Improving communication is the key to having a successful business. Being able to communicate quickly and effectively with your team needs to be a top priority, especially as you’re growing and scaling your business. Without efficient internal communication, things can go off the rails very quickly. I experienced this first hand in my business, Top Class Installations, when our business, and by extension, our team, began to grow.
Email is not an effective form of communication anymore
Most businesses still use email as the main form of communication. But the truth is, email isn’t quick, and it can become cumbersome when you have multiple people communicating back and forth. It is easy for email threads to get confusing and difficult to follow, and that makes it easy for important information to get lost in the mix.
Now, before our team grew, we used to send out a group text message to communicate with everyone, but we discovered one day, after adding a bunch of new people to the team, that we had exceeded the group text limit. Apparently out service provider had a cap on the number of people you could have on a group text. So we had to start sending multiple messages daily to keep everyone on the team in the loop. But that wasn’t an effective way to communicate either, and it also meant we had multiple group messages to keep track of.
Slack is where it’s at
It was during all of this that I started to look for a better, more streamlined way for us to communicate with the entire team. I knew there had to be a way, but I had no idea what it could be so I started doing research. What I discovered was that there are software programs available online that are designed specifically to keep your team connected without the clunkiness of email or the limits of text messaging. We decided on a program called Slack, although there are quite a few available, it was the best fit for our particular needs. It’s important, as leaders, that we understand the specific communication needs within our business, and find the appropriate tools to fulfill those needs. There is no right way or wrong way, there is only what works and what doesn’t.
Slack has turned out to be an amazing tool for Top Class Installations. It’s a combination of a texting app and social media app, and it also allows you to build out different teams, share files, and (with the paid version) you can even add clients to certain Slack channels so they can be included in the communications.
What we’ve been able to do with Slack is go in and create specific communication channels dependent upon the conversation and who needs to be involved. So for instance, we have a dedicated channel for our executive team. We have a dedicated channel for our installation technicians. We have a dedicated channel for our scheduling team, etc. This also helps with time management, and not just for you, but for your entire team.
I’ve written before about the need for businesses to learn and utilize the technology available to you. And this applies to the way you are communicating inside your business as well. The more efficient your communication is, the faster you will be able to grow your business. Putting these systems in place now will not only speed up your growth, but it will help you avoid pitfalls, headaches, and miscommunication in the future.