02 Business Tips Round-Up Part 1

March 24, 2003

Excerpted from the e-PHC Profit Report newsletter.
Jim Olsztynski, Editor-Publisher

Writing Tips
1. Avoid sending e-mails, memos and correspondence when angry. Go ahead and put your thoughts on paper, but wait until you calm down before sending it. Once calm, re-read what you wrote and revise it as you see fit. More often than not, your writing will take on a more logical and measured tone, and be all the more effective because of it.

2. Stay focused. Don’t dump all of your concerns in a single piece of correspondence. If necessary, write separate letters to address separate problems or subjects. If you try to cover everything, the recipient is much more likely to gloss over or miss some of your concerns.

3. Never assume privacy. Whether electronic or paper, once the message leaves your desk, you have no control over its destiny. So never put anything down on paper that you wouldn’t want anyone else to read.

4. There's an old expression that goes, "I would have written a shorter memo, but I didn't have the time." In fact, writing short does take more time than just spewing out everything that crosses your mind. But when composing important communications to employees or customers, take time to make the message as brief and to the point as possible. Long-winded memos and letters will not get read, or even if read, not comprehended.

Marketing Tips
1. Door hangers are a low-cost way of getting your message out in new housing developments or a part of town you’ve never before served. You can hire kids at minimal expense to put them on every house in a neighborhood. Door hangers separate your message from all the other mail delivered to a home. As with direct mail, however, come up with a special offer to encourage rapid response.

2. When customers don't call, a solution may be for you to call them. Go through your customer files and start calling folks you did work for 1 to 3 years ago but haven't heard from since. Refer to the previous jobs and ask how they are holding up. Remind them of maintenance tasks that need to be done around every home, and whether they have any other PHC projects in mind. Follow up on old estimates and proposals that you never got a response to.

3. Shirts, t-shirts, hats and other paraphernalia with you company name and logo are some of the best promotional investments you can make. Besides giving them away to customers as part of special promotions, make sure everyone in your company is supplied with these. Encourage your people to wear them at every opportunity, especially at public events. If they start wearing out, tell them you'll supply them with new ones.

Excerpted from the e-PHC Profit Report newsletter
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Jim Olsztynski

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