I see an ad on TV I will never stop in your store!” Kmart’s “Non-Christmas” Ad

In light of this, we are dedicating our latest blog, in a most-timely fashion, to Halloween in Charm City! Whether you’ve been on the prowl for a ghost sighting or it’s the candy that you crave, Baltimore has got you covered! From family-friendly scares to adults only events, below you’ll find a miscellany of local activities sure to amplify your Halloween’s fear factor.

Fells Pt Relish in the cool crisp air of fall weather and take a stroll through one of Baltimore’s most widely contested haunted neighborhoods. The award winning Mount Vernon Ghost Tour allows thrill-seekers to appreciate the community’s historical architecture while guides, dressed in period-attire, escort you through the spirited neighborhood. If it’s another type of spirit that you’re after, check out the Fells Point Haunted Pub Crawl! Ghost-sightseers can sip on a pumpkin-ale while your tour guide accounts tales of spirits startling the local taverns workers and patrons. For a gravely different experience, visit the reportedly most haunted city in the state of Maryland and one of the most haunted cities in the United States, Frederick. This year, Candlelight tours will be extending a historic cemetery tour in addition to their nationally acclaimed ghost tours.

ZoobooCandy seekers can get their fill at the Maryland Zoo. October 24-26 marks the return of the Maryland Zoo’s Zoo-Boo event! Besides trick or treating, kids can enter in costume contests, participate in craft making, play carnival games, or visit their favorite animal. Food and live entertainment will be available.

FrightfestNow through November 2, Six Flags America will be hosting its annual Fright Fest! Here kids can enjoy a pre-Halloween trick or treat trail, Halloween-themed shows, haunted houses and all the usual thrill rides. Fright Fest isn’t just for kids though; check the schedule, as the park is closed to children several evenings for adults-only events, and several new attractions have been added for the 2014 season!

pumpPonyFor family friendly events that won’t put your children at risk for nightmares, Baltimore has several festivals that guarantee fun for all ages. The Harbor Harvest commences its Halloween inspired festivals on October 19. The 7th annual, two day, waterfront festival will be featuring a hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides, face-painting, live music, pumpkins patches and even pumpkin decorating! The event takes place between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and both admission and activities are free.

LanternparadeFinally, the 15th annual Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival: Kaleidoscope in Baltimore is no ordinary costume parade. Creative Alliance will be hosting this true community art project where visitors are encouraged to build their own lanterns, learn to walk on stilts, and even participate in the parade as puppeteers! Live music, hay rides, food trucks, various workshops, and the parade of course will be taking place on October 25 between 3:30-9 p.m.

Whatever ghoulish plans you may partake in, you can find comfort in knowing Officense is signing for your packages, screening your calls, and setting your appointments. Likewise, if you need an office to tie up some last minute business, we are conveniently located in the Inner Harbor for you to quickly return to your Halloween festivities!

Posted in 2014, Administrative Assistant, Arts and Entertainment, Autumn, Baltimore, Big Business, Business, Business Address, Christmas, Community, cut-costs, entrepreneurs, Events, Executive Assistant, family, Festivals, Food, free, fun, Guide, Halloween, Holidays, Maryland, Parade, Pumpkin, Receptionist, Sight Seeing, Small Business, To-Do, Tourism, Trick or treat, Virtual Office, weather, Zoo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anatomy of Businss Plan Cover_text

 

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a written description of your business’s future. Simply stated—it’s a document that details what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a quick couple of sentences on the back of a cocktail napkin describing your business strategy, you’ve written a plan, or at least a seedling of a plan.

proper planning

Why Do You Need One?

The answer is simple. It enables you to evaluate the feasibility of your idea. It provides an operating plan so you know what to expect. And it gives you a clear picture of what kind of financial commitment will be required. Remember you are crafting your plan to:

✓ Avoid Making a Huge Mistake – The last thing you want to do is work on your start-up for a year, only to realize you were doomed to fail from the start. No one wants to learn the hard way that they didn’t set aside enough capital to reach their goals, took on partners with the wrong skills and resources, or don’t have a viable way to make money. Developing and sharing a business plan can help ensure that you’re moving on the right path.

