Small Business Expectations

I am a huge supporter of buying local. I enjoy farmer’s markets. I love local restaurants and shops. I feel at home in local coffee shops buying local honey. Recently a local business reached out and asked if I have any guidance for them, as they had seen a decline in sales over the past several months.As a supporter of all things local, quirks, such as pricing inconsistencies when an employee forgets a promotion or a longer wait time for food, rarely bother me. I will tell you, though, I’m in the minority. As a small business, consistency is key. So, here a few tips for setting expectations for yourself and your customers. Afterall, etiquette is about fulfilling expectations. 😉

  1. Be cautious in issuing change. If your new hours aren’t attracting new business, is it because you haven’t promoted the hours or given it enough time to catch on? Most customers don’t come to your place of business even weekly, so it may take a few months of consistently applying the change to see any difference. Also, the easiest way to lose a customer is to close down early or open up late. If a customer can’t depend on you, they’ll depend on someone else.
  2. Be consistent with food and money. The food, of course, only applies to restaurants, but money applies to all businesses. Customers expect a business to be up front with the cost of something. If you have a promotion for 10% off on Tuesdays, make sure your employees know to apply that. Similarly, the customer will have an expectation on portion size and quality. Meet those expectations.
  3. Remove “no problem” from your vocabulary. Every time a person walks into your place of business, you’re given an opportunity to either gain a customer or retain a customer. Positive responses go a long way, which is why Chick-fil-a is so known for their response of “my pleasure.” Read more about the problem with no problem here.
  4. Don’t overextend yourself. Do what you love and are passionate about. Slowly add to what you offer instead of doing it all at once. Etiquette by Emily started as a blog in 2015. In 2017 I added cotillion, and this year I’m now adding debutanate. I had to find what worked for my family and myself. This also has allowed me to not have to go back on anything I’ve started.

I hope you gained a little information from this post. If you have other suggestions you’d like to share, please comment here or email etiquettebyemily@gmail.com. As always, thank you for reading!

Election Day Etiquette, Part 1

Y’all. Today is the day. It’s the day we find out who will be our leader of the United States of America for the next four years. However, it’s also the day we find out who will serve us locally in our states and in our communities.

One of my other non-paying jobs is mayor of a medium-sized town. I have had an interest in politics since I was fairly young. Honestly, my love of politics and etiquette was established around the same time. While the two may seem to have nothing in common, I don’t just chalk it up to being a Gemini (or being more Paris than Rory….Lorelai trumps them both). They should have plenty in common, such as exhibiting respect for others, listening to listen and not just respond, being willing to help others, etc. If they don’t, well, it may be time for new leaders.

On my personal social media outlets, I do not post about politics, other than general reminders, such as where to vote if one so chooses to do so. I don’t post for whom they should vote. That’s up to them. It also is against etiquette to do so. Let me be blunt for a moment. No meme, quote or rant on Facebook will EVER change a person’s vote choice. It simply and truly will not.

It has always been considered rude to talk about politics and religion, not because we shouldn’t have deep conversations, but because more of the time these “conversations” quickly digress to arguments. The reason someone is passionately Republican may not be an issue for someone passionately Democrat. Also, there are plenty of parties out there. 🙂

More often than not, I find that people aren’t diehard for their candidate or even party. They are diehard about one or two specific issues that really hit home for them. It’s a very personal choice. Life decisions led that person to his or her choice, and one conversation is extremely unlikely to sway them from said decision. It can, however, sway them from friendships.

So, today, Election Day, I ask you – is it worth it? It being “right” more important than being kind? If so, we’ve all already lost. I would encourage you today to vote – the only avenue your voice is truly heard. However, we can all be kind to others, regardless of their political affiliation. In this era of openness and political correctness, maybe being silent isn’t such a bad thing. After all, there are surely more interesting facts about a person than for whom they are voting.

Happy Election Day. Tomorrow, regardless of the outcome, the sun will rise. I’ll see you then.

Business Interview Etiquette – Both Sides

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Thank you for reading the first post regarding business etiquette! I am unsure how many parts for this series I will do, so I’m not numbering them. However, please let me know if there’s something you feel I haven’t adequately covered!

We briefly touched on introductions yesterday. Today we’ll continue to the interview process. When you are being interviewed, you should take your cues from the person(s) interviewing you, even if you are currently employed at the business. Often times during an internal interview for a new position, a person becomes too relaxed and comfortable, failing to make a good business impression. Remember you want them to consider you for the job you want, not the job you have.

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Likewise, it is important to dress your best for an interview. Keep in mind this should be appropriate for the job. However, even for manual labor jobs, dressing up is never a bad thing. Now, there will be the rogue company who wants to appeal to millennials (yes, I know I am one…) with their “jeans every single day” attire. However, as much as we may want to dismiss the notion, you are instantly judged on your appearance. Is it fair? Not necessarily, but what is?

This is not the time to try out new fashion trends you aren’t comfortable with. Along those lines, your attire should fit, and you should be comfortable in it so you aren’t distracted from the interview itself.

The person interviewing should extend their hand first. If they don’t, after a few moments, it is ok for the person being interviewed to initiate this.

Eye contact is appropriate, but don’t stare them down. This goes for both sides of the interview.

If you are applying for a position, prepare for your interview. Have the name of the person(s) who will interview you. Know a few basic facts about the company and/or the position. You will be more convincing on why you’re the right person for the job.

Do not interrupt the other person! Again, both sides.

At the end of the interview, shake hands and thank the person for his/her time.

After an interview, send a follow up e-mail or handwritten letter thanking them for their time and the opportunity to interview. As much as this is part of etiquette, it’s also just a good business tip for leaving a good impression. You may attach your contact information to this correspondence so they may more easily reach out to you. However, that is sufficient. It can appear to be a bribe if you send anything more (candies, etc.).

Regardless of the decision made, do not take it personally, unless there was true illegal discrimination against you.

Thank you for reading! Check back tomorrow for a briefing on e-mail etiquette. In the coming days, we’ll also talk about social media etiquette in regards to business! J

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Name tag etiquette

How about a little business etiquette to start off the business week? You should always wear your name tag on your right side. This is because when you shake someone’s hand, the eye is naturally drawn up the arm towards that location. It makes it easier for someone to see your name. Also, ladies and gentlemen alike, a simple firm handshake is appropriate in the USA, regardless of whether the handshake is performed by mixed company. In some countries, the greetings definitely vary, but a weak handshake is not impressive or appropriate. Neither is one that attempts to squeeze the life out of someone via their extremity. (My picture is a mirror image, by the way). Please let me know of any questions you may have!image