The New Normal is Here to Stay
A Guide To Taking Your Business Online
We were waiting in anticipation for Lockdown 1.0 to finish so things could ‘’go back to normal’’. However, perhaps we were naive to make this assumption because as you can see, we are now in November and entering Lockdown 2.0, so it looks like the new normal is here to stay.
Don’t put off the plans you had and the goals you set until “all this blows over”. The sooner you adapt the sooner you can propel your business forward because nobody is going to wait for you. This is the time, if you haven’t already, to start doing tasks and activities that are essential in the new world of business by learning the relevant skills required today.
What are these key tasks and skills required in 2020, 2021 and beyond?
Well, for many, work life has changed dramatically. Working from home has now been normalised which has had a domino effect on increased online usage. The world in which we used to see it, is now being lived through computer screens and communication has become dependent on how strong our internet connection is. It’s safe to say that remote-working has become ‘the new norm’ so it might be time to start thinking about making your business more virtual.
So, why has this ‘new norm’ come about and how can we adapt to it with ease?
In this article you will learn about:
→ how to be productive at home and not let this second lockdown affect you negatively
→ Increased online communication and how this can help you
→ Managing relationships online
→ 7 ways to take your business virtual
Working from home
Commuting doesn’t involve long travels on the tube anymore, for many, it’s simply moving from one room to another in the comfort of their own homes. Research suggests that home-working increased suddenly from 5.7% of workers in Jan and Feb 2020, to 43.1% in April 2020.
For many in business this has been a blessing because we have all suddenly found more hours in the day to do the work we haven’t had time to do before. On the flip side, staying at home more means that we are all missing the very thing we loved in our business in the first place: customer face to face connection. Zoom or any other platform is no substitute for taking a customer out for a nice coffee whilst discussing their objectives.
How to maximise the results you want to see in your business without leaving the house.
During Lockdown 1.0 we discovered that a surprising 83% of employees said that they do not need an office to be productive. We all equipped our dining table and spare room into our “temporary” home office until the rules would relax.
We quickly got familiar with the mute button on zoom and started to even relax our “office attire”.
Now, during lockdown 2.0 things feel a little different. We went from snoozing the alarm clock, rolling out of bed at 8.59am, to now creatively thinking about how to get to grips with this supposedly temporary life that has become more permanent.
Working in this new world with new challenges means that we need to embrace the change.
Adapting is the best thing we could all do right now when the circumstances are out of our control.
Use this next lockdown as an opportunity to do what you didn’t do in the first one: get your business working smoothly and seamlessly online!
Here are a few tips and tricks that will turn your procrastination to online productivity in a hot minute!
- Follow a schedule
Scheduling and planning social media tasks and content throughout the day can help you stay focused and achieve your goals. You will be able to get important projects done on time without having the need to rush and will help manage your time effectively. A platform great for this is www.asana.com.
- Enable yourself to take short breaks
Taking short breaks will decrease the risk of your brain burning out! We’re spending a lot of time in front of a screen so one thing you could do is: walk and talk. Go for a walk whilst speaking to a colleague or client on the phone.
- Know your stats: measure your results on social media
Set a goal for your task i.e. Send 10 messages to 10 potential key clients on LinkedIn, and then measure the results you get from it. It can even leave you feeling productive as you’ve been able to contact a sufficient amount of clients
- Eliminate distractions
Spending more time on social media for business can be distracting because much of our personal life is on there too. Make sure you’re strict with yourself and avoid the distraction of checking your personal pages and checking our your friends
- Set up a functional VIRTUAL workspace
You will need to get new gear if you’re going to make social media work for your business. Some of the tasks can be automated i.e: lead generation, adverts, scheduling a post etc. However, other tasks cannot be done without a human i.e. writing excellent content, shooting videos, having a conversation with a customer etc.
Here is a shopping list of some useful software, tools and even useful people you’re going to need to ensure you’re a professional virtual business:
- A lighting tripod for great quality imaging and video
- Good quality camera even just on your phone, Iphone cameras are amazing quality these days!
- Sales Navigator on LinkedIn to target specific customers
- Posting scheduling tool like www.later.com
- Content calendar like www.asana.com
- Video editing software. Some high end professional editing software might be too expensive in your business right now so start with iMovie if you have a MacBook or Inshot App on your phone.
- A great copywriter (this is a human being by the way)
- Social media manager. If you have lots of spare time in your day to manage all your posts, your social media engagement, messages, content etc, then it is a very inexpensive way to get more social. However, if you’re time poor then hiring a freelancer to do this on your behalf will help you to focus on what you do best.
Using the Pomodoro Technique, to boost productivity and effectiveness without getting burnt out. It’s created by Francesco Cirllo. Have a look!
Increased Online Communication
It’s 2020. The internet and technology is now more accessible than it would have been 20 years ago. We are spending longer amounts of time on the internet, using apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google. It’s a perfect way to send an instant message to someone in real time, without waiting a long time for a reply back.
