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Episodes

Leading a Remote Company with Brad Williams

As businesses forced to work from home due to the coronavirus begin to wake up the possibilities of working remotely, we spoke to a local business owner who leads a completely remote company, with 40 full-time employees. CEO and Co-Founder, Brad Williams has lead WebDevStudios for a decade. Brad shared his experience and advice for professional services firms considering a permanent transition to remote working.

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Notes

What are some recommendations for structuring remote work?

  • Make it very clear to your employees what your expectations are. 
  • Employees may wonder “Do you expect me to say hi in the morning?” Simple signals and notifications make it easier for team members to know who is around.
  • Set expectation of responsiveness: When do emails or Slack members require a reply? Immediately? Same day?
  • There shouldn’t be an expectation to respond right away unless it’s an emergency
  • It’s also about managing the expectations of colleagues – If you’re going to step away for more than 15 minutes, consider letting your colleagues know.
  • Slack allows for folks to share their working hours.
  • Set boundaries for when you’re working or not working. 
  • WFH – working from home – means there’s not a clear definition of when you are or are not working. 
  • Many of remote team are using Zoom, Slack, etc.

What are some key advantages of working remotely?

  • Remote companies can hire folks from anywhere, which can allow them to hire the right people for the company’s needs. 
  • Remote working reduces costs – employers don’t need to spend a ton of renting an office or physical location. That money can be redirect into salaries, employee benefits, computer equipment, training, and more .

Is there a benefit to having a person local to a client?

  • Definitely! Having a team local to the client is a great card to play. The human connection is of real value.

What processes should businesses consider when trying to manage clients and projects remotely?

  • Getting a group on a Zoom call / video conference on can be very beneficial. 
  • Any time there’s conflict or confusion, get on a phone call or a Zoom call – reduce the risk of misunderstanding by talking
  • Things can spiral downward if your team is out of sync, or if you’re out of sync with clients
  • Go with what works best for your business and people
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Episodes

Leadership in Human Resources with Lisa Van Ess

Human resources departments have the difficult job of helping employees navigate through a lot of change right now: working from home, changing processes, potential furloughs, and more. Luckily, Lisa Van Ess, Vice President of People & Culture at Magic Hat Consulting is here to help.

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Main Street Preservation Grants with Marian Moskowitz

The Chester Countys Commissioners set up a $5M fund to establish the Main Street Preservation program. This program allows for grants of up to $25,000 for the county’s small businesses and agriculture enterprises impacted by COVID-19. Here to talk about it with us today is Marian Moskowitz, a recently elected Chester County Commissioner, Chair of the Board of Commissioners, and Chair of the Economic Development Council.

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Social Media Marketing with Marty McDonald

With all of Pennsylvania still under stay at home orders, businesses pivoting to online has been crucial to staying in business. Marty McDonald runs a full service Digital Media Agency in West Chester, and has been helping his clients weather the storm with digital marketing services. In this episode, he offers some great advice to businesses looking to grow their online presence.

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How Insurance Can Protect You in a Pandemic with Austin Morris, Jr.

Austin Morris, Jr. is an insurance broker that really knows his stuff! And in this episode, he’s going to run through all sorts of different insurance policies you have or should have, and how they might be able to protect you from some losses during COVID-19. He makes it clear that policies are pretty clear when it comes to viruses, but that doesn’t means there’s nothing you can do. (And no, Austin is not an attorney and is not offering specific advice or counsel.)

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Handling Tech while Working Remotely with Erik Gudmundson

Erik Gudmundson is the VP of Business Development at Pegasus Technologies, a company that provides an IT department to businesses which don’t have their own. As most of the workforce is now at home, Erik provides some great information on how to do that effectively, what to think about, and how to stay safe.

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Getting Economic Assistance with Michael Grigalonis

Businesses all over the country are being impacted by COVID-19 and the stay at home orders issued by most states. Local, State, and Federal governments have tried to mitigate the damage with economic assistance in the form of funding. To learn a bit more about how Chester County business can get economic help, we’re talking to Michael Grigalonis, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Chester County Economic Development Center.

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Start Local: Helping Business in the Greater Philly Area

Start Local is focused on helping businesses in Chester County, PA, and the greater Philly area as they try to navigate through the COVID-19 economy. Our aim is to help you learn where you can get help, to share stories of businesses which have successfully pivoted, and to document the real challenges these local businesses are facing.