Management Smarts

Fax Faux Pas

If your faxes are making foes, not friends, perhaps it's because you're oblivious to the finer points of fax etiquette. Curtis Michelson, whose Orlando, Florida, company, Access Publishing Inc., produces a daily fax news magazine, offers these tips for making sure your faxed messages are positively received:

Don't fax unsolicited marketing material. "Remember, the receiver is paying for the fax paper and toner," Michelson says.

Keep elaborate designs to a minimum. Complicated logos, fancy borders and custom letterheads on cover sheets and other documents slow your transmissions, tying up lines and inflating phone bills. "If you want to use large, bold type, try an outline font instead [of a dark font]-the visual impact is the same, but the transmission is much quicker," says Michelson.

Call before sending long documents. "It's a matter of courtesy to alert someone that you're going to be tying up their machine," Michelson says.

Get permission for late-night faxes. If the recipient operates from a home-based office, a middle-of-the-night call may not be welcome.

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This article was originally published in the February 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Management Smarts.

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