10 Must-Have Communication Skills for Business Success

What does it take to run a successful business? Some people tell you it’s the art of identifying and seizing an opportunity—the union of preparation and luck. Some say preparation and education best prepare people for the rigours of the business world. Still others claim it’s all about connections. But none of them offer the whole story.

There’s one major element that’s essential: effective communication. Indeed, strong communication, more than any other factor, may be the leading predictor of business success. In some way or another, communication contributes to all those other factors. Communication helps us learn about new opportunities, manage our education, and ultimately maintain and cultivate important connections. But it also helps within a business; with employees, customers, and shareholders; and in virtually every other aspect of business.

In an economy where 80 per cent of new businesses fail, every step of the process counts. Here are some key ways to review and improve your business communication and make sure you’re making the most of it.

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Communication: The Key to Building Relationships

Communication is the most important contributing factor to the success of any business. We spend our days utilizing various forms of communication in order to build our business relationships. Whether it’s trying to obtain new clients or contacts, or to stay in touch with those we currently value so much, everything we say and do is a reflection of ourselves and our businesses.

Advertising; your website; courtesy calls; and networking both on the Internet and locally, are all forms of communicating your message to your contacts and prospective clients. By simply talking about your business, you have the opportunity to put the idea and concept of your business in the minds of those whom you will do business with or who will pass on your information.

And communicating the right message in the right way can be the key to building successful relationships, either with clients or with associates. By being friendly and helpful, you are letting your clients and contacts know that you are there for them and that your relationship is something that you can both use to improve your businesses.

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Effective Communication Tips

Business owners, like myself, certainly understand the importance of being able to work cohesively with their team, whether it be in an onsite or remote office environment. Most managers and CEOs have argued that having your entire team in one space will allow for better communication, hence improved productivity and bottom-line results. While this may seem true for some, I find the same productivity and goals can be achieved even if you have a remote workforce. I run a business with thirteen employees all working remotely and have found effective communication is the key priority to ensure an efficient and cohesive working relationship with my team.

Effective communication is vital to the success of distributed teams. It helps build trust and creates an environment where creative ideas and problem-solving are welcomed and encouraged. When there is no open communication, miscommunication or misunderstanding is often the result, causing conflict and frustration among team members. Heads of organizations need to understand that good communication and leadership is tied closely together. In this age of real-time data, we process a lot of information on a daily basis. Messages are sent through various means including text messaging, emails, instant messaging and even social media platforms. If you are contemplating implementing a remote work force structure or contracting out projects to remote third party companies, here are some tips to help transform your workforce into a collaborative unit.

Effective Communication Starts With Listening

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Unlike MBA programs that are often male-dominated, specialized master’s degree programs in marketing and communications at business schools​ attract a large percentage of women.

In 2015, 60 percent of programs saw an increase in applications from women – a higher increase than for most other specialized master’s degrees, according to a September report ​from the Graduate Management Admission Council. ​As many as 73 percent of programs had an increase of women applicants in 2014​.

Experts say marketing programs can be especially enticing options for women eager to hone their business skills because they will be surrounded by role models and peers who share their interests.

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