The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the business and work environment so much that it is anybody’s guess on what will happen when we fully come out of it. If your business cannot work remotely, you need to take steps to make sure it can!
During the last several months in lock down or partial lock down, business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs have been forced to work remotely from home or shut down their operations entirely. Even schools across the globe were shut down with some lessons conducted online for a short period for graduating classes.
Many in the business world saw the writing on the wall; Work remotely or lose your business!
For some larger businesses, working remotely came easy and with benefits like lower operating costs and most importantly allowing business processes to proceed during the pandemic. Facebook and Google reported that they would let employees work remotely until the end of the year. Twitter upped that by saying some of their employees can work from home forever if they so choose!
So, how do you, as a small business, keep your business moving along and also forward to work remotely? How can you still serve your customers?
Here are 3 tips to help your business work remotely.
Move Business Processes into the Cloud,
Use Software as a Service (SaaS) to your advantage instead of the old locally installed software systems and CRMs that require a server and other hardware in your office. Move most if not all, client management and business documentation processes and bookkeeping to the cloud. Cloud based systems for project management, managing marketing, sales and other crucial data will allow your team to get to work no matter where they are located and there is no printing and shuffling of papers involved.
Ordering, billing and invoicing can all be easily managed in the cloud with order confirmation and payment links available to send to vendors and customers. Payments can be made and received online using direct deposits, credit and debit cards. Use online payments and services to your advantage.
Most business contracts can be handled online. Digitally signed documents and PDFs can cut down on printing, and paper filing. For businesses that must rely on paper contracts and wet ink signatures like legal documents, there are always courier companies that pick up and deliver documents within hours or next day. You get your documents ready and simply book a courier online. That’s all there is to it.
For Day to Day Remote Communication, Get Online!
Working remotely seems to make it difficult for day to day communications that happen in the traditional brick and mortar office setting. You need questions answered and you look over your cubicle and ask your co-worker. You could just have easily done it with chat software like Skype, WhatsApp, or Messenger if you are working remotely. A few taps and you got an answer. Also, it’s still available for you if you need to refer back to it at a later date.
You may have not realized it yet, but Video Calls and Online Group Meetings from Google, Skype, Zoom etc… all make it real simple to communicate with others. Even team meetings can be done easily. Best of all, you can record meetings (into the cloud), transcribed and ready for use as and when needed. Communications can also be archived so that there are records for compliance purposes. That’s the beauty of online communication – you can always get an archive easily to refer back to what was communicated.
A great strategy is to schedule regular “huddles” or group meetings so that employees or team members still feel connected and have a special time set aside for tasks that require real time collaboration.
Move Brick and Mortar to Online Retailing.
For brick and mortar retailers, or small stores, they have had to start selling online or are taking phone orders and doing deliveries because of lock downs during the pandemic. In fact, you could easily Grow Your Business By Moving Your Brick-and-Mortar Retail Business Online.
First thing you need to do is to leverage a professional order fulfillment partner, also called a 3PL company. They receive your inventory, store and manage it for you in their warehouse, and fulfill your orders as you make sales. When you make a sale online, they do all the work and pick pack and ship out your products. Same day shipping is also possible if received before the daily cut off time. Having your order fulfillment done by a professional order fulfillment partner allows you to leverage economies of scale, get discounted shipping rates, and cheaper shipping supplies. You save and still get business done!
Inventory management becomes much easier as your inventory sits in your fulfillment partner’s warehouse. They have the experience and technology to store and handle your products in a safe and secure environment. Comprehensive inventory management online reporting tools allow you to check up on your inventory data 24-7.
Related: What is eCommerce Order Fulfillment?
Covid-19 has taught us many lessons that we should not forget. Working remotely is one of them. Working remotely not only cuts costs, it also enhances productivity and efficiency. It has made many small businesses more efficient and they have saved on overhead costs in the short term and are looking forward to a more profitable long term.
Elite OPS has been a leader in Shipping and Logistics for over 20 years. Contact Us to find out how we can help you Save Time and Money on Procurement as a Service, eCommerce Order Fulfillment, and Kitting and Assembly.
Call 855-553-5490 or Click Here to Request a Quote!