Business/Advice // Communication 4LMag July 1, 2014 Business Communication: A Key Element to Success by Jeran Fraser I love ideas, niches and the occasional pitch deck. I enjoy tenacious people who contact me to review an idea or to simply brainstorm. But I have a pet peeve and that is I can’t stand poor communication. There are several components to a successful entrepreneur, but you may want to start by learning that your idea is only as good as your ability to execute. Poor communication is planned failure, that’s a fact. When you send someone an email looking for assistance or to review an idea as a potential investor and you happen to get a reply back, do yourself a favor and either email back in 24 hours or don’t bother emailing back at all. If you left school with any sort of entitlement issues, leave those behind because it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and if you can’t solve the first part of the entrepreneurial equation, which is simple communication, it’s time to start rethinking your resume. Some people think that’s harsh, but as a person who enjoys helping others, it’s frustrating to see how many entrepreneurs simply lack an ability to communicate. There are troves of successful business people who enjoy helping other entrepreneurs, but in the same breath you only get one shot at making a first impression. So next time you lay out your strategy of communicating with potential investors—or if you’re simply looking for someone to give you feedback—make sure you understand their time is just as valuable as yours. They’re not waiting for you to contact them and like most other entrepreneurs they are probably spread just as thin as you are. Make an effort to learn how to email back in a timely manner. If someone offers you time in their calendar, take advantage immediately. And if for some reason you think your time is more valuable than the person on the other side of the computer, it may be time for a reality check. If you’re making calls and happen to get a reply on your voicemail, don’t play hard to get. In the game of life, you’ll find plenty of people looking to help you, but that number diminishes quickly when you lose focus of the goal. Communication is a great way to solve problems but also build relationships. I surround myself with those who work efficiently and communicate promptly, and it’s important that you understand the short term and long term value of communication and how it impacts your business. The term “fail fast” is often used in the realm of start-ups and if that’s something you want to do, poor communication would be a great start. Don’t be complacent when you are trying to take your idea to the next level. Go get it!