Business communication is distinct from personal communication as it has a different set of objectives. In order to understand the essentials of effective business communication, one has to have a fair idea of the world of business itself. In the following paragraphs, we shall be discussing various characteristics and features of business so that the needs of business communication become clear.
Any business has certain distinct characteristics. These set it apart from other activities such as personal affairs, religion and charity.
1. Profit Motive:
Any business is known by its commercial character, i.e., the profit motive. At the end of the day, every business looks at its net earning. It looks for a healthy bottom line, i.e., reasonable profits and generally not exorbitant profits.
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There may be times when it incurs losses and will have to live with such losses. While seeking profits is a necessary trait for any business, profiteering or seeking exorbitant profits from the customer is inimical to any business.
Customers are the essence of any business and when there are no customers, there is no business. Customers are the source of income and profit for any business. Business communication should, therefore, aim at keeping the customer base intact and ever-expanding.
2. Competitive in Nature:
Today’s business world is an intensely competitive one. Competition means that there are many players in the market offering identical products and services. As a result, customers have a substantial choice of products, services, markets and sellers.
In a competitive scenario, the producer or the service provider has to emphasize the quality, price, durability and such other features which the product or service provides in order to attract and retain customers.
This competitive situation is in contrast to the monopolistic situation where there is only one seller and hardly any choice. Business communication has to necessarily take cognizance of the nature of the market and evolve strategies appropriate to the competitive situation.
3. Sustainable Results:
Businesses operate, generally speaking, with a long-term objective. Barring some types of players and services that are short term in nature, most others are in business on a sustainable basis. Those players who are in business to make fast money and disappear are referred to as fly-by- night operators.
They are distinct from the majority of the players who wish to be in business today, tomorrow and the day after. Large business organizations tend to acquire a perennial character. Business communication, to be effective, should recognize the long-term sustainability of results.
4. Business Relationships:
Like any individual who has personal relationships, a business has its business relationships. These relationships are with customers, buyers, suppliers and others with whom the business has to interact on an ongoing basis.
It is these relationships which sustain the business in the long term. Every business strives to make such relationships not only profitable, but also mutually beneficial. An important objective of any business communication would be to establish, nurture and sustain such mutually beneficial long-term relationships.
5. Business Dynamics:
No business can afford to remain static in a fast-changing business environment. In order to sustain themselves, businesses will also have to be ever-changing and dynamic. They have to adopt and respond to changes. Better still, progressive businesses recognize the inevitability of change and make every effort to anticipate the changes in their business environment.
To that extent, they try to lead change and be proactive. For example, nowadays in most organizations, typewriters have been replaced by word processors and fax and e-mail are in use rather than the regular mail. Business communication should move in tandem with such changes.