Small business ownership is something that’s quite challenging, and that’s during a typical year. If you own a small business during the pandemic, you might face more issues than ever before. Covid-19 has shuttered some small companies temporarily, and others have closed their doors forever.
If you’re still in business, we commend you for your resilience. It’s not easy trying to struggle on when people aren’t spending as much due to job losses. The economy is struggling, and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon.
If you intend to keep your small business open, and you want to retain your customer base as well as attract some new buyers, you’re probably looking for any edge you can get. One sure way to stay on track is to use any technology that can help you.
There are several technologies of which you should be aware in 2020. Let’s go over some of those now.
Touchless Invoice Processing
Maybe you have a strictly eCommerce model, or perhaps you have some brick-and-mortar locations. Either way, you need invoices to keep track of raw materials or finished products going in and out.
During the pandemic, touchless invoice processing is the new norm. Touchless invoice processing:
- Allow you to avoid person-to-person contact
- Helps you keep track of daily product movement
Essentially, the way it works is you can digitize data for your invoices now rather than being paper document-reliant, such as receipts and itemized product or raw material lists. You can keep track of it all in the cloud.
As long as you have security measures in place to make sure no unauthorized individual can view the invoices, this is the ideal way to keep track of one of your small business’s vital aspects.
Zoom and Similar Remote Communication Tools
During the pandemic, most people have heard about Zoom for the first time. It’s a remote communication system you can use to:
- Talk to all of your employees face-to-face
- Do daily or weekly check-ins to discuss any pressing business details
Many small businesses had daily meetings before Covid-19 struck. Even if the boss and the employees didn’t meet up every day, they probably did so at least once a week.
You still want to do that, but now, everyone is working remotely. That might continue for some time until medical science comes up with a reliable vaccine.
Zoom and other remote communication methods can allow you to have those meetings as often as you need them. Maybe your employees are in their pajamas, and their kids are running around in the background, but the critical thing is that you can let them know where their focus needs to be and the company’s direction.
This is also a good way to judge overall company morale. These days, it helps to give your employees a pep talk every once in a while.
PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay
Another tool small businesses can use during the pandemic if you’ve gone to an eCommerce model is different payment methods, such as PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. If you strike up a partnership with these payment method companies, it gives your customers and would-be customers more ways to pay for something if they’re browsing your website.
The more payment options they have, the greater the conversion chances. You want to get people shopping online to enter your sales funnel, but then you want as many of these individuals as possible to convert.
Part of that is a streamlined shopping cart and payment methodology. You want to avoid shopping cart abandonment as much as possible.
One way to do that is to make sure the would-be customer can pay not just with a major credit card but also with Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal. There are some other options you may want to consider as well.
Social Media Platforms
Maybe you were using social media platforms before the pandemic began. Now, they’re more critical than ever. You should look into ones like:
These are some of the social media platforms that people use, but there are so many more. As a small business, you can use them for marketing your goods and services. You can reach the broadest possible audience this way.
The one thing you need to do is figure out which social media platforms your customers or would-be customers like. Since so many different ones exist, you can’t spend time focused on every single one. You will stretch yourself too thin that way.
Besides, not every customer base uses every social media platform. You’ll need to do market research to figure out which ones make the most sense for you to utilize.
Hiring freelancers might be part of your small business model. You may need to hire a copywriter to write your product pages. You may need one to craft an email marketing campaign for you or to rewrite some of your static webpage content.
If you don’t have a full-time staff writer to do those things, you can locate and hire a freelancer through platforms like Upwork or ProBlogger. These are marketplaces where writers, web designers, and other freelancers create profiles for themselves and advertise their services.
Often, doing this makes a lot more sense than hiring a full-time copywriter, web designer, social media consultant, etc. You might need these individuals for particular projects, but you don’t need them long-term.
Also, during the pandemic, you might not want to hire anyone new for full-time work. This can be the ideal solution in many instances.
The more you learn about the technologies that are out there, the more likely it is that your small business can push through this current calamity. If you’ve made it this far, you should keep fighting.
You probably had dreams when you launched your small business, and you still have a long way till you reach your goals. Don’t let this dreadful year or anything else stop you.