Category Archive: General

ES Robbins Sit to Stand Mat

Great new mat from ES Robbins.

These help your feet when you’re tired of sitting and want to stand. They’re easy to use, affordable, and simple to purchase. Give us a call.

 

This Cover is On You!

Each year we come out with a brand new crop of amazing online catalogs. You can choose from tens of thousands of items, and we can deliver them straight to you. There’s nothing that you may need in your office that we can’t provide. Paper supplies, printers, pencils and pens? We have them. Cleaning supplies, organizers, file safes and snack room treats? In the catalogs. Desks, chairs, lamps, and reception area solutions? Got it. Last year we provided one of clients with a decorated Christmas tree.

We can do that.

We also have a hard copy of our catalog that we’ll gladly send out to you. You can freely browse to your heart’s content and discover all of the things you need for your office but didn’t realize. This catalog usually has a tasteful and artful cover. Last year, it celebrated our 15th Anniversary.

This year, the cover is all you. It’s blank, and can act as a dry-erase board. Use it to jot down notes. Keep a running shopping list and never find yourself short of anything. Draw pictures of cats. It’s up to you.

We’re anxious to see what you do with YOUR catalog. Grab your dry-erase marker and start doodling. When you like what you’ve done, share it on our Facebook page. There might be a little something in it for you. 🙂

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Local Flair, Global Reach

IMG_9623We make no secret of our love for our Richmond home. It’s a great town. Over the last 15+ years we’ve made great relationships and great friends. We’re able to work with local groups and organizations to make Richmond an even greater place to live, work, and play. It’s fun.

We’re also huge fans of small businesses. That’s why our local customers enjoy our delivery services. We offer over 32,000 items, require no minimum order, and offer next-day delivery. Often with freshly baked cookies. 🙂 This works great for them, and as they grow, we’re there for them.

But that isn’t all that we do.

When someone is outfitting a big office, we can handle that. Need desks for your 200-person call center? No problem. 25 pallets of paper? We’ll load a truck. We can handle your needs whatever the size of your office.

One of our relationships is with the U.S. Government. In the photo above are two pallets wrapped for shipping. The one on the left is getting ready to be shipped to Miami, where it will board a boat headed to Havana, Cuba. We’ve been helping to stock our newest U.S. Embassy there. The one on the right will travel to Norfolk, Virginia, board a container ship, and then sail to Cairo, Egypt to replenish our embassy there.

If you need basic office supplies, furniture for 200, or cleaning supplies 3,000 miles away – we can help. Just ask, and we’ve got you covered.

Anything? Anything.

When people discover us for the first time, they generally look at our name, Ball Office Products, and think pens and paper. We certainly have that covered.

We call this one "Indiana Ball and the Lost Temple of Copy Paper."

We call this one “Indiana Ball and the Lost Temple of Copy Paper.”

But we offer so much more. We’ve sent desks and chairs to a school in Africa. We’ve helped scores of clients design better, more effective offices. We’ve delivered toys and art supplies to children in programs throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

We wrote last week about a great Keurig deal. We can build that into a complete beverage program for your business. Need snacks for your break room? We can do that. Cleaning supplies? No problem. Something funky for your office kids? How about a clever chair?

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Just after Thanksgiving, we got a call from a client who had been put in charge of decorating her office for the holidays. She was pressed for time and didn’t know where to start. We got her a tree, a tree skirt, delivered it, and set it up with all of the decorations and trimmings. Because that’s what we do.

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Anything for your office needs? Anything.

Let’s Talk Coffee

IMG_9617What’s the first thing you do in the morning? If you’re like us, it’s probably shuffle over the the coffee maker. Likewise, in our office, the first one in starts up a pot of joe. We keep it flowing pretty freely around Ball Office Products.

