If there’s anything COVID-19 has taught us about running a business in 2020, it’s that the online market has an unlimited potential for companies across the world to continue to make profits despite a global pandemic. People still need to eat, shop, entertain themselves, engage all manner of services and continue to remain employed. But how can you make sure that your business has the right foothold to succeed online? We explore 5 factors on how you can effectively move your business online and include case studies on companies that have succeeded in the past.
- Ensure your business is one that can be sustained online.
How can you do this? Look for examples in other businesses within the same industry. Giants in the food and beverage industry, Taco Bell and KFC, moved to online orders and delivery via GrubHub in the US. FMCG brands also created e-shops, which gave them more control over the value chain and increased their profit margins. Across the world there are plenty of local delivery services that can easily distribute your products directly to your customers. For sectors that rely on physical movement, like the travel industry, many hotels and agencies have opted to engage with their clients, inform them about updated travel policies, and to be helpful at all stages.
- Take care of your own people first.
Regardless of whether your employees are working from home or required to work on-site, one of the first things you should look into is a human resource managing system (HRMS). By moving your employee database online, you will be able to centralise your employees’ documents in a single, secure platform, easily accessible by your managers and HR reps to stay informed and update necessary information. Herd HR is one of the HR software solutions that has this feature, alongside being able to create a flawless roster every time and have a distinct view of everyone’s schedule. Once you’ve tackled that task, it would be beneficial to re-examine your company’s insurance, healthcare, and work policies. Big names like Google and Facebook for example have shifted their workers to work remotely until 2021 and offered extra time off with full pay for those diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Research and gain the right tools to help your business succeed.
Once again, having an employee management software may just be the foundation your business needs to bring your entire company online. Herd HR will allow employees to clock in and out via an app, easily managing staggered hours and calculating the accumulated working hours of each employee to simplify payroll processes. Another factor to take note is drilling down the communication between your company’s teams and departments. In a previous article, we talked about how Nikolas Papanotas, founder and CEO of Geekbot, has a combination of 5 platforms for task management and project statuses to keep his team on the ball. Also, your communication with your customers is a vital tool any online business. Social media, call lines, live chatbots; all of these can adequately provide your customers the service they require. Writing for Kontentino, a social media management platform, Kinga Odziemek states that by giving your customers multiple opportunities to contact you online, maintaining your presence on social media, and building a trustworthy and helpful brand, they are more likely to keep you in mind when the dust settles. Additionally, online marketing is a useful tool to create both brand awareness and a stream of revenue. People now spend more time on social media than ever before, so with the right targeting and conversion ads on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be able to trigger consumers’ desire for your product.
- Have an adaptable business model and strategy.
It is important to be flexible and adapt in order to remain competitive on the market. Trisoft, a Birtish software company stresses that “Moving your enterprise online is a necessity in the context of [the] social distancing we are experiencing throughout the world… a great marketing move [can] reveal you to a larger audience and increase your chances of generating better income. In the world of business, the only constant is change.” Some of the greatest examples of those who have achieved viral success came up with the simplest of concepts to their existing business models. In the Gangwon Province South Korea, the Provincial Office started a social campaign advertising the sale of potatoes online to help their local farmers sell their crops. In just 30 seconds, more than 8000 boxes were sold. In Ireland, where taxis were restricted by the government to minimize the risk of transmission of the coronavirus, the taxi app Lynk switched from the transportation of persons to delivering groceries, cooperating with supermarkets and shops offering online ordering of goods.
- Keep it simple.
Trisoft’s mantra on surviving the pandemic is “One ruling principle throughout the entire process should be Keep It Simple (KIS). Odds are that, if you are forced to move your business online virtually overnight, you don’t have a lot of time for research, plans and implementation strategies. Don’t overdo anything, create your website, keep it functional and updated and focus on clients.” E-commerce websites and platforms are widely available online, making it easy for your business to start creating a channel for revenue. Luckily, social media accounts aren’t difficult to create and manage either. So with all of the promising results many other businesses have had across the world in migrating online, there’s certainly hope for your business too.