The world is on edge lately, and rightfully so. Stay at home orders across the country have very literally forced businesses of all varieties to close their doors and reassess operations from top to bottom. This has impacted virtually all industries to adjust in often profound ways. Employers have been forced into layoffs and the future is uncertain at best for those lucky businesses that are still able to operate.
So, what does this mean for the CBD industry? It means we need to adapt. To not give up in the face of adversity and keep plugging along as much as possible. It means we need to get creative. To come up with new ways to stay productive, keep customers, and carry on. This industry has always faced an uphill battle and even though recent successes have been the prize we all were waiting for, another speed bump (even if it’s the size of a global pandemic) is par for the course. If you are able to keep things thriving remotely, that is.
Many of you are more than likely already familiar with the process and benefits of setting up shop in a remote fashion. Our modern world has already forced many of us to create remote working setups that enable quick communication and task management from teams of all sizes, sometimes scattered across the world. Here at MACE Media, our team has been handling business at full blast while implementing the benefits of a virtual communication for years. We have been forced to close our main offices due to recent events but that doesn’t mean the doors to success are closing. It means we need to keep building upon the foundation we already have in place.
And I want to share some of the tools and techniques we’ve adopted over the years, alongside some new practices we’ve been forced into in the last few weeks, that can help to keep your CBD or cannabis-based business alive and thriving during the disruptions the industry is facing. We are all in this together. The more proactive we can all be about weathering the storm, the better off we stand at the other end. We live in an age of constant communication and global integration that affords unique tools to cope with exceptional circumstances. Now is the time to take advantage of that.
Project Management Software is a Must!
To successfully manage a remote team, you need a centralized system of keeping projects in order and people on task. There are an amazing amount of tools available to utilize in this regard and if you are not yet familiar with any of them, it’s time to get intimately acquainted with a few. Like, yesterday. Our team works and thrives on Basecamp. This project management program provides the ability for excellent organization and internal communication on a virtual level. It is awesome and essential and comes highly recommended. We also use Airtable often and this is another solid cloud collaboration service that can be utilized for projects that need more of a spreadsheet type of system to stay on track. There are other options out there that might better suit your businesses needs or styles, but experiment with what works best and start using these programs, ASAP.
Another essential tip to staying productive and profitable in a remote environment is to open up the channels of communication and keep them open. At all times, if necessary. Your team might be spread out across time zones or continents. Don’t be afraid to send a late-night message or stress the immediacy of a pressing issue that needs attention. Establish protocols for responses (i.e. check messages once a day, even on weekends, acknowledge action items when seen, etc.) and make sure everyone on board understands the importance of this communication. It may mean some late night or weekend work, but we are all stuck at home right now anyway, right?
Track Goals and Implement Action Based Accountability
Goals are always important to set and achieve, in every business. But remote teams need the incentive and push to prioritize specific tasks each step of the way. This means everyone needs to be held accountable for sticking to assigned work and reporting progress and action items along the way. Have your team check-in on a daily or weekly basis in regard to what work they have completed, how this has impacted progress towards a goal or project, and what they are doing to continue to help the company succeed. This will create a system of action-based accountability that is crucial for team members who may not be accustomed to remote work. With no one directly around to oversee their work, goal tracking and action reporting can help everyone stay on task and on track towards the bigger picture.
Adapt. Don’t Panic.
Uncertainty brings with it the need to adapt. With the state of businesses of all kinds sitting in the murk of insecurity at the moment, adaptation is essential to survival. As it is in nature, so it is in business. It may be difficult not to panic, believe me, I’m right there with you. If you can focus on new methods and techniques to keep moving forward, this panic can turn into progress. Batten down the hatches and continue pushing. Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor. Insert whatever motivational motto works best for your situation here. But when you realize that the challenges facing your business are not a death sentence, that there are options and tools out there to keep things alive and even thriving, you can rest easier knowing your business can weather this storm.