I like transparency. In friendships, relationships, and in business. I appreciate the honesty and growth that can come between two things when there is transparency included in the relationship. In business, transparency is described as "a situation in which business and financial activities are done in an open way without secrets, so that people can trust that they are fair and honest" (source). I think that this is a great definition.
For me, and my business, I use my website to help me keep my business transparent. Specifically? My pricing guides (wedding and custom), and this blog. I have a breakdown of the pricing you should be able to expect to start with when thinking of a project. I like to show where my pricing starts, and break down the individual prices within my wedding suites, so that it makes it easier on the customer's end. You can also see where pricing for custom (non wedding) designs can start, and if you're choosing just lettering, you can see where they end. It's all right there, and before you pay, I make sure that you know exactly what your final price is going to be.
I make notes about the costs of shipping from Canada in my shipping page, including the expected times for getting an order ready for delivery. On my policies page, I break down different issues you may come across, and plainly write out how I will handle things on my end, and what you can expect.
I also use email, and over on my Etsy shop, the conversation tab where people can message me. When people talk to me through these avenues, I try to answer clearly, with as much information as I can. I don't mind to walk people through shipping issues, or policies again, even if they are addressed somewhere else on my site. I feel that taking that extra step means a lot to my customer. Why should I send them to a page on my site, having them look for the answer on their own, when I can just take a couple minutes to offer them a personalized response, which then offers them with more. I try not to hide anything in these emails and conversations, and maintain my transparency between my business and my clients.
That all being said, I'm looking to add more transparency to my business. By this I mean being real, and sharing the not so pretty, not so fun stuff. The hard times, the discouraging times, the messy times, to show you that I'm not perfect, and this business is not perfect, and that you don't have to feel perfect either.