April 1st, 2020

Six Tips for Taking your Business Online

by sage island

In today’s uncertain times, small businesses must be flexible, adaptable, and ready to take advantage of any potential opportunities.

Business owners must be prepared to change and change quickly and that’s not always easy.

So, what can you do to prepare your business to stay agile? How can your company adapt to change, and quickly turn a direction if needed? Now’s the time to create a plan of action for whatever comes your way. Here are six suggestions on how to prepare your business to adapt to these unprecedented and rapidly changing times.

Focus on your online presence. 

Use this time to focus on some of the essential things you have not had time for in the last few years. Clean up your website, update team member bios, ensure all information listed across all platforms is correct, and respond to online reviews.

If your website is over five years old and you have been considering an update, now is the time to do it. If you were considering the addition of online sales, this may be the time. You will not be able to utilize it immediately and create online sales within hours, but it’s a long-term investment that can evolve and improve your business in the future. When things calm down, you will be ready to enter the online market as a valuable asset.

Create an e-commerce store.

According to Statista, the number of worldwide digital buyers is expected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021, with global e-commerce sales exceeding $4.5 trillion. Ecommerce sales presently account for 17.2% of all retail sales, with online shopping itself growing 13.7% year-by-year. Keeping these numbers into consideration there is no better time to get online.

And the good news is you don’t need lots of time or money to do it. However, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start so do your research and be sure to consult an expert for more advice.

[If your business needs immediate help with setting up an online store to continue sales, fill out this easy online form. We can help!]

Understand that your marketing matters.

Now is not the time to attempt a fresh, new marketing campaign to boost your sales. Don’t try to attention grab with gimmicks or unreasonable sales.

Understand the situation and focus on the important things. This is a time when public relations and marketing matters, but it’s imperative to have a delicate but smart strategy. Most importantly advertising should not be a priority right now, there will come a time for it and when the public is ready.

Utilize social media. 

Don’t be scared of social media right now. However, use it to communicate with your customers about your operations. Do not use it to make the current situation light or funny. Instead, inform your audience about the precautions you and your team are taking to guarantee public safety. If you own a small restaurant and just added delivery as a service to continue to serve your clients, use social media to promote it. Just be sure to stay positive and supportive or your community and your followers.

With all social media platforms and feeds being flooded with scary messages and intimidating statistics, focus on the facts and things that you are doing to help your clients and your community during this difficult time. Understand your clients’ state of mind and their ability to consume (or not consume) any brand advertising.

Ensure your business is adaptable.

Not every business has the ability to adapt in a short amount of time, so focus on the adjustments you can make when you are able to make them. Some ideas to make your business adaptable include:

  • Offer free delivery if keeping in-store sales becomes a challenge.
  • Create online workouts if your business is a gym.
  • Offer a carryout menu if you are a restaurant.
  • If you are a dinner restaurant, expand into breakfast or dinner.
  • Offer curbside pick-up if your business is retail.

Most of all, even a minor change can make a major difference so don’t be afraid to be creative. Adapt your services to the needs of your customer base. This is not the time to make the greatest sales, but to find simple ways to keep your business alive.

Prepare for the future.

There are some businesses and brands that will handle this situation and handle it well, so be that business! Be the business that people remembered during a difficult time. People will recognize how you handled your marketing at this time, so instead of pushing an agenda, focus on the future.

Have a good strategy in place for when things begin to normalize. Whether this means a new website, a revised social media campaign, a fresh logo, or promotional mailings, work on a plan for the future that will benefit your business and make it stand apart from the others. If you prepare for it now, your transition will be much smoother!

Remind yourself and your team to stay nimble, it’s an effective way to stay in business in a world that is changing daily.

If you need some help putting together a plan during this uncertain time, don’t worry, the Sage Island team has you covered!

Please don’t hesitate to ask for help as many of you work to stay connected with your customers, despite the current environment.

It's more than a message in a bottle.

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