Communication plan benefits
What are the benefits of a Communication plan for a business?
The life blood of what we do as human beings and the glue that keeps us all together as a society whether at a local, regional, national or indeed international level is the ability to communicate with one another. Many times that communication breaks down and many times this leads to negative consequences. All entrepreneurs are familiar with a Business Plan and a Sales and Marketing Plan but not everyone has heard of a Communication plan. So what is a Communication plan?
What is a Communication plan?
A Communication plan is an attempt to standardize the message that goes out from the business to its customers. It complements and dovetails with a Business Plan and Sales and Marketing Plan. In some instances there can be an overlap but essentially it includes all written, spoken and electronic communications.
Some of the ingredients of a good Communication plan include the brand of the business. The brand, with no more than a graphic or a word defines the company. Think of ‘Google’ and its colors. I expect you would have trouble remembering what letter of the alphabet belongs to each color but there is no mistaking what the word ‘Google’ means. Similarly, the word ‘Coke’. As soon as you read the word ‘Coke’ the color red comes to mind. So one of the first things to consider in your Communication plan is the brand and how you want it perceived by the market.
Many business owners choose to hire a graphic artist, brand or image consultant. They look at things such as the business name, colors, logos, graphics and other items so that there is a consistent look and feel. Large corporations spend a lot of money getting this right as it quickly represents the company. Consider BP, Subway, Macy’s, United Airlines, FedEx, HP, AT&T and Edward Jones to name a few.
How do you build a communication plan?
A good way to build a Communication plan is around objectives. For example, it could include excellent customer service, customer retention or loyalty, how to touch each customer be it through a monthly newsletter, email or telephone call. It obviously includes bringing the employees of the business together so they understand any objectives and understand their role of that communication.
Another suggestion includes identifying what tools you will use to communicate to your customers. For example, it can be your website and blog as well as newspaper advertising, magazine ads, posters and even things such as report covers. There is no shortage of ideas.
It’s also important to establish a timetable especially where it includes goals and objectives. The current work environment is overwhelming and requires prioritization; especially if it involves employees or hiring outside help.
Measure your Communication plan
Finally, the Communication plan should include measurable results. You can collect these results on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. It is then important to review the results on a monthly basis and then communicate back to your employees or team so they know what they are doing is effective, or it is not effective, what needs to change to achieve the right results. A final annual report then needs to be provided so it’s archived but available to review each year.
If you have questions about valuing or selling your business, you are welcome to schedule a time to talk with me.