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How to be professional in your online business.

Updated on August 17, 2013

How to be professional in your online business.

Our business went online nearly a decade ago now, and I have learned so much!

Having your business online means more than just having a website. It also entails professionalism, ethics and all the same things a successful 'in person' business has, from polite and professional rapport to timely delivery and all round service excellence.

Read on to see where your 'Netiquette' rates!

Being professional in your online business!

Polite counts!

JUST like an in person business, manners count!

ALWAYS, always be polite. This means either making a rule for yourself that you will always no matter what repond back to someone within 24 hours, or that you will at the very least have an email responder to let folks know that you have indeed received their email and it hasn't gone off into the void.

IT is also great if you change your email responder if you are away or on vacation, or even if your business has closed. there is nothing worse than waiting for a response that never comes!

POLITE also means speaking to someone as if you were in person. Hello, goodbye, please and thank you are an excellent place to start. Always be clear with communication, and if you cannot be, find someone who is to be your front line contact. Not everybody is a customer service pro, expecially if you have never had to do it in real life. Slang texting language is not appropriate for a professional business.

BE accountable. This means work in a timely fashion, if you promise work or delivery on a certain date or time, do it, and if you can't deliver, ALWAYS follow up with the customer as soon as possible.

KEEP your books and records tidy. There are lots of programs you can use for books, which you can back up weekly to an external hard drive.

BACKUP, backup backup! Use an internal, partitioned drive and also back up to an external hard drive weekly, print off your backups and even save them to the cloud and DVD. This way you will never have to say 'I can't find it'!

IN an online business, people can't see your face, hear your voice or shake your hand, so they are relying totally on your work and your business etiquette. It can be much more difficult to work like this in some ways, but hey, you are probably working at home in your pajamas, and on your own clock, so it's worth it!

Sometimes when you start losing detail, whether it's in music or in life, something as small as failing to be polite, you start to lose substance.

Benny Goodman

Help for the business professional. - How to remain professional when working in your online business.

Some good reads - don't forget, what matters to your business in real life, matters even more on-line.

Does business etiquette really make a difference?

Quick answer - yes!!

The big silence

This has happened to me a few time, but again just recently. I had written somebody asking a question (not just a random somebody, but someone who was suppose to be in charge of something I was working on). I waited a few days and no answer came. So I wrote again and then moved on and forgot about it for the time being.

I still needed an answer so wrote again. This time the person responded and said "I thought my silence would give you the answer that you needed. It was my gentle way of saying no."

Ok, so - silence does not mean anything, it is just silence. It is not a clear directive or an answer to a question. I beg of you do not do this in your business, it is the epitome of unprofessional.

I know in the music industry people run into the same thing, they submit their work and wait patiently. When they hear nothing back it is 'the big silence' in practice - 'If you don't hear from us it means we're not interested'. Sadly that will probably not change, but in a business where you are corresponding to people one to one, it is never an answer.

Silence is for libraries, not business correspondence.

(Photo by blacktulip courtesy of Flick - Creative Commons)

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    • JennAshton profile image
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      Jenn Ashton 4 years ago from Canada

      @mina009: Thank you! ;-)

    • profile image

      mina009 4 years ago

      Thank you for the very nice tips!

    • JennAshton profile image
      Author

      Jenn Ashton 4 years ago from Canada

      @SusanDeppner: Cheers! Ah I run into bad practice all the time, drives me crazy~

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great advice! Customer service and business etiquette seem to be slipping by the wayside. Thanks for the reminders!