The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted life in many ways—from school closures to travel bans, the virus has impacted nearly every facet of our daily lives. For small business owners, the changes have been drastic and challenging—but through this crisis, main street America has proven to be resilient. Business owners have readily adapted their businesses through closures and the adoption of new safety procedures, all while finding ways to keep their communities connected. As a small business owner, keeping your business adaptable and flexible to change is essential to surviving unexpected events.
Aside from adapting to new regulations and safety protocols, it’s important to consider other ways you can prepare your business for the future. One of the simplest—and easiest—ways to prepare your business for the future is by taking it online. Whether you’ve been selling online for years or are curious about creating a website, we’re outlining three steps every business owner can take to move your business online without breaking the bank.
Create a Website
The first step to digitize your business is simple—create a website. It might seem obvious, but nearly 30 percent of small businesses aren’t online. Your website doesn’t have to be extensive, but it should explain at a minimum the purpose of your business and list your contact and location info. Adding a few reasons why your business is different, like your mission statement or any special community commitments you have, will help influence potential customers’ purchasing decisions. 88 percent of consumers research online before they make a purchase—whether that purchase is in-store or online—so make sure you provide enough info about your business to guide that decision.
Start Selling Online
Since the spread of the Coronavirus, online buying has surged 248 percent compared with before the pandemic. As businesses reopen, some people may start to shop in-store, but it’s likely many consumers will continue to buy online. Once your website is up and running, consider ramping up your E-Commerce sales. Beyond can help you easily accept payments online and give your customers the easy online shopping experience most expect. If you’re looking to quickly take your business online, consider leveraging tools that will help you take online orders and sell right from your Facebook page.
Just because you’re transitioning some of your business online doesn’t mean you should forget about connecting with your customers. Whether you’re selling in-person or online, building a loyal customer base starts with regular communication. If you’re not seeing as many customers in-person, try email marketing as a means to get in touch with your customers. Whether you’re keeping them updated on exciting menu changes, new store hours, or promotions, email marketing will help you follow up and stay connected with customers outside of your brick-and-mortar interactions.
While the road ahead may seem uncertain, focus on keeping your business flexible so you’ll be able to adapt to anything. Don’t miss out on important business tips and resources—subscribe to the Beyond Blog and never miss an insight again.