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Staying Connected During Lockdown

During these unprecedented times, businesses may find they're struggling to make the usual sales, especially when they rely on passing traffic or other businesses which may have closed.

It's an interesting time and one where businesses are turning to technology to cope with the situation. So how can your business benefit?

Remote Meetings

The most basic part of embracing technology is moving something as simple as a face-to-face meeting online. With tools such as Zoom and Skype gaining in popularity, and with their easy to use interfaces, it's simple to see why they're popular.

If you don't need to see someone in person then a remote meeting is the perfect way to discuss things online.

Digital Signatures

Need to get a signature for an important document? Electronic signature software can save a bit of a headache with these.

These signatures are still legally binding and valid for documents, although they do come in various types and forms, including:

  • A tick box
  • Typewritten
  • An electronic representation of a handwritten signature
  • A digital representation of characteristics such as a fingerprint or retina scan

There is software out there to help with this, including Hello Sign, Adobe Sign and DocuSign. They often require a subscription, but this change doesn't need to be one just for the lockdown. You could use this time to set up new ways of working ready for when the new normality comes into place.

Document Management

When you're in an office, collaborating on documents can be as easy as sitting around a table and discussing the contents. But the lockdown prevents this, and you now have to be 2 metres apart, and that's if you can't work from home.

Tools such as Office365 from Microsoft, or Google Drive, can help bring teams together and allows them to make live edits on files, share them with colleagues, clients and suppliers.

Most packages come with a version of software capable of creating documents, presentations and spreadsheets.

Embrace the Cloud

The cloud may have just been a buzzword for your business until recently. The cloud can allow you to perform tasks and manage data anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

This can be all the things mentioned above, but also think about tools like Dropbox and Google Drive (cloud storage), QuickFile (cloud accounting), Slack (communication), and HubSpot (CRM).

You'll soon find that various aspects of your business which have been relying on good old pen and paper, could be turned digital and even made more secure in the process too.

Is it worth it?

Cloud software or working from home doesn't work for all businesses. Some processes have to be done at an office for various reasons - security, procedure, or because the tools you need are there.

It can also take time to train staff on certain software packages, but even after the lockdown these tools can continue to work for your business.

There can be a cost too. With many packages such as these, there is a subscription, paid monthly or annually. But often, the benefits of this (such as regular updates including security updates) can outweigh the drawbacks.

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