14 Effective Communication Tools for Small Businesses
Updated September 30, 2022
Effectively communicating with customers, team members, and the public is essential for starting and building a successful company. Various tools can facilitate effective communication in small businesses, ensuring messages remain accessible and projects stay active. Identifying what communication products are suitable for work can help you foster a more collaborative environment. In this article, we define communication tools, explain what to consider when choosing them, and present 14 tools that can improve workplace communication.
What are communication tools?
Communication tools are computer programs businesses can use to exchange information with internal and external stakeholders, such as customers or clients. For example, an emerging company may organize conferences or host seminars to connect with investors. While communication and collaboration tools include email, telephones, text messaging, and social networking sites, many others combine these communication methods to increase productivity. For example, many software corporations provide applications that enable both document sharing and online meetings. Consider your role at work and how using a communication tool can help you and your team become more productive.
What to consider when selecting a communication tool
If using a communication tool can help you achieve workplace success, consider the following factors when reviewing your options:
While some tools are suitable for smaller businesses, others are for enterprise-level organizations. For example, a video-sharing tool for small businesses may limit the number of individuals who can join a call. Consider who you expect to use the communication tool and whether scaling it is possible in the future.
Reflect on how a business might use a tool to influence your decision-making. For example, a communication tool may focus on project management, and others may prioritize collaboration among teammates who work from home. After creating a list of possible tools, it can help to read their vendors' descriptions.
Like other items that improve operations, a communication tool may add to a company's expenses. While it's essential you create a budget, it's also important to speak with product vendors. Consider negotiating the price, especially if you require fewer features or have a small team. You can also ask what the vendor charges for their product and review the contract terms. Evaluating a product's costs and benefits can help you receive higher returns on your investment.
While some communication tools may work without supplemental technology, others require specific systems and features. For example, a product for video conferencing and internet calling may require specific cellular network technology. Researching your preferred communication products can help you determine whether you can integrate them into your existing systems.
Having a tool that enables secure communication is essential. If you intend to share confidential information using these products, it's crucial you consider the privacy settings. Reviewing privacy and security terms can help you determine whether your preferred communication products can protect you from cybersecurity threats.
Regardless of the communication tool, it's essential you evaluate how your teammates may use it at work. Consider the training required and time to complete a task using the tool. It's also essential you determine whether your preferred product is easy to navigate. Selecting a communication tool that suits your team and prioritizes their experience can ensure successful workplace integration.
14 effective communication tools
Explore this list of effective communication products for small businesses:
Slack is a workplace communication tool for messaging. It integrates with many workplace applications, keeping employees engaged in other business aspects, such as marketing, sales, and support. Slack offers the opportunity to create communication channels on specific interests or projects. For example, a business's human resources department may create a channel for managing employee interactions.
Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration application. It enables document sharing, supports online meetings, and encourages project interactions through calls. If your team uses other Microsoft Office applications, consider integrating Microsoft Teams into the platform. You can also create channels using this communication product.
3. Google Meet
Google Meet is a communication tool that enables video conferencing among small- to large-scale businesses. It allows screen sharing and messaging during video sessions. Using a meeting code and password, the communication product can offer security and privacy. You can create an online meeting using this tool if you have a Google account. Google Meet is accessible through mobile phones, laptops, desktops, and tablets.
Rooftop is an email management software that encourages collaboration and shared inboxes. It can help teams send emails and exchange information with external stakeholders, especially to provide customer support. It enables email storage, merging, and auto-routing, which can improve productivity. You can label emails and set action dates for them. Rooftop can also help you manage tasks and workflow.
TeamGantt is a product for communicating with clients or customers. This online project management tool works with different operating systems. Using Gantt charts, TeamGantt can help you organize and manage projects within teams. A Gantt chart visual represents a project's schedule and shows task dependencies. You can invite stakeholders to work with your team and review the project's updates and documents. For example, you may use Teamgantt to share a creative brief.
Monday.com is a tool that allows teams to create workflows, organize tasks, and share files. You can use it to manage ad campaigns or manage customer relationships. Monday.com allows you to track your time on a project, create reports, and integrate applications you use at work. It offers centralized file storage, which can make collaboration across locations, structures, and teams easier.
Jostle is a product that can help you improve team communications. You can use it to publish news, plan events, and discuss with other teammates. Jostle uses intranet technology, which can ensure privacy and security at work. It can support your efforts to foster a more positive work culture through open communication.
WebEx is an online collaboration tool for facilitating virtual meetings. It enables communication with clients and team members using chat rooms, digital presentations, and video calls. WebEx can also be suitable for hosting online seminars or organizing training sessions. This product has an artificial intelligence (AI) system to take notes, insights, and recognize faces. WebEx uses encryptions to ensure information protection.
GoToMeeting is a product for collaborating with other team members, using video and audio communication channels. This tool allows you to record meetings, share presentations, distribute files, and send messages to meeting participants. It may be helpful for small businesses that operate flexible work hours or team members who live in different regions. You can also use GoToMeeting to host conferences.
Fleep is a collaboration software program for teams. It offers email services, task management, and video call features. Fleep can improve internal communication within a company and help you organize conversations for practical discussions. It offers an administrator control of accounts and integrates with communication and productivity tools. You can access the product on a website browser or mobile device.
Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes projects into boards. Like a whiteboard with sticky notes, this application can help you track a project's progress to make necessary changes. You can customize the tool's boards, add files, and create project checklists. Trello provides features for managing projects and can help you meet project deadlines.
Zoom is a video-conferencing application that works on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Using this tool, you can record meetings, share documents, and show your computer screen. You can also communicate with participants in chat rooms. Zoom offers security by requiring a meeting link and password before joining meetings. A host can also control a meeting's settings, such as which participants to allow in a session.
Flowdock is a collaborative tool for teams that can help facilitate discussions. You can also use it with project management, version control, and customer support applications. Flowdock offers visibility on project tasks using one dashboard. You can review notifications and respond in the team chat room.
Igloo is a collaboration software that can help you create digital workspaces. It offers features for creating presentations and documents. You can also integrate other applications into the platform, such as Slack. Igloo can help you organize calendars and communication outlets, like emails. You typically require intranet technology to use it.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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