Post-COVID-19 and Your Business – Finding a Way Forward Online

This week, we are pleased to be featuring a guest blog from Stefanie Young of Innov8 Place. As a successful small business owner killing it in the world website design and e-commerce, she offers some much-needed wisdom for small businesses in a time of uncertainty.

There is a good chance you’ve been feeling the waves of digital change over the last decade. With services like Shipt and HEB Curbside offering online grocery shopping and Favor allowing for online ordering from restaurants with delivery, we can see the impact within the food industry. As a society we have also felt the changes in our healthcare with options for scheduling your doctor’s appointments online. Now, access to education is a click away with video interactions, resources, and online learning. Service based businesses have adjusted to accommodate growing numbers of people working from home with video conference software like Zoom and JoinMe. These changes were slow and steady up until the turn of the decade. Now, with a pandemic at our doorstep, we are faced with not only maintaining our health but also our livelihood. Luckily, society’s gradual shift to digital commerce is giving small businesses a path forward.

Businesses will adapt to the changes needed to survive the current economic climate while preparing for a new norm: Online Accessibility.

Going Digital Overnight

Many businesses that are currently surviving their city’s stay-in-shelter orders had to take on a large task: getting online overnight. If you and your business are struggling to figure out how to take on this task, please reach out to us. Money and contracts aside, we would like to see our community and local economy last through these difficult times.

Here are some of the ways the local businesses around us are handling the shift:

The New Digital Norm

With so many businesses going online because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we as a society are being trained to follow a new norm. If you aren’t already an Amazon Prime junkie, a keeper of the trifecta of streaming apps (Hulu, Netflix and HBO GO), or an AirBnB user while traveling, you’re probably not a part of this rapidly developing norm. This way of living, finding entertainment and saving money online isn’t a new concept, however.

Having an online and digitally connected life has always been a choice, whereas now, it has become a requirement.

We cannot stress how necessary getting your business online will be, especially when the pandemic begins to pass. People will continue to isolate to avoid spreading or catching COVID-19. We may be stuck in our homes for months to come and our daily routines are going to shift quite a bit in that time. We have the opportunity to start preparing now for the societal change that is already happening.

Our advice: Be proactive! Get your products or services on a website asap. If you already have a website, make online product ordering and scheduling for discussing services part of your offering. You can see how we have done it through calendly, here.

Be a Part of the Community

Importantly, we also advise that you stay connected. Those of us who are a part of the collective online community have been working day and night to come up with ideas to support one another. Just a few solutions include HEB’s options for the elderly, internet and phone companies coming together to ensure children have a way to access their online learning portals, and local businesses stepping up to create donation pools and online directories to allow hospitals and individuals to find what they need.

We are currently working on a series of videos to help people take control of their online presence and operations. If there is a topic you would like covered, please like, subscribe and  leave a comment on the video or contact us here.

Keep in mind that Geekdom is still hosting networking events and workshops online. Check out the calendar to see what’s going on and how you can stay involved.

Some other online business resources to consider:

Online Team Organization:

Trello (works like post-its or a whiteboard)
Google Drive (document sharing and asset management)
Asana (ticket management for larger teams)
Dropbox

Online Team Communication

Slack
Discord

Inexpensive Email Outreach

MailGun
MailChimp
Constant Contact

Search Engine Optimization Tools

Moz
Google Page Speed
GTmetrix
Google Analytics

Payment Options

Paypal
Stripe

Simplified Online Store Setups

Shopify
SquareSpace

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