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5 ways to optimise your online business for the Covid-19 lockdown [checklist]

5 ways to optimise your online business for the Covid-19 lockdown [checklist]

Posted 01st April, 2020 by Sarah

7 minute read

We’re more than a week into lockdown in the UK. If you run a small to medium business, there’s a good chance you spent last week working out the basics of running your operation remotely and managing your team from home.

If you’re still getting to grips with this new normal, you can find tips on everything from managing remote teams to setting up an online store elsewhere on the tsoHost blog.

Plus, you can find everything you need to set up a new business website – from domain names to web hosting – on the tsoHost main site.

However, if you’ve fixed the teething problems and are running some sort of BAU, you can now focus on optimising the way you’re working specifically for the lockdown.

Here’s a checklist of five things you can do to make your online business offering work harder over the coming weeks.

Update your website content

With many small to medium businesses shutting down during the Covid-19 lockdown, it’s crucial that you use your website to communicate what’s happening with your own company.

In particular you’ll want to:

• Ensure your homepage explains to customers how you’ve been affected by the lockdown. Are you open? Are you offering products or services still? Are there any changes to the way you run that clients need to know about? If you’ve closed temporarily, thank customers for their patience and support and let them know about any plans you have to resume services when restrictions are loosened.

• Make it crystal clear how customers can contact you. Make sure your contact details – from your phone number to your email address – are up to date and displayed on every page of your site.

One company that’s done this website update well is Joe & the Juice. This brand has added a pop up to its homepage with a link to the new Covid-19 section of its blog. This area contains everything from blog posts on how the company is planning to navigate its way through the Covid-19 crisis to a FAQ blog.

Joe And Juice
Add a ‘chatbot’

In an ideal world, every online business would be able to easily add a chatbot to their websites to instantly deal with customer queries and concerns. However, chatbot technology is still fairly pricey and can take time develop. You can read a bit more about it on our chatbot blog.

The alternative to an all-singing, all dancing chatbot, of course, is Facebook messenger. To ensure your clients know they can contact you in this way, you’ll need to ensure your links to Facebook are displayed prominently on your website. You’ll also want to add your messenger information to the contact details sections on your website.

Harness video

If your business relies on people seeing what you sell before they buy, you’ll want to create some showcase or demo videos for customers.

If you’re not sure how to embed product videos into your existing website, you can use Facebook Live videos or even YouTube to show off your products.

Alternatively, if your business is built around offering a service such as personal training or language classes to customers, you’ll need to harness video to offer the same services remotely through the likes of YouTube, Zoom or Facebook Live.

Ensure your email is up to scratch

If your customers are used to coming into a bricks and mortar office or shop to ask you questions, you’ll find that the number of emails in your inbox soars during the lockdown.

To ensure you don’t miss a single message, you’ll need to ensure your email is up to scratch.

A-grade email should have the following features as a minimum:

• Ample storage per user

• Advanced spam protection

• Powerful search features

At tsoHost, we now include Flockmail premium email in all our cPanel-managed hosting packages. It comes with all of the above and extra features such bolt-on instant storage upgrades, calendar functionality and superior contact storage.

Spend some time on your blog

Before the lockdown, blogging was at the bottom of most small businesses’ to-do lists. Today, it’s a crucial way to keep your business ‘top of mind’ for your customers.

Try posting content that helps your customers solve a problem. For example, if you’re a hairdresser, you might want to offer a blog on ‘up dos to hide emerging roots in died hair’ to keep them ticking over while they wait for you to be able to colour their hair again.

Or, if you sell a product that can help them solve their problem, write about that. Avoid the hard sell, though, it’s not the time to be pushy.

Soup-up your security

Websites have become the lifeline of small to medium businesses during the Covid-19 crisis. If your company is now dependent on your website for sales and maintaining customer contact, the last thing you need to worry about – on top of everything else – is your website going down due to a cyber-attack.

You might want to think about investing in a product like Sucuri website security. Available for as little as £4.99 a month, it scans your website for malware, brute force attacks and zero-day attacks. If it detects malware, the Sucuri experts will work relentlessly to remove it.

Categories: COVID-19

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