Adapting Your Small Business to the Virtual Environment

Key Tips for Remote Working

By Jared Price (MSB’23)

The COVID-19 pandemic poses new challenges for small businesses and their customers everyday. The outbreak uprooted traditional business models, leaving small businesses around the globe vulnerable to layoffs and closure. Even with access to funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, many small businesses are suffering. To survive, business owners are finding new ways to conduct business – one of these is by adapting to the virtual environment. Taking your business virtual is no small feat, but it is a crucial step to preserving revenue streams and maintaining customer relations. Below are some important tips for small business owners adapting to the virtual environment:

1. Reduce Overhead Costs

One of the benefits of a virtual work environment is that it’s a great opportunity to cut costs. Going virtual frees up valuable financial resources – rent costs for a traditional office space, transportation costs, full-time salary costs, etc. This allows businesses to reallocate resources toward pressing matters pertinent to the virtual work environment: marketing campaigns, website improvements, GoogleAds presence, etc. Always look for ways to cut costs!

2. Stay Organized

Adapting to the virtual environment is all about maximizing efficiency. Cloud computing is a powerful and reliable tool for your business to manage shared resources. Several web-based messaging and collaboration applications, such as Google Apps, make this process easy. These services allow for real-time collaboration, lots of storage, calendar sharing, chat features, and so much more. Most importantly, they allow you to create back-ups of your business’s essential documents in seconds.

3. Utilize Social Media

Popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, are a great way to find new prospects and engage customers in the virtual environment. Creating a business page on these platforms, along with paid ads, are an inexpensive and easy way to market your business.

4. Online Payment Integration

A key step to running a successful business online is integrating online payment processing options to your website. Online payment processing saves companies valuable time and money by reducing the costs and efforts involved in physical transactions. Electronic payment systems, such as PayPal or Stripe, are quick, convenient, and secure payment processing options. There are many companies you can consult to help with the integration process.

5. Consult Fellow Business Owners

An important milestone of adapting to the virtual environment is realizing you are not in this alone. Do not hesitate to build a network and consult with fellow business owners who are already accustomed to online business models. Find out how others are keeping up with the virtual environment and see how you can leverage these ideas to grow your own business.

6. Stick With It.

COVID-19 is pushing small businesses to refocus their efforts and adapt to a new environment. The time and effort you put in now to protect your business will serve you well in the future. Please know that HMFI is here to support small business owners and underserved communities who have been most affected by the virus. Together, we will get through this. Click here to learn more about how HMFI can help out your small business during the COVID-19 crisis.

Published on February 22, 2021

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