How to Successfully Write an Email

I have a lot of trouble writing emails. I tend to worry so much about tone (am I being conversational or am I being too authoritative) and word choice. I get so swept up in these concerns that I can end up taking hours to write a simple two paragraph email.

Tone and words are important, and the amount of time spent on the email should be directly in line with the receiving end of that email. For example, if I’m writing an email to a prospective client, I want to be sure to provide plenty of value in my email, I want my tone to be conversational, but not too casual, and I want to clearly set expectations for next steps.

All this being said, no matter how important the communication is, it shouldn’t take hours to put it together. So, I’ve come up with some things that I use to help me slim down my email process:

 1.     Make an Outline. The outline should include who the email is going to, the basic topic of the email, the points I want to make, and the overall tone I wish to convey. It looks a little something like this:

Who: New Client #1 (CEO)

Topic: Onboarding

1.     Steps involved

2.     Account Plan Meeting purpose and time

3.     What is needed from the client

4.     What we will be doing

Tone: Friendly, but certain and somewhat directive

2.     Set a Timer. If I’m writing an email to a client or a prospective client, I know it has a greater likelihood of taking me a long time. So, I set a timer for 10 minutes. The timer forces me to get my thoughts out and not to overthink each word and phrase before the thoughts are complete. I have a time limit, so I know I don’t have time to decide if the word glorious is better than the word stupendous. I have to keep moving through the communication.

3.      Read Through It. Once I’ve completed the email, I then read it through twice to check for grammar issues and to ensure that I have hit all of the points I had intended to hit. I delete stuff if I go off topic.

4.     Send It to a Team Member. If the email is really important, I send it to a team member to read, edit, and react to it. I also send the team member my outline. The things I want them to look for are:

1.     Grammar and spelling

2.     Word Choice

3.     Tone

4.     Did I hit all the things I wanted to hit

5.     Finally, I send the email.

 While this process may take more than 10 minutes, it still takes far less than the hours that emails had been taking me. Hope you find this method helpful, too.

How We're Creating a Winning Culture

I was recently sent this article by an employee on what makes a winning culture? We were both excited to see that W Co has implemented most of these things over the last year, and intends to do more in 2019.

While we believe that we can always improve for ourselves, for our team, and for our clients, we do feel that we’re on the right track.

The fact that our employees understand and are invested in the W Co vision, feel like they have an opportunity to grow, and have regular meetings about their goals, is great for the internal culture we’re building.

We operate as outsourced accountants for our clients. Occasionally, we have clients that think hiring internally, rather than using an outsourced accountant, might be better in the long-run. I disagree for multiple reasons:

1.     Our culture is top notch. This means that our culture impacts our clients’ cultures. The better our culture is, the more positive our impact on our clients, and on the teams with whom we work within those clients.

2.     Turnover is expensive.  It is expensive financially because of time lost to finding and replacing employees, and time lost due to training (no one can come into a job knowing exactly what to do), not to mention salaries, severance, etc.  And, turnover is expensive to the culture of an organization. Even when the culture is pretty good, turnover will result in a hit to the culture, bringing it down a notch or two. When hiring outside of your expertise for a position that you don’t know how to manage, you have a much higher likelihood of higher turnover. We are experts in this field, so we can take away a lot of the confusion, worry, and stress of managing a business’ money. And, we have people to manage our associates – people who know the field, and know how to manage accountants.

 3.     “Appreciation is essential.” In order to improve engagement, and build loyalty, employees need to feel appreciated. As many of our team can attest, working for different companies as their sole accountant, appreciation wasn’t high on the list for the “money person.” – essential, yes, but appreciated… Therefore, they weren’t often engaged with what was going on within the company itself. Unengaged employees bring down the culture. Our team is appreciated. Interestingly, they are not only appreciated by their team here at W Co, but they are also appreciated by their clients. Perhaps it is because they aren’t there all the time, so when they go above and beyond, it is truly noticed. As a result, our team is invested in W Co, and is equally invested in the clients with whom they work. 

We can’t say enough about how important a great culture is. We also know that it is ALWAYS a work in progress. We actively work to achieve this great culture every single day. We’d love an opportunity to positively impact your culture with our expertise with the financial side of your business.