Successful, frictionless communication lies at the heart of business success.
As an entrepreneur, you know that the key to efficiency and a good workplace culture lies in smooth exchange, both between team members and with partners. And that customer satisfaction largely depends not just on the products and services you deliver, but also on the information and interactions you provide.
But how can you facilitate all of this? Which tools can you harness to ensure smooth business communication?
Here’s the full round-up of all must-have communication tools for entrepreneurs.
A Professional Business Phone Service
First off, you need a solid business phone service.
Hold on. Really? In 2023?
Yep. For one thing, calls still remain one of the most popular ways for customers to reach out to businesses. Especially if they’re Gen X or above.
For another, modern business phone services go way beyond old-fashioned landlines, or even simple mobile numbers.
The majority of today’s business phone services are cloud-based. They give you a variety of channels, including voice and video calls, instant messaging, live chat, and email. Plus, they’re accessible from anywhere and also often include a handy array of AI-based tools, such as automatic call transcription, voice-based call routing, and call summaries.
In short, a good business phone service can make your life as an entrepreneur – and the lives of your team – much easier.
A Document Collaboration Platform
Next up, another basic element of business communication that is often overlooked. You need a central document collaboration platform.
No matter who you share your text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with – whether it’s your team or your clients – you need a single, central system.
Even in today’s business world, too much time is swallowed up by converting documents between different formats and sending back and forth various versions of the same file. “Annual_Report_final_final_FINAL.docx”, anyone?
To avoid this communications black hole, opt for a cloud-based document suite, such as Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, and make sure everyone sticks to it.
That way, you can easily edit, co-create, and track changes without any friction losses.
An Asynchronous Video Conferencing Suite
Post-pandemic, video calls have become a staple in the business world. And while they’ve been fantastic in cutting back on the number of needless business trips, they still often hamper communication rather than facilitating it. After all, who hasn’t sat through an interminable Zoom call thinking, “This could have been an email?”
Well, asynchronous video conferencing tools such as Loom offer you the best of both worlds.
They allow you to record videos as if for a Zoom call – including screen shares. You can then send your clip to others via a simple link. Then, they can watch your video at their own convenience, speed it up or slow it down, or even skim through the automatic transcript. Plus, they can leave comments and reactions and even reply with a video of their own.
This makes it easy to share complex issues or give detailed instructions that would be hard to convey in a simple email. But it eliminates the need to arrange an actual video conference. This can be a huge advantage, especially if your team is spread out over different time zones.
A Team Collaboration Tool
Another crucial weapon in your business communication arsenal is a team collaboration tool. This allows you to get every member of your team on the same page and make sure that no information is lost.
Two of the most common team collaboration tools in 2023 are Slack and Discord.
Both allow you to add team members to differently themed channels, share documents, and direct message people. This eliminates the need for endless email chains, in which individual messages can easily get lost or people left out of replies.
A Project Management Suite
Depending on how big your team is and how complex the projects you work on can become, you should also consider getting a project management tool.
In contrast with simple team collaboration tools, which mostly facilitate message exchanges and conversations, project management suites allow you to assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress.
There are fairly straightforward versions, such as Trello and Teamly that function like a digital Kanban board. Here, you can create boards and cards with subjects and tasks, tag team members, and move them around depending on what their status is.
More complex versions function along the lines of Asana. This solution lets you assign roles, specify task dependencies, and visualize project status updates as Gantt charts.
A Social Media Management Platform
In today’s business world, social media is one of the main communication highways between businesses and customers. If you want to get the word out about new products, company updates, or events, hitting platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is the best solution.
However, managing multiple profiles by hand can easily get overwhelming.
That’s where social media management tools come in. These solutions let you link all your accounts to one central dashboard. Going forward, you can publish all your posts from here.
Plus, these platforms also make it easy to schedule posts, answer comments, and keep track of analytics. Many also come with handy features such as content suggestions and hashtag optimizers to help you grow your reach.
An Email Marketing Solution
Finally, there is one more essential element that every entrepreneur needs in their communication set-up: An email marketing solution.
Despite the proliferation of communication channels, email remains one of the most effective ways to reach out to your audience. You can drop important updates, special offers, and personalized messages straight into their inbox, significantly boosting the likelihood that they’ll see them ASAP.
However, simply maintaining an email list in Gmail is not enough.
Instead, you should invest in a professional email marketing solution.
This allows you to segment your audience, design visually stunning messages, personalize copy, and take a deep-dive into metrics like opening rates, deliverability, and click rates. In addition, some platforms come with features like A/B testing, which allows you to compare the performance of two different versions of the same message.
Ultimately, this allows you to fine-tune your email strategy and turn it into the most effective communication channel possible.
Communication lies at the heart of business success. It determines your team’s productivity and your customers’ satisfaction.
By adding the tools above to your communication set-up, you’ll be able to boost your efficiency and streamline your workflows.
While it takes some time and effort, it’s ultimately well worth it to eliminate your friction losses and level up your business success.