The technological revolution is in full swing with an estimated 65% of Americans now owning smartphones. Square is at the forefront of embracing the mobile device trend with the development of technology that allows businesses to accept credit card payments through an iPhone, Android or iPad. With a no commitment sign up, free Square Reader plug in device and ‘pay only when you sell’ policy, the service is a no brainer for greatly expanding the ways in which your business is able to accept payment.
One of the keys to small business success is maintaining effective communication with clients, customers, suppliers and other corporate affiliates. ShowMyPC makes collaboration easy with the provision of a remote support and meeting service which completely breaks down conventional geographical boundaries. With services including free and premium remote PC access, desktop sharing, screen sharing and an array of other state-of-the-art features, ShowMyPC is a must have tool for any discerning small business owner wanting to keep their communication lines wide open.
Cloud storage has undergone a huge surge in popularity in the last few years thanks to the convenience, security and ease of sharing/access that it offers users. DropBox is an incredibly reliable cloud based storage solution trusted by hundreds of millions of people across the globe. It’s fantastic for small businesses and will help you store and remotely access important documents as well as rapidly share information with staff and clients.
FreshBooks is an intelligent cloud based accounting solution designed especially for small businesses. Using simple yet intuitive technology, the software allows you to track time, log expenses and invoice clients with incredible ease. This is one of the most popular invoicing, accounting and billing solutions on the market.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have completely revolutionized the way in which the modern world communicates. If you’re not on board the social media bandwagon your small business is missing out! Establishing a dynamic online presence will help you connect with your customers, network with other businesses and embrace the opportunity for free publicity and advertising.
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You’re going on holiday but still want to make that important business meeting?
It may be summer in the Northern Hemisphere but meanwhile your Southern Hemisphere clients are slogging it through the winter and most likely don’t have any vacations planned. On the contrary, they may be expecting you to attend a number of virtual meetings that clash with your upcoming trip to the Greek Isles... Don’t let that ruin your European vacation. With ShowMyPC’s convenient Online Meetings service, you have the power to attend meetings from anywhere, at any time.
On a summer getaway but need access to your home or office PC?
There’s nothing worse than having your summer getaway interrupted by an urgent business matter. Rather than bite the bullet and book an early flight home, why not safeguard your trip with a Access Home or Office PC service from ShowMyPC? With the capacity to work on a remote PC at the home or office, you can effortlessly sort out that critical business matter from the comfort of your sun lounger.
Want to provide your customers with ongoing summer support?
If you’re committed to providing exceptional customer service, ShowMyPC offers the perfect tools to keep your business thriving this summer. The Online Meetings and Remote Support service, along with the Helpdesk and Invoicing systems, give you the power to offer your customers around the clock help and assistance, whether you’re knuckling down at the workplace, grilling on the deck or living it up in Cabo.
You want to keep on top of your invoicing and payments?
If you’re determined to spend the summer relaxing rather than stressing out over invoices, ShowMyPC offers a Free Invoice System service with all Business Plans. Using innovative online cloud technology, you simply send a quote, receive approval and convert to an invoice. It’s simple, professional and stress free way of ensuring that your business finances are up to date throughout the summer season, leaving you with more time to kick back, relax and enjoy the warmer weather.
You want to give your staff a refresher training course after the summer break?
After a relaxing summer break, the best way to get your staff back into the swing of things is to run a refresher training course. ShowMyPC makes this easy by offering the ability to run online training and presentations from the convenience of your computer screen. The capacity for remote training will also ensure that any staff members taking an extended break won’t miss out on the session.
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While technology makes it easier to work remotely, as a manager the mere fact of having a team dotted across a number of locations can make life difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of easy ways to manage a remote workforce, no matter how geographically diverse their locations. Try these top five tips to get started…
1. Hold a Regular Virtual Meeting
When you manage workers in an office, it’s easy to stay connected. They deliver reports to your desk, pass you in the hall and drop by your office for performance reviews and progress meetings. Managing a remote workforce requires a similar open door policy, albeit one adapted to recognize the nature of working at home or from another location.
Make it a habit to arrange a virtual meeting with remote workers once a week or once a month. Use a tool like ShowMyPC to make it easy for multiple remote workers to connect at once from various locations. A regular day of the week and time of day will add a sense of structure and offer a forum for offering reassurance, giving feedback and progressing projects.
2. Arrange Conference Calls
If you physically can’t get out to see remote workers at their location, stay connected with a conference call. Use this time to speak either one on one or in small project-based groups or departments. Use this time to talk through recent developments, plan next steps, feedback on work presented, set goals and targets and answer questions. One of the dangers of working remotely is that it’s easy to leave remote workers out of the loop and consider them an annex to the main team rather than an integral part of it. Getting workers to dial into a conference call can help to negate this feeling and ensure that as a manager, you have ready access to any update you need as and when you need to lay your hands on it.
