The coronavirus has caused many businesses to rethink their day to day operations. In order to maintain a semblance of normality and continued productivity, companies across the globe are being forced to redefine a new normal.
Now is the time to rethink your business model for the foreseeable future by fast-tracking a digital transformation. Companies able to use technology during a pandemic can continue business and get ahead of the competition.
For businesses that haven’t had to put a full-time remote work plan in place, this transition can be difficult. These digital tools will help your business continue operations effectively during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ramp up Communication with Remote Conferencing Services
Companies are currently rolling out emergency work from home protocols making the home office the new normal for many of us for a while. Maintaining solid communication with your team of coworkers is imperative to continue productivity during this time of social distancing.
Fattmerchant has implemented remote conferencing policies requiring employees to maintain a video feed with their department during business hours to strengthen communication and teamwork during remote operations.
Video Conferencing Tools:
Zoom is a remote conferencing services company that provides a remote conferencing service combining video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. FREE sign-up for unlimited one-on-one meetings and 40min video conferences for groups of up to 10 people.
Uberconference is a cloud-based conferencing system. The visual audio conferencing system allows callers to see the avatar of the other participants on the mobile browsers or on the desktops. The video call software for web conferencing and online meetings is simple, visual, easy to use, and has advanced features. For a limited time, their free sign up option includes extended call times for up to 50 participants.
Connect your employees to your business goals, values and each other during the coronavirus pandemic with Workplace from Facebook. Businesses work better when everyone is on the same page. The smart familiar features all you to build a shared culture across your whole organization. Hold quick conversations in Workplace Chat, hold video calls in HD, or go deeper with conversations in Groups.
Business Chat Tools:
While emails may be effective for mass announcements addressing all employees, it’s not an optimal choice for real-time communications. Chat tools for businesses are critical during this time of remote productivity, many of which offer additional integrations to help your company run smoothly and effectively while off-site.
An instant messaging platform for business, Slack allows team members to communicate without the use of email or group SMS text. Public channels are open to everyone in the workspace while private channels can be created for smaller sub-groups or departments.
Slack is free for small teams for an unlimited amount of time.
With WhatsApp you can seamlessly sync your employee chats to your computer allowing you to share vital information on the device that is most convenient for your business. The free app allows you to connect with coworkers via the group chat option and share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people.
With Google Hangouts, you can host meetings anywhere as you work remotely during COVID-19. Google Hangouts allow conversations between two or more users and can be accessed online through Gmail or through mobile apps available for Android and iOS.
Digital Sharing and File Storage
Adding a centralized company drive to manage important documents and resources can prove helpful during off-site operations. Storing files on a digital drive provides an added layer of security for sensitive business information. It also provides flexibility and easy access to important documents and resources needed to complete day to day operations seamlessly.
Google Drive is a file storage and syncing service developed by Google. The digital drive allows businesses to store files on their servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files with other employees. While it’s free for personal use, Drive Enterprise only charges businesses for storage used by their employees. It also comes with business tools including Google Doc, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. It also works seamlessly with Microsoft Office.
Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software for personal or business use. With Dropbox Business you can easily share and organize your team’s content and transfer large files to clients without security or delivery issues. Dropbox integrates with the apps and tools you’re already using providing a seamless virtual work environment. You can try it free for 30 days.
Employees being quarantined at home with their families are finding themselves with unique challenges. Working remotely can cause a major strain on productivity due to excessive interruptions, lack of structure, and suddenly having to juggle work, life balance within the same space.
Productivity and time tracker apps can help your employees stay on task while working remotely. These tools also allow your company to manage project scope and communicate clear and concise updates to your customers.
The project management tool for remote teams includes message boards, to-dos, schedules, docs, file storage, real-time group chat, and automatic check-in questions. Basecamp offers a free limited option for freelancers, students and small personal projects that includes 3 project boards, and access for up to 20 team members. Basecamp for Business offers all the tools needed for your company with unlimited projects, unlimited users, and 500GB of storage space. Basecamp for Business offers a 30-day free trial. No credit card is required and you can cancel at any time.
Trello is a free visual tool for organizing your work from anywhere. The flexible features help you and your team to work effectively while working remotely. The web-based list-making application organizes your workflow using the apps your team already uses daily.
Monday.com is a work operating system that enables businesses to build custom workflow apps, run projects, and processes of everyday work in a code-free environment. The productivity platform powers teams to run processes, workflows, and projects in one digital workspace.
Jira is designed to track issues and manage projects. Primarily used by developers and teams to plan, track, and manage agile and software development projects. The product allows customization of workflow and effective collaboration for all kinds of use cases, from requirements and test case management to agile software development. JIRA offers a free plan for up to 10 users with plans starting at just $7 a month
Designed to help teams organize, track and manage their work, Asana helps you map out project plans and stay organized. The web/mobile application empowers collaboration and effectiveness providing your team with the necessary tools to manage remotely and get more work done. Asana offers a free basic plan for businesses just starting out with options to upgrade to premium or business full-service pages starting at $10.99 a month.
Accepting Virtual Payments and Managing Revenue
If your business is having to shift to a remote work environment during COVID-19 making the transition to a virtual payment system can help manage your company’s financial health. Accept payments without the need for physical transactions from an in-person credit card is important when trying to continue business as usual safely during the coronavirus.
Online payment options not only give your customers more ways to pay it offers additional convenience and a higher quality of service.
Quickbooks Online Pro Sync helps you save time and manage your business in just one platform. Automatically sync your customers, invoices, payments, and more. Once you enable the integration, your data syncs automatically throughout the day. You’re also able to work in either Omni or QuickBooks Online, whichever you prefer.
A virtual terminal makes digital invoicing easy. Send one-time invoices or set recurring invoice schedules to make sure you get paid when it matters most. The virtual terminal sends auto-reminders to your clients, helping you get paid even faster. Does your business take payment over the phone often? The virtual terminal makes it easy to directly key in payment and customer information all while allowing you to run payment without needing to send an invoice or worry about additional hardware.
Setting up your online store has never been easier. Create your e-commerce store and sell your products and services online. You have full control over the design of your shopping cart and checkout process—allowing you to keep your image and brand consistency for your customers. Your customer can complete their entire purchase process, from the shopping cart to checkout, all while never leaving your site and your brand.
As always we are here for you and will do whatever we can to help your business succeed during this time of uncertainty. Stay in the conversation by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and hear the latest in Fattmerchant news, products, and more.
Interested in finding out more about our online products and services to help your business thrive in a remote environment? Reach out to us today. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you see how we can best support your business.