Tag Archives: small business

Your Business Personality: Rediscovering Your Small Business Passion

BooHoo[1] A great deal of information is written about choosing the right business, knowing your passion, developing the right business plan–before jumping feet first into starting up.

But how do you know you are going to be fulfilled, motivated and passionate–wahoo!– about all the activities of a business before you actually do it.  I sure didn’t.

The Evolutionary Business Plan
As I  developed my small business, I  found my “self” developing.  So, I  allowed my business plan to remain very much alive,  to evolve as I began to better understand my own small business personality. If I had not followed this plan of action, I would have considered myself a failure and dropped into that 70%.  Here’s what happened.

Uh, oh. The thrill is gone
You see, I had begun as an excited freelance writer, yet came to dread the  time I spent alone with my computer–with myself, with my phone, with the laundry. Which led to thoughts of Failure. Incompetence. Self-doubt.

Uh oh.  My Passion took a big nosedive. Now what? Send out resumes?

The Darwinian business plan to the rescue
Rather than quitting, I  added coaching services. These services provide the interaction I need to keep me motivated. And I was good at coaching. I immediately received great feedback! Passion reignited. Laundry ignored. I’m planning workshops based on the feedback I’m receiving and I also plan to teach.

It’s alive, just like you
 My lesson learned:  view your business as a living entity. And you will gently get to know yourself. And keep your passion alive.

Better Business Writing: Preventing the Oops Email

Have you ever pushed the “send” button too soon? Or  reread an email later to think, “Gee, did I write that?”

In our hurry-up world, sending an unclear email is simple to do.  Below are three steps to writing more concise emails before blasting them into cyberspace. Granted, the following example is simple, but writing your email with a formula will produce clear communications.

1.  DRAFT
a. Intent:  Write one sentence summarizing the intent of your email. For example, “I want to thank my customer for using our services and to request an email from him if  he needs further assistance. “

b. Details: Jot down details with the journalist’s  tools:  Who, What ,When, Where,  and How
Who: We (XYZ Company)
When: Jan. 12, 2012
What: installed the Elcom upgrade and provided a training class
Where: at the Atlas Corporation’s Main Street office

c. Actions: Describe requested action: Please email  if you require additional assistance.

2. WRITE
Now, write a concise email with details and requested action.

Dear Dan :

Thank you for using (who) XYZ Corporation (where) at your Main Street location (when) on January 12 for (what) both your install of the Elcom equipment and the accompanying staff training class.

(Action)   If we can provide additional assistance, please contact me by email.

Regards,

Beth Jones

3. REVIEW, REVISE, SEND
Now that your email is written, save the draft, and move on to another task. You will more easily spot errors later.  Then, to review and revise:

a. Read the email aloud. Is the wording awkward?
b. Are there any errors in your details?
c. Run a spell check.

If everything looks good,
SEND!

How to Write a Better Business email

Make business emails short, concise, clear and compelling. Pay attention to the following areas:

Content:

  • Create a meaningful subject line.
  • Make your purpose immediately clear using the first sentence. For instance,  “ I have included information on  . . .”
  • Front-load your first paragraph. Place all priority information in the first paragraph.
  • Tone: Communicate in a compatible tone. Does this client prefer off-the-cuff or formal interaction?

Style:

  • Engage with sentences: Use active rather than passive voice.  Use strong nouns preceding strong verbs.
  • Vary sentence length: Vary length, but shorter sentences are better than long ones. Don’t write any sentence that must be reread for meaning.
  • Keep flashy vocabulary tucked away. No one wants to grab a dictionary when reading an email.
  • Review: Spell check – please. Read it aloud; you will catch errors.

Form:

  • Brevity is key: The longer your email is, the more likely it is to be deleted.
  • CC with moderation: Only cc parties directly involved.
  • Include your signature. Your signature should include your contact, and any other relevant information. Spotlight your services.