3. Promote Video Conferencing
Encouraging remote workers to communicate by video conference with other team members can help you as a manager to record greater productivity. If remote workers must raise helpdesk tickets or send emails then await a response, valuable time can be lost. However, if you can provide tools such as video conferencing which makes face-to-face communication possible, you’re likely to reduce the sense of isolation, increase productivity and get much more from your team in the process.
4. Provide Top Class Equipment
Your team is only as good as the materials it has to work with. So furnish remote workers with the same quality equipment and resources as those in your office enjoy. That may be a top of the line PDA, a new tablet or a faster laptop or desktop. Even small touches such as supplying good quality noise-cancelling headphones for those who make lots of calls can all help a remote team to perform to the best of their ability.
5. Organize a Yearly Conference
As far as possible make provisions to meet as many remote workers as possible at least once a year. An annual company event such as a conference, a weekend retreat or similar can help to build bridges and encouragement for the following 12 months.
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6. Use Video Conferencing
Use videoconferencing to be present in the office even when you’re far away. Working remotely takes away the face-to-face foundation that relationships are built on. Participating via video conference in brain storming sessions, briefings and meetings mean you’ll remain – and feel – connected to the rest of the team. Our chat room feature offers you all the tools to stay connected with your co- workers.
7. Ask for Feedback
Those working in HQ will often have the advantage of having a manager close to hand. That means feedback is always forthcoming. Avoid the sense of being a remote unit even when working remotely by being pro-active about requesting feedback. Make sure that you stay in touch with your line manager, request appraisals and always get comments on major projects and reports.
8. Keep in Touch on a Personal Level
Working in a different location can mean you miss out on the personal connections that come from being part of a team. From not joining colleagues for lunch to missing out on after work drinks or sharing a coffee in the cafeteria, it’s easy to make things all business when working off site. Make an effort to make a personal connection, something which is often lacking when working remotely as communications tend to be all business. If you friend colleagues on Facebook for example, a quick message on their birthday can help you to feel part of the social circle. If it is possible to attend work events such as the summer office BBQ or conference, do so at least once a year.
9. Work on the Same Time Zone as Colleagues
If you telecommute there is a danger you’ll work on a totally different time zone to the majority of your colleagues. If this is the case, consider starting work earlier or later depending on the time difference to sync your working day. This will ensure you stay more a part of the team and that any problems can be quickly resolved with no delays in response as your colleagues sleep while you work and vice versa.
10. Remain Productive
Checking productivity is essential to staying connected. Remote workers have none of the social conventions of an office dictating that work takes places – there’s a temptation to watch TV, do chores or sleep late. Remaining productive means you remain professional, giving a sense of satisfaction that you are contributing along with colleagues. Schedule meetings, arrange calls and video conference.
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Whether you work in a different building to colleagues, are on a different time zone to your clients, are a mobile worker or choose to be home based, it can be extremely difficult to feel connected when working remotely. As a lone worker outside of the hustle and bustle of the main office, it can be very easy to feel that you’re out of the loop and not a part of the wider team. Fortunately, there are lots of tricks, tips and technology you can use to help you stay connected. Try our top 10 pointers to make telecommuting work for you and avoid the sense of being out of sight, out of mind…
1. Schedule a Regular Meeting
No one likes to feel like they’re missing out and as a telecommuter, there is a real danger that you’ll miss important briefings or not be as up to date as others who work from the main office. Use ShowMyPC to schedule a weekly meeting where you can catch up with the latest news and get a full briefing on day-to-day matters you’d otherwise miss.
2. Make Conference Calls The Norm
When working remotely there is a temptation to do everything by yourself which can increase feelings of isolation and nurture a sense of disconnection. Use ShowMyPC to arrange a conference call with key staff members, where everyone can dial in to the same number regardless of location and connect. Even a short call such as 15 minutes can keep everyone on the same page.
3. Set Up Systems To Access Help
When you work remotely you often won’t have access to the same support structures as those based in the office. The IT department for example will often be in at HQ, which is impractical for those working miles away when a program just won’t work or emails simply won’t download. To avoid frustration and create the sense that you’re still part of a team, use desktop sharing to allow office-based support access to your machine helping you to tap into company expertise and ensure you feel like a valued, supported member of the team.
4. Use Social Media
Company social media accounts such as LinkedIn Groups, Twitter profiles and Facebook pages are an excellent way to stay connected wherever your job takes you. Be sure to follow, like and +1 to remain a part of the work community. This means you’ll always be in the know about latest news announcements and be up to date with company events. It’s also a quick and easy way to communicate, participate and stay engaged.
5. Use VoIP
Calls can be costly. So find a cheap VoIP service such as Skype which will allow you to call other users on the same platform for free. With no fear of sky high phone bills, it’s much more likely you’ll pick up the phone and speak to colleagues, helping to ensure you stay in the loop.
Stay tuned for the next 5 tips!
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