✓ Develop a Game Plan – At a start-up, execution is everything. That means you have to set priorities, establish goals, and measure performance.  You also need to identify the key questions to answer, like “What features do customers really want?” or “Will customers buy our product and how much will they pay?” and “How can we attract  or  market to our customers in a way that’s cost effective?”  These are all things you need to address during the business planning process.

✓  Raise Capital – The last thing you want to do is start up your dream business and be completely unprepared for all that is entailed, especially in terms of operation costs, and then not be able to keep your dream afloat.

No time Graphicbusiness-plan

Now you know the “what” and “why” of a business plan, but this only brings about more questions. Where do you find the time? What do you write? What about all these financials? Here are three key points to remember once you are putting pen to paper.

1 – No one’s got time for that
Writing a business plan will take some time. There’s no getting around that part. But you don’t have the time to sit and write for hours. Not many of us do. An easy solution to make it more feasible for your schedule is to break it up into sections. Focus on smaller chunks at a time to help make the lengthy task more manageable.

✓  Section One – Executive Summary
✓  Section Two – financials
✓  Section Three – Support to Back Up the First Two Sections

2 – Relinquish  the Verbosity
The most effective business writing is simple, to the point and easy to read. People are generally busy and will opt to skim your plan versus studying it thoroughly – instead choosing to read it while talking on the phone or checking their email. Save the eloquent sentence enhancers and verbosity for that great American novel you’ll write later. When you’re crafting your plan, remember these tips:

✓  Keep it short
✓  But Be Thorough

3-Show Me The Money
Your financial projections should be based on facts and not wild guesses. Be prepared to justify your numbers to those from whom you are seeking financial assistance. It’s crucial to understand the cost before you get in too deep. That is why your financial analysis is very important.

✓  Create a One Page “Break Even” Analysis
✓  Show how you will gain profits and be a good investment

Business-Consulting1

short expiration

You have a vision for a small business. Putting that vision in writing gets it one step closer to reality and assuring your success. Here are the most important aspects of a business plan to guide you through the process:

✓  Define your product or service
✓  Research your industry & Market
✓  Identify your competitors
✓  Plan how you will market your product
✓  Estimate your Sales
✓  Assign Key Management members
✓  Plan how you will deliver your products or services
✓  Plan your financial statements for 3-5 years in advance
✓  Look into cost saving options like a virtual office space

So, as you can see, a business plan is much more than just a fund-raising tool. You’ll use it for managing yourself, for operating your business and for recruiting your staff. Call us today so we can show you how we can help turn your entrepreneurial dream into a reality.

http://officense.com/

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Happy Labor Day

The aroma of hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken grilling with that special sauce your Uncle Lou or Auntie Sally has passed down for generations is wafting through the air. We know your inbox has filled to the max with emails promoting items that have had their prices inflated and then discounted to lure you into the crowded malls and dealership parking lots. You know what this means, it’s Labor Day Weekend.

In Charm City there are loads of attractions and ways of celebrating this well-deserved break (our condolences if you still have to work).

 

 

Maryland State Fair

 

From Cow Palace and Goat Mountain to Karaoke Contests and a Dance explosion, there’s loads of entertainment at the Maryland State Fair grounds. Plus, if you’re missing the hum of engines and longing for the excitement of a good race since the Grand Prix has left Baltimore, you will love the Thoroughbred races on the fair grounds. For those in the mood for old fashioned enjoyment, check out the carnival rides and concession stands.

