Good communications are the building blocks of a successful home Internet business.
Think about how many people you need to communicate with to help your business run smoothly.
There are your customers of course. Good communication translates to effective marketing and quality customer service, and happy customers are far more likely to come back.
How about suppliers, service providers, people you network with and, as your business grows, colleagues and collaborators?
It’s clear that getting your communications in order is vital if you want your home business to succeed, but what does that mean?
What do you as a business owner need to do to identify your business communication needs and make sure they are met?
Start by following these four steps….
1. Know Your Communication Goals
As the article “5 Steps to Identify Your Business Communication Needs” points out, it’s important to think about what you hope to achieve for your business long term.
That way you can come up with a communication strategy that helps you to meet those goals.
You might be wondering just what a communication goal looks like. Here are some examples:
1. Telling my audience about my latest products and services;
2. Providing prompt customer service;
3. Being available to answer questions about my products;
4. Collaborating with people I’ve contracted to work for me;
5. Making it easy to get in touch with me.
2. Know Who You’re Talking To
An important part of coming up with your communications strategy is identifying who you will communicate with regularly, and how you can best do that.
Your customers are the most important group you need to consider of course, and different customers will have different communication needs.
This will take a bit of research on your part – do your target customers use social media a lot? How about email?
At the very least you’ll need reliable professional email and a good telephone system.
Alongside social media, these are common ways for customers to get in touch with you, and you with them, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed when it comes to business communication, start with those three things.
3. Know Your Plan
Now you know your communication goals and who you’re communicating with, it’s time to pull that information together into a plan. This doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, keeping it simple to begin with will be easier.
Grab a notepad or open a document on your laptop and start noting down what your communication goals are and how you’re going to get there.
As you run your home business you’ll need to plan for your budget, for your marketing needs, and for acquiring materials.
Planning for communication is no different.
By treating communication as a tangible, measurable part of your business, you can keep your business running smoothly (such as when communicating with service providers) and build a reliable reputation (when communicating with customers).
4. Know What You Need To Make It a Reality
So, you know your communication goals, who you’re talking to, and you have a plan in place to make that happen. The next step is to figure out what you’ll need to make your communication plan a reality.
Take for example the telephone.
Which features would make a phone system work best for you? If you’re out and about a lot, you might opt for a VOIP (voice over internet protocol) phone so your customers can reach you anywhere.
You can apply this principle to all the communications in your business – social media, email, telephone, physical mail and so on.
For each one, identify what your specific needs are so you can choose products and services that support you in meeting those.
By making communications your priority and setting out a plan and the steps you need to take to realize it, you’re helping your home business to run smoothly and building in customer satisfaction as standard.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, business communications and customer satisfaction.