Coronavirus: business ideas

April 6th, 2020

Coronavirus: Business ideas

We hope you are all well and dealing with the current situation as best you can. As you can imagine we've had a lot customers asking us for advice on how they might make adjustments to their business to get things running more smoothly while the lockdown continues. In light of this, we've put together a few things you might want to consider doing with your business.

Adding a notice to your website
Let your customers know what you are doing to deal with the Coronavirus situation. We've added a free upgrade option so you can easily add a stand-out notification to your website. Read more about how to add this upgrade and what you might like to say in it in our recent blog article.

Adding an online store
Consider if there are ways you're able to continue selling your products and services. Some customers have asked us to add a shop facility to their websites. If you would like to do this, get in touch and we can look at ways this can be incorporated into your site. During this time we're very much working on the basis of making any upgrades of this nature as quick and inexpensive for you as possible.

Applying for Support
There are a wide range of support options being offered by the UK and devolved administrations ranging from grants, which you don't have to pay back, to loans offering attractive terms. There is also support to furlough staff covering up to 80% of their salaries. Here are some links with more information. There are certainly some blind spots in the support but we've found, and customers have reported to us, that they have started to benefit from these schemes.

Adding Live chat
If your customers tend to call you but you are working from home and don't have access to your office phones, you could consider adding live chat to your website. There are a number of services to choose from, most are pretty easy for us to put in place for you and are either free or low cost to use. We use Olark, which has a free tier and find it quite easy to use but there are others such as LiveChat, Purechat etc. A simple Google search will bring up loads to choose from.

Using an Internal Communications Tool
If your team is working from different locations, you might want to look into options to facilitate keeping in touch and keeping things organised. Most people have heard of Skype and Facetime but there are some more advanced tools which include more comprehensive features for business. We used to use a service called Flock which is essentially an internal chat facility with support for video. We've recently migrated to Microsoft Teams which is more advanced and more integrated with the Office applications. Slack is another tool that is popular with businesses.

Upgrading your Phone System
If you are using a conventional phone line where you plug the phone into the wall and you have a single number for that phone, you might want to consider moving to a service called VOIP or voice over IP. This provides all the same functionality as a standard phone line however instead of plugging the phone into a phone socket, you plug into your internet connection. VOIP phones have lots of advanced features like putting callers on hold, queues and letting you receive more than one call at a time i.e. customers do not get an engaged tone. The main advantage right now however is that the phone can be plugged into any internet connection i.e. you can move your phone line around with you. If you think this is something which will help with your business we recommend calling a provider such as RPS Telecom who can help design a solution for you and your business.

We hope some of these ideas are of assistance to you. If you need to discuss anything regarding your website, please feel free to contact us.

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