Many families and businesses are struggling with the current coronavirus pandemic and are stuck navigating government advice, wondering whether to go into the workplace or to keep teams at work. There is no answer that won’t affect us all in some way.
With the majority of small businesses in west, north and east Belfast not having a website, I have three examples of clients of ours who have been able to mitigate some of the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Book shop – the book shop had to close down due to coronavirus and to protect both the team and their customers. Having a strong mailing list build through their website, they were able to notify customers and let them know that they are still trading online. Only one member of the team visits the shop for an hour or two per day to arrange order shipments, but this has helped keep business going. (ps. buy a book!)
Restaurant – the restaurant has high footfall and a large kitchen and floor team. After closing, the financial implications were scary for everyone. We arranged for their website to accept orders online which means that with a vastly reduced staff, the restaurant can continue to generate turnover which will help with any costs when they do (and they will) fully re-open.
The solicitor – having to work from home, five solicitors at the firm were not able to take calls from the office which meant that communication could have broken down between their clients. We worked with them to issue a statement on their website and to create autoresponses to emails that included new ways for their clients to dial in (we introduced the Zoom app). They can now also accept payments online using Stripe and communication is clear and professional.
Websites are still very important to small businesses – whether the website is informational (promoting your service/work) or for selling (shops, music etc.).
If you have any thoughts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – keep safe and keep busy.