Posted: March 21st, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Collaboration, Data room, File sharing, Small Business, Success | Tags: 2012, analytics, branded data rooms, clients, cloud, collaboration, collaborative, connect, connections, data rooms, New York Times, Productivity, success, virtual office | No Comments »
“[O]ur attraction to a world of infinite possibility, information and complexity is here to stay. The challenge is how to participate productively in this new and turbulent world, and not be paralyzed by it.” –David Allen, “When Office Technology Overwhelms, Get Organized,” The New York Times, 3/18/12
Well-known business consultant David Allen contributed a fascinating column this past weekend to The New York Times, which addresses the conundrum he describes in the quote above. Basically, Allen is writing about what we all feel: technology has made our lives easier but in doing so has also piled a lot more management headaches on us and added job responsibilities onto our shoulders. So, the challenge is, how do we make technology really work for us?
Allen has a lot of great organizational tips, including a simple one that many people ignore at their peril: if something will only take 2 minutes, do it right away. Also, he notes that we need to make lists not just for the sake of list making but to actually get something accomplished.
There’s where we really think secure online data rooms can help. If we are able to organize our files online in an actual system, then we can achieve a few goals straight away:
- We can send people after information found in a clear, centralized place rather than having to create endless email chains trying to get data to people.
- We can track what data is actually being used via analytics and then we can avoid wasting time on data that no one is even bothering to look at.
- We can invite others to contribute to our data rooms, cutting down on work cycles and making work collaborative again.
As Allen says, “To be successful in the new world of work, we need to create a structure for capturing, clarifying and organizing all the forces that assail us; and to ensure time and space for thinking, reflecting and decision making.”
Now, data rooms are just one small step towards this overall goal, but wouldn’t it be nice to clear your desk and clear your mind by putting everything in one organized place and then seeing what gets used when? Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment when things get done—a sense we rarely get in this modern work world—but you can avoid doing work that no one even uses. Now, isn’t that a novel concept.
So, go and get your list started. As Allen says, organize by priority and don’t let the most recent thing become tops just because it is top of mind. And remember to add a bit of free time to that list because once you get your data room up and running, you might even have time to do something for yourself for a change. (Just don’t tell your boss…or your spouse!)
Posted: March 7th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Co-browsing, File sharing, Success, Web meetings | Tags: 2012, blog, brand, branded data rooms, clients, cloud technology, co-browsing, collaboration, connect, data room, insight, web meetings | No Comments »
Well, OK, You do have to try, but today’s virtual workplace gives us endless opportunities to create not just our own businesses but our own business “lifestyles”. We can work from a desk, from a patio, from a local Starbucks. However, no matter what lifestyle we might choose, there are still some constants in what makes a “virtual” business person successful in mind, spirit and pocketbook.
- Put on some polish: Although you may be working in your sweatpants, nothing about your business needs to be rough and tumble. Create branded data rooms for your files and make sure you have a consistent look and feel across all that you do.
- Connect with people in meaningful work ways: Even if you are operating from your mobile phone in your neighbor’s backyard, you can hold web meetings that can be interactive and insightful. Opt for solutions that require no downloads, work on all platforms and feature co-browsing, which is the new feature that everyone is going to expect of your meetings in the future. Don’t just show people something, guide them to solutions.
- Connect with people in meaningful non-work ways: Feel like Facebook is your only outlet for human interaction? That is not good, my friend. Give yourself time every day to escape from your work cave, no matter how glamorous it might be, and see friends. Heck, even make some new ones. Let’s face it, no one likes to be alone all the time.
- Start a blog: People love to learn from other’s experiences (including their mistakes). Let your customers and prospects hear your real voice, despite the miles between you. It will do wonders for your personal brand equity and allegiance. And it will get the word out on your business too.
- Do everything in moderation: Rome was not built (or even destroyed) in one day. The biggest peril of working virtually is that your office goes with you everywhere. Your best work in not the work you are going to do at 2 a.m. Even though you have the ability to work around the clock, try to establish regular work hours and stick with them. The most successful people aren’t the ones that work the hardest; they are the ones that work the smartest.
So, you can see how these tips will help your mind and spirit, but what about the pocketbook, you say? Well, if you use these tips to create balance in your life and power in your business, the money will follow…and thanks to GPS it can find you no matter where you are!
Posted: February 14th, 2012 | Author: Youdazzle | Filed under: Cloud Consultants, Collaboration, Customer Relationships, Network Marketing, Small Business, Working From Home | Tags: ambassadors, attention, automation, benefits, brand, clients, cloud technology, customer, data room, dazzle, personal touch, social media tools, website | No Comments »
One of the most amazing by-products of the social media revolution is that it is easier than ever to build networks online, connecting people that might never have met through common interests or reuniting people who haven’t spoken in twenty years. Better yet, the overall digital revolution has created “self-service” customer care, where our customers can do everything from buying our products to renewing our services to recommending us to friends without us ever having to be involved. This is incredible and saves us a ton of time, right?
Well, sort of.
While automation is amazing and linking in via social media is powerful, there are still some times when some good old personal touch makes all the difference. Let’s face it, we aren’t in Jetson times yet—although who wouldn’t love a conveyor belt to get them dressed in the morning. There are still some times where opportunities are lost when the personal touch is forgotten.
Here are some cases in point:
- The “cold” visit: So many times consumers visit a website only to leave without making a purchase or signing up for more information. Why? For the same reason that sometimes you will abandon a purchase at Target if you can’t find someone to help you. Sometimes people need a little guidance. Use features such as co-browsing to be there to help out your customers. Just a little widget with a friendly person to help can make all the difference in the world.
- The long-time customer carrot: Even in today’s digital world, people like to feel valued. It isn’t enough to just throw people coupons. Keep track of what people do and every once in a while say thank you in person or at least with a truly personalized note, not just an automated offer.
- The new product: Don’t just throw something new out there and expect everyone to love it or even read what you put on your website. Take time to show customers all that your latest and greatest has to offer. Bring them in, make them excited, build ambassadors for your brand. Let’s face it, the only way to get people talking for you is to talk directly to them in the first place.
- The renewal: Every time someone renews your product, you have the chance to get them to expand their relationship with you. The problem is, if everything is automated then there is no time to actually talk about what you have that could be even better for this particular person or company.
So, yes to social media tools, yes to automation, yes to technology. But let’s not forget what really drives people: other people. A slick new tool isn’t what really dazzles customers—it’s the personal touch. Just think: the most amazing box of chocolates means nothing without the handwritten card that goes with it this Valentine’s Day . . . Well, maybe that’s not the best example. But if you aren’t sending amazing chocolates, send your customers some personal attention instead!