How to Digitalize Your Business? 5 Steps to Help Your Business Survive the Corona Pandemic
Let’s be honest: setting up a digital presence for your business was a necessary step before we ever heard of social distancing. But now, anyone who hesitated, delayed, or wasn’t sure there is a point to invest in an online presence, knows there is no other way. At a time when physical businesses close down because of quarantines and a visit to the mall is a distant memory, a company can no longer exist without selling online.
So what should you do go digital and make it through this challenging time? Here are five things you can do today:
1. Move your business home
One of the difficulties we’re all experiencing right now is losing our regular work routine. When you’re shut home with the kids, it’s hard to think of developing your business or even just concentrating on work. But this is the time for all of us to be creative, persistent, and continue working on our business in the conditions we have. The earlier we realize that, the more chances we have for success.
To continue functioning as a business in the current situation, it’s essential to set a place in your home for work-related needs. Even if it’s a small work nook, make sure you mark it as an office, by permanently placing everything you need to work there. Set boundaries with other family members and agree on work times when you are not to be disturbed.
2. Take stock of what you have
Many business owners don’t have time in their busy schedules to manage all the valuable business assets they own. Take this time to organize everything you have already invested time and money in and gain an understanding of what you have.
Store all the photos of your products and business in organized files on a cloud storage space like Google Drive or Dropbox. Put together all your marketing texts and materials related to your branding. And most importantly, make lists of your past, present, and potential clients. Use a designated program to do that: a simple excel spreadsheet is useful for beginners, but the sooner you adopt a customer management software, like Pipedrive for example, the better.
Remember that knowledge is power, and saving as much data as possible about your clients can have many benefits in the long run. Make a point of documenting, emails, phones, and other details about all your business contacts.
Especially now, the most critical factor in predicting the success of a business is it’s relevance to current demand. Every business should analyze its market and understand which products of services it can now offer to clients. Are there online services you can provide via a computer or phone? Do you have a way to ship your products? Now is the time to get creative and think outside the box. Try to figure out what the people around you need and how your business can meet that demand.
4. Build a digital marketing infrastructure
Take the time to plan a marketing strategy that will help you reach a potential customer that will want to buy your products. To do that, take the time to research your target audiences. Understand who are the people you want to sell to: what websites do they visit? What social profiles do they have? What kind of content interests them? What’s troubling them?
After you know as much as possible about your target audience, you can start choosing which digital platforms you should use, what message to send out, and how to design your digital look. A thought-through work plan is essential to create a marketing machine that sends out a unified message across channels and leads to sales. So many business owners expect instant results from digital marketing, but they just won’t happen without building your foundations first.
5. Choose an online sales channel
It may seem that all you have to do to digitalize your business is post your selection of products or services online and find a way to charge people money. But deciding how exactly to do that isn’t always easy.
The best recommendation, in the long run, is building a custom website for your business. A website will be a home for your brand, grow with you, and serve you as a place to post content and showcase your products. However, the cost of developing your website and bringing in potential buyers can be too high for a small business. Building a website can also take too much time for those who need to digitalize their business fast.
So when you need to choose your sales platform, take into account your product, target audience, and resources in the form of time and money. Sales platforms like Amazon or Etsy offer many advantages for retailers. In other cases, a simple Facebook page can be enough to start marketing services to clients.
In this challenging time, there is no choice but to move your business activity online as soon as possible. In many cases, you will have to work simultaneously on all the steps described here. But despite the urgency, it’s important not to skip any of these stages. An online sales platform, as effective as it is, will not work without a robust marketing system and daily upkeep. The learning curve may be steep but not impossible.