Fortunately, working remotely is always an option for our team, but of course, it’s a necessity right now. Although our business office is closed, our home offices are open, and we are continuing to build our clients’ brands.
While COVID-19 is slowing down activities in some markets, it is providing opportunities in others. For example, we recently teamed up with Indiana Historical Society to build an online tool that allows Hoosiers to submit photos, videos and stories documenting how they are dealing with the “new normal” of life amid COVID-19.
We have been helping another one of our clients explain the financial aspects of this new normal on an almost daily basis, developing and distributing e-blast messages to their customers about tax filing and payment extensions, new loan programs, etc. To house the numerous financial updates, we created a COVID-19 Resource Center on their website.
We are also helping a senior living management company promote temporary jobs that have opened up in the wake of COVID-19, and we are documenting the many ways in which they are keeping residents and their loved ones connected despite visiting restrictions.
How are we doing all of this from the comfort of our homes? Here are a few tips and tricks that could help you and your business during this time as well:
Zoom Meetings: Zoom is the most popular video conferencing solution for companies with 500 employees or less. It’s gaining users rapidly amid COVID-19 concerns, adding roughly 2.22 million monthly active users since the start of the year. Allowing us to see each other and communicate face to face brings back a sense of normalcy and “business as usual.” It’s also keeping our company’s collaborative, creative spirit alive and thriving!
Task Lists: When everyone’s operating remotely, it can become easy to lose sight of what we’re all working on. That’s why we’re all sending each other bulleted task lists every morning. We also utilize Trello, which organizes everyone’s tasks in separate boards and lets you track each team member’s progress.
Sharing on Slack: Slack, our office newsfeed, has been our best friend lately. Not only does it allow us to stay in touch, but it’s been a great tool for boosting employee morale in the midst of COVID-19. Sharing pictures of our home offices — and the pets who break into them — is a particularly comforting activity.
Tapping into Creativity: When the mechanical shark kept malfunctioning during the production of Jaws, director Steven Spielberg took a less-is-more approach, making the monster’s presence known through menacing music and underwater point-of-view shots. This creative solution saved the film and made it even better than it would have been before. Think of COVID-19 as the malfunctioning mechanical shark you have to work around in order to keep your business booming.
By Brian Coles
Chief Marketing Technologist / Owner
The end of the year is a season of both panic and pause. The holidays are here, and you want to check off all the gifts on your list and get your home prepared for the festivities. There is the chaos of work to get done before 2014 expires.
But just as you want to keep your body in good health, you must do the same for your business.
Pick up around the office
Before you get too overwhelmed at the end of the year, take the time to tie up any professional loose ends with the following advice:
- Streamline your activities. Schedule blog and social media posts ahead of time if possible on WordPress or through Hootsuite or TweetAdder, says Natalie Sisson, the Suitcase Entrepreneur. But you might want to keep an eye out for any big news during the holidays in case you need to adapt your messages.
- Set up your systems. Make sure your voicemail and out-of-office email replies reflect your plans for the holidays. Use an online tool like Doodle to simplify your scheduling.
- Clean up and prepare for next year. Clear out your email inbox and remove anything more than a month old. Organize your computer, and file documents in their proper folders. Clean up your office too! It will do wonders to get you off to a good start in 2015.
- Get your finances in order. Review budgeted and actual revenues and expenses to help plan your finances. A great tool is inDinero, which keeps track of your business with visual graphs as well as reminders of bill payments and whether or not you’re on track.
- Prioritize! Figure out what activities are the most important to ensure your business continues operating and progressing forward while still giving you the time and flexibility to enjoy the holidays. Try RescueTime for your ideal work-life balance.
Perk up with a positive mindset
Once you’ve got work items in order, you can focus on getting in the right attitude for 2015 — by thanking your clients, partnering with community organizations and getting creative on ways to leverage your company’s brand marketing efforts. Sisson offers additional tips:
- Tis the season for caring and sharing. Get into the holiday spirit by sending holiday cards to your customers and clients online. Include a note of appreciation and a holiday blessing. Also, send the greeting to your newsletter subscribers.
- Make new contacts. Take along your business card to holiday festivities. You never know who you will meet along the way. Follow up with your contacts, and connect with them on LinkedIn with a personal introduction.
- Reflect and reset. Is your business where you envisioned it a year ago? How can you carry on the momentum into the New Year? Or how can you redirect it so it’s back on track?
- Use down time for personal development and growth. Catch up on the reading you’ve been meaning to get to. Learn some new skills and ideas to help your business grow in 2015.
- Relax and enjoy the holidays! Don’t forget to recharge your batteries and de-stress. Spend time with friends and family and offers thanks for all your blessings.
And there is certainly no better time than the holidays to say THANK YOU to all of our clients for your business. The Coles team thanks you and wishes you a happy holiday season and successful 2015!Edit this post