In these unprecedented times, it’s fair to say that small business owners are getting white knuckles with rumours, headlines and government policies…In light of recent government lock-downs, and the impact it will have on us all as business leaders, I’ve put together this article to shed some light on how I will be managing and operating my business remotely with remote software.
Due to the current circumstance, many business owners like myself have had their hand forced with self-isolation. For a business owner who is responsible for meeting clients, servicing customers and generally meeting people on a day to day basis, it’s a daunting time to be in business. But I also see this as a great opportunity to systemise my business, cut some fat, and become much more productive in my work.
For those who are in a similar position, here are some of the tools I intend to be using to help streamline my business and keep it running remotely. Luckily many of these tools only take 20-30 minutes to set up, so it’s not too late if you are preparing for a remote working environment.
Communicating: Slack & Zoom
During this time where you have team members in multiple different locations – clear communication is crucial. Our small team of 5, religiously relies on a simple software tool called Slack.
Slack is the communication engine room of Konnect – In layman’s terms. Slack is a messaging platform which allows you to chat 1-on-1 with team members but also in targeted group chats. For example, all of our projects have a dedicated chat, so we know all communication within that chat is specific to the one project. You can run slack off your phone or computer and it is a productive way to quickly chat and update team members. More importantly, we’ve been able to remove all our internal emailing which has made our team much more productive and also increased our customer support responses.
Any oldie but a goodie, Zoom, is our go to tool for calling and video tool with both internal team members and clients. The video tool is perfect for running remote meetings, team planning sessions or consultations. Zoom can be used as a phone call, video call and group chat. Super easy to set up; Zoom is a no brainer in times like these.
Scheduling: Google Calendar & Hubspot
Gone are the days of small businesses relying on a PA to manage their calendars in a written diary. Like many business owners out there, there is nothing more painstaking than trying to find an appointment time for two business people. This one tool alone has saved me hours of scheduling, follow-up and planning – We use a simple online scheduling tool which allows my clients and prospects to book a time directly into my calendar. Not only does it make it easy for me, it also makes it super easy for my clients.
For those sales orientated business people, you can also use the tool as a pre frame for your future chat. Include important pre-framing questions to gather information and further prepare yourself for your future catch up.
Project Management: Monday.com
Custom software development is the beating heart of our business and Monday.com is the project management tool which keeps everyone inline, accountable and on task. Monday.com is the perfect combination of task management, project management, accountability and team collaboration. In very simple terms Monday.com acts as a supercharged Excel spreadsheet. For those looking for extra levels of automation, Monday.com integrates with almost every large software tool and even Zapier. If you re struggling to get your team on the same wave level or can’t get them all on a Zoom call, than Monday.com is by far one of my most recommended management tools.
CRM & Customer Management: Hubspot CRM
If there has even been a time to start using a CRM then now is the time. If you are working remotely with multiple team members (Particularly sales team members) then a hub for all your contacts and actions is essential. Over the past 5 years I’ve used all sorts of CRMs including GoogleSheets, Zoho, Infusionsoft & Agile CRM. However, there are few really important features which have kept me on Hubspot. Firstly, it’s easy to use! You don’t need a 3 hour walk through to understand it and trust me I watched the Zoho guide about 4 times and still don’t get it…It easily integrates with your Email, Calendar, Project Management etc.
Finally and most importantly, all of your team members can quickly create their own account and you can simultaneously update content. In a remote working environment, this ensures you can remove double ups and keep accountability at it’s heights level.
So as you can see from our Software Stack, we are pretty well prepared for our self isolation. But even more exciting, we are excited to put our process and systems to the full test.
We’ve seen a huge spike in requests for business owners looking for ways to take their business remote and leverage the power of remote working. If that’s you, I would like to chat more!