 

Maryland Renaissance Festival

 

We have few affairs in Maryland that are more old fashioned than the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Lords, ladies, maidens and fools, will all be found upon the grounds in Crownsville,  MD (that was very proclamation-ey). On this year’s docket for an appearance from centuries past are the infamous King Henry VIII and ill-fated Katherine of Aragon. Explore history, experience a by-gone era…and play dress-up at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

Chris Robinson & Robot Films Presents The Labor Day Robot Weekend

 

Okay, we know we’re supposed to be remembering the laborers of the past and present and the struggle for hard won rights, but you might not be able to resist a form of entertainment far more futuristic—doing the robot, with robots. Check out Chris Robinson & Robot Films’ The Labor Day Robot Weekend.

National Hard Crab Derby

 

If you are a Baltimorean, or if you simply know that crustaceans are best a beautiful red orange and steamed in Old Bay, you don’t want to miss this event. Crab cooking contest, rides, a swim meet, dance contest and a crab pageant –yes a crab pageant. This annual tradition is sure to have attractions for the whole family or an outing for one.

Relax

Labor Day Weekend is meant to be a rest for the weary, so don’t get so busy thrill seeking that you forget to take time for a little R & R. Sunbathe in your backyard or a park that’s not too popular, or read a good book so you can have some “me time”. And if you do need do a little business during the weekend, make it stress free by calling Officense and asking about 24 hour access to meeting space.

 

 

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The time has come, fall is just around the corner and your summer vacation is in the rear view. While you are in the process of getting last minute school supplies and dorm room accessories for your children, don’t forget that the end of summer also means time to refocus on your work priorities.

Father getting kids ready for school

Now, you finally have the opportunity to shift all your attention to your business and presenting a professional image.

We at Officense understand your relief of having your kids back at school and offer the most effective support. As one of the superior Virtual Office providers in Maryland, we know the importance of a well-structured and maintained business.

Now you might ask: “What is a virtual office?”

That’s a great question. It basically is a combination of off-site live communication, address and meeting room services that allow businesses to reduce traditional office costs while still maintaining business professionalism. Whether you’re a small business owner or an employee, you will now have the freedom of working from any location you want by using modern technology such as laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc.

Work from anywhere

How does Officense help your business cut costs?

By comparing the operations of a virtual office and those of traditional ones, you will rapidly realize that virtual offices are not only an innovative approach to office management but are also much more cost effective. But let’s take a closer look.

Take into consideration how much money you spend on leasing office space, utilities, furniture, a receptionist or administrative assistant on a monthly basis. Now imagine having all of this, whenever you need it, without the heavy financial burden. Our Virtual Office space allows you to have an address for your professional image and access to all the necessary amenities to strive as a business. It also allows you access to conference rooms for a proficient meeting atmosphere and access to technology such as video conferencing.

 

Large Conference Room Officense

Here are some of the diverse services we provide:

  • An impressive, Baltimore downtown location to serve as your business address where we offer a variety of mail options.
  • Live- answering service, screening and forwarding to another number or to a voice mailbox.
  • A phone number with a local area code or a toll-free phone number is provided for business communication.
  • Beautifully furnished offices with window views guaranteed.
  • On-site, professional Executive Assistants, who greet your clients and can even maintain your calendar.
  •  Video Conferencing
  • And many more.

 

virtual assistant

As you can see our options are endless and ideal for small companies and large corporations, as well as entrepreneurs who run their business from home but are interested in expanding to a more professional environment.

With technology advancing so rapidly and workloads increasing along with it, the desire to work from home and alleviate some of the stress that comes along with commuting, juggling family life, etc. has also become very strong.

At OFFICENSE, we understand that it is difficult to run a successful business while making the kids realize that the end of summer also means back to school. Let us help you make the transition as smooth as possible. Call us now at (410) 814-7500 and mention the promo code “Back To School” for 1 month off when registering.

