Help Your Business Survive the Coronavirus
As a small business owner, we are facing some challenging days ahead. It is no longer “business as usual” in more and more cities across the country and around the world as we deal with the Coronavirus. While many people are home wondering how they are going to keep their kids occupied with schools out of session for an undetermined length of time, many other people are wondering how to keep their businesses running efficiently and effectively during these uncertain times.
Let’s examine some tools available to businesses so employees can work remotely and clients can still receive the services they need.
Zoom is one of the leaders in video communications. With Zoom, you can easily host online meetings with or without video, and you also have the ability to share screens so your teams can work collaboratively in real-time. It is free to sign up for a Zoom account!
GoToMeeting is another great option for online meetings and web conferencing. GoToMeeting offers 14 days free to all organizations, and other qualified groups (health care providers, educational institutions, municipalities and non-profit organizations) can receive 3 months free with GoToMeeting’s Emergency Remote Work Kits.
Sometimes you can even go simple. Quick check-ins can make remote work less isolating, maintain business camaraderie, and in some instances, be a primary way of conducting business. In one local Pennsylvania community, music teachers are conducting lessons over FaceTime.
Skype is also a great option for services such as music lessons, offering online psychotherapy and even fitness bootcamps.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPN services are used to provide secure remote access to your online business assets. While there are some free VPN providers, the best options charge a nominal fee but provide the best, most secure options. Some of these providers include ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark.
Slack is a wonderful tool that helps you stay connected with your team and allows you to assign and follow workflow for a variety of projects. Slack’s blog is also full of tips for working remotely, including ideas on how you can adapt when offices need to close.
Microsoft Teams provides a multitude of collaboration services including chat, meetings, calls and more. Because of the increased need for work from home (WFH), Microsoft is offering its E1 Trial for 6 months free.
Ramp Up Online Content
Sure, you may not be able to service all your customers face-to-face, but luckily, technology can take you right into their homes. Consider adding virtual classes, webinars, podcasts and other video or audio content to your website, social media and other channels. Vimeo Live Streaming provides hardware and software to share events and is an excellent place to start if you are looking to add virtual integrations to your website.
Look for Small Business Offers?
As a small business, IT support for your entire team can be difficult. You might have one IT person responsible for trying to get (and keep) several people up and running remotely. Cloudflare can help with network security, performance and reliability and right now, it is free for 6 months for small businesses.
An incredible (and seemingly ever-changing) resource is Open for Business Hub. Just today, additional companies were added to the list of offers to help small businesses.
While it can seem daunting to pivot and completely change how your business runs, the Coronavirus outbreak is challenging many of us to be creative. Luckily, there are many tools available – some with little to no cost – to help us adapt to this new normal while we try to “flatten the curve.”
How SWD Can Help
Simplified Website Design is helping current website clients by adding Coronavirus notifications to websites via text, banners and pop-ups to communicate how their businesses are dealing with this crisis.
We can also help you integrate the virtual services mentioned above to your existing website. In addition, we have recently rolled out our Affordable Monthly Website Design Packages to help small businesses get the agency support they need without costly upfront fees.
We are here to help! Reach out should you need any support navigating this difficult time.