With governments at all levels across the country declaring that you should stay at home and only leave for essential non-social reasons, most notably food shopping. This has meant there has been a massive impact on the economy and it has never been more important for your business to be online during COVID-19.
In Australia, we are in the midst of a 90-day lockdown. After only a few days, you could see that this epidemic was going to have an incredible impact on retailers with closures of their stores in response to city and country requirements. The travel industry was equally affected. First international travel dropped off and now inter-state. Other businesses may be open but face to face meetings are not generally not allowed. In response, most companies are employing remote workforce solutions so that their staff can from home.
Within this article, I want to share with you some information and resources about how small businesses can adapt to the coronavirus. In particular, I want to give you some advice on how you can take your business online during this COVID-19 lockdown.
Why being online is so important during COVID-19 Lockdown
The government responses across the world have differed slightly but most city and country guidances recommend staying at home unless absolutely necessary. This is vital to slow and eventually stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Therefore, companies that have invested resources to improve their web presence are now able to take advantage of the fact people, in general, are spending more time online. You can start to see the importance of being online. People online are still visiting websites and still finding virtual ways to network. They are still spending money with e-commerce retailers who have an online presence. Therefore, if you want to keep making money and if you want your business to thrive, you need to make sure that you are available to customers on the web.
With that in mind, as an owner or decision-maker within your company, you need to start asking yourself: Are you happy with your web presence? Does it give your customers the right information? Does it generate leads that ultimately lead to sales? Does it share the updates that your customers are craving during these uncertain times?
Here’s what you need to do to take your business online during COVID-19
Many businesses in cities all across the globe have ignored their online presence for far too long. However, SMEs, in particular, can no longer afford to continue doing this during the COVID-19 lockdown. If you haven’t taken your small or medium business online yet in response to COVID-19, it’s not too late. Below is some key guidance on what to do.
Have a good website
Whether your small business currently has a website or not, this gov lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic means it’s time to assess your web presence. Is your website good enough? Should it be updated?
Be realistic! People have the chance to compare you to your competitors online. Even more, so these days because coronavirus has given them a lot more free time. Customers will choose those businesses that have a better website.
In short, your website needs to:
- Look modern;
- Provide value to potential customers;
- Have an obvious call to action;
- Include at least a simple sales funnel.
Get onto social media
If you want to be found online, you need more than just a website. You need to be online where your customers are. In response to COVID-19, it’s time to improve your web presence and this includes social media. When talking about B2B, the most under-utilised social media platform is Linkedin. Its growth has been phenomenal and an improved Linkedin presence will have a significant impact on your business. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are great for sharing information, adding value and starting conversations. They’re a great medium for starting the sales process, provided you employ the right strategy.
Get more online sales
Businesses that aren’t online are stuck right now. Your customers can’t visit your premises during the pandemic, been as they are subject to a gov lockdown. Many retailers cannot have customers come through their stores. Your customers haven’t stopped spending money though. They are spending money online. That means that you need 2 things:
1) A steady stream of potential leads;
2) A means for processing a sale online.
Take meetings via video conference
With face to face meetings off the table during the coronavirus epidemic, taking meetings via video conferencing software is extremely important. Zoom is currently the most popular COVID-19 video conferencing platform. It allows you to still give a personal touch and look at your clients in the eyes.
Use cloud-based tools to manage staff
Getting leads is only half the battle. You need to be able to manage your staff and give them the tools they need to make sales and manage clients. The lockdown should be the impetus you need to take your business into the cloud.
Resources needed to take your business online during COVID-19
Businesses need to take advantage of the resources available to them. To help small businesses during the pandemic here’s some guidance regarding the resources needed to take your business online during COVID-19.
Every SME needs a website. Two great business website resources for smaller companies worth looking at are Wix and the Wordpress Elementor Page Builder. These tools are freely available to all businesses to help them get online. The drag and drop builders make creating websites extremely easy. If you don’t have the budget for a web developer, you should definitely consider using one of these tools.
A lot of the more traditional marketing platforms are not as effective for business during the coronavirus pandemic. Even Adwords and SEO are not yielding the same amount of leads as they did. However, there are still some great marketing resources available to your business. In particular, you should check out Sales Navigator. This LinkedIn tool allows you to easily connect with your target clientele.
There are a number of online tools that allow businesses to manage remote working teams. Here are some popular online tools that your business could easily implement if needed due to Coronavirus.
- Google Drive — Cloud storage and real-time document collaboration;
- Trello — Task and project management;
- Slack — communicate between team members and keep conversations on project-specific channels;
- Pipedrive — managing leads and tracking the sales pipeline;
- Hubspot — CRM system with email automation.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ammunition to keep your business going through these tough times.