If you’re a coffee lover, we’ve got great news. First off, check out that little picture in the upper left corner. That’s right, Green Mountain Coffee for your Keurig. And one of them is “Donut Shop.” Also, that little white thing is not your creamer. That’s the personal size pod for single brews. Those other two are for the Keurig Bolt. It’s the same convenience and reliability of your little machine, but makes an entire pot!

You don’t have to drink it all at once, but it helps.

We’re proud to offer a full line of Keurig machines to suit any sized office. Do you like the familiar single-serve machine? Pop in a pod and add water? We have you covered. Do you have a larger office and need the Bolt? We can get that for you. Do you want the convenience of just popping in a pod and pressing Start? We can get you a Keurig machine that plugs directly into your plumbing.

Just to make things easier, Keurig is running a great deal for the Holidays. Give your office a great gift this year with one of these little beauties. Give us a call and we’ll get you brewing.

Keurig Flyer 2015

 

Disaster Day

We have some friends in Austin, Texas. They posted a video of their neighborhood, and it wasn’t pretty. Quiet streets had turned into raging rivers. We heard a guy interviewed on television that had been swept away in his car. He managed to escape and called a local station so that he could be rescued and so that his wife would know he was okay.

He was calling from a tree.

It made us start to think, though. What would happen to our world if a disaster were to happen? We feel pretty safe from flooding, but what about a fire? Central Virginia had a pretty interesting earthquake a few years ago. We’re also a prime spot for hurricanes. We’ve seen a tornado or two.

What if someone leaves the water running in the bathroom and we arrive in the morning to a flood?

The things in our warehouse are just things. Reams of paper, desks, coffee machines, pencils – all things that can be replaced. But we have 15 years worth of vital business records that can’t be replaced. Tax data. Sales records. Customer information. Employment reports. These are all things that need to be protected, and you likely have them also.

The first thing you must do to protect yourself is inventory what you have. What must you retain to rebuild your business in a case of disaster? These are the records that you need to take the greatest steps to protect.

Can you scan them and keep them electronically? Certainly, but that doesn’t mean they’re 100% safe.

So get a safe.Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 3.42.27 PM

Every safe, however, is not made the same. Much like vehicles have varying degrees of ‘ruggedness,’ so too do safes. You might not want to take your Prius four-wheeling, and you might not want electronic records in a cheap safe.

A safe is rated for durability. Would it survive a drop from four stories and maintain integrity? They are also rated for fire. ‘Fire Resistant’ and ‘Fire Retardant’ are two very different things. They also carry different levels of heat protection. Your safe may keep paper records from turning to ash, but electronic drives and files would still end up as muddy pools of technology.

FireKing, for example, offers a line of safes and file boxes that are coated with gypsum, and can protect from fire and heat for a minimum of one hour. They’re rugged and durable, so go ahead and toss them from the roof. They are also water resistant, so when the local fire brigade comes to save the day, you’ll not have survived the fire only to lose everything to a fire hose. They also make storage containers specifically for your electronics.

Be prepared.

Navigating the Big UCI Race

Our home base in Richmond, Virginia hosts two amazing NASCAR events each year. We’re the home to an internationally recognized Folk Festival. Even Washington’s NFL franchise uses our city for training camp.

In a couple of weeks, the City of Richmond will host one of the largest events of the last century: The UCI Road World Championships. This is an international bicycling event, with 12 races for men and women over a period of nine days. They will run from September 19th through the 27th. An estimated 450,000 people are expected to descend on Richmond to watch the riders pedal around town. They’ve issued credentials to over 500 media outlets, and around 300 million will watch from home. There are many in the biking community who consider the UCI Championships to be a bigger deal than the Tour de France.

This is a blessing and a curse for those of us in the business community. It’s great that so many will visit Richmond and see what a great place it is to live, work, and play. The races will lead riders through the streets of our Capitol City, and that will lead to a number of road closures.

RaceCourseWTVR posted a great schedule that also lists the roads affected by the race and which days you need to avoid them. The UCI website also has a handy guide for how to navigate the races. They also issued a pdf with important travel information and race schedules.

