Many businesses today are moving towards a remote/online based platform. This shift in how business conducts its business comes with some new challenges to ensure customers remain informed, operations remain on schedule, and business runs smoothly. There are many advantages to running a remote or online based business- some of which are included in our quick tips within this post. In this post we will review some quick tips and tricks for running your online/remote business.
Tip 1: Maintain a website
One of the most important aspects that any remote or online based business needs is a website for people to visit and engage with you and your product. Websites in any business are important, and for online based businesses you need a website to run your business. Websites for remote businesses are more than a place to make a sale- they are places to share services, resources and of course offer a place for engagement with your product.
- Trick #1: You can hire someone to maintain the site or use a drag and drop builder to develop one yourself!
- Trick #2: Key aspects for basic website to include:
- Overview of the business/company
- A Blog
- Services overview
- Product pages (if applicable)
- Contact options
Tip 2: Be reachable
You’ve probably seen this more and more, but most websites now feature real time or “live” chat feature. This along with a clear contact us section that includes a phone number, email address, and even a contact us form for those who prefer not to send a direct email are basic necessities. Simply put- you need to be reachable and easily accessible. Most website drag and drop builders (such as Weebly, Wix, Squarespace) have these aspects within their framework and are easily implemented. It’s vital that if your business doesn’t operate on normal business hours, you give customers access to you in multiple ways.
- Trick #1: you can set up phone services through programs like google phone if you need a free business number that routes to another main or cell phone line of your choosing.
- Trick #2: Install a “live chat” function on your website so you can engage real time with clients and customers online. This is used more and more and trends indicate people prefer this over phone calls.
Tip 3: Utilize conference platforms
More and more companies are relying on remote conference based platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Join.me, Google Hangouts, and GoToMeeting. These services allow people to connect all across the globe, at various hours, and offer solutions for holding meetings outside the transitional in office setting. While each device does offer different elements, utilizing one or all of these platforms are a great way to hold a conference, meet with a board, or even offer a live training or business transaction remotely.
Doubtful about the need for conference platforms? Check out these numbers according to Lifesize:
- 89% of remote employees say video calling helps them feel more connected to their colleagues.
- 76% percent of people use video collaboration to work remotely and, of those, 75% experience increased productivity and an improved work-life balance.
- 89% agree that video calling reduces time to complete projects or tasks.
- 90% say video makes it easier to get their point across.
- 98% state that video calls help with relationship building both inside and outside the company.
- Trick #1: Understand what each remote service offers your business:
- Zoom: As a meeting host, it’s very easy to start a meeting. You set up a new room and then you send the meeting link to someone and they follow it. The setup is simple and straightforward
- Join.me: You can invite other people into meetings without them having to download the program. You can hand over annotation tools, remote access, and other advanced features when you download the software
- Skype for business: Once you have a Skype account it is pretty simple to set the business function up. Your Skype ID is like a phone number and you just call someone’s Skype ID. For group calls, this does add an extra step of gathering everyone’s information and connecting on Skype and then adding them into the call individually. Great for direct messaging and video or phone conferencing
- GoToMeeting: This platform allows web links to join a meeting and also call in if the audio is not strong from the computer. Users need to have the software installed to participate in meetings. This to Some is one of the less reliable services out there
- Google Hangouts: If you have a Google account then hangouts is simple- simply use the existing platform to chat and connect with other fellow Google account users. You need to monitor the email contacts list though as that is where connections happen
Tip 4: Create a mobile team
Taking on a remote business solo may be tricky the more the business grows. If you are your business, this may not be as vital. With that being said, creating a mobile team can help carry the load. For instance you can set up a workflow to where one of your staff handles all the customer service requests and calls/emails route to them. They can handle all the needs from wherever they are and utilize the above tips to help share that outcome across the company. This divides the labor amongst more people and the customer does not have to think twice about where or who is answering their call. This can all be done while you are in one location and they are in possibly a completely different one.
- Trick #1: You can find great talent in platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, LinkedIn, and even Indeed.
- Trick #2: Hiring can be for either contract work or longer employment. There is no reason to hire for more than you need!
Tip 5: Be flexible
One thing about going completely remote is that flexibility is key. If you can’t “roll with the punches” it may be harder to navigate the various methods and approaches to moving to a more mobile and remote platform. The benefit of staying flexible allows you to be more creative with your time and with the process. Embrace the flexibility and see what doors can be opened.
While going towards a more remote/online focused business may not be for everyone, it is something that anyone can do. With so many resources out there, platforms to help execute functions, and services such as PKJ Consulting, the shift can happen. All in all enjoy the opportunities going remote provides and see what happens!