Small Businesses Are Adapting to Virtual Life:
Adapting to virtual life is cool in a way.
On the other hand, many unexpected challenges can arise, turning a simple office task into something that freezes and burns, temporarily throwing your computer out the window.
We all have both experiences, and while snacks don’t always solve our problems, they do a great job of making us feel better, if only temporarily.
As businesses adapt to virtual life, we are beginning to see patterns in small businesses navigating these uncharted waters.
Here are 6 ways small businesses are adapting to virtual life.
#1: They communicate their policies remotely to work
As with marketing, we can never assume that people only know what we want. If you don’t make your call-to-action clear in the text, your conversion rates will drop. And the same thing can happen if you switch to a remote team.
Show your employees what is expected of them and what they can expect from the entire administration by quickly filling out a document with your telecommuting policy. We’re certainly not saying that you should force employees to keep track of time and watch their every move – because that’s a telecommuting policy. A remote policy is similar to office guidelines, but for a work-from-home environment. Show them what you need from them to take the company to its original goals and what they can expect from you in return.
#2: They’re trying to figure out how to keep their team informed
Without lunch or water conversations, employees don’t come ‘in’ as easily as the office. Create a way to keep employees informed about new tools in use (e.g. Zoom vs. Google Hangouts), updated strategies, current project status, etc. Keeping the train moving is essential.
You can create a team update as a Slack channel with all team members or as a Friday newsletter sent to everyone. At DigitalMarketer, we have an internal email newsletter that Ryan Deiss writes weekly, and we even have our own weekly general meeting. It helps to keep all teams ‘in the loop’ about what’s going on – and it’s more important than ever.
#3: It’s a positive experience
While it is an extremely challenging time personally and professionally, working under a dark cloud is not ideal for anyone. Employees currently dealing with intensely personal experiences can understandably be excluded from this tip, but for those who can continue to work, you’ll want to do what you can to promote their overall well-being.
For example, for each Zoom event, create a theme that eases the pressure to quickly adapt to virtual life. The theme could be to bring a certain object into the conversation (e.g. sunglasses, a funny hat, or a plant) or to throw a favorite snack in the background.
While none of this is particularly productive – and we get it – it’s not the point. The goal is to give your team some relief in the midst of so much global chaos.
# 4: Take the time to update your strategies and goals as new news arrives
It seems like the news cycle is one day and our business objectives are the same. A month ago, our business goals were very different from today. As we adapt to the work of the home, we also adapt to updated strategies and goals.
Small businesses adapt to virtual life by creating a virtual space to update strategies as needed. Zoom meetings with managers, mid-level managers, and executives are currently very important to let everyone know which goals are still realistic and which ones to postpone.
# 5: They stay open to (regularly) try new things
If you are a business that has adapted to virtual life without any problems, are you invincible? This basically means you have to add a lot of new tools to our current toolbox. Some of these tools are very easy to integrate into our current workflows, and others are … a little more challenging.
The key to achieving your business goals while adapting to telecommuting is to be as flexible as possible in terms of the tools you add to your workflow. Adding new tools is essential, but you should also realize that one tool does not help as you would like, and switch to another tool as soon as possible.
# 6: They create new offerings, content, and products that meet their customers’ needs and also fit into virtual life
Part of adapting to the work of home is adapting to what you do. The offers you discussed in your email campaign may not be as relevant today as they were yesterday.
To adapt to an ever-changing environment, businesses leverage their teams, goals, offerings, content, and products. For example, Digital Marketer opened our Lab membership for free in March. We eventually received more than 60,000 new laboratory work. We were able to transition to an offering that caters to our community, and we look forward to training new marketers around the world without worrying about paying on time.
Working from home can be a big step for small businesses. While no one really knows what they are doing right now, companies can immerse themselves in the unknown and maintain a consistent mindset.