I recently had the opportunity to sit with Andrew McKee from Great Dane Coffee. If you don’t know about Great Dane Coffee, then let me get you up to speed – Great Dane is a charming cafe located on the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, Canada. Its charm is only outdone by the delicious hot beverages it brews for UBC students, staff, and alumni. The fascinating thing about Great Dane is that Andrew lives in Toronto (a 5 hour flight from Vancouver for those keeping track) and manages his business completely remotely. Not only is his remote business profitable, but he’s also recently opened up a second location.
“Distance is no longer a barrier.” says Andrew, “We live in an era where technology can solve so many of the manual processes we used to manage. On top of that, it can give us a real-time view instead of having to wait until the end of the day to get a glance into the business."
Andrew happily provided his top three technology tools for running a business remotely:
1. slack (www.slack.com)
This collaborative chat tool allows Andrew to keep in touch with his staff and stay on top of any issues they may have. When his staff needs an immediate decision they send a slack message and Andrew can respond in minutes. Whether it’s a supply issue or an irate customer, Andrew can direct his team in real time!
2. TimeStation (www.mytimestation.com)
TimeStation allows Andrew to know exactly who is working and available at any given time. Automated email notifications help him track when his staff clock out for the day. Use this in conjunction with slack and it’s he’s onsite with his team.
3. Square POS (https://squareup.com/ca/pos)
Square POS is one of the many new Tablet POS systems that push data to the cloud in real-time. Besides the sleek, minimal footprint, Andrew can now review his sales reports at any time. If he’s behind on his targets, he can use either TimeStation or slack to dig in further. v
As times change, businesses continue to evolve. Teams are now larger and need to move at a lightning pace to keep up with customer expectations. If you’re trying to squeak every ounce of efficiency out of your team then you should look to adopt the latest technologies to make your job easier and help you grow your business.