Your small business has been offline, you were cool with that, you did not see the need to take it from offline to online.
Of course, you have the usual social handles, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
But you have never bothered to relate to your customers through that medium, you preferred the personal contact that you had with your customers.
You did not want to do your business online.
All that online business matter literally flew by you.
Until the COVID crisis hit and now you are stuck at home wondering how to restart your small business.
Its like your business literally hit ground zero.
You need to take your business from offline to online but you do not know where to start from.
Your business processes were never designed to work online.
I had you in mind before writing this post.
In this post, I am going to teach you step by step how to go from having an offline business to having your small business online.
You need to follow me carefully to be able to understand how to do this easily.
Before we get going, you need to get this checklist on how to digitize your small business.
It is a checklist that will make what I am about to share with you easy to implement. Click below to get it
Table of Contents
Are you ready? Lets go.
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5 steps to take your small business from offline to online
You may be at the place where you are a little confused as to what to do with your offline business right now.
You need not be because while you ran your business offline, there were certain records that you had with you.
This could be your customer’s emails, phone numbers or call cards, this is where to start from to begin to build your first online armory.
Taking inventory of your business will include the following
- Customer details
- Business Process
These 3 aspects are the most crucial because they form the crucible of your small business.
For example, if you offer car detailing services, your customer base is usually people who require extra special care for their cars.
In the times you detailed their cars, you could have collected some data from them like emails or phone numbers.
It is now time to create a database for all these contacts if you don’t have one already.
The next thing to do is to look at your business processes, that is the methodology you use in delivering your services.
For example, if you sell custom made clothes, you may want to look at each process and see what you can
The reason you need to follow this formula is that you did not plan for the lockdown, but it has happened and you know that even when the lockdown is over, people will be wary of going to places where they will need in-house consultation.
So consumer business needs will change, you need to adjust your business to fit with that need.
So instead of having them come into your business place to take measurements, you could have them measure themselves and send in the measurement.
This will mean that you need to train them on how to take accurate measurements so they don’t give you the wrong data for their clothing.
These are ways you can re-invent your business process to help you cope with the new normal.
After taking this first step, let us go to the next step in taking your business online.
2.Create a digital plan
The second step you need to take in other to take your small bsuienss from offline to online is to create a digital plan for your small business.
A digital plan will help you to guide your business from being offline to getting online not only for the sake of having an online presence but also to sell your products online.
A digital plan is the most important document you will need in taking your business online.
It will make taking your small business from offline to online a breeze.
A digital plan defines where you are going to and how you will know that you have been successful.
To help you take your small business from offline to online, I created a small business digitization planner.
This planner will help you to create a coordinated plan for taking your business online without much stress.
You will be able to measure your results and adjust where necessary.
Without coordinated digital planning, you will be hitting the digital world blindly.
It will also take you a lot of time to get a hold on how to function in the digital world.
Get your copy below
Small Business Digitization Planner
A complete tool for building a digital plan for your small business. It will also help you to design a new strategy for your small business in the post COVID-19 world.
3. Choose a Platform
The next big question you will need to answer when taking your business online is what platform do I use?
There are two basic platforms that you can use online. They are
If you are offering services, you need a website that is designed to help you sell your services.
A lot of small businesses have websites, but those websites were never designed for selling anything.
They were simply put together to indicate that the business has an online presence. If you needed to buy their services, you had to send them an email.
Some of those emails never got a reply? who cares our business is offline anyway they say?
Now the music has changed, you need to change your dance steps or you will be off the dance floor.
One of the ways that you can transform your website from just being an online presence to becoming an instrument for selling in your business is by installing a live chat widget.
A live chat widget is like your customer service personnel that attends to anyone that comes to your online store.
Livechat widgets and chatbots make an online shopping experience great for customers.
Customers can easily interact with you when they need clarification about your products and services while shopping.
This is what makes your website, a website that is built to sell
An example of a company that offers live chat widgets for use in a small business website is 13chats.com
13chats is a company that provides Live-chats widgets for your small business.
This helps you to support and improve your customer experience.
So, as a small business owner, you need to set up your website with the intent to sell your services on that website.
This means a customer can make an order on your website without having to contact you.
Why do you need to do it this way? Because a lot of people online have a very small attention span and unlimited options.
If your website is not set up to sell, they will go somewhere else.
To get a website built, you need to buy hosting for your website and a domain name.
A domain name grants you access to your business name online for one year.
While a hosting service, hosts your website and they usually bill monthly.
To get a good hosting that costs less than 4 dollars a month, buy Bluehost.
Their prices are small business-friendly and some times they may even give you a free domain name.
To buy your hosting , click above.
If you sell a physical product, you need an online shop. An online shop is designed to help you to sell your goods online.
The best online shop platform you can ever get is Shopify. Shopify is small business-friendly and costs about 29 dollars a month.
You have free two weeks trial period when you don’t pay anything.
Shopify online store platform has capabilities that enable you to display your products, take care of inventory and shipping, and also collect payment.
Sign up for Shopify
4. Outsource the tech aspect
Since you are trying to take your small business from offline to online, this is not the time to learn how to build a website or build an online shop.
You are in dire need of time to ramp up and restart your small business.
The best is to focus on what you do best which is creating products and adjusting your business strategy for the new normal. Outsource what you are not good at to an expert.
An expert will help to bring your digital plan to life, they will even help you to fine-tune it.
If you spend time trying to learn the aspects you are not good in, you will lose valuable time and may not be able to reopen your business online.
Outsourcing also means that you take advantage of expert knowledge at a low cost and you save valuable time and energy. Less frustration and faster time of plan implementation.
Thankfully for you, there are many services that are available for you to take advantage of in this Blog.
I can build a one-page website to help you get a functional website for your business right away. Your website will be set up to sell.
If you will like to hire my services please click below.
If you require a small business digitization strategy to help you get your small business online.
You can book a call with me, I will help you to identify how you can create a digitization strategy for your small business.
Click below to book my services.
5. Inform your customers
Now that your business has gone online, it is time to inform your loyal customers about the new ways they can access your services.
This may look like relaunching your business but it is worth it. Do free product giveaways to announce your new online business.
Use your data and inform your customers about your new online shopfront.
This means sending out text messages, calls and emails to inform them.
It will help you to get them acquainted with how you are now serving them.
You can also advertise on FB or Google ads to get in new customers and help your grow your business.
Taking a small business from offline to online may seem daunting but remember that doing business is about adjusting your strategies to fit in with a new requirement.
With the growing global trend, no small business can operate offline anymore.
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