Maybe you’ve thought about it before and haven’t found the time. Maybe you haven’t even considered it because up until now there hasn’t been a good reason. Now that COVID-19 is forcing people to work and live from their homes, businesses are adapting to an online setting to keep running.
We’ve put together a list of handy tools and tips to get you started online.
1. Set-up a website (and update it as you go) As a business owner your time is stretched, and often your budget too. You need something quick and easy to set-up.
Tools like WordPress.org will help you put together a website for free that can be changed and themed to suit your business. These tools are easy to use and will help you put together a quick first website to get your business online.
Don’t be too worried about putting together a super complicated website with all the bells and whistles. You just need somewhere people can find you, learn about you, take payments, and get in contact.
If you try to do too much more you’ll take too long and miss opportunities. Remember, you can keep updating it as you go and customers are quite forgiving if it’s not completely polished.
2. Start taking payments online
Perhaps the simplest way to start moving your business online is to start getting paid online. It’s easy to set-up and you get paid much faster by offering your customers more convenient and flexible ways to pay.
Getting paid online could look like anything from sending invoices online to accepting credit cards. Additionally, you can automate things like receipt sending and payment follow-ups to save you time.
With Pay Advantage you can process credit and debit cards, set-up payment plans, and process BPAY payments all online. No setup fees, no subscription costs. We can host the payment solutions for you in your own Payment Portal, or you can go with a more custom integration. There are plenty of options to suit the way you want to do your business.
3. Focus on the best social media for your business
Social media doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but often business owners feel like they have to use any-and-every social platform out there.
This isn’t a good use of time and to start with you will be much better off focusing your attention on the platform that works best for your business.
Where you focus your efforts will depend on where your market is. Choose the platform that your audience is most responsive and interactive with.
If you need help putting together good visuals for posting on your social, tools like Canva open up the world of advertising design to anyone.
4. Make it easy for customers to contact you
Walking into a store and giving direct feedback is easy. This becomes a bit harder when you can’t easily have a conversation in person.
Customer support and interaction is important for any business, it’s important to open up the way you communicate to customers. Be flexible and open to emails, messaging across social media, and maybe even share your phone number if it’s applicable to your business.
The benefits of bringing communications online is that you won’t get put on the spot and have more time to consider your responses and communication. In some ways bringing your business online could help you to build better support and rapport with your customers.
5. Offer classes and consultations online
If you run a studio or consultation service, having a good customer relationship and the value of meeting and interacting in person is undeniable. Don’t give up if your face-to-face is no longer possible. There are plenty of online products that help you to deliver the same personal service.
By offering classes, lessons, or consultations online with the use of free video conferencing services like Zoom, you can continue to operate your business. You will open your business up to customers who might not have been accessible before, and you can potentially tap into markets not previously considered.
Video conferencing will be a very familiar communication channel by the end of the Covid crisis, and it’s unlikely to go away afterwards. Get onboard now and don’t miss out!