Starting an online business post-pandemic might sound crazy, especially since most businesses around the globe are struggling not to close for good. While it presents unique challenges, it also provides opportunities that were not available just a year ago.
Many countries are still trying to help their local businesses manage the crisis as much as they can, but with all the efforts will their resources be enough?
For example, let’s look at the current state in Canada. According to Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey for Autumn 2020, business sentiment has improved, but remains weak across all regions in Canada. Keeping in mind that the interviews were conducted from late August to the middle of September, and that the levels of COVID-19 cases were low at the time, we can expect the situation to get worse by the end of 2020.
Survey showed that 1/3 of Canadian businesses state that their sales won’t return to the pre-pandemic levels within a year. While the Government of Canada has many programs for financial support, loans, and access to credit to help businesses manage their operations during the pandemic, most businesses are afraid that it won’t be enough if the situation gets worse.
Even with that in mind, it’s true that more and more people in Canada are trying their hand at building an online business. It’s also true that more people are turning to the Internet to purchase products and services. If you want to build an online business in this post-pandemic world, you probably have a lot of questions.
The pandemic requires you to re-examine not only the product or service you want to offer but also the tools and techniques you will use when offering your wares to the public. You need to choose a secure and reliable Canadian web hosting solution with great uptime scores for your online business. You need to work on your brand identity. You need to embrace technology with all of the tools that are there to help you with your business operations. You need to work on your social media presence. All in all, it’s a lot of work. And you need to be careful who you are taking advice from.
In response to the growing number of people looking to build an online business, so-called gurus have come out of the woodwork. They offer their five-step programs to getting your online business off the ground. However, when you get to the end of their convoluted story, you realize that what they want you to do is purchase some scheme or some program they have created. Steer clear of this type of advice.
Building a value-based online business takes time, energy, hard work, and seed money. However, if you have the right attitude, the right tools, and research strategies that are best practices for your industry, you could turn a profit in no time – no matter where you are.
What Does the Business Environment Look like Post-Pandemic?
The pandemic is ongoing. It’s difficult to say with any certainty what the future of online business will look like. Still, there are sound principles for starting online businesses that will work regardless of the pandemic.
One thing that is important is brand identity online. If your brand identity is inconsistent, your audience is going to get confused. They will leave you for a competitor who can communicate in a consistent and efficient way.
Three Tips for Creating a Successful Online Business Post COVID-19
1. Find a Business You Can Scale
You want to get the most out of the skill, talent, or product you are going to offer online. For example, let’s say you want to teach English courses. Teaching English one-on-one is an effective online business that capitalizes on the fact that many people have more time on their hands and want to use that time to learn.
However, there is a problem with teaching one-on-one. It limits the maximum amount of money you earn to the number of hours you have available each day. When formulating a plan for online business, think about how you can maximize what you are offering.
For example, if you are going to teach English online, can you set it up so you can teach multiple people simultaneously? Can you create additional content, such as podcasts, YouTube videos, or blogs, that people can access long-term? This grows your audience base and serves as a secondary form of revenue.
Your goal should be to set up your business so you can go beyond the idea of trading your time for money. If you do that, you limit the potential of what your online business can do. Your online business should be scalable. It should give you passive income.
2. Choose the Right Platform for Your Online Business and Stick to It
Theoretically, you could advertise your business on every single platform out there. However, you will quickly find that you are spreading yourself too thin.
You need to find a platform or platforms that work for you, identify your audience, and build loyalty. When it comes to marketing, you can use social media. Pick a medium that is going to be the focal point of your advertising, be it your blog, YouTube, or your podcast. Stick with that as opposed to trying to sprinkle your efforts throughout various platforms.
The pandemic has given people a sense of information fatigue. It has gotten to where people are tuning out information if the same theme is being repeated over and over again everywhere they go.
If you go on YouTube and see a video advertisement, you might pay attention to it. However, if you see that same advertisement when you are on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other places, you tune it out. The same thing could happen with you if you spread yourself too thin.
3. Use Appropriate Technology
For your online business to thrive in a post-pandemic world, avail yourself of technology. Your competitors are doing it. If you don’t, you will fail.
Customer relationship management technology is a powerful tool that allows you to keep track of the interactions you have with current customers and potential customers. It gives you the ability to see who your customers are, what it is that attracts them to your content, the number of sales you have made, and potential changes you can make to increase customer engagement.
The pandemic has made people leery of marketing that lacks authenticity. People have fewer resources than they did just a year ago, so they are doing research before they spend their money. Using technology like CRM systems can help you get to know your audience and create content that will resonate with them.
You want to keep your audience engaged. You want them to be excited about the products and services you are offering. Once you identify your core audience and know how you are going to market to them, you can use the same technology to identify other groups that might also benefit from your product or service. Come up with unique ways to create marketing that will reach them.
Creating a successful online business post-pandemic can be a life changer. It can give you and your family financial freedom and the ability to enjoy an improved quality of life. Online businesses that create passive income literally let you make money while you sleep. Choosing the right platform helps you reach your audience with targeted messages. And taking advantage of technology allows you to get to know who your customers are so that you can build a business that meets their needs.