>Small Business Tip #1 ~ Email

>I’ve been often asked over the years how to start a small business. Hmmm…it’s in my blood and I grew up in a family business so it’s not an easy thing to explain.

Many of these well intentioned people think that they can wave a magic wand and POOF! their in a successful business. They think they can get me to tell them exactly what to do and they will be in business…I certainly wish this was true, however it’s not.

In my opinion it takes a creative spirit who can think outside of the box; who can make decisions; who likes to do lots and lots and lots of research and who is an enthusiastic learner. My business tips are geared towards crafts people who work from home and are ready to succeed. I’ve witnessed many blunders over the years from business people, including myself, and want to share them with you so that you won’t make these same mistakes.

Small Business Tip #1

Be Professional ~ Emails

Be professional are two simple words, right? Wrong! It amazes me how many business people act in a less than professional manner with their branding, website, packaging, communication etc. If you don’t take yourself seriously then no one else will either.

I recently received the below email (don’t worry the name has been changed):

Hello! ;;

Could You Please Tell Me if Your Company Offer’s Purchase Order’s, On Net 30, 60, 90 Days? On, Company Order’s? Also, Do You Offer Fundraising? And, How Does it Work?

Thank You Kindly!;
Sincerely Your’s,
Mrs. Shari K. Lip
Shari’s Treasurable Treasure’s Corp.
Owner/Sole Proprietorship

What you can’t see from the email above was that the font was in flaming hot pink! Ahhh! What is your impression of this business? of the email? Does it present a successful and professional business image? Just because you work from home in your PJ’s doesn’t mean your emails should look like it! They should look like you are in a large company and came from a professional sitting in their corner office with view.
How about if the email looked like this…
Good day:

I found your website and am interested in purchasing on a wholesale basis from you. Could you please clarify if you accept orders with terms such as 30/60/90 days or purchase orders?

I am also quite interested in doing some fundraising, is this something that your company does? If so, would you please forward me details on your fundraising program?

Please let me know if you need my business license/resale number to proceed.

Thank you,

Mrs. Shari K. Lip
Owner/Sole Proprietor

Shari’s Treasurable Treasure’s Corp.
Ocean Park, Washington

What do you think of the email now? Same information, however it is in a professional format.

One of the problems with email is that many people don’t understand that emails should be geared differently depending on who the recipient is. A professional writing style should always be used when inquiring with a company about information. Standard font, black text and proper grammar should always be incorporated. If you are emailing a friend then pink text and bad grammar is just fine and dandy. Use your spell check! If grammar is not your strong suite then type your email into Word, proof for grammar and spelling and save it. You can easily copy and paste this saved letter anytime that you contact a professional company for information.

If you are writing to a business then you should always include the following information in your signature (think of it as your email business card):

  • Your name
  • Your title
  • Your business name
  • Location
  • Phone/Email address
  • Website address

It is usually pretty simple to save this information as a signature in your email program so that it is the same each time.
Quick Review:
Use professional/business format for all business email correspondence
  • Simple font (Arial, Courier, Times, Verdana)
  • Black text
  • Sign with your “business card” information
  • Check grammar & spelling before sending

Good luck!

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About marierhoades

Beach bum, wife, mother, lover of dogs & cats. Editor of Sally Lee by the Sea, http://nauticalcottageblog.com, a beach cottage design & lifestyle website.
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