Advertising
Advertising

6 Cost-Effective Communication Tools for Small Businesses

6 Cost-Effective Communication Tools for Small Businesses

Communication is an extremely important element of a successful business. It is important to have efficient and effective communication tools no matter what the size of business. While small companies have a need for such tools, they need ones that are cost effective because they do not have a large budget to assign to ensure effective communication.

It is important that you have a good plan for communication of the company. The Internet and social networkz have made it easier for companies to collaborate and communicate.

There is so many low-cost tools for social collaboration and they can easily fulfill the needs of your business. Here are some of the tools that are cost-effective for a small company.

1) Present.ly

It is an excellent tool that allows its users to post updates and it allows the users to update them frequently. Other people can follow the updates. The design of the tool is similar to Twitter but unlike Twitter, it offers a secure way of sharing updates.

Advertising

It is a tool that offers privacy which makes it easier for users to share company ideas and information without making it visible to the irrelevant people. It is extremely cost-effective as the basic services come without ant charge.

It allows its users to share documents, audio, videos and images. You can start conversations and keep them focused on the task at hand.

2) Campfire

If it is the need of our business to collaborate with a variety of colleagues and clients frequently. Campfire is highly suitable for chats. It is similar to an instant messaging app but the difference is that it is designed for groups.

Campfire is a tool that is web-based. It lets you choose a password for the chat rooms. You can invite other people to your chat group and all of the messages will be kept private from other people.

Advertising

You can upload images and you can share them in the chat with all of other users. You can set up conference calls as well.

You only need an Internet connection and web browser to use this tool. It does not cost a lot of money and is highly cost-effective.

3) VoIP phone services

If you want to provide a toll-free number for communication purposes, then VoIP is the best and most affordable tool. By spending very little money, your small company can easily get an extra phone line. The phone line will allow you to make business calls. Even if you want to make long distance calls you can do that by without paying any extra money.

4) Facebook groups

Almost every individual has a profile on Facebook profile. It does not have any fancy features, but it is an excellent tool for making sure that the users can collaborate and communicate without any interference.

Advertising

It allows the users to share videos, photos, documents, updates, news, chat, etc. It also offers basic features of sharing and editing the documents. It will also make it easier for the employees and members of your team to promote the business on Facebook.

5) Web and video conferencing

There are some online tools that offer free services. Video and web conferencing are becoming popular because they allow users to conduct face-to-face meetings even with clients that are far away and it does not cost anything.

You can hold group meetings or webinars. These services help in sharing pictures, documents, audio and video files.

It is a cheap and cost-effective tool that is easily affordable for small businesses.

Advertising

6) Email newsletters

An email is an excellent tool for communication. It is quick and safe means of communication. It allows you to contact the team members and clients of the business.

You can save a lot of money using email and they are one of the best options for small companies. You can develop a monthly email newsletter and it will allow you to share latest news and updates.

Small businesses need to constantly keep in touch with their customers and it becomes difficult for them to do so due to the cost involved. Above are some really simple and effective tools they can use to properly communicate with their customers to improve their bottom line.

More by this author

Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

50 Free Online Resources for Self-Motivated Learners How to Relieve A Toothache When A Dentist Isn’t Nearby? Say Goodbye to Sleepless Nights! 10 Essential Oils That Help You Sleep Soundly. Are You Obsessed with Your Sneakers? They Can Be The Cause of Smelly Feet 5 Simple Tips to Reduce Stress and Stop Anxiety Quickly

Trending in Communication

1 What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships 2 How To Stop Negative Thoughts from Killing Your Confidence 3 This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need 4 What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship 5 7 Signs You’re Ready to Change Your Life (And What to Do Next)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

Advertising

People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

Advertising

What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

Advertising

Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

Advertising

When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Read Next