Small and Medium-scale Businesses Move Online in the Pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the majority of small businesses across the country. Medium-scale businesses are also being hit hard by Covid-19 restrictions. The greatest negative impact is on the restaurant industry, but retail and shopping businesses and the beauty industry are also hurt. Many companies had to let go of numerous employees to keep afloat. Many closed their doors temporarily, but others had to do so for good.

If you have a small or medium-scale business that is incurring losses from Covid-19 restrictions, do not wait until you must shut down or declare bankruptcy. Look for inspiration from businesses that are surviving the pandemic or even thriving in the current crisis. Many of them already had online operations even before the pandemic. Some only moved online during the pandemic but did so quickly. You can follow suit and shut down your brick-and-mortar operations, then take your company online.

Your Website is Your Brand

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Before the pandemic, many small and medium scale businesses did not even have a website. Many of those who had websites only had one-page static sites that displayed their brand and described what goods or services they provided. The only links to their actual business operations were their email address and phone numbers.

Today, you must invest in your website as much as you did in your physical store or office because it replaces all of these. It is now where you invite your customers and clients to come and where you conduct your business.

You must hire the best professionals you can afford to build and maintain your website because it must compete with all the other websites out there in functionality. It must be available on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. It must load fast and be up all the time. Your maintenance service must immediately resolve any glitches as they come up.

Clients or customers who visit must be able to chat with a customer care specialist at any time of the day or night, any day of the week so that all questions are immediately answered. They must be able to purchase goods or services easily through the website and pay at once through various online payment options.

Secure Your Data

Because you will be operating online, you must keep your data safe. You must back up your Microsoft Office 365 data because you can lose data stored in the cloud due to technical problems, human error, or security threats.

Part of the Microsoft Services Agreement is the recommendation to regularly backup your content and data because the company is not liable for any loss in case of service disruptions and outages.

Besides, you or your staff can unintentionally delete files and only notice this after the undelete option is no longer possible. Microsoft 365 only retains deleted emails for up to 30 days.

You must also consider the possibility of malicious intent from any employee that you come into conflict with or a hacker.

Another reason why you need a backup is for compliance with data retention regulatory requirements. This can differ depending on your industry and locale.

To ensure that you are getting professional service that covers all your needs, work with a company that gives personalized IT support to small and medium-sized businesses.

Market Your Business Online

You are moving your business online because that is where customers and clients are right now. It follows that you must market your business to them online, as well.

The most basic marketing step is to hire professional SEO services to drive traffic to your website. Once people are there, it will be good for them to read great customer reviews. Make sure to encourage previous customers to leave reviews.

You must also hire a social media marketing expert to manage your social media presence and implement your social media marketing campaigns. Social media is where people spend most of their time these days, especially as most of them are cooped up at home.

Ride the Trend to Success

The pandemic is causing widespread hardship and an economic crisis, but your small or medium-scale business does not need to be among the casualties.

If you pivot quickly and move your business online, you can still cut your losses. Take advantage of the agility of small and medium-scale enterprises against big businesses. You have no other choice as you see brick-and-mortar operations shutting down around you.

You will be surprised at how some businesses are now earning more after moving online. Others have expanded their services or product lines as they saw new opportunities in the online market. You and your business can also ride this trend to success.

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