If you’re running a small business, you’re probably too busy to even be reading this post (hopefully we caught you on a tea break). Being too busy is bad for business. The number one reason new companies fail is that their owners spend too much time on daily tasks. And that means they don’t spend enough time on steering their ship in the right direction.
Still don’t think you can getaway? For all the reasons that could be holding you back, here are a few ideas on how to work productively from home during the coronavirus pandemic and more about ways automation can help give you the peace of mind to find time for a nice (well deserved) mindfulness session.
Explore our session on Organising Your Work And Ideas How to Stay Safe and Sane at Home.
Organising Your Work
Manage Staff productivity through Cloud based automation softwareIn this really difficult time for the business where staff count may be lower than usual which can get difficult for a business owner but this doesn’t mean work can’t get done. With automation software like Smarty it allows you to still designate tasks to your employees, whilst keeping account of their productivity by setting KPI’s. So, whether it’s a snow storm or pandemic, and your colleagues can’t work, staff can still be updated on what needs doing by a Smart automation tool. Smarty software makes everyone connected via one comprehensive software. Ideally, there should never be a day off (we’re totally joking).
With tools like video conferencing, build in calls in CRM and project management tools you should be well prepared to manage your team and serve your customers directly from the comfort of your home.
We recommend checking out Smarty CRM, set up your free account.
Create a Business Continuity PlanBusiness continuity planning is a proactive process by which a business creates a plan to address a crisis. Perhaps in the wake of the COVID-19 your business suffered and now it’s a time to create an action plan to address a key elements including any outgoings and incoming revenue you can relay on. A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) analyses the main operations of an organization, the major resources it uses, how its operations relate to one another — a.k.a. when one function goes down, how does it affect other operations — and how long each function generally takes to complete.
A BIA is a key part of the final business continuity plan. This is where you weigh costs against benefits to get a greater understanding of which functions should be prioritized.
Moving forward, you'll know where it's most important to allocate your resources when faced with a crisis. Your plan should include?
- The purpose, objectives, budget, and timeline of the plan
- The members of the business continuity team and their roles
- All of the important stakeholders that are involved in the business continuity plan
- The Business Impact Analysis
- Proactive strategies that will be put into place to prevent crises
- Reactive strategies that will immediately respond to crises
- Long-term recovery efforts
- Training and testing schedules for proactive preparation
Check government website discussing available help and support to the businesses, click here.
Stay connected with customers by sending out timely newslettersAll because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean your customers shouldn’t hear from you. Instead implementing automation software will make sure all your emails and newsletters get to the right clients at the right time. To start, you can integrate your email lists with your CRM database. This helps you segment your clients based on what product or service of yours interests them most. Then, you can create emails specifically for them. Once you have all this done, you can set the time and date of when you would like the emails to be sent out.
True, automation cannot generate new leads for you out of thin air, but with the correct set up, it can help! The first step would be to create a couple landing pages, each targeting specific areas of interest for customers. With a system like Smarty, creating these pages is super simple. There are two key aspects these pages must have to generate leads for you. The first is compelling content, aimed specifically at your target customers and the second is a lead-capture form. This lead-capture form is what they can fill out to get more information from you and then, all the information they fill out is stored back in your CRM database (nice, right?).
Ok…but software cannot generate new leads for you and you need to keep up with that!
Once you have set all this up, the next step is to promote those landing page links. You can do this in a myriad of ways. One simple way could be to add the link into your email newsletters or into your drip campaign. Another way would be to promote it on your social media accounts. With a system like Hootsuite, you can schedule everything from content down to the date and time that you want to send a tweet or post.
Software worth getting:CRM (Customer Relationship Management): Having strong customer relations is the basis for every company. You need customers to support yourself and to grow as a business, which is why using a CRM system can be very helpful in strengthening your relationship and company image with your customers.
Email Software: One main way to keep customers and leads up-to-date with events, sales, promotions and everything else going on within your company is through emails. However, sending out personalised, detailed emails can be a huge hassle, which is where automation software comes into play. With email marketing systems you are able to schedule and plan out your email campaigns to send when you want and to who you want.
Invoicing and Finance: Sending out invoices and creating financial reports can be very tedious as well as confusing, luckily there are many business systems to help automate and alleviate some of these tasks. Automation software is now able to help send recurring invoices to standing customers, automatically send out payment reminders and more to make managing your business simple(r).
Social Media Support: In today’s society using social media platforms is key to reaching new customers and maintain your brands image. Most platforms are free to use, like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. but each platform has immense potential to reach a wide range of audience that you might have not otherwise reached.
Business Reports: Being able to track and review your company’s performance is crucial to seeing your company grow. Without assessing your weaknesses and evaluating your strengths, you will never know how to improve or continue to capitalise on your strengths.
Calendar Tools: Being able to maintain and keep up with your busy calendar as an entrepreneur or small business owner is imperative. You never want to miss an appointment, meeting, or deadline. However, remembering all of these dates and times is very difficult, which is where having an online calendar can save lives (or in this case appointments and reputations).
Document Storage Software: When you’re on the go and need to have access to all your documents, it is nice to have them all stored in one central location. Today there are many different cloud storage systems that let you do just this, so you and your team can have access to your documents on any device and anywhere.
Infographic Creator: Infographics have become a new trend for creating and sharing content to audiences. Infographics are a mixture of content and visuals such as charts, graphs, and pictures, which work together to deliver new content to customers
The options are endless for entrepreneurs and small business owners, like yourself, to increase productivity while decreasing your own workload. While it is nice that many of these systems work and integrate with each other, make sure to keep an eye out for systems, like Smarty, that have many features rolled into one package.
I say this because as your business expands, you may find yourself needing to upgrade from some of these free versions, and having an all-in-one system will be a sure-fire way to keep costs down. So get started today and take advantage of some of these systems and tools available to you and you’ll soon be on the track to growing your business (and maybe taking over the economy?).
Stay Safe and Sane at HomeDuring this time you might find yourself busier with work than usual. Perhaps if you have some spare time, it might worth taking a step back and try to inspire or reinvent yourself. This might be a time to explore a new hobby or simply time to catch up on the latest innovations.
There is a number of fantastic paid and free courses to choose from.
- MoMA is offering free online art courses you can take from home. Available on Coursea.
- Yale’s super-popular happiness class is available online for free. Available on Coursea.
- If you fancy learning about business and leadership from the best in the world like Anna Wintour, Annie Leibovitz to Howard Schultz, we recommend Masterclass. Masterclass also includes a good selection of lectures on anything from writing to acting. Go ahead and let yourself learn!
- Always wanted to make a fresh past, go to Instagram and watch Italian grandma teaching the industry secrets, check it here.
- Want to work out in your living room? We have heard that Gym Box is doing so great Insta and Facebook live sessions.
- Mind has issued tailored support for mental health in the wake of COVID-19, which includes tips for taking care of your mental health if you have been asked to stay and work at home.
- The Government also has online advice to help support people with specific mental health needs on the gov.uk website
- Heads Together Workplace Wellbeing hub
- Samaritans. Whatever you’re going through, you can call the Samaritans for free at any time, from any phone on 116 123. They are available to offer support 24/7.
If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call on the phone, otherwise, you can email them, visit a local branch or write to them. Click here for more contact information.