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Welcome to the Self Made. This is a blog focused primarily on the self-employed and micro-business and full of fantastic posts by not only our team of experts but by YOU!  We realize that there are many ways to help the small businesses out there which is why we invite other business minded individuals to post here and help the rest of the community as well.

5 Ways to Improve Communication Within a Small Business

May 03, 2022
Communication

Whatever size your business happens to be, it's playing an important role. It's contributing taxes, providing a service or products, and keeping a roof over your head. However, even the smallest business benefits from a reliable structure. Improving your communications procedures should help your business prosper.

1. How to Communicate

Statistics from Oberlo show the US has approximately 10 million self-employed entrepreneurs. Around 2.5 million run micro-businesses with less than ten employees. Data from the US Census Bureau has revealed that 76.2% are sole proprietors with no employees. However, communication is still an important part of every type of business.

When you're self-employed, time's always short. There's even an inclination to keep data, schedules and plans in your mind. One of the best tips for starting a small business is to ensure you communicate clearly with employees, customers and suppliers. You could set up a notice board for relevant messages and instructions. Encourage employees to check it out every day.

If you're a sole proprietor, you can use a social media platform such as Facebook to let your customers know about the availability of your services. Messaging apps can be useful when contacting customers and suppliers. One of the main advantages is they usually operate in real-time. Whichever method you choose to communicate, it's a good idea to try and release new information in a regular time slot.

2. Spare Time to Listen

Being self-employed means working long hours, but you still need to find time to listen when there's an issue to discuss. Providing efficient customer services is a priority, but so is listening to your employees. Data collected by Pumble indicates that effective communication can increase the productivity level of your business by 25%.

It's not always easy finding workers for micro-businesses as prospects and further training can often be limited. Without communicating and listening, your business could encounter confusion and even resentment. Communicating regularly and effectively can help you retain the workforce you already have.

3. Welcoming Comments

Effective communication is an essential strategy for every type of business. It usually involves asking your employees for their opinions on a range of work-related issues. There are many online tools where you can draft a suitable questionnaire.

Finding out about issues before they become disruptive can help your business operate more efficiently. You can also invite customers to tell you what they think about the service you provide. Their answers may prompt you to tailor your business to be far more streamlined.

4. Respond in Good Time

How you communicate within your business can affect productivity and profit. According to Statista, email is still the favored method when you need to contact clients and suppliers. 90.3% of businesses rely on email every day. When used efficiently, communication by email can be of great benefit to the success of your business.

Emails can directly lead to an increase in work, but they can also lose you clients. Taking too long to answer questions sent by email gives your business brand a poor image. According to Nextiva, 33% of customers turn away from a business if it's unresponsive and impersonal. Fail to communicate within a reasonable time frame and you lose work.

A Harvard Business Review discovered that it can take up to 28% of your working day simply to read and answer emails. For a sole proprietor or micro-business, it can be almost impossible to spare that amount of time from the day's tasks. A solution could be to state on your contact details what your response time might be. It can also be helpful to assign a regular time slot for dealing with emails.

5. Concise, Plain Language

Whenever you communicate with business colleagues or customers, your message should be crystal clear. Any communication that appears even slightly ambiguous or confused can quickly lead to errors. You could find orders have been fulfilled incorrectly, leading to customer dissatisfaction. An effective solution is to concentrate on your reason for communicating.

For instance, when discussing projects and plans with your small band of employees, keep the conversation to the task at hand. Allowing unrelated topics to be discussed is distracting and disruptive. According to ExpertMarket, 28% of workers blame inadequate communication for failing to meet targets. 76% of messages are misinterpreted. Always be precise with the language you use. Keep your communication short and to the point.

Final Thoughts

Effective communication in your small business is crucial to your future success. Choose methods such as social media platforms or messaging apps that you feel comfortable using. It should also complement the structure of your business. Always use plain language to avoid confusion.

Working as a sole proprietor or owner of a micro-business is time-consuming. However, try to organize a daily schedule for dealing with emails. Communication is a vital part of your business, helping it run efficiently and attract new customers.

Meet The Author:


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Seamus Dunne

Seamus Dunne of Business Phone System company Conversation Piece.
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The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

Courtesy of NASE.org
https://www.nase.org/business-help/self-made-nase-blog/self-made/2022/05/03/5-ways-to-improve-communication-within-a-small-business