What does this mean for you?

Richmond is going to be full of folks who aren’t familiar with our city. Street closures and clear routes from one side of town to the other will make everyday navigation interesting. If you’re a Ball Office customer, this could impact you. Our ability to physically get to you will be compromised. Please understand that we will make every effort to get you your products in a timely fashion. It may be a good idea to stock up in the next week or so. We’ll continue to be open, and are thinking of imaginative solutions to getting you what you need. Perhaps we’ll get in the spirit of the races and deliver on bicycles!

Please call us at 804-204-1774 and let us know how we can assist you.

The High Value of Art

11406726_992067750827888_8059345009451957229_oIf you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen a painting we have hanging in our big meeting room. It’s this colorful gorilla. He has a sort of peaceful expression, which reminds us that not everything needs to be a conflict or argument. He also reminds us that a quiet strength can help us be a better company. With his shock of orange hair, he’s also sort of funny. So there’s that.

An office can be a somewhat sterile place. You can jazz things up with some playful color, like with these Feek pieces from Trendway. But a simple way to influence the mood of your office is with artwork.

Like our gorilla, artwork can inspire creativity and passion about something. Portraits of heroes or landscapes can help workers set goals. They have an image to emulate. Artwork can also inspire feelings of confidence in your staff, and more importantly, your clients. When you walk into your local garage, what do you see? Pictures of sports cars. A doctor’s office or therapist likely has artwork featuring happy, smiling families.

When you choose your artwork, there are a few factors to take into account. First and foremost, while something thought-provoking might be fine, there’s a thin line between that and offensive. Secondly, think about where you display your art. If you’re a travel agent, putting images of enchanted islands in your restroom might not do you much good. When designing for your staff, your artwork should be readily visible while they’re working. Artwork for your clients should inspire your desired emotions while they interact with you.

Think about color, also. Earth tones provoke calm feelings while orange, like our gorilla’s hair, inspire energy. More public health facilities are using pastels, as they promote serenity. And did you ever wonder why restaurants seem to love red? Red makes you hungry.

Lastly, what’s your budget like? It would be nice to display a Van Gogh or Rembrandt to impress your friends, but we imagine most of you don’t have that kind of petty cash laying around. You don’t however, have to break the bank to spruce up your wall space. One of our vendor partners is Great American Art. They’re pretty passionate about creating an awesome atmosphere with some artwork, and reasonably priced. They also have a ton of different genres and styles, and something for almost every office environment.

Don’t ask about the gorilla, though. He’s not for sale.

 

Whimsy From Trendway

We’ve had a long and fruitful partnership with Trendway Office Furniture. We admire them for their classic styles, clean lines, and the amazing craftsmanship of their products. We’re also proud to be an exclusive Trendway dealer for Central Virginia. Their values and mission closely mirror ours here at Ball Office Products, so working with them is like peas and carrots.

Trendway also likes to have fun and inject a bit of whimsy into static office environments. These two short videos highlight two of our favorite Trendway products – Feek and the Zego Chair. Have a look and consider how Ball Office Products and Trendway can create some color and playfulness in your office.

Meet Some People

We’re fortunate to have a pretty strong team here at Ball Office Products. From some of our senior managers to the sales reps and even our warehouse crew – they’re a fun and dedicated bunch. Many of them have been with us for almost the entire 15 years that we’ve been in business. One thing that we all have in common is that we care about providing high quality products and service, and we want to be your ongoing partner. We work hard to preserve that relationship.

Most of our folks toil in the shadows. We thought it might be nice for you to meet a couple of people from the Ball team. One is Sidney Dodson. She’s in sales and handles a lot of our overseas accounts.

 

Next up is Elizabeth King. She’s our summer intern, and is finishing up an accounting degree at Longwood. She’s only here for the summer, but we love her. Perhaps after graduation she’ll become a more permanent member of our team? (Hint, hint)