The present COVID-19 pandemic is proven to be a huge disaster for many small and medium-sized enterprises across the globe. Though fiscal sectors of various government agencies have taken measures to alleviate the impact, it is still unclear when these SMEs would be able to go back in full operation. The vast majority of these jobs are concentrated in a handful of sectors, including tourism, food production, retailing, construction, pharmaceutical, specialized services, and healthcare.
The increasing demand to adapt to the recent changes has never been greater as brick-and-mortar stores continue to remain closed for customers until today. If you have a small business, you know that the coronavirus disease has significantly changed the face of the business landscape, especially if you consider yourself a conventional business thinker. For SMEs willing to reinvent, upgrading to digital can help them survive through this global crisis.
Here are ways to adapt your business online:
As small and medium enterprises start to move again, business owners now seek for the assistance of delivery service providers as their business partners. The coronavirus disease has accelerated change throughout the business world, forcing many of these micro-entrepreneurs to go online. Online delivery now plays an essential role in traditional and offline businesses to bring products and services without any need for clients to visit their brick-and-mortar stores.
If you own a small business, you can do online delivery by forming partnerships with reputable delivery service contractors or simply deliver the products to the customers yourself. Putting up a business website also enables you to communicate with new and previous clients while allowing you to display the products on a global scale. You can offer your products, receive orders, get relevant feedback, and promote new product discounts using a website or social media platform.
Having a business website significantly enhances your online presence while allowing you to track down performances of other business competitors nearest you. Though social media platforms can help reach your potential market, there’s no greater substitute for having a credible website being presented to the target clients. Now, if you don’t have a website, you can seek the services of web designers, SEO experts, and Web creators to help your offline business get back on track during these trying times.
Since you need to adapt online, it is imperative to build a strong partnership with a reputable website creator to make your business look impressive. However, if you worry about additional costs, you may find several affordable website designers on the market, digital marketing agency Be Visible Media is known for its SEO and multimedia design services. Be Visible Media makes it possible to have an established website that is both functional and interactive. Once you open a website, you are able to offer clients more service options, delivery options, and precise product information, valuable details you need to draw interest.
Grab Online Opportunities
Technology is no longer designed just for students and media institutions as the internet has transformed everything, including business landscapes. If you own a website for your business, you may utilize its functionality from promoting new products or services to converting viewers into clients. And marketing can be done effortlessly right at your fingertips.
As small and medium-sized enterprises now shift towards digital, you definitely need a third-party service provider that you can work on to expedite the business operations. Grab offers a unified and comprehensive digital platform to help micro entrepreneurs manage all business needs, including product delivery, staff transport, corporate organization, and progress tracking. With unlimited access to online opportunities from this app, you can save costs and time while digitally improving the productivity and efficiency of your organization.
Larger corporations apparently possess the advantage of having higher maintenance costs and technology resources. But that doesn’t mean social media platforms and websites for SMEs don’t have the capacity to compete against them. Social media portals, like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, encourage customers to provide service feedback through comments and reviews, allowing businesses to amend any mistakes if necessary.
Combining social media marketing and online delivery apps, it’s now possible to operate your business in various capacities. For restaurants and fast-food chains, they can accept inquiries and orders through their website and social media accounts. If you’re operating a small pharmacy or a gadget shop, you can maximize the potential of your website to receive orders, manage inquiries, and communicate with clients. For gym owners, consultants, and marketing officers, they can sell e-Books, original videos, and exclusive products using a professional-looking website.
As you notice, having a professional website can significantly boost your online presence better, rather than depending too much on social media platforms for exposure. Whether you own a small or a huge business organization, websites, and social media sites grant everyone an equal playing field in reaching customers across various regions. However, success will heavily rely on the level of responsiveness, marketing strategies, and service opportunities SME owners can do.
No business or job is completely secured, given the disastrous consequences, this COVID-19 pandemic has caused to millions of people. Though most businesses are now in turbulent times, still, there are ways to leverage online or other means while waiting for things to become normal once again.
Cut business expenses
If you think your business income may take a hard hit, see if you could lower down any operational costs, like office rent, staff meeting, or manpower outsourcing. For example, if you are renting out a commercial space, you may be able to cut expenses if you decide to go online. Consider going through your business workflow and see if there’s anything you can take out to preserve savings or improve cash flow.
Offer new products and services
Consider introducing new services to adapt your business to any dramatic changes around you because customers now seek information online. This may involve offering new ways to deliver services to your customers or bill them in advance before rendering any service. Alternatively, you may use video promotions, webinars, and business workshops to sell products or introduce the company.
Keep your website updated
If you keep your website relevant and fresh, you are able to maintain or at least get the attention of your target audience. If you don’t have the skills and precious time to look after your website, consider hiring the services of SEO organizations that are designed to take care of SEO (search engine optimization) needs of your business. Having a reputable online store now becomes a necessity as social distancing greatly restricts personal interaction and leisure travel.
Launch service and product discounts
Since the biggest concern for many SMEs right now is money, you should start offering special discounts while in the lockdown period, particularly if you’re offering non-essential services, to encourage customers to place orders now. Sending out customized messages, service vouchers, and loyalty rewards can be an effective way to entice new and current clients to keep searching for you. This unique strategy will ensure continuous cash flow for the business. What’s more important here is that SMEs assure their customers that the services or products will be delivered as soon as the quarantine order has been lifted.
Increase engagement with social media marketing
More than ever, people have the luxury of time to engage with social media for being stuck at home. Now is the perfect time to post advertisements, initiate conversations, and promote special discounts since they have more time to scroll through social media portals and business websites. And if you want to boost your online presence more, you can do something special for the public, like donating disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and protective equipment. Going viral would only mean potential business exposure and growth after the lockdown period.
The online presence of any business website ultimately becomes the front page for every micro entrepreneur. Apart from this, your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts are oftentimes the next point of entry any potential client may have in order to reach your business. So, let your customers feel that they are communicating with a real person by being responsive, interactive, and proactive.
You may essentially connect to your audience using an impressive business bio or any informative content they can learn because every connection starts with brand awareness. Through your business website, complemented with social media platforms and strategic targeting, you can increase your market reach faster than traditional marketing tools. Sharing positive reviews and customer experiences can do a lot more than just continuously promoting your business with no clear results. It is unlikely that modern consumers will purchase any product without searching for the right information, online reviews, and personal recommendations, especially from close friends and loved ones.
As many local SMEs stumble from the financial backlashes of the global health crisis and subsequent lockdown, it is crucially important for business owners to utilize technology that will help them survive the current situation and prepare for the new normal stage.