How to Run Your Small Business Virtually Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic inches closer to summer, more and more small business owners are beginning to realize the importance of learning how to run their businesses virtually. Even when the pandemic ends, the entire industry will shift – and business owners will eventually have to consider how they can safeproof their business for the next disaster. This is the perfect time to learn how to run your business remotely. Here’s how:
1. Review how your small business runs
You must already have a good grasp of how your business functions normally so you can transfer that knowledge to the virtual space. What problems occur when meeting with employees face-to-face? How do your employees prefer to communicate with you? What is being done in person that can be replaced by a program? Do your employees actually use social media? Note all of these down so you can find a permanent, creative, and virtual solution to managing these problems.
2. Set up communication vehicles with your employees
There are already two communication vehicles that most businesses use to with their employees: phone and email. But sometimes, these two aren’t the best solutions when working on collaborative projects. Here are a few communication vehicles to consider:
Video Chat: This is our favorite form of virtual communication. Video chat allows us to personally connect with each other through voice, tone, and body language. Plus, most platforms already have the option to share screens with other people. Consider using Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime to connect with employees. At My Pocket Partner, our virtual assistants have the expertise in setting up any of these platforms for you.
Messaging: Don’t need to set up a meeting but still want to reach out to your employees as quickly as possible? Some messaging applications even allow you to send files and create channels for different conversations. Some of the most popular platforms include Slack, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.
Facebook Groups: Think of Facebook Groups as the corner of the office where people meet for coffee to talk about anything. And your other employees will be able to hear the conversation as well. If you want to virtually make an announcement to the entire team, you can also make use of Facebook Groups.
3. Create a project management workflow and find collaborative applications
Creating a project management workflow is where your knowledge of how your business runs really lends itself. Some of the most popular platforms include Asana, Trello, and Monday.com.
The best way to choose from any of these platforms is to know how your employees work with each other. Some platforms provides more customization than others. Make it easier for your team by selecting one that doesn’t require your employees to change too much of their current workflow.
Begin transferring your physical files online through file hosting services like Google Drive or Dropbox. Many of these hosting sites allow you to share with other people in real time. Additionally, applications like Google Docs or Google Sheets allow multiple people to work on a project at the same time.
4. Connect with your audience
Some small businesses make the mistake of dropping their online presence when cutting costs. On the contrary, maintaining the relationship with your customers is one of the most important factors to increase and maintain brand awareness. Continue reaching out to your customers through social media, advertising, and outreach campaigns. Once the pandemic is over, you will be the first brand they think of when they need a product or service.
5. Brainstorm creative ways to sell to your customers that is in line with your branding
Adaption is the key. Are you a restaurant that has temporarily closed down? In addition to takeout, send ready-to-cook products or recipes to your customers. Are you a clothing shop? Send your customers designer masks to wear. Do you cut and style hair? Order some hair wefts, wigs, and extensions online then customize them. Sell and ship it out to your customers.
Your customers aren’t loyal just because of the products or services you provide. They’re loyal because of the standards of quality you’ve created for your business. They’re loyal because they believe in the messages behind your work. Let your customers know that you’re still thinking about them by adjusting to the circumstances of the situation, and provide products or services that can still be provided during these difficult times.
My Pocket Partner wants to make it easier for you by taking on your workload so you can get back to growing your business. If you have more questions on what we can help your business, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for customized solutions.