As we have seen in the COVID economy, virtualization and digitalization are essential for businesses and, as reluctant as some of us may be, we must embrace these technologies as that is where consumer behavior is going. Although there have been a variety of objections to digitalizing, one of the interesting objections was the feeling of connection with others and succeeding in a virtual team environment. While this can be something to overcome, there is help available to assist small business owners, some of which comes from the Harvard Business Review. In one such article, a time management coach recently published an article that includes a few key suggestions that can help businesses increase effectiveness in virtual collaboration, and these tips include regular meetings, sharing documents, working as closely together as possible, and messaging consistently through a preferred platform (Saunders, 2020). By embracing these components, small business owners can continue to thrive even if operating in a virtual or digital world.

On a personal level, although I greatly miss in-person events and greatly look forward to attending them again, my efficiency has greatly increased since COVID because I was able to reduce driving time per day, by the amount of 2-3 hours each day. Over the course of a year, that is approximately 27 days (each day containing 24 hours) of productivity lost per year – this is exactly why small business owners must embrace virtualization and digitalization. I increased my work capacity by over 8% by simply adopting virtual reality and digitalization, and that was just the beginning. This is merely one example of increased efficiency and the question that we small business owners must ask is, where else can we improve such efficiency? The answer can be found by continuing to apply digitalization and virtualization in each of our respective businesses. 

This is also why we chose Virbela as our virtual reality for our membership; Virbela allows us, as an organization, as well as our members to meet regularly and easily, share documents on a screen visible to everyone, work closely together, and communicate whenever we desire, all while interacting with people from opposite sides of the United States. The McGraw Council and our members do not merely accomplish our respective tasks and duties in virtual reality but we thrive in it – our teams absolutely excel because of the efficiencies within virtual reality. We have and will continue to embrace digitalization and virtualization because it creates so many improvement opportunities in efficiency and effectiveness. We, as small business owners, have a very unique opportunity, and we must seize the moment! 

John M. Beaman
President of The McGraw Council Membership, Inc.
10/14/20

 

Reference

Saunders, E. G. (2020). 4 tips for effective virtual collaboration. Harvard Business Review. Hbr.org. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2020/10/4-tips-for-effective-virtual-collaboration?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=dailyalert_notactsubs&deliveryName=DM101024