Last month I discussed what systems would help your business, at the time of writing that I had no idea just how important systems would become within only a few weeks.
Due to the current situation with Covid-19, I have been made only too aware that many businesses are not prepared for working and running a business remotely. This month we were going to discuss how Automation can transform your current procedures. I now feel it necessary to dedicate this newsletter to talk you through some free online systems that can help you keep moving forward. These systems will mean that while you are working remotely you can keep in touch with your team and have a strong overview of your projects.
MY ONE PIECE OF ADVICE THIS MONTH IS TO USE FREE MEASURES TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS KEEPS GOING. WE CAN’T CONTROL WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE MOMENT BUT WE CAN ENSURE WE HAVE DONE EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MINIMISE DISRUPTION WHERE EVER POSSIBLE.
Video Conferencing and Virtual Meetings
A lot of businesses have dialled into video calls but have you ever personally run the meeting before?
This will allow you to still hold your weekly staff meetings or client meetings even while you work remotely.
This is so much easier than you think and if you use a platform like Zoom, the basic package is free. This will allow you to run a meeting with as many as 40 invitees for 40 minutes. If you go on to a paid package you can do longer meetings, however, if you are a G Suite business customer, you can also use Google Hangouts for free.
This will allow more invitees and also doesn’t have any time restrictions. At the moment Google has given all their G-Suite Customers access to all the features of their top plan to help in these difficult times.
Both these platforms work well, so give them a go.
My Tip: If you don’t have G-suite, start with Zoom. Should you feel that the free package is not enough for you, you can always look at changing.
Project Management Tools with Team access
How do you keep control of what you or you and your team are doing on a daily basis? If you don’t already use a Project Management Tool then this is definitely the time to implement one.
I personally love Clickup and use it every day. I have installed Clickup for clients and they seem to find it easy to use and once they do they don’t look back. Clickup is free and provides great features that allow you to prioritise your projects, assign tasks to your team, make checklists within projects and also attach documents by dragging and dropping.
Some other Popular project management tools that offer free packages are Asana, Toggl, Todoist and Trello. All of them offer different features so have a look and see what suits you best.
My Tip: Project Management Tools shouldn’t just be used for times like these, but as part of your procedure. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you can see your current projects all in one place. This helps with planning, delegating and helps you keep control in busy times.
Email Marketing Tools
We are experiencing some very uncertain times at present so ensure you keep in touch with your current clients. If you don’t feel it is appropriate to send email marketing to anyone at the moment, then send out other correspondance so your clients know you are still operating, and/or thinking about them. This can be newsletters, updates about your business, hints and tips… the list is endless.
If you don’t currently use an email marketing platform then sign up for Mailchimp. Mailchimp’s free version allows you to have up to 2000 contacts and should have enough features to keep you going.
In case you are concerned, Mailchimp also adds an unsubscribe section to all of your mailouts so you are covered legally too. When a customer unsubscribes, they will be automatically unsubscribed in your audience, ensuring you don’t send any further correspondence in error.
O.K let’s talk cloud storage. Long gone are the days of keeping documents on your desktop or in a file on your computer. You need to be able to access your documents from anywhere, and times like we are experiencing right now just prove the theory.
Not everyone understands how cloud storage works so I will try to explain it in really simple terms. Cloud providers have data centres all over the world. Data centres are large buildings with rows and rows of servers.
Data centres use cyber security to keep your information as safe as possible and this cyber security is more advanced than what you have on your own computer at home.
Luckily, when you choose your email provider it often comes with Cloud storage like OneDrive with Outlook and Google Drive with Gmail. This means that you can log in to your email on any Computer and still access your documents and files.
This is perfect for remote access and you can even file share with your team or clients as neccessary.
Depending on your situation this might all sound a little over whelming, and I totally get that some of you just aren’t comfortable with technology or setting things up yourself, but I’m here if you need help. I always offer a free 30 minute conference call and now is no exception. What a lot of people need in an emergency is a quick fix and the above options will definitely be able to help you until we can look at your system integration as a whole. I’m also confident that with a little bit of guidance you will easily be able to install these tools yourself and they will be of great benefit to your business.
Please see below for a list of all the tools and platforms I have mentioned in this newsletter, and remember there are far more options to chose from if you don’t think these are a good fit for your business.
Video Conferencing & Virtual Meetings
Project Management Tools
Email Marketing Tool