By Michael Weiss
Love it or hate it, email is an essential communication tool for most businesses. And why wouldn’t it be? Email is quick, cheap, and easy to use. It can be measured, automated, and accessed from virtually anywhere, at any time. So it is easy to understand why an estimated 347 billion business and consumer emails are exchanged daily around the world.
But despite its efficiency and ubiquity, there is another reason we gravitate toward email as our primary communications tool; a dirty little secret, if you will. We don’t want to feel like a bother to anyone, and email feels like the least intrusive form of communication. Face-to-face meetings, phone calls, teleconferencing, and even messaging tools are all better designed for real-time communication compared to email, but they also require a time commitment from the other party. And that time commitment, consciously or subconsciously, seems intrusive. Email, on the other hand, gives the other party the flexibility of responding at their convenience. While that is certainly considerate, it also gives the other party time to make other things a higher priority and delay their response to you. Additionally, because email is so unintrusive, it’s really easy for someone to flat-out ignore your email(s).
This is not to say that email doesn’t serve a purpose. It does. But I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs rely too heavily on email and get frustrated when they don’t hear back from a prospect, a client, a vendor, or even potential investors. Email can and should be used, but so should your other communications tools. If you lead with an email, follow up with a phone/voicemail. If they don’t call you back, connect and/or message them on LinkedIn. If you’re still not making any headway, connect with someone else at the same organization to make new inroads.
The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training, and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth/impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has provided vital business development resources resulting in over 300 local startup companies reaching their potential faster and graduating into the community where they continue to grow and positively impact the local economy.
With eight facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Kissimmee, Orlando, and Winter Springs. For the 2017/2018 fiscal years, the activities of these participating firms have helped to sustain more than 6,725 local jobs and have had a cumulative impact of over $725 million on regional GDP and over $1.3 billion on regional sales. During the same period, the program has returned more than $12.00 in state and local taxes for every $1.00 invested in the program. In addition, for every $1.00 of public investment, the firms also produced $118 of additional regional GDP and $226 of regional sales. For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.