When starting a business, there are many factors you need to get right in order for your business to be a success. One of the crucial areas to get right is communication. You will need to communicate effectively with your customers, employees, and investors across many different forms. This includes in-person, by letter or email, phone calls or video conferencing, and text messaging.
By using the right message in the right way, your business can operate more effectively. Thus, better attracting customers, investors, and talented employees.
Good communication means fewer misunderstandings, increasing the efficiency of your business as less time is wasted righting communication errors. After all, it ensures the information they need is readily available. It will also boost workplace morale if your employees feel listened to and prevent ill feelings. Especially, if everyone is clear about the goals they are working toward. This in turn means a better rate of employee retention, and it can also encourage teamwork.
When seeking investment to start or expand your business, whether this is from a finance company, venture capitalists, or angel investors, you will be dealing with busy people. Therefore, you will need to effectively communicate the information they need about your business and its potential for them to want to consider investing.
Effective communication also helps you attract and retain customers. The more effectively you can promote your business, the more likely new customers are likely to want to learn more. Customers who feel listened to, and who can clearly understand the service you are offering at all stages, are more likely to return for future business.
Communication is so important for businesses both in the early stages and beyond. It is unsurprising that they are always looking for ways to improve their communication.
It should not be forgotten that not everyone communicates in the same way or in the same language. Thus, by thinking about how to communicate with employees and customers with different needs, you can demonstrate how highly you value them. Written or visual communication can be a challenge for the visually impaired. But, it may be possible with a larger print or braille option or using text-to-speech apps. If speaking to the hearing-impaired, make sure to speak clearly and to their faces, if possible away from additional noise.
Dyslexia, autistic spectrum disorders and ADHD all have their own individual communication challenges. It may be worth undertaking training to support colleagues with these conditions. There is also software available that can help communication flow more easily.
It is also important not to underestimate your neurodivergent employees. Scott Sandell, the managing general partner of New Enterprise Associates, who also sits on the boards of several private tech companies, was diagnosed as dyslexic at the age of 42. Scott Sandell’s daughter is cited as the inspiration behind his work. After all, it was only after her diagnosis that he discovered that he had the same learning difficulty. He cites it as being responsible for the difficulties he experienced in education. However, he also acknowledges that it plays a part in his phenomenally successful career as a venture capitalist.
Remember that communication works both ways. No matter how effective you are in communicating information, it will not help if you are not also an effective listener. Make sure that employees and customers can feel comfortable giving feedback or asking questions. As well as verbally, this could take the form of questionnaires, anonymous reviews, or customer feedback surveys. By listening carefully to all this, you will gain valuable insights into how your business is working. Most importantly, you can learn about what improvements are possible.
Giving feedback to your employees is one of the most important forms of communication. However, it is not easy to give it well. Beware of empty compliments, but be specific about what your employee has done well. When issuing negative feedback, make sure that it is not aggressive or in a way that suggests you do not understand. Instead, use it to help your employee improve.
Too much of anything can be a bad thing, and this includes information. If too many emails are sent, they are more likely to be ignored. If a customer or employee has to sift through huge amounts of data to find the information they need, this wastes valuable time. Thus, can make the business less efficient. So, make sure that communication is relevant before sending it.
Different communication methods suit different situations. Thus, make sure that you are using the most effective method to convey information in a clear and easy-to-understand way.
Like everything in business, communication is a necessary skill. There may be some trial and error to find the most effective methods. Start from a position of clarity and take the time to build up a rapport with investors, customers, and employees alike. Over time, you can streamline and review your communication methods to make them work effectively for your budding business.