Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts

The C's of Communications

  1. Clear: Make the goal of your message clear to your recipient. Ask yourself what the purpose of your communication is.
  2. Concise: Your message should also be brief and to the point. Why communicate your message in six sentences when you can do it in three?
  3. Concrete: Ensure your message has important details and facts, but that nothing deters the focus of your message.
  4. Correct: Make sure what you're writing or saying is accurate. Bad information doesn't help anybody. Also make sure that your message is typo free.
  5. Coherent: Does your message make sense? Check to see that all of your points are relevant and that everything is consistent with the tone and flow or your text.
  6. Complete: Your message is complete when all relevant information is included in an understandable manner and there is a clear "call to action". Does your audience know what you want them to do?
  7. Courteous: Ensure that your communication is friendly, open, and honest, regardless of what the message is about. Be empathetic and avoid passive-aggressive tones.
  8. Clutching: Make sure your message has AIDA: grabss Attention, develosp Interest, builds Desire, triggers Action. Be sure there is a clear "path to action" for the reader to take ... call, email, website, et alia.

Crucial Communication Channels

At the core, every successful business venture looks like this. Of course, large complex organizations can look much more complicated than this basic diagram. But fundamentally, all successful business ventures consist of these key elements and have these critical paths of communications.

The "alphabetical" communication channels are external, between the key business venture teams and customers:

A] The Research & Development Team communicating with customers to determine what customer problems, needs, wants, and desire the venture should address

B] The Marketing Team communicating with customers to promote current venture solutions, product, services, and processes that solve current customer problems, and obtain feedback from customers relating to the performance of the venture in solving their problems

C] The Sales Team obtaining and processing orders from customers, and customer relationship management

D] The Operations Team building and delivering solutions, products, and services to fill customer orders

E] The Finance/Accounting Team collecting payment for the value delivered to customers by the products, services, and processes provided by the venture

F] The Venture Management Team soliciting feedback and inputs regarding the relationship between the customers and the venture

The "numbered" communication channels in Figure 5 are internal, the information being shared between departments in a business venture.

1] Marketing and Innovation Development Departments share information about customer problems, needs, wants, and desires, and the benefits, fit, form, function, and features of new products, services, and processes being created in the organization.

2] The Marketing and Sales Departments coordinate information about the benefits, fit, form, function, and features of currently available solutions, products, services, and process that match customer requirements, including the price of the offerings.

3] The Sales Department communicates information about customer orders to the Finance/Accounting Department such that the customer is properly billed when the solutions, products, and services are delivered.

4] The Sales Department communicates information about customer orders to the Operations Department such that the appropriate products and services are delivered to the customer.

5] The Operations Department communicates information about product and service delivery to the customer so the Finance/Accounting Department can accurately bill the customer.

6] The Research & Development Department (often called the Engineering Department) provides the Operations Department with bills of material and assembly instructions for creating the solutions, products, and services being sold to customers.

How to Talk to the Media

Getting your venture name in a news story in your local newspaper or other media can create valuable free publicity, but getting the media’s attention is only half the battle. What really matters is how well you handle the interview. Some guidelines for your next media blitz ...
  • Be ready. Never send out press releases without being prepared to speak about the topic you’re pitching.
  • Prepare. Ask the reporter what the article is about, so you’ll know how best to contribute. If you own a craft brewery, is the article a profile of your brewery? Have some good stories about your startup and growth to share. Is it an overview of the craft brewing trend? Be ready to discuss where you think the industry is going.
  • Stay on track. If a reporter asks you about industry trends, don’t tell her how your grandfather’s recipe for chocolate stout inspired you to start the business, and how your grandfather was a Russian immigrant who kept pot-bellied pigs in his backyard, and ...
  • Promote your “talking points.” Reporters expect interviewees to promote themselves a bit. If you are asked about trends in the craft beer industry, you could reply, “IPAs have become mainstream; now sour beers are growing in popularity. That’s one reason we’re introducing our new line of sours, which is already seeing growth of 20 percent.”
  • Provide hard data. Be ready to share any data you can to back up what you say. The craft beer entrepreneur could also have shared industry data about the growth of sour beers overall.
  • Be helpful. Be on time for the interview and let the reporter know you’re available for any follow-up questions. Journalists prefer working with nice people.
[Thank you, Rieva Lesonsky]

