The Covid-19 Pandemic has brought on unprecedented change in our personal and professional lives. It has brought forth new challenges and forced companies to adapt to a new way of doing business. For my business, the transition was extremely stressful and costly in terms of finances and productivity. We were not alone in this though, businesses around the world have struggled with working remotely and still getting the most out of their team.
Luckily, we did manage to adapt and found some new ways to take the pressure off our employees and increase productivity. After two months of an ongoing struggle, I decided to call a Zoom meeting and discuss what has been going on and why we have not been able to hit our targets. I quickly realized that working from home was not the issue, it was the stress that was put on all of us by having to deal with so many new issues. Working from our office allowed everybody to focus on their tasks at hand without having to simultaneously homeschool their children, helping out anxious spouses, and navigating through a pandemic.
In order to improve the conditions for all of us working from home I decided we needed to reduce the workload and allow everybody to focus on what they do best. After some research and discussions with other business owners I set up some calls to outsource the tasks that were eating up time.
With almost all companies working remotely I saw this a perfect opportunity to onboard some virtual teams and services that would automate many of our secondary tasks. The first thing I did was setting up an automated email marketing software from SalesHandy. Up until this point our team did manual email outreach. As soon as we had our campaigns setup and automated I realized just how much time we were saving. At $16 a month I now regret not doing this earlier.
Graphic design was another task that caused a lot of distractions. We did not have the workload to hire a full-time graphic designer so our marketing team designed our social media posts, business cards and banners ads when needed. The problem with this approach is that nobody on our marketing team had a background in graphic design. This was an inefficient solution to our problem and I quickly learned that it was causing unnecessary stress and disagreements. After doing some research I scheduled a call with DoctorIdea, a flat-fee graphic design service. For a monthly fee they offered a designated graphic designer to handle all of our tasks on-demand and completely remotely. This was a huge load off our backs and our marketing material is looking much better.
Our website was another pain point. We used a DIY web design tool when we started to save on cost. This was a positive experience and our website looked great. The issues came with updating our site and dealing with any issues that popped up. Since we did not have a developer on our team we often wasted a lot of time adding new content and fixing any markup issues. I decided to switch platforms to Weblium. They have a DIY tool similar to that of Wix and Weebly but they offer a custom solution along with personal website managers that are on stand-by to deal with any potential issues and support you along the way. This streamlined the process for us and freed up a significant amount of time at a low cost.
Adapt to the new normal
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and this has never been more true than now. There are new tools and services popping that I had never considered before and I highly recommend you take advantage of those. The old ways are gone and it is more important than ever that we work efficiently, reduce anxiety and focus on what we do best.