The purpose of communication for small businesses
‘Communicate unto the other person that which you would want him to communicate unto you if your positions were reversed.’ Aaron Goldman.
I was firing through LinkedIn this week and this quote stopped my scroll in its tracks. I’m not normally one to be moved by inspiring quotes; however, this made me think about small businesses and understanding why it is important to get your communication right.
Briefly, after making a personal promise to ‘do more’ and ‘be better at communicating through my own social media’, three of the world’s largest social media sites went offline for six hours.
Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram appear to be recovering after an outage that lasted almost six hourshttps://t.co/Ep5tefw0Gv
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 4, 2021
A mixture of learning more about this outage, this quote, a dash of sluggishness and what felt like an endless scroll through Twitter, led me to consider the purpose of communication, specifically through the lens of small businesses.
There are two clear observations that this pondering led me to:
- Communication, especially over the past 18 months, has been crucial.
- Don’t say something unless you have something to say.
These statements may seem obvious to many of us, but I’m uncertain whether some small businesses are aware of these two ground rules. As Aaron Goldman’s quote suggests, good communication isn’t always about the ‘how’ or ‘why’ communication is taking place but that communications takes place at the appropriate time, using the appropriate tone and giving some kind of value is also implied.
There are a number of different recipes for the purpose of communication, with a number of different (baked) outcomes. To educate, to inform, to entertain – to name but a few. These should be your main focus before starting any communication.
Communication isn’t people talking.
It’s about meaning being transferred to elicit action. Whether that action is a change of heart of change of habit.
I am so bored of foghorn communications.
Those are only there to help us steer clear. So that’s what we do.
— Steve Prior (@steveprioruk) June 19, 2021
To continue the foodie analogy, a small business’s reason to communicate isn’t always as grand as a gateau but still has its place.
As we know, post-lockdown has brought an emphasis on supporting small and local businesses in both the consumer and corporate space. They have suffered a greater deal through Covid-19 than most corporations have, and they should be applauded to have kept going in difficult circumstances.
But as we move into our second winter living with Covid-19, small businesses need to dig deep, rise to the occasion and continue proactively protecting their business reputation with good, timely and relevant communication.
Communicate when you need to, not when you want to. Be direct and helpful with your messaging. Be open and honest, don’t beat round the bush. A last resort? Don’t underestimate the power of sending sweet treats to your clients!