3 Tips for Doing Business Digitally in Disruptive Times

Learn how the Smack Happy team is doing business digitally and navigating the new realities of the remote world. Watch the interview here.

What should businesses be thinking about right now during COVID-19?

Everyone is sending tons of newsletters and everyone’s talking about COVID. People are getting a little worn out by it. If sending out messaging to clients or an audience, be mindful of it. 

We all know what’s going on, so have a good reason to send something. 

Don’t just send something to send something.  

It really is helpful to ask yourself WHY you’re sending a newsletter. Are you sending something out because:

  • You like it
  • You think you should be doing it
  • Your friend’s company does it and it worked for them

If so, that’s great, but what’s even better is creating a newsletter with the intention of solving your potential customer’s pain point(s) or to provide something that is valuable to them.

How should a company go about onboarding remote workers?

People always bring up trust. How do you trust someone new? I build trust by giving people projects where I know how long it’s going to take me or one of my teammates so I have something to measure against. 

As they work through the task are they asking questions? Are they doing their own research to figure out how to accomplish the task? How does that work compare to people who have done similar things? 

This is one of the ways that I build up trust. Also, try recording yourself doing a task on Zoom and give that recording to a new teammate. It’s a really great way to delegate and create internal processes at the same time. You’re getting work done and recording it. 

And if you want to build up the trust with your team, you can do so with a collaborative review process. Include your team in the decision-making about the test project results.

As an example, let’s say you’re looking to hire a bookkeeper. So you send them a test project that would take you (at maximum) three hours to complete over the course of a few days. You give them all of the information and resources they would need, if not more, to successfully complete the project – including a deadline that they agreed to.

You might get the project back on time, but realize that they didn’t quite understand the project. If they’re open to some feedback and collaboration, it still might be acceptable to move forward with them. Or, perhaps they completely missed the mark and it’s not okay to move forward.

Ultimately, what you decide to do is up to you. However, asking for support in making decisions like these is a really effective way to build trust with your remote team

Start a dialogue. Consider everyone’s thoughts. Embrace collaboration to establish a relationship and trust, not your inner control-freak. (Yes, most of us have one!) 

How can remote teams better communicate with one another?

We have social channels set up in Slack. It’s important when people need that 10-minute break and they need a place to talk and connect with people in a virtual setting. 

Our Smack Happy team meets three times a week. Even small, short meetings (like stand-ups) help people feel that togetherness. 

We also use Workast, a Slack project management tool, to foster a team-first environment. From assigning tasks to team members to personal to-do’s and reminders, we get a lot out of Workast. 

Danielle Iera, one of our project managers at Smack Happy, has a lot of good things to say about it.

“We’re a remote team and we rely heavily on Slack to communicate. Without it, I wonder if we’d be where we’re at now. I commonly refer to our team as a ‘Team of Unicorns’ – everyone is just so amazing, and Slack integrating with Workast has really improved how we communicate in general.”

When you’re working remotely, every team member needs to be on the same page. When even one team member isn’t, it can all fall to pieces. The success of remote teams depends on quality communication. It’s hard to find, but not impossible.

Smack Happy helps businesses stand out and make a great first impression by building websites that capture your personality. Their websites help clients retain customers, get new ones (that they want), and build long-lasting relationships. You can say they’re smack happy about it.

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