3 Lessons On Effective Business Communication For Small Businesses

How will your team members know how to effectively interact if you don’t know how to do that? As a leader, it is your duty to understand how communication affects your bottom line. To optimize success, here are three lessons small businesses should learn.

March 29th, 2017   |    By: Alexa Lemzy    |    Tags: Leadership, Management, Communication, Strategy

The quickest way to halt productivity is through ineffective business communication. For people to do their jobs properly, they need to know exactly what is expected of them. In small business setting, a specific set of guidelines should be followed.

How will your team members know how to effectively interact if you don’t know how to do that? As a leader, it is your duty to understand how effective business communication affects your bottom line. To optimize success, here are three lessons small businesses should learn.

COMMUNICATION Lesson #1: Ensure transparency

When teammates are on different pages, the stage is set for disaster. If Johnny didn’t tell Charlie the “whys” and “hows” of the new retail displays, Charlie might end up delivering a completed project that falls short of meeting your needs.

Business communication mishaps cost time, energy, and revenue for your company. Transparency will help decrease the odds of costly errors. 37% of employees are likely to leave their job based on perception of their boss’s poor performance.

Embracing transparency leads to better relationships. Don’t try to hide the areas where your business is lacking or excelling, you facilitate trust and dependability.

To be transparent with your team about business goals and requirements, make sure that everyone has easy access to the required information. This can be solved by creating a database with available logins and passwords.

Create a knowledge base and basic workflow guidelines when necessary. Post guidelines on your website and send out a memo making sure everyone has access to the information.

If your team is relatively small, a knowledge base or formal guidelines may seem unimportant. However, as your business starts to grow and you introduce new members to your team, you will thank yourself for being prepared.

Communication Lesson #2: Use tools that meet your specific needs

Knowing your needs helps ensure that you choose the right tools. The best tools are not the ones you know how to use, but the ones that help you to meet organizational demands.

So, when embarking upon any new project, you should first identify your business communication needs. Do you have remote staff or field workers you may need to reach immediately? Do you need to invest in the security of BYOD (devices your employees bring and us at their workplace?

Or are your communication needs more relaxed, not requiring immediate internal connections? Once you know exactly what you need, choose your tools and software accordingly.

When a piece of software looks like a good fit, don’t just choose based on the information on a website; test each new platform before you implement in a live project setting.

Finally, don’t stick to one solution just because you get used to it: evaluate project results and gather regular feedback from your team.

How does social media affect small business communications?

Before you go shopping for tools, consider the impact of social media on workplace communication. Productivity can increase by up to 25% amongst workers who use online social tools to collaborate.

IDC Study on improved business communication and productivity

The data here implies that when you are considering the impact of various business communication tools, it could be a good idea to ask your employees where they’re already hanging out online.

For example, if most team members are already on Twitter, you may want to integrate their direct messaging tools into your strategy.

Just because this information says productivity could improve if you implement social media doesn’t mean you should neglect testing. Monitor any changes implemented to your communication strategy.

Communication Lesson #3: Set the tone yourself

If you don’t show up to work on time, neither will your employees — they will feel timing is not important. The same goes for ensuring effective business communication standards. You are a leader, and it is your responsibility to define general work and communication attitudes.

What is it you want to see more of? If you would like employees to exhibit openness, trust, productive cooperation, and meaningful engagement, you have to show those same traits in your interactions. Set communication standards through your word and deed.

Which traits should you nurture in yourself?

Are you in a place where you don’t know which aspects of yourself to develop, here’s where you can begin. According to Neil Hanks, these are the leadership traits that every small business owner needs to possess:

  • Active listening skills
  • Strong team communication
  • Confidence to make mistakes
  • Surrounded by intelligent, talented people
  • Willing to delegate tasks to others
  • Continually looking forward
  • Highly accountable for actions

An intelligent move is to invest in self-development. Read books, go to seminars and retreats, and educate yourself on ways to improve your own communication skills. Improving yourself will help you pave the way for those around you, including your employees. As a bonus, strengthening the way you interact at work could help you improve personal relationships.

Lessons Learned:

These business communication lessons will help you enhance your business:

  1. Improve employee retention and trust by being transparent in the workplace.
  2. Create knowledge bases and guides to support your transparent system.
  3. Choose the right communication tools for your needs and consider the value of social media when making your decision.
  4. Lead your workers by “showing” how you expect interactions to take place.
  5. Put effort into self-improvement to optimize results.

As you continue down this path, refining the way people within your organization interact, remember that progress is better than achieving an absolute perfection. As long as the situation is getting better, you are on the right track.

About the Author

Alexa Lemzy

Hi, my name is Alexa and I'm passionate about customer service and small businesses. I write about the ways for businesses to build fruitful relationships with their clients and useful internal communication techniques. If you want to ask me a question or check out my other articles, please visit my Twitter @Alexa_Lemzy.

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