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There can be little debate on the importance of effective business communication in the modern global business ecosystem. Whether it’s the flow of information to customers, employees, board of directors, investors, suppliers, or any other stakeholder, or in creating a brand for your SME, communication in business is vital. Not surprising, many organisations, often struggle and lack the necessary business communication skills required to keep it impactful.

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On that note, let us take a closer look at business communication meaning, its features and objectives, processes, types and examples, its importance and role in brand building and business growth.

What is business communication?

Let us start by understanding the meaning of business communication. Put simply, it is the process of transfer or exchange of information from the originator to the receiver in the workplace/business.

It can be from a brand to a customer (e.g., a promotional offer), brand to its investors (e.g., annual reports or newsletters), and even from a customer/supplier to a brand (e.g., feedback or testimonials). The flow of information can be through different channels based on the business needs, audience targeted, marketing collateral being used and others.

As can be guessed, there is no simple business communication definition.

An important characteristics of business communication is that it should always be goal oriented, i.e., the tone, language, medium, frequency should always align to the overall business goal. It is also governed by the brand guidelines and organisation rules, regulations and policies. Based on the medium being used, online business communication should also adhere by the guidelines of the platform/channel being used (e.g., business communications via email vs WhatsApp vs social media).

Types of business communications used in organisations

There are different types of business communication used in organisations based on its scale, audience types, and even budgets. However, the main business communications types can be categorised as:

  • Oral or verbal communication: Conventionally, a F2F meeting was a great form of oral communication. However, with the advent of technology F2F meetings have been replaced by video conferences, instant messages, audio calls etc. Oral communication can be formal (e.g., team meetings) or informal (e.g., team catch ups).
  • Written communication: This refers to any written business communication notes or documents that can be referred to or be circulated around for everyone’s understanding. It may include a company handbook of policies, the annual report, quarterly or annual business plan, etc. In current time, the scope of written communication can also be extended to video content for online communications in business.

In both cases, the objective of the business communication is to keep teams aligned to the overall goals and measure progress based on predictions and targets.

In the next section, we look at some commonly used examples of business communications based on the types.

Examples of effective business communication at work

Listed below are some common business communication examples and the channels used by small and large organisations:


Business communication by type Example
Internal communication All communications rolled out to internal employees within the organisation.

Example: Memo, feedback forms, team messages, surveys, voice/video calls, department meetings etc.

External communication All communications rolled out to stakeholders outside the organisation (e.g., vendors, suppliers, distributors, customers, investors etc.).

Example: social media posts, advertisements, press releases, customer support services, surveys etc.

Upward communication Hierarchical communication from lower levels to senior management.

Example: Email on sales target achievement, quarterly review reports, suggestions etc.

Downward communication Hierarchical communication from higher management to the lower levels (e.g., employees, managers etc.).

Example: Town hall meetings (video-based or F2F), emails on revised business targets, etc.

Why is business communication important for small businesses?

The most important goal of business communication is to ensure that the organisation goals and values are communicated and aligned by everyone – internal and external teams. For a small business, planning their SME growth strategies, communication is important.

Listed below are some of the benefits of effective business communications and the importance of business communications at the workplace:

1. Increase employee engagement and efficiency

Channelising communications within team members promotes team collaboration and encourages them to work towards the organisation goals. With an overdose of information, it is often challenging for employees to access relevant information.

Having the right information reduces doubts, concerns and scope of errors. This in turn empowers employees to execute their work better, improve productivity and efficiency. It also provides employees an opportunity to share their concerns and challenges and work collectively towards solving it.

For instance, a 15-minutes video-based daily stand-up within teams helps them to share important updates, work progress, any challenges faced, and planned activities. Other team members can add their inputs or offer to help in case of any roadblocks. This saves important time and improves efficiency within teams.

2. Promote brainstorming and innovation at the workplace

Whether you are a small or large business, innovation and new idea generation is imperative for business growth everywhere. When you empower your employees with meaningful information, they can think of innovative marketing strategies and techniques for growth.

For instance, if your business receives numerous WhatsApp queries outside business hours (e.g., 8:00 am to 8:00 pm), a quick strategy fix can be to design templated responses to WhatsApp queries. A basic message communication like: ‘We are sorry, but our representatives are not available at the moment. Please leave your query and we will get back within the next 12 hours’ is effective as it informs the customer on what to expect in terms of availability and timelines.

3. Improve cross-functional team work

Business success is not a single person win – it’s team work. For businesses to achieve their goals, it’s imperative that teams collaborate and work.

In small businesses, there are teams working remotely. Using digital communications, it is possible to keep teams up-to-date on the latest happenings at the workplace and in business. For instance, a sales rep can get a testimonial from a happy client, which can be used by marketing teams to share on social media to build brand credibility and attract more enquiries.

A process of business communication however needs to be established so that teams have clarity on what information to share with whom and how.

4. Nurture customer relationships

Nurturing customer relationships is one of the key areas that powerful business communications can contribute.

For example, if you are a logistics company looking at growing sales, providing exemplary customer service through planned communications is one of the easiest ways to grow sales in logistics.

