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Importance of Communications for A Start-up

A start-up usually prioritises its focus on the front-end functions like marketing and sales, as well as the backend functions like finances and product development.  While there is no denying these functions are very critical for the success of a start-up, there is one more important aspect to it which often tends to be neglected because it may not seem important.  Communications and information management is an often-overlooked function a lot of companies ignore.  The fallout from ignoring the criticality of good communication does not immediately make itself known but rather keeps on piling up until the problem becomes too big to ignore.  

During the initial or idea stages of a start-up when there are only a few members on the team, communication might not be a problem because all of the team would be together for most of the time.  However, as the idea develops into a product and the start-up begins rapid scaling up, the need for hiring more hands arises.  This is when communication becomes a priority.

Communication for start-ups includes both internal and external.  Good communication needs to be nurtured and can become a powerful tool.  Some easy but highly effective ways to improve communication, both internal and external, are discussed as we progress through the article.

Internal communication:

Internal communication is a powerful tool for enabling better decision making and for increasing business productivity.  Open, clear, crisp communication from the top management level to all branches of the organization will serve to bring everyone together on to a common goal.  This will also further keep executives informed, engaged and make them feel valued thereby leading to more productivity.  Regular team meetings will ensure each team member is on the same page and will also boost employee morale.  Google Hangouts, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Trello are some of the tools which can be used for internal communications.

Some of the ways to drive a healthy internal communication within start-ups are:

  1. Promoting openness, honesty and transparency.

  2. Candid one on one sessions with leaders.

  3. Valuing every opinion.

  4. Sharing challenges, suggestions, progress and expectations.

  5. Welcoming team feedback.

  6. Create an environment of creative expression and non-judgemental spaces.

External Communication:

External communication also plays an important role in the growth of a start-up.  While internal communication is used to keep the teams on the same page, external communication plays a huge role in the brand awareness and value.  External communications play an important role and a start-up cannot ignore how it is perceived by job seekers, financial institutions and the public.  Therefore, a start-up needs to put out its ideas, culture, vision and products in the purview of the public and this can be done through blogs, social media, newsletters, press briefings, advertisements and emails.  A start-up needs to realise the importance of managing external communications and the power of releasing information at the right time.  

Some of the ways to drive a healthy external communication and which often tend to be overlooked are given below.

  1. Leverage the correct medium for communication.  For example, social media for branding, ads for lead generation, landing pages for call to action.

  2. Create a unique tonality suitable for the brand image of your start-up.

  3. Ensure to stay in touch with your external public through all contextual means like emails, newsletters, publications and so on.

  4. Create high-quality content like opinion pieces, sales materials, research reports, annual reports, whitepapers, buyer’s guides, and product datasheets.

  5. In case of any issues with the product on the technical side or manufacturing defects, start-ups need to immediately issue advisories.  Good communication is also essential for firefighting and damage control

Start-ups should keep in mind that internal and external communications are mostly about being spontaneous, relevance and honesty.  A healthy communication goes a long way to improve employee performance, team productivity, positive mindset, and above all business revenue.

*This article was covered by Top Business Tycoon