Why effective business communication matters


No matter what size your business is, you can’t build positive customer sentiment and brand reputation without clear, constructive business communication.

We’ve put together some tips to help you manage the reputation of your business with good communication practices.


Ways to share business information

Here are a few common categories your business can use to communicate internally and externally:



Email is usually the first channel through which you’ll interact with customers, partners, or employees. Make sure that your business e-mails reflect your business identity in the manner of address, in your company e-mail signature, and in how important communications are structured. Clarity and simplicity are crucial.


Social media

Social media messaging allows for immediate communication with clients or customers. It can also help you to better understand the individuals and social groups you’re trying to communicate with. It has the benefit of being immediate and targeted. Unfortunately, that also means it can quickly become a court of popular opinion if something goes wrong, which can be damaging to your business. You need to be especially proactive about making your messaging clear and reactive to any negative input or misinformation, to communicate effectively on social media channels.


Team messaging apps

These apps have become much more popular, especially among businesses that rely on employees working remotely, and have in many cases replaced in-person meetings. Larger organisations are pivoting to use them for internal communication channels, because they are great for instant communication. They can also be very useful externally, as an easy channel of communication with customers or business partners. If you communicate on team messaging apps using video calls, being appropriately dressed under adequate lighting and with a suitable background will convey professionalism and build your brand identity.


If you have a small business, it’s particularly important to be tech-savvy and proactive about communicating

Challenges of business communication


Some common challenges include the following:


A proactive communications plan should incorporate things like your target audience, competitors, competitive advantages and threats to your market share and brand. This is also called a SWOT analysis, because it analyses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  


Crisis management

All the work you’ve put into building your brand and establishing your business in the marketplace can be undone very quickly now that opinions can spread widely and instantly on social media. It’s crucial to be proactive in preventing these crises, or defusing them when they blow up, especially on social media.

Make it an unbreakable rule not to get involved in online discussions about topics that don’t add value to your business – something you should also communicate to your staff. If a crisis does arise involving your business, make sure your response is planned and sincere. Address the issue first-hand on the platform where it arose.



You need to monitor, understand and respond to both negative and positive communications. Doing or saying nothing generally leads people to assume the worst about your brand, so identifying a crisis or an opportunity quickly is key.


Effective business communication

You can conduct most business communication digitally through cheaper, often more accessible platforms than print or broadcast media. If you have a small business, it’s particularly important to be tech-savvy and proactive about communicating through digital channels like social media – but all businesses, large or small, need to make sure that their online communications enhance the brand’s reputation. Here’s a final checklist:

  1. Create a clear communication plan that relates to your business plan and brand.

  2. Be rational and make sure your communications are aligned to your plan.

  3. Be clear, concise and honest in your communications to clients or customers.

  4. Be proactive and respond immediately – remember, bad news fills a vacuum.

For free advice and examples of planning and communication for small businesses, consult Nedbank’s SimplyBiz portal.