Mind Your Business Manners

In business, manners make you money! The concept of etiquette in business is even more important now due to our ever-increasing forms of social media and online platforms. If you are a business owner you always need to remember you are representing your brand no matter where you are or what time of day that it is. As a business owner you have to remember that you are never “really” off the clock.

Having proper business etiquette is something that really takes just a little bit of conscious effort, but it has a big impact on your business. Ever walk out of a mom and pop store feeling elated because the owners took just a little extra time to visit with you, called you by name and remembered some particular facts about you? A polite conversation is such a simple concept but yet can make such an impact on your business.

One simple step to follow is being kind. Like I mentioned above it’s sometimes as small as having a conversation with someone that can make a big impact. I will also tell you that if you make it a habit to be considerate and think of others on a regular basis that it will pay off in spades. And on the other hand if you are not that will go a long way too… Causing you to be remembered in an unflattering light. And remember if you have employees this is big for them as well. Do you think I will ever call the plumbing company whose employee (owner) was in a branded truck and used an inappropriate hand gesture? We’ve all experienced that a time or two.

Another thing that is commonly forgot is the follow up and RSVP. This may sound trivial but it’s one of the most important aspects of etiquette in the business community and one that is seriously forgotten at items. I don’t think it’s intentional that we sometimes forget to follow up or to RSVP. We just live in an extremely busy world where things are happening at lightning speed. Here I advise you to keep a note pad near you at all times to jot down those things you tell others you will do or events you need to put on your calendar and follow up with an RSVP. If you made a promise or were invited to participate in an event and forgot about it all together or to RSVP until the last possible minute that will be remembered long after the promise or the event.

Just as we were taught in grade school, it is important to be on time. Nothing says rude in business as loudly as not being on time for your appointments. It is plain disrespectful because it indicates that you are not appreciative of someone else’s time. If someone has committed to spend time with you, you need to be respectful and make an effort to show up on time. Recently I was at a networking event where someone was late. I could tell from the conversation of the group that this is very typical for this individual to the point that the group was kind of poking fun at him and when he finally walked in someone made a comment about his tardiness. I ask you, do you want to be this guy? His reputation (and not a good one) preceded him. If tardiness is something that you struggle with you should make every effort to improve in this area… for the sake of your business.

Finally, do not forget to express Gratitude. It’s amazing how much a quick verbal thank-you can mean to someone who helped you. We are so busy in our businesses at times that we can accidentally forget to take an extra minute or two to say thanks but these words have such a big impact, making you memorable. One great practice is to sit down at the end of the day and write just one note out to someone that went out of his or her way for you or provided great service. A handwritten note in today’s technological society gets noticed and will sometimes sit around on someone’s desk for a long time, keeping you top of mind.