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Blog posts tagged Communication

Eight reasons to use a phone rather than send an email or message

March 17, 2014 by Guest contributor

Eight reasons to use a phone rather than send an email or message/Hand holding telephone{{}}In the past 20 years, methods of communication have increased significantly. Technology is continually developing new ways of contacting friends, family, those we work with, suppliers, customers and others.

With the advent of email, Skype, Hangouts, IMing and Facetime, businesses are spoilt for choice when it comes to contacting customers and others, and often overlook the power of the humble phone call. So what advantages does using a telephone offer?

1 Telephones are more personal

While email and instant messages are often sent while the sender is multi-tasking, telephoning someone requires taking time out of your day to stop and make the call. This shows more care, demonstrates more attention and better customer service.

2 Phone calls are often faster

Messages can be conveyed more quickly over the phone than exchanging numerous messages by other means over the course of a day. When an immediate answer is required, a phone call is the best way.

3 Meaning can get lost in translation

The meaning or urgency of a subject can get lost when conveyed by written words, because some things are just more effectively communicated by phone.

4 Everybody knows how to use a phone

It’s often difficult to keep up to date with all new communication methods and ‘who is familiar with what’. Instead of having the difficult conversation about ‘who’s using what’, you can make life simpler by picking up the phone.

5 Telephones are simple

Using technology can often involve technical difficulties. Effective internet communication, using programmes such as Skype and Facetime, require a reliable internet connection, non-faulty equipment and technological know-how. Things can and do go wrong.

6 Phone calls are often more authoritative

Similar to how letters carry more authority, because of the traditional nature of a phone call, it generally holds more weight than an email or an instant message. If you want to communicate an official message, deliver it with your voice.

7 Video calls can be awkward

Sometimes being able to see the person to whom you’re speaking is useful, but more often it’s a hindrance and one extra thing to worry about. Facial expressions can give things away and it can make working from home a little more difficult.

8 International calls are now cheaper

Not long ago, making landline calls to overseas numbers was extremely expensive. However, that no longer needs to be the case, you can make cheap calls to hundreds of other countries for a reasonable price.

Blog supplied by Ruth Barton on behalf of Call Happy, provider of cheap calls to Uganda and worldwide. 

Further reading 

Marcela: 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration and 100% communication

March 01, 2010 by www.inafishbowl.com

On the roller-coaster ride of running one’s own business, I used to think that having a fantastic product would be enough. As you know, this is far from the truth. This probably accounts for the 1% inspiration bit.

As I have discussed before, everyone expects you to be an expert in your business and in a small business, if you are on a shoe string and a one-man band, this means being an expert in everything. Is this the perspiration bit? The 24/7, never switching off, always being on task? Reading the paper on a Sunday looking for relevant articles, checking emails late at night when it’s quiet, cooking, etc..? I think the perspiration bit is also connected with the resilience of taking the failures as lessons to be learned, to stand up after falling, to get on with it and persevere when things may not be as rosy as one would wish for.

But we are in the 21st century and I would add another element. Yes, you had your 1% inspiration in your great idea and you are working really hard, which is your 99% perspiration. What about the communication bit? I think this changes the 1%+99% equation. Nowadays, entrepreneurs are required to twitter, to tell their story, to shout out their values and they are also allowed, and indeed expected, to drive their enterprises ethically. Green issues, fair trade, sustainability...

I think this is a great time to be an entrepreneur because it’s become the norm to have ideas and to communicate them effectively. I’m starting to learn how to communicate with people out there about what I’m trying to do – introduce new adventurous flavours of food that come from local growers and those who are far away, who share my passion for great food and respect for the environment and people. 21st century communication media - what a great opportunity to relate with possible customers and, hopefully, make a difference.

You can find out more about Marcela on the new interactive business website www.inafishbowl.com

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Taking a holiday

September 17, 2009 by Tim Haggard

In a recent FT article, there was a discussion about how some business owners have taken a holiday this summer for the first time in years.

Are they mad?

I understand the compulsive nature of many entrepreneurs, but I do not understand why they don’t take breaks – like I’ve said in previous posts, yes business owners are super-busy but breaks are essential to recharge the batteries and to keep the mind fresh.

That said, I am not suggesting that you shut up shop and head off to a remote beach for two weeks. That would be too much for the average business owner to bear (even though the business will probably survive better without you that you would like to admit to).

So, here are a few ideas for making the concept of a holiday work:

  1. Focus the holiday around something you love doing (even if it is lying by the pool!). It will mean that you relax and therefore recover more quickly.
  2. Research your destination well and make sure that the modern tools of the trade – phone reception/ wifi internet access/ printer etc – are available and work to the standard you require. If they are not and you know you’ll struggle, go somewhere else.
  3. Think about the benefits of time difference. I have not long been back from Italy which is one hour ahead of the UK. This meant an extra hour in the morning before the UK gets going.
  4. Let all the people that might be affected by you going away know well in advance – staff, contractors, customers, suppliers – so that they too have the chance to plan around you being away.
  5. Make the most of being your own boss and travel on weekdays. Cheaper, less crowded, faster and less stressful...
  6. Ration the times when you engage on business matters. I always try and take the first 3 days off completely and then schedule working into pre-planned parts of the day. Partners and families can plan activities around this too.
  7. If you are that worried - just stay within easy reach.

In overview, use the internet/ mobile phone technology available to you. In the last 5-10 years, it has become immeasurably easier to get away and keep in touch with your business at the same time...to me it is a marvellous opportunity to enjoy life that little bit more!

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