After the pandemic, a lot of things will go back to normal for small businesses. But, some things will remain changed forever. Here are five things that I think will change permanently for small business websites around the globe.
There will no longer be companies without an online presence. Up until now most companies are on the web, but some still (somehow) have not developed websites. What Covid – 19 has taught us is that you have to be able to do business online. At very least you need a site to communicate to people when you are closed or have special hours and circumstances. Now, that doesn’t mean everybody is selling 1 million products or have a full-fledged e-commerce site, but every small business needs a website. Chances are the companies who don’t have a website will not be long for this world. They are dinosaurs and will become extinct.
Even traditional brick and mortar stores that don’t sell online, will need the ability to do so. That may not be your entire product line, but it’s a good idea if you have some standard products that can always be bought online. That way your business is never totally shut down no matter the tragic circumstances.
If you are a professional service, such as a law firm or CPA, you now need the ability to be paid online. One of my clients is a law firm that has been around since the 1800s. They recently had us build an improved payment solution for their website. The new functionality has lead to quicker payments as well as a savings of of over $12,000 a year. People during the pandemic have been scared to even go to the post office in many cases. So, having the ability to get paid online is crucial. If your website is not set up to accept payments, then that would be a good place for you to start and be ready if this horrible circumstance ever comes around again.
Too many websites are still stagnant, static sites and when the pandemic hit they had no way to quickly update their websites. The days of building a site and never making changes are gone (as they should be!!). Every site should be built using a Content Management System or CMS that is user friendly.
The percentage of people viewing sites on cellphones and pads has reached an all time high. During traumatic times, people have little patience for websites that don’t display on their device of choice. So if you are a late adopter with a site that doesn’t look good everywhere, now is the time, make it happen!
Look, if I had told you that we would have a pandemic that would shut down the world, forcing millions out of work, you would’ve said I am crazy. But like a scary movie, our world became a nightmare with Covid-19. Similar to 911, some things changed forever. After 911, everything from travel, to the way we purchase stocks and our normal behavior shifted forever. The same thing has happened with the pandemic. Now, as no one could’ve predicted this, very few were ready for the new world order. Some companies actually thrived during this horrible time. Some have survived and sadly many will go out of business forever.
But, looking on the positive side (if there is one) we now will be planning ahead for the next pandemic. Our small businesses will be far more ready, as we have to find a way to keep business says surviving even during the worst times when we cannot conduct business face-to-face. Most of us will never go back to our normal jobs, going into an office 9 to 5, as many will remain working from home. But the work will still need to be done, just in a different fashion. We have to be ready.
My recommendation for small businesses is this: take a look at your small business website, figure out what you can do in the event of another global catastrophe. Determine what is the bare minimum you need to keep your business afloat and make it happen. And of course, if you need any help at all, please contact us, we are happy to assist.
As a web developer who works from home most of the time, people often ask me for tips and advice on how to be successful. While it isn’t for everyone, for those of us who know how to make it work, our lives are markedly better then when we had to commute to an office.
Here are 10 tips:
Update: Going to a coffee shop for a couple of hours probably isn’t a good idea. But do get up from your chair every once in a while and move around as much as possible.
Update: Going to a gym may not be an option, but do make sure you get your exercise in if possible.
Update: Virtual Meetings are probably preferred at the moment and you may want to avoid public places for meetings if possible.
Working from home is one of the main benefits you have when running your own business or working in a job that allows you to work remotely. If you do it right, you can get much more done in a much shorter period of time and live a more fulfilled, healthier and happier life. More and more companies are seeing the benefits of having a remote workers. When you can save money on real estate, and have a happy workforce there is little downside. When a company asked me how do they know what their people are doing when remote, I say it is the same as if they were in the office. When someone has deliverables and tasks they’re responsible for, you either get them done or they don’t. Now if your employees are getting a lot more done in a shorter period time and are taking an hour so for themselves in the middle or end of the day, then no one loses. (except maybe the blues…)