A business can do everything right, but if they have poor business communication, they’ll never succeed. You are your business. You need to make sure you have the ability to communicate your goals and priorities to yourself, your partner and to others that that are involved in your bottom line.
Business Communication Leads to Trust
Think of a doctor you’ve had that you’ve loved. Did they communicate well? Did they take the time to talk to you and help you feel valuable and your needs important? It turns out there’s research to back this up. It turns out that doctors that effectively talk to their patients get sued a lot less. This is basic human instinct. We can’t trust you if we don’t know you. We can’t trust you if you don’t try to know us.
Communication Leads to Brand Loyalty
I live in Alaska (if you haven’t figured that out yet) and I want to tell you a story about Alaska Airlines. You see, back in the day, Alaska airlines pretty much had a monopoly on Alaskan flights and they could charge anything they wanted. Before competition started heating up, Alaska Airlines realized the huge market they had in Alaska and got wise. Instead of continuing to gouge Alaskans, they held a sort of town hall meeting for Alaskans and asked them what they valued.
Alaskans complained that they couldn’t get to Juneau during the legislative season to make their voices heard because flights were too expensive, so Alaska Airlines introduced an annual “legislative sale” on flights to Juneau.
Other complaints were addressed with a specific membership club available only to Alaskans called Club 49. If you live in Alaska (and can prove it), you can join for free.
Alaskans complained that they couldn’t travel last-minute for state athletic competitions or funerals because last-minute flights were too expensive. Now, Club 49 members get 2 annual coupons for 30% off a one-way flights booked within 4 days of travel.
Alaskans said that they used luggage to bring expensive-to-ship stuff home (like our own Trader Joe’s imports), so Alaska Airlines gives Club 49 members 2 free checked bags.
All of these concessions didn’t cost the company a whole bunch of money, but it did buy loyalty. A few years later, Delta tried to make a power grab in Juneau. It didn’t work out. Customers preferred Alaska Airlines because they effectively communicated with Alaskans (we’re pretty brand loyal here, too).
You Are Your Business
You are the one that cares about your finances more than anyone else and you are the CEO of your own company. It’s your job to make sure there is good communication happening. Without good communication, a business fails.
- Communicate With Yourself – You are the most important player in your business. If you don’t know what you really want, if you don’t know yourself, or if you haven’t picked your path, your business (and your finances) will go nowhere. If you don’t know your financial reflexes, you’ll fail because you don’t know your weaknesses.
- Communicate With Your Partner – When you are partners in life, you’re partners in business. Talking about money is often awkward, but what if I told you about two co-founders of a business that never once talked about the financial goals of the business. You wouldn’t want to invest in them, would you? That would be crazy! You are in this together and you need to talk about your goals and how finances play into those. If you’re both heading in different directions and you don’t communicate enough to know, you won’t find out until you’re too far apart to hear each other.
- Communicate With Your Children – If you have kids, they are a part of your business. Consider them interns that are set to inherit the company. Interns don’t start by knowing the intricacies of the business finances. They start by learning the company values, the company communication, the company goals, and getting used to the company culture. Do your kids know your goals? Do your kids know how money plays into those goals? Do your kids know how to perform basic business tasks (ie: how much groceries cost, how much your house costs, etc?).
- Communicate Your Business to Others – People are always trying to get you to spend your money. Sometimes a well-prepared excuse can get you out of a money spending situation, but businesses don’t thrive on excuses. You need to be able to verbalize your company’s mission. If you do can’t effectively verbalize your goal, you’ll get distracted easily.