Effective communication can mean the difference between success and failure in any business enterprise. Communicating effectively involves adhering to time honored traditions and practices that business owners and managers can easily learn. The best practices in business communication remain as relevant today as they were in the past. These practices are effective in any form of business communication including print, online, and verbal.
For the best results, business communication must be conducted swiftly and effectively. Regardless of the nature of the business, communication is one of the most basic skills that employees and business managers must possess. Business communication can be categorized into formal, informal, oral, and written.
What Is Business Communication?
This refers to the sharing and dissemination of information between people in an organization for various commercial benefits. It may also refer to how information is shared between individuals in an organization for the purpose of promoting the company’s products and services to potential consumers.
There are various forms and functions of business communication. Businesses with the best communication practices are often more successful than those with poor communication practices. Lack of communication or poor communication can mean the end of a product or service simply because of unfavorable consumer perception.
Who Uses Business Communication?
Business communication can be used by employees in all cadres from managers to sales people. Business owners, managers, and employees need to pass on information to others, share ideas, and convince people about the decisions they have taken. The two main purposes of business communication are to inform and persuade. Information can be shared in various circumstances including one-to-one as well as to a group. Although technology has increased the number of channels people can use to communicate, many people primarily use verbal and written communication. Business communication involves the convergence of content, channel, and audience in various contexts that require people to continually hone their communication skills to accurately convey information and ideas in order to advance a company’s commercial interests.
Ways in Which Business Communication Can Help Your Business
Build Client Relationships
Few businesses would advance without the benefits of marketing communication. Businesses can use a wide range of media to inform the public about their products and services. Business communication enables business owners to establish themselves as authority or thought leaders in their industries. Periodical newsletters sent to established customers could help build trust by providing them with helpful tips and information. An occasional direct mail will enable you to know your clients better so that you can easily fulfill their needs. Sharing information freely will help you build strong relationships with your clients and establish your business as a trusted expert.
Effective business communication can help motivate employees and foster teamwork between management and other employees. Communication is essential when providing instructions, planning projects, and disseminating policies. Considering your employees in communication helps to promote trust and understanding between you and your employees. Business communication is not only essential for large corporations but also medium and small business enterprises.
Communication plays essential roles when dealing with suppliers, business contractors, and outsourced providers. Business owners and managers can prevent many problems when they clearly outline roles and responsibilities of all parties before signing contracts. Communication makes it easier for business owners and managers to deal with changes and issues.
10 Tips for Effective Business Communication
1. Give emails the same level of attention as real mail
Keep your communication with clients and suppliers formal and professional. In addition, consider your email communication as important as real letters.
2. Be sure edit your communication thoroughly
Although it may be tempting to write a letter or email and send it without second thought, it is advisable to always edit your written communication for clarity before hitting the send button. What you consider as perfect information may be confusing or convoluted to the person receiving the communication.
3. Save all email or electronic correspondence
Create subfolders for saving old emails to use for future reference. Back up all your emails because they may save you lots of time when you need them in the future.
4. Check all the facts and details you include in your communication
Including the wrong information in your communication will make you sound incompetent. Therefore, it is always advisable to check your facts before ending emails and other forms of communication.
5. Avoid using slang, colloquialisms, and emoticons
Keep business communication direct and to the point. Details in letters and emails should be simple and easy to understand. The intended recipient of your letters or emails should easily understand what you were trying to say. Skip or omit all details that may be lost in translation.
6. Be sure to use the subject line
The subject line serves as the introduction to the content in the message and is one of the best ways to prevent your emails from going to the spam folder. Always use the subject line even with the simplest messages such as “hello”.
7. Use face-to-face communication
If possible, communicate face-to-face, especially if the nature of the message is very important. Email and text may not be suitable for all occasions. Face-to-face communication remains the best means of communicating complex ideas and making a good first impression. Therefore, do not shy off from one-on-one encounters.
8. Listen carefully
Effective business communication is more about understanding what the other party is saying. Listen attentively and give your undivided attention instead of frequently interrupting with your thoughts or opinions.
9. Think carefully before you share your opinions, thoughts, and ideas
Speech patterns with significant amounts of “umms” and “ahhs” clutter communication and defeats the purpose of meeting face-to-face.
10. Make your communication impersonal
It is important to maintain professional boundaries in business communication. Be friendly with your employees and relevant parties but you do not necessarily need to become friends. Avoid too much personal drama.
There are many forms of business communication including written and verbal. Business communication can be between managers and employees, managers and suppliers, or business owners and clients. The purpose of business communication varies, but should always benefit the organization. Effective business communication can enhance a company’s reputation and its relationships with clients and other stakeholders.
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