As they say – hindsight is a perfect science. Never miss an opportunity to learn from unique circumstances. It is safe to say that 2020 can be classified as unique in many ways. As a business owner I have learnt the following lessons during the last 6 months:
– Cloud is king. Businesses who use cloud technology could very easily make the transition from working at the office to working from home. We only use cloud tech in our business and we literally had to send an e-mail to all our people to stay (and work from) home. Cloud tech covers systems for everything from Telephony (Vox mobi), Office 365, Accounting (Xero), Payroll (Payspace), Project Management (Zoho), CRM (Zoho) etc.
– Connectivity and Power. We had to provide reliable wi-fi and back-up power to our people at their homes. It is pointless working from home if you have a weak signal and constant power interruptions. We invested in wi-fi dongles that could be “topped-up” remotely and external laptop powerpacks for those dark nights.
– The novelty wears off. The novelty of working from home can quickly wear off. People in certain jobs e.g. sales, want to engage with their colleagues and feed off each-others’ energy. We arranged regular sessions where our colleagues could interact with each other (face to face) and still maintain social distancing protocols.
– Helping our customers in need. Our workload ironically increased significantly during this period due to TERS claims and constant changes to payrolls. We decided not to charge our customers extra, because we realised how bad things were. I believe this bought a lot of goodwill and we saw it as an investment in the relationships with our customers.
– The value of a full sales pipe. Although new business was slow, we were fortunate to have done deals that had been in the pipeline for many months. This carried us through this time and provided a much-needed boost to our revenue.