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How to Pivot Your Business During COVID-19

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It’s a misunderstanding that the Chinese character for “crisis” is a combination of “danger” and “opportunity,” but nonetheless, the sentiment is a good one. How can we use this crisis of COVID-19 as an opportunity? If you’re a business owner, the answer lies in transitioning your business online as much as possible.

First, I want to mention as much as we’d like business to continue as usual, it can’t and hasn’t. Many businesses have closed resulting in layoffs and furloughs (i.e., temporary layoffs). Also, some businesses require in-person contact and those businesses will be hit the hardest by this pandemic. However, even an in-person business like a massage therapist can stem the tide of financial hemorrhaging by making use of certain online tools. Keep reading.

How’s your website?

As a Charlotte web design company, our specialty is designing beautiful websites, which are more important than ever. If you’re following the shelter in place/stay at home/quarantine orders, chances are you’re interacting with the world almost solely online. How are people going to find you these days? It’s certainly not by walking past your storefront. Instead, your website is your portal to your customers now. If it’s unattractive, clunky, or hard to navigate, that means a potential loss of revenue. It may seem like a strange time to invest in your website right now, but it’s perhaps one of the smartest things you can do.

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Your website is not only the “window” of your business (to use the storefront analogy), it also carries certain features that get you noticed. What I’m referencing here is search engine optimization (SEO). When your customers or potential customers google the keywords associated with your business, you want to be among the first few entries. We can help with Charlotte SEO, but also SEO for any business in the world (the joy of not being location specific!).

If you enlist our help, we can raise your search engine ranking using those SEO keywords. It’s not only the website itself, it’s your blog. Is your website active? A blog says, “Yes, it is” and also helps you organically input SEO keywords. Have you noticed how frequently I’ve dropped in Charlotte SEO? That’s the beauty of blogging.

Now that I’ve convinced you to update your website, I have another question for you.

How’s your eCommerce?

In this strange time, adding eCommerce to your website is a great idea. ECommerce isn’t just for selling physical things like Christmas ornaments, it’s also for selling things like digital courses and even gift certificates. Many articles are circulating about supporting local businesses through purchasing gift certificates. Do you have that option on your website? Heck, even putting it on your homepage right now could do wonders for you.

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I get it though, how many people are thinking to google “massage therapist” right now so they can purchase a gift certificate? That’s why it’s important to reach out to your current customers and clients. Let them know you’re still in business and drive them to, you guessed it, your eCommerce store where they can purchase a gift certificate. I’m not saying you’ll pull in the kind of cash you usually make, but something is better than nothing, right? Your digital store is the repository for those gift certificates and electronic courses, if you have any. Which leads me to my next question.

What can you offer remotely?

Also in your eCommerce store should be digital offerings. We’ve been talking about massage therapists, so let’s keep that train going. A massage therapist could offer a training course, perhaps, on how to give a great self-massage. Or massage techniques to calm you down during COVID-19. Or how to massage your cat so they stop freaking out. (Is that a thing? If not, it could be thing.) What’s something you can offer your customers or clients right now that they need? And how can you present it over Zoom or Skype or a private YouTube video?

A friend of mine is a yoga teacher and she’s offering yoga classes over Zoom. Participants have to pay in advance and once they do, they receive the Zoom link as well as meeting passcode. That ensures she gets paid for her work (rightly so) and builds in a mechanism to keep people from stumbling upon it for free.

If you’re a chiropractor, can you start hosting webinars on wellness? Or offer nutrition counseling? If you’re a car salesman, well, I’m not sure what to tell you. But maybe you could offer a class on DIY tune-ups or some other car maintenance tips. Or maybe you shift into renting cars right now and mention that it’s a safer alternative to public transportation. This period requires creativity from all of us.

It’s worth noting that you don’t an elaborate store just to sell a gift certificate or a few items. You can sign-up for a business Paypal account and sell your goods by using Paypal’s built in tools to take money and redirect users back to your website after the purchase is complete. There are many ways of selling your goods, and we can help you figure out the best method that works for you. Whether you need a complete web development project, or just a bit of consulting on the best way to sell your digital goods, we’re here to help.

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Go easy on yourself

Lastly, go easy on yourself. We’re all experiencing a pandemic. That’s a traumatic event. Our lives have been flipped upside down and turned inside out. Some people will thrive during this time and write the next King Lear, but other people will struggle just to get through each day. That’s OK. This applies for your business as well – if you’re a company like Zoom, business is booming. But other businesses have collapsed. The ideas I’ve offered above are just that, offerings, and perhaps they’ll help you make more money than you ever have before, but maybe they’ll just help you eke by until your small business loan comes through. I can’t predict that, but what I can say is Web Symphonies is here. We’re happy to help you with any web development both in and out of N.C. Just reach out.

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