With all the channels of communication and ways in which to communicate in business today, but it still boils down to basics.
With all the communication tools at our disposal it's imperative business owners match the right one which each stakeholder.
Make appropriate use of every channel to stay in touch
- Fast and accessible communication increases efficiency, but also calls on business owners to be more accountable.
- Utilize channels such as email, text, and phone appropriately and keep in mind that different contacts will have different preferences.
- As always, the face-to-face meeting is the strongest form of communication, but should be saved for when meeting in-person is critical so as not to waste anyones time.
In todays communication age, the speed and accessibility of business communication technology has evolved into a double edge sword. Yes, there is added efficiency and round-the-clock access to information and contacts. But all of that power at your fingertips carries the added cost of accountability.
As was always the case, the business owner today gains much from establishing the ideal form of communication with clients, employees, and vendors. But unlike even a few decades ago, business owners today have many more channels of communication to choose from.
Whether its email, text, phone calls, or the good ole face-to-face meeting, every person you interact with will have a preference, and there are best practices to keep in mind when using every form of communication.
Email is a ubiquitous
Email is a ubiquitous these days, as anyone with an overflowing inbox can tell you. Many people prefer email due to its non-intrusive nature, anywhere-anytime accessibility, and the accountability (read: paper trail) that it offers (remember to save or print out key emails!). But the drawback here is the sheer quantity of emails that everyone receives. Theres always a good chance that your email will be one of hundreds that goes unread in the average persons inbox.
As a result, some business people have developed a preference for texting. Unlike email, it is real time, and it usually offers quicker response. And similarly to email, texts can be saved or printed as backup. But texting is limited if you have more than a sentence or two to share, and some contacts feel that texts are intrusive or too casual for business interactions. To be safe, you should always confirm your intention to text with a contact before you hit the send button.
Phone the old standby
The old standby of phone correspondence is still preferred by many because of the personal element. And newer communications systems allow you to record calls, saving a record of important conversations like you can with email or text. But unlike text and email, phone calls require an input of time (phone tag, anyone?) which is sometimes not as efficient. And if youre doing business with a contact in another time zone, scheduling can become very complicated very quickly.
Sometimes, a phone call can be a good complement to an email simply leave a short message telling the contact that the information they need is in their inbox and how you can best be reached with questions.
Face to face meetings
But even with all this technology at our at our fingertips, face to face meetings still reign as the strongest form of communication. Many times, an in-person meeting is the key element for moving a project forward or establishing a relationship. But face-to-face meetings also take time, and are not the most efficient settings for actually getting work done. So save your in-person meetings for when they are actually important, and use the other channels at your disposal for efficient communication on less critical matters.
Make use of the many communications tools, options and means available. Match the right one for each stakeholder and be accountable and save your in-person meetings for when they are actually important.
About the author
Alexander J. Hart of Cuban American decent is principal and founder of Hart Vida Raffo. With over 25 years of experience, Alex specializes in the areas of tax strategy and planning, business process improvement, and capital consulting. Whether advising on capital and financing strategy or consulting for privately-held professional services firms, Alex has the expertise and practical know-how to help any company optimize their business processes and make tactical financial decisions. He began his career at IBM in sales operations and accounting. He was a Controller for the N.Y. Post, has been a CFO for a medical device company, and has written a tax column called “Ask the Tax Guys” for Micro-Cap Review. Alex is a professional member of A.L.T.A. (Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas), a member of the National Association of Tax Preparers, and is a contributing author and mentor at Latin Business Today. Alex graduated from St. John’s University with a B.A. in Spanish and his M.B.A. in Finance. He obtained his accounting degree from Pace University.Website