For the most part, I like to keep this blog positive & focused on things fun (usually my art but sometimes miscellaneous fun stuff like the previous NY Comic Con post), but I felt the need to do a mini-rant about something i've wanted to get off my chest & figured i'd do it since it is related.
It has to do with doing business & how some people lack the art of conducting it properly.
Now i'm not necessarily speaking on individual clients who want to order items from me..i'm speaking more on those who say they have some kind of business/company and want to do business through collaboration or something related. At least once a month i'll get an email/message from someone saying they have a company of some sort (a store/boutique, etc.) telling me they want to do business via collaboration or a cosignment deal. Now i'm open to these opportunities if the situation is right, as I think it could benefit both parties as long as everyone does what they're supposed to do, but unfortunately some people seem to have mastered the art of wasting people's time and don't seem serious about building that foundation...it's as if they're "caught up in the moment" but then they suddenly lose interest when it's time to actually get things done.
Case in point: I had someone contact me with what sounded like a good cosignment opportunity. We exchanged information & even spoke on the phone..and even though I had a doubt or two since this company didn't have a website or actual business email (more on that later) the conversation was positive & seemed heading in the right direction. So about a week/week and a half later I contact them back about a cool idea I had for this company that could help them stand out & benefit us both (the idea was to do an original shoe that would be available exclusively to them...just an idea I thought I would toss their way) and to this day I never heard back from them, which makes me question how serious & focused they were on moving things ahead. I understand that people have things going on in their own lives that might prohibit them from responding right away...wasn't like I was expecting a response within the hour...but to never respond seems a little unprofessional to me. I have this philosophy about people who don't return phone calls or emails, specifically when it's business related, and even if they were to finally respond, the possibility of a business relationship with them is now in question..think of it as a red flag.
You'd be surprised how many times i've had a sit-down meeting with someone that ended up being a huge waste of time or long phone conversations that led to nothing over time. And don't even get me started on how many times i've heard " I know/worked with/had lunch with/performed with (insert celebrity name here)" or "I've worked with (insert major tv network/event here)". That's why I am making it a point to be more careful who I do business partnerships with. So I kinda set myself some rules for potential business partnerships:
1. Never do business with people who don't return phone calls or emails.
Tom me it's a sign of unreliability. If they can't return a simple message, what makes you think they'll get back to you with a more important matter? Huge red flag.
2. Every business, big or small, should have a website & business email.
Doesn't matter if it's a big corporation of something you run out of your kitchen. In this day & age of technology, there's no excuse for a business not to have a website. Just having a facebook page and/or a twitter isn't enough. I mean, I have those things too, but they're not the main showcase for my work. That's why these type of people who claim to be businessmen/women who don't even have a simple website are hard for me to take seriously (especially when there are places you can get one for free & you can get a web address/url for around $10). Due to past experiences I now make it a point to avoid dealing with them...because basically anybody can claim to be "about their business" but their presentation (or lack thereof) tells the real story. Also, having an actual business email is important (something ending with your business name...ex: firstname.lastname@example.org, which is Ecentrik Artistry's email)...having a "@yahoo.com" or "@gmail.com" is fine for a temporary thing or if the person is say, a freelance artist (but even a freelancer should at least have a website), but if your business email doesn't have your official business name, it makes you look like an amateur. That's why having a website & business email for your company makes you seem more legit.
3. Use proper grammar!
I've actually gotten emails from so-called "businesses" that had improper grammar, which made me think they were one of those Nigerian scam-type emails..like the ones claiming they want you to transfer millions of dollars to a U.S. account.
Now I don't claim to know everything about business, but things like this are common sense. From this day forth, if you're a business & contacting me (whether a big store or small boutique), please make sure you know these rules if you want to be taken seriously. I think networking is a great thing & have met a lot of great people by doing so, but please...be professional.