A quarter of the British economy is made up of family run businesses, employing 10 million people. 1000 go bust every month! That’s how Alex Polizzi starts her weekly programme ‘The Fixer’.
Polizzi is an hotelier and part of the Forte family run business who in this series is helping 6 family run businesses who are struggling to stay afloat.
Maintaining good relationships in a small business is crucial and is even more challenging when it’s alongside family members! Are you working with your dad or your boss, your sibling or your colleague, your spouse or business partner? As Polizzi put it – ‘it’s not just profit on the line, it’s relationships’.
As a business coach I work with small businesses, a number being family run. Key to their success, whether family run or not, are the people, and that means having open communication.
Effective communication opens the door to sharing great ideas and working together to achieve the business vision. If people don’t talk openly, tensions build and concerns are bottled up waiting to be released like a pressure cooker.
I use profiling with all of my clients to find out more about their strengths, areas for growth, and sources of motivation. One of the profiles is called DISC and is particularly effective for discussing their communication style. We look at how they can think more about the way they communicate with others to better build and sustain relationships for mutual benefit.
Here are 10 tips to help you communicate more effectively and achieve the business success you want:
1. Be clear about your business vision so you can share it with others. If you don’t know what it is, others will have no chance of knowing where you are heading and how they can help.
2. Openly discuss the need to be flexible and keep up with trends and needs of your client – if you don’t, you won’t grow and may not stay in business
3. Conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis with your team to help focus on your strengths and identify areas for growth
4. Help all of your team members find their voice so they feel able to actively participate in decision making
5. Be sensitive to the needs of others and how they may interpret what you have to say
6. Don’t make it too much talk and not enough action!
7. The whole team needs to be clear who is responsible for what tasks and results. Make sure they have the authority to take the action required to get there!
8. Agree who is going to do what and by when
9. Communicate clear measurements so you know that the desired outcome is achieved
10. Finally, remember that communication is ongoing and not just a one off task to clear the air.
Regular two way communication will keep the momentum going and ensure everyone who is involved in the success of your business, be they employees or an external resource, are clear on their role, responsibilities and level of authority. They will then be happy to be held accountable.
Denise is a business coach who works with owner managers to build a sustainable and profitable business that fits their lifestyle.
If you want to be clear on your business vision so you focus your efforts and find the right people to help you, visit The Vision Formula to find out more about dma’s 3 hour workshop.