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The current state of the world is unlike anything we have really seen. Navigating and managing this crisis is not only impacting everyday people, plans, and politics, but it also impacts business. Nowadays, business is as globalized as it has ever been. The actions, decisions, and current events of one country indirectly impact the businesses, plans, and economies of other countries. Working around issues and obstacles concentrated to one region or country is difficult, but not impossible. What businesses and governments must work with now is a crippling issue that has its grasp on every inch of the world.
How does business continue as is in the current state? What will it look like going forward? These questions have been circulating video conference calls, news channels, and dinner table conversations since ringing in the new year. So far, we have seen tremendous success and resilience from companies and businesses that were able to predict and/or adapt to the current situations. Now, we can say with certainty that the businesses which are surviving the current climate are going online. Online is working for a number of reasons and could be the future of all business.
Here are the things you should know
Why are companies going online?
Given the current global crisis, business has had to adapt. New rules and regulations regarding social distancing, sanitizing, face coverings, and more make conducting business ‘the old-fashioned way’ incredibly difficult and inconvenient. Moreover, businesses are responsible for keeping their employees safe and making their customers and clients feel safe. Should there be anyone that is comprised and/or susceptible to the virus, companies should be taking extraordinary measures to keep them safe.
To best avoid any spreading of the virus, breaching of health guidelines or mandates, and/or bad publicity, companies are moving their operations online. Attracting, securing, and interacting with clients, both new and old, is the safest and most promising way for businesses to keep moving forward.
The global pandemic is not only changing the way companies do business, but it’s also affecting how much business is actually happening. Stunted economies, halted market growth, and uncertainty about the future leave businesses, consumers, and entire countries hesitant to spend money. However, for companies going online, this has not been the case. Going online with your business effectively combats these exact fears and apprehensions, allowing your clientele portfolio to continue growing.
Why does online work?
Why does online business work? It easily goes against what many have been taught about conducting business. It can be seen as less personal, and more distant and transactional. However, effective online businesses avoid these complaints, avoid the fears surrounding the pandemic, and continually grow their market.
Conducting business online is incredibly practical in today’s world. In fact, before the pandemic, many companies were resulting to online business because of its ease and efficiency. Now, with online essentially being the only option, many companies are having to adopt and adapt new strategies. Online works for winning new clients and managing the current crisis because companies have the ability to be physically distant from their clients, while also being close to them and their needs. With the right approach, online can be a personalized, humanized experience for the client and the company. This, nowadays, is the key to winning clients over.
Online business also works better than in-person nowadays because it gets clients passed that fear of spending money. Essentially, shifting your operations and client acquisition techniques to an online approach implies a sense of longevity and instills confidence in the consumer. Businesses that are phasing out, unwilling to adapt, and with no foresight to the future will not survive the pandemic because they will not be able to win over new clients. By going online, a company proves its willingness to adapt, its aspirations for success, and determination to perform and provide for its clients in the future. In times of uncertainty, confidence and plans for the future are exactly what leads need to here to be converted into clients. Online business gives them both.
How to make online work for you
Transitioning to doing business online can seem intimidating. What you may not realize though is that you are really already halfway there. If you have a website, online content, and a digital marketing strategy, you have the foundations of doing business online. To truly make that transition to fully adopting an online approach to winning clients, you have to personalize the experience for each individual customer/client.
First, take a look at your digital marketing strategy, your current content, and your website. You probably have a lot of interesting, industry-relevant content that showcases your expertise and the competence of your company. This is key in attracting and convincing your potential leads that you are the one for the job. To really be successful though, take it one step further and engage with your audience online. Being that it is unknown whether you’ll ever work with them in person or not, you want to humanize the digital, online experience your clients have with your business. In the current crisis, it’s better to go that extra mile to humanize the interaction and experience of winning clients than to make it efficient. Individuals and businesses are seeking connection, protection, certainty, and trust nowadays. Ensure that your online business and client acquisition process gives that to them.
Secondly, ensure that your online business is multi-dimensional. Your company should not only be accessible through its own website. Continue producing impressive industry-related content that showcases you and your company as a thought leader. This will not only improve your brand image, but it will also better your chances of publishing on impressive, well-known sites. Sites and platforms like Google News, Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNN, and others have the power to significantly increase your brand exposure. All the while, they will elevate your personal image and brand image and connect you to more potential leads. Authority, expertise, and prestige online are all important aspects in winning over clients.
Finally, if you’re unsure or hesitant about tackling the online market on your own, reach out to a team of experts. Not only will they be able to bring your visions for your online business to life, but they can also optimize how, when, and where your content appears online. There are plenty of online marketing and public relations companies to help you navigate this newfound way of business.
What does the future of online business look like?
When looking to the future, online business is here to stay. Between never-ending innovations in artificial intelligence, the IoT, digital interface, and online experience, technology is becoming more and more equipped to better serve individuals and business. Moreover, as more countries develop, become more financially stable, and increase their international ties, access to online platforms and users grows as well. Already, the majority of the global population has access to the internet, and much of business is conducted online as well. Better technology and enhanced systems and speeds will only encourage these trends.
The key to keeping online business a success is the human aspect. Even before the global pandemic, businesses were already switching to predominantly online interactions and transactions. While this made for convenience and increased speed and efficiency, it left clients and customers wanting for more of a human touch. A PwC survey found that 59% of individuals worldwide felt that companies had lost site of the personability factor of business, especially as they moved online. Additionally, over three quarters of individuals expressed their preference for interacting with a human over a machine or online interface. The future of business and successful business online lies somewhere in the middle. To keep everyone safe, ensure speed and efficiency, and best utilize technological innovations, online business is inevitable. However, companies have a responsibility to keep up the personal, down-to-earth components of their customer service, even as they conduct business online.
The global crisis has surely changed business for the present and will have a larger impact on its future. So far, businesses have been moving online to win clients and adjust their selling and service models. Those that have adopted this new way of business completely are seeing great success and should do just fine in the future. There are a handful of ways to keep online business personable and humane, so as to keep up with high levels customer service and satisfaction. If managing online businesses is something unfamiliar and intimidating to you though, there are plenty of companies out there willing to give you a hand. Reaching out is the first step in building up your online business brand. As Global Chairman of PwC, Bob Moritz, said, “Business leaders need to simultaneously keep their company running today and fundamentally rethink their strategy for tomorrow.”