Covid is having an impact on almost all businesses, with many types of businesses simply unable to operate during the current lockdown. For other businesses, many have adjusted to remote working and/or providing their service online. As a company we operate remotely, so that part hasn’t change for us, but we have been impacted as some of our clients have postponed projects due to Covid. The goods news is that for almost all businesses, there are things you can do online to help.
1. Keep People Informed
If you haven’t done already, find a way to inform clients and potential clients that your business is impacted. This may be via your website, email (our favourite tool is Mailchimp), social media, texts or phone calls. Equally if your business hasn’t been impacted, but other similar businesses have, do let people know that you are still operating.
2. Build Your Social Media Presence
If you’re unable to operate your business currently, now is a great time to build your social media presence. If you’re a business who didn’t have any social media presence before, now could be the ideal time to create your presence. Spend some time researching what platform(s) you wish to use, sign-up for accounts and start posting some content.
3. Update Your Website
If you’ve been too busy to do those updates to your website, now could be a good time. This might be adding some news/blog posts, updating details of your services or amending/adding other content. Depending on what you have in place, this may be something you can do yourself. Or if it’s something an agency handle for you and budget is very tight currently, maybe use your time now to consider future updates and plans.
4. Use Audio, Video and Screen Sharing
Consider using audio, video and screen sharing. This may be for team communications and/or client communications. For your company phone calls if you’ve got an old phone system, maybe now is the time to consider a more flexible VoIP system – these start from around £5 / month. For group calls and chats there are free solutions (Zoom is one that has heavily been used) as well others which you may already be paying for – e.g. Microsoft Teams as part of your Office 365 subscription.
5. Improve Your Knowledge – Learn More
If you have spare time, you could use it for some training. This may be online training course, videos (many of which are free), blog posts, audio books or podcasts. You could learn some ways to improve existing lower-level techniques and processes or higher level strategic and business knowledge.
6. Get Your Systems in Order
For smaller businesses who are busy, the systems used to help run their business can sometimes be a secondary priority over getting the day-to-day work done. If you’re unable to operate your business (or it’s operating at a reduced capacity), you could spend some time looking at the systems you use. This may include checking if you’re making use of all the features they offer. Or indeed it may be evaluating alternative and/or additional systems to help your business run smoothly. Depending on your needs, these systems may be web based or mobile apps. If you need something bespoke, consider having discussions about a bespoke web-based system or mobile app. Cash flow may restrict doing anything now, but you can always consider and plan now for the future.
7. Consider Selling Online
For high street (and other) businesses that have been forced to close, selling online could be a viable option for some. This could be directly via a website of your own, or through a third party such as Amazon, eBay or others. Once your shop/business can open again, you may also want to think about the option of continue to sell online, as a secondary sales channel.
8. Research Your Competitors
While in lockdown and mostly restricted to your house, you can use some of your time to research your competitors online. This may include viewing their details on companies house, reviewing their website, checking how they rank on Google and observing what social media content they are publishing and what channels they use.
This post is designed to get you thinking and provide some ideas. If any of those relate to a new or existing website, web-based system or mobile app and you’d like help, please do feel free to contact us for a free no obligation chat.