 

Your New Business Office in Baltimore 06.24.14 MP

Posted in 2014, Administrative Assistant, After Hours, Back to school, Baltimore, Business, Business Address, Conference Room, Conference/Events, cut-costs, entrepreneurs, Executive Assistant, meeting, Office, promotion, summer, vacation, video conference, Virtual Office | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Save keybdLet’s face it, since the decline of the United States’ economy in 2008 Americans everywhere have been forced to make each dollar stretch. Affecting the employees of declining business, individuals have faced pay cuts, layoffs, and a general lack of opportunity. Unfortunately most individuals do not have access to government bailouts or business tax credits and, as our economy relies on consumerism, the demise of consumer confidence continues to take its toll on capitalism. Small businesses and startups also may not have access to big government bail outs and in the face of adversity shouldn’t have to sacrifice to cut costs. Here are some of the top money-saving techniques for your business, big or small, and some, you can even apply to your personal finances!

entrepreneur-home-office

Home-based? If you work out of a home office, a portion of your rent or mortgage, interest and utilities could qualify as business expenses.  You may also deduct a percentage of many home maintenance expenses, along with a portion of the costs of services like

 

Fill it out for free. Instead of buying forms at your local office supply store or spending time creating them yourself, you can find tons of free templates online that you can download, customize and print. Free forms on Form.net can get you started.

Consult with consultants. Thanks to the rapport you’ve probably already developed with them, the professionals you work with regularly are often quite easy to bargain with. Ask your insurance agent, accountant or lawyer how you can cut back on their costs. You’d be surprised at the suggestions they might offer on ways you can cut your premiums, reduce billable hours or avoid huge retainers. You might also be able to barter some of your services in the process.

restaurant biz mtgGet out on the town. If your business requires you to meet clients at their offices or restaurants, don’t forget to take those deductions! For 2014, you can deduct 56 cents per mile to cover your transportation expenses. Additionally, you can even deduct a portion of your entertainment costs if you entertain clients or even potential clients to discuss a current or future project. Just remember to maintain a log of the entertainment-related expenses you plan to deduct.

Compare Credit. If you run unpaid balances on your credit cards at the end of the month, it’s time to shop for a card with a low interest rate. If you pay in full, it’s more important you avoid an annual fee and look for a longer grace period.  Some credit card issuers will actually waive the annual fee or even reduce the interest rate if you ask. Tell your credit card company you’ve received offers from other companies with lower interest rates or no annual fees, and ask if they will reduce yours.

Buy recycled. Local recycled printer cartridge suppliers can be found through most directories or google. Better yet, you can blend your charitable instincts with your printingEnegy-save mone needs.  LaserMonks.com, a re-manufacturing printing supply company out of Wisconsin, is run by a group of monks who, after paying their business expenses, donate their profits. house cleaning and lawn care. Talk to your tax adviser for more information or check the IRS’s website.

Check overstock or used. Why buy new when you can save as much as 60% off retail by buying used or overstock computer equipment, copiers and office furniture from stores like Aaron Rents & Sells? Auctions, newspaper classifieds, and sites like Craigslist.org are all great sources of used office equipment.

Save on Shipping. If you’re near your suppliers, pick up your order yourself-or perhaps have a friend or family member do it for you. Just remember to only pick up supplies yourself when it truly saves you money. If it’s taking you away from a revenue-producing activity, you’re not really saving.

Bank

Bank Early. Make bank deposits early enough in the day so you get credit and can start earning interest that day.

Be a legal eagle. When you hire an attorney, make sure you have a written fee agreement to prevent surprise fees. It should include an estimate of the time to be spent on your case and specify what is covered in the fee-including typing or copying-and what is not.

Learn something new. Rather than hire a consultant to write your press releases, instead, pay one for an hour or two to show you how to do it yourself. You’ll have the added benefit of gaining a new skill which will save you lots in the long run by never having to hire again!

pigattacheAlternatively, a virtual office can be a choice solution for your business-saving needs. For about 10% of the cost of maintaining office facilities and administrative staff! Virtual offices that offer customizable packages, like Officense, allow for you to add and remove services as your business needs change. Call us today to find out more ways we can help you save instead of spend!

