Running or maintaining a business that supports remote workers comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. But creating a collaborative environment that fosters relationships and good workflow, even if it’s digital, can be complex. However, with the growing development of applications and software to support remote workers, it’s easier than ever to keep your workforce happy and productive.
1. Time Management
Keeping track of time is an important aspect of any job, but it serves a few different purposes when workers are remote. While in an office, it’s easy to remind yourself to take breaks by chatting with coworkers or going with your office mates to grab some lunch. However, while working from a home office, work can begin to take over and even run into personal time. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can increase productivity, creating a mental environment where the mind is free to focus on the task at hand. It’s also well known in 2019 that overworked employees are more susceptible to work-related stress and eventually job burnout.
So utilizing a time management software like Toggl can serve multiple purposes that all serve the overall productivity of your company. It allows for more accurate time-tracking which means project management timelines can improve with post-mortem data analysis.
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a remote workforce is communication. With workers spread around the country or even the world, you won’t be able to schedule a quick, last-minute meeting to discuss the result of a client call or pop into a conference room to check how things are going.
That is to say, active communication between management and employees is key. Additionally, fostering communication between employees is beneficial as well. Employees that maintain working relationships with their coworkers feel less stressed at work and have a more positive outlook on their work life overall.
Fortunately, in this digital era, keeping employees connected can be done with a simple internet connection.
Useful connection apps:
Therefore, no matter where your workforce is stationed, the internet can be used to connect apps. Voice over Internet Protocol, more commonly referred to as VoIP, allows employees to send and receive phone calls from their computer. Not only does this reduce the equipment necessary to keep employees connected, it means there are no limitations as to how communication can be executed. Remote employees will have access to all of the same communication tools used in-house allowing for a more active communication process between teams.
This comes as no surprise, but a large part of working together is collaboratively working together; collaborating on documents and giving constructive feedback to improve future performance. In the digital age, hard copies of documents are hard to come by, but making edits and providing insights are large parts of a productive work environment.
To clarify, employees should be able to see revision history or the suggestions made by their co-workers or managers on their documents, allowing them to make adjustments accordingly.
Applications like Dropbox allow users to maintain and work together on documents of various types. These platforms store documents in the cloud, making them ideal for businesses with a remote workforce to keep their information safe and secure and readily available for when they are needed.
In conclusion, as the world moves forward, more companies are realizing that the talent they need may not be in the area that they’re located. Allowing employees to work remotely may be in their interest to ensure the best product for their customers or clients. Remote work comes with its own challenges, but it has been reported that employees often feel happier, more productive, and more valued when they’re allowed the freedom and flexibility to work remotely.
To sum up, providing your remote workers with the tools necessary for their success will tangentially improve the quality of work you receive, making it a worthwhile endeavor.
As you know, one of my goals with this blog is to help you find new, better and more efficient ways to increase traffic, build your email list and improve conversions and sales of your products and services.
That’s why I’m always on the lookout for great new tools and resources that can help accelerate your results.
Well, today I’m excited to share my most recent find:
It’s called: “The Traffic Secrets Super Stack,” and it comes courtesy of my friend Cary Richards over at Infostack.io.
“The Traffic Secrets Super Stack” is a hand-curated collection of over 25 premium eCourses, video training, memberships, and workbooks.
Useful information included in workbooks:
How to get started building your email list.
Mastering Facebook advertising.
Successful YouTube marketing.
In depth instruction in influencer marketing.
B2B lead generation.
Killer Social Media strategies.
A Masterclass on how to make cold emails convert.
Writing social media copy.
And even some new, never before seen information on the basics of where and how to get traffic to your business…
And Much Much More…
Now, typically, you’d have to spend over $3,000 + to get your hands on everything packed inside the Traffic Secrets Super Stack…
But this week, (for a limited time) you can get everything for over 98% off.
So don’t hesitate, because after next Tuesday the stack goes away and there’s no telling when or IF it’s coming back.
As you know, I very rarely make offers to my newsletter.
I only share things that I feel are a tremendous value that you can’t miss.
And when I learned about “The Traffic Secrets Super Stack”, I knew immediately it was a winner. Seeing the final lineup of eBooks, eCourses, and more – it’s clear that this bundle is well worth the insanely low price you pay to get access.
So that’s why I’m sharing it with you this week.
My hope is that you’ll take a look, and, if it feels like the right fit for you, you’ll take action before this amazing deal expires.
Are you struggling to motivate your team, especially during the summer months?
Sometimes as a business owner with employees you can feel more like a babysitter. The good news is … it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s lots of great team motivation ideas you can try this summer to transform your high maintenance employees into high performing teams.
You just need a few great team motivation ideas to implement. In fact, I want to open your mind on how you can do that even while you are away on your own summer vacation.
