The Art of Communication

Koozie Central Blog Day 26:

Email Comic

I’m not ordinarily one to toot my own horn (no pun intended and on second thought, yes, I actually am), but my email communication skills are quite solid.  My email skills have developed since email made a big splash on the “aol” scene, I’ve made enough faux pas, as well as taken advice from some excellent e-communicators so that I feel comfortable saying that I am an excellent “emailer”.  Responses to client/possible client emails are usually organized in number form, for longer answers, and neat concise paragraphs for shorter answers.  My contact info. is  always readily available in more ways than one and I’ll even go so far as to color code (bold, italics, etc.) if I think that will help the reader to more clearly understand the answers to their questions.

Why do we send emails?  It is an efficient and recorded way of communicating that is almost instantaneous and can be a highly productive way of doing business.  Why do I say can be?  If you don’t check your email regularly and/or respond to the emails completely, it entirely defeats the mode of communication.  Writing well thought out (note, not time consuming, simply well written) emails saves all parties involved a good deal of time and often hassle.

The point of this blog is to comment on various aspects of my day to day business life and my experiences of starting an online business, www.kooziez.com, from scratch all while living outside the USofA.  One thing that continues to elude me is how one can be involved in/dependent upon various web aspects without taking advantage of these very aspects of the web that contribute to your businesses’ success.  I am, as we “speak” starting a formal daily log in which I summarize, every 15 minutes, what activities I’ve worked on.  Why? In order to become even more efficient at what I do.  I simply cannot understand not having some type of “smartphone” if running a successful online business and cannot begin to comprehend a lack of consistent email checking.

Please also be sure to understand, this is not so much a space for ranting as it is a space for musing.  Yes, I do get frustrated but I more try to look at those frustrations as an opportunity for learning rather than a sticking point that prevents me from moving forward (after, of course, the initial five minutes of loud expletives aimed at my computer).

C’est la vie.  It is my job to figure out how to be more efficient, not to force people to change.

Black and White

Koozie Central Blog Day 23:

Black and White Cats

Perhaps the most difficult part about setting up as an entrepreneur, even an online personalized koozie business, are the business relationships that are forged and formed.  It can be even more difficult if one of those relationships is based on and/or evolves into some type of friendship.  Here is where lines begin to blur and black and white becomes a muddled shade of grey.

Best thing to do is to create clear lines and expectations from the get go so that there is little to be unclear about.  Penalties set-up for all parties involved ensure that everyone stays on their toes and motivation is high to complete the tasks set ahead for each party involved.  Failing to set-up clear and concise definitions often leads to awkward and uncomfortable conversations that are more a result of lack of communication than anything else.

It can often be difficult to foresee what exactly you will even need to communicate to each other before the business has started but it’s best to lay it all out on the table and have a line of command for each and every one.  It’s certainly better to be over prepared rather than under-prepared.  When it comes to business it’s best to leave emotions out of the equation so there are no hurt feelings.  Black and white is a lot easier to understand than fuzzy grey.

Microsoft Excel vs. Me

Koozie Central Blog Day 3:

My childhood was during an interesting brink in technology. My husband and I often marvel at how different our “growing up” experiences were in the few short years between not having a cell phone in high school and having one. There’s a world of difference between the A-Team and the Ninja Turtles. I imagine siblings, spouses and grown-up friends felt this way when discussing their childhood experiences with color and non-color TV available.

Specifically I refer to Microsoft Word and the many programs it has available for the laptop and PC. I remember floppy discs and playing Oregon Trail during computer classes. Microsoft Excel was explained in basic terms if at all. It was mostly for creating organized tables and helping out with math equations teachers didn’t want you doing on the computer anyway otherwise “how would you ever really learn it”. The same rational in not allowing a calculator until Middle School.

Excel

This brink I refer to is in schools that placed an importance in learning Microsoft and its programs and those that didn’t or left it as the student’s choice. I chose “No” and consequently want to throw Excel out of the window each and every time I am asked to create a spreadsheet. I prefer my calculator and scratch paper method. It’s safe (probably just because I know how to do it) and I’m used to it. There are those of us in our almost 30’s who love Excel and there are those of us who loathe it. My only computer class post high school was basic HTML. Never having any use for complex Excel equations, I squeaked by never having learned it. I’ll be starting a Microsoft tutorial later this month and am looking forward to documenting it. You should too. It will theoretically make this business venture 20 zillion times more smooth and efficient. Stay tuned.

Check out www.kooziez.com and let me know if you think my efforts are working!