Noemi Chavez

Noemi Chavez -5 Ideas To Help Your Remote Team Thrive During COVID-19

First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

Our team and I are staying safe and more profitable than ever during COVID-19. In fact, 2020 was our best year ever and we continue to do well.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company.

After graduating from California State Bakersfield University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, I soon began my career in the corporate world with AT&T. When I became pregnant with our first child, I founded Chavez Web Design, LLC. I quickly discovered that owning your business was a lot more fun. As a result, this is now our full-time family business. My passion for helping businesses has allowed us the opportunity to help over 600 businesses with their website and internet marketing. There is nothing more satisfying than to learn our client’s success stories after helping them with their business.

How does your company innovate?

In 2020, we began the habit of dedicating a minimum of 15 minutes to additional training by taking courses on udemy.com At first our team was not on board with this. However, we offered $100 to the first person that would complete 21 days of training. This got our team motivated to start taking their courses. The knowledge we have gained from the training has allowed our team to innovate at a much faster pace.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

When the pandemic hit it was a very scary time because we didn’t know how exactly we were going to be able to continue doing business. Our team had to learn how to work remotely. We had to learn how to be efficient and hold our team accountable for doing their work. However, it was not easy since we didn’t know if they were watching Netflix or doing work.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

On March 15, 2020, we were asked to move out of our office by county officials because we were a non-essential business. This meant we could no longer work together as a team or clients in person. You can’t use your office and I still expect you to pay your rent each month. If we moved out, then she said we weren’t going to be allowed back in. I didn’t know what was best because I didn’t want to lose the office. During this time everybody was scared to hire us for our services. As a result, I had to cut down costs as much as I could. Therefore, we moved out and cut down on many other expenses. I learned that you have to adjust your expenses based on what is happening around you. This forced us to dig deep and look for new ways to market ourselves and become more efficient.

What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?

Below are five ideas that we have implemented and can also help your business thrive during COVID-19:

1) Teleconference – We used to meet with our clients in person; however, we now do everything through Google Meet or Zoom. At first, our clients did not like the idea and still wanted to meet in person. However, once they learned how easy it was to connect and have virtual meetings it became really easy because we were able to share our computer screen.

2) Screenshot Monitor – So your team now works from home, but how do you know if they are working? This is where the screenshot monitor allowed us to monitor the work that they were completing. This screenshot monitor allows you

3) Trello.com – In the past, we used to email back and forth to communicate what needed to be done on our projects. Trello allowed us to keep track of all our projects. We could upload documents, images, notes, and set deadlines. This helped us streamline our processes better.

4) Google Drive – In the past, we would have a notebook at our office with all of our systems on how to complete a certain task. However, now that everybody was working from home. We decided to put all of our systems on the drive. This allowed anybody in our team to quickly update any of our systems without having to print anything. Any system could be improved by any of our team members in real-time.

5) Continue Doing Team Meetings – The book Scale-Up from Verne Harnish recommends you have monthly meetings. This can be hard when everybody is not at the office. However, we were able to have our monthly meetings by using Google Meet.  During this meeting we asked three critical questions:

1) What should start doing?
2) What should we stop doing?
3) What should we continue doing?

We were able to identify many areas of improvement which helped us do better and better each month.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

We have local competitors like loopsmarketing.com, ashsmith.com, and uglyduckmarketing.com. However, our biggest competitors are perhaps wix.com, weebly.com, and squarespace.com. Our game plan is to now focus on more established businesses. Moreover, we have also learned that it’s best to focus our marketing efforts on our niche. We have a very high conversion rate when we work with established business owners that speak Spanish. There are very few digital marketing agencies that focus on this niche.

Your final thoughts

My team and I became sad when we were told we were a non-essential business and we had to move out of the office. However, we learned to adapt and find new ways to become more profitable and efficient. As a result, 2020 turned out to be the most profitable year for us. My best advice is to not give up. Make the difficult choices so that you can live to fight another day. Think outside the box and learn how to adapt quickly without hesitation. Never stop moving and always look for ways to improve.

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