Email has changed the world and how we communicate. It is without question, a tremendous tool. In the course of a typical day, I receive and send over 100 emails. I am not sure if this is a good thing. I have really found that this new mode of communication has two awful drawbacks: First, email has robbed all of us of the time we need to just daydream. This is especially important when either running or buying a business. We need to time to just think about "stuff". Some of the greatest initiatives I've implemented in my businesses have surfaced when I was able to devote undisturbed time to reflect on what the business should do or become. Always being "connected" by email and mobile phone prevents this random thinking.
Second, we have set aside what I believe is the greatest mode of communication outside of in person conversations: the telephone. It's amazing to me that people just don't talk. Emails are fired off in rapid- fire succession. The problem is, you cannot rescind the written word. The good news is that people are now far more accessible at their offices than ever before, because people don't call. This is critically important when it comes to buying a business and then operating one. If you have any critical issues to discuss with the other side, or with prospective clients; call them - don't email. You may think I'm crazy but a good part of my publishing business has grown simply because I don't email prospective affiliates of joint venture partners. I call them and that immediately establishes a relationship at an entirely different level.
All of this is very important when it comes to buying a business. You will run into roadblocks with sellers. Firing off emails, and especially if you use them to vent frustration, is the wrong approach. Call them, or meet with them. Also, this "new" way of communicating works with business brokers. They are slammed with email inquiries. If you want to separate yourself, pick up the phone and inquire about their listings.
Email cell phones, PDAs, Blackeberrys, are all great, but they are no substitute for the human voice and personal touch. When all is said and done, just remember that Alexander Graham Bell's invention in 1876 is the greatest technological advance of all.