5 things that will change forever for small business websites
After the pandemic, many things will go back to normal for small businesses. But, some things will remain changed forever. Here are five things that I think will change permanently for small business websites around the globe.
No Companies Without Websites After the Pandemic
There will no longer be companies without an online presence. While most companies are on the web, some still (somehow) have not developed websites. What Covid-19 has taught us is that you have to be able to do business online. At the very least, you need a website to communicate to people when you are closed or have special hours and circumstances. That doesn’t mean everybody is selling a million products or that every business has a full-fledged e-commerce site. But every small business needs a website. Chances are the companies who don’t have a website will not be long for this world.
No More Brick-and-Mortar-Only Stores
Even traditional brick-and-mortar stores have to be able to sell online. Maybe not your entire product line, but some standard products that can always be purchased through the website. That way your business is never totally shut down no matter the circumstances.
Small Business Websites Must Have Online Payments
If you are a professional services business, such as a law firm or accounting firm, you now need the ability to be paid online. One of my clients is a law firm that has been around since the 1800s. They recently had us build an improved payment solution for their website. The new functionality has lead to quicker payments as well as a savings of over $12,000 a year. During the pandemic, people have been scared to even go to the post office in many cases. So having the ability to get paid online is crucial. If your website is not set up to accept payments, then that would be a good place for you to start.
All Small Business Websites Need the Ability to Easily Add Content And Messaging
Too many businesses still have stagnant, static sites. When the pandemic hit, they had no way to quickly update their websites. The days of building a site and never making changes are gone (as they should be). Every site should be built using a Content Management System or CMS that is user friendly.
All Sites Need to Be Responsively Designed
The percentage of people viewing sites on cellphones and tablets has reached an all-time high. During traumatic times, people have little patience for websites that don’t display on their device of choice. So if you are a late adopter with a site that doesn’t look good everywhere, now is the time, make it happen.
If I had told you six months ago that we would have a pandemic that would shut down the world, forcing millions out of work, you would’ve said I was crazy. But with Covid-19, our world became like a scary movie. Similar to 9/11, some things changed forever. After 9/11, everything from travel to the way we purchase stocks shifted permanently. The same thing has happened with the pandemic. Now, as no one could’ve predicted this, very few were ready for the new world order. Some companies have actually thrived, some have survived, and, sadly, many will go out of business.
But, looking on the positive side, we will now plan ahead for the next pandemic. Our small businesses will be far more prepared, as we have to find a way to survive even during the worst times when we cannot conduct business face-to-face. Many of us, instead of going back to our normal jobs, will keep working from home. But the work will still need to be done, just in a different fashion. We have to be ready.
My recommendation for small businesses is this: take a look at your small business website, and figure out what you can do in the event of another global event. Determine what is the bare minimum you need to keep your business afloat and make it happen.