COVID-19 has changed the way the world does business. Retailers and restaurants have had to modify their hours of operation and even limit their capacity in the name of social distancing. Much more business is being conducted online, and many companies have even gone completely remote with their customer service departments.
Who knows which, if any, of these changes will prove to be lasting? While a crystal ball would be lovely right about now, small business owners have to work with what little certainty there is in today’s economy. In a time when we could all use a little extra help, here are some tools that will help you get your business back on track in the post-COVID era.
Even before the onset of COVID-19, a vast majority of Americans were doing at least some of their shopping online. Ecommerce gives small businesses the potential to go from local gems to global sensations, and digital marketing has become one of the best ways to reach new consumers in a short amount of time.
If all of your revenue comes from in-store purchases, then you could lose many of your loyal customers, as well as fail to generate new ones. A robust Ecommerce infrastructure and digital marketing strategy, are essential to a thriving business in a post-COVID economy, where many people are understandably skittish about going into brick-and-mortar stores. Creating an online store for your products is a great way to expand your business in the post-COVID world.
Remote Work Infrastructure
Because social distancing is an integral part of the new normal, many businesses have taken many, if not all, of their company’s operations remote. If your business normally runs from an office, then you should consider implementing a remote-working infrastructure.
With customer relationship management (CRM) and objective and key results (OKRs) software, you can communicate with, and monitor, your team members. These programs also enable you to manage customer or client accounts, as well as use customer data analysis to create personalized marketing campaigns.
In addition to software, you may also have to provide hardware for your employees, depending on the scope of their duties. It’s not easy to trust employees to bring your new equipment into their homes, but extreme times call for extreme measures. Luckily, with equipment tracking software you can keep up with the location of the equipment you loan or lease out, in real time. Your employees need the right equipment to do their jobs remotely. Equipment tracking software can keep you appraised of any illegal activity that may take place with your equipment, regardless of whether it’s a small laptop or large construction equipment, and will send alerts so that you can track assets efficiently.
Digital Payment Infrastructure
When you accept any form of digital payment, whether it be an online or in-store purchase, you’re dealing with some of your customers’ most critical information. If you fail to follow best practices, then you will become high-risk, and untouchable, to acquirer banks. This is what happens when a business is put on the MATCH List or Terminated Merchant File (TMF).
It isn’t hard for a vendor to make the MATCH List, but getting off of it can be nearly impossible, and you can’t open a new merchant account until you do. Once you’re on the MATCH List, or TMF List, your company’s name stays on it for six years.
Global Legal Law Firm can help you to get off of or avoid the MATCH List. They’ve garnered respect in the electronic payments industry and have years of experience counseling merchants to help them stay in compliance with electronic payment regulations.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Depending on what type of business you own, it may not be realistic for you to move your entire business to a digital and remote infrastructure. If that’s the case for you, then the best thing you can do, is work diligently to protect your employees and customers.
A great way to ensure the safety of your team members and patrons is to provide masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves. Protecting employees during COVID is essential to keeping your business running. One of the worst things that can happen to your business right now, is for it to become known as a place where COVID spread. If you must have employees and customers on site, then follow CDC safety practices and offer PPE to all who enter your doors.
Cover photo credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova / Pexels