Without open communications, your business days are numbered
Welcome to my new blog. I’m Robert LeCount, the director of information technology at The Rich Dad Company, www.richdad.com. You’ve probably heard of it… it’s the financial education tech company based on Robert Kiyosaki’s best-selling personal finance book of all time, “Rich Dad Poor Dad.”
I love all aspects of Web development, programming, server platforms, software, and databases, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the things I’ve learned with you here.
To start, let’s talk about communication. As a small business owner, you probably outsource your technology, marketing and other needs to outside services. Or, you may have a few people working in each department to cover these areas.
Either way, are your teams talking with one another?
In the past, it was fine for the techies to hide in the server room and not talk to anyone, but those days are over. Why?
Stand Alone Initiatives are Dead.
Technology is critical to business success. Everyone is using e-mail, social media, cloud computing, video, or some other technology to stay competitive. Your team members need technology to make sure their messages get to the right people, at the right time and through the appropriate mediums.
But making changes to improve team communications can be easier said than done so…
How Do You Open Up Communications?
Here are three, simple steps to help you get started:
1. Understand what other teams are doing.
Find out what and why other team members are trying to accomplish and how they implement tasks.
What are their weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals?
What type of technology are they using to reach these goals?
You’ll also want to look at the competition. What is going on with their technology, and how are they enticing customers to purchase their products and services online?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can look at solutions that will help your team members save time and money and do a better job at reaching their goals. Plus, you’ll have a better understanding of what your competitors are doing with today’s technology.
2. Set a meeting.
Plan an in-person monthly, brainstorming session among team members in various departments. Share ideas and discuss what’s working and what’s not. Make it a relaxed, positive setting where people will feel comfortable voicing ideas, suggestions and concerns.
At the end of the meeting, decide next steps with specific deadline dates, and be sure to schedule your next meeting to review the new results.
3. Test a new project.
A good way to open the lines of communication is with a small, test project. Decide what you are going to do, and document the entire process. Create timelines and establish costs.
You’ll also want to put monitoring systems in place. After all, it’s easy to check Website, e-mail and other analytics to see what is most effective. And be sure to communicate appropriate information with all of the team members involved so that everyone knows what is going on.
Give Yourself a Break.
This whole process may be something completely new to your business. Plus, you’ll be combining creative marketers, analytical technicians and other types of people. It will take time so don’t get discouraged.
Just start the process and go from there. Once everyone works together and starts to see positive results, communications will begin to open up. And don’t get me wrong.
This process can be difficult, but you have no choice.
If you continue to work within departmental silos, the competition will steal your customers and your business will cease to exist. The key to success is collaboration.
With this in mind, what are you going to do today to open the lines of communication? Please comment below, or write to me at The Rich Dad Company, [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you!