The average person in the UK spends over a day a week online, which is double the amount ten years ago so there’s no surprise to why the internet is highly used in the workplace. 2020 has become a load of regular zoom meetings and colleagues introducing themselves by ‘can you hear me?’.
According to a study, 70% of respondents said maintaining relationships with their co-workers was just as important as their jobs so it’s important to keep a good relationship with work colleagues. So, during the second lockdown, it would be a good idea to set up regular online calls to maintain these relationships.
Managing work relationships online
The most quick and effective way to stay connected with colleagues and clients when you are unable to see them face-to-face is, of course, through the internet.
Apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meets can be useful ways to stay connected. The rate of people making video calls weekly has gone up by 35% in comparison to pre-lockdown.
Zoom itself saw a 2,000% rise in new accounts over the UK’s lockdown period. From family quiz nights to conferences and virtual debates, these apps were used frequently to connect to one another when face-to-face contact was prohibited and there’s no doubt that these apps will become more in use for the second lockdown.
The advantages of having an online business
Not only will staying at home and doing work online enable you to be productive but it can really help your business boom. Online presence is the building blocks you need to make your business successful so it’s no surprise why so many businesses are becoming more virtual.
Becoming more virtual can help you manage engagement by looking at your statistics and viewing how many people clicked on your link or website. This can give you a rough estimate of what’s working well and what’s not.
Top 7 ways on how to make your business virtual...
- Make sure your business is on the online platform that is specific to your ideal customer
Everyone’s customers have a certain hangout space online, finding out where is vital for your business.
- Service based business
If you own a service based business, this revolves around your ability to reach and maintain the right customers and spend TIME with them. Is there an element of your business that can be automated online. I.e do you do telephone questionnaires with your customers that perhaps you could turn into an online form your customer can fill out in their own time? Can you perhaps use a service like Calendly to schedule all your calls rather than doing it manually? What parts of your service can you automate?
- Virtual shop.
Make sure you are set up online to be able to transact as easily as you can with customers. You want to be as smooth-lined as possible. But my business is service based not a product, I hear you say: What element of your service can be turned into a product? Perhaps you might turn your coaching practice into an online tutorial with Teachable? Perhaps you can create an online course that is easy to sign up to and buy from your website. If you are an accountant, maybe you could create a webinar online that educates your audience on the new stamp duty legislation?
- Instead of leaflets, why not start a blog?
When was the last time you read a leaflet? Usually, they’re put straight in the bin (sorry no offence!) Why not write an interesting article or start a blog instead? Blogging can attract new clients, maintain your marketing strategy and structure your relevant content. You can promote your videos, podcasts and more on your blog. It will keep your customers interested and can help you appear more trustworthy to your clients. Great tool for increasing engagement, gaining traffic to your website and having new prospects. For this service, this is where you might need an actual human being to deliver top quality content. Hint hint 😉
- Virtual business cards or a virtual promo video
Customers can easily forget or lose business cards they’re given. If you want something that is going to stick in your clients mind, then creating an online business card will be perfect for you as it’s a unique way of selling yourself. It will give clients a visual idea of what you’re all about and won’t let them forget about you, which can encourage them to use your service.
- Set up a well-designed website – or update the one you have!
There are 4.45 billion internet users worldwide and two out of the three people prefer reading well-designed content. Well-designed websites can give you a good impression and leave your customers wanting more. It promotes good user experience as your clients can navigate your website without difficulty. Websites should be user-friendly and readily accessible for anyone to use. This can also encourage clients to buy from you if they like the look of your website
- Invest in a social media management service
Increasing engagement and driving traffic to your website or business link is key to maintaining and gaining new clients. Research suggests 86% of large organizations have someone in charge of content strategy. You don’t need to take on someone full time to do this if you business cannot handle this right now. Using a freelancer can save on costs.
So, how does this tie in with The Content Hive?
Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the rapid growth and changes on social media that it stops you from doing anything online? Do you feel you are time poor? The Content Hive can bring your story to life by giving you consistent content for your business. This will allow you to engage with your target market.
If you’re interested in increasing engagement, attracting new clients and structuring your relevant content, The Content Hive can help you implement content strategy so you don’t have to.
The Content Hive will build your online presence and open up new marketing channels for your business and drive increased traffic to your website.
So, if you do not have time on your hands or you simply just want to boost engagement and drive traffic to your website, perhaps giving The Content Hive a go might be a good idea for you!
If you have read this article, then email us to let us know your burning social media questions that we will be happy to answer for free! We will help where we can and guide you as much as possible. A lot of this you can do yourself to get started but consistency is key. If you need to spend your time in other areas of the business and can’t keep up with consistent content and social media engagement, we can help. Take the opportunity during lockdown to put a strong plan together with us that will propel you into 2021.