Freedom, flexibility and time: These are high on the wish list of any small business owner or entrepreneur. To help you embrace all three, we’ve condensed highlights from interviews with small business owners into a series on how they’re embracing Slack to streamline processes, brave economic uncertainty and improve collaboration to get more done.
Today, see how three growing businesses around the country are scaling their growth with less busywork.
Speeding up communications without using email or texts
Moontower is the definition of a hybrid workplace. Employees of the Austin, Texas, home renovation and construction company are frequently working in the office with interior designers, at construction sites with builders or remotely from home.
Moontower initially relied on inefficient messaging apps that were detrimental to the company’s production as a team. The company adopted Slack in 2021 because it needed an intuitive workspace that allowed employees to search for projects and get up to speed quickly.
Now a construction worker in the field can hop on their iPad, send a Slack message to a designer in the office and get an immediate response. Designers can share vendor recommendations and aesthetic examples for inspiration too.
Using Slack to crowdsource ideas and share files in channels means employees don’t have to dig through their tangled email chains anymore. If someone from the construction team asks how to install a kitchen fixture, they can get immediate answers in a thread. The next time someone has the same question, they can search Slack and find the answer.
“I love Slack,” says Moontower co-owner, partner and financial director Jeff Munoz. “I’ve never been able to passively keep up with our projects like this. Now I don’t have to bug our project managers for updates because I’m already up to speed!”
“I love Slack. I’ve never been able to passively keep up with our projects like this. Now I don’t have to bug our project managers for updates because I’m already up to speed!”
Managing communications around the clock
Longway founder Kris Galmarini started making unique clothes for her children a decade ago—and her lifestyle brand now includes online retail, a coffee shop and a brick-and-mortar store with operations in Peru, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Not particularly tech-savvy, Galmarini hesitated adding more software to her business. Her husband persuaded her to give Slack a try, and she realized it was a game changer. “Slack has helped the efficiency of the company because it’s easier to run all arms of the business from one platform,” she says.
With channels for each business component, Galmarini can manage orders and shipping logistics or unforeseen developments, like a barista calling in sick, in the channel without alerting uninvolved teams. To keep work moving forward, employees across time zones can immediately share production and sample updates knowing that colleagues will sign on for their workday and have a full scope of what happened while they were offline.
She says her employees are happier too: She used to text her general store manager any time she thought of a task. Now she fires off a quick Slack message, which is as easy as texting but less formal and time-consuming than sending an email.
“Slack has changed our business, efficiency and communication,” Galmarini says. “It isn’t just for huge businesses with multiple operational teams. You can have five people on Slack, and it’s incredibly beneficial. And you can grow with it. I can’t even remember what it was like to communicate before Slack.”
“Slack has changed our business, efficiency and communication...You can have five people on Slack, and it’s incredibly beneficial. And you can grow with it. I can’t even remember what it was like to communicate before Slack.”
Scaling business operations and fostering relationships with clients
Slow Clap is a San Francisco-based production company that’s scaled significantly since launching in 2014. What started with founder Dan Lichtenberg making video content for friends is now a full-scale production house with six full-time, four part-time employees and often up to 30 freelancers. Slow Clap’s growth meant it needed an operational hub—or digital headquarters—to keep track of fast-moving projects and staffing needs, and to ensure seamless client experiences.
“Slack is part of our DNA. I can’t imagine running Slow Clap without it,” Lichtenberg says. “Not every conversation deserves to be 10 minutes. Some things can be a 30-second exchange.”
And when it comes to building relationships with clients, Slack Connect is essential. Clients have access to the same information, data and tools in dedicated, secure channels with their Slow Clap team so joint decision-making happens fast. “Working in Slack Connect helps clients feel like we’re their colleagues,” Lichtenberg says. “We can do quicker, better work when we can edit a film clip in real time together. They can see us responding to their requests rather than waiting on an email chain.”
“Working in Slack Connect helps clients feel like we’re their colleagues. We can do quicker, better work when we can edit a film clip in real time together. They can see us responding to their requests rather than waiting on an email chain.”
Note: Sections of this blog were originally published in Inc., Fast Company, and other media outlets.