Happy New Year!
I thought I would kick off 2014 about sharing with you some fairly amusing and true business blunders committed by myself (surprise! I’m not perfect) and others seen along the business trail. Hint: I definitely made one blunder below this year…
1)Before forwarding an email MAKE SURE you have hit the forward button and not the reply or reply all button. I get approached by a lot of service providers trying to get me to be the customer. If they are contacting me about something I am not really not sure about I usually forward along to a business mentor/board advisor. There is nothing like the embarrassment of realising that you have replied to an email to the CEO of a company when you were meaning to forward it to someone else. *QUICK FIX* Email that person and admit your mistake, apologise, thank them for understanding and then thank your lucky stars that you were rather professional in your email and curious about the request.
2) If you are asking to be sent products in exchange for a product review please don’t cut and paste from your “About” page on your website and jam in an email. Nothing screams “Gimme free stuff because I have a blog!!” more than a very non personal email in which clearly, you have not taken the time to research the company you are contacting. P.S Darling Betty does not and will not ever be associated with animal prints of any kind.
3) Choose your business events wisely as a vendor if there is a cost. For example, if a booth costs you $300 find out who the other vendors were the year before and CALL them to ask them if it’s worth paying that to be at the show. They should be able to tell you about traffic and sales for themselves and the buzz amongst the other vendors. Remember, moms with kids seeing Santa do not shop and neither do punters attending a wine/beer festival who spent $$ on tasting tickets.
4) Please state the purpose of your call clearly if leaving a message for someone to call you back. Messages to the tune of “Hi, uh this is uh, Jason from Company X and I was calling to discuss few things with you.” Those few “things” you need to discuss should be spelled out in 30 seconds. Unless you are a buyer, individual customer or supplier, there is a slim chance I will get around to returning your vague message because time is a currency and precious commodity for my business.
5) Check your billing address against your shipping address if posting out your products. Then check it again and maybe have a third party look too. This goes for suppliers as well. Always confirm with a sales person on the phone OR in confirmation emails that the shipping address is correct. It stings a little to eat the shipping cost to fix that oversight but it was your mistake and your responsibility to make it right.