There are some simple things that you should do if you have a small business. Answering and the phone well is way up the list.
I going to have my house pressure washed as part of the process of getting it ready to sell. So, I found a guys card at the bank. I'm not sure how they worked a deal to get their literature at a bank, but it worked out good for me.
Anyways, I call the number on the card and after 5 rings just before I was about to hang up someone picks up and says, "Hello".
Me: (not sure I called the right number): Ummmmm, is this The Pressure Washing Company?
Now, for all I know these guys may be the best in the business, but in those few seconds my first impression of them is that they don't really know what they are doing.
If you have a small business, take a cue from big business and answer your phone in the most professional manner possible. While image may not be as important in the pressure washing business as it is in, say, a photography studio, it still has an impact. If you aren't making that impact as positive as possible, you are doing yourself a disservice.
(To this guys credit, he did call me back to let me know that he wasn't going to be able to make it by today like he had originally expected. Some people I have dealt with would have let me figure that out for myself.)
Update: November 2021
Never did sell the house. This was right before the housing bubble popped and the market crashed. It was a few years before things recovered and my interest in selling dissipaited. (Probably there was a little maina involved, but who knows.)
Anyway, I've still got it.
Need to get it pressure washed again too. I've done it a few times since 2005, but not as many as my home owners association would like...