Let’s understand this through some examples:

  • Design a crisp, powerful website that provides details on your logistics services and rates
  • Offer a promo code or discount on the first order (tech teams to ensure code is easy to apply on checkout; marketing team to promote this code through social media, WhatsApp messages, emails; sales to offer this code to new customers to create excitement)
  • Use a feedback or survey form to collect details about customer experiences after using your logistics services (marketing team to roll them out through emails using online forms)
  • Be accessible over phone, email, chat to answer to customer queries (website to be updated with these details; customer support team to be trained with proper scripts)

The overall purpose of these activities is to build brand credibility and trust among your customers. This will in turn help you to gradually grow your business and also establish yourself as a brand that understands customer pain points and delivers as promised.

5. Drive impactful, data-driven decision-making

One of the primary reasons why business communication is important is to make decision-making easy and impactful. Business communication enables teams to collate relevant information and data, and analyse important details to make sound decisions.

For instance, website analytics reports shared with the sales and marketing teams can enable them to design better online campaigns, capture lead details, and create a sales funnel to follow-up.

6. Align to the overall business goals

Whether it is to add new customers, or increase sales, bring efficiency at work, adopt technology for digitisation of MSMEs or any other, communication is key.

Information-sharing enables teams to have clarity on the business goals, their individual roles and responsibilities, and how they can contribute to the overall goals.

For instance, when the organisation goal is to create awareness:

  • Marketing team can use social media platforms to create posts driving customer engagement and brand awareness
  • Sales teams can increase the number of calls/emails letting prospective customers learn about the brand and its products
  • HR teams can create collaterals (e.g., a 7-10 slide company pitch deck) which can be shared with candidates
  • Existing employees can further be encouraged to share relevant content on social media to create awareness (e.g., office space images, award function photos etc.)

7. Create a transparent and sustainable work environment

And last but not the least bit important, effective business communication at the workplaces creates a culture of transparency, trust and involvement.

Employees feel more involved and committed to the overall goals when they feel they have the information required to carry out tasks, that their opinions matter and contributions are being acknowledged.

Customers feel loyalty towards a small business when they receive timely updates from businesses. Surveys and after-sales follow-ups makes them feel their feedback is important and relevant.

Organisations, especially small businesses with limited budgets and resources, should prioritise and use these simple principles of business communication to stand out and beat competition.

How to break barriers of business communication

Now that we understand the role of communication in business, it is also necessary to look at some of the common challenges that small businesses face that stop them from effective communications.

Understand this – communication is key to business success. When done in a planned, organised manner, business communications can be a tool for growth. When not used properly, opportunities can be missed.

Challenge Description Solution
Language barriers There are 22 scheduled languages in India often making it difficult to identify the right language for effective communication. Identify the most commonly used languages by your stakeholders (any 3-4 languages). Ensure each teams have representatives understanding these languages (especially for sales, marketing and customer support).
Location barriers Having teams/customers located remotely (sometimes in different time zones) often making it difficult to communicate regularly. Use digital tools for communication. Tools can help to set reminders, block calendars, schedule meetings etc. Also, keep meetings targeted, brief and limited to key stakeholders to avoid taking up maximum time.
Technology barriers Poor infrastructure support that prevents teams from adopting digital solutions. Invest time and funds and build a strong IT infrastructure for business. This will streamline all processes and enable quick transmission of information to relevant users.
Financial barriers Lack of funds to define a powerful process of business communication. Invest funds judiciously. Identify the key communication areas you need to improve (e.g., customer support, sales and marketing etc.) and borrow funds for the same. You can apply for Business Loans through Tata nexarc for collateral-free loans up to ₹50 lakhs at low interest rates. The process is quick, online and you can get a loan offer in just 5 minutes.

Understand this – communication is key to business success. When done in a planned, organised manner, business communications can be a tool for growth. When not used properly, opportunities can be missed.

As a closing thought, we share some business quotes for success to keep you motivated, inspired and work towards your business growth.

FAQs on business communications:

What are the objectives of business communications?

Listed below are some of the common objectives of business communication:

  • Promote transparency by ensuring all stakeholders are on the same page and working towards the same goals
  • Simplify decision making by empowering the right people with the right information in time
  • Cultivate collaboration by bring teams together through cross-functional information sharing
  • Provide clarity by sharing important details with teams for getting the job done

What are the 7 C’s of business communications?

The 7 c’s of business communication enable business entities to keep communications clear, easy to comprehend, and targeted. They are:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Correct
  • Concrete
  • Coherent
  • Complete
  • Courteous

What is the process of business communication?

Organisations can follow different process to communicate in business based on its type and channel used.

Here are the common steps to the business communication process – idea generation, encoding, transmission of message from sender to receiver, decoding the message, reception of message, and feedback on the message.

Sohini Banerjee

Sohini is a seasoned content writer with 12 years’ experience in developing marketing and business content across multiple formats. At Tata nexarc, she leverages her skills in crafting curated content on the Indian MSME sector, steel procurement, and logistics. In her personal time, she enjoys reading fiction and being up-to-date on trends in digital marketing and the Indian business ecosystem.