 

Posted in 2014, Administrative Assistant, Baltimore, Big Business, Business, Business Address, cut-costs, Economy, entrepreneurs, Executive Assistant, growth, meeting, Office, Receptionist, simple, Small Business, video conference, Virtual Office, workplace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remember when you were in seventh grade and the science teacher grouped you up and told you to work as a team and figure out how to drop an egg out of the 4th story lab window without breaking it? Team building for grownups… Yes. It’s exactly like that.

Officese Teamwork

The list of companies and organizations that use team building activities is as vast as the reasons for using them. Some of the more important reasons for implementing them into your workplace: boosting morale, improving communication, increasing motivation and productivity, breaking the ice, learning about strengths and weaknesses and plenty of others. These types of activities can be used by any company, any size, to create a better sense of camaraderie in the workplace, and as most owners, organizers and managers know, having a cohesive, happy team is one of the biggest factors associated with a company’s success. The idea is to create something that is both fun and challenging.

 teamwork puzzle

Communication, problem solving, ice breakers, and tasks that focus on building trust are the four main types of team building activities. The idea is to create something that is both fun and challenging. Here are a few great activities to get you started.

Two Truths and a Lie – Ice Breaker
Have each team member write down two truths and one lie about themselves. Each participant reads their statements, and the other members try to guess which one is false. This game helps to encourage better communication in the office, as well as letting you get to know your coworkers better.

The Great Egg Drop (See? I told you.) – Problem Solving
This messy, yet classic and fun problem solving activity requires splitting the room into two groups to build an egg package that can sustain an eight foot drop. Be sure to provide tools and other materials to the teams. It will be just as fun as you remembered it.

Gossip – Ice Breaker
The group sits in a circle and the “gossip” begins with one person sharing a secret with the person sitting next to them in the circle. The secret is passed as each person shares it with the next person. In telling the secret, it may not be repeated twice to the same person (so the listener must get it all the first time.) When the secret makes its way back to the person who started the “gossip”, it is shared out loud. That person then reads their original and a comparison is made. Laughter and a valuable lesson in communication will ensue.

M&M or Skittle Game – Ice Breaker
Have the group sit in a circle. Pass the bag around and ask people to help themselves to a handful of Skittles or M&Ms, but not to eat them yet. When the bag has been around the full circle, each person must tell one thing about themselves for every piece of candy they took. A variation is to assign a number of things a person must tell about themselves to every color. Of course, don’t tell people about this aspect of the game until they have already grabbed a handful.

It’s obvious to some that these activities are both entertaining and useful. On the other hand, if you know that your staff equates these teambuilding sessions to several wasted hours of their lives sitting in a semicircle talking about their feelings or playing silly games, then a different approach may work best. No one will be happier to see those events removed from their weekend calendar than your staff. Instead, look no further than your own backyard to help build your team.

According to Amanda Schneider of IdeaPaint, the most dynamic workspace is all you need to facilitate spontaneous collaboration and inspire creativity; just use the Five C’s: Comfort, Connectivity, Central location, Coffee, and CNN.

Comfy Office Space

The “Five C’s”

  1. Comfortable spaces have soothing colors, plush furniture, and open spaces in a clean and fragrant environment – so much so that people actually want to go into the office.
  2. Communal spots positioned centrally where people pass builds trust among employees. Steve Jobs believed in the power of casual interactions and the spontaneous conversations and ideas that germinate from those encounters – and thus designed Apple headquarters accordingly.
  3. Connectivity is key so visitors and employees can immediately connect to their electronic and mobile devices on-the-fly without anxiety.
  4. Workers always want a good cup of coffee and a friend to talk to. That not only makes their work experience genuinely enjoyable but also facilitates casual conversations and quick idea exchanges that often turn into more effective collaboration than formal meetings.
  5. CNN on a TV nearby gives employees a connection to the real world so they don’t feel like they are suffocating in a cloistered office without a refresher break.

