You guessed it, it’s the topic of the week (and month), as many businesses go into lockdown or even complete shutdown. We know that most companies are sharing their stance on COVID-19, so we won’t be adding to the clutter. Instead, we’d like to share some uplifting information and a few ways we have managed to run our remote business successfully, as well as shine a light on what opportunities this could mean for businesses.Now, more than ever before, it's important that we support each other and share information that can help businesses stay afloat. During times of crisis, a strong community is what can see us through. It’s the very reason Italians are singing together from their balconies and South Africans are elbow greeting each other with a smile.
This is new territory for many, and it’s time for businesses to adjust, and take it as an opportunity to learn and adapt. The most successful businesses, after all, are those that can embrace change and adapt in the face of adversity.
The good news? We live in a time where technology allows us to be flexible and ready for whatever change comes our way. It’s what’s helped up build our successful remote business in the first place. We’re more than excited to share what we know, and see how moving online is going to impact so many businesses for the better. Perhaps this crisis will even propel previously change-resistant companies into the future of digital.
Plus, buyers are spending more time online than ever before, doing research, reading content, checking social media channels. If businesses aren't online, now is the time to meet your customers where they are or else your business will fall behind.
For us, it’s a time to lead our clients into an area that we know like the back of our hands – to inspire, motivate and make this transition with ease.
So what do you say? Are you ready to embrace this change with us?
A shift in business operations
Even though working operations might look a little different now, the show must go on, and companies simply can’t afford to take a rest. Now that many businesses are choosing to move online from working in offices, it can be daunting on where to start. As a digital, remote company who practice social distancing most of the time, we’ve tried and tested it all. Here are a few of the best, most successful platforms that we can recommend when moving teams and businesses online.
Use Zoom for meetings with staff and clients, online events, streaming, or webcasting solutions to ensure that the show goes on, without requiring physical presence. Think annual meetings, quarterly meetings, sales conferences and anything in between.
Encourage and keep your company culture alive with a platform that team members can engage and have fun with while giving feedback and recognition to their peers. Managers can even receive insights about the team’s culture on a dashboard.
Worried about your company’s departments being scattered? HubSpot is a marketing platform that can easily integrate sales, marketing and service departments, helping to connect your workforce. What’s more, is that face to face interaction is going to decline and it’s going to be crucial for companies to have an online presence both internally, and externally to maintain relationships with their customers and reach out to potential customers. We’re a HubSpot Gold partner, so you can chat to us about setting it up, and we’ll guide you through how to use it all.
Healthy team dynamics thrive off of good and clear communication. We use Slack to send quick messages and create groups to keep everyone on the same page. Separate groups can be created for different departments, roles, clients or tasks.
Keep everyone in the loop with Asana’s online project management tool that can easily plan out workflows, projects and tasks that will allow your team to reach their deadlines accordingly.
Whilst these are a few great basic options to help facilitate businesses transition online, it may not work for all businesses and some may need alternative options to working online. This is where businesses who can’t or don’t know how to move their business online will struggle with upcoming challenges. But there are other options.
Times of crisis present the greatest opportunities
For companies and small businesses that can’t go online, there are positive options to look forward to. Perhaps you can start that one project you never had time for? Think about how you can focus on growing your business in this time of uncertainty and crisis. In fact, many companies are looking for new ways to get noticed, build brand awareness, interest and leads, as well as create new sales revenue and not lose existing customers.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like COVID-19 is going to go away anytime soon, and this will most likely be a new reality for us all. In our opinion, it’s important to act now and make the right business move in being an early adopter, instead of a late adopter that has to follow the crowd. The simple, and harsh truth is that if companies don’t adapt and embrace new ways of doing business, they’ll be left behind by companies that do make the necessary changes.
Of course, we’re here for all of our clients that need our guidance and support. Here are a few ways you can think about using this time as an opportunity.
Engage with and find an audience online
Don't let this crisis stop you from sharing messages that matter with your audience. As face-to-face interaction dies down, it's going to be crucial for companies to have an online presence and continue with digital marketing to be able to maintain relationships with their customers and prospects.
Outside sales reps moving inside
It’s likely that clients are going to decline physical meetings if they haven’t already begun to do so. Using a CRM system or tools to help make sales easier to track is one of the best ways to support this transition. With HubSpot’s sales system, we can help make the outside to inside sales transition smooth, with both training and set up.
Considering your current marketing budget is a wise decision indeed, but perhaps changing and repurposing it to adapt is the smartest move yet. Previously booked events and foot traffic will not cause the same amount of leads as it used to, and marketing teams will now have more time on their hands. Luckily, we know a thing or two about online lead generation.
As challenging as the current state of affairs is, self-isolation presents a lot of time to work on things like content strategies, workflows and conversion paths. Not to mention, the big opportunity; the likelihood of target audiences seeing your messages is now much higher than it was before, seeing as they are spending more of their time online. No need to cut budgets – this is a crucial time to readjust it elsewhere.
Use online training as revenue
Many companies that require foot traffic or services may be suffering from a loss of revenue. It goes without saying that the need for an online presence is going to be paramount, and companies will need to think about creating other sources of income, especially online. If a company has a unique market and set of skills, why not set up online training as an additional source of income? Teach others skills and get paid to do it.
Service customers better
Take this time to reevaluate products and services and make improvements that customers have previously suggested, but there may not ever have been time to do. As more customers spend time on the internet and at home, they’ll be scrutinising customer service more than ever before. Use HubSpot’s Service Hub to manage calls, tickets and customer support teams. With this service, companies can even be prepared to streamline an increase in customer volume.
Lean on us – we’re here to help through this challenging time
This is an extremely sensitive period for many, and we really are here to help. We have a few closing thoughts to consider.
Now is definitely the time to cut marketing campaigns that aren’t returning and analyse and increase the ones that are – all of which can be done on HubSpot. In using an all-in-one marketing platform allows you can track and manage all marketing activities in one place. Teams can work collaboratively on projects and work together to turn marketing into a revenue centre.
This is the time to create sustainable, long-term marketing decisions around lead generation and build trust with audiences in an uncertain period of crisis and panic. We’re sure you know that people only buy from brands they trust, right?
Today’s marketing is tomorrow’s sales. And neglecting marketing strategies is only prolonging the effects of the current situation, if not worsening it. If there is an area of moving online that you would like help or guidance with, get in touch with us. Or for more interesting content on inbound marketing, and marketing challenges, head over to our blog.
We’re sending lots of positive and healthy wishes to all and we’re here to ride out this storm together.