Here are some great Small Business internet tools that you can use to maximize your new business building time.
7 Steps for New Business Bid Internet Success
- If at all possible, create an email account that uses a professional-sounding name and is not tied into your family or personal environment. I suggest using your first name and last name, such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- If there are specific directions regarding the mechanics on how to apply for business on line you're interested in, follow them exactly per their request. This is not the time to be a rebel and appear difficult. The purchasing agent will not be interested in you as a vendor if you do not seem as though you have the ability to follow simple instructions.
If the bid process does not specify whether to send your proposal as an attachment or in the body of the email, then you should do both. If the purchasing agent asks for your bid to be placed in the body of your email, then do a "cut and paste" and put your bid in the body of the message. At the end of your message, you can always tell them that you have a professional, fully formatted hardcopy version available upon request.
If the purchasing agent or decision maker is asking for a PDF file and you need a free converter, go to www.cutepdfwriter.com and download the software.
To convert your document, you will go to "print" and save it from your printer menu under "Cutepdfwriter." When you highlight and hit enter, the document is then converted into a PDF file.
- When you save your bid proposal, save it on your hard drive
with your first and last name as part of the document name (e.g., PattySmithResume.doc or SmithPattyResume.pdf). Such a naming convention will make it easier for the person receiving it to keep track of it and find it later.
- In the subject line of the email be short and specific to make things easier for the purchasing agent (e.g., ABC Company bid RQ: 1234).
- If possible, create an email signature that includes your contact information such as you name, company name, your business email address, and corporate phone number.
- Try to get a face to face meeting if at ALL possible with the purchasing agent prior to the bid being awarded to try and be able to create a relationship. People do business with people they know like and trust.
To create a signature file in Microsoft Outlook, go to Tools, Options, and then Mail Formats. The information you place there will then automatically be put into the body of all your emails.
- Double check that you are sending your bid quote to the correct person. Perform a spell check and make sure your computer "address book" did not inadvertently pick another person whose name is close in the alphabet.
- Make sure you're not using a spam blocker, thereby creating problems for the person to whom you are sending your paperwork.
Following are some additional internet tools and techniques to consider:
Consider using a service like www.mozy.com ($5.99/ month) to back up your computer and to gain remote access to your files if you happen to be out of town interviewing. Also try www.gotomypc.com ($9.95/month). Onedrive and Dropbox are other options I use.
Look into Google Documents (free). If you have Microsoft Office, you should be able to use Microsoft Live Workspace (free).
Create a folder (e.g., in your email program) such as: Resume sent (You can either move from send or BCC yourself and then move from your inbox into this folder.)
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I wish you a wonderfully successful and productive week ahead.
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Eleanor Anne Sweet
Hidden Sales and Revenue Expert tm