With the boom in telecommuting over the past six years, it’s been widely believed that the physical office space would go away. Yet today, we are finding the opposite to be true.

Workers may be more productive at home, but they are more creative in the office,” Schneider said. “The office is where we go to be together. Being in one place builds teams much faster – and teams with higher trust levels have much higher rates of productivity than others.”

No one understands the need for creative space more than the staff at Officense. Give us a call today to schedule a tour of our dedicated office and meeting spaces. Let your creativity start here.

For more great team building activities, check out this link: http://lc.wayne.edu/pdf/icebreakers_teambuilders.pdf

And check out these 10 cool workspaces for inspiration:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/03/08/10-cool-office-spaces/

Posted in 2014, Baltimore, Business, Business Address, Coworkers, fun, meeting, Office, Small Business, Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neil Armstrong Blog Image

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

With these words, Neil Armstrong, and the nation he represented, would be inscribed in history as the first to land on the moon on July 20th, 1969. The Apollo 11 mission wasn’t very long and the brave team splashed down in the cerulean waters of Hawaii on July 24th. But this short week in history lifted the spirits of the American people and changed the course of space exploration and scientific innovation. Experiments are yet being performed based on what had been started on our fateful mission to the moon. A dozen more men would walk in Armstrong’s footsteps on the cold white orb that millennia of people had looked upon in the thousands of nights past.

JFK-

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to

Earth.”-JFK

A copper-haired American president, considered veritable royalty at the time, issued those words before a gathered crowd on May 25th, 1961. The crowd was comprised of citizens of the United States who had not yet achieved their bi-centennial and were still reeling from a failed challenge to a large and ancient nation—Russia.

In the last decade Russia and the U.S. had stretched their respective budgets, staffs and pilots in the mad dash to succeed in the mission of launching the first man into space; in April 1961 Russia won. Just over a month later, licking their wounds from the lost bid to beat the arctic nation into the stars, the citizens of our nation rallied around an inspiring promise from a beloved president—that an American would trace the smile of the man in the moon.

The idea of this mission to the moon was birthed at the height of the Cold War and brought the attention of nations higher than the grievances on our tiny planet. To this nation it was proven that there was something great that could be achieved and, to the world, it was said that beyond the borders of this blue-green sphere the drawn lines on our maps became meaningless. Innovation had changed the way people saw themselves and the world around them.

In this same way, corporations, small businesses and one-person-freelance operations prove to themselves every day that they can reach beyond expectations, beyond imposed boundaries of thought. Something incredible happens when you achieve that which creates meaning in the world, even if it’s only your portion of it.

When you leave the “daily grind” behind and choose a life that allows you to invest time into the things that matter most, you have changed your corner of the planet. And you don’t have to do it alone. Innovative communication technology is offered to business owners by Officense every day. When you’re ready to support your business through cutting edge technology and sensible business practices, we’re the ones to contact.

 

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/features/jfk_speech.html

 

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“Going Green” is more than just a slogan you will find on the cover of a reusable shopping bag; it most likely describes the process of changing one’s lifestyle for the safety and benefit of the environment.

Going Green With Officense

A greener workplace can mean a lighter ecological footprint, a healthier and more productive place to work, and good news for the bottom line.

Did you know that an average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year and that U.S. citizens alone throw out over four million disposable pens daily?

Find out how you can implement simple steps on your way to a greener office environment.

 

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 

  • Install recycling stations in high-traffic and easy accessible areas and locate explicit instruction labels on the bins.
  • Recycle just about any kind of paper you would encounter in an office including fax paper, envelopes, or junk mail.
  • Print smarter by printing on both sides of paper and using a smaller font.
  • Stock the office with reusable pens and refills.

2. Go paperlessOffice Worker with Mountain of Paperwork

  • Make it a habit to think before you print: eliminate waste in printing by increasing the numbers of digital storage devices and systems (external hard drive, cloud computing etc.)
  • Set up files to save emails instead of having a print version.
  • Instead of printing a meeting agenda, incorporate it as a slide show or send it via email.

