Undeniably, the traditional way of doing business has always been a common practice from the very beginning. And as globalization came into existence, businesses expanded from city to city and region to region.
Conversely, the internet made communication quite simple, and permitted organizations to diversify globally. But, still, many small and medium firms couldn’t benefit much out of the internet and preferred on staying isolated. They denied their presence over the internet until COVID-19 took over the world economy.
On the other hand, intelligent business owners understood the importance of running their businesses online, and now, they are found much safer than the rest in one of the deadliest pandemics. Therefore, irrespective of your business size and nature, you can still successfully survive the coronavirus outbreak by managing your organization online.
The Common Misconception
First things first, you need to understand that going online is the only way now to keep running your business affairs. The COVID-19 has changed everything for businessmen like you. That’s the reason why many companies have turned their back towards the traditional business and switched to eCommerce.
Nevertheless, some firms still believe that standard business practices are more profitable as compared to online solutions. And unfortunately, they are still wondering to get things right back on the track. Of course, hope is necessary, and things will be fine again, but business scenarios will be entirely different in the future, as it is already changed due to COVID-19.
According to the New Strait Times, the Malaysian retail industry will suffer a 5.5% decline in the business for the remaining year and beyond because of coronavirus pandemic. Contrarily, Malaysia’s eCommerce industry is already relishing the highest growth during the crisis. According to Criteo market research, 50% of consumers are now planning to purchase goods and services online.
Hence, it’s proved that if your business is still following the traditional footsteps, then its high-time to make it accessible with the help of eCommerce for durable income.
Impact of COVID-19 on Traditional Business
COVID-19 has not affected any single country or continent, but it has brought the global economy down on its knees. Sadly, the most negatively influenced area has been none other than the traditional retailing businesses.
For instance, more than 100,000 small businesses are found to be closed forever in the US. According to Yelp, 41% of traditional businesses have lost their value because of COVID-19. The main reason for such chaos is nothing but refraining from adppting the “New Way” of doing business, which is having an online presence. Similarly, COVID-19 made millions of people lose their jobs globally.
Which Businesses Are Surviving During the Pandemic?
COVID-19 has impacted numerous businesses. You will be shocked to see that even some of the well-established economic countries are facing a downfall. However, the pandemic has affected small and medium-sized organizations the most. But did you know there are a few businesses, which are found to be surviving successfully?
Not luck, but a few quick decisions enable them to sell their products and services, and even manage their day-to-day routine tasks with ease. And despite a dreadful decline in most of the industries, some firms have been boomed during coronavirus outbreak.
For instance, Forbes mentions a huge increase in online retailing or eCommerce businesses as buyers don’t feel “traditional shopping” experience safe anymore. Likewise, restaurants, pubs, eateries, coffee shops, and other small businesses have switched to eCommerce.
And as a result, they are surviving well. On the other hand, medium-sized firms, as well as, multi-national companies are successfully managing their business activities – from inventory to sales, and from planning to execution – right from their laptops and the internet.
Is eCommerce the Only Way of Business Survival and Revival?
You can take examples from many countries on how eCommerce or online businesses are continuously flourishing over time. Helping business owners to grow their personal and national economic wellbeing.
For instance, most B2B and B2C businesses in India are now using technology to sell their products and services to their customers. The eCommerce scenario in Malaysia is also prospering and will continue to thrive for at least the next five to ten years.
So, it’s no surprise that shifting your business online is the most authentic way to survive now and later. And if you think you’re still not ready, think twice.
Importance of Online Presence for Your Business Continuity during COVID-19
It doesn’t matter what industry are you from, and who your buyers are, COVID-19 has compelled the majority of customers and clients to buy goods and services using online sources. So, don’t waste your time relying on the traditional business set up, as switching to online business is the best solution because of:
- Global Access
- Improved Customer Service
- Faster Delivery
- Ease of Management
Breaking Chains: Switching from Traditional Business to Online
The digital age demands to forego traditional business operations, and urges to transform your small shop or a gigantic firm into a quickly accessible platform. However, this is only possible if you plan to shift your organization online. But shifting your business online without proper security arrangements can be risky.
Moreover, you must know about the necessary actions to take to successfully run your company through the internet. There are five major steps you are required to follow if you wish to gain high profits even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, let’s begin!
1. Create a Website
A website is a crucial part of your business. It is the heart and soul in the online world and works as a gateway for communication, interaction, buying, and selling of products and services to your final consumers. Since the COVID-19 spread, many startups to small enterprises, and from prominent brands to MNCs, have made their websites and online stores, and they are happily selling their offerings without any obstacle.
Therefore, creating your website is an ideal way to reposition your product in the customer’s mind. Also, it broadens your business reach. For instance, where previously you were selling your confectionary items within a 2-kilometer range, so with the help of a website, you can sell the commodities even to those customers who are normally out of the radius and without even opening the shutter.
