Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Overcoming Obstacles to Business Communication among Small Scale Entrepreneurs in Eldoret Town, Kenya

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Overcoming Obstacles to Business Communication among Small Scale Entrepreneurs in Eldoret Town, Kenya

Article excerpt

Abstract

The communication strategies employed by the small scale businesses have not been studied in the past in Kenya, and therefore the study sought to give such entrepreneurs a voice to be heard in their daily operations of businesses in Eldoret town. This paper discusses the obstacles identified and their impact on the communication strategies employed by the small business enterprises and also recommends strategies of communication that would raise the entrepreneurs' competitive advantage. The study was conducted in Eldoret Municipality. It was a descriptive survey design. Stratified random sampling method was used to get 20 small business enterprises from which data was collected. Each small business comprised ten (10) persons, which made the total population to be two hundred persons. Observations, interviews, questionnaire, and also tape recorder and photographs were instruments used to collect data. Data analysis was in form of descriptive and inferential statistics. Chi-square method was used in discussing and interpreting the relationship in the data. The major obstacles to effective communication strategies included lack of awareness on the part of the traders, inadequate government policy on SBEs, inadequate funding, lack of Information Communication and Technology (ICT), education and training. The study showed that all organized and smooth running businesses put much effort in communication, be it verbal or non-verbal. It was recommended that the government through the Ministries of Trade and Industrialization as well as the Municipal Council and NGOs should organize seminars, workshops and exhibitions to support advancement of communication strategies for SBEs. This paper provides information useful to business holders on how to improve their business language for competitive advantage. It also contributes to the already existing pool of knowledge in small-scale business by acting as a benchmark for researchers in the field of communication.

Keywords: overcoming obstacles; business communication; small scale entrepreneurs.

INTRODUCTION

Communication is a central part of our lives. Verbal, non-verbal and/or written communication is essential to almost everything we do. Business people spend seventy-five percent (75%) of their working days communicating with the clients and twenty-five percent (25%) on their personal life (Krishna, 2003). Riches (1994) views communication as "communicating our thoughts, feelings and desires. We communicate whether and how much we know about a product or service. We communicate happiness, uncertainty, delight and confidence. What we say and how we say it is critical to our success."

Porter (2007) argues that Kenyan businesses invest more knowledge in order to improve global competitiveness in their products and services. Therefore, lack of effective communication has caused failure and problems in small business enterprises. Most businesswomen and men fail to choose words good enough for business nourishment. In that case their messages are not clearly conveyed. They fail to identify their customers' tastes and preferences when it comes to language use. Porter (ibid.) adds that Kenyans' challenge is neither capital nor labour, but the effectiveness in their products and services.

According to Schramm (1955), communication occurs when two corresponding systems couple together through one or more corresponding systems and assume same status as a result of a single transfer along the chain; thus we are trying to establish commonness. Riches (1994) holds that communication is an everyday experience which everybody claims to know something about. Communication is an everyday activity or experience and it affects all spheres of life; for example, business cannot take place without communication. Business organizations cannot exist without it and most of them complain about unsatisfactory communication.

Business communication is a process of social interaction. …

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