It could be argued that communication is the basis of just about everything in our modern world - and this is especially true in the small business world. Strong lines of communication are absolutely essential to ensuring the success of a small business.
This includes both internal communication among team members, and external communication to customers, clients, and others. Great communication leads to a healthy company, strong growth, and success - while poor communication can often have the opposite effect.
In this article, we'll take a look at 5 reasons why your business should make great communication its number one priority. Read on - and change your business for the better.
1. Builds Better Relationships
Communication is the basis of relationship-building. Relationships are built and maintained by consistent, positive interactions with others. Effective communication skills and a friendly corporate atmosphere are both essential for this step.
Employees can be encouraged to enhance their communication skills through mandatory training sessions, and your HR department should also emphasize the importance of communication skills throughout the on-boarding process. Doing so allows all of your employees to be on the same page about communication - and provides a healthy environment in which relationships can be built.
Small businesses should also encourage communication from a top-down, corporate level. If you are running a business, you should make it clear that you are focusing on openness, honesty, and communication at a corporate level, and that you expect your employees to interact with you openly, just as they would interact with each other.
Doing so will help you build a strong corporate atmosphere of communication, and a relationship-based company that is tightly knit, loyal, and totally dedicated to their jobs.
2. Facilitates Innovation
How many great ideas have been lost because an employee wasn't able to talk about them? If your employees feel uncomfortable challenging your ideas - or presenting ideas of their own - your company will suffer, and innovation will stagnate.
Open, comfortable communication of new, innovative ideas is crucial for further business growth. A corporate atmosphere that encourages innovation and the sharing of ideas will enjoy massive benefits when it comes to innovation.
Every idea that an employee has for your business should be heard, whether it's a good idea or not. If employees feel free to share their innovative ideas - no matter how radical - free of judgment, you'll be shocked at how many interesting and useful ideas you can take advantage of to help grow your business.[click to continue...]
Voice broadcasting is an effective method of communicating with multitudes of people at one time. This is a must-have system for a business, especially one that regularly needs to send messages to their customers, leads, employees, and various vendors. Once you have this system in place, you will wonder how you ever functioned without it.
Voice messaging enables a higher response rate than using direct mail, yet it is as fast and inexpensive as sending emails. Additionally, it can be used to serve various purposes inside of your business by creating a new bridge of communication.
The benefits of voice broadcasting are vast, they cover all aspects of your business needs, from enticing new customers to maintaining a sufficient stock of goods. You will find this is an innovative method of growing your business.
1) Easy to Implement
There is nothing complicated about initiating a voice broadcasting system for your business. Choose a provider that operates online and you will not be obligated to add any software or hardware to your existing computer. Once you have created your account you will only need to add your contacts. After it has been set up, sending a message is as easy as logging in, recording your message and choosing the recipients.[click to continue...]
Geo-specific marketing is becoming increasingly important for small business owners. This is a strategy where you focus your efforts on the area that your business serves to get better sales results. By narrowing the target you are actually broadening your chances of becoming visible to consumers who will actually use your services or buy your products.
Local marketing is critical to business structures that are not able to offer their services globally. Doctor's offices, lawyers, or moving companies for example usually only work within a certain city. These businesses have to develop methods of standing out in search engines that are not being generated by individuals on the other side of the country. To do this, you have to use geo-specific terms for your website and pages.
What Are Geo-Specific Terms?
You know that most people now use the internet to find a service provider in their area, but think about the keywords they put into the search box. Put only "personal injury lawyer" and you are likely to see pages of results that span the entire country. Consumers streamline the process by also adding their city, giving Google more information to sift through. The search results are then more relevant to the actual individual conducting it.[click to continue...]
It seems like there's no rest for a small business owner. Whether you're keeping up with day to day things, or rushing to put out fires, there's always something to be done. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the different aspects of running your own business, and that's why everyone is not an entrepreneur.
For many business owners, useful mobile apps have been a major benefit - apps aren't just for social media and ordering takeout. There are quite a few apps on the market that can make a big difference in your daily productivity, helping you streamline cumbersome tasks so you can focus on what matters. From financials to client communication, these 7 apps can help make your life as a small business owner a whole lot easier.
1) QuickBooks Online
Millions of small businesses worldwide rely on Intuit's QuickBooks software to accept payments, manage invoices, and handle payroll functions. Designed especially for small to midsize businesses, there's a reason why QuickBooks is the most popular choice for bookkeeping. Chances are, your business is already using it.
QuickBooks Online is a cloud service for QuickBooks that allows you to conveniently access your financials from anywhere. With apps available for Windows, iOS, and Android phones and tablets, keeping an eye on your checkbook has never been easier. Plus, with your data backed up in the cloud, you won't have to worry about losing any important files.
While QuickBooks Online is a paid service, it's worth the money. Plans range from $10-24 for the first six months, depending on your needs. If you're not sure, the service offers a 30-day free trial.[quickbooks.intuit.com]
Trello is a simple, streamlined collaborative task management software. With over ten million users worldwide, it's one of the most popular apps for project management. Trello’s design is based on the Kanban task management system, originally developed by Toyota in the 1980s for efficient supply chain management.
