As in any relationship, an organization is built upon good communication. It goes without saying that business success is impossible without it.
Any fresh venture requires establishing good relations, as well as proper internal and external communication to thrive and grow. Without it, how can you convey your organization’s goals and objectives? How else can you relay succinct messages to your potential and existing customers other than with a clear communication strategy?
Startup businesses can’t foray into the highly-competitive world of commerce without effective communication methods. Operations, product or service creation, marketing, sales, and customer service are all important elements of business, which require communication.
A research covering 400 corporations with more than 1000,000 employees in the UK and US done by The Holmes Report, a global public relations (PR) agency, discovered that communication barriers led to an average of $62.4 million in terms of company losses due to lost productivity.
If you suspect that communication issues are dragging your business down, or if your new enterprise needs a further boost in this department, take heed of the following points to turn your situation around:
1. Traditional communication tools
With almost 3 billion smart phone users in the world, you’d think that telephones and fax machines are no longer relevant. In areas where Internet is unreliable, many businesses still turn to fax machines hooked to fixed telephone lines to send and receive important documents. When your printer has run out of ink, and you’ve got connectivity problems, the best online fax service will allow you to send and receive invoices, printed messages, and other forms of emergency communications that otherwise will take days to receive via courier services.
With limited investments allocated for costly information technology devices and other gadgets, small businesses and startups can benefit from these “outdated” communication tools.
2. Telephones and fax machines
Who says using a telephone is a thing of the past? Most businesses still use these tools extensively to contact potential marketing leads that lead to conversions. The fax machine can be used to send documents in fast-changing offerings. Believe it or not, some businesses still prefer to receive documents sent through fax rather than electronic mails.
Additionally, you can use fax broadcasting to reach a wider audience and increase sales potential. Fax machines can be programmed to send documents to multiple phone numbers simultaneously.
3. Social intranet software
A database containing all relevant information about the company can solve a host of problems within the organization.
For one, you can post organizational updates and announcements, general documents, memos, human resource policies, newsletters, and other documents for general viewing on the intranet.
Having access to these information does the following things:
- Keeps your staff updated about company news
- Solves the problem of “missing” documents
- Allows better inter-departmental collaboration
- Reminds employees of company protocols and standard operating procedures
- Streamlines the need for paper documents
Within the social intranet software, you can encourage your employees to communicate better.
4. Internal private group messaging service
For communications that are less formal, an email may not be necessary. While personal interactions are still the best ways to discuss job and task-specific topics, it may not always be possible. The next best thing is to use an internal group messaging app.
While there a lot of social messaging apps available, an intranet chat service may offer an easier way to exchange company files via a drag and drop function. An intranet chat function likewise provides a more secure method of sending and receiving internal work files that’re accessed via the intranet document database.
5. Business communication software features
For everything else that’s related to your business startup operations, such as workflow and project management, customer service, sales, and marketing, choose a communication software that offers multiple functions. These tools make effective communication in the business setting more efficient, overall.
By choosing a communication tool that integrates various tools like online file sharing, team messaging, video conferences, customer service, and analytics, your team members will spend less time (and bandwidth) clicking and closing several windows all at once.
As not all digital communications tools are the same, find one that can be used by employees who are either tech-savvy, technophobic, or anyone else in between.
Don’t forget to include security as a must-have in every software package for your startup. This helps you avoid data breaches that can cost your company millions in penalties and settlements.
Choose a communication tool that can be customized according to your expanding needs.
6. External Communication
Effective communication is essential in a startup being that it allows you to send, receive, and understand key messages in a more effective manner. This means that you can say what you want to say in the correct manner, and be free from misinterpretation.
As a new player in the market, it’s critical that your business is able to structure clear messages about your company, its mission, and objectives. It should ensure that your audience understands your messages clearly.
To do this, know your target audience very well and tap all communication channels, whether offline or online, to effectively reach them at all levels. This means that you have to create all forms of oral, visual, and written communication tools – blog articles, videos, webinars, and podcasts, among other types. Don’t forget the traditional forms of media such as newsletters, brochures, flyers, and social media posts.
Think of ways to make your communication strategy unique and eye-catching to stand out and to avoid being drowned amid the crowded digital space.
If you’ve gathered enough following, adapt your communication strategies to attract more clients and retain existing ones.
7. Marketing and effective communication
Successful marketing strategies hinge on effective communication too. Whether you’re in it for the short haul (increase revenues) or long haul (building a brand), communication is paramount in driving business growth.
While you’re thinking about how to best communicate with your target audience, consider the fact that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text information. Visual content is also said to be more effective in learning and memory retention. While it’s recommended to create a balance and use all forms of communication tools, it’s no secret that a video content can convey powerful marketing messages. Using this along with the other types could create traction from your audiences and promote user engagement.
The 7 Cs of Effective Communication
In both internal and external interactions, various digital resources have established the following key principles in ensuring effective communication:
The Bottom Line
The points discussed above can help startups establish effective communication in all business aspects. As a fledgling enterprise, the communication team or focal person holds a critical responsibility of conveying the correct messages and tapping traditional and modern media channels, with the use of effective strategies.
Internally, effective communication can promote staff productivity and collaboration. Externally, it can help increase revenues and create a reputable company that’ll continue to expand and develop.