It's difficult to highlight any positives of the recent pandemic. However, if one exists in the business world, it's the virtual infrastructure that was built on the fly to allow companies to make the shift away from traditional brick and mortar operations.
If you've been on the fence about a permanent shift in the virtual direction, this is your time to shine.
The benefits of going virtual
Going virtual — which is basically the term used to describe giving up a brick and mortar office and running your entire business through digital mediums like Zoom, email, and the cloud — boasts a number of distinct benefits, including:
Making the shift to virtual does require some intentional planning and execution. Here are several tips to streamline the process and get better results:
Digitize Cumbersome Processes
The first step is to digitize all of those cumbersome processes that are holding you back/will hold you back once you go virtual.
Signing documents is one paper process that comes to mind. If you're going virtual, you have to adopt an electronic signature platform to allow for secure and compliant contracts and approvals. Box E-Signature is a great option. Their native integration makes it easy to sign and store documents in the cloud.
If your team is accustomed to working in the same physical office, there will be some growing pains when going virtual. Suddenly, you can't just walk down the hallway and call people into a meeting room. Sharing feedback and communicating directives requires a much more intentional approach.
Good communication practices will prevent misunderstandings, promote better workflows, and help your team feel valued and connected. For starters, avoid email for internal collaboration. Instead, use a chat application (like Slack) and/or a social intranet platform. You'll also need to create simple feedback loops that make it easy for people to give and receive constructive criticism on projects and deliverables.
Build a digital presence
Hopefully, you already have some degree of a digital presence. However, once you go virtual, this has to be a huge point of emphasis. When people search your company name, they should find you easily. Not only that, but the content, visuals, and information they find needs to be consistent.
When building a digital presence, content is king. Everyone on your team should turn into mini content creators. Blog posts, social media posts, website content, videos, podcasts, emails — everything is on the table. Pick a couple of areas to focus on and pursue them first. Once you gain traction, you can expand into other areas. Just remember that consistency is the key! Inconsistent branding will hurt your business and have diminishing effects.
Modernize your business
Most people think that virtualizing their business is all about saving money. And while cutting costs is certainly one big benefit, it's clearly not the only one. Whether it's productivity, security, or access to better talent, going virtual affords you a host of enticing perks. But you can't wait much longer. At some point, you'll get left behind. Now's the time to modernize.
Ignore this advice at your own risk.
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