“Where are you?” is a relatively new concept that’s crept into the forefront of our conversations. Before cell phones, this wasn’t much of an issue. “Where are you?” would be answered with an incredulous, “Where do you think I am?” as you sat at your desk with a phone receiver attached to a long, spiral (and usually tangled) chord.
But now, pinning someone down is much tougher. And to compound that, just being able to connect can be a chore. Collaboration for business owners is crucial. Whether you hire remote assistance, work closely with strategic partners, or cater to clients around the globe, you need easily accessible modes of communication. And yes, there are many, many, many options out there. That’s why we’re sharing what’s worked best for us! Here are our favorite technologies for successful collaboration.
The Five W’s of Collaboration:
90% of communication is nonverbal, and there are many instances where a phone call or email just don’t cut it. Business owners need face-to-face interaction to really know who they’re talking to and how to accurately respond. Whether your selling, managing, or buying, keeping humanity in the relationship is as easy as Face-to-Face Video Conferencing. Our favorite platform is Zoom, as the video quality is excellent and it includes lots of extra perks! But, Facetime or Skype are also great options.
Do you know what your team is working on right now? Or, if you don’t have a team just yet, do you have a comprehensive blueprint of your own tasks? Collaboration requires open and accessible lines of communication. That’s why utilizing a CRM system for your sales pipeline (our favorite is Zoho), or utilizing a Task Management software, such as Asana, needs to become a necessary part of your routine.
Have you tried to schedule an in-person meeting recently? Especially if more than three people were involved? Talk about a headache. Scheduling apps can be your best friend. We especially love Time Trade, which syncs with our Outlook Calendars and allows people to choose their own date/time. Or even Doodle can be a helpful tool when trying to round up the herd. Let them choose the best dates and times so you can avoid all the back and forth.
You’ve got goals. Big ones, we know. But do you know when you’ll be able to get to them? And while we’re “going there” – do you even know how much of your time is being spent on these tasks? You can’t progress without knowing WHEN you can actually do it. For us, Time Management software is a must. Not only can you stay aware of what everyone on your team is working on, but you’ll see the “whens” of your own time. TSheets has revolutionized how our team spends their time, how we plan ahead for clients, and how we measure our successes. And if you’re unsure, there’s a free trial to see if it fits your business.
OK, this one isn’t so much a software as it is just a necessary aspect of your business. Amid the constant stream of technology, when’s the last time you focused on your company culture? Or really thought about why this business is so important to you? (Besides the obvious?) Don’t get lost down the rabbit hole of screens and beeps. Make sure to also take time for yourself for introspection. Or even some “back to square one” analysis. Sometimes rediscovering the love for your industry is the spark you need to take your business to the next level.
Owning a business is rewarding, and hard work is part of the reward. If you’re having trouble with any of the “Five W’s” above, reach out to us. We’ve been helping business owners out of the weeds for the last 20+ years, and we aren’t stopping anytime soon.