13 Apr Ultimate Guide: Tools to Make Your Business More Virtual
Now more than ever it is important that your business has the capabilities to go virtual. Rather than cease all productivity, you and your team can adapt, and your services can be adapted, to serve your clients & customers. To help you make this adjustment we have compiled a list of low-cost, effective tools to make your small business more virtual.
Making your business more virtual starts with how you get work done. For many, company meetings are necessary to keep everyone informed and on track.
A reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars, Zoom is easy to use software for mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems. Zoom will allow you and your team to safely work and attend meetings all from the comfort of their own homes. The Pro or Business versions ($15-$20/month respectively) will best serve most businesses with no limits on meeting time.
Google’s free video and voice calls for up to 25 people. You need a Google account to start a call but anyone can join the chat.
Additionally, through July 2020, Google Hangouts is offering a free, premium version of its workplace video chat tool, to help businesses and schools working remotely due to coronavirus. These features include having up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.
Hosting Online Events
Virtual events are a great way to engage your audience and connect people from around the world. Depending on how public or private you want your event to be, there are options to fit your business’ needs.
Connect with viewers through a number of mobile devices, whether or not they have a Facebook account, in real-time. Facebook Live lets you notify and broadcast live to your followers or a specific audience, and encourages virtual interaction for optimal engagement.
Move your next event, summit, sales kick-off, analyst event, roadshow, training, or user group to an online event with Zoom. Joining an online event is as easy as one click, and a number of live event support services are available, including planning sessions and event rehearsals. Zoom also offers the ability to encourage attendee engagement, via Q&A’s, polls, post-event surveys and reactions.
Crowdcast is a platform for creators looking to build trust and make personal connections via a virtual room. Encourage interaction through a Q&A, chatrooms, and polls, which assist in prompting authentic conversations and engagement. Crowdcast delivers an easy route in which to multi-stream and grow a community through large scale virtual events.
You want to be certain tasks you delegate are being completed and project management software can help. And it’s easy to lose track when your team is emailing you questions and follow-up. Remote team or not, these tools are a great way to organize all your company to-do’s. Ultimate, it comes down to the user interface you prefer.
Keep your team on task with Asana, a work tracking product that empowers project management and organization. Asana allows your team to map out projects to the smallest details, set deadlines and track hours, all in a collaborative space. Over time, use automation features to streamline repetitive tasks and processes for increased efficiency. Asana is the tool our team uses at Path & Compass and we find the free version is robust enough for our needs.
Easy to use and flexible, Trello is a visual way to manage and organize your team projects. A collaborative workspace, your team can add comments, attachments, and due dates for anyone and everyone with access to see. Trello also features workflow automation and integration options.
An all in one solution, Dubsado is a business management solution that allows your team to build relationships, schedule appointments, and create workflows to streamline your projects from start to finish. Customize contracts and forms, create an automated workflow, plus integrate communication platforms. Features include overall client management, accounting and reporting, and the ability to send invoices in case you are looking for all-in-one software.
Ideal for making any business more virtual, Slack brings your team and clients together in an online forum. Communicate via chats or videos, share projects and progress, and utilize integrated file sharing, all in a secure, organized and archived platform. Slack assists in streamlining work and increasing productivity by removing team convos from email and letting you batch your time spent responding.
Tech Support Staff
All this tech stuff can be overwhelming – save yourself the learning curve (especially if the skill won’t serve your growth long-term) and hire out the tech work to freelance pros.
A flexible talent solution, Upwork connects businesses with skilled freelancers to work on a range of projects. It is a fast, simple, and cost-effective platform through which to find, hire, work with, and pay the best candidate for the job. When you need help now, Upwork is an effective resource for your business to source freelancers who can assist with a wide variety of needs.
Happily allows you to host virtual events online for 5 to upwards of 5,000 guests, making it ideal for meetings, product launches and everything in between. They provide you with a virtual team to ensure your online event runs smoothly, including assistants, live translators, tech support and more.
Online Course or Membership Platforms
Having multiple income streams in place is essential so that you have a backup in the event that your main source dries up. Online course and membership platforms are one method which yield positive results.
Teachable is a platform that allows you to easily create and deliver online courses to your viewers. Their user-friendly platform will help you build and customize a product that you will be proud to publish and promote. Teachable has a wide variety of features, one of which includes valuable built-in reporting tools.
An all-in-one online business platform, Kajabi will assist you in delivering your online courses to increase revenue. Primarily for digital educators, it is most effective for quickly selling content, as well as memberships to content. It achieves this via pre-built, but customizable, sales funnels and campaigns.
Udemy allows people to create an online video course and earn money by teaching people around the world. They have a full support team is available to help and offers free review of your videos as well as an online instructor community to offer advice and inspiration. Udemy is free but takes a large cut of any sale they bring to you so it’s a good platform for people to test their interest at hosting an online course.
A live streaming platform that focuses on building community Twitch is key for businesses looking to engage with their audience. Once you have found a way to entertain or peak the interest of viewers, go live and promote your stream. This platform is ideal for musicians, wellness instructors and entertainers. It also allows the ability for fans to offer monetary support.
A membership platform, Patreon is a way for artists and creators to connect with their fans, and potentially boost their income. In addition to sharing exclusive content, you can reward those who commit with merch, early access, and exclusive livestreams. For those with a larger and more engaging audience, Patreon is a great way to continue building on the relationship.
A customizable e-commerce platform for WordPress, Woo-Commerce allows you to build an online store that is on par with your brand. Sell what you want, when you want, receive feedback, and easily manage orders, all in one place. Plus, the option to integrate popular extensions make for improved buyer experience.
Shopify is an inclusive e-commerce platform with all of the features you need to start, run, and grow your online business. Here you will be able to effectively market your online store’s products, manage orders and payments, and gain actionable insights to increase sales. This is best for a business focused on e-commerce, whereas Woo-commerce works well as a add-on to your current WordPress website.
Do you need help implementing these resources to make your business more virtual or adjust your marketing strategy to generate sales? Path & Compass is here to help with Small Business Marketing Kits. We can help with building new sales funnels, online shops and pivoting to solving new problems as well as update messaging and marketing tools to connect you to customers and maximize new opportunities. Reach out today to get started, at firstname.lastname@example.org.