Working as a VA, one of my jobs is database management, which means entering in customers contact information into a company's database. This enables the company to find customers quickly and follow up when needed.
One of the things I've noticed is that some professionals and entrepreneurs do not have a designated email address for their business. Whether you are an independent contractor like a real estate agent, an insurance agent, etc, or have an online shop or home based business, you should separate your personal email from your business email. Emailing business related items from "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org" is not professional. While both may be true, it's still not professional.
I've also noticed a lot of independent contractors use their family email for business purposes. Again, not professional. If you want to distinguish yourself in your field, create your brand. For example, email@example.com is great for family and friends, however, firstname.lastname@example.org makes you recognizable and can be used for both business and personal. Even more professional would be email@example.com. Which email would you open?
Here are a few tips that I've come up with to help you set up your new business email address.
1. DO IT! Take the 5 minutes and set one up, or let a VA like myself do it for you! Your business is your brand! Create brand awareness so your brand name gets recognized.
2. Make it recognizable. For example, when I was looking at email addresses, my business name is my initials, so I stuck with my name as my email address. This also allows me flexibility should I choose to go with a domain name as my business grows, which I have also done and I will link them both together once my website is finished. Most websites come with a domain name... use it. Your email address should be able to grow with your business.
3. K.I.S.S. - Keep It Super Simple - While I realize that firstname.lastname@example.org is technically my brand name, but wow, is that long and difficult to type. Would you want to have to type that? Choose something easy on the brain and the fingers. email@example.com would work nicely.
4. If you are tight on cash or don't have a website (yet), use a free account, like gmail, for now. I try to stay away from phone provider emails because should you change providers, then you have to change your email... that's a pain for you and your clients. TIP: When registering a domain name for your website, buy both .com and .ca so no one else buys it. GoDaddy is a great resource for this.
Good Luck and Happy Emailing!