25 February, 2016
5 Key Tools for Running Your Business Remotely
The success of your business can often be found in how well your team work together. When they’re working remotely (whether that’s from a home office, in separate office buildings, or just a different room) making sure the whole team can communicate with each other and clients fluidly and reliably, is vital.
At the Hoxton Mix we use 5 key tools that mean our team can work effectively with each other and interact with clients or potential customers reliably, smoothly and accurately. With 4 of these tools, being able to pick up a communication chain by anyone in the team is the determining factor to the smooth running of the business.
(The Hoxton Mix is a virtual office company. Follow this link to lean what a virtual office is and why it is useful.)
1. Telegram (Internal communications)
For team chat and internal communication, often an email is too cumbersome or not fast or direct enough, so we use one of the newest messenger apps on the market. Apart from being rock solidly reliable, it’s also really fast and secure. There’s even the option to turn on full encryption messaging if you’re discussing business ideas that you don’t want anyone except the intended parties to see. And you don’t have to just message individuals, you can set up different groups, so if you’ve got teams working on different aspects of the business you can set up different groups relevant to the right team.
2. GrooveHQ (Email based help desk)
We use Google for email in general but managing enquiries and other client processes by email is made much easier thru the use of Help Desk software by Groove. It means that the right team members can all work together in answering and following up emails, and each member of the team can see where the discussion or process is up to. As a manager it’s also really helpful to be able to see how team members are interacting with customers and follow up when a team member has done well or needs some direction.
3. Asana (Assignable to-do’s)
Simple really. There’s plenty of task management options out there, Asana’s combination of easy user interface, the ability to invite guests to work on just one project and the fact that it’s free mean this is a core bit of software for our work flow.
4. Intercom.io (Live external communication)
If you have a web based business where your point of sale is on your website, enabling potential customers to have their questions answered right at the point when they are interested is vital for keeping your conversion rate up. In our case we use Intercom because of how easy it is to plug straight into our website and the really simple but good looking interface that makes it easy for a visitor with a question to go ahead and ask. And like the help desk, we can all see where each person is up to with a particular conversation, which makes taking over a conversation really easy… particularly if you’re the only person who knows the answer to the question!
5. Receivr (Virtual receptionist)
And finally… OK, so this is one we built! We’ve just launched our virtual receptionist service and (not to blow our own trumpet) but we think it’s one of the best out there. Again simplicity is key: Have your main number answered by a live receptionist, have that call routed through to any one of your team (whatever their number) or have a message taken and emailed on to you for follow up when it’s convenient. Simple!
What tools are you using to make your business run like clockwork? Let us know in the comments section below.
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