3. Conserve to preserve

  • Use daylight whenever you can and turn off lights in spaces that are unoccupied.
  • Save 75 % of energy and cut energy costs by using compact fluorescent bulbs, which last about 10 times longer than conventional incandescent light bulbs.
  • Check that all computers/monitors are set to their most energy efficient settings and make sure to shut them down at the end of the day.
  • Adjust thermostat settings to no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit during winter month and no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.

4. Telecommute or reconsider your transportation

  • Contemplate carpooling, taking public transportation, biking or walking to minimize the approximate 23 billion gallons of gas wasted in traffic each year.
  • If you have the opportunity to work from home and take advantage of instant messaging, phone conferencing and invest in video conferencing.

reduce reuse recycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Make eco-friendly product choices

  • Purchase chlorine-free paper with 100% recycled content for printing and copying.
  • Use biodegradable soaps, dish detergent and cleaners.
  • Replace disposable paper cups with washable, reusable mugs.
  • Replace the office coffee with a fair-trade,  shade-grown or organic version.

Given how much time the average person spends at work, greening the work place is a logical extension of people wanting to maintain an environmentally conscious atmosphere.

Our shared meeting space at OFFICENSE is conveniently located in the heart of Baltimore. Not only can you reach us by utilizing public transportation, but most importantly use office or conference rooms when needed.  Besides that we offer a wide range of business services including video conferencing to help you cut costs and focus on living a green life.

Contact us now at (410) 814-7500 or info@officense.com for more information.

Links:

http://www.businessinsider.com

http://www.treehugger.com/

http://newgenerationenergy.org

http://sierraclub.typepad.com/greenlife/2007/03/10_ways_to_go_g.html

http://www.nrichmedia.com

http://www.hampshire.edu

http://www.fandm.edu/

 

 

Posted in 2014, Administrative Assistant, After Hours, Baltimore, Business, Business Address, ecological, Economy, energy, entrepreneurs, environment, Executive Assistant, Going Green, Guide, lifestyle, Office, public transportation, recycle, Save the planet, simple, smarter, steps, video conference, Virtual Office, waste, workplace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

 

Blue CrabSummer has finally arrived and with the mercury rising so are our cravings for crabs! Even though you can eat crabs in the U.S. all year round, Marylanders know the best time to indulge in a Chesapeake blue crab feast is between May and September when the crabs are in season.  Known for being the state’s official crustaceans, the Chesapeake blue crab’s scientific name, Callinectes sapidus, translates to savory beautiful swimmer and it’s the crab’s sapphire -tinted claws that merit their name.

So, besides color and a country, what separates the Atlantic Blue crab from the Pacific Dungeness crab? A lot, actually, from taste, size, to having opposing seasons, the crabs Dungness v bluecouldn’t be less alike. What makes the blue crab a MD favorite is its sweet and bountiful lump meat, ideal for crab cakes; yet, it’s the fun and delight of cracking steamed crabs and licking fingers smothered in the region’s signature seasoning, Old Bay, which makes our penchants for the crustacean persevere.

Besides a large group of family and friends, a proper crab feast requires bushels of crabs, pitchers of beers, mallets, corn in the husk, and plenty of newspaper! Proper Crab Feast 2However, our individual appetite for crustaceans is not always shared by a large group; so how can you satisfy your craving without spending a bundle on a bushel? For those of us who prefer to play with our food before we eat it, there is always the option of buying live crabs and steaming them at home yourself. For the rest of us who would prefer our blue crabs red, Baltimore is a premier city for some of the state’s best crab houses including:

Captain James Landing photoCaptain James Landing– The seafood spot that looks like a commercial ship has earned itself the name of the most unique restaurant in the city! Besides, looking like a boat, you can actually get to Captain James Landing by boat. With its own water taxi stop, this restaurant truly offers water front dining. A Baltimore landmark since 1978, this crab house is a must for tourists and residents alike.

