Some things that I shouldn’t have to tell you.
Something has been bothering me for quite some time now, and I have decided that I had better speak up about it. I am spending more and more time in the world of business knitting, and it seems to me that some basic rules of business have not been taught to a lot of the people that I have been dealing with. I would think that the same has been happening to you. None of these points are addressed to anyone in particular, but the business world in general.
First of all, emails. Most of the interactions that I have been having with yarn companies and publishers have been by email, because while the knitting world is small, the real world isn’t. I am totally in support of having regular business hours, I know how easy it would be for a business to take over ones life, especially if their phone lets them know when an email has come in, like mine does. However, if I am working with you on a deadline, and send you an email because I need to know something before I can proceeed, please email me back within a few days. It is unreasonable to leave a person waiting for weeks without a reply. Return phone calls, if that is how things are being done. My husband and I once had a company in to give us an estimate to repair a crack in our foundation. They spent a lot of time with us, promised a written quote, and then didn’t send us one. After several phone calls from us, and several weeks of no reply from them, a worker showed up, told me he had some spare time and was ready to fix the crack. No, he had no idea how much it would cost. Yes, I would have to stay home, even though I was packing my kids into the car as he drove up. Sorry, no. If you don’t respect us enough to transact your business properly, we will not be working with you.
Second of all, contracts. I don’t do work on spec, and won’t be spending hours and hours of my time working up a design that you express interest in, but don’t commit to. If you want to work with me, send a contract. It’s for your own protection as well as mine. Paperwork is good!
This one might seem petty, but please. Get my name right. If we were dealing with each other in person, and you called me Teresa, I would be uncomfortable around you, and would probably leave without commiting to work with you. (This happens a lot. My name is not Teresa. Please don’t call me that.) In writing, especially when replying to an email that I have sent to you and signed Trisha, do not reply with Hi Tricia. Seriously. It bothers me when a new contact gets my name wrong, but it really, really bothers me when someone that I have been communicating with for years does it. It’s just not good manners to mess up a person’s name.