Part 5 - The keys to unlock savvy communication

Anyone who owns or runs a business anticipates that there will be a certain amount of administration 'stuff' to take care of. However, sometimes the basic mechanics of business management can become overwhelming. Here at Strictly Savvy we have made it our business to help you run your business more efficiently, so if you are drowning in admin or you've forgotten what your actual job is, this five-part blog series might be just the life raft you've been looking for!

We've reached the end of this 5-post series! We hope you're well on your way to increased business admin efficiency. Internal office communications have come a long way of late. Oh how far we've come since the days of carrier pigeons (okay, that was a stretch!), vacuum tubes, Morse code, telegraphs, and tatty old envelopes with staff members' names scribbled on them. In the last five years, with the sudden rise in apps and smartphones, modern office chat has become something even the Jetson family would be envious of. Below we share tips to help you liaise in your business… like it's 2017.

1. Got snail mail in your PO Box? How would you know, right? Well, you could just sign up for NZ Post's PO Box email notifications! My support team were so excited when they found out this was a 'thing'. If you have a PO Box, you can register to receive email notifications when there is mail in your PO Box. Genius! No more time wasted by randomly checking throughout the week. Visit NZ Post for more information.

2. Get onto a messenger tool for communication - both internal communication and externally if collaborating on a project.

Slack is what we're currently using. It's a messenger tool that you can use on your phone or desktop. 100% worth getting if you'd like to reduce the number of emails coming into your inbox from staff every day and you want your staff to be able to communicate, feel like part of a team, get the answers they need quickly or just have some fun without creating excess noise in the office. It's a no-brainer.

We've just moved over to Office 365 so we've been investigating Microsoft's Teams that at first glance looks like it could rival Slack. And an even bigger player, Facebook, has released Facebook Workplace. It would pay to check that out, especially if you have a team of millennials.

Image Credit: The Verge

3. Forget 'save as' – Set up Word templates for your proposals, letters, new client forms, contracts and so on. Rather than running the risk of embarrassing yourself and looking unprofessional by forgetting to save the right client's name in the contract (or saving over the master document!) set up proper templates. Create a generic version; save as a Word Template file type and you're done. Next time you open it, it will create a 'Document 1' version for you to save. (Check out the instructions on how to set up a template here).

Communicating to your team, clients, prospects and suppliers in an efficient and accurate way is important and using templates is one way to help achieve this.

4. Headsets and double screens – Investing in the right technology pays! What kind of technology is the right technology we hear you ask? Put simply, if it saves you a heap of time and makes your day that little bit easier, it is worth it. Rather than struggling away on your small laptop screen every day, get a bigger separate screen and then set it up to sit beside your laptop and extend the display using your computer's 'Display Settings'.

Use a set of headphones with a mic for use when making calls on your phone or on Skype – it makes for a much clearer and less misunderstood conversation.

5. Invest in good equipment - We recently purchased a bluetooth microphone and speaker in one. It's a disc-like speaker that we use for Skype calls if we have more than one person needing to engage in the conversation at our end.

Video content is a huge part of our social content strategy for 2017 so we purchased a microphone that plugs into smartphones. This will improve the sound quality in our videos.

Image Credit: The Rockshop

We know it is incredibly fun to fashion the old cup and string phone and test it out between the desks with your work buddy, but we think you'll like some of these ideas we've shared with you. What are some of the ways you currently communicate in your business? Do you use apps or tools that we haven't mentioned here?

We'd love to hear from you with thoughts and feedback on this blog series, as well as any other ideas you might have in mind for other helpful tidbits we could present to you. Look out for the upcoming post on the biggest mistake made when managing your inbox. This could be the New Year's resolution you actually stick to – who would like to start the new year with actionable steps to make managing your inbox a breeze?

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