Leading epidemiologists assert that the best way to slow the spread of coronavirus is to stay home and practice social distancing. In a nearly unprecedented move, over 212 million Americans have been urged to stay at home, locking down all but the most essential citizens. That means that, for the first time, the world is transitioning to a mostly-remote workforce. As businesses close their physical doors for the foreseeable future, many entrepreneurs are asking themselves “how do I take my business online?”
While every business is different, many of them can successfully transition part, if not all, of their offerings online. The good news is this has the potential for a huge pay-off post-pandemic as well. Statistics indicate that employers with flexible work policies collectively save billions per year, with happier and more productive employees. Here are five ways that you can digitize your business:
1. Own a shop?
Now’s a good time to take your inventory online. Put together an online shop and take advantage of reduced overhead with 24-hour service. Bringing your store to the world wide web allows you to reach clients who may be outside of the range you normally serve—and they might become lifelong converts.
2. Teach a skill or class?
Take advantage of streaming and video-conferencing tools to offer live classes and sessions online. Clients can join you in real-time or access the videos later, on their schedule. These recordings make you accessible to anyone with a data connection, and can even provide a taste of what you can do for people who may use or refer you later.
3. Need to share your expertise?
Write an eBook, start a blog, or update your social media. During uncertain times, people will look to each other, the Internet, and hopefully you for answers. Focus on sharing accurate information with tangible tips on how people can move forward, and position yourself to be at the top of the search results when the dust settles.
4. Gotta mobilize a team?
Invest in office technology that works in or out of the office. If you’re already in the market for office equipment, consider adding laptops and webcams to the shopping cart. Go paperless and switch to a cloud-based storage system to make transitioning out of the office seamless.
5. Not sure where to start?
If you’re just starting your business or not sure how to transition, look at other businesses that have similar products or services. How are they making the leap? If you haven’t looked at it in a while, now would be a good time to revise your business plan. Making a change may require some creative thinking or a cash infusion, but strategic moves now could kickstart the next phase of growth for your business.