Riptide by the Bay – Located in Historic Fells Point, this restaurant serves up blue crabsRiptide all year round and authentic Maryland blue crabs during the season, between April and November.  A favorite spot for locals, Riptide has crabs for eat-in, carry-out and on Tuesday’s the crabs are on special. Offering live music on the weekends, Riptide by the Bay is your place for everything seafood, especially Maryland Blue Crabs.

Canton DocksideCanton Dockside –  Available for eat-in, carry-out or catering, this family-owned eatery deals directly with crab fisherman to ensure they bring you the freshest crabs daily. The restaurant offers picnic-style outside seating where diners can delight in cracking crabs while overlooking the waters of the city’s Inner Harbor. The next time you’re in the Canton neighborhood on a beautiful day, make sure you drop by their patio for good eats!

Now that you have your crab feast guide, all that’s left is getting here! Take a plane, train, Proper Crab Feastcar or cab and visit Baltimore for some of the best crabs this side of the Chesapeake. If you’re here on business, or just passing through on vacation, you can feast-assured that while you’re picking crabs, Officense will be here to answer your calls, receive your packages, and greet your clients before your lunch meeting!

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Officense Never Ending Work Day

You are a weekend warrior of the business world; a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to your company. And you know there is no such thing as nine to five. For you there is only one speed – Go! Sunday to Sunday and all the hours in between, you get after it like a tenacious wildfire. But you want to work on your own terms, when and where you want, with the flexibility that enables you to maintain a good work/life balance. And you are not alone.

It’s not about working LONGER. It’s about working SMARTER.

In today’s harsh financial climate, every day and every dollar needs to be dedicated to building your business. The question is, “How can I maintain the tenacity I need to stay ahead of my competition without having a phone glued to my ear or spending crucial funds needed to further grow my company on a support staff?” The answer is Virtual Assistants.

More and more businesses are benefiting from the rewards of a VA.  They can help you cut costs and free up hours in your day. Virtual Assistants can streamline your workflow and take care of the tedious day to day tasks that prevent you from doing the actual work you love because you are too busy rescheduling the appointment you just scheduled 20 minutes ago.

Officense Virtual Assistant

 

If you are unaware of the flexibility and specialized support a virtual assistant can offer, they are worth the consideration. Most virtual assistants are well educated and highly trained professionals who have a myriad of skill sets. A virtual assistant can be a perfect solution when you need ongoing help (but can’t afford a permanent staff) or when you need a specialist for an important project or two that you can’t afford the precious hours to complete. From general administrative support to creative and technical projects, a virtual assistant can give you back some of those much needed hours in your day.

Workers who control their own hours are healthier because they are less stressed and get more rest.

You’ll be happier, less stressed and more fulfilled if you work more flexibly. So what does the work week of the next decade look like? It turns out, a whole lot freer. The current trend shows that flexible work, whether in office hours or location, is more cost efficient in both time and money spent, and there is no better argument for a world that’s still suffering from the recession. Now you can have your office at your fingertips, no matter where you are. If you will be happier and also see your business thrive, there’s no reason not to ditch the 9-5 with the extra 20 hours of overtime thrown in.

It looks like your calendar just opened up.

Officense Your Calendar Just Opened Up

 

Give us a call today to see how we can get you out of the 9-5 (let’s be honest, it’s really more like 24/7) grind:

  • Provide the highest level of service
  • “Follow you” communications
  • Process mail and handle correspondence
  • Maintain your calendar and set up meetings
  • Strict confidentiality
  • Follow up on leads
  • Manage your contact lists and customer spreadsheets
  • Prepare, collate and ship proposals, meeting materials or depositions
  • Send out requested information to customers
  • Handle client inquiries by phone or e-mail

Not only does it make good sense, it makes Officense.

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