Whether you are facing a crisis as an individual business or the whole world is faced with a crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, making the best decisions for your business is a necessity. Given the current climate, for many businesses trading is limited - but one way to keep business operations moving is to move your business online.
It is worth considering that everyone needs to have an online presence to a certain extent. If until now business owners could choose whether or not to make the transition toward computer-based commerce, the shift has become rather imperative given the current situation.
Clearly, how you move your business online will largely depend on the kind of business you own and where you operate. This article will help you to weigh up your options and think about how you can adapt your business to an online environment whilst still providing a service that reflects your brand.
Benefits of Moving Your Business Online
In times of crisis, it is important to be flexible and adapt in order to remain competitive in the market. Moving your enterprise online is a necessity in the context of the social distancing we are all experiencing. This is definitely a challenge but can be a great marketing move.
Just some of the benefits of moving your business online include:
Customer Reach - The company will be open 24/7 and visitors can make purchases at any hour if it is an e-commerce website.
Accessibility – Being online provides an easier access point for customers as they can browse, read reviews and gather product information with ease.
Reduction in Operational Costs – Moving online can reduce operational costs such as rent, utilities, and other office expenses that you may not have the capacity to finance.
Improved Customer Support – When you move online, your means to be able to support customers is often improved as there are more ways to instantly provided help and support.
Enhanced Credibility - Moving a company online does not mean shutting down the traditional one; it will simply lead to increased visibility in this very demanding market as well as an enhanced service offering.
Continuity in a time of crisis - The Internet could never be shut down, so the likelihood that your business can run a little smoother in a time of crisis by being online is really important for many SMEs.
How To Shift To An Online Environment
It can seem like a real challenge to shift to an online-focussed environment, especially if it has to be done quickly. Here are some top tips to remember to make sure your online space serves its purpose well:
1. Invest In Your Website
A crucial part of taking your business online is creating a website or optimising and updating your current one to make it better. As well as it looking good, it also must provide useful and informative content that the customer needs, and it must be user-friendly.
Keeping in touch with website visitors is essential. This may be with regards to stock, delivery times or prices. The main aim is to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.
2. Use Social Media Wisely
Make the most out of social media by focussing on one or two platforms that work best for your market.
Encourage your audience to review your business and its services and share their experience. Keeping everyone engaged, inspired and in the loop during times like this is great for branding when focusing on sales isn’t as easy.
3. Use Good SEO
Exploit SEO tools to stay ahead of the competition and rank among the first results in search engines and grow your web presence.
Even if success doesn’t arrive abruptly, it is likely that your business will grow and change based on improvements made in the present. Act for future success and stay one step ahead of the trend.
4. Keep Processes Simple
Start with a plain, professional and smooth-working design - there is no need to overdo anything. The main focus should be to create your website, keep it functional and updated and focus on clients.
Connect with co-workers or employees online, and have meetings using Skype or Zoom to keep things organised and in line with some of your normal practices.
What's Next For Your Business?
Regardless of how you choose to get your business online, it’s reassuring to know that there are still ways to continue trading and functioning. You just have to understand what suits your business.
It is advisable to keep up to date with the latest financial support that the government is offering to support businesses through the Covid-19 outbreak. If you are interested in creating a business plan that addresses your next steps as a business, contact us.
Call one of our friendly and professional business plan writing experts on 01604 420 420 or contact us using the form on the right.