Studies have shown that your biggest “a-ha” moments often occur when you put yourself in a different environment – – away from the daily grind of working in your business. That’s why it’s so important to take a vacation to rest your brain (even if for just a day or two)…
So, while you’re taking a much needed respite away FROM your business… but there’s one ingredient I want to offer you that can help you achieve much needed breakthroughs FOR your business… even WHILE you’re away on vacation this summer.
However if you want a breakthrough you need to percolate your brain with new questions from a fresh outside perspective. That’s why I’m inviting you to a free weekly 30-Minute Laser Coaching Clinic– that kicks off on August 7th.
It’s called TEAM TALK TUESDAYS at TWELVE
This is a limited time offer. So, hurry and check it out.
I’m dedicating 4 Tuesdays — Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28 to help you build your dream team (my summer gift to you!) SIGN UP HERE Whether you have 1 or 20+ employees on your team this is your opportunity to discuss your biggest team challenge right now. We’ve received lots of great questions already like:
How can I motivate my employees?
How can I build sales accountability for my team without having to use complicated CRM systems?
Can I train my estimators from being order takers to generating their own leads?
How can I unload more work off my plate without it boomeranging right back to me?
When is the right time to bring on a new hire?
Where can I find the best admin hires who I don’t have to spend a lot of time training?
And more …
Listen to Last Week’s Team Talk Tuesday Call Here:
Here’s a replay of Team Talk Tuesday Call #3
When you sign up I’ll send you the link to my private conference line. This means you can join the call from your computer or call in from your phone.
During the 30-minute coaching clinic you’ll get a chance to get some laser coaching on your specific challenge when it comes to developing high performing teams. And … even better … you’ll get both myself and business broker Paul Visokey of Stony Hill Advisors.
I’m offering this for free, for a limited time only … so if you’re hungry for a breakthrough in your business … this is a no-brainer baby step towards building your team and blowing up your business!
Yoon ~ PS. Friends don’t let friends struggle alone. Know a business owner who is wearing too many hats? …. Forward them this blog article and invite them to join us for TEAM TALK TUESDAYS at TWELVE (12 noon EST)
Everything I learned in life, I have learned from pain. I have learned nothing from (success) and pleasure.” @RickWarren Don’t waste your pain …
A painful time in my life as an #entrepreneur was having to put out fires from the hospital bed. My office manager/production manager really showed her true colors when I was in labor with my 3rd child in 2004. She couldn’t handle the stress of an upcoming 1,000 person event we were producing and threatened to quit on the spot if I didn’t put out the fires that were happening.
I made the crazy mistake of actually taking her calls in between contractions 😳 which led to me giving bad directions, causing more problems, as I was not clear headed at all. 😦
To make things worse, she actually walked into my hospital room and dumped a pile of urgent paperwork for me to fix, giving me an ultimatum of quitting on the spot.
I was taken by total shock 😱 at how she was handling this, especially since my previous managers never acted this way when I had my first two children.
I was angry. 😡 😡 I felt completely robbed 😩 of enjoying even one day with my newborn. But, there was a lot riding on this event and no one in the wings who could replace her immediately.
So, there I was lying in my hospital bed, working to put out the fires because I wasn’t willing to risk the negative impact of potentially taking a $400,000 loss if I didn’t step in.
The key lessons I learned that day was:
➡ Never assume someone will make a good manager just because they were a good worker bee.
➡ Always have a 2nd string who is trained as a backup.
➡ Never make yourself the backup.
➡ Always get a personality assessment done prior to choosing your managers to validate you have the right people in the right seats.
➡ Always update your team’s job description with clearly written expectations. (yeah, my mistake that year … the production manager part never got updated in her written job description)
I hope you’ll apply these lessons in your business and avoid the painful consequences I had to endure.
QUESTION: WHAT WAS A DIFFICULT CHALLENGE or PAINFUL TIME IN YOUR BUSINESS THAT YOU LEARNED THE MOST FROM❓ –– please share your comments below.
Don’t waste your pain … share a key lesson you learned to help others.
Whether you need funding for a new office space in London or the money to launch a new marketing campaign, there are a number of resources such as UK small business grants that provide small businesses with the capital they need to succeed.
Here, The Brew rounds up some of the best grants and funding options that will help your small business to scale up.
While some companies can easily survive with minimal investment when starting out, others need to deal with immediate and necessary expenditures. That’s why The Brew have partnered with smallbusiness.co.uk to offer £5,000 every month to the brightest UK businesses in a free-to-enter competition.
If your business has a turnover between £50,000 and £500,000, then you’re eligible to enter – and the entering is simple and user-friendly, to avoid businesses having to jump through the usual multiple, complex application hoops.
