Business owners must communicate with tons of people every day: customers, vendors, employees, and more. Are you, as a small business owner, communicating well with all these people?
Difficulties with communication can cause all sorts of problems. Some of those problems may cost a fortune or ruin your reputation.
That’s why you should know about the basic elements of business communication. Knowing these elements can help you communicate better. Improved communication may result in better profits.
Here are the primary elements of business communication.
How to Structure Your Communication
All good communication strategies have a similar layout, regardless of the method of communication. They should all contain the following:
- Opening – Lets the receiver know what the message is about
- Body – Contains the “heart” of the message
- Close – Sum up the communication with your key points
Regardless of how you communicate, using these things will help you have clear, consistent communication. Don’t take shortcuts and assume that people will still know what you mean.
The sender is the person or entity putting out the message. As a small business owner, you will often be a sender when communicating with employees, customers, or vendors.
When you think of “sender,” you may think about somebody sending an email. However, there are lots of ways to send a message.
For example, you can send a message through a phone call, a speech, an advertisement, a text message, and more.
Encoding is the method of getting your message across. If you’re writing an email, for example, encoding involves coming up with words and typing them. If you’re making a commercial, encoding involves filming a video, often with audio.
Your message is the information you want to pass on. Messages could be written, oral, or symbolic in nature. It may also involve your tone of voice or body language if you’re communicating in person.
It’s crucial to understand your message before you send it. If your message isn’t clear, the receiver won’t get the proper message. When in doubt, ask others if your intended message is coming across.
A medium is a channel for delivering your message, and media refers to multiple channels. These channels could include things like:
- Phone calls
- In-person discussions
You should carefully consider which medium to use. Written forms of communication may lack tone and can be misunderstood. We’ve all thought somebody was angry with us based on a text when they weren’t upset with us at all.
Are the details of the message crucial? An email may be best, so there is a written record of those details.
Is your tone the most important part of the message? It’s best to communicate that in-person or over the phone. Written messages tend to lack in tone.
Are you trying to communicate with a large audience? Advertisements may be the way to go.
Decoding is how your receiver interprets the information you have provided. Encoding and decoding are closely linked. If you choose the wrong method to deliver your message, it will be harder to decode at the other end.
The receiver is the person who is getting the message. Does the receiver have a preferred method of being communicated with?
Maybe the receiver prefers communicating through email. Maybe they prefer phone calls. Maybe they like the context of matching your words with your face.
Any way you slice it, you need to cater to the receiver in your business communication efforts. The receiver may not value your preferred method of communication.
Regardless of what information you pass on, every piece of information will have a response. That response may or may not be shared with you. Or, especially in the case of an employee communicating with their boss, their public and private responses may vary.
How did the receiver respond to your business communication? Based on the feedback you receive, you may want to try a different business communication plan. Listening to and growing from feedback are great ways to help expand your business.
Noise can be literal, like static on a phone call, or it could be figurative, like having many distractions. Either way, noise can get in the way of delivering your message. Try to limit noise when communicating.
The Importance of Good Business Communication
Tiny mistakes in communication can lead to big problems for your small business. How?
Let’s say the person in charge of ordering supplies can’t read your handwriting. They order 1000 units of something you only wanted 100 of. Now you have a massive overstock. Being understocked with the reverse situation is just as bad.
Even when you aren’t communicating specific numbers, all communication is crucial. Think about the recent ads with massive backlash.
They say any publicity is good publicity. However, do you really want to be known for something you never intended? The wrong message in an advertisement could lose thousands of customers.
Poor communication with your employees could also be difficult. Poor communication from management can make employees feel apathetic and more likely to quit. Turnover is expensive, so make sure you are communicating well with your employees.
Need Help Upgrading Your Business Communication Systems?
Are your business calls full of static? Is your printer on the fritz? Are your business computers slow and inefficient?
If you need a business loan to upgrade your business communication systems, First Union Lending can help. We offer up to 9 different loan types to choose from. That means you’re sure to find the right one to upgrade your communication quality.
Our lending specialists can help you find the right loan for your business. Applying won’t damage your credit. Better than that, you can get money as soon as the same day.
Don’t risk having unclear business communication. Call First Union at 863-825-5626 or click here now to speak to one of our financial experts. The right loan could improve your communication and profit as soon as today.