Regionally at least, the second wave of COVID-19 is creating yet more uncertainty. Locally in Hertfordshire whilst we are escaping Tier 2 lockdown, who knows what may be around the corner. So now is the time to develop contingencies for your business, and tackle the what if scenarios. 
Already we have seen people’s behaviour change during the spring and summer, in that a lot more are using the internet, and in ways, we could never imagine, from leisure pursuits to shopping. It is fast becoming for many the go-to source to find out information and make purchases for all sorts of goods and services. 
Indeed, how many people had heard of Zoom before coronavirus, and now it is such a popular medium to communicate and conduct meetings, one can imagine it will soon be entered into the Oxford Dictionary as a new word or phrase (Zoom meeting)! Whatever people are using the internet for, going online is becoming a new and entrenched way of life for many, accessing it through desktops, laptops, smartphones, and indeed even smartwatches. 
Of course, we all hope that things will return to normal sometime next year, but there is a sense that life has changed in a more permanent way. 

Your business needs to be online 

By now, running a business during these challenging times, I am sure you have realised that having an online presence or marketplace is essential. 
Whilst physical shops and other leisure establishments are open again, the experience is not what it once was and needs some getting used to. So, the internet has become a much more credible alternative, and indeed for some businesses, it has become a lifeline. 
And in some cases, it remains the only revenue stream left available; a crucial way to maintain some kind of income when all other sources have dried up. For thousands of small and large businesses alike nationally, it will be ‘make or break’ over the next 12 months. 
As referenced above, it seems logical that our behaviour is not going to default back to what it was when this is all over (even being optimistic); this is not just a short-term change. It is a fair bet that online shopping rates will remain much higher. This compulsory period of change is the start of a long-term and permanent shift in the way we do things. 

Getting your business online 

It is evident that one of the chief obstacles for moving a business online or creating an online marketplace is the lack of skills and perhaps confidence. 
For some, it is natural to think that creating a website and/or an ecommerce site is beyond their comfort zone. There are of course cheap and cheerful DIY website builders out there, and consulting friends or associates who are a bit savvier might suggest that it is easy! Yet so many are actually more difficult to use than they seem at the outset. And whilst an end result might be achieved, it can look as though you really have done it yourself, and the look and functionality is almost ‘make do’. 
It is not a secret, as it applies to many sectors where a level of qualification, expertise, and experience pays dividends, and where the professional comes in to play to deliver sustainable online success. 
Please remember that a website should be regarded as an investment and your ‘reputation shop window’. When someone lands on your site, they will gain a first impression in a few seconds, which will influence whether they want to find out more or just move on and look elsewhere. 
Just as your own accounts, payroll, and VAT returns can be done in several hours’ time with some basic accounting software, it is often easier, and more convenient for businesses to get a trained bookkeeper or accountant to do it for you. 
The same applies to building a website. It is a skill to build a site not only with great design but inherent functionality that really reflects your business in the eyes of the visitor. It really does pay to get professional help. After all, you do want to be better than the competition, don’t you? 
That is precisely what we do here at it’seeze Web Design Watford. Our team of professional website designers and developers will work closely with you to create an online presence that you can be proud of. We will create branding and design that really works; projecting you at your best in order to drive traffic to your site. 
Websites are suitable for all businesses: Period. At it’seeze, we can help with suitability. Some may think that their goods or services are not really appropriate to be online. But in these challenging times, it pays to think outside the box. You might well ask yourself how businesses like gyms, hairdressers, and farms can create online revenue streams. Yet over the past few months, we have helped all three to set up an online presence and start to make money. 
For our gym clients, for example, we helped them to create a platform to showcase and sell online courses. Their clients join in from home, and indeed will probably continue to in the future. 
Hairdressing is an interesting example as it is very much a hands-on profession and whilst they were shut during the lockdown, those who have reopened have done so at reduced capacity. However, selling hairdressing products is an option. One of the salons we worked with set up an online shop and delivery service, and this will continue for the long term. 
Finally, our farm client set up a box scheme, delivering fresh fruit, veg, and other farm products to customers in the local area. 
With the backdrop of a gloomy economic outlook, there is still demand out there and it does not need to be limited to your local area, you can go national! It’s just a question of determining the supply chain. At it’seeze Web Design Watford we can help you to realise your potential and provide all the tools for you to succeed in this challenging business landscape. 
All it needs is some thought and positive thinking. Have a chat with us and talk through what ideas you have, there will almost certainly be a way through this and at the end of it you are likely to be in a much better place. Leave the technical stuff to us and focus on your online offering! We will take care of every aspect of the creation of your online shop, and the investment will be less than you think. 

There is the old saying ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ 

Maybe this is the catalyst to change what and how you are doing business for now and forever. Not to hope for the best, and wish it all goes away sometime soon. The longer you leave it, the more painful it will become. 
Alternatively, you can enhance your offer and perhaps diversify, which might entail creating a new proposition for your business, and drive sales forward, all online. This could be like turning over a new page in the proverbial book of your business life! 
Our Shop package is designed for small to medium-sized businesses. With a comprehensive content management system, you will be in total control. You can sell as many products as you like, from 10 to 10,000 and beyond. The choice is yours. And we will help all along the way! 
Get in touch and we will be delighted to help. The scientists are telling us that we will need to learn to live with this virus for the long term, and therefore to modify our business model is not just to survive, but aim to thrive! 
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