Simply include as much information as possible about your successes so far and why you deserve to win, and your application will be considered by a panel of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders – including The Brew’s very own Andrew Clough.
Replacing the old Smart award programme which was scrapped by the government last year, Innovate UK now runs funding competitions offering grants to businesses working on innovative new technologies.
The programme has competitions open to businesses and organisations of all sizes and from all corners of the technology sector, but some are open exclusively to SMEs. Recipients of Innovate UK grants have seen higher employment and turnover and a better success rate than comparable businesses without the same funding.
The full list of open competitions can be found on the Innovate UK website.
Supporting research and innovation all over Europe, this massive EU fund has a dedicated SME Instrument through which small business can receive funding for innovative projects with high potential. Businesses involved in ground-breaking research or new technologies, or responding to challenges such as climate change and food security, can access the €3 million set aside for the SME Instrument over the period 2014-2020.
Applications by UK organisations will be made via a National Contact Point – usually a government agency or organisation. One of Horizon 2020’s aims is to foster links between EU nations, so some funding is conditional on forming partnerships with businesses overseas.
However, you may have a limited window in which to take full advantage of this particular fund – although projects will not be affected until the UK has officially left the EU, the policy after this point remains uncertain.
While money itself is no doubt important, the benefits of having the right knowledge and expertise to hand is an often overlooked part of scaling up a small business. With Innovation Vouchers, £5000 is awarded for an SME to specifically seek out the experts, advisors or consultants they need to take their innovative idea to the next level, build within their industry or protect their intellectual property rights.
One of the common difficulties faced by even the most innovative and forward-thinking start-ups is that their small size and untested business credentials make it difficult to attract investment from high street banks. This government-backed initiative was set up to help get around this problem – if you’re a start-up or very small early stage business that is yet to launch or has been trading for less than 12 months then you could receive mentoring, business planning support and a loan with an average size of £6,000.
Although this funding option will affect your business at a very early stage, it could be what you need to get the right footing for scaling up further down the line.
No matter how dedicated, hard-working and imaginative, sometimes nothing will help your business break through to the next level like a bit of extra money – so it’s worth researching these funding options to see whether they could benefit your business.
Daniel Moore is an experienced content writer by profession and he mainly writes on different aspects of business from business start ups to expansion.
About two years ago, Google started penalizing websitesthat are not friendly to mobile visitors, since mobile traffic now comprises the vast majority of all internet traffic.
In August of 2016, Google announced that it would begin penalizing websites that have what Google considers “intrusive” pop-ups. Here’s the official Google Webmasters post that sparked controversy across the web.
According to some recent articles, websites are seeing the effects of this change.
What are the rules?
In order to be considered mobile-friendly by Google and to show up in the search results of those using their cell phones, your website cannot have what Google considers “intrusive” pop-ups on your site.
The most important things to know are:
This only affects the mobile version of your website, and
There are a few quick fixes if your site is in fact being penalized.
These are intrusive pop-ups, as Google has defined them:
How does this affect you?
Any popups you’re using to collect email addresses or opt people into your email list or other offer could be affecting traffic to the mobile version of your website, resulting in drastically reduced traffic.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on at least 60% of internet traffic, and that number is growing every day.
It’s important to understand the difference between acceptable and unacceptable pop-ups to make sure that Google doesn’t penalize your site.
Here’s what’s okay to have on your mobile site, according to Google:
Pop-ups about cookie usage and age verifications
Small app banners
Popups that only appear when someone clicks a button
Find out whether your website traffic is impacted
In order to take action (or determine if you even have to take action), you have to check out whether or not this is actually affecting your website’s traffic.
Step 1: Select a custom date range in Google Analytics.
Sign into your Google Analytics account. In the left-hand sidebar, click Audience → Overview, and then select the option to define a custom date range.
Select the date range of Jan 9, 2017 – Jan 13, 2017 and compare it to the previous week. We choose this date range because this was when the changes first went to effect.
Step 2: Check the mobile traffic specifically.
Under “Audience” on the left hand side, click Mobile > Overview. If you that your site experienced a significant drop (over 20%) in mobile traffic during this period in time, your site is likely being penalized for popups.
Step 3: If you have pop-ups on the mobile version of your site, disable them.
If you did experience a huge drop in traffic during this time, you can’t regain the traffic that you’ve lost, but you can make sure that the mobile version of your site is Google-friendly moving forward.
Remember that you can still have pop-ups on the desktop version of your site, but you should disable them on mobile. You’ll have to find the settings in your specific plugin (if you’re using WordPress) to disable them on mobile.
Or only use exit pop-ups. If you’re using ClickFunnels, your site should be fine. By default, the pop-ups only appear if people ask for them by clicking a button.
Are you seeing the effects of this penalty on your site?