Businesses are only as effective as how well their staff can communicate. Part of this success is down to the communication infrastructure that the company embeds into the working day of its employees. Voice calls, emails, and now increasingly instant messaging applications, it’s likely that you’ll have had to use all three of these in your daily working life.
No matter what you use, the main point is intrinsically true. No matter how solid the business plan, how large the capital fund and how eager the customer base, if a business can’t communicate, it can’t discuss the nuances of the market and become flexible, proactive and reactive to its demands.
However, business communication is not only limited to inside its operation. It is a fundamental part of how it approaches its clients. You’ve probably seen this executed with varying degrees of success in the ‘humorous’ approach that businesses now enjoy applying to their products and services. It’s difficult to pick up a carton of juice or home furnishing product without a witty tagline or instructions written on the bag. This is to make the business seem more human, but sometimes it can only serve to alienate a customer. After all, a customer knows when they are being sold to.
These two examples are why it is so important to have a clear and concise understanding of how to communicate effectively within and without your business. If you’re a startup, this is one of the most valuable skills you can learn, and as such this article is targeted at you.
To make sure you understand the benefits of a tight communication strategy, and how to implement it, we will be exploring where you will communicate most often, and give you tips of how to navigate those social waters.
While emails are certainly a more clunky method of communication than instant messaging or voice chat, they do have their intrinsic benefits that can’t be found anywhere else. An email requires pre-planning, a well thought out structure and demands that you make your point as briefly as possible.
A good email is also something that serves as an ‘official’ communication, which makes cataloguing and responding to official business enquiries much more convenient. As such, your writing methodology should be at its peak in the email form. Emailing those above you in a professional and consistent way shows that you are dependable, responsive and informed about what is required from you. Make use of brevity here, and toy with ways to word your phrasing that allows you to convey the most information in the least amount of time possible. Respecting the time of your peers is a massive boost to making you seem a pleasure to work with.
However, emails needn’t restricted to an internal method of communication. It’s likely that if you operate a website, your business or startup runs an email marketing program, which is available to those who opt-in on the website or do so through subscribing to your service/purchasing a product.
This is the best time imaginable to exposure your audience to future promotions, sales, new product lines or subscription services. However, the only way you can possibly make a reader first read the email, and then follow it through to your intended end result is by coming across in a helpful way. This is a skill that is practised, and rarely naturally available. Consider beginning business writing training to help you stay on top form and inject your business promotional material with the most life and intrigue it can possibly offer a new reader.
As a new firm, it’s likely that you are interested in being invested in by an affluent shareholder. To attract these people, you must first craft a solid and watertight business plan that adequately does the job of explaining exactly what your business idea is. It will also be used to identify certain problems you might experience as you grow, to detail exactly what your goals are for the next months, year and five years, as well as bringing a method of progress-measurement to the table.
As such, this needs to be clearly written. Any erring on your side in this presentation will make you seem at a loss as to how your operation really works, even if you’ve built it from the ground up and have an intimate understanding. The power of clear, concise communication is in full effect here because the need to keep your investor happy with almost every word you present to them is paramount. These people see multiple pitches a week, and are so used to pitches trying to separate them from their money (at least temporarily,) that they have built an entire list of inner filters to figure out who is worth it and who isn’t.
Do not provide your budding investor with any reason to be dissuaded from going ahead with the deal. This all begins with the wording you use. Use professional, imperative and brief words, with slow, easy to understand sentences. Consider this the most important thing to get right in your entire growth pursuit.
If followed well, these tips can help you stand out in your field as clear, concise, and open to communication.