Entrepreneurs need to wear many different hats. The procedural aspect of running a business must be complemented by soft skills, which can be bad news for anyone who’s focusing too much on the logical-and logistical-side of things. Anyone who’s turning to business to escape a workplace environment full of stressful interactions with other people will soon find that running a startup places even more emphasis on good communication.
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Technology can help you analyze data and improve productivity. It can even help with some aspects of relationship management. For example, client onboarding software can help a startup make a positive impression with customers during the crucial early stages. But even sophisticated tech solutions work best when they complement and enhance-not replace-your communication skills.
Practicing your writing skill may not be an obvious method of improving the way you communicate with others, but give it a try, and you’ll reap significant benefits. This is how it can help you.
Writing for non-writers
When you want to translate your business idea into a successful startup, you’ll need plenty of help from other people. Potential investors need to be convinced. The target audience has to understand your unique selling proposition and how you satisfy their needs and bring value. Anyone you seek to employ or collaborate with has to understand your vision. Communication plays a key role in getting all of those pieces to fall into place.
Writing practice is a tried-and-tested way to improve your communication skills. If you don’t write things down, they can float around in your head, ill-defined. It gets difficult to articulate what you have to say at the exact moment when you need to say it. Some people seem to have a gift for this fluent self-expression; most of us have to work for it.
A lot of people already dabble in writing without realizing it. They keep journals for mindfulness, make to-do lists, and remind themselves to get better or work harder with inspirational messages. But if you want to leverage your writing towards better communication, the practice has to be intentional.
A form of rehearsal
The term ‘elevator pitch’ in business refers to a brief but persuasive speech you can use to get somebody interested in your proposal. You don’t have to deliver it in an elevator ride lasting half a minute. But imagine if you had to. Could you roll off a memorable and convincing pitch without stuttering, grasping for words, or rushing through things too quickly?
The only way you can pull off such a feat would be through a focused effort to write and improve your pitch. Like composing the perfect tweet, you need to make it concise and on-point. Unlike a tweet, the potential benefits of a great pitch are immense. The more you push yourself to refine and internalize your message-whether it’s a business proposal, a publicity release, or an internal memo-the more you will manage to come across as direct and authoritative.
Good writing provides the basis of your communications rehearsal. You’ll want to hone other aspects, such as body language, pace, and tone of voice. But your overall delivery is just dressing; the words provide the substance – and that’s what matters most.
Outworking everyone else
You may be convinced of the value of writing to your communications skill and how that, in turn, will influence the success or failure of your startup. But the job of an entrepreneur is one of the endless challenges. How much focus can you devote towards improving this one facet of running a business?
The recently aired hit Netflix documentary, “The Last Dance,” gives modern fans an insight into the mind of Michael Jordan – one of the most successful athletes in all of sport. Jordan is quoted saying, “nobody will ever work as hard as I work” about how he approached every practice session with as much intensity as he would bring to real games.
Sports provide an invaluable and accessible metaphor for business, where the competition can be both elite and cut-throat. You may exploit market opportunities, but it won’t be long before someone else gets into the same space. Every business leader is seeking ways to gain an edge. Focusing on writing is no more a guarantee of success than focusing on any single area or skill. There are no magic tricks; you have to find the time and effort to improve in every aspect you can think of, and outwork everyone else.
Embrace that ethos, and don’t overlook that simplest of tasks-writing. Express your thoughts with greater potency, and you’ll convince others to build a successful enterprise with you.