You, as a business owner, and your company’s ability to communicate will probably have more to do with your success (or failure) in business than any other single factor. For that reason and no other, I encourage you to turn your communication system into a strength of your business.
Verbal communication is where it all starts and many times it is the weakest part of a company’s communication system. I read a good article the other day posted on LinkedIn entitled, “You will NEVER fully appreciate YOUR EMPLOYEES until you take their perspective”, by Oleg Vishnepolsky. It addressed one of the many issues we face when communicating with employees. In this case a lack of perspective by the employer created confusion and stalled performance. Effective communication with your employees is only the one step toward supporting a successful communication system.
The first step in building a stronger company communication system is to develop and implement the system itself. If you are currently in business then this requires a re-examination of your current system. I would encourage you to sketch out your current system on paper. You need to be sure to “touch all the bases” when evaluating and building your system. Some of us can do this in their head, but for most of us putting our thoughts down on paper will better serve our purposes.
You should start the process by taking inventory of your current situation. First, who, when, where and how do you communicate with customers, employees, and vendors? What tools, such as conventional phones, cell phones, smart phones, etc. do you use? Make a list and draw that sketch or diagram so everything is right in front of you.
Once you have a list of your tools and a diagram of how these tools are used and how they connect, then you can evaluate how effective your current system is. This evaluation would necessarily require feedback from those who are currently using your system including employees, customer, and vendors. In your evaluation, be sure to look for potential or current bottlenecks. An example would be why do you get so many customer calls checking on orders? There should be a tool and/or a process that can keep customers in the loop on their order status. This would reduce the number of calls as well as show the customer that you really care about their business.
At this point, you are ready to finalize the evaluation of your communication system and implement upgrades or new systems. The chances are if you have not upgraded your system within the last 6 – 12 months you will have the opportunity to upgrade one or more pieces or perhaps the entire system.
There are 3 primary considerations that you need to take into account when you decide to move forward with a partial or full upgrade. First, is your budget and do you have enough cash or access to financing to purchase and implement the needed tools. Prior to moving forward, I encourage you to review your diagram, tools and processes one more time to verify that everything will work together and in fact you can quantify the improvement. This will allow you to perform an internal return on investment (ROI) to make sure your rate of return justifies and supports your decision.
A second issue is the all-important training component. You need to make sure that whatever tools you purchase come with some type of employee training. As an alternative, you can take on the training issue yourself. The key factor here is just don’t short change yourself or your employees on this step. Too many times I have witnessed a great system simply fail due to operator error that is a result of too little or bad training.
A third and final consideration is the possibility that you need to engage a third party or consultant to guide you in putting the entire system or part of the system together. Most of us are well-versed and trained on how to properly run our business, but we have little or no ability to analyze communication technology. Don’t be afraid to spend the money to find and hire the right person or firm to help you successfully upgrade your business communication systems. The project itself is just too important to fail for the lack of competent advice and direction.
can help you build or upgrade your businesses’ communication system. Call Ben (713) 682-4000 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to get his input on how to build a better system for you and your business.
For more help tricks and other business related topics, check out Rick’s website at www.1bestconsult.com