How has your website helped your business during lockdown?

Posted on June 19, 2020

 

The events of the last few months have been tough on everyone. The obvious social, physical and health impacts aside, the effects on businesses have also been unprecedented. With social distancing in place for the foreseeable, we’ve already witnessed casualties in the hospitality sector as hotels and restaurants see no way of surviving with the reduced occupancy rates.

Non-essential retail stores opened up again Monday, immediately causing queues around the block for some shops as eager shoppers were desperate to return to some form of normality. Businesses have had to adapt, either moving to home working on a long-term basis, reducing staff in the offices, applying rota systems or making substantial changes to their business premises.

At Engage Web, we have recently had to install glass divider screens between desks, and some of our team are working from home with a limited contingent in the office. However we’ve been particularly lucky, as our industry is such that we can work from home without any loss of productivity. In our industry, we can actually work from anywhere that has a power supply and decent Wi-Fi.

Many industries are not so lucky but, no matter the industry, the internet should allow businesses to function, adapt and even grow during these times.

Let’s look at a couple of examples of how businesses have adapted, changed the way they work and have continued to bring in leads from their websites, and keep their pipeline going.

Training Business

One of our clients operates a training business, whereby classrooms full of students would attend week-long courses at venues across the north west to study towards a specific qualification. Obviously none of those classroom courses could take place over the last few months, which would have resulted in a complete loss of revenue and, potentially, refunds for courses that were booked in advance.

The solution? Take the courses online. With a website able, after some minor updates, to list courses available to purchase online so that customers could pay for, register and complete over the internet, the business was not only able continue running courses, but it was also able to attract new customers who were now at home and had more time to take the courses in the first place. What could have been a dark time in fact turned into an opportunity to adapt and grow a new arm to the business that, once the lockdown is finally over and classroom courses can resume in earnest, will still run in parallel.

This all came with the added advantage that the business was no more restricted to geography, venue capacity or time. Any number of people, from anywhere in the UK, could now become clients.

Events Venue

Now here’s a business you would say can’t possibly benefit from the internet during this time. How can a venue, that cannot open for business, make use of the internet to attract new business and grow?

With a funnel designed to attract leads, move the leads towards an online tour (as physical ‘in person’ tours couldn’t happen) and then convert those leads into bookings for future dates, the venue was able to register interest, hold conversations and, ultimately, take deposits for bookings for future dates. Not every events venue has been in a position to do this, as it requires a working funnel and system in place for this to happen. It requires a website that can do it.

That’s just two businesses that have done well during this period thanks to their websites. We see a lot of businesses who also should have performed well but, due to a website that doesn’t aid them in getting new business, they have struggled during this time.

Has your website helped your business survive? Has it helped you adapt and grow? If it hasn’t, perhaps it’s time you made your website work for you and your business?

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