Streamlining communications for your small business or start-up company

With all the technology that we have these days, you might think that we'd have solved every problem related to business communication.

However, even the largest companies continue to find it difficult to stay in touch with ever-increasingly large lists of people. Those who run more modest-sized firms are in an even tougher spot.

Assuming that you represent your own small business or a startup company with big dreams, you might be in a rather unique position to get your communications workflows squared away before you enter a period of rapid growth. If that's the case, then focus on making it easy for your clients to contact you as possible. While you'll probably want to get established on social media, you still need to make calling, texting and emailing your firm easy. On top of this, it's important to build a solid online presence so it isn't hard to get in touch with your firm.

Building an online presence that works

Due in no small part to the dominance of various social networking services, some businesses have neglected to build traditional online communications platforms. When they realize that they need these, they'll usually add them haphazardly and all of their incoming messages will end up going to the same place. That can cause serious delays and messages can be lost in the process.

Put together a combined contact form that connects your site with a dedicated business email account. While it might seem as though traditional business email is something that's on its way out, that's not true at all. While hard numbers are difficult to get, it's likely that the sheer number of people doing business over the Internet today translates into a greater volume of emails being sent than ever before.

Never neglect your traditional website, either. Some potential leads will prefer to communicate ideas by posting comments at the bottom of some pieces of content. While this isn't a surefire way to stay in touch with clients, it's a good way to generate new leads. Regardless of what sort of technologies that you start to integrate into your communication workflows, however, you want to make sure they won't require you to retrain your existing staff.

Simple solutions are usually the best way to go, especially if you have an opportunity to integrate them.

Integrating your communications channels into one system

Back in the 1980s, people started to discuss what they used to call integrated marketing communication. This discipline essentially defines a planning process that ensures all of the contacts sent by a brand to a lead or customer make sense. They're supposed to be relevant even as time goes on. By keeping messages consistent, marketers were able to build a unified image around their brands.

This same concept is important when considering the channels used to send out a message. For instance, it's useful to have a single file sharing platform that can also integrate with your business phone line and video conferencing package. That gives you the freedom of only turning to a single unified communications platform, which in turn can help to ensure that your messages stay consistent. Collaborative teamwork is often easier with this kind of system as well, because the ability to contact anyone in your organization is simply a few clicks or taps away.

Choosing the right streamlined service can be a bit of a challenge, however.

Picking the right communications package for your company

No two small businesses or startup firms are alike, so it's likely that your needs will differ from pretty much everyone else in the industry. Consider outsourcing IT support services to another organization  so you can take advantage of the experience of others who've already put together a streamlined communications plan. While this might come with an increased upfront cost, it can save quite a bit of money in the long-run because you won't have to make up for any expensive mistakes later on.

Most importantly, though, you'll want to pick a program that's ready to grow with you. Take some time and shop around so you can be prepared when the orders start coming in and you begin to convert leads in huge numbers.

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