One of my pet bugbears in business are people who use email addresses for their “business” that are  another host providers email. e.g. @blueyonder @btinternet etc. because I think it looks unprofessional.  It says to me that:

  • this is not a proper business
  • they do not take their brand image seriously
  • they are too mean to invest in buying a domain name

Its even MORE annoying when they have a perfectly good website domain name and still dont use an email address that could be associated with this domain name i.e. and instead use mary@blueyonder for their email.

And therefore because that is my perception, I will judge what they are offering based on my view of reality.  So am I being too judgemental?  Or should those who are in this camp consider the implications for their business?

1. It costs almost nothing to purchase a domain name and email address that make your business seem professional.  Even if you dont have a website you can still have a “proper” sounding email address.  I use 1and1 for this.

2. If your business is small at the moment, but has aspirations to get bigger, invest NOW in your domain name and email address. Even if you dont have a formal “brand identity” as yet, it will make an impact on your business cards or documents.  It is particularly important if you are thinking of growing a business that can be sold as a going concern in the future.  Your domain name and brand will be part of the intangible assets.  Use Moo to create your own professional looking business cards.

3.  If you want to do business with corporates, then their expectations will be that your business presents itself as professionally as possible.   I know many small businesses that landed large contracts with corporates because they gave the impression that they were bigger than they actually were. This included describing the business as “we” when it was still only one person, having a strong brand image and domain name, email etc, and maybe investing in a telephone answering service to take calls while you are out and about.

Remember other people’s perception is THEIR reality, so consider how you present your business.

I would love your comments on this, do you agree with me or not?