9. Learn the key business communication skills and use them
I don’t have to tell you. Poor business communication is a serious flaw which leads to frustration at every level of the business.
It was like déjà-vu to hear many people in the group admit that some area of their communication need to be improved and that doing so will improve the business.
They were absolutely right. Poor communication often creates tension and bad feelings within relationships.
When I asked them how they knew that their communication was poor, the answers were insightful.
Here are a few direct quotes:
- There are times when I should have a face-to-face conversation but I send an email. That makes me a coward...I know...but I can’t help it.
- I hate having to give negative feedback. When I have to, I find I put it off for as long as I can and then (when I do) the drama is off the chart!
- Lorna, I know you’ve spoken to me about reacting emotionally instead of responding calmly, but these people who work for me just piss me off!
- I hate public speaking and I find I’m having to do more and more of it lately!
- If another employee tells me I don’t listen, I think I will start screaming and never stop.
As I listened to these and similar answers I heard all the F-Factors – fear, frustration, flaws and failures.
Fixing your communication problems is not something you can easily do on your own but it is something you must do.
Start by taking a proactive and comprehensive approach. This would include identifying your flaws and also what communication skills you need to acquire to be successful as a leader.
Also, try to determine your communication style and the extent to which it is helping or hindering your business success.
Learn your key business communication skills and use them. These will vary from person to person and will depend on the nature of your business.
They may include:
- Having conversations with clients, customers and employees
- Public speaking
- Listening effectively
- Communicating in a crisis
- Communicating assertively
- Leadership Communication
- Management communication
- Writing effective emails
- Communicating with the media
- Writing reports
As a business solution to explode the growth of your small business, superior communication skills stand out as the foundation skills. They help you to build confidence and control the conversations. They also help you to build networks and expand your influence.
What are you waiting for? Take your communications skills to the top right now.
10. Market, market, then market some more
The question: What single thing you wished you’d done more of?
The answers: Marketing! Marketing! You have to ask? – Marketing!
The answers surprised me. Not that “the marketing answer” was unexpected but I did not expect it to be the answer from so many of the respondents.
But what is marketing?
Never mind the highfalutin definitions you hear, simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product/service in the hands of potential customers in return for a profit for yourself.
Even as they acknowledge marketing as a powerful business solution to explode their business success, many small business people are actually afraid of marketing. As a matter of fact, many will avoid it at all costs.
I can relate to this fear.
When I started my business over 17 years ago, the one thing I was sure I was going to outsource was marketing. And I tried. But repeatedly, the marketing experts just kept trying to market my service business like I was selling products.
Very soon I discovered that no marketer I tried could quite translate the passion I felt in my belly and present it to the world as I wanted it presented.
So, I had no choice – kicking and screaming - but to learn how to market myself and my business. This was necessary because however good my product and or service is, if no one knows about it, then I will make no sales.
For services the approach has to be different. But what is a service?
Simply put, it's an activity or benefit that is essentially intangible and does not result in the ownership of anything. Its existence may or may not be tied to a physical product.
Incidentally, have you ever tried returning a service you didn’t like?
This means that effectively marketing a service depends on building a series of relationship at which, you the service provider, are at the core. This requires you to learn how to differentiate and sell yourself. No excuses.
Here are 3 great marketing tips provided by Clate Mask, Co-Founder and CEO of Infusionsoft:
First, you need to be consistent in your marketing.
The majority of small businesses are inconsistent in their follow-up. They might send an email or direct mail piece and then wait months before sending another one. Without consistency, your prospect has no idea who you are.
Furthermore, inconsistency can cause a perception of ineffectiveness. Nobody wants to buy from a company they don't trust.
Second, establish your expertise.
Too often entrepreneurs, struggling to survive, send emails and direct mail pieces simply to promote their products.
Now, promoting your products is great. But you need to do a lot more than that with your marketing. Your marketing messages should be positioning you as a respected authority in your industry.
Be sure to include testimonials, endorsements, and awards your company has won, along with your sales message.
Third, educate your prospects.
Your follow-up must be informative. You need to provide valuable information. If you're showing up with no value, you'll wear out your welcome fast. You need to communicate that you are on their side and deserve to be trusted. You'll accomplish this if you provide them with accurate, insightful information.
Just remember, when your marketing becomes consistent, promotes your expert status, and educates your prospects, you will soon have prospects knocking at your door, rather than you knocking at theirs.
Which one of these signature business solutions will most explode your business growth? Marketing will do it for you!
Your next "Business Solutions" Step...
So here you are..the proud owner of 10 business solutions to really explode your business growth.
I know you're happy to have them because you didn't invest the blood, sweat, tears and money in your business to want nothing but the best for it.
You see, I also know you just can't read this post and continue on like it never happened.
If you want to be a successful business person, if you want to make money with your business, if you want to make a difference in your world, then these business solutions are for you.
So let me remind you of them once again:
1. Commit to continuous personal development (CPD)
2. Train and develop your employees/team
3. Lead so that others want to follow you
4. Be flexible/adaptable in business
5. Learn how to be truly productive
6. Build a strong personal network around you
7. Understand the big picture of your business
8. Take action to keep you moving forward
9. Learn the key business communications skills & use them
10. Market, market and then market some more
If you are one of those people who begin reading from the end, please go forward and read the full post. Your business deserves no less.
Now PLEASE go ahead and select the one business solution that will bring you the most results the fastest. Whichever one you choose, you will be doing # 8…Isn’t that great?
Remember…If you do nothing you are actually going backwards because those taking action will be passing you out…
So what will be your next step forward?
I trust you to decide and take it...