Business Venture Plan Presentation Guidelines

Here's an outline for a typical business concept presentation. These types of presentations are usually about 15 minutes for the formal presentation, 10 minutes or more for an "interactive discussion."

A.  Opening and Introductions (see 1 below for content suggestions)
B.  Problem/Customer/Solution Opportunity Story (crafted to fit the venture ... see 2, 3, 4 below for content suggestions)
C.  Competition, Environment, Innovation, Competitive Advantage, Differentiation (crafted to fit the venture ... see 5, 6, 7 below for content suggestions)
D.  Earn, Work, Team, et al, as appropriate to the venture (crafted to fit the venture ... see 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 below for content suggestions)
E.  Financial Projections (crafted to fit the venture ... see 16 below for content suggestions)
F.  Funding Proposal, Summary, and Call to Action (crafted to fit the venture ... see 17 and 18 below for content suggestions)
G.  Closing and Interactive Discussion (see 19 and 20 below for content suggestions)

Detailed elements of the presentation include ...
  1. Opening Billboard Slide: Company name, company location, contact information, legal statements (proprietary information, copyright, etc.) ...
  2. Problem / Opportunity: The problem your venture will solve, the significance of the problem, the opportunity this offers your venture, quality of the opportunity, growth potential ...
  3. Product and/or Service Solution Description: Essential product/service idea, category of product/service, proprietary protection, entry strategies ...
  4. Customers and Target Markets: Target market characteristics, size, why this market is the best for the venture, market validation research ...
  5. Environment and Context: Industry overview, research results and analysis, major competitors, benchmark ventures, timeliness, regulations ...
  6. Innovation: what the venture does that is new and better
  7. Competitive Advantages: Market focus, value proposition, core competencies, barriers to entry, differentiation, competitive validation, how the venture will position itself to meet/beat the competition, ...
  8. Business Model: How the venture will earn a profit, expected margins, sources of recurring revenue ...
  9. Marketing and Sales Strategies: Pricing strategies, distribution model, partnering, promotional strategies ...
  10. Technology Strategies: Technology, product development ...
  11. Operational Strategies: Production methodologies, manpower requirements, equipment requirements, material management, flow diagram of key processes ...
  12. Intellectual Property and Legal Issues Strategies: Patents, trademarks, trade names, copyrights, trade secrets, operating and other agreements, legal structure ...
  13. Organization: Management team, relevant domain knowledge of the team, commitment, advisers, directors, management to be added, culture, talent ...
  14. Development Plan: Current company status, number of employees, development stage, early revenue, number of customers, relevant historical information, long-term venture goals, growth strategies, timeline ...
  15. Risks and Contingencies: Downside risks and contingency plans, upside risks and expansion plans ...
  16. Financial Projections: Key assumptions, historical financial statements, pro forma statements, return on investment ...
  17. Funding Proposal: Total investment funding and resources being sought, use of funds in 4 or 5 general categories, any unusual use of funds, return of cash to investors and entrepreneurs, harvest strategy ...
  18. Summary: Vision; mission; goals; a brief who, what, where, when, why, and how of the venture ...
  19. Closing Billboard Slide: Company name, company location, contact information ...
  20. Variety of support slides keyed to most-likely-to-be-asked questions
Recommendations: presenter's name on each slide, company logo on each slide.

Tip: Keep in mind WHO is your audience. WHO are you trying to impress. It's usually NOT everyone in the room, rather it's the decision makers ... the boss, the investor, the president of the company with which you are trying to form a collaborative partnership.