On Trello, each project is represented by a "Board", which contains multiple "Lists". On each list, you can create cards representing projects and tasks. Cards can be dragged and dropped from one list to the next as the project progresses through different stages of completion. This project management system works well for many different industries, from content creation to warehousing and logistics. [trello.com][click to continue...]
If you work remotely, staying in touch with your coworkers and supervisors is key to your success. With all the awesome online tools available today, it's easier than ever to work full time from the comfort of your own home. Here are some of the apps we like the best for remote workers. You'll find social networks for companies, collaboration software, chat apps, and more that can help you move into the future of working remotely.
Yammer is a full social network, designed specifically for internal use by companies. It's like your own employees-only Facebook, making it easy for employees to communicate and connect. The service is entirely cloud-based, and can be accessed by employees from anywhere - making it a great way for remote teams to stay in touch with distant coworkers.
Yammer lets employees create public and private groups, which facilitates communication between members of small teams. It's easy to use, especially if you're already familiar with Facebook, and its interface isn't cluttered up by unnecessary features. It's currently included with Microsoft Office 365 making it quite accessible for businesses of all sizes.
The basic tier of Yammer is free, and the Enterprise tier runs a modest $3 per user per month. It's designed to be equally useful for both small businesses and large enterprises, meaning it can scale easily along with your business. If your remote teams need to stay connected, Yammer is a great choice.
The only real downside to Yammer is that it's a social network, that's essentially all that it is. This keeps the program lightweight and streamlined, but it lacks project management and scheduling features. [yammer.com]
Podio is a cloud-based team collaboration software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. This web-based platform empowers teams to communicate, manage projects, and share data and content through the cloud. It has a modular design, and users can select "apps" to add to the program to accommodate their project needs.
Unlike Yammer, which is almost exclusively a communication tool, Podio blends communication with project management features. Pricing is set at $9, $14, and $24 per user per month, depending on which tier you need. There is a free version available, but it doesn't have the user management features that you get with the paid tiers.
Podio is best described as a "collaboration platform." It works like a social network, and users can create customizable "workspaces" where they can collaborate together. It has both a direct messaging feature and a built-in chat app, making it easy to communicate.
By visiting Podio's apps marketplace, you can purchase further modular features, including CRM tools, business development tools, and software development tools. Apps are available for all kinds of industries and business functions, so you can customize Podio for your particular company. [podio.com][click to continue...]
Acquired by LinkedIn in 2012, SlideShare has become one of the most useful social media platforms ever created for professionals. SlideShare allows users to share information in the form of PowerPoint presentations, PDF documents, infographics and videos embedded from YouTube.
The user interface is easy, providing the option to either click or scroll through the pages of each document with easy to see arrows, and a static page counter that lets you know what page you're on. And, with the ability to go full screen with one click, you can view each presentation in its full form.
Not Your Usual Social Media Platform
Although it's built for professionals, SlideShare is considered a social media platform - but it's much different than what you're used to.
While Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are built to facilitate social conversations, SlideShare is designed to facilitate the exchange of information.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "social media" as "forms of electronic communication... through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content."
SlideShare meets this definition to a tee, with one difference. The SlideShare community focuses on content and information first and conversation (including engagement) second. For example, this presentation on how to setup a school notification system is perfect for SlideShare, yet unlikely to be found on Facebook.
Slideshare Retains Some Social Familiarity
Although it's different than Facebook and Twitter, there are some familiar social features you’ll find on SlideShare. For example, in addition to accepting comments, each document can be “liked” and shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Twitter.
By allowing users to comment on each upload, SlideShare encourages the conversation to stay relevant to the uploaded file.
You can also view the statistics for each slide that tell you how many people have viewed, liked and embedded each document. These statistics are a great measurement tool for businesses using SlideShare to reach more of their market.
Perhaps the best feature of all is the “notes” section, where the document creator can publish notes for each slide to summarize and provide credit where it is due.
How You Can Use Slideshare
Let’s say you're a brilliant problem solver and you’ve created a beautiful PowerPoint presentation on how to solve someone's problem. You want to share it with the world, but you can’t embed PowerPoint presentations on your website, you know that no matter how much traffic you get, people aren’t going to download a PowerPoint.
To make your presentation available to the world, you can upload your PowerPoint presentation to SlideShare where it will be available to everyone in a normal presentation format.
Once your presentation is uploaded to SlideShare, you can embed your presentation on your website just like you’re used to embedding YouTube videos. This will make your presentation available to people in the SlideShare community, as well as your regular website visitors.
Here are some more great ways you can use SlideShare for your business:
1. Market Your Business
If you're tired of posting endless marketing messages to Facebook that seem to go nowhere, SlideShare provides a unique opportunity to market your business in a more professional way. Because people come to SlideShare looking for high quality information, you can offer that here.[click to continue...]
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