During this month’s Facebook Live, I talked about communication and why it is important.

As a business owner, when you are running a business, whether it’s selling products or providing services, it is extremely important that you communicate regularly with your customers.

It will depend on your particular business, what type of communication you need to have with customers, and how often.  You should always be clear and concise in all communication, especially in contracts.  Make sure that the contracts state clearly what services/products are being provided, the costs and payment terms.  It’s also helpful to include information about late payments and any termination clauses.

You also want to ensure that you make it clear what is your preferred method of communication – for example, e-mail only or calling a specific telephone number.  It is also important to make customers aware of your hours of operation and the length of time it will take for you to respond.

Whether you are self-employed, or have staff, if you (or a member of staff that deals directly with customers) is going to be away for more than a day, give plenty of notice to your clients and let them know if there is someone else that they can contact if they need to.

I’ve touched on some of the key items about communication from a business owner’s perspective, so now I’m going to talk about it from a client’s perspective.

As a client, you have a responsibility to communicate with your suppliers that are providing you with products or regular services – like a bookkeeper or accountant.  It is important that you communicate with them and provide them with the necessary information in a timely manner to complete your accounts.  Without that information, your accounts cannot be completed meaning you won’t have an accurate picture of your business.  It can also affect your ability to grow your business and you might miss any legal deadlines which would put you at risk of being fined by HMRC or Companies House if you are a limited company.

If you are going to struggle to pay an invoice on time, contact your supplier straight away to avoid any late payment fees.

Without communication, your business will not succeed.  You need to ensure you are communicating with your customers, your staff, your suppliers, and any other person or business that you encounter.

Ensuring that the information you provide to the public is clear, concise, and accurate will help you to grow your business and achieve your goals.  Make sure that your website is kept up to date with information about the business – contact details, the products, or services you provide, and members of staff if you have any.  By communicating with people, you will build relationships based on trust and that will lead to getting customers.

I have personally noticed that in the last few years, especially through covid, a lot of the infrastructure for communication has become sporadic – and that’s across all sectors – health, government, and education.  If accurate information isn’t provided to people in a timely fashion, it starts to cause doubt and confusion.

By ensuring that you communicate regularly with those you meet through your business, you will show them that you are trustworthy and that your business relationship with them is important.

As a bookkeeper, I know how important communication is.  I have a responsibility to my clients to ensure that they can meet their legal deadlines in terms of their accounts and to help them to understand the financial picture of their business.  However, I am not able to do this without being provided with the necessary information by the client to complete these tasks.  Even though MTD for Self-Assessment has been delayed, getting into good habits now of providing the information to your bookkeeper/accountant, or even you spending time on getting your accounts done on a weekly or monthly basis is a very good idea.  It helps you to have a better understanding of your business and it does reduce your stress in the long run as you won’t be worrying about what a transaction from 6 months ago was for.  You will have more control over your cash flow and be better prepared for any tax owed.

If you would like to talk about how to improve your communication within your business, please feel free to e-mail me.

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