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How To Manage Communications For A Small Business

Managing communication for a small business can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to emails, Facebook messages, Instagram messages, and other lines of communication. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but with a few simple strategies, you can streamline your communication and keep your business running smoothly.

Systems

First and foremost, it’s important to set up a system for organizing your communications. This can be as simple as creating separate folders for different types of messages, or as complex as using a customer service software like Freshdesk. Freshdesk is a great option for small businesses, as it allows you to centralize all of your communications in one place, and it also offers features like automated responses, ticket assignment, and reporting.

Hands on a keyboard with floating email icons above it

Templates

Another great way to manage your communications is by using template replies. This is especially helpful when you’re dealing with common questions or requests. By creating templates for these types of messages, you can save a lot of time and energy, and you’ll also be able to ensure that your responses are consistent and professional.

Templates you might find beneficial can be inspired by the FAQ section on your website, they might include:

  • Turn around times
  • Delivery information
  • Contact information
  • Instructions for use

Routines

It’s also a good idea to set specific times throughout the day to check and respond to your communications. This will help you stay on top of things and prevent you from getting bogged down by a never-ending stream of messages. For example, you could check your emails and messages first thing in the morning, then again in the afternoon, and finally, before you close up shop for the day.

Grey wood background with a diary open to reveal a dated page next to a grey open laptop with the time 14:41 displayed on the screen

Filters and labels

When it comes to emails, it’s important to keep your inbox organized and to use filters and labels to keep things in order. For example, you can create a label for customer service emails and another for marketing emails. This will make it much easier to find the messages you need when you need them.

Labels also make it easier to prioritise what you deal with right now and what you want to deal with later. Perhaps there’s a great newsletter but you don’t want to read it right now, label it. You can use the “starred” option if you’re very disciplined but if you’re not one for keeping on top of it, it can become very overwhelming very quickly!

Close up of yellow folders with red labels saying "urgent" and "top priority"

Keep it simple

Another tip is to keep your communication clear and concise. This will help you avoid confusion and misunderstandings, and it will also make it easier for you to get your point across. For example, if you’re sending an email with a specific request, make sure to include all of the relevant information in the subject line, and to be as clear as possible in the body of the email.

With your subject lines, think about what you’d type in a search bar to find that email. For example:

  • “Request for lunch time meeting 23/06/2023” instead of “Meeting”
  • “AGM Documents June 2023” instead of “Docs”
  • “Order 46645 Query” instead of “Order”

Social media

When it comes to social media, it’s important to stay active and respond to messages in a timely manner. You can use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts and monitor your accounts, this will help you stay on top of things and ensure that your social media presence is consistent.

It’s also a good idea to have a plan for dealing with negative comments or complaints on social media. This can be difficult, but it’s important to address these issues in a timely manner and to respond in a professional and diplomatic way.

Close up of hands holding a phone resting on a folder. Speech bubbles indicating notifications come from phone

In conclusion, managing communication for a small business can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. By implementing a few simple strategies, like setting up a system for organising your communications, using template replies, and keeping your communication clear and concise, you can streamline your communication and keep your business running smoothly.

Ana x

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