The world of business is a complex network of connections, partnerships and affiliations, strengthened d by time, but still ever so delicate. Like all relationships involving trust, business relations are difficult to instigate, time-consuming to develop, and phenomenally easy to destroy. To some it may seem petty, but many corporations will refuse to do business with those they perceive to have slighted them, or indeed those who ignore the finer details of corporate courtesy. This article will review some of the easiest mistakes to make, so that, hopefully, you will be able to avoid them in future, and retain all of your valuable custom!
It would amaze you how many companies send out correspondences without first having them professionally checked for spelling, grammar and formatting. It seems to be an unfortunate trope of modern society that the finer details of language are becoming irrelevant, but in industry communications these minutiae are extremely important. Anything sent from your company must be a positive and affirming representation of your business, and nothing destroys this image quicker than typos, missing apostrophes and incorrect formalities of address. Most importantly though, it is vital that you spell the names of your correspondents correctly—few mistakes appear ruder and lazier than the misspelling of a company’s name, and this will certainly lose you some business.
It is a general rule of life that nobody likes to have their time wasted. When exacting business with another company, it is essential that the projects you are responsible for are done in a timely manner—failure to complete tasks (or to communicate delays) in this instance will make you seem inefficient, irresponsible and untrustworthy. Such labels will not only affect your future dealings with the company in question, but with all other companies in contact with them. A reputation for tardiness is a hard thing to shake, so don’t get one in the first place!
Especially now that we live in an age of international trade, the issue of opening hours is one at the forefront of every corporation’s thoughts. Obviously the industry in which you operate will dictate your business hours to some extent, but it is a good idea to be wary of companies who may wish to have dealings with you. Inflexible business hours can give off the impression that you are uninterested, blinkered or even ignorant of others, and could prevent you from gaining valuable business.
Being Difficult to Contact
Closely linked to this is the problem of isolation. There are many ways to make yourself unavailable to other companies: your contact information could be difficult to access, you could have insufficient staff available to deal with communications, or you could simply be ignoring correspondences. In any case, this is a heinous error which will greatly deter fellow organisations from even attempting to seek your business, and may inspire them to warn others against you. Nobody likes to be ignored, and this is as true in business as it is in social circles
Business etiquette training is an ever increasing aspect of corporate development, because as industries begin to trade with foreign nations, the importance of correct manners and appropriate formalities is becoming clearer and clearer. There are rules to be followed in relation to communications, dining, meetings and negotiations, and ignorance of this will prove you to be discourteous. Don’t lose money because you weren’t aware of the correct procedures!