You have your billion dollar project set. That's awesome! How did you come up with the idea of a Halloween store in January? Genius! (wink to BoJack Horseman) But, are you well equipped to start working on it? Is your team prepared? And by 'prepared' I mean, do they have the necessary tools? Most likely you guys are working remotely right now. You each probably have your spreadsheets, your Word or Google Docs and a daily or weekly phone call. And that's absolutely OK. But you could fine tune some of your processes. You could make life a little easier for your employees.
So, will you hear me out?
Ok. So, first thing first. Communication: You may have a traditional call once a day or even a Zoom chat with your colleagues when you need to. But I can do you one better.
This tool sells itself as 'A virtual office for remote teams', and, honestly, is the closest you'll get to an actual office when each of you are staying home. Tandem redefines video calls and screensharing apps by being 'on' all the time. Here's how it works.
You and your team enter the app and are presented with rooms and conversations. Say you have two rooms, a 'general office' and a 'one-on-one space'. So, you can meet up at the general for daily updates with your whole team and, say, all of a sudden there's something that needs to be addressed right away. You and one of your employees enter the one-on-one space to fix the issue while the rest of the team keeps on checking in on the daily updates, and you don't have to worry about new links for other calls or stuff like that.
When you are done, you simply leave the conversation, but you keep the app on, so that if someone needs you for a quick question, they're not asking like Hey, mind if we talk for a sec? Here's the link or whatever. A notification just pops up asking if you can talk or not. It's simple and genius! But want to know the best thing? It's actually free! Not free version or free trial... it's free FREE. So check it out! You literally won't lose anything by doing it.
Also, if you don't trust me with this, perhaps you'll trust the Spotify, Dropbox or Airbnb teams. They use it.
Next, but equally important is the actual workspace, and there's generally a lot that can be improved here, so let's check on that.
It's literally a solution to what I just said. It's an 'All-in-one workspace'. So here's what happens. A lot of businesses, old and new, big or small, have issues with this. They all have a lot of work done on a lot of different spaces or tools and, turns out, many of that work gets done twice or thrice because people just can't find it or maybe don't even know it exists.
Enter: Notion. This tool does a LOT, it really does, but it focuses on three main axis: Notes & Docs, Wikis, and Projects & Tasks. So basically, first, you can write very intuitively and add images or additional content very seamlessly. Second of all, you can collect what you need your whole team to know handily in one place, so that when, let's say, you hire someone new, they already know where to find the 'what's' and 'how's' of their job, as well as having an accesible FAQ so that you or your other teammates are not answering the same question every three days. And finally, it allows you to have a project manager app to follow on your progresses and/or deficiencies.
That's at least (because it really is so much more) three tools in one. And their plans are very accessible, especially for small teams. So check it out! The Wall Street Journal, Nike, and Pixar did. Just saying.
OK, so you can communicate effectively with your team and can generate the work in one organized and unified space. What comes next? Glad you asked. You should now be able to reach and speak to your audience or costumers. Here's a way.
Reaching your customers is a key step in each and every business endeavor. How will they know about your Halloween store in January if you don't talk to them? That's crazy. So it is crucial for you to be able to let them know about deals, sales, new items or products, or whatever you want to communicate. Sendinblue allows you to do this efficiently on three main fronts: email, SMS, and chat. And it allows you to do it without going broke, which is important, if you ask me.
Also, that's just one area of what Sendinblue can do. Want to try out Facebook ads? You can with this tool. What about transactional emails or signup forms? You can do it with Sendinblue. Brands like Michelin, Louis Vuitton, and Haribo certainly do. Oh, and check this link out, just in case you are wondering a thing or two about a company that rhymes with wail-blimp. At the end of the day, though, it's your call.
So now that you reached an audience, you should be able to study how it behaves, right? Do they look around your landing page and then leave? Are they having trouble trying to complete a transaction? Is there a particular part of the site that doesn't seem friendly to them? Well, there's a way to know. Technology, man... I'm telling you.
Hotjar lets you do everything I just said. How? With screen recordings from your costumers. And rest assured, the user privacy is maintained all the way. You or your team won't be able to see passwords, emails or anything that gives away user identity (and why would you want that? That's creepy). And that's fine because it's not about the who's as much as about the how's and when's. If you see that a lot of —again, anonymous— users are leaving your site at the pricing page, well, there's something not working. Perhaps you catch a bug on a significant amount of recordings; you should work on that.
You can also create heatmaps to see where the clicks are going (or not going), as well as conversion funnels, so you can check how many of those arriving to your landing page end up buying your product. These guys obviously explain it better than me, and it makes sense; it's their business: "Traditional web analytics tools help you analyze traffic data. But numbers alone can’t tell you what users really do on your site — Hotjar will".
You can try it for free for 15 days, no credit card required, and although this one might be a little bit pricier than other tools we've mentioned, put a pin on it. I got you. Plus, it's totally worth it. It's good enough for Air Canada, Adobe and Decathlon.
These are all great, actually awesome tools to work with, and they are in the realm of possible, in terms of budget. I didn't mention some obvious ones like Slack or Google Analytics, because it is very likely you already know them and even use them. But if not, don't hesitate on checking them out.
But the thing is… well, sometimes you are really short on money, or found a tool that would fit perfectly with what you are doing, but can't really afford it. Maybe we have a lifeline for you. And by 'we' I actually mean Secret.
This platform allows you to enjoy of exclusive benefits from a huge amount of tools. These exclusive benefits are stuff like, say, the premium version of a tool free for nine months. That's pretty cool, right? To be a part of secret you just have to apply to become member. You can participate with a free subscription or a premium one —at 49 USD a year—, depending on your needs.
So there you go, five tools that will help your business reach the next level. Let us know what you think about it, and if you have any other platforms you recommend, please, let us know!