Challenges: We all have them
Like most small businesses, we had our fair share of hurdles to overcome in 2020. We’d never lived through a pandemic, so nobody knew how to react. Once it was clear that this was going to have a significant impact on work as we knew it, the questions began to arise. What impact is this going to have on our business? How will this affect our clients? Will we need to send everyone home? For how long?
With so many unknowns, we figured it would be wise to use this as an opportunity to evaluate our monthly spending. More specifically, we did a thorough review of our monthly subscriptions. We live in a world of subscription overload; surely there were a few subscriptions we could do without until things get back to normal. As we examined our recurring charges, we noticed that there were 3-4 that we could live without for the time being. For example, we were paying $129/month for Slack. Since Teams is included in our Microsoft 365 subscription (the lifeblood of our organization) and offers relatively the same functionality, we decided to shed our Slack expense and migrate everyone to Teams.
Visitor Management System
Out of all the subscriptions we reviewed, there was one that stuck out more than any of the others. Before COVID, we used Envoy to help us track visitors and deliveries. An iPad was situated in our lobby and guests were asked to sign in before entering our office. After checking in, an automated email was sent to the meeting host notifying them that their guests had arrived.
To be clear, aside from a few limitations, we were satisfied with Envoy but considering that we were unable to host in-person meetings at the time, it made sense for us to pause the $99/month subscription.
Now that vaccines are being distributed and the world appears to be reopening, we decided to use the Microsoft Suite to build our own, customizable visitor management system.
They say limitation breeds creativity, and that was certainly the case here. As the world slowly began reopening, we once again were allowed to host onsite, socially distant meetings. We quickly realized how much we relied on Envoy. Having a tool designated to track visitors and notify hosts was a huge advantage, especially considering the number of visitors we welcomed. It saved us time, made a great impression, and most importantly, it kept our workplace safe.