How to make your business remote ready

How to make your business remote ready

Is your business remote ready? 

All over the world, we’re being told to lock down, and STAY HOME. We truly are living in unprecedented times. As a result, businesses big and small worldwide are being forced to quickly adapt to shifting operations online. 

Now we all know its easier said than done. It’s a large effort that must include cooperation, communication and teamwork for everyone in your business. The challenge is, for the most part, businesses have never experienced anything like this before. These businesses have to quickly pivot and shift their operations remotely.

These business teams, all working remotely for the first time, can be faced with a lot of unforeseen challenges.

Our company, Sidi.io, knows a lot about these challenges. Our business operations became remote over a year and a half ago. There are a lot of nuisances that come with working remotely. 

Virtual Meetings

The most important thing you need (speaking from experience) is to really dial in your technology. A lot of businesses are quickly searching for conferencing solutions that support their operations. Popular options are Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype

Here at Sidi.io, our personal favourite conferencing tool is Zoom. 

Now it may seem a bit overwhelming coming into this cold, and we fully understand that. It takes a little bit of practice to get used to virtual meetings. Especially if you’ve never done your team meetings, client meetings, or otherwise online. 

Zoom can support up to 100 participants on the default plan, and on the free version it can support 3 for up to 45 min (unlimited for 2 people.) If you’re a larger company, you can host large meetings with up to 500 people! Not only can this platform serve as a great meeting room, but it’s perfect for webinars too. 

If you’re looking to do some lead generation during quarantine, it’s the perfect time to host webinars. Offer your customers and potential customers real value at this time. A lot of professionals are taking time to train and “level up” while they have free time. 

For example, let’s say you’re a software company that helps restaurants manage their loss prevention. You can host these live webinars and do free training sessions on how to maximize productivity and loss prevention. You could hold these free webinars and give restaurant owners your industry-leading expert advice on the subject matter. 

While you are giving them free value, it’s a good idea to mention how your business could help them. Give a short elevator pitch at the end that gives them a free trial, or discount of signing up for your service from the webinar. 

Tips On Messaging 

Communication has never been more important, and easy for today’s business owners. Thanks to advancements in technology, we’re able to keep the business running even when the building is closed through online stores and digital communication.

Now you may be thinking that you already have email and Facebook and what else your team may need to do to stay in touch. Although email and Facebook messages are convenient, they are also not the ideal solution for business messaging internally. Not to mention your poor email inbox can really use a break. 

Everyone has done it before. You work away and receive a message from Facebook,  you hear a “DING” or feel a “BUZZ” and lose your train of thought! You were so close to finishing an idea, or closing out that last paragraph. 

If you don’t lose your train of thought, we’re sure you got distracted. You respond to this DM on Facebook, then start seeing pictures of your friends or family enjoying themselves. Soon enough its been 30 minutes of lost productivity! If this is you, can you imagine how your employees are holding up? 

Avoid these distracting messaging apps, and look for something that is made for business. We highly recommend Slack as an option. Our team has been using it exclusively for over 1.5 years and can confidently say it has helped out communication immensely.

You can set up your Slack channel and invite all your employees. Not only that but you could set up various other channels for all the different parts of your team. For example, you could lump all of your digital marketing employees in one group, while your engineers are in another. 

Project Management

Looking to ensure everyone is focusing on the correct tasks? We highly recommend you use a project management tool like Asana or Monday.com. Our team has been using Asana for a year and a half now and find it extremely helpful.

You can assign tasks to all your team members individually, and for certain teams/departments. This way everyone knows what they are working on and when the most pressing tasks are due.

Asana allows you to get even more detailed for tasks you create as it lets you input how long the task is supposed to take and when the due date is. You can even assign your managers the ability to review your tasks by labelling them when they’re complete. See the image to the left for context.

You can even add crucial files to tasks so everyone is aligned. This way there is no asking around for lost files. Everything is on one platform!

Another great feature is the ability to organize tasks by “project”. Think of “projects” as channels to organize your team. You can have a “project” for each client you may have, or have a “project” for each department you have in your company. Set a “project” for your marketing department, your sales department, accounting, sales, etc.

Now we’ve only really scratched the surface of this great tool. To learn more be sure to check out their website to see what features benefit your unique business the most.

Ecommerce

People are simply avoiding, or being forced to limit their physical shopping to only essential businesses. This doesn’t mean non-essential businesses are forced to stop operating though. As a result of the pandemic, businesses essential (and non-essential) around the world are quickly adopting E-commerce. 

If your business sold physical goods such as trinkets, collectibles, or things like board games. The first thing you must do is ensure your online store is sales-ready. Sites like Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, Weebly, Wix or even your own custom site are all fantastic options. 

Is what you sell a higher ticket item such as fine jewellery? Are you a home designer or builder? We would highly recommend you open up a virtual store and provide people with virtual appointments/consultations.

Using an appointment scheduling system like Calendly would allow your customers to book an appointment anytime that works for them, and for you. 

Wondering how you could do virtual appointments? Using a tool like Zoom, Facetime. or Google Hangouts are great ways you can get that crucial face to face time with customers. 

If you provide a service such as an exercise class or offer sightseeing tours you could host webinars and do virtually classes/tours. Zoom offers webinar capabilities and you can fit up to 100 people on your webinar. You could fit your full tour bus or your whole spin class in one! 

Does your business rely on donations? You could use payment apps like Venmo, PayPal, and integrate a donation button right in your live streams/webinars. 

Can these tools integrate

Perhaps the most important, and most valuable part of all these tools is the ability to integrate them together. Slack, Asana, your email account, Zoom and more can all integrate together for the most part. Some apps even offer the ability to create integration like Zapier. A real-life example could be, if you just held your webinar. The Zoom integration with Pardot by Salesforce allows you to automatically follow up with attendees. 

Here are some great integrations for your reference:

  • Zoom and Slack integration mean for easy virtual meetings too. All you have to do after setup is type “/zoom” command into the message field of any conversation and send the message. Everyone in that channel or DM will see a prompt to join your Zoom meeting. 
  • You can even integrate your Google Drive, Dropbox, with your Slack and Zoom accounts for easy sharing of documents.  Another great integration is the ability to easily create and share tasks thanks to Zoom and Slack integration with Asana. 
  • Looking to add a little fun to Slack channels? You can even integrate Giphy, which is a great site for sharing gifs with your team! 
  • Easily streamline your tasks with Slack and Zoom integration with Asana. Quickly get updates on tasks, 

If you’re looking for help on how to set these tools up, please feel free to reach out to our team. We’re more than happy to assist you in becoming #remoteready.

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