This article discusses 8 common business etiquette blunders that many people in the business world commit and how they can be avoided.

Business etiquette is important in big or small businesses because relying purely on competence to promote your business interests using inbound marketing is unlikely to get you very far. The tips on business etiquette mistakes to avoid listed below are offered as reminders for anyone in business, from business owners or managers to employees or hired workers.

Addressing Everyone by First Name

If you are new hire to a job, don’t assume that just because everyone in the office addressed each other by the first name, you are at liberty to do the same. It would be wise to address your boss formally unless he insists you call him by his first name.

Sending Out Business Correspondence with Errors

When your business correspondence is riddled with typing and spelling errors, the impression you are presenting to the recipient tends to be this: “I’m too important for such small details. I’m not concerned that I’m being careless.” Therefore, to avoid being branded ‘unprofessional’, make sure that your correspondence is error-free.

Taking Business Calls Too Lightly

When you make a business call, always state your name, the company you represent, and whom you wish to speak with. Be concise. Never put a client on hold because “an important call just came in.” This immediately makes your client feel less important. Don’t talk with someone on the telephone while having a conversation with someone else in your office. If it becomes necessary to speak with the person at work, apologize to the person you’re speaking with on the telephone, tell him something urgent has come up and you’ll call him back in a while.

Failing to Keep Appointments

Do not keep your clients waiting for more than 10 minutes. Your tardiness conveys unprofessionalism, a message that you don’t value them. In some cases, this is one way of losing a client and a lucrative contract fast.

Giving Out Business Cards Unnecessarily

Business cards are an extension of you and represent your position in the workplace. If you present a business card that is dirty, torn, or frayed at the edges, what does that say about you and your business? Make sure you present your business card in pristine condition. A business card doesn’t necessarily need to be given to everyone you meet. The best time to hand it out is when you’re meeting potential clients or perhaps attending a trade fair where you can exchange cards with like-minded people for your business networking.

Phrasing Incorrectly Your Invitation to Lunch

When you say, “Let me take you to lunch,” what you’re implying is that you’re going to foot the bill for the lunch. Do not say this and expect the other person to contribute to the price of the meal. If your intention is for both parties to share the tab, a better way to phrase your invitation can be: “Let’s have lunch together.”

Talking Solely about Business at a Social Function

When you attend a social event, it is just that – a social function. Talking with everyone you meet about your business will make you an absolute bore. Talk about your other interests; if you have none, develop some.

Inviting Out Your Boss Prematurely on a Social Basis

Many bosses do not like being indebted to their staff as they feel that “familiarity” makes it more difficult for them to be objective. The best way is to wait until your manager extends an invitation to you before you do likewise, or, until such time that a certain camaraderie has been developed over time in addition to being business colleagues.

The eight business etiquette blunders described are not difficult to follow. By being aware of them and practicing what is appropriate in the workplace can lead a business on the path of success.