In this episode, Gabby talks about our journey to becoming fully virtual & our tips for working from home. Being a virtual business isn’t easy when you first start out, but given the correct tools, it can be much easier.
Here are the apps and software we mentioned (and more!) that can help you out in the journey to becoming a virtual business.
Video chatting apps: just because you’re a virtual business, doesn’t mean your work together.
- Google Hangouts is easily accessible through your G-Suite account and you can set up meetings by creating calendar events and inviting others. You will also get a link to the meeting that allows people to join outside of the calendar event.
- Zoom Meetings is an easily downloadable software that allows you to have group meetings, just like Hangouts. Zoom, however, allows you to record the meeting in progress so that people who couldn’t make it are still able to watch at a later date.
- Skype is also an easily downloadable software similar to Hangouts. With all of these apps and software mentioned, you can use video or just audio.
- Facetime is an Apple app that allows you to easily video chat with others. If you would like to group video chat, first create a group chat and click the facetime button at the top of the screen where the member’s icons are.
Communication: one of the most important parts of a virtual business.
- Slack is a group & individual messaging app where you set up individual “channels” or groups for specific sets of employees. You can also have a general channel for all communication; employees can also direct message each other.
- Voxer is a walkie-talkie app where you can instantly send voice messages to each other.
- Marco Polo is similar to Voxer, only instead of audio alone, you send videos.
Document transfer and computer access: #1 tip… don’t email important documents!
- Scanner apps are a great solution to eliminate clients having to come into your office to drop off documents. They are also a great way to cut down on trips to the office to use the scanner. Scanner apps work by taking a well-lit photo of the document and the app will save it as a PDF. If you have an iPhone, the built notes app also has this capability. Just press the camera icon at the bottom of a new note.
- Google Drive uses a cloud system that allows everyone on your team to access documents that are uploaded there. We organize our drive by client and then by year. If you would like, you can restrict access to certain documents if there is an issue of privacy.
- Go to My PC is a software you download onto your computer you’d like to access remotely. Once you connect it through your account, you will be able to access your desktop from anywhere on any device (your phone, tablet, home computer, etc). All you need to do is log in!
Client Intake and Support: make sure your clients feel cared for in your virtual environment.
- Facebook Messenger is a great way to stay in contact and chat quickly with existing clients as well as incoming clients. The interface is easy to use, and as long as you have a Facebook page for your business, you can use Messenger.
- Ruby Receptionist, or a virtual receptionist in general, is a great way to keep up with client calls even though you’re out of the office. They can help with call forwarding, taking messages, and alerting people calling in of any changes.
- Installing a chatbox on your website is another great way to keep attracting potential clients, and connecting with existing clients. There are many chatbox apps you can download to your WordPress site, so talk to your web developer about what options they suggest. Ruby Receptionist also offers a chatbox and a person to respond to the chat box so you never miss a new opportunity.
Transforming your regular work environment to a virtual work environment is no easy task, but it is definitely worth it in the end. We hope that these tips and suggestions were helpful for you during these times; if you have any questions about the apps or software suggested, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be more than happy to assist you during this time.
For more information and help for your business during COVID-19, check out our resource center.