Similarly, your website can help you sell your services to national and international clients. Furthermore, it can be your ultimate wallet because you can use several payment methods and link them with your website, and clients can use the same platform to pay their bills.
2. Choose Dedicated Server Hosting
Finally, you have decided to design your business website. But did you think about its hosting? Keep in mind that there are two essential hosting types.
- Shared hosting
- Dedicated hosting
In shared hosting, one unit of server are responsible for hosting multiple sites. Therefore, you might not get the optimum performance for your site because the resources are shared. Furthermore, if one website has high traffic, the remaining site’s performance might affected.
On the other hand, dedicated server hosting is an ideal way to secure your online business from intrusions and data breaches. It’s fast, reliable, and permits business expansion as much as you desire. There are many other benefits of choosing dedicated server hosting, such as:
- Complete control
- Enhanced protection
- Unique IP address
- 24/7 backup
Undeniably, the dedicated server hosting can help your business grow online in a heartbeat. And the good news is that Net Onboard offers powerful dedicated hosting solutions to assure your business availability all year round. So, want to know why companies prefer Net Onboard over other dedicated server providers? Here’s the answer!
- It owns a powerful data center to assure minimal downtime (less than 2 hours in the entire year)
- There’s 365 days availability of customer support and surveillance
- It offers Anti-DDOS protection (highly recommended)
- All the offered services comply with ISO standards
And most importantly, Net Onboard has four great dedicated server hosting plans, including:
With a variety of dedicated server hosting categories, you are free to select the most pertinent plan to ensure your staff and customers enjoy steady online business functions every day.
3. Use Social Media for Business
Many people misjudge the power of social media and the wonders it can do to their businesses. It’s a delusion that places like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, are only used for entertainment purposes. But the truth is:
- There are more than 3 billion active users on various social media platforms every day
- 61% are those who check their social media accounts after every 10 minutes
- Out of 61%, 54% of users are those who research products and services before buying them, and finally, make purchases online regularly
- And guess what? From that 54%, 95% online buyers are adults (18 to 34)
Indeed, your online business is likely to grow fast, as compared to traditional business, when it is available on social media. Plus, you can use social media sites for marketing and promotion to increase the selling opportunities.
4. Use of Latest Productivity Tools
Most business owners are afraid to switch to online platforms, as they think that managing their daily business chores will be difficult. And if you have the same thoughts, then you’re fortunate to live in an era where the office can be managed on your fingertips. Thanks to Microsoft 365 for giving you complete control over your emails and offering optimum productivity services.
Microsoft 365 is developed to help you attain more business with the help of creative Office applications, and smart cloud solutions along with top-notch security. With an amalgamation of world-class applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, and robust cloud services like Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and Skype for Business, you can easily administer your business, as well as, communicate with your staff and customers remotely.
Hence, having access to Microsoft 365 can provide countless benefits to your business, such as:
- You can work and supervise your team from any part of the world
- Your files are safe and secure, and also you can access them anywhere
- Users and teams can collaborate
- You can share mailboxes, contacts, calendars, and even edit essential documents quickly and in real-time
So, if you’re not sure how to get access to Microsoft 365, let Net Onboard help you. They offer different affordable Microsoft 365 plans according to the nature and size of your business. You can pick the most suitable plan as per your requirements.
5. Secure Your Online Business
Whether you have a small online store or a highly engaging business website, you have to make sure that its connections are 100% secured. Keep in mind that online business requires two-way communication (sending and receiving of vital and, sometimes, top-secret customer and business information) through an internet connection.
Hence, you have to protect the internal communication (staff-side), as well as, the external communication (customer-side) because there could be a hacker trying to steal your company’s data by sending malware and other malicious content.
Contrarily, by simply clicking on infected files, or visiting the unsecured part of the internet, and even browsing on a public connection, you can welcome intruders to spy or simply take over your business completely.
Nevertheless, by playing smartly, you can secure your firm’s online existence. So, all you need is excellent firewall protection to control external threats. And a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to assure highly-safe internet usage from your side.
A firewall will monitor the incoming and outgoing of information, and block unauthorized access to your business network, whereas, a VPN will help create a secure connection by adding an extra security layer. Moreover, it will permit you to access numerous restricted websites across the globe with absolute anonymity, and safeguard your internet connection from cybercriminals.
Once again, Net Onboard is a step ahead of providing a robust security connection even during this pandemic. Its Netgate pfSene firewall and VPN allow you to safeguard your online business easily.
Although COVID-19 has damaged the traditional business practices, companies are still surviving with the help of the internet. Being the only hope now and for an unpredictable time, online business is the new way to begin or continue your enterprise. With a series of management, security, and productivity tools, you can run your business without a hitch. Net Onboard is always ready to serve you with peerless remedies to make sure you have all the